Thursday, April 28, 2011


No, we do not live in Alabama, but my heart and prayers sure go out to them down there. I experienced my first tornado last night as it ripped through our back yard and down the street. Our immediate neighbors have extensive damage. They've lost houses, barns, farm animals and valuables. The wooded cemetary with its beautiful, tall, ancient pines, has few left standing. Praise God no one was hurt. The only thing we lost was our trampoline. Amazing, considering the damage all around us.

 Ava has had a phobia of tornados ever since we mistakenly let her watch Twister with her brothers last summer. Every dark cloud, every strong wind, every rain and snow drop since, I have had to reassure her that, "No Ava, we are not having a tornado!"  I've told her several times we will likely never have a tornado considering we are surrounded by hills and frankly, New York state isn't real famous for its twisters.

Well we heard of the "tornado watch" on the weather channel before going to bed and I assured her once again as I tucked her in that we would not be seeing a tornado tonight. What do I know? Apparently not much. We heard it coming around 1:30 am, a wind that fiercely rattled my bedroom window and sent a chill through my heart. Joe and I grabbed the children, and ran for the basement. It was Ava's idea to pray first, and she was so calm. The Lord kept us, and really kept the whole neighborhood safe. Not one person was injured. When it was over and done Ava was giggly and giddy. We'd had a tornado and she'd survived it! If only all were that lucky.
I hope that will be the end of her phobia. Brave little Brenna just sat there on that cold basement floor, stunned and shaking. Garrett was concerned and hald asleep, Sweet Charlotte would've slept through it all if we hadn't woke her, and Connor was at Grandma's for the night. Though he's really bummed he missed it :)

Here are some pictures of the aftermath:
Standing in our driveway looking across the road. See that debris? That was a modular home.

Cemetary pics...

The neighbor's barn with our trampoline in the forefront:

Our neighbor's house

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Want Free Soap?

Be a winner and I'd love to send you a bar! Free!  :) Just go here: and enter the giveaway. And while you're there, check out the rest of her blog- really neat. And follow her! This is her giveaway week and she'd love to hear from you! Hmmm, so many giveaways, so little time...

Have a happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birthday Gifts

Some pretty wonderful ones were received this year:

An apron from my sister,

Feminine and bohemian = perfect! I've practically lived in it, as the (already) stains can attest to.

A beautiful bracelet and earring set from Mom and Dad:

The woman who made these lives in a single room in Bosnia. In the picture I saw, her smile sparkled as much as her jewelry :)

An azalea bush to plant (my first ever!) from my Mother-in-Law:

Plantable gifts are the gifts that keep on giving!

Grow lights constructed by my man:

three of them! And they work great- the little sprouts are already up and thriving in our dark basement :)

And with some money I received I gifted myself with this book:

I have wanted this book for some time now and simply can not wait to be inspired by it. I really hope to change my (and all of our) eating habits towards a more natural, raw, fermented, cultured foods diet. The benefits are said to be amazing. My concern is, and always has been whether I can realistically do this with a large family, on a very strict budget. But when I opened the book I was encouraged to find the first chapter all about raw, fermented and cultured dairy, with lots of healthy recipes to follow. I've already got the raw milk from ouir goats, so I've got a good headstart :).  Looking forward to devouring the rest... here's to a healthier me.

and... this adorable little barn plaque (can't think of the technical name for them- I know there is one) I found at the Salvation Army, ON my birthday, for a mere 99 cents! Doesn't it look cute on the goat house?

Now I must go sing a sleepy baby to sleep, and then go milk those goats. Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boys, watch your sister...

so I can get a shower.

  That worked out well. Notice her entire hand in the honey jar.
And that would be a half a bag of rice she's sitting in.

 And the boys? Well, they were nowhere to be found...

Of course she had a similar experience with the pasta last month:

And I know I do myself no favors by taking pictures of these events while proclaiming how adorably naughty she is.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Work...and Fun

Busy this weekend! Joe started a new coop for the poultry. I got plenty of laughs as the goats kept trying to eat his plans. They'd walk up and nonchalantly grab the piece of paper out of his hardware bag and then run for it.  (hee hee). Oh, and how they loved jumping up on the platform to help him, poop on his plywood, chew his clothes, stand directly in his way, etc...  What characters! Unfortunately, Joe didn't think it was quite as funny as I. I'm still laughing. After the work was done for the evening we looked out the back window and there she was, on the platform, legs locked, staring toward the house, "taunting me" Joe said. The girls loved helping him as well and were so cute to watch. I'm glad to be married to such a handy man. God knew just what he was doing :).

