Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing , cranberry sauce, these are a few things many people think about when you say that word. I think of those things to but as I also think about family. The memories of Thanksgivings past.

I remember when I was younger getting ready to head over to my grandma and grandpa's house. Coming in the door and being greeted by my grandmother who always gave us a hug, a kiss and a hold of our face to say she was so glad to see us.

I would then wonder into the kitchen to see my grandfather with the turkey or he was working on his special glazed carrots, which were a big favorite of mine! He would always have a smile on his face which would bring a smile to yours.

We would get all the things ready for the big meal. Table was set, drinks were poured, and everyone was seated. Another fond memory I have was the battle of the black olives, between my mom and my uncle. We always thought it funny that they would move the dish of olives closer to their own plates.

My grandfather would say grace and we would all dig in. Conversations , laughter, stories of when my parents were younger or when my grandparents were younger. Desserts of many were then brought out and enjoyed.

After our bellies were full, dishes would get done and then we would sit and talk or play checkers in the living room.

I remember and love those memories of those Thanksgivings. Even though we don't get to celebrate them like we did and my grandfather is no longer with us. I feel him there every year and know we will be with him again someday!

What are some of your favorite  memories of  Thanksgivings?

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Just another day on the homestead

Today I woke up early got some laundry done, got my shower , getting ready to sit and do my devotions, when I  hear little foot steps coming up the hall. A certain 5 year old woke up early! So I went on about my morning of getting the boys breakfast, getting them to not read so much and eat more at the table, boys dressed, lunch packed. And finally got my coffee to take the boys out to the end of our driveway for the bus and then I was off to work.

So I go and open the door where I am greeted by 21 loud chirps! Yep, the meat chickens escaped their pen and decided they wanted to be free ranging chickens like our laying hens. So needless to say I through back my head with a loud, " UGH".  I told the boys to go ahead and stand down the driveway so if the bus came they could go on, while I wrangled the chicks back to their pen.

So as I walked to their pen the loud chirping followed me in a pile knowing I am the "food lady"! Thankfully the birds are lead by their stomachs so they are easy to wrangle. Finally got them all into their pen and left for work.

Got a bunch of  errands done, picked up Tyler from Kindergarten and home we went. Where... yep you guessed it we were greeted by meat chickens!( only 8 this time , but still!). I was at this point not in the mood for these guys. As I went in to put my things away and let the dogs out, I went in search of the chickens. I found them sun bathing in the dirt under the grape vine. So I shewed them back into their pen.

And as I write this I see them going after bugs and sunning themselves in the grass right in our front yard, yep they got out again. Today I just look out and smile. You win some you lose some! Ha!  They are enjoying themselves so much I will let them enjoy their time out there, and tonight figure out how they are getting out!

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

~ Katie

Saturday, September 12, 2015

You know you have a turkey...

I never thought I would write about having a turkey, but some experiences you have to write about. Many told us that turkeys are dumb animals,  I have to agree on some degree they are a bit on the dumb side. Example: during a rain storm while all the other animals are running for shelter our turkey Thanksgiving finds it a better idea to run around  squawking.

I think they are actually very smart! During feeding time he doesn't wait with the chickens to get feed with them ( I mean it s just some scratch and there are 12 to compete with!). Thanksgiving decides to wait in the goat pen for their feeding time ( I mean corn, molasses and other good stuff), while the chickens are scared to get in there ( they may get a scrap or too) the turkey dives in and is right in the dish. I mean a may be 15-20lb. turkey going up against a 100lb. goat! The goats don't mind him and he eats right along beside him. So I think compared to the chickens he is a very smart turkey!

While I am picking grapes guess who is under the vines, waiting for the extras to drop to the ground.. yep you guessed it Thanksgiving. Are the chickens, nope, the goats ( I hope not then we have other problems! haha)

Then there are a few frustrations with owning a turkey,

1. While trying to plant mums in front of barn, you have to work quickly while having near misses with a certain turkey's beak. Because said turkey thinks your fingers in the dirt are a bug!

