Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 28, 2008

Umbrella Art


This is Natalie's weekly sketch for Harmony Art Mom's Sketch Tuesday. Mommy missed sending them in or posting them to our BLOG for a few weeks, but Natalie has been faithfully drawing Tuesday sketches.

One Lovable Baby

The Pure Joy Of One Lovable Baby

I mentioned to my husband this morning that I was going to be thankful that my sweet little baby wants me to hold her and cries when I leave her, because soon she would be a toddler, and I will miss that sweet little baby that wanted so much attention. My husband said to me, "Yes, isn't that just how it is? God gives a corresponding amount of joy for each sacrifice we make in our life." I thought how perfectly true! So often we want to avoid that which is hard, but really there is a reward for embracing what God calls us to do.

Here is a PIC from today of my sweet lovable baby:



After completing her Saxon Math worksheets, Natalie wanted to count all the money in her piggy bank. She was very motivated. She got an introduction to Math a year or two ahead in the curriculum from where she is now, and she didn't seem phased. I've been reading a book lately about the Suzuki method of violin. One thing that Suzuki said was that "Ability breeds ability." The book also said that learning should be fun, even though it may be challenging. Well, it seems to me Saxon is a lot like Suzuki, it provides some challenge, but also has a lot of repetition. If you get past the hump where the student doesn't like concentrating on Math (or Violin) for so long, and encourage the student that if they persist they will learn real, rewarding skills, then I think it works. Here is a pic of Natalie counting her money.

Our Week

Blustery Spring

It has been a blustery Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. We even had snow again last Saturday. I would have put up another picture of the snow, but I was in a hurry when I took the pic and I focused on the snow instead of the background. My dh said it was a neat picture, but I think he was saying that tongue in cheek. We've had hail nearly every day, and we are wondering if the trees will ever get their leaves.

Sewing Project

I made my first on my own, real sewing project this last weekend. I made some pajama pants before, but this seemed to me my first REAL project. I got a sewing machine a few months ago, and have been taking sewing classes. I want to start sewing a good chunk of my kid's clothes.


Yesterday, we went out to coffee with a friend of ours and her adorable daughter, Isabella, and had a lot of fun. Here are some pics.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sadness and...Thoughts


I am saddened to share that we lost our second calf. Apparently the mom didn't have clear signs of early labor (they can't tell you) and we got to her too late during active labor. It looks like the calf was too big. We may have been able to save her if we were there sooner. Our cows are Heffers (first time Mommy cows)  and as such often need extra help delivering. Our girls (human kind) are particularly easy going about it.

Our third Heffer, our most easy going Momma, is in early labor as I write this. Luckily her signs have been crystal clear and we have been checking her constantly, so we have plenty of time with this cow.


I am once again reminded of the need to establish a regular schedule. I need to do this for several reasons - to help my girls learn discipline and planning, to make sure I can get regular exercise and time in the Word, to adjust my body clock so that getting up at 8 a.m. isn't a really hard thing to do, and to just plain get more done.

I, by nature, or by the way I was raised, am the anti-thesis of planning and scheduling. Instead I just work like crazy on one project till I get tired of it, then search for another project to invest myself into. This isn't necessarily entirely negative. I get a lot done during these spurts of activity. But, when it comes to managing a household I think I need more.

I'm not looking for something overly rigid, or super scheduled. I know I would merely start doing something like that, then I would feel overwhelmed and stop without making any progress. Right now the step that I want to take is going to bed at 10 and waking up and 7 and taking the dog on a half hour walk before getting the girls up. I'd also like to get my desk organized and have Natalie's lessons planned out two weeks ahead. I'd like to also have times scheduled for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, as well as have menus planned out. Pray for me, if you can, this kind of progress is hard for me. I need God's help!

Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week

I have my card reader replaced and now I can update my blog with pictures.

Sad News

I am sad to share that we lost another calf. This calf was not stillborn, but died after a week. The calf had a tongue that hung out of his mouth. We had read all the articles and books and gotten advice from people. But, we didn't know that if a calf didn't get the proper amount of colostrum in the first few hours, that they are not likely to make it after that. Because of his tongue he probably didn't get the proper latch on his mom. We were very much saddened.


  On a brighter note, here is a more recent picture of Annabelle, our first calf. She is about two weeks old now and is very sweet and vibrant. I'll have to get a picture of her running around - that is even cuter.

Country Life

We are very blessed to live in the country. I went through a LOT of adjustments at first, but now that I am getting to feel at home here, as well as now that I am getting to know people in our area, I am starting to love it. Here is one of the many benefits of living where we live: wildlife abounds. I opened the door to our house the other evening and this is what I saw. I got up my oldest daughter who was in bed, but still awake and showed her too.

Frog At Night (With Flash)

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's Spring and...Ideas

Spring is in the air today. It is supposed to top 70 degrees F today. We may already be there. It's sunny and it's beautiful and I cannot wait for the flowers and the leaves to come out. It's been a long winter here in the Pacific Northwest. It is supposed to be nice weather all weekend and I hope to spend hours outside gardening, pruning, picking up, building trellises with my sweet husband, or even trimming trees with my arborist chain saw (my dh hopes for that activity, but I'm only able to do that when the baby is asleep, of course).

