they arrived!

I am so excited that my heirloom seeds arrived today!  I couldn't get out and get them into the ground, but fingers crossed that this storm passes and I can run out and get them in the garden first thing in the morning. 
Wish me luck!


DIY bottle holder

One of the not-so-fun parts of having bottle babies is the 'extra' work that goes into having bottle babies.  The regular feedings and whatnot isn't so fun when you are trying to run a home, a farm and keep some kind of normalcy/routine to your home. 

Beloved is wonderful at helping me with them...when he is home.  He joked with me a few days ago about how he was thinking of putting together a bottle holder for the baby goats.  I smiled, smirked and said wouldn't that be awesome.  Little did I know that just 24 hours later, our goats would be eating from a DIY bottle holder.

(as you can see his beautiful assistant was still in her pajamas)

(and yes...those are travel coffee mugs...and yes, they worked great!)

Just some old travel mugs, wire, an old weather strip and a piece off of an old plastic dog house that the wind previously destroyed and you have a DIY bottle holder for your bottle babies.  Pretty nifty right? 

The real test was to take place that evening.  Would it hold the bottles?  Would they destroy it after one feeding?  For those that don't know...goats, and I am assuming the same is with cattle, when they nurse off their mother they actually hit the udders, rather hard I might add, with their nose.  This then tells their mother to 'let down' and well you know the rest.  Well, bottle babies do the same thing, mainly because it is instinctual.  They will hit the bottle nipple with their nose when you are trying to feed.  I wasn't sure if the cups would stay still or if the bottles would fall out, but I was anxious to see. 

So that night, after milking, measuring and dividing up the milk we were able to test our new bottle holder...

And as you can see, it worked great!  Not only are they happy but so is this mama! 

This man never ceases to amaze me...I am one lucky hippie farmer wife!  :)




trampolines, basketball hoops and being thankful...

This past weekend has been a very busy one for us. 

Saturday was 'disbudding' day for the kids...not fun but a necessity for me.  After the 'disbudding' it was a mad dash back home to shower and get ready for yet again another Young Living essential oil class.  I have come to LOVE these classes.  These classes are given by a local distributor whom is as passionate about natural/holistic healing as I am.  These classes have also given me the opportunity to meet some other like-minded mama's in the is such a blessing.  Praise God!

While at the class, the boys picked up a trampoline that the girls are allowing us to borrow and they spent the afternoon putting it up...

cleaning it off...

and last but definitely not least...jumping.

Moments like this melt my heart.  :) 

And as is par for the course, Sunday was another day filled with work.  Sunday's job was get the hoop up.  Once again the girls pulled through and got us a hoop...for free! 

I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of them actually putting the hoop up, but I did get a few of the aftermath.  As you can see, everyone had a great time...

...even the dogs. 

When beloved and I moved here we knew that we wanted a house in the country.  We wanted land, animals and space.  We wanted the kids and the grand kids to be able to ride four-wheelers, play paintball and run free.  Through commitment, determination and patience all those things we longed for have begun to happen.  Even though there is so much more we want to do on the property, we never lose sight of what He has blessed us with. 

Peace and love to you all


kidding does and bottle babies...

Life on the farm has been non-stop

My two does kidded within one week of each other.  I knew *Bling* was pregnant, because when we bought her we were told she was, and I had suspected *Cookie* might be pregnant, but I wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure that is until 5:00 AM on March 4 when I was walking hubby out to his car as he headed into work and we both heard a baby goat cry.  We both froze dead in our tracks, ran to the doe pen and low and behold...more kids!  So all in all, we had two does kid, eight kids born and five survived.  Within a one week time span we went from two goats, to seven.  Needless to say, it has been non-stop around here.  Non-stop but so much fun! 