2. When you look out the window on a gorgeous day to see said turkey, taking huge beak fulls of your tomatoes that had just ripened and were going to be make into sauce or sold at our stand! AH!
( I am sure my neighbors think I am a little crazy as I have been none to run out and yell at the turkey to get him out of the garden! HA! and this may or may not have happened a few times in pajama pants!)

3. When you go and feed the cats only to hear loud peaking from the deck and the turkey ( and chickens) have discovered a new source of food!

4. Arriving home from a long day of errands, to discover a turkey has decided to go for a swim in your pool and didn't make it out ( this was our other turkey, Gobble).

Even with the frustrations of having a turkey , I am enjoying the adventure, the stories and in Nov. the meal he will bless us with. I can't wait to raise more next year!

Have any of you raised a turkey? What was your experience like?


Friday, September 4, 2015

Season is changing..

The season is changing....

Yellow school buses are seen everywhere, the garden is starting to get bare, prepping the barn, etc. for the winter to come, the fall decorations are being hung, apple picking is coming ( which means applesauce and apple butter!)

My favorite season is coming! The crisp leaves on the ground, the coolness of the air, wrapping up in blankets to snuggle on the couch and read with the boys. Start working on the crocheting of the wash cloth I started last year!(haha), get my pile of books from the library for my reading, And the excitement to see if there will be new baby animals on the homestead.

Right now with it being still very hot and humid it is hard to believe that time will be here soon. But I anticipate it  very much!

What is your favorite part of this season?


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A gorgeous summer day

Today it is a very nice summer day. The boys are in there room playing zoo. The dogs are napping or chewing on there bones. The laundry is dancing in the warm gentle breeze and the animals are laying in the warm sun chewing their cud.

As I look out my office window I think about how fast this summer has gone! With vacation, family coming and visiting, the garden, jobs, getting our new puppy and working on the breeding schedule/auction schedule for the the goats.

I'm glad I am taking time to sit and just enjoy the day. I don't do that very much anymore since life is so busy.

Soon our days will be filled with backpacks, packing lunches, homework and other fall activities! Our boys will be in 3rd and Kindergarten. How the years go by so fast!

We have also been living on our new homestead for 1 year already!! Looking out over our property we have done so much in that year and we are very excited about the plans we have for it next year.
Thoughts of greenhouses, expanded gardens, building a bigger produce stand, selling at farmers markets, selling our meat chickens, expanding our herd, putting an orchard in....

I am so excited to see what happens next year!

In 8 short days Tom and I will be celebrating our 9 year anniversary!!! I still remember how nervous but so excited to marry the man God had pick just for me! I still get that excited when the clock hits 5o'clock and I know he is headed home from work. How my heart skips a beat when I hear the car coming up the driveway! When he says I'm beautiful and loves me , just because he felt like it.  I am so thankful and blessed that God decided to let Tom be mine! Love you Tom and I can't wait to spend many more years with you!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend!

~ Katie

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Spring is here ..... life is busy

Well you can tell spring is here and life is busy. Because my posting has been horrible again! Sorry about that. Moving animals, getting new chicks to add to the flock, and raising more meat chickens, plus the garden, getting canning things ready, starting a new job and having the boys home for the summer now.  Yeah life definitely hasn't slowed down! HAHA

I love it though, just need to remember to take time to sit and enjoy all of it! And not just rush through life, missing the beauty of it all.

I am sitting enjoying the cool breeze coming in the house window. Relaxing after helping our barn cat deliver 5 beautiful kittens! Sadly I am relaxing with a box of tissues and a horrible cold. But God knows how to make you sit down and relax when He wants you to huh?!

So while I am here I thought I would update on things going on around our homestead:

We are on the look out for a buck , for our does in the goat herd. We are also looking for another doe to add to it as well.  We are hoping to get them all bred so we have babies in time to sell at auction during holidays. ( Higher price for them at that time)

We added 5 more layer chicks to the flock to get us up to  total of 12. Which we will be selling the excess eggs to put back into our farm and to put toward paying our house off.

We made hay on one of the fields we are allowed to graze the goats on. Stored that in the barn so we have it for winter. Will help save money on buying so much during winter.

A lady at our church Darlene Hoffman, gave us some raspberry plants! So I planted those the other day so excited to finally have those back on the homestead! Can't wait to make jam with the berries next year and many years to come!

We are sad that this second batch of chickens didn't do so well. We lost a lot because something broke the fencing we had around the chicken tractor. So 2 separate times we lost a bunch and are now only left with 3! We are grateful for these 3 though! We will be ordering another batch here shortly , before those come we will revamping the chicken tractor for reinforcement, so we don't loose anymore!

I think that is all so far, but since my brain is a little stuffed up from my cold, I may have missed something but will put that in another post.

Hope you are all having a wonderful time on your Homesteads! Don't forget to stop and take it all in! :) 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sorry for the long gap between posts

I'm still here! And I will be blogging and soon. Life and Spring has happened on the farm and it has gotten very busy around here!

So don't worry I will be back on here shortly!

Hope you all are doing wonderful!

~ Katie

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another nice day

Today we had a pretty nice day, the sun peaked out every once in a while, and the temperature was nicely warm. We can now see grass in our yard! The snow is still present in the far backyard but thankfully the front pastures and the garden have been uncovered.
Now we just wait for everything to dry out, as of now the pastures are like a swamp ( so is the garden). So anxiously awaiting it to dry out, to be able to plow the garden and beginning planting!!!

My mom came over today, which we always enjoy! She helped plant more seeds inside for starts. We talked about the garden and where to plant things. Got me excited to get out there and plant things. (Patience is not my strong suit!! HA)

Well to update you on more homestead things:

The meat chickens we have now are going to be 3 weeks old on the 19th.  Three more weeks till butchering. Our layer chickens will be arriving in 2 weeks, and in about 3 or so weeks our second batch of 20 meat chicks will arrive! So live will be getting a whole lot more busy and a whole lot more noisy! HA! We are so looking forward to all of these animals coming  and how blessed we feel that God is letting us take care of them and for us to be able to give thanks for the food He has given and provided for us.

This spring we are still thinking through if we will be adding to our goat herd with an addition of another doe or two. We are still thinking about this and nothing definite has been decided. ( But of course I'm leaning more toward the YES MORE GOATS!!! )

We have talked about so many other projects and goals we would love to do on our homestead! Tough to know they won't be all accomplished this year but will be keeping them  on the list for the next few years.

Anyone else having any new additions to their homesteads?


Monday, March 9, 2015

Warm days ahead

We are finally getting a bit of a break from this cold weather and snow! Today is suppose to be in the high 40's and we will even be up in the mid to high 50s another day this week! This gets me even more excited for the spring weather!

Now the garden won't be ready for weeks for sure! The snow needs to melt and then the garden needs to dry out. We need to put our fence up around the garden as well. ( which we can't do until he ground thaws).

But even with all that, my mind still wonders to warm days with dirt in my fingernails and the warm sun on my back as I plant the little seedlings that are sprouting in our dining room.
To see the boys outside running in the grass and the goats out in their pastures enjoying the first sweet blades of grass, they have longed for all winter.

Molly and her mom (Clemmy)

(2 spot, Big Boy, Eli (my mom's goat), and Molly)

                                                   (Molly- doe kid we will be keeping)

And the chickens who yearn for those emerging bugs from the freshly thawed dirt.

For the trees with their little buds emerging on their branches and preparing to break out their new green leaves for us all to see. The smell of the fresh dirt drying out from the snow that we had and the freshly plowed garden , ready to be brought back to life.

Spring is close , 12 days away to be exact! You can bet I am counting every one of those days down!

So as new life comes, some lives will leave. The coming month we will saying goodbye to our two buckling kids. We will be selling them. But look forward to our girl having more babies next spring/summer! So goes life on our little homestead!

Think Spring everyone, it's on its way!

What are some of our favorite things about spring?


