Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My First Handspun Yarn

made from our very own Jacob Sheep.
I'm quite excited about it!


I see all sorts of flaws in it ~
never the less,
it's a start;
it was fun;
& it's straight off our sheep.

After we had them sheared,
I skirted the fleece,
washed it by hand, and
carded it into rolags white & gray.
Then I spun the fiber onto spools with the spinning wheel.
Next was plying the two colors together.

Gray & White Wool on the Lazy Kate

Ready to ply together

My first two ply yarn

Next I set the twist by giving the yarn soaks in
hot water with dish soap,
 hot water with white vinegar,
then plain hot water.


Drip dry


Ta-da!
Two and a half skeins of gray wool yarn.


Smiley couldn't be happier about what's become of her fleece.
Either that, or she's smiling about the protein lick
that is all over her face!
I'm not sure which.
We'll say it's the yarn.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sooie Pig, Here Pig

Yesterday we brought home new piglets ~
Chester-Duroc Crosses.
The girl is red and the boy (soon to be fixed) is white.


They are too stinkin' cute when they are little!


Ziggy and Poppy were very curious about their new neighbors.


Sooie Pig & Here Pig will lead a pampered life
until they reach full size.


Funny how I love bringing baby pigs home
and how I love putting big pigs in the freezer.
That's farm life for you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Homeschooling ~ One Down, Two to Go

Today is a special day.  It's the last day of our oldest son's homeschool education.
Twelve years ago, we started this ever changing, ever challenging journey to reach this destination.  We began with Kindergarten at the kitchen table with arm loads of books & fists full of new crayons.

 I had butterflies in my stomach as my mind raced with reservations.  Could I do it? Did I want to be with my kids all day everyday? The answer of course was "yes". On my own, I could not have done it though.  I've received so much guidance and encouragement along the way, especially from my always supportive husband, my sister-in-law that homeschooled before me and God whom I cried out to for patience many times. 

We simply felt led by God to take a different path with our children.
 Never have I been so happy that we made this decision.


Of course, high school presented challenges that we had not faced before.  Boys don't always like their mothers telling them what to do.  School subjects got harder and above my own understanding.  I never understood Algebra!  However, with the help of private tutors and homeschool group classes, he made it through ~ with all A's I might add!

Through this twelve year walk with Jake, I have been privileged to watch him grow into a strong, smart, young man dedicated to the Lord that anyone would be proud to call son. 

Even though his homeschool education was meant to teach him,
I've learned a lot too ~
about dedication,
about perseverance,
about patience,
about love,
even a little more about Algebra.

In the midst of everything else that is going on right now, we have a boy transitioning into adulthood ~ receiving scholarships, a summer job at a horse barn, making decisions about the future, senior pictures, graduation announcements, a party, even enrolling in college courses for fall.  It's a lot for this homeschooling mom's heart to handle.  But it's fun and it's rewarding.


So if you are on this long, sometimes difficult, road of homeschooling your children and you can't see what's beyond the bend, know that others have walked that road before and you can do it too.  Actually, we're still on that road.  We have two more to go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frozen Homemade Biscuits


Did you know you could make biscuits from scratch and freeze them before baking?
love Angel Biscuits but often there is not enough time in the morning to mix up a batch.

I decided to try freezing some for later use.  So last time I made biscuits I tossed one pan in the oven and one pan in the freezer.  A few days later I baked them. 


They were soooo gooood!

I couldn't tell any difference at all in the way they turned out.
Just bake them twice as long as if they were fresh in the pan.

Who says you can't have perfect angel biscuits on a busy morning?


Monday, April 23, 2012

Picking Flowers

This spring while shopping for flowers, I was admiring how pretty the hanging pots were at the garden store.
But hanging pots and the Oklahoma wind don't go together well.
Then I had an idea!  
Why not transplant them in my galvanized pots?
18 inch metal container with cascading Snowstorm blooms

So instead of buying flowers in small four inch pots and waiting for them to grow, I popped the large mass of flowers out of the hanging basket and put them in my metal containers. 
It worked out really well!
2 foot galvanized tub of purple Million Bells

Just look how full those tubs are! 

And the bonus...
turns out you get a lot more bloom for the buck when you buy flowers in hanging baskets.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

18 Eggs


18 eggs out of 22 hens.
Now that is a good egg day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Horse Dr.


D had a visit with a Dr. yesterday.
Not just any Dr. but an equine veternarian who specializes in chiropractic treatment.

She's had a sore foot and after reading scary things on the internet about lameness, we called her for a farm visit.


After watching her lunge and examining her hooves, she decided to do a few x-rays to see what was going on.
That was an amazing little machine!

D was upset that her legs were muddy for the photo shoot.


It was determined that she needs some adjusting in the way her hooves are trimmed.  If that doesn't help, we will put front shoes on her.
We were just happy to know her limping would get better with a few changes and a little time.


We learn so much when Dr. Kim comes to the farm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Whee ~ a Wheel!

Jared and I went for a spinning lesson yesterday
and brought home a ladybug ~

a Schacht Ladybug.


It's cute as a bug &
even has a little ladybug on it.


And it's RED!


We set up a little spinning space under the stairs in the living room.
For now the trunk with baskets can hold all our fleece and supplies.

I'm working on Smiley's white fleece that I washed and carded.

So we can spin away...


with company of course.


Jared is a little faster than me.  He's so good at it!  Look how even that is (above).  He's 12!  Our teacher says he has quite the gift for working with fiber.


I think it's going to be one busy Ladybug!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lambs ~ Do You Have a Favorite?

Our little lambs are getting really big!
I thought you might like to see how they are growing...

Petunia

& her brother, Pistache

Ram brothers, Cypress & Cedar

Rose

& Redbud
Hawthorn

Zinnia
Daylily

& sis, Daffodil

Pine

& little Periwinkle
So which one is your favorite?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Knockouts

The Knockout Rosebushes are in full bloom now.




They really are pretty!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lamb Creep Gate & Lamb Races

The lambs are getting really big.  And even though they are still with their mommas, we are now seperating them at feeding time.

Redbud

The ewes are much happier with this situation since now they are getting their full portion of alfalfa.  We knew the lambs were sharing but we were not sure how large that portion was.

Cedar
 It appears it was quite a lot!

Move over!

Pistache

While the ewes eat in peace, the lambs creep into the shed through the creep gate and eat their own alfalfa and sweet feed.  They make a racket going in and out and seem to make a game of it.


Their teenage friend, Ziggy, who always want to be with the lambs, wishes she could join them!


When they have had their fill, they creep out...


and off to the races they go!




They run from one side of the pen to the other and around again.


It will be nice to have them out on a pasture in a few weeks.  It will be fun to watch them run on green grass!

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