Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas



Hundred Fold Harvest Debut Album!!!


I made my goal and finished the four crocheted stockings to give as gifts with a day to spare:) The past couple of weeks have been so nice here. I can not remember the last time we had a peaceful time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have accomplished ALOT in the past few weeks. I was able to make some of the presents, our two oldest sons and their band "Hundred Fold Harvest" recorded their first CD and they spent hours getting that ready, but all the kids in the band are awesome and they just had a great time spending time together doing this. We are so proud of them. The music is just beautiful. Hubby was able to wrap up an almost five year long project last week with the completion of his first book! I am so proud of him. It is a family devotional based on our memories of the past and present. It is a really fun book to do as a family as there are activities that go along with each devo. There is also a companion book for families to write their own memories down each day. It has now been sent to a couple of publishers and we are hoping for the best. He also has had an individual devotion (one day) accepted on an on-line devotional site. He is really hoping this starts a new path for him. The girls and I have been baking up a storm, with the girls doing alot of it this year. It is so amazing to have daughters that I can ask them to help with almost anything and they usually jump at the chance, and sometimes do a better job than I do!!! I see all the years of training the kids in everything starting to shine through on all of them. We are able to spend time with both families the next few days, my folks and sisters and families tomorrow, and Hubby's fam on Sun. Our oldest son's friend from Indiana will be spending a few days with us over the New Year. Life is Good!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Storm Watch

The first "big one" is predicted for the next 2-3 days. The only problem is that we live right in the "middle of the mitten" and what we get is never as much as what they predict. The kiddos are hopeful though that the snow pants and boots will be needed for morning chores. We have only had about an inch of snow so far this entire season (with Gr. Rapids getting over 10 inches in the same storm!) Things are continuing to be busy around here. The count down to Christmas (and break) has begun. School is going well, Oldest got his PSAT scores in the mail this last weekend and he did VERY well. We are so proud of him, although he would have probably qualified for the national merit scholarship, he is only a sophmore and you have to be in your junior year to qualify. As a homeschool mom with no "college teacher" training, this just continues to help me know that what we have choosen for our kids is so RIGHT! All of them show so many different talents, with music being the common bond for all of them. So far we have a pianist, an AWSOME guitarist, a flutist, a violinist (who has am AMAZING voice for a 10 year old), and....yup...a wanna-be drummer, time to invest in the earplugs and more hair dye for Mom! I have been busy spinning and crocheting up a storm. I have an angora shawl finished for my sister, and 4 Christmas stockings almost finished for family. I am hopeful they will all be finished by Christmas Eve, although I had my doubts at one point!

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Pictures


K and Ardee at dog obedience graduation (yes, he passed:))

K's art project

Dad's Birthday

Cam's Birthday

Pictures


Lab puppies

Chicken run

Injured finger

Angora hat and scarf

Dyed angora yarn

Thankfulness


Crochet Christmas stocking

Baby angoras
I have found that being thankful can be one of the hardest character traits to teach our kids (and myself). In this world of the "have everything you want" society, we take alot for granted. I am trying to get my kids to think of just one thing a day they can be thankful for. Even though we homeschool, which keeps alot of the "junk" out of our home, this task can be difficult. I try to remind them they ALWAYS have three meals with snacks in between, every day, warm beds, all the clothes they could possibly imagine (even if they are hand-me-downs or Goodwill specials)and we still struggle. This morning I made blueberry buckle (from frozen blueberries we "put-up" this summer). My youngest decided he didn't like it before he even tried it. In our house that can be cause for severe punishment LOL, or I could turn it into a teaching moment, which I did, although I am not always tactful in the way I do this. My kids are spoiled (my oldest prefers the term blessed:)) most mornings they get muffins, pancakes, fresh bread, eggs from our chickens, homemade cinnamon rolls(a favorite in our house) or what ever else I feel like whipping up. They do not know the concept of fending for themselves most mornings. Which can sometimes cause a bigger struggle in thankfulness because they do not realize this is NOT the norm. Which is when I proceed to go into another disscussion on the subject. I would challenge anyone to write down one thing a day they are thankful for (even if it is just getting out of bed this morning) and realize we are more "blessed" by just that one thing that what alot of people may have in a lifetime. The puppies and bunnies are growing by leaps and bounds. I am really excited with this last batch of angoras because I got three pitch black ones. This will be the first of this color in our "herd" and can not wait to spin some of it in a couple of months. We are very busy right now, but I am still trying to find time to start some homemade Christmas presents. I am machine knitting angora hat and scarves, hand crocheting Christmas stockings and several other projects. I would love to be able to sell the Christmas stockings and have a plan for next year to start them in January to have a bunch ready for the 2010 holiday season. The kids and I decided to surprise my hubby and re-do the chicken run fence ourselves. All went well until I smashed my finger with a hammer! We did get it finished but my "crochet finger" was severly injured in the process. It looks great and was well worth the effort.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New and Old Babies on the farm