 (what child doesn't like waking to a kitchen full of goats?)
Three of the five kids are bottle babies, and for those of you who don't know what those are, they are exactly what they sound like they are.  The are fed from a bottle, they do not nurse off their mother. 
(helping daddy bottle feed "Buffy")
It is not uncommon to have bottle babies, and even though bottle babies are usually very friendly and personable, they require a lot of work!  Two of the bottle babies are *Bling's* and the remaining bottle baby is *Cookie's*.  They stay in a big crate in the house at night, but spend the days in the pen with the does (female goats), and the other two kids (doelings). 

(these are my dam-raised doelings)

Since this is my first time with kidding goats I did my best to read up and have my necessary equipment put together in case they needed help.  Fortunately for me, both of my does had kidded before so knew what to do.  Thank goodness!

So after a few crazy-insane weeks, a few bumps and bruises I am happy to introduce...






My addiction to my food saver...

So for Christmas last year one of my gifts from my beloved was this...
How awesome is he????  Totally awesome!!! 
I have been wanting one of these F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  When I opened this on Christmas Eve I squealed with delight because I couldn't stop thinking about all the things I was going to vacuum seal, along with my jars.  Since you all know about my addiction to Mason/Ball jars, it only goes without saying that it was just a matter of time before I got this Food Saver wide-mouth jar sealer thingy. 
I prefer wide-mouth jars so naturally I went with that attachment first. 
Add to that some zip seal mylar bags, which rock by the way, and this book, and I was one happy hippy Hawaiian farmer/prepper chick!
The jar sealer attachment is SUPER easy to use and before long my counter looked like this...

I kid you not when I tell you that I was searching for things to vacuum seal.  These are just a few of the jars that I did. 
As you can tell I just used masking tape to date and label, I know it isn't the prettiest but hey, it works!  After each jar sealed it checked it, and you check it buy pulling on the lid.  So I gave each lid a little tug and viola...they were good to go! 
This makes me extremely happy because I can now extend the shelf life of a lot of my foods by eliminating its exposure to air. 
So there you have it, my addiction to my food saver has officially begun.  Trust me when I tell you this...nothing is safe anymore.  Anything that comes into this house has virtually no chance of staying in its original package.  Looks like I will need to buy a whole lot more jars and food saver bags. 
Do you have a food saver?  If so, how often do you use yours?  Please share because I would love to learn what others are using theirs for. 
Peace and love to you all...
(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post.)


American Blackout...

Hubby and I recently watched this movie and I must say, I found it quite informative and somewhat chilling. 

One of my greatest fears is social unrest.  I know that may sound silly to some but for me, this is a very REAL fear.  The thought of someone trying to bring harm to my family or me in order to get to my stash of food is a horrifying thought.  Due to the fact that we are an active duty family, hubby is gone for long periods of time, so I must be able to protect my family, property and myself.  Needless to say, this can bring a fear and a terror that can consume a person.

With that said I can not let fear or terror take over me, but I must soldier on (nice military reference huh?).  I must overcome my fear in order to protect my family and my property.    

As you all know, we are preppers.  I know that it is someone of a hush-hush subject for some preppers, but I believe that there is strength in numbers and that the more people that prepare, the better off we all are.  Some prepping is better then no prepping. 

Hopefully we will never have to see a cyber-attack, or an EMP, but if we do...are you prepared?  Are you ready to protect not only yourself  but your family and your property?  No one saw the mayhem that Katrina was going to bring, and look how that turned out.  Do you have any food put away for a 'rainy day?'  What about a job loss, are you prepared for something of that magnitude? 

These are all real things and they happen everyday people, like you and me.  What have you done to prepare for the unforeseen?

Without further delay... 

National Geographic...American Blackout


Elderberrry syrup + sick lil' one = medicinal healing and a happy mama

Even though I love the holiday season, I don't love the holiday 'bugs' that seem to come with it.

The achy-ness (is that even spelled right?), fever, cough and runny nose is sometimes unbearable.  Thankfully the Lord, in all of His infinite wisdom, knew that we would need his help.

Enter in...Elderberry syrup...


 I absolutely love this stuff!  Not only does it taste yummy but low and behold, it works!  Who would of thought that elderberries cooked in raw/organic honey would have such powerful medicinal properties?  Only the good Lord himself, that's who. 

