Happy Thanksgiving

We are so very blessed!
"Moe and friends Frolicking" artwork by Avery.

Babies and braces

Milly had three babies!  
We were in Bham all day, but she waited on us to get home=)
The two dark ones are boys, and the white one is a girl.
Last time, Milly had 2 babies.  So far everyone is doing great.
Avery got braces---again--phase 2 is 30 months.  Poor girl has been through so much because of her cleft lip and palate.  Her entire braces time will be almost 5 years.
THEN, more plastic surgery and possible veneers will be needed.
This girl is certainly worth it all, I just hate that she has to endure it,  
We are blessed with good insurance that enables us to provide Avery with the care she needs.


Possibly the most laid back dog in the world.
At least if you are his family, or farm friends.
He is a wonderful farm dog!  He alerts us when a goat escapes fencing, when the donkey is being mean to the horses, when the UPS guy is here, and so much more.
Happy has been with us a year now, and we love him so!

Moe fun

For the Moe fan club.  Everyday, with Avery's math lesson, I get cartoons of Moe!
Since there wasn't room on this page, she used the angles for mouths, pretty creative.
We've been talking about Thanksgiving, so here is Moe's "thankful list".
So cute.
Some days the picture is related to the word problem, sometimes not.
I'm going to have an entire year's worth of math paper that will be very hard to throw away!
Emmi does the same thing, I'll show some of her artwork another day.

I pulled a calf!

Coralee calved just four days after arriving on our farm.  I had already been closely watching her for a day.  I also had the kids help me walk her through the milking barn a few times as training.  The next morning when we went out to milk, I knew she would calve soon!  Things did not progress as quickly as with our other cows.  I'm certainly no expert, but when we saw feet for an hour, and things weren't progressing, I began to get a little nervous.  
So I put on my leather gloves, and began to help, with each contraction.  After a few, 1/2 of the calf was born.  I cleared the nose and mouth, and let Coralee finish the delivery.  Emmi has seen a few calf births, and goat births.  Wes stayed with us this time, and made some pretty weird faces. 
As we talked about it though, Wes thought it was pretty amazing how God created the whole process to work.
This is our smallest calf yet.  If you've been with us a while, you know all of our cows have theme names, for example, all of Lilly's daughters will be named after flowers.  The boy's names don't have to be in the theme, because they will either be butchered or sold.  We did think of a boy name for this little guy, that fits the theme though.  Emmi wanted the theme to be jewels this time, Coral isn't exactly the first gemstone that comes to mind, but it is used in jewelry.  Anyway, our little bull is named Garnet!
The general rule for a Jersey, is milk her within 12 hours.  Of course Garnet had to come along and DH babysat him while Coralee was being milked.  They have both been very easy to deal with, we're very thankful for that!

Kitchen, later that day

So, here are are more pictures of our kitchen being torn up.
In the ceiling, above a cabinet, we discovered this......a very heavy, cast iron "thing" that a chimney pipe went trough at one time.
And looking up through that hole, we saw this.  OK, we knew from being in the attic, that this chimney was there.
The last of the sheet rock coming down.  We are leaving the wall on the right as it is.  There is a built in set of cabinets there that we believed were added in the 60's.  We think the original steps down to the cellar were there.
The next day I sprayed all the paper spots with water, and scraped them off.  Then I mopped the wall with vinegar-water.  There were some weird smells in all those layers of wall.  Then I filled nail holes with wood putty.  Next will be to do a little sanding, then prime and paint!  I will probably take the ceiling down before I paint though.  YES, I talked DH into pulling the ceiling down too!  There is a door way on one end, and a cased opening on the other end, so those are good starting and ending points to expose the wood, but leave the sheet rock up in the connecting areas.

New cow!

Welcome Coralee!!
Since Becky the foster cow went home, we've been low on milk.  Lilly is in the drying-up process, after 10 months of milking.  Ten months is pretty good for her, since she is 1/2 Angus.