Mama Laura


Baby bunnies


Baby puppies

I got up during the middle of the night to check on my angora rabbit "Laura" to see if she had her babies and she did!!!! We have 6 new babies and I could have a black colored on in this batch which we have never had. Here are pictures of them and the puppies that turned a week old this week. There are 5 of them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For Sale

My 8 year old is on a mission. He is trying to save up his money to purchase something and his entrapernereal skills are coming out. (I think I will have him advertise, plan, and run my next garage sale) Scott suggested I list his item on my blog for him to sell.....um.... well here it goes:

one really nice "slightly used" water bottle backpack. Paid $40 will sacrifice for $20. Contact Josh in the comments.:)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where to begin

The biggest problem I have blogging is that I am not very good at keeping up with it! Much has gone on since the last post, almost too much to remember but I will try! I promised my little sis that I would post something! Our garden was pretty much a complete wash this year other than a few little tomatoes and two little...um tiny summer squash that I brought in this week. Usually we are over run with those things, not this year! Thanks to Grandma Joyce we had canned goods in the pantry though! She brought probably the last of it yesterday. I felt so spoiled this year by her! I am so thankful, and I know she likes to keep busy too! Our 7th year of homeschooling started this year. I can't believe our youngest is now the same age as what our oldest was when we started this journey! We always have a few "hicups" the first couple of weeks and then we get back on track. Vacation in the U.P. was awsome again. We have been going to the same cabins for about 7 years now and were surprised to find a for sale sign on the property when we got there this year. It was somewhat sad knowing that we might not be going there next year if the owners change. We are overly busy with everything right now and I am still trying to fine tune all the activities so we are not overwhelmed (and right now we are!) The boys have stuck with their band and are getting ready to record a Christmas album. Very talented group of kids. 5 of the 8 band members played at a church function a couple weeks back, our two sons included, and I kid you not there were women CRYING in the pews. The kids did some old hymns and the two sister put together a medley of old fashioned hymns, it was amazing!!! They have finally decided on a band name it is "Hundred-fold Harvest" Scott and older daughter traveled to Pennsylvania on a business trip (Scott has taken one kid with him the last couple of years for this trip) the company he goes to every fall is just a group of great people and always make him feel at home when he is there. Well one of the ladies who works there does Dove chocolate parties, (I have never heard of these, but if one comes to town I WILL be there:)) so she took K. for the afternoon while Scott did other things and they made the CUTEST little chocolates and put them in little baggies and made wrappers for the top of the package. They looked just like little store bought packages! TOO CUTE this is right up her "artsy" side. She had a blast. My friend and I went the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival two weekends ago. We had a great time, we stayed up there in a hotel, took a sock knitting class and got to touch alot of wool and yarn and fiber ohhhhh! We may have some other big news on the horizon, but right now it is up in the air, but I will post something when we know more. Our female lab is due any day with her second batch of puppies. We have learned a whole lot from this breeding business. Like if you leave on vacation, and you think they are in their own kennels and nothing will happen, because she won't chew through wire, and wood, and more wire...think again! So the kids are excited about that. I have my "mama" hen sitting on about 13 eggs in the barn right now and hoping that they will hatch before it snows. I also have one pregnant angora rabbit. So it feels like spring in the baby animal area. Well that is it for now, the house is quiet and empty and I am going to take advantage of it and go spin some wool.


