Thursday, February 25, 2010

More baby goats!

 Two days ago Marshmallow gave birth to 3 beautiful girls. Two black and white ones and one tiny solid white one that looks just like her mom. Good job Marshmallow! Unfortunately in the night after the births we almost lost the white one we named mini Marshmallow or mini mellow. She somehow got separated from her stall and into another where she was trampled by Tippy the other mama goat. Since she was not in the right stall there was no one to keep the tiny one warm and she suffered hypothermia. Needless to say we saved her and she is now a bottle fed house goat. 3 seems to be more than she wanted anyway or maybe she just thought something was wrong with the baby and so left her to die. She does not seem worried about her baby at all but that could just be because she knows I'm taking care of it. Mini is very week but starting to eat and trying to walk. We look forward to her growing strong and and one day being a great milker for us. Praise the Lord we found her in time for she has stolen all of our hearts. Most of the babies will be sold in the future although i wish we didn't have to. But hubby says that of course we don't have room for them all and we really do need the money for feed until we can grow our own. Due to the fact that they are great milkers I expect to get 300-400 for each of Marshmallow's babies {med-larg breed Saanen/ mini Nubian mix} and 100-200 for each of Tippy's babies {small breed mini Nubian}.Of course if anyone is interested in one of our babies you can leave me a message here or email me at There is a screening process as we will only allow them to go to good homes that really want or need them and will provide them with natrual care.
  We choose the mix the Saanen and mini Nubian to get a great milker that gives more than the mini Nubian and has more butterfat but is slightly smaller. Our Nubian gives us an avg of half a gal after the second kidding while our Saanen gives us 1-1.5 gal a day. The Nubian would be great for a small family or couple and the Saannen for a larger family or someone interested in drinking milk as well as making cheese or soap. We do all three and I'm more than happy to help anyone looking to learn cheese making or soap making. Just shoot me a email or look at the link for fiasco farms. It's a great place to start.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Micro Barn for a Micro Farm

  Two days ago we started the building of a mini barn with attached chicken coop to make access easier and keeping track of the kids a breeze.It's nearly done I'm proud to announce that it has three stalls the next one bigger than the last to accommodate the different sizes of our 3 grown goats. Mommy goats of  course received bigger stalls to allowed room for the kids. Each goat now has their own pallets for sleeping and keeping hay off the ground, water buckets, feed buckets and for the kids cinder blocks to play on. In the future lights will be installed to make early morning milking and feeding easier. We are still waiting on Marshmallows babies to get here. I'm so excited to see them i have gotten to feel and see them moving, its amazing.
  A nice coop has been attached to the left side in order to make sure we can care for all the animals in one place eliminating carrying buckets of water the length of a football field. Tomorrow a large walk in run will be installed for the chickens to keep them safe...we have a hawk were trying to get rid of. They will of course be allowed free run of the yard but, we have to be extra careful right now. The coop will also have a light in the future to help with winter heating.
  The first set of raised gardens are being place on just the other side of the fence so that i can keep track of baby critters and the kids in the other fenced areas ( playground and more gardens). Speaking of fencing hubby has dug the holes needed down our property line for our privacy fence needed to keep our boy goat in, lol. He breaks out to come visit us in the house. He's also already set the posts and has it ready to start the rest.
  Now, down to the hard stuff getting the family on a working schedule.........its in progress and not all the kids are real happy about it but I think they get the point that its here to stay.  Most of the kids seem very content in knowing what is going to go on when and where everything should go. Even my youngest has commented and said ty. I've made a few more adjustments to school so that reports are done on Friday instead of the weekend. I didn't like school interfering with seeing the grandparents. Of course they don't have all the reading on Friday or the other writing assignments since there are two one page book reports or reviews done. Hopefully everything will iron itself out soon and things will be even more peaceful.
  I have decided to attend the Ultimate Homeschool Expo  Ultimate Homeschool Expo and look forward to its starting on May 3, 2010. Cindy Rushton is just wonderful and she always has great speakers and teachers. I had a blast at the Ultimate Woman's Expo Ultimate Womens Expo and imagine that this will be just as fun and helpful. Well its time to tuck in kids so i better get to it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Ugly Frog

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

I've been working on my ugly frog all day. Yes, even throughout the seminar, thankfully my children cooperated with me! Homeschool, yep that's my frog. I have plans and grades that need to be entered on the computer, somehow this quarter i fell behind on doing it. At least i did keep records. Also, motivating my children to just get it done instead of wasting the day fighting me over it. So far so good. Were having to redo a few assignments and i realized these are the areas where they should be doing the work together instead of separate. This means of course i need to make some changes. So... I'll work all that out as well..
 Here goes my plan excluding Bible because i don't count it as school. I dont feel they should be graded in that area.
   McGuffey's 4th Reader- The class will now be done together with reading Mon.-Thur. With review questions they may answer together on Fri. (10 min.)