Josie is doing well, but we are bottle feeding 2 calves.  That left us with  only about a gallon a day for ourselves, which made it hard to make yogurt, and other extras.  Also, we knew we needed another cow by spring, because Josie would need to be dried up before her next calf, and have a resting period.
Coralee came from the same farm as Josie.  She should calve within a few weeks.
The welcoming committee came from way across the pasture to meet Coralee.  
Spot, the rental bull, was picked up as Coralee was delivered--we hope he did his job, and that we now have 8 pregnant cows.  
Peaches, Jenna's birthday cat, thinks she runs the place!
And look at Ginger, the kids say she's starting to look like a wooly mammoth with that winter coat.


We've been so busy lately, I can barely keep up with all the posts I want to post.
Kristen and Waid's birthdays are just a week apart.  Kristen is working 6 - 12 hour shifts a week.  Since she was able to visit on this day, we figured we better combing celebrations.
We took off candles when Waid was done, and let Kristen blow out  two candles on one end, and four on the other, for 24.  She did a silly pout because she did not get her own cake.

A week before his birthday, Waid informed me he would like a stuffed octopus.  I have no clue where that idea came from, thank goodness for Amazon.
He loves construction vehicles that talk.  Although he is 10, mentally he is about 5.
Kristen always finds neat presents.
Happy Birthday Waid and Kristen!

Did you ever just wake up and think......

I'll demolish my kitchen today???  Neither did we.
In the corner pictured below is the old propane water heater.  When we switched the whole house to natural gas, and put the new water heater in the attic, we thought we'd just leave the old one in the kitchen corner, until we got some other things done.
That was, until we discovered a friend was in need of a propane water heater.  SO we started out this morning, with the goal of simply getting the water heater out, but knew it would mean cutting the wall/cabinet to get it out....it was very tightly wedged in there.  Who builds a cabinet around a water heater?
My plan was to cut the green part straight across to be even with the open cabinet, and just paint the "new corner" green, and do something simple to extend the counter top.  The whole goal was to keep it simple, and decide at a later date whether to get a cabinet man to change some things, get re-faced, etc.
After the layer of wood that made up the cabinet, there was dark brown paneling.
Then the thin linoleum type material that looked like tile.
Then there were 2 layers of wallpaper.  But then.......
Tongue and groove!!!!!!!!!  
We decided we could not re-cover this "piece of history".  SO we did what any farm house loving people would do....proceeded to tear down all of the cabinets on one wall, and part of another.
Yes, we did this in the middle of a bathroom build, and all the other odds and ends we have going on.
Yes, DH may have finally lost his mind.  I can hardly believe that he went along with this spur of the moment, no plan demo!

Chicken day

We butchered 8 chickens the other day.  
We cut the parts up this time, instead of leaving them whole.
Things went a little slow, but 8 is better than none.

Interestingly enough, cutting them up produced the same number of meals (for our family) as leaving them whole.  So 8 chickens make 8 meals.
Farm girl Emmi loves this stuff!

Afterwards, Emmi pointed out to me that maybe it's time to clean the golf cart....since there is grass growing on the floorboard=)

New freezer ordeal

We have this storage room off of the den.  It's about 7 x 12 feet.  
It's crammed full of canning supplies, books, sewing stuff, and much more.
The two pigs will soon be butchered, so we had to buy another freezer.
I measured the door opening, and had it all figured out to take advantage of every inch of space.
But things did not go as planned----do they ever=)!
When DH moved the gun safe, we discovered a pipe that we had forgotten about.
The new freezer would fit between the tall pipe and the older freezer, but there is a small white pipe that sticks up, by DH's left hand.  The only other arrangement for the room would mean pulling everything out and rearranging the shelving units---ugh!!!!
Then we put our heads together.  He came up with the idea to chisel the concrete out from around the pipe, to get the cap as low as possible.  I came  up with the idea to put a board around it, with a hole in the board for the pipe, and then adjust the other legs to level it.  (see the board with the hole in it?)
The two ideas combined worked!  Not only was I thrilled to get the freezer in the spot that was originally planned, I was even more thrilled not to spend a day emptying out that room!!
Even Charlie the rooster was relieved!, not really, just thought it was a good picture=).


Avery found an origami book in some old school stuff.
The book showed how to make this snowman.
They took the box shape and ran with it.
They made a minion for Waid to decorate.
DH got a man minion taped to his dashboard.

Avery is holding the mama minion before her haircut.
Here's the mama after her haircut.
One thing's for sure, the kids are certainly not lacking in the creativity/imagination category!