B. with her shiny new braces.


Our garden harvest!



K. and her delicious chocolates!!



J. got baptised in the St. Mary's River!


Whitefish Point


Me and my boys

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First bean picking


I just brought in the first beans from our garden...now if I were a single woman, this might be close to a dinner size amount but, seeing how there are 7 of us, it just doesn't cut the mustard LOL. Our garden is the worse one we have ever had. We had 5" of rain in a couple hours about 2 weeks after we planted and it pretty much did us in. Thanks to Mom and Dad B., Grandma Joyce and some of their neighbors we have fresh veggies right now! And boy do they taste good!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Countryside Aces ~ ROSETTE WINNERS

The performing arts section for 4-H was this morning. Both our boys played in a band and our older son had a piano solo. Well Nolan brought home a rosette and so did the band YEA!!!!!! We are so proud of them. There are 8 kids in the band and they only practiced a couple of months. The judge asked if they would perform at her church in a couple of weeks!!!
video

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

4-H fair



It has been a great fair so far this week. Kay recieved 3 blue ribbons, and 2 honor awards. The honor ribbons were for her oil painting and her whole wheat bread and her other exhibt was a sun-dress. Bekah got a blue ribbon for her skirt, a blue for her lemon tarts (thank you Grandma Joyce) and today she showed rabbits for the first time. She recieved a B-red ribbon for breeding class, because her rabbit is molting and the poor thing is almost bald:) For showmanship she received an honor award, I was really proud of how well she did for the first year! Joshie did clover bud showmanship, which basically is the judge going through each step and letting the little kids see how to do it. He did great working with Bekah's rabbit and wants to go on next year. The two older boys are in a band and they will be performing on Thursday morning so hopefull more awards and more pictures to be posted!

Friday, July 24, 2009

V.B.S. gone BAD:)

This past week was VBS at church. With 4-H fair being next week for us I wasn't able to work all week because I was doing running for the kids to practice and meetings, but Hubby and some of the kids helped. We always have a mission goal for the kids, and this time it was a local pregnancy center. Well the first goal was our associate pastor would shave his head, we beat that goal the third night, so the second goal was one of the other guys would and of course hubby couldn't be out done so you guessed it he is now bald! Its funny because a couple of our younger ones were really upset with him. Joshie told he he wouldn't look at him unless his hat was on! I don't think he has either! This only thing I have gotten out of the whole deal were a couple of really good wise cracks about rubbing his head 3 times and seeing if a genie appears:)!!!! Hubby is the one in the middle.






Thursday, July 16, 2009

R.I.P. Matthias

We had to put Matthias down yesterday. He just wasn't getting any better and I hated to see him the way he was. Why is it that animals become so much of our lives? I have realized one thing over the last 7 years of having "farm" animals is that death is just a part of the lifestyle. I spent most of the afternoon cleaning out the rabbit barn and crying! LOL Matthias was my oldest sons, but he was one of my favorites. We also have one of the original 2 rabbits, Elizabeth, that started the angora craze here, not doing well. She was a gift from hubby over 4 years ago, so I am hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happenings


Our neighbors in the middle of a "pond" after the storm


Our sad garden (yes those are tomatos!)


Boys playing a board game



Happy Birthday Joshie!



My boys on the "torpedo" on the 4th



The summer is flying by! We have a tremendous amount of stuff going on this summer. This week was our "baby's" 8th birthday. Happy Birthday Joshie! Hubby is in Tennessee, hopefully this will be his last trip for a little bit. He has spent alot of time this spring and summer on the road and I am ready for it to be done! We spent the 4th with friends at the lake and had a great time. The boys and hubby went fishing last weekend so the girls and I painted their room. I will post pictures as soon as it is clean:) We went to visit my sister in Bay City also and worked on 4-H projects so we had a busy weekend. The kids had friends spend the night last night. We have a couple of very busy weeks coming up between VBS and 4-H fair which everyone is involved in. Before we know it school will be back! I have a sick angorga, I think he may have had a stroke. It doesn't look good and he is one of the original 3 that we got, so it is especially hard, I keep hoping but I dont think he will make it. Our garden is is a "sad state of affairs"! We have had record rainfall in April and June. Shortly after we planted we had 5" of rain in one night and almost our entire 2 acres was under water. So the only thing I can hope for now is a beautifully warm fall!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Promise 2009 Unafraid

