Friday, 29 April 2011

Counting Sheep

It was too windy to work the strawberries so we took a walk out to the pasture with our guest and her son.......there was some concern over one of the ewes who was laying on her side.

No worries. She got up when Chad approached......

But wait. Oh my. There are hooves coming out of......yes. Oh yay! She's having her lamb!

We backed off and gave her some space. SEE THE HOOVES!! We headed, with all the children, back to the house to give her some time and quiet. Chad looked up how long labour should last and headed right back out only to find.....

This little lamb ewe! Oh she's cute. 

She's also hungry!

So far so good!

Oh, I am soooo glad she's a ewe. That means we won't eat her! It was really amazing to get to see the labour and the lamb this afternoon. I am so glad there were no complications, so far. Really this past month has been a doozy. I guess April really does go out like a lamb? Or is that March? :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter Flowers

We had a lovely Easter. :)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Menu Plan for the Week

Here's Our menu plan for the week, with notations for leftovers and lunches. I think I will start making Chad breakfast too since I have to get up with him anyway to move Rosie.

Monday: Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes, brussle sprouts
lunch and breakfast: Cheese noodles with chopped ham, oatmeal

Tuesday: Chicken Potpie with vegetable medley
lunch for Chad: chicken and bean handpies with mexican cheese blend
lunch/breakfast: Ponyo noodles with mushroom/eggs and toast

Wednesday: Pulled Pork sandwiches with pumpkin soup
lunch for Chad: pot pie
lunch here: veggies and dip with bacon
breakfast: eggs and bacon

Thursday on the Go:
Breakfast Eggs and Bacon
Lunch: Ham, veggies, cheese, crackers up as a family and decide. Maybe homemade pizza since I'll have it all ready to assemble
IF Chad works from home then we'll have steaks.

Friday: Baked Salmon- never made this before, thinking and augratin side dish and green beans.
Lunch: Almond Butter and peach jam "tacos"....unless we have guests. In that case we'll make veggie stir fry and Ponyo Noodles with beef broth and ham and boiled eggs.
Breakfast: Eggs and Salsa and Biscuits and Gravy

Saturday: HUGE work day at the farm. If the weather is nice, Iowa Chops on the grill, home fries, and mushroom and veggie kabobs.
Breakfast: Pancakes and eggs
lunch, on the go

All is subject to change, btw

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Meet Rosie, Our Family Cow

This is Rosie, a pure bred Brown Swiss milk cow. She's been bred to a Simital bull and will calve in about 3 weeks. In the corner of this picture is her calf from last year, bred to that same bull. I think she was sad to leave him. 
She's big, but sweet. I won't say gentle just yet as she's beat Chad up a bit. He'll be limping for a while and is lucky to still have a arm. Bright side, I now know how to open the livestock trailer door properly. Oops. More updates later.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

March Was CRAZY Busy Part 5, the final montage

 Even more happened in February and March. More than I caught on film or recorded. It was just amazingly busy. The kids also got the flu, the variety that is super high fever that lasts for 5-7 days. Their fevers were middling though, only 99-101. Totally manageable, thank God.

Anyway, here's a few of the moments from March......
Baby IE, we have yet to come up with a clever blog name for Aunt Bee's precious bundle.

Not sure she gets the whole "cousin" thing. She was pretty confused about there being two "Baby Zaps". (she thought both were her baby brother.....) It was weird actually. The babies DO look a lot alike. Actually Baby IE looks JUST like Lil'Bug when she was a wee babe.

Aunt Bee was tired. Baby IE spent her first few days in the NICU.

Soooooooo CUTE.

Baby Zap at church. His arms are so FAST or my camera was on the wrong setting. I vote for fast baby arms. It's cooler.

Tea party princesses. In Blueberry Girl's hands is Little Baby. Little Baby was lost in Chariton for about 3 days. A search party found her and returned her before we had to put up missing signs. Yes, we were almost to that point of desperation. Little Baby is very loved.

Zap. Chilling. He sits here while I work in the kitchen and he TALKS or baby chatters to me/at me the whole time. 

Lil'Bug's new favourite dress. It has super deep practical pockets.

Family work day. We went out to check on piglets.

Even the cat came with us.

Friday, 8 April 2011

March Was CRAZY Busy Part 4, NLE

Our booth at the Natural Living Expo.  
Grampa with Baby Zap, maybe he's explaining why babies are not an item for the recycle bin?
We decided to spend our small bit of money for marketing on a booth at this expo. First, I've been attending this expo as a consumer since year 1 and second, what an amazing idea Tanya had way back when to get all these local businesses together under one expo and connect people! She doesn't run it anymore, but still, I am glad someone is carrying on the torch and keeping this event going. One of the things I love about Des Moines and Iowa is all the people with good ideas and motivation to make things happen AND the temperament to keep the ball rolling even when it becomes someone else's turn with that ball.  :) I really liked working with these folks and the expo was busy both days with local musicians, classes, and constant foot traffic to our booth. Bonus, I met several other farmers who are doing the same thing we are and we got to talk shop.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

March Was CRAZY Busy Part 3: Something Fishy

Spring on the farm. I never thought I'd see huge round bales on our farm, but there you have it. 

This was something Blueberry Girl and Chad did as a Daddy Daughter task (Grampa took pictures). 

Grass Carp and catfish. Mmmmm, catfish.

Last winter, winter 2009/2010, we had heavy snow fall and cover and we lost a large amount of whale sized grass carp. Ok, maybe not whale sized, but pretty big. One of the dead fish carcasses was 6 ft long. Yes, carcass. When the dead fish is THAT big it's a carcass. Anyway,  losing that many large grass carp was bad for the pond and last summer we saw the affects of the fish kill. This winter we had next to no fish kill at all, but we decided to stock the pond and get a good start.

The dock and the kids used to make me nervous. When we first moved here I fell through one of the boards and was stuck up to my hip, baby on my back, and camera held high. It's had some repair but mostly I think we've just all gotten used to its weaknesses and strengths and navigate its structure more deftly. 
Managing the pond ecology is one of the biggest responsibilities we have to our land and farm, but we get so much enjoyment from having this amazing resource right in our backyard. Yes, this IS our backyard. Wow. Every time I look at it, breathe the fresh country air, I praise God for our many blessings.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

March Was CRAZY Busy Part 2

My gorgeous and very talented sister in law Aunt J. Not only does she play the piano, but she is a master of its construction. I had a pedal that never worked and a few keys sticking. I blamed the girls dancing on it last week and I was wrong! Turns out that pianos need to be regularly opened and vacuumed out. It's on the yearly cleaning task list now. 

Very dusty. Some of the keys were broken too, on the inside where I never looked. A little bit of super glue and a lot of cleaning fixed all of that.

The heart and guts of the instrument. Of course this fascinated Blueberry Girl and she couldn't and wouldn't keep her hands off things. She ended up tearing some of the felt off of parts. 
I loved that my SIL did this for us.  It didn't take long and made a huge difference in how the girls treat the piano and how they play it now. Love love love love. (Four loves in honour of my little bro's childhood obsession with the number four....;)....)

Monday, 4 April 2011

This Little Piggy ran all the way home.....

Our first round of pigs arrived at the farm on Sunday. Our customers know that we can only bring home as many pigs as customers have paid deposits, so only 11 pigs have arrived. (eh em, please get me your deposit!) They settled in nicely and have been running and jumping and exploring. Hopefully, they will be joined by another group in about 3 weeks.