Couldn't get the tiller started and Joe was busy with the coop, so I hand-tilled the garden. A lot of work, that was . But good to be digging in the soil again, and good to work up a sweat in the good 'ol outdoors. My back, and the blisters on my hands and feet can attest to the hours of labor spent in the garden this weekend, and it's all good. Got the onions, beets, spinach, greens, and half the peas planted. Decided to try the tee-pee method for the peas. I've always used chicken wire to hold them up, but have never been thrilled with it. The last couple years I made a large tee-pee for the pole beans and was happy with the results. The kids thought it was cool too. It was large enough for them to "fort" in. So here's some pictures of my little pea tee-pee's. I have 3 more  pea tee-pee's to build this week and all the peas will be in (can you tell I like saying  pea tee-pee :). Brenna was my big helper collecting dead branches and sticks from the woods out back for the tee-pee's. Later, when she felt dirt in her boots, she complained, "momma, there's a garden in my boot!"  She's a trooper and especially enjoyed the wheelbarrow rides she earned. I remember riding in the wheelbarrow pushed by Dad when I was not much bigger than her. Sweet times. Sweet memories. Charlotte was so pleased to be out crawling around the yard all afternoon too. I wished the boys had shown more enthusiasm about helping. Garrett used to be just like Ava and Brenna- by my side every Spring with his hands in the dirt. I hope he's not lost his enthusiasm.

Connor turned 12 today. How did that happen? Connor, our "honeymoon baby" who made his entrance into the world, fists clenched and wailing, just 10 months after us two crazy kids said "I do". I had just turned 21. His fists have been clenched ever since. His wail is now louder. But oh what a blessing he is to us. He makes us laugh daily and again, God knew just what he was doing giving us Connor first. He sure broke us in as young parents. I love him.
He requested a bonfire for his birthday. We had fun around the first fire of the year. Looking forward to many more. I don't have many pictures of him because he's so hard to catch. But here he is staring into his birthday fire.

Now I must go catch up on the laundry that has been neglected for the last 3 days. Yikes.
I hope your weekend was just as satisfying!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Catching up

Wow, how to catch up from an 11 day blogging block? I've had 596 things running circles in my mind these last couple weeks to write about, but everytime I've sat down to actually do it- nada. I have, however, enjoyed reading all your blog updates! Keep 'em coming. :)

I will start by saying that a dear friend of mine is promoting our products on her blog! What a sweet, special, gifted lady she is. With a brand new, fresh little baby in her arms to boot! Number 10! Stop by her blog at  and you're sure to be blessed! Also, if you have checked out our products pages and are discouraged to find that many of them are out of stock, take heart! They sit curing as I type and will be ready in 2-4 weeks. Check back, please! If you'd like to reserve a bar or 10, leave a comment, or send me an email! I'd be glad to set some aside. This is our first foray, if you will, into the small business world and I never really imagined that the original 200-some bars would sell out in the first two weeks. :) The soaps must cure for 5-6 weeks before use, so it takes a bit of time to make up for such a quick sell-out. Thank you to all who have ordered so far! Don't forget about our wonderful salves. Scrubs and goat's milk lotion are in the works :)

The past couple weeks have gone a little something like this:

Our sweet Charlotte turned 1! Here she is loving her cake. Really, what child of mine doesn't love cake?
What a treasure.

And what to my wandering eyes did appear?

Garlic! Spring is here :)

Trampoline jumping, mud-crawling, nature hiking, wheelbarrow lounging, school with pull-ups on our heads...

you know, the usual.

For my birthday two days ago, I requested from Joe a grow light system. Cause really, what 33 yr old woman doesn't want her some grow lights? More on that later... :)

And, our Connor will turn 12 this weekend. Birthdays really are wonderful things, even so close together!

I know I must be leaving some things out. So we'll catch up later.

Be blessed and have a great weekend!