Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WARNING: Cute Alert!

We had a HUGE surprise on Sunday, when Ben came running into the house yelling that there was a baby donkey! He couldn't even tell us which one of our miniature donkeys had given birth. So we all ran out to the barn yard and there was this tiny black ball on the ground by Molly. I didn't think she was due for another month or so, and I was really worried about her because this is her first baby and she is only 3 years old, but it seemed like I had been worrying about nothing, because Molly had done awesome! The little baby hadn't even stood up yet when we got out there. So we watched as SHE stood up for the first time. That is what the next 4 pictures show.

Molly was so nice and let us all near them to get to know this new creature, which we named, "Jemima" after Daniel Boone's daughter. But we noticed after a few hours that Molly would not let Jemima nurse and we got very worried. We knew she needed the colostrum in Molly's milk within the first 12 hours or Jemima would not be a very strong donkey.  So we put them both in stall in the barn, so we could observe them closer and for fear that Little Joe would hurt Jemima.  Later that evening, when Jemima still hadn't been able to nurse, I took to trying to find my milk pump and Larry drove to a neighbours who has horses to see if they could help in some way. I was still trying to find all the pieces of the pump, when Larry pulled in the driveway with our friend in our van.  We had to tie Molly up on both ends, head and feet, so that Jemima could nurse. And it worked! I think it helped Molly, who was very sore from the birth, to see that it probably wasn't as painful as she thought it would be to let Jemima drink. You should have seen that little ball of black fur jump and kick and run around the stall after she got some milk in her! SO CUTE!

And just look at her colour, which won't change. Her mom is normal donkey colours and her dad, Little Joe, is white with grey spots and she is just dark, dark brown, almost black. She even ahas a black cross on her back, that is very hard to see.

Here is Ben and Jacob getting to meet Jemima.

Keep watching for weekly updates on Jemima's progress and for news on the birth of our other miniature donkey, Jenny's, baby.

I have linked this post up to Homestead Revival

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Week in Review

We have had a wonderful week on our farm. Mostly because we finally found some chickens for sale. We had to drive just over an hour North West of our house to buy them, but it was worth it. We have had to turn people away lately that wanted to buy eggs. I hate that.  So it ended up being  an awesome homeschooling family selling them and I believe the bird business was the two older girls', who were about 14 and 10.  They had hundreds of chickens, and some ducks and turkeys.  Anyway, we bought 11 chickens.

We bought 2 Red Rock Crosses

I am excited about this hen. She is a cross between an Isa brown and leghorn. She should lay lots of brown eggs.

We also got 8 Isa browns. When we got them home, they started fighting with all of our hens we all ready have. Like, lay down your bets, cock fighting! They seem to have it mostly sorted out today, but my older hens seem out of place now. I feel bad for them, but it will all work out soon enough.

Also this week I finally tried my hand at canning homemade baked beans. I got my mom's recipe, which was basically the same as an Amish one I found in one of my cookbooks. Even though my mom hadn't made them for like 30 something years, I still remember how good they were!  They really are that good! I only ended up with 9 pints. Well, 6 canned pints, 2 freezer pints and 1 pint in my tummy. Next time I will make enough for 18 pints. My pressure cooker can only hold 6 pints/5quarts at a time. I am keeping my eyes open for a bigger one at garage sales, but I am very grateful that I even have a pressure cooker.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun Times in Serving

We are honoured to serve tea and dessert at "the old folks home" when they have special occasions. On this last occasion, Jacob and Rebekah dressed up in their "Daniel Boone" attire, thinking the seniors would enjoy that. And boy did they! Really, they couldn't get enough of them. It was so nice to see all of their expressions. 
The newspaper reporter happened to be there, as it was their big fundraising event of the year, and he took pictures of Rebekah and Jacob, but this is the picture that he put in the paper.  If you look, you can see it says, "Daniel Boone also serves dessert" referring to Jacob.
What a blessing it is to be able to serve our elders in our community. I really like the lessons our kids are learning and it brings a smile to the seniors faces.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Week on the Farm

What a week this has been at our little farm. We have had sickness in our house since May 9th and it really seems to like to stick around.  Even so, life must go on. So we have been busy.  Monday morning some friends of ours came over so Larry could change their brakes on their van.  Even in my zombie like state, I knew I should have some food ready in case they could stay for lunch. So, fast thinking me took some ham broth with ham out of the freezer, started cooking some veggies for soup and started a batch of buns.  Just before they arrived, I was going to pour the broth into the soup. But when I opened the lid, I found crabapple juice! Anyway, I improvised with some canned homemade chicken broth and made cream of vegetable soup and buns.  But now I had to so something with the crabapple juice, so I found some chokecherry juice in the freezer and made 3 batches of Crabapple Chokecherry Jelly (Jacob's favorite) and I have enough chokecherry juice left to make Larry a batch of Chokecherry Jelly.  Rebekah helped with the 1st batch, but lost interest after that. She also helped me make a batch of white bread.

