Thursday, November 15, 2018

4H Fun

We've been part of the local 4H group since April and have been having a lot of fun. We didn't participate in the fair this summer since we had just signed up and didn't have projects made but we are hoping next summer to enter items. Every year they have a bonfire and we meet for our monthly meeting while eating yummy food. It was fun.

For the local Fall Festival the 4H group enters a float and we got to ride on it this year while throwing candy. The kids had fun and we won 3rd place in the float contest (it helped that we had live animals on the float). It was so cool though!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Go Wesley!

A few weeks ago Wesley had his first Karate Tournament. We went about a year ago and watched one just to get a feel for what they are all about. He was excited and nervous to participate but did awesome. He got first in his age group for doing his kata. He was pretty pumped to bring home a big trophy. So proud of that kid!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Well another year of trick or treating has come to an end. Sean was remarking how easy it is these days with older kids, they don't need us to hold their candy buckets or take them to the doors. They are so very self sufficient, which is lovely! Greta was a unicorn, we found this pajama like suit on Amazon and she'll be able to wear it all winter since it's nice and warm. Wesley wasn't sure he even wanted to dress up since he's a big 6th grader now but in the end he opted for my old sumo wrestler suit and a face mask so nobody would recognize him.

We took them to our church trunk or treat as well as the cities event. Happy Halloween everyone, and happy 43rd anniversary to my parents!

It's not Halloween without pumpkin carving. It's nice to just set the kids up and let them go at it. I cut off the top but they did everything else including all the sawing of holes.

Monday, October 1, 2018


With the addition of the new goats I knew we needed to do some structural improvements to provide better shelter for the new kids. What we really needed was a new goat house. I started looking around trying to find a good place for it and the chicken run caught my eye. Back in 2010 Sean built a run for the chickens right off of the shop where the hen house is located. I used to coop up the chickens in the run when I was scared they would be eaten by predators. Eight years later I've become a more relaxed chicken farmer and the girls now enjoy free ranging all day and being locked up in their hen house at night.

The outside run has sat unused for several years now. Sean built it like a tank to keep all predators at bay even digging down and layering pressure treated wood about a foot deep in the ground for digging predators. It had good bones and I knew it would make a nice 10 foot by 16 foot goat house. Here it is, with the "temporary" fence (that's been there since 2010 also) that was put up to keep the horses and big goats from rubbing all over it and destroying the chicken wire. This is also after we have pulled all of the chicken wire and clap boards off of it.

Here is what it looked like right after Sean got done building it, he did a beautiful job. Look at tiny three year old Wesley!

The chickens loved it too, but love free ranging more.
So we tore down the old fence and removed all of the chicken wire and door from the coop. Sean added a slanted roof to the top of it and we put up siding and a new roof. We repositioned the new door to be on the south side to keep it warm in the winter. We also built a new fence to keep the the horses out of it (because they will hog it and not allow anyone else in it).

Still needs a coat of paint on the inside and outside.
Sean added electricity so we can put a stock tank heater back here if needed. It was also nice for power tools while building it.

We built it in two days, two very long days. The goats like it and I'm happy to have a nice warm building for them this winter. While we were at it we put in a new fence in the horse pen to keep the baby goats completely away from the horses and bigger goats. I was really tired of seeing Tag being bullied, so the kids won't be in with them until fully grown. We designed the new fence to share the stock tank so I won't have to haul warm buckets of water this winter (the stock tank has a heater in it). I'm really enjoying the new set up, it sure looks a lot more professional.

Daphne is always so curious about the cats.

Rocky and Desi. Desi in doing well with his new boots. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Adventures in Goating

Is goating a word? Not sure, but goats have been a large part of my life lately. They have kept me super busy for the past month and a half. I blogged about sweet little Tag, whom we rescued from the meat pens at the county fair. He's been with us for almost two months and it's been a busy, crazy two months. He brought home with him some respiratory disease that he picked up from the fair no doubt. He got a snotty nose and was pretty depressed. It was passed on to Coco my 7 year old doe who was down and wouldn't get up. The vet gave us an antibiotic shot for each and they improved. Then the next our old goat Dym went down and there was no saving her. I don't *think* she went down because of the respiratory thing but I don't know. I think it was lousy timing. The vet came out and put her to sleep. She was 13 and had a good life. Definitely the coolest goat I've ever had, such a sweet soul. I miss her a lot.