You can buy elderberries at Bulk Herb StoreMountain Rose Herbs, along with Amazon (affiliate link)  and even iHerb.

There are just as many recipes on how to make your own elderberry syrup as there are places to buy herbs, so just punch elderberry syrup into your search engine and...BOOM!  As easy as 1, 2, 3!
The keiki didn't care too much for it in the beginning, but with some persistence from her mama, she takes it like a champ now!

I did use this while I was getting the keiki adjusted to the elderberry syrup...

I was pleased with it's results also.  But obviously I prefer the latter.

So there you have it...homeopathic/medicinal remedies do work, the keiki is living proof.  There is something about being able to make my own homemade herbal remedies for the health and welfare of my family that gives me peace of mind and confidence. 

So on that note...what have you given your family when they were under the weather?  Did you get the results you were hoping for?  Please share!

I hope this post finds you all doing well...I know that those of us here in the Midwest we have had some bitterly cold days here.  Hope it is warm and sunny where you are.

Peace and love to you all!


for the love of turkey broth...

since one of our goals for 2014 is to build up our food pantry I thought it only fitting to share with you all what I did with my our left over birds.

we had a houseful on Christmas day.  family and friends filled our home, along with laughter and the occasional nap :).  we bought two turkey's in hopes to have enough meat...thankfully we did. 

before I continue please know that thanks to Laura@heavenlyhomemakers and her awesome idea of cooking the turkey ahead of time, my whole day wasn't spent stressing over birds, but spent enjoying our company and our food.  anyhow, onto the blog post.

after deboning the birds, the bones and all the 'extras' were put in a HUGE roaster along with some water and a dash or two of ACV (apple cider vinegar) and set on low.  they cooked and cooked and cooked and after cooling and straining...viola!  turkey broth!

sweet right? 

aren't they beautiful?  I must admit that after the canning and cooling process I lined them up in order to take a picture for my blog and I found myself smiling and giggling.  some don't know the true joy of homemade canned turkey broth, but I do.  I had visions of soups, casseroles and whatever else I can put it in dancing through my head. 
after labeling/dating them all, I carefully put them downstairs in our basement/pantry, and there they sit, waiting to be used. 
what did you do with your bird and your leftovers?  


another mouth to feed

meet spade...our newest member of the family...

according to his previous owners, he is a chiweenie?  I honestly don't know about the breed or the mixed breed that he is, but what I do know is that he is stinkin' adorable.  he is 6 months and he is already adored by everyone in the family.  we are in the process of house training, which I am not a huge fan of, but oh well. 

how many of you had the pleasure (sarcasm) of house training?  any tips or tricks you recommend in hopes to make the process a little less 'messy' because if so, I would love to hear them.

peace and love to you all...


2014 is officially here!!!

so I am not too sure how any of you rang in the new year, but here on the farm, we had a wii bowling tournament, ate donuts and drank sparkling white grape juice out of Christmas colored plastic wine glasses.  we party hard around here wouldn't you say?  :)

2013 was a rough year for us.  it was a year filled with trials and tribulations, but we pulled through...together...stronger. 

we look forward to 2014.  we look forward to what it will bring along with all that we hope to get accomplished.  here are just a few of the things we hope to get done/learn in 2014...

1.    get the horse and donkey pole barn finished
2.    build a few more pens for the does
3.    grow a bigger garden
4.    start a medicinal garden
5.    learn to chop firewood (me)
6.    can more
7.    build up my food storage
8.    drink more herbal tea
9.    make our own laundry detergent
10.  make more of our food from scratch
11.  menu plan
12.  learn to make soap
13.  harvest our own brom
14.  get my thyroid disease under control
15.  rid negative people from our lives
16.  slow down
17.  simplify
18.  listen more and talk less
19.  blog more
20.  read more

...and the list goes on.

what are some of your resolutions/goals for 2014?  please share!

peace and love to you all