Free Reading- Two chapters a day read together Mon.-Fri. then discussed. A one page report on what they read that week will be done over the weekend individually and due Sun. night by 7 pm. (30min) Current book is Kidnapped by David Balfour.

Math- Each child will have one page of math currently 9 problems ##.## * ##.## Mon-Fri. (15-30min depending on the child)

Copy work- Each child will do one page a day in cursive. We are currently working on The Rules of Civility by George Washington. Rules 1-22. We will do these over and over #1 on Mon. #2 on Tue......through the set then repeat until they are learned and practiced in daily life. (30 min.)

Spelling- Copy each word from the lesson 3 times each on Mon. Tue. study for 5 min. Wed. make sure they know what each word means and how to use it. Thur. study for 5 min. Fri. Test on 15 words from the list. (5-15 min)

Penmanship- The Palmer method. Each child will spend 15 min Mon.-Fri. practicing penmanship in the lesson they have progressed to. (15 min)

History- One chapter a day will be read together Mon.-Fri. With a one page report on what they read that week will be done individually and due Sun. night by 7 pm. (45min.) Current book is A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens.

Total time spent in school a day = 2.5 hrs.-3hrs. This gives a bit of wiggle room.
Total days a year 160

Science, farming, wood working, PE, Computer skills, Spanish, Gardening and other interests will be followed and encouraged in non school atmosphere. Meaning outside as much as possible or allowed to us Lesson Pathways after the chosen lesson is approved by me. This will give them more of a choice in what they study as far as somethings go and how much time they spend on it. I do not include science in my general lesson plan because they have a natrual interest in it and i like seeing the directions they choose to follow. We also live on a homestead........there's science everywhere, lol.

  Feel free to comment or add suggestions / ideas. I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


   I'm pregnant! Yep the Lord has chosen to send us sweet child #5. Im about 8 weeks pregnant {we think} which puts me due on September 19th. What a blessed family we are. Now, what a busy family we are,lol. There's lots to do to get ready and i don't like to wait till the last minute so im starting now. We've decided if possible a crib will be made from an old barrel and covered with pretty fabric if its a girl or left with the nice stained wood if its a boy. Here are the easy directions Of course there is also the issues of space since this is a small home. Bunk beds and shelves will be put up and about 1/4 of all our stuff cleared out. Hubby cant figure out what in the world we could get rid of but i see a few starting points.
  A new barn is being built as well as a new coop. This should start this Wednesday and be finished the same day. Keep your fingers crossed!  It will have closer and more convenient location and layout making it easier to tend all the animals at once as a family. We're hoping this will strengthen us as a family and create an more fun atmosphere since we will be able to share the work and joke around more.  I hope it will also make learning and teaching about the animals easier and give me more chances to see how the children interact with them and their preferences.
  Home school is well on its way to ending for the yr. Due to exciting events we'll be taking a break that we normally wouldn't. Of course we will continue to do a bit of math and read daily but that's about it other than book reports of course. This will leave more time for playing and studying personal interests.
WOW, what an exciting beginning for a new year. Thank You Lord it truly looks like this will be a wonderful and interesting journey.
 I will be updating the garden list here shortly. We were able to get some wonderful organic heirloom seeds from Oh i almost forgot we just bought 20 more chickens to stock up our flock after the fox and dog attack. Amazingly enough we were able to get the Buffintons, Astrolope, Americanas a couple of mixes that were to cute, a breed i cant remember that's reddish and a rooster that isn't fully grown yet but weight 15 lbs.! He was a runt and so we got him at a nice price instead of paying 30$. We are hoping that by mixing him in the new breeds will still be great egg layers but larger for more meat. Oh and  honestly hes beautiful. I cant wait to see how the chicks turn out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning Outside

Ok so today we spring cleaned outside. The back yard is looking great, we even took the pool out of the back yard since the pump burned up adding a great space for 3 sister gardens. We set up a nice porch at the back door so there is no more slipping down a ramp. We also used the mass amount of pine needles we have to create non muddy pathways throughout the back yard to make tending animals easier and more pleasant.
Tippy had two beautiful babies that are set up in the closest mini barn in the playground most of the time though they are let out to play during the warmest times of the day. Tippy really seems to enjoy her time away from the heard with her two little ones. Marshmallow is due to have her babies anytime now i believe since were not real sure when she was actually bred. Shes huge and obviously ready to get them out, lol. I cant wait either, more babies YEA!
We have set up an appointment to buy more black Astrolope hens and chicks, also some Americanas on Friday, maybe even a couple of silkies. The only chickens left to buy will be some white buffingtons and golden buffingtons. Maybe well get buckeyes again at some point but not this year. We took out the two rooster game chickens for dinner after they caused a fuss with one of the neighbors. Apparently they thought that Mrs. Nan, a sweet older lady, and her nurse do not get up early enough like 4am!
The men have been steadily working on the plumbing for the bathroom and that laundry room. It looks as though they will finish it tonight. Its been an amazing amount of work for them.
Well off to spend a few min with hubby before he has to go back under the house.