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
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday morning the snow was whipping while the three littles: Thomas, Philip, and Nathan, stood waiting for the bus. They waited about 15 minutes when Nathan came back to the house where Phil was shoveling out the drive. Phil encouraged him to go back down to the bus stop when Nathan said, "But daddy, there is a really bad storm over there but not here." He pointed to the mail boxes with great expression while explaining the morning weather to his daddy. Phil laughed and so did I when he told me later that morning. It is much nicer by the house because the house and barn help to block the wind.

Anyway, the boys waited a total of 30 minutes when I called the school. They told me that our bus was running behind about 35 minutes. So I made them stay out there. Another 15 minutes passed, during which time I sent Elizabeth out with a blanket and she huddled about the boys covering them with a blanket.... it was very cute inspite of how horrible it was for them to be waiting in the yucky weather. I called the bus company this time. They said it would be another 15 minutes or so until the bus made it to our place. I called the boys in and gave them hot cocoa. We waited for the bus to top the hill before sending the boys running down to the mailboxes where they catch the bus. The cocoa made the 45 minute chilly wait seem to go away for them. They were so excited they got cocoa and told their teachers so. I don't think they even mentioned that their toes and faces were about frozen off, because the cocoa made it all better. Ahhhh the life of a child! :-)
Yesterday we shipped off two cows who have been struggling constantly with mastitis which has ruined their udders. Plus we had a steer that needed to be slaughtered. Getting the animals loaded was a 1 1/2 hour challenge. The two cows decided to turn into mules. One who we call Gayle stepped up into the trailer with her front two legs, knelt, plopped her bottom down on the ground and laid her head down refusing to move. Phil and our friend Jake tried pushing her 800 pound back end into the trailer with no success. Sylvia, the other cow tried hurdling two turned over watering troughs covered with snow. Elizabeth was squashed, shoved down, and almost stepped on by one of the cows. She is nursing a sprained knee and some nice bruises as a result.

To get the cows in we finally had to sandwich them with the trailer door by putting a heavy gate on one side and lining a rope from the trailer door to the gate behind them. The gal hauling them and I pushed on the door, smushing the cows while Jake and pushed them from behind and Phil pulled on the halter from inside the trailer. Thankfully it worked. The gal doing the hauling said she has never seen anyone with as much patience as us. I told Phil later she has probably never seen a farmer have so much trouble loading who didn't use a variety of expressions to voice his frustration who instead expressed "Praise the Lord" once we got them into the trailer.

Once the girls were loaded Phil decided to try one more time to load the steer who had previously given he and Jake a cardiac workout around the cow yard. I prayed we could get him in since he was our meat. The cows were going into other peoples freezers not ours. Anyway, the steer cooperated and in a matter of minutes was loaded. We were thankful it was over and quite frozen by the end. The blizzard was starting to roll in by the time we were done loading them.

We have one more cow to cull, but since it didn't have buyers we will keep her until she calves, hopefully, in April. I say hopefully because she does NOT look pregnant. Maybe she is just one of those ladies who hide it well! :-)

I'll update you more on our winter farming adventures as time goes on. Let's just say for now, the cows have been the worst experience of the winter. The cow/steer/calf issues is a LONG sad story!!

On a side note:
We finally have figured out how to raise chickens successfully with very little losses and continuous egg production.

Pinky the family sow finally had a litter of 6 piglets.... all dead. She is scheduled to become sausage next week. We hate to put her down since she is in the friendliest 400 pound sow you'd ever meet. BUT she doesn't like Boars much. It took her 4 months with the boar before she warmed up enough to let him do his job, then her litter didn't survive. Someday, we hope to raise Berkshires again. The feeder pigs have one more month to eat drink and be merry until they will fill the freezer. Loading Pinky next week will be an adventure I'm sure. Thankfully she is a bit tame, so with a bucket of grain she will hopefully follow us like a puppy into the trailer..... if not I'll have another story to print.
I love Wisconsin weather! The public schools decided to close down for today last night because the blizzard was supposed to be horrible. This morning here is it clear with some wind still, not bad for Wisconsin though. South of us they are still being hammered with snow and high winds, but we will have a pleasant snow day with everyone home.

I'm going to let the home schoolers have a day off too. They have been working really hard lately. Our move last May caused us to end school early and thus not get as much accomplished as I wanted for the year. We finished last years stuff by Christmas and now we are pushing to complete an entire grade in 5 months. The kids are working hard and are doing well. I think for the older children going through the material faster is keeping it fresh in their heads which is making it easier to remember the facts. They complain a lot because they are doing school for 6-8 hours a day (like normal school kids). This time schedule seems strenuous to them since we usually only have to work 4-6 hours a day to get school done. It will be nice to be totally back on track by the end of May. The fast paced way we are moving through the subjects requires a lot more work on my end too. Keeping up with the grading and testing occupies most of my day. So..... a snow day is welcome!!

I'm going to bake cookies with Philip, he is star student this week in his first grade class at school and wants to take a treat to share with his friends. Then we will do some much needed cleaning.

Happy Winter Wonderland to those of you enjoying this Blizzard too!!