Monday, March 2, 2015

Are we normal.....Yes!

      As I re- read my one post on what we eat, it sounded like we weren't normal. Yes we like grass fed, beef, farm eggs, etc. Do we always eat this? No, we are just like everyone else! This food can be a lot more expensive and for good reasons, but we are on a budget that doesn't always allow for this. So yes, it is something we strive for, but we also have to think about the financial goals we have set as well.

     We would like to pay our house off early............. like 15 yrs. early. So not all the foods we would like to buy we can. When we can get grass fed beef, organic chicken, etc. We do. It is a motivation for us, for when we don't have that mortgage payment the things and food we will be able to buy, and not feel like I'm robbing half my grocery budget to eat it now.

     So, yes we are normal, and no we are not perfect,eating organic every night and day.  I do try to buy stuff when it is deeply discounted (like manager specials on the organic meats and freeze them), or when I find a really great coupon and combine it with a sale going on. I also use coupons for products that aren't organic either.

      I sometimes get myself down about not buying everything organic or grass fed, since I do know how good it is for you. Right now though is that time in our lives that we can't do that on a daily, weekly basis.

      I do try to buy healthy though , but like I said as much as I can on a very tight food budget we have set. During the summer months, I do get a lot of my fruits/ veggies from farm stands and Root's markets( a large market with many food vendors with produce, etc.), and might try again this year to go to the produce auctions they have to get some more canning done.

    So even if you can't buy organic, you can still have amazing meals buying local ingredients from local famers.

   So, yes we are normal!

~ Katie

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yesterday as more snow came I decided to make the house nice and warm and bake some bread. I was in the mood for something sweet and cozy. So I looked for a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread. One of our favorites in our house. I found a recipe that I have never tried before but it didn't just make one loaf of bread....... It made 3!!! Even better, in my book!

So I thought I would share this recipe with you. The only thing I found tricky was to pinch the ends together. But that could have been because we put a ton of the filling in the middle! HA! I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did.

Here is the link to the recipe: Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

What is your favorite bread to make? Would love to hear and leave a link or recipe in the comments! I am always looking for new breads to try!

~ Katie

Friday, February 27, 2015

At the feed store

Yesterday was a great day! I got to meet up with my best friend from highschool and her husband.  Actually her husband and I planned a surprise lunch for her, she had no clue! So we all got  done eating and decided to go to Tractor Supply that was close so I could pick up the meat chickens, for our farm. This is our first year raising and butchering our own chickens so we are excited about this experience.

So we get to the store and looked around. I looked at all the cute chicks (and yes thoughts of sneaking some other chickens and a few of the ducklings there, did pop in my head. But then Tom popped in my head and those thoughts went away haha). So I asked the Saleman if he could give me 13 of the Cornish rock chicks. He boxed them up and took me to the register, and told me to have a nice day. I thank him and told him to have a nice day as well. So while waiting in line there was a lady in front of me. My friends and I were looking at the different magaizines while we waited for my turn.

The lady in front looked over and said oh what kind did you get. I said, " oh the meat chickens". she stared at me with a  confused look. She said what do you do with those? I said, " you butcher them." Once again gave me a confused look. Then her look turned to disgust. I could tell she was not happy so I went on looking at other things while she finished checking out.  I could hear her under her breathe saying, " that is just cruel!", " If you have to do those kinds of things it is time to find a job". Yes I kept my composer( let me tell you I wanted to tell her a lot), because I really felt what good would it do? The mind set that woman had I really didn't feel if I said anything it would have made her change her mind.  So the lady left with her bags and still mumbling things under her breathe and the last thing she said I didn't hear.

The cashier looked at me in disbelief that the lady had said all those things. She couldn't understand why the lady was that rude either. She said," where does she think her chicken from the store comes from?",  Apparently the last thing she said to the cashier was, she wasn't going to shop their anymore because they sell baby chicks ( like meat ones) and that is just horrible.

I guess the reaction of the lady today made me really think, about wow am I really a cruel person for doing this? Am I a horrible person for wanting to raise our own food?

The answer is "NO!". We are a family that enjoys the farm life and likes to know what our animals eat, do , etc. We are thankful and we are sure to thank God for them . Are we weird to do this, to grow our own food, to raise our own meats? Well depends on who you are? haha Personally I don't think we are, we are just wanting to go back to the days when this was normal. Everyone would have chickens in their backyard, families would have their own gardens and survive on that till the next summer harvest. Back when making your own laundry soap, seasonings, hanging laundry, and not using electronics that often was normal. That is the life we thrive for and we hope that someday, even if we have one person start planting a tomato plant, green beans or lettuce in their backyard. Or someone who gets the passion to try canning or freezing their own garden veggies. Or even to go and support a local farmer who grows and sells their vegetables, eggs or meats. Every little bit counts, then I can have a 100 of those ladies talk about me that way.

So for now we will enjoy the cute little fluff balls that have taken residence in our home, until it gets warm enough for them to go out in the chicken tractor and then in April we will pray and thank the Lord for letting us raise these chickens and for the blessing they will be to us and others

Just another day on the homestead......

~ Katie


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is it Spring yet?!

Oh Spring, where are you?! There is still snow on the ground but the sun is coming out this morning.

My mind has been drifting these days of garden plans and seed starting. Fruit trees to plant and berry bushes to buy.

The snow is still here but my hear and mind are in spring. The laundry flying in the warm spring breeze and the chickens digging in the warm dirt.

I got my seed order back in December! haha  I am so ready for Spring to be here!

I wanted to share my seeds for our garden this year with you. So here is what we will be planting:

And before I forget, we purchased our seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company, if you haven't seen their site I would totally recommend it! They have so many seeds, I would buy them all but I don't have enough land! Ha!

Okay back to business.

Peas- Improved Maestro

Pepper- Horizon Bell (purple)
              Golden Cal Wonder ( yellow)

Tomato- Amish Paste
               German Pink (great for canning)
               Mortgage lifter
            Blue Lake Bush 274

          Little Finger (good for eating!)


               Squash Alligator or Jacare ( great for pumpkin pie, keeps really well)

              Waltham 29

               Cucumber Muncher (Burpless great for eating fresh or pickles)

          Red romaine

             Fordhook Zucchini (freezes well)

Corn- (this will be our first year growing corn, we will be purchasing another kind as well)
         Country Gentleman (shoepeg type corn) Freezes well

      Early Wonder

So there are the seeds for this year! Excited to see how they all do.

~ Katie

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why do I do this?

As I am sitting in the office, I can hear the wind whipping outside. Another cold night and time to go do the feeding. I dread it, just like I do every night it is cold like this. The  everyday going outside to break the water in the  troughs that froze over (even during the day).The hauling of buckets filled with cold water, as your hands feel like they are about to fall off.  Making sure the animals have extra bedding and are locked up for the night to stay warm. Check the heat lamp is working for the baby kids.  Some nights I come in and think to myself, "Why in the world am I doing this?! I could just not have animals and be able to stay in my warm house snuggled in a blanket with a good book!".

It is because I love it!

 Love going into the barn to be greeted by all the goats running to me , saying their hellos. And the babies as they run and jump off me in excitement. It's going into the chicken coop, after running from the harsh snow that is stinging my face, to hear them talking quietly amongst themselves. It's feeling a warm egg in my frozen hands to give me warmth on my walk back into the house.  To see my boys out with us hauling water and food to the animals in this weather and hearing them laugh and talk to the animals even though it feels like single digits.

That.... that is why I do this.

To be able  to use those fresh eggs from our chickens to make a delicious meal for my family. To cook vegetables that I sweated and took hours to prep, can and freeze to feed my family.

That is why I do this.

To feel the dirt between my fingers once the ground has thawed in spring. As I begin to plant a small seed that will produce delicious, nutrient rich vegetables for us to enjoy through the long winter months.

That is why I do this.