I've recently been inspired in a couple of different ways.

One idea came from a mom at CO-OP. She said that each one of her kids had their own lingere bag for their socks. So, the idea is when they take off their socks they put them straight in their bag. Then, when their bag is full you wash it. The bag then only has their socks in it, so they can fold them and put them away in their drawer (even the three year old - or four year old in my case).

Another inspiration came from Raising Godly Tomatoes. Now, I have to preface this to say that I am sure I do not agree with everything this mom writes, but I believe that she writes a lot that makes sense and is helpful for the raising of godly Christian children. The basic principle behind her site that I was inspired by is that you keep young children close to you - even when at home - until they are TOTALLY trustworthy - so that you can see where they are tempted by ungodliness and you can train them. Just, as with tomatoes - you don't want to wait until you have problems - but the pruning should start young and should continue until the fruit is ripe.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Here is a little more info on the birth of our first cow. Our new calf is named Annabelle. Jon discovered that the Momma cow, Pattina, was in labor about 1:30 this afternoon. Today was her due date. Jon's oldest daughter, Mariah, had a dance recital today at a Tulip festival, and so Jon penned up the cow and we hurriedly drove off to the dance recital. I wanted some flowers at the festival and Jon was reluctant to even spend those five minutes to purchase the flowers. (I purchased two flowers - a yellow crocus and a purple Tulip named Abigail, which is our youngest daughter's name.) Anyhow, Jon was in a hurry to get home.

Once we got home, Jon was pretty intense, and I craved some ice cream, so I took the four girls out to get some ice cream. They loved it, of course. On our way home, we meandered and drove in the countryside around our home a bit. When I got home I drove down to the barn. Out comes my husband (Jon) with a smile on his face. I knew. He said we were a half an hour too late. But, I'm glad we weren't there on time since this was the first time Jon helped a cow deliver. Jon assisted the birth as the cow was struggling a little. The gentleman we bought Pattina (the Momma) from, his name is Herb Berg and he came out and helped Jon. He said it probably would have been fine without assisting, but that Momma Cow was less tired and Baby Cow was less at risk, with us assisting.

We have two other soon to be Momma cows. The cows we have are called Pinzgauer's. The breed is pretty. The breed is really easy to work with (very tame). And, the breed is know for tenderness and low cholesterol. We raise the cows as breeding stock and when they are male, for meat. We have eleven steers (including a couple of Free Martins and one young Bull) we are raising for meat. Also, we grass feed our cattle. Pasture (or grass) feeding is healthy for all livestock. The meat we get is leaner and full of healthy Omega 3's.

Pretty much, my husband does all the work. He loves it. Our girls love the cows too. I think it teaches them to be tough, helps with work ethic, and also contributes to their love of God's creation.

Here are two more pictures:

Momma Cow and Baby

Baby Cow Annabelle

Baby Girl

Announcing Our Very First Baby Cow - It's A Girl!!!

Born to Pattina (Momma Cow) this evening on Saturday, April 5, 2008. Our girls (the human kind) are very excited! More details to come.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Beauty & The Beast Narration & Hummingbirds

Beauty And The Beast Narration

I remember reading Beauty And The Beast as a child, and being sorely disappointed when the popular Beauty And The Beast movie came out. The two stories are nothing alike. My girls and I read the original Beauty and the Beast yesterday and they loved it. I had them read two pages each and I read the rest.

The reading of the original is pretty challenging, but they were so curious about the story that I think they really enjoyed it. I would stop them periodically in the reading and ask them what a phrase or a word meant.

Another thing that happened spontaneously with the reading that the girls (the 6 and 9 year old) really seemed to enjoy, was an acting exercise. I asked the girls what a word meant (an emotion) and asked them to act it out. The girls acted shy and silly, but I could tell they enjoyed it. I was asked by the nine year old if we could do this every day. I knew I stumbled upon some effective learning tool. Later, I had them draw their own Beauty And The Beast characters.

Broccoli & Hummingbirds

We have been having quite the cold snap. We planted Broccoli starts a couple of weeks back, knowing they are supposed to be cold weather tolerant, as long as there wasn't a deep freeze. Then, for most of a week, we had snow. You can see my picture below of snow on March 29. We live a little higher than town at 600 feet, but usually we are free and clear of any such weather by this time of year. Last night we had a deep freeze, I'm afraid, as it dipped to 24 degrees F. I hope the Broccoli survived.

The Hummingbirds seemed extra hungry because of the cold, as well. We hadn't hung up our feeders yet this year and usually hang them up before now. This morning, a cute little hummingbird flew up to my window and looked inside. He seemed to be looking all over. Then he flew to the other side of the house and looked in our front door. I figured I better get the feeders up. And, right away he made his way to the feeders.

Here is a pic: