Thank goodness for 3 day weekends

Did I mention problems with our den? 
After paying a guy to fix the door that wouldn't close correctly, and getting a second guy to look at it....we determined that 
the whole back wall has to be re-done.
Day 1:  tear down.
Baby Elisabeth relaxing in the sun with her new BFF Felicity.

Day 2 :
Re-framed with single door in different location (because of a dip in the concrete), and an added window.
On a side note, Emmi sold Obadiah on that day.
$100 bucks--pretty good price for a unicorn.
Butterball says hello.
Saying goodbye to Obadiah.

Happy says hello too!
Day 3:  wrapped up, sealed, and doors and windows in .  
Which is a good thing, because Day 4:  rain.

Snowy weekend project

This is where we started on our "get the house finished" marathon.
It supposed to snow, but we only saw flakes for about an hour, but had record lows with high winds.
We set a record milking time temp of 11 degrees though.  The "feels like" temp was -1 degree!!  The temp in the milking parlor was 22.
Now, a week later, as I type this, it's 70 degrees and we have on summer clothes.
So here are pics of everything that came out of the storage room.
Of all those books below, I donated 2 boxes, and put 6 small boxes in the attic.  I'll get up in the attic to rotate them whenever the time comes.

Day 1: primer and paint, the ceiling got 2 coats of kilz, and 2 coats of paint, and spots still bled thru.  Now we have had to re-think painting the ceiling in the den.
We'll be putting corrugated metal over the existing plywood.
We were going to install the same flooring that is in the kitchen and 2 baths, the remnants were left for us, by the previous owners.  There were several boxes, and we thought surely it would be enough. Of course, being pro's and having 10 houses under our belts, we didn't actually do the math until the day before we were to start the project.   After calculating, we were going to be one row of tiles short.  We found more on the internet, but of course the shipping was more than the cost of the tiles.

A quick internet shopping trip revealed that our local Lowe's did not have a good stock of the less expensive laminate.  I continued to move everything out of the storage room and did what any normal woman would NEVER do.
I sent DH to the Lowe's in the next city, and told him to get whatever they had in stock.  The laminate was cheaper than paying for that box of tile plus the shipping.
Of course the laminate was way easier to lay than the tile, and we were done in no time.  I arranged things differently as they were put back in.  The back corners of those shelves are somewhat blocked by the freezers, of course I put less used items there.  The new way allows more open space, before, there was only a 2 foot wide path between some shelves.

And in this little spot, I can set up the plastic table when I have a sewing project.
Lumber, windows, doors, etc. for the den and mudroom work were delivered today.  I am so thankful we will have beautiful weather to work in this weekend!

Empty headed

A few kids brought this guy to me, giggling like crazy.
They said "look, he's empty headed!"   
I am that lego man.  It's crazy around here.
Emmi made this birthday brownie for her daddy!
Here's the birthday boy with Avery. 
 He's 52, but I'm still 39.
We butchered our excess roosters the other day.
These guys are waiting their turn.
Little do they know what awaits them......
Aside from the night shift craziness, we've been measuring, making lists, and placing orders of materials needed to finally finish the mudroom, and den.  
Hopefully the interior (small details in several rooms remain unfinished), will be COMPLETELY finished by spring!  Then it will be time to do some more landscaping and exterior work; if we have any energy and money left.

Charlie says good morning!

He says it all day long.

Remember William?

He had a bit of a  traumatic birth in Feb 2015.

He was the first calf born to us on the farm.
This is William's mode of transportation.

He's going to camp-----freezer camp as many farmers call it.
He has been a sweet and wonderful pet, but now he is going to fulfill his God given purpose.....
to feed us!

Everyone said "don't name him, you'll get attached".  We named him, loved on him, and gave him the same wonderful life as the rest of the animals.  It has not been a hard thing, as everyone has known his purpose from the beginning.  After 2 years and 5 months of farming, this dream has come to fruition---home grown steak in the freezer!!!!  
Totally non-gmo, no antibiotics, no soy, no chemicals sprayed on his pasture- just real meat!

The checker competitions continue.
And Avery continues to draw masterpieces.

This is Aspen, the dog, all dressed up.

Praying you all have a happy week!

Elizabeth got a new collar, isn't she adorable!
The kids were thrilled with the weather the last few days
When it's 74 degrees in December, you've got to have a popsicle!
We stayed outside almost the whole day.
Everyone had to get air in their tires,
and then ride bikes.
Our favorite aunt sent some jump ropes in a goody box recently.
AJ kind of does a hop over the rope when it hits the ground, but he sure had fun trying!
He's very sweet to Butterball.
While they played, I painted this.
It has been on my "to do" list for over a year.
I'm surprised the window survived in the shed that long without getting broken.
I thought it turned out pretty well, considering the writing and layering colors was done in reverse, on the back of the glass.
Now my long hallway wall doesn't look so naked.
This same day, a week ago, it was 20 degrees.  Our heat pump stopped working the evening before.  I was pleasantly surprised that the next morning, the inside temp was only down to 54 degrees; pretty good for an old house.
We all have goose down comforters.  The boys had our bathroom space heater in their room, girls were in the den (separate unit) and DH and I snuggled under an electric blanket.
Back when we re did the plumbing, the contractor ran a gas line for a supplemental heater.  We got busy with other things and never installed a heater.  While our HVAC guy was here, we had him drill a hole in the floor and put a valve on the gas line. DH ordered a heater from Amazon, and now we have emergency/supplemental heat.  
I convinced DH to get a portable rather than a wall mount.  With the flexible hose, we can move it out into the room a little when in use.  
Best of all, it only has to stay here a few months out of the year, and then can be stored in the garage.  The rest of the year I will only have to look at a small valve sticking up by the baseboard.