To feel closer to God in all the nature that is surrounding me. To feel so blessed with all that we have been given. To want to be a ministry to others as we live this way.

That I why I do this.

~ Katie

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 goals

I know it is already the end of January and I am now just getting to post our goals this year for the homestead.

I have made two other separate goals of Marriage and personal. As well as Tom and I have made Financial and Homestead goals.

Okay so here are our 2015 Homesteading goals:

1) We would like to look into solar for running our fences off of to lower electric use.
2) Raise more chicks (6) for laying hens.
3) Install fencing around our garden ( we have a major deer problem, if you have an helpful hints I would love to hear them!)
4) Raise and butcher meat chickens( starting small with just 6 or so this year to see if it is something we want to continue to do)
5) Plant some berry bushes and fruit trees ( this is a maybe depending on if we can find a bargain or not)
6) Grow a large garden ( can and freeze as much as possible!)

I am going to continue to strive for making a lot of things from scratch food wise and using my laundry line to cut our electric bill down. I would like to look into a propane or wood stove for our upstairs living room as well for next winter.

There they are , our goals for this year. We didn't want to make to big of a list, since this will be our first spring and summer on our homestead.

Do you have an homesteading goals for this year? I would love to hear them!


Monday, January 26, 2015

We have babies!

As I sit at our dining room table writing this, I look out the back door and see a new coating of fresh and fluffy snow. All is quiet and enjoying the time to be with the Lord in my devotions.

Cupid our one doe had triplets on Jan. 14th during the night. It was a rough night to say the least. Tom was recovering from a stomach thing and I went out to check on everyone as usually, like I had done for the last month and half to see if anyone had started labor. ( I was anxious if you couldn't tell ha!) So when I went out and Cupid was talking to me, she doesn't do that much, and laying down and get up again a lot. I had a feeling something was happening. So I gathered our kidding kit and made camp out in the barn. I came in to make a quick dinner for the boys and Tom, then headed back out with my snack of animal crackers.

When I got back out to the barn Cupid was starting to lay down and do pushes! yay!!! While I was on my computer, with some amazing women who know goats and were helping me prepare for the delivery, I felt something in my pocket. Yep you guessed it a goat head! My mom's goat Eli , decided that he should eat my animal crackers since I was getting to them fast enough! haha. I needed a little humor at the time and now I know his favorite snack.

Anyway back to the labor...... So it was time to get the other goats their dinner , while I was doing that and Cupid's water broke and delivery was on, or so I thought. The ladies on the goat chat were asking did I see a nose or a okay wait a little. So finally one lady said if you feel comfortable to go in and feel the do so... So I gloved up and felt around,"A hoof !"I thought. Oh wait... that was a hoof that was a tail! As I typed in I have a breech, the ladies all jumped in giving me advice. I ran in to ask Tom if he could come out, because we had a breech and I couldn't reposition it correctly. So he came out and tried , but couldn't. We were about to call the vet, but I kept thinking I don't want the baby or Cupid to die,  so I went in a again and repositioned the baby's legs the correct way. And a beautiful buck was born at a whopping 10lbs!

Then she started to push again about a half an hour after delivering the first. She had no problems with that delivery and had another gorgeous buck at a whopping 11lbs.! And last but not least she delivered a doeling at 9 lbs.

Buck #2


Buck #1

Well they are almost 2 weeks of age and the boys are thriving. Bouncing and romping around like crazy! The doeling who the boy have named Caitlin , had a set back. Cupid wasn't feeding her and pushing her away. Saturday we had quite the scared and thought we were loosing her, but thankfully she is doing great now. She is for now residing in our kitchen ( which the boys are loving), we are currently bottle feeding her to get her weight and strength back up. The 4-6 hourly wake up calls for us to get up. If really does feel like having another newborn in the house. Though we are all really enjoying having her in the house and seeing her thrive, we do have to keep reminding the boys when she gets strong enough we have to put her back in the barn. Which they are sad to hear, especially Kyle he is a real animal lover ( just like his mom), but I know I will enjoy the snuggles while I can!

~ Katie