The Gang

The Gang
October 2008 Sweet Potatoe Harvest

About Me

I am a busy mommy of 6, seeking to be a loving, godly helpmeet to my husband and a biblical discipler to my children. God has blessed us with a child with Autism. May the lessons that the Lord is teaching me and our family be a blessing to you and yours!

My Favorite Books

  • Bible
  • Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
  • Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
  • Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Friday, April 23, 2010
This week we put home school on hold to focus on packing. It has been a busy but productive week. We are organizing everything in the house according to where it will go in the new house. For example: Everything in the current school room will go to the school room or living room at the new house because those rooms are side by side. Everything in Samuels current room will go to the little boys room because his bed will be set up in their room at the new house. So we've put all the books and toys for the little in Sam's current closet. Everything that is in the living room will go into the storage closet in the new house.

We have several friends and at least 4 trucks each with a trailor (we think) to do the moving with. We'll assign a certain "room" to each team of friends. They will move the stuff for that room only on their rig. So there won't be any move it all from one house to the living room of the new house and take a month to find everything. Everything will be moved from room to room so it will be much less chaos during our settling weeks. That is a good thing since we will be having to learn how to milk 10+ Jerseys, while caring for 194 meat chickens, 50 laying hens, 2 sows, 1 boar, 2 bulls, several steers and several young heifers. Oh yea.... and we need to get the garden started.

We are very excited about the move. The kids are bursting with enthusiasm. I think one of their favorite topics of anticipation is the tree house which is nestled in a beautiful huge willow tree! I have a feeling that willow will be their favorite place to play over these next few years! I've always dreamed of living on a farm with a willow tree!! We also have 4 apple trees on the property and a cherry tree. There are red raspberries and rhubarb already established in the garden too! I'll be planting some black raspberries this summer.

This week we also transplanted 150-200 strawberry plants. I just moved them in large clumps to the new strawberry patch which is why I don't exactly know how many I moved. We've been giving away lots of plants too because i have over 1000 in my strawberry patch.... how sad to leave it! Yesterday Elizabeth and I went to the new house and planted 63 early red potato sets. I haven't checked the garden beds that we planted the lettuce, spinach, kohlrabi, peas, kale, Swiss chard, beets, and green onions. I'm sure some of it may be peeking out. We are supposed to get rain this weekend so if they haven't sprouted yet, and if the chickens didn't eat all the seeds, we should be seeing our salad garden flourishing soon.

I'll try to blog the week after the move and let you know if my moving system worked! :-)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Here is a fragmented update of the past couple months.... enjoy!

This morning we woke to a covering of snow. The kids were all disappointed. Thomas was the funniest of them all. He first cried then said, "Is it Christmas again, I need to write a letter." Then he was upset about the snow again and finally while he was waiting for the bus he said, "Mom, I guess this snow isn't so bad." What a kid!

I am excited about starting to plant hopefully this next week at our new house. Our moving date is set for May 1. We will be moving from 3 1/2 acres to 30 acres, 1 cow to 10 + bulls and steers, 1 sow to 2 sows and a boar + feeder pigs of course, 50 meat birds a year to 400 a year, 30 laying hens to 80, etc. It will be a bit of a change from our small hobby farm. We are looking forward to it though! The details seem to be all working out and we are excited about the move.

Our Home school program will go on hold the last week of April until the 2nd week of May for the move. We already have some packing done but will need those weeks to pack and resettle into the new house without trying to do school at the same time. The children in school will stick to their normal routine.

I'm enjoying teaching 7 piano students this year. Our piano will be delivered to the new house the first week of May. Once it arrives I will start to teach Elizabeth, Sam, and Caleb too along with working on trying to brush up on the many musical skills that I've lost since not playing consistently for almost 10 years. On May 27 we will have our annual spring recital. I think Phil is going to post it on our church website, I'll try to remember to link to it once it is loaded so those who may be interested in hearing it can.

It has been so long since I've blogged that I feel a bit fragmented in my thought process. Phil surprised me on my birthday in March with a night away. Elizabeth did a great job taking care of the boys, cooking all the meals, and keeping the house in fairly decent order. Phil and I enjoyed the night away and spent the following day researching washing machines because mine died the end of February. We finally decided on a Maytag front load professional series machine. It works great but my old dryer still cannot keep up. So I'm saving my piano teaching money in order to purchase a new dryer before winter. I like to line dry as much as possibles in up summer so I think I'll be able to keep up until the winter. I'm not as talented as my Amish neighbors when it comes to freeze drying my clothes.