Dym and Tag were nearly twins and I like to think he was sent to me to ease the pain of loosing her.  :( After Dym was gone that left Tag in the pen with Dym's two kids, Coco and Heston. They were not nice to sweet little Tag. They put him in his place at the bottom of the totem pole. It made me sad every time I saw them head butting him or chaisng him. So I contacted his old owners, the people that raised him, and asked if they had any doe kids they would sell me. They ecstatically said "Yes!".

Wesley, Greta and I went to their farm (which was awesome by the way) where we went into a building that housed all of their kids. There had to be 30 cute little baby goats. She brought us into a pen with about 7 kids that she selected for us to choose from. It was so hard to pick one! I want a certain one and Greta was partial to another one. So, naturally, we bought both of them. Meet Daphne and Lily. Tag grew up with them and is so happy to have a pair of goats his own size to grow up with.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Birthday Girl

Greta turned 9 years old yesterday. Where does the time go? Greta is a sweet girl, very compassionate. She's very into arts and crafts, sewing and making stuffed animals and slime. Every morning I wake up to find her sitting online looking at YouTube videos about slime making. This summer was a very slimy summer and things got out of hand with her leaving slime all over the house and ruining some furniture. So she lost her slime privileges. I was done. But since it was her birthday I decided to be nice and let her and her friends make slime at her birthday party today (although it will only be played with at the table).

She invited several girls from school (but mom they are all my best friends...) and we ended up with 10 girls total plus her brother and Alex. It was a full house with lots of screaming and giggling. Greta loves unicorns and had a unicorn themed party. I tried my best at a unicorn cake but think it turned out just ok. Too much frosting made all the layers unstable and it turned into the leaning tower of frosting. The girls liked it and that's all that mattered. I did have fun making each cake layer a different pastel color and making a horn out of marshmallow fondant.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Voyage of the Quadcopter

Sean has been interested in building a quadcopter for years. A quadcopter is just a fancy name for a drone with four propellers. He's been acquiring parts and slowly building the structure on his 3D printer. He'll be really interested and work hard on it for a couple of weeks, then lose interest and put it away for six months. This is been going on for about two years. He finally pulled out all of the parts and motors and put it all together and finished it this summer.

He took the kids outside with him for the maiden voyage (I was gone at the time). It flew around and they all had a great time with it. Then when I got home he took me outside to show it to me. It flew well for a few minutes before he lost it behind a tree. He tried to fly it safely away from the tree but failed and stuffed right into a huge oak tree by the house. He hadn't installed the beeper yet that tells you where it is so we had no idea where in the tree it was.

It did have four little lights on each prop but it wasn't near dark and we weren't sure the batteries would hold up until it got dark enough to see them. Luckily they held out and we found it way up high in the tree.

Sean tried throwing a football at it to dislodge it with no luck. He then tried a bow and arrow with a string tied on in hopes of catching the limb and shaking it. Still no luck. The last resort was to climb the tree and try shaking the limb. Didn't work. We had a storm moving in and had to work fast to save it before the rain destroyed the electronics. He ended up taking a saw up there, locating the branch it was on and sawing off the branch. That worked to dislodge it. I stood under it and tried to catch it but failed and it hit the ground hard breaking off a couple of propellers.

He printed off more arms and replaced the broken propellers and got it back in the air......just in time to slam it into the fence sheering off several vital parts. Poor little quadcopter.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

First Day!

Man, this was a long summer. We did a lot, saw a lot and am now happy to say the kids are back in school. Today I dropped my oldest off at middle school. He was nervous, I was nervous for him. I'm happy he's got his buddy Alex there with him so they can both be confused together.

Greta is in 3rd grade although she looked old enough to go into middle school with her brother. She keeps growing like a weed and I suspect will be taller than her brother any day now.