My oldest son has been traveling for the last 2 weeks with a college/high school drama team. It is called "Promise 2009 Unafraid" It is a group of 25 high school student from surrounding states that take this program on the road. We were fortunate to have them hit our home congregation on Tuesday. It was AWSOME! Our son is a HUGE piano man, but singing has never been one of his things, until now! Hubby and I were somewhat "dumb-struck" (which is why only half of the song is on tape LOL) by his singing, because he never like to do it. He is singing the solo part here: Remember to pause my blog music on the bottom tool bar and this might take a minute before you can listen without it skipping.

video

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dyed Angora Fiber


I had never dyed my angora fur before it was turned into yarn...until today. I took some older stuff I hadn't used and dyed it with Wiltons cake icing dye. Right now I am carding it and it turned out pretty good! The color is "copper" I was worried it would felt while it dyed but it didn't! I am just carding it with dog brushes as I am still trying to get my hands on some real carders or a drum carder, but for now these work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Piano Recital 2

My camera atomatically split the recital into two parts and I couldn't get it all downloaded so this is the second half! Note: having problems getting part 2 uploaded. Maybe hubby will be able to when he gets back!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Piano recital

I am going to be a bragging, proud mom in this post and put my oldest son in the spotlight here. God has truly gifted him with a musical talent and it shows! Enjoy!
video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rabbits for Sale

These are the rabbits we have for sale right now:

The first picture is Laura, she is a french angora and was born in Oct. 2008. She is $40. The next ones are George and Jerry, also French and born in Oct. 2008. One is black the other is blue in color. They are $40 each. The next three are the english angoras and they have pedigree papers. They were born in April. Two of them are REW and the other is a tort. They are $50 each. The last one is Willie, he is a REW french and was born in Oct. 08'. He is also $40.





Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer

It has been a while since I posted. Lots of things have been going on around here, we finally finshed our 6th year of homeschool (happy dance). All the puppies where sold within a matter of a couple of days. We could have sold 20 if we would have had them. We were somewhat worried that we wouldn't with the economy so bad here in Michigan, but they went like wild fire and all to really good homes. We even had some people call us a week later to give us updates and tell us how sweet all the puppies were. I have sold some more rabbits last week also. Hubby and I went on our yearly escape to Mackinac Island. It was wonderful, but we had to buy mittens so we could do our usual bike riding expeditions. It was COLD, but the sun was shinning and there was no snow LOL. That Michigan in June. I haven't posted much about this, but he has been writing a book for 3 years now and finally finished a couple of months ago! What a huge accomplishment, now he is editing and hoping to get it published. It is a family devotion, but not like the ones that are out there. These are family memories for us, even from when we were kids. Then there are activities to do each night like green pea fight in the kitchen (watch out for this one moms!), everyone pitch in with dishes, but first get your swim suits on, and lots of different things like that. There will also be a companion book that your can write your own family story memories. It is so fun to do at the table at night. He started his book ministry blog last week and I have it linked here so hopefully he will start blogging soon (hint):) He has been traveling for work alot this spring so I used that time to refinish Grandmas and Grandpas table that we have and the benches that my father in law made to go with them. They turned out beautiful! Here are some new pics:






Tuesday, May 12, 2009

pictures

Here are my baby bunnies that have grown alot! The other picture is of a "rabbit tractor" that my father-in-law built. It is soooo cool. It will hold 2-3 rabbits and they get fresh air and grass. Willie is test running it for us. He seems to be enjoying it. The puppies are growing too. We have sold a couple of them. I will try to get pictures post of those.