One more nice thing about our upcoming move is that we might have internet access 24 hours a day for a reasonable cost! If so I won't have to wait 4-8 weeks to update everyone. Once we have the good internet access I'll have to post a picture of the new farm and lots of updated photos of the children. They are growing so fast! It is hard to believe that my baby will be 5 in just a couple weeks. When the weather turned nice he received his birthday present a little early... a new bike! He was VERY excited!

I hope you all had wonderful Celebration of Christs Resurrection! Our church choir sang three songs from the newest Hamilton cantata. They were songs that were difficult to sing without getting choked up because of the message of the songs. I was blessed to be able to sing instead of having to play because our Choir director decided to use the orchestrated accompaniment. I am so thankful for our church. Speaking of church, we are moved into our new building! It has been such a blessing to have a church building that meets the need of our congregation so much more efficiently!

Lastly the past couple months have been ones of great gains and losses on the farm. We butchered 5 pigs and 5 goats. Even though we shared the meet with others we have nice full freezers to get us through until the fall butchering season. This is the first time ever that I've had such a wide variety of meat in my freezer: pork, beef, venison, goat, chicken, and turkey. YUMMY!

That's all for now. Check back in May when hopefully my internet access will be more regular!Have a Blessed Spring!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I cannot believe it has been so many months since I have blogged. I'll try to briefly update you on the last couple months.

In November my Grandpa Mayhew ended up in the hospital. We were afraid that we'd have to have his funeral over the Thanksgiving holiday, but his condition stabilized until the beginning of December, when he passed on. Phil and I traveled to MI with Elizabeth, Sam, and Caleb for Grandpa's funeral. It was sad having to say goodbye. To my knowledge my grandfather never came to know the Lord as his personal Savior which made his death difficult for us to deal with. I am thankful for the great memories I have of times spent fishing and hanging out with grandpa when I was a child and teen. It was nice getting to see family that we haven't seen for several years at the funeral. The highlight of the trip for me was getting to see my little brother. Kirk Spent the afternoon after the funeral visiting with my parents and us at my Aunt Bonnie's house. The boys love Uncle Kirk, he had fun teasing them! We were thankful that some friends from our church were willing to watch the thee little for us during the trip.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were quiet. At least it seemed that way to me. I was missing being with our extended family. Phil had an entire week at home with us because campus is closed between Christmas and New Years. It was nice having him home while the kids were of school.

January brought with it not only the new year but some new of new changes for our family. We will be moving May 1 to a farm 3 miles down the road. Our friends the Turba's are retiring and plan to travel for 2-3 years. We will be renting 30 acres of their 300 acre farm. We will also be renting their herd of dairy cows. I'm excited about raising our own beef, having plenty of milk to share with local friends, raising organic meat birds to sell, as well as selling more eggs and maybe even a few pigs. Our garden plot will expand to 140' X 60' (last year it was 80' X 50'). I'll be transplanting about half of my strawberry plants too. There are already raspberries on the property. We will also be able to still make syrup off the trees on their property. The house/farm is located on a dead end road about 1/2 mile from the county road which will make it a much safer place for the kids to play. The house is a little smaller, but not enough that it will really matter. The kids are all REALLY excited about the move.

Speaking of the kids. They are all doing really well. January marked the end of his intensive therapy he is now receiving about 10 hours a week instead of 35 hours. This means that Thomas is now attending school for the full day then having about 2 1/2 hours of therapy 4 days a week. Philip and Nathan are doing well in school. Elizabeth , Sam, and Caleb are working their way through their curriculum. I'd like to see them almost done for the year by the end of April but we'll see how it goes.

I've spent my winter free time reading lots of books (fiction and biographies about the Amish)and preparing for the move. I also have already ordered the garden seeds and have plotted out my new garden on the computer. We've run out of potatoes, corn and peas, but the rest of the produce still has a while to go before we run out.

A couple weeks ago we butchered a steer with our Amish Neighbors. We were amazed how quickly we got the meat cut off the bone, processed and ready for the freezer. It only took about 3 hours to get everything done, with the exception of shapping meat balls and browning the burger. I've always wanted to process my meat fresh so I could make meatloaf, meatballs, hamburgers, taco meat, etc. before freezing it. It has been so nice having many of my meals partially done because of how we packaged up the meat before freezing.

I'd better end this entry. I'll try to update it sooner next time!