Ya'll know I blog mostly to have a "scrapbook" for my kids.  I rarely post anything political, or controversial.
But occasionally..........

read this short article titled "Why I don't give my three year old daughter Christmas gifts".

In our society where it seems so many kids (and adults) are so spoiled, this article is quite refreshing.  It's not even from a Christian perspective.  This woman uses the "d" word in paragraph 2, and drinks wine----I don't condone either, but I think she's got this right!

And guess what; we don't "do" Christmas anymore.

Over the years, Christmas has changed for our family.  We did 'Santa' with our 1st two kids.  We've done "The Jesse Tree" to bring more spiritual emphasis to the holiday, and gradually, we have whittled it down to no celebration.
We do not judge others, our kids understand that.  When told "Merry Christmas" by a cashier, etc., they say "We don't celebrate Christmas the same way you do, but I hope you have fun!"
Our reasons are from a Christian standpoint.  As briefly as possible I will say that we believe:
1)  Playing Santa is lying to your kids.  When they find out it's a lie, are they going to believe what the parent       has told them about Jesus?
2)  No where in the Bible are we told to celebrate Christ's birth in this way.  We celebrate Him everyday.
3)  So many of the traditions can be traced back to cults and pagan worship.  We have done a Bible study          with our kids, concerning #2 and 3.
4)  Americans "over-do" Christmas more than any other country, and it's worse every year.  It teaches greed      and placing high value on possessions, while the Bible teaches contentment, (Phil 4:11, 1 Titus 6:8,                Heb 13:5 to mention a few).  We have so many "things" that we do not truly appreciate them.
     Parents waste money to buy things that kids don't even want, just so they spend the same amount on            each kid, even though what 1 kid wants might only cost 1/2 of what the other kid wants.  Co-workers,          neighbors etc., waste their money on gifts because the feel obligated, not because they really want to give.

In our group of friends, everyone celebrates differently, or not at all.  That support/non-judgement, of course, has made it easier to 'quit Christmas'.  Still, some people think we are crazy.....what do you do?.......
your loving, kind comments and sharing your traditions are welcome---but this is not a place for debate.

Technology and pets

Technology is amazing. In high school, we had typing class as an elective.  When I was in college, no one had a computer, and we had to go to "computer lab" to do assignments.  That was if you were a business major, and the assignment was required to be done on the computer.  Papers and reports written by non business majors were typed on typewriters--gasp!!!  I'm old enough to remember when families started getting home computers; we got our first one around 1995.

Since home computers became affordable, they have remained relatively the same, then laptops were developed, and laptops got smaller.  Above is the computer we are replacing.  Below is the new computer.  The largest part is the box in DH's right hand,  which has to be large enough to put a CD/DVD in.  The "brain" of the computer is the box dangling from the back of the TV, with the white sticker.  Even though there is a mini keyboard shown, we will be using a normal size keyboard, and a big screen TV; but still, this blows my mind.

Goats are lazy!  Hay was put out for them on the very cold days, and now that we're having a few warm days, what do they do?  Instead of going out to eat in the pasture and enjoy the sunshine, they are stuffing themselves on hay....less work.
After leaving to run errands, we realized that these two might jump the fence.  
No worries, they were too lazy to.
One of our bunnies appears to have a cleft lip.  The tooth shown is actually on bottom, his top teeth are off to the side.  Apparently it has not affected his eating, because he has survived this long without us even noticing.  Baby bunnies cannot be touched for weeks after birth, or the mother will reject them, that is why we are just now getting a close look at this guy.

This week

We've had many games of checkers.  
Jake sent this to the kids.  AJ is very good.
Emmi wanted me to share this pic of our blue eyed unicorn  goat.
Thursday was chiropractor and free sushi---we love it!  I've actually tried to avoid our friend a few times, because I felt bad that he insists on giving us sushi every week.  This week his wife barely saw us, then my phone rang, and it was Chef Robert, saying come back to his end of the store and get free sushi.
It was cream of mushroom soup making time.  
This is soooo easy, and so much better and healthy than store-bought.
A triple batch yielded lunch and 13 pints for the freezer.  We are not big soup eaters, but use it in casseroles.
Did you know a pyrex 9x13 can explode for no apparent reason?  
Neither did I.  Perhaps it was the fact that the dish was 30 years old.
I took it out of the oven and set it on the stove top, which was completely cool, and it exploded,
making a big mess and ruining a pound of bacon.
After a long drought, we were finally able to do away with our burn pile.
It has been collecting since July, before "no burn orders" were issued.
It's really much bigger than it looks, because it's in a 4 foot deep ditch.
I'm so glad for this to be gone!!