Crabapple Chokecherry Jelly and Fresh White Bread

On Friday, the kids helped me start planting our sunflower patch. We have 17 - 30ft rows. I hope it's enough for the chickens for the winter.

I need to find a way to keep the chickens in the farm yard while my garden is establishing itself. Plus, we can not find all the eggs. They are laying ALL OVER the farm. So, I found a roll of snow fence at a garage sale yesterday and cut it in half and I am securing it around our farm yard. It isn't long enough, so I am keeping my eye open for anything else that will work. I could always put it around the garden, but I would like to be able to locate all the eggs. We have a waiting list for eggs right now and we can't find any chickens for sale.

I bought these 2 Honeyberry (Haskap) plants yesterday.  I am excited about these. They will grow fruit that tastes like a combination of blueberries, raspberries and currants and they are supposed to be super hardy.

Here, you can see some little berries already starting. They are supposed to be mature be the middle of June. Oh what a blessing fresh fruit will be!

I found a great article with information on the right pollinator matches here. The blossoms can withstand frost to -7C! This will be great for my climate. But they have varieties for zones 0-9, so anyone can grow them. Apparently, the 2 varieties I bought, Borealis and Tundra, are not a good pollinating pair, so I will have to keep my eyes open for a Berry Blue. If they grow as well as they say, I think I would like to plant a lot of these Honeyberries and sell the extra at the farmers market.

This is what the Honeyberries will look like whe they are ripe and you can use them anyway you would a blueberry.

Well, that has been our week here in Central Alberta. I am looking forward to planting our garden next week. IF, we can figure out what to do about the chickens!
God bless.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Beautiful Thing

I have just received my first Bulk Order today! This is very exciting for me. I am fully stocked on all these items for probably a good 2 years now and the price was 1/2 of what I would pay in stores, other than the Cream of Tartar. It would have cost hundreds of dollars to buy 2.27 kg of Cream of Tartar in the grocery store.

I just have to share what I got;
  • 5 kg  Baking Powder
  • 11.34 kg Baking Soda (This will be great for my cleaning budget)
  • 2.27 kg  Cream of Tartar
  • 12 kg  7 Grain Cereal (This will be used up quickly in multi grain bread)
  • 11.34 kg Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 4.8 kg Small White Navy Beans (There is a ham in the freezer calling your name for canned pork and beans)
  • 10 kg Flax Seed
  • 2.27 kg Cinnamon
  • 2.27 kg Garlic Powder (This is a HUGE amount, but it will last a long time and the price was right!)
  • 20 kg Table Salt
  • 2.27 kg Citric Acid (Which I bought to make cheese, but after looking at the cost of buying the milk, it is cheaper to buy cheese on sale. Huge disappointment! So now maybe we'll make some Bath Fizzers)
  • 4.8 kg Raw Hulled Sunflower Seeds (for our homemade yogurt)
  • 4 - 1 pound pkgs Instant Yeast  
For all of you in The States, there are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. I actually don't use kg either, but that's the way the packages came.
Oh, by the way, I bought the T.P. from Costco. It was on sale for $14! That is $9 cheaper than our local grocery store.
Now I would like to look into getting some pretty, old fashioned, huge, glass canisters to put all this stuff in. Oh well, that's another day.
God bless.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pen Pals Wanted

Hello.  I am looking for pen pals for my daughter Rebekah.  She has a few through our home school board, but we thought it would be neat to meet girls from outside of Alberta. (Alberta is good too, if that's where you are from.)  You can look at her blog, Country God Girl to get to know her a bit.
If your daughter would like to correspond with a junior high, christian girl who lives in rural Alberta, please contact me with the "Contact Me" button. 
Some rules for safety; You must have an active blog and you must be a christian, homechooling family.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Blessed Mother's Day

I pray all the mothers out there had a wonderful day today. I really did. My children spoiled me and we had a lovely day together. But then I felt under the weather, as did Rebekah, so we had to lay down early. But that gets boring, so I thought I would post some pictures from my day.

This is the HUGE card Rebekah bought me. I just love it! And I love my awesome kids!

Here is the front of the card, a carnation from church, a dandelion Jacob picked for me, 2 car erasers Jacob gave me, a picture Jacob coloured for me, the cutest chicken recipe card holder Jacob bought for me and a pack of Lindor chocolates Ben gave me. I can't believe my kids bought these things for me while we were in the store together. They are so sneaky hey? Especially Rebekah hiding that card all the way home!

God is so good and gracious to let us have such enjoyment from our children.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Good day.
My daughter posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies on her blog the other day. It is a really, really, really good recipe. I don't particularly like chocolate chip cookies, but I like hers. They stay crispy on the outside, but so chewy on the inside. Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Now That's an Egg!

I love our chickens. For the most part they lay extra large brown eggs. Once a week or so, we get a HUGE egg. These are fun for the kids to get from the barn, then we compare them with the rest. Here is a picture of the eggs we got yesterday.  I was cleaning them and pulling them out of the container the kids collected them in, when I pulled out (what I thought was a huge egg) the egg in the top left of the picture.  Well, the next egg blew me away! It is next to, but lower than the other big one.

Here is the 1st big one on a scale. It seems to be about 90 grams.

Now, here is the really big one. It weighed in at 110 grams!

And this is just a normal, everyday egg. It looks like it is 63 grams. (When I use used egg cartons, they say extra large is 60 grams)

We always sell the big eggs in with the regular ones. I think it must bring smiles to our customers. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fun Pics

I just wanted to post some fun pics from around here.

Soccer has started for both my boys and here is Jacob playing. He is a Timbit (U6). It is so fun watching them. 

Here are some Canadian Geese that keep coming around. They landed on our machine shed for a rest.

I love our farm animals. This chicken is probably enjoying some warmth from Jennie's back on a cold day.

Here is a close up. Jennie doesn't seem to mind.

Well, that's it. God bless and have a wonderful day.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us."
Titus 3:5

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Fun New (Old) Hobby

When I was cleaning out the "black hole" (aka the hall closet) the other day, I came across some of my cross stitching materials. I have always (for about 26 years now) enjoyed cross stitching and it gave me great joy to see Rebekah get excited about it as well. She thought all the patterns were so cute, so I helped her pick out an easier one and she started. She was like I used to be. She didn't want to put it down! The next day she had her picture all framed  and put in a nice spot in our kitchen. You can see the finished product here on her blog. She did such a fantastic job. I started a picture as well and I am so excited to be able to work on it, but I have not had more than 10 minutes to sit down and do it. So, tonight, as I wait for Rebekah to call to be picked up from homeschool youth, I think I might get some stitches done.

Here is Rebekah working on her picture.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a Wrap - Daniel Boone Unit Study Week 12

We did it! We finished our Daniel Boone Unit Study. Today we just finished up on some reading about the rest of his life, wrote a cinquian poem and filled in a summary worksheet.

We wrote our cinquain poems on the  Daniel Boone notebooking sheet. Here are Ben and Rebekah's poems. (Jacob practiced writing "Daniel Boone" on his sheet)

Daniel Boone
By Ben
He fought Shawnee
He hunted elk and deer
Daniel Boone lived in Boonesboro

Daniel Boone
By Rebekah
Wilderness man
Fighting, killing, hunting
Made Boonesborough in Kentucky

Then we filled out the "Amazing Famous Explorers" worksheet I had found on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's website, but I can not locate the link now.

And that is it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Little Organizing

OK, I really can't believe I am going post this.  I'm afraid of what you all will think of me, but for some very weird reason, I feel compelled to share this with you.  I spent some time the last couple of days organizing my hall closet, which you will see got completely out of control, and I am very pleased with the results. So, before you scroll down and look at the pictures, please promise you won't think I'm awful for letting it get that bad.

Remember, organization is really NOT my strong suit.

This is supposed to be a linen and prize cupboard.(The kids get prizes when they earn enough stickers doing chores.)

It was getting scary to open the door, because I was afraid I would be crushed by a wave of stuff falling on me.

I took everything out, which took a long time. I put it all on the spare bedroom bed. It's a king size and this stuff seriously took up the whole bed!

I put some things in different spots, put some away for a sale I hope to have at pumpkin patch this year, threw some away and decided what should go back in the closet.  So..... Here is how it turned out.

This is the top two shelves. The top shelf has gifts in the back and table cloths at the front. The second shelf  has a basket with dishcloths and a jar of 8 hr tea lights in the back and tea towels in the front. Did you notice the bare space on the shelf? I have never had one of those before.  I even hung a cute flower stitchery I bought from the local farmers' market up on the wall.

This is the third shelf down. I decided to put candles on it. I have much more than this, but I thought now that these ones are centralized, I would use them faster and would replace them with different ones when I'm running low.

This is the floor of the closet. I put all the prizes for the kids to choose from when they earn enough stickers doing chores.

Here is a picture from one angle.

And here it is from a different angle.

So there you have it. It's a beautiful sight, isn't it? I have to admit, I felt inspired one night as I was catching up on some blogs I like to follow. I was looking at Country Blossom's blog and she had such neat shelves and counters. Right away it made think of that huge mess I had been putting off and I knew I had to do something about it. I am really happy I did.