Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mainly a barn ramble

First I want to share this grand baby picture! See the shiner?

It really wasn't a shiner. It is chalk! Some how he managed to get it on that one area of his eye. The kids spend hours playing with sidewalk chalk on the porch. I am sure he some how put his face in a chalk picture as he went scooting off the porch. That is his new thing. He doesn't go to the steps. He lays down and scoots off. The problem is our porch is tall so he has about a foot drop after he scoots as far as he can before gravity takes over.
I sorted my sheep and brought them to the front side this weekend because I knew the were close to lambing. I just didn't know how close.

This is one of a set of twins. The other one and mama didn't want their picture taken. :)
Here is what happens when I ring the dinner bell.

This is a close up of my assorted sheep and goats. They are waiting on me to pour feed out for them. I have every color and just about every assorted breed you can buy here in W. Texas. None are "quality" or pure bred stock. They are gentle and hardy.

All of these but two should be expecting. They are the daddies to all the new babies. You can see the billy in the center of this picture. He is the red blob.

Today I am making bread. I haven't found the time or energy to do it in a week or two. I know that everyone will be thrilled to have fresh bread instead of crackers with meals.

Monday night when we came in from Junction I really didn't want to fix a meal so I cheated. I fixed biscuits and gravy and called it supper. Kids thought they had gotten a treat beyond words. It was quick and easy!

Yesterday I made stroganoff out of left overs. I had potato soup that needed using, the rest of the gravy and some mushrooms. I cooked some parsley and garlic noodles added the warm gravy mixture. Tossed a couple of table spoons of sour cream in and called it lunch. It was a hit! I guess I need to find something to really cook for supper tonight. I have avoided cooking all week it seems. :) We are getting low of freezer food, mainly beef so I am having to be more creative.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Life Lesson of Giving

Yesterday we "skipped" school. I think what each child learned yesterday will take them a lot further than not missing that day of school. The talk and the thought put into giving the goat. The understanding that the money raised will go to help those that need help. Not just kids, but people hurt and in need of physical therapy. While they don't really "get it". They saw many people giving from their heart yesterday to help a good cause.

When they started the Rehab auction on a cake J nearly fell over. They started it at $50 and it went up from there! As she watched cakes, pies and cookies sell for $50 to over $100 each she was in shock. I looked at her and said W. Texans have giving hearts. She nodded. One cake sold 5 times. They would sell it for about $100 then the new owner would say "Sell it again!" I don't think they fully grasp how much money was made for Rehab during that 30-45 minutes. My son said about $6000.

Each child saw giving at its best. Each child saw and felt the respect and the feelings of good that come from sharing what you have. They were touched in ways that they will carry with them the rest of their lives I hope.

They came home talking about all they saw. I pray this was a life lesson that will help each of them develop a giving heart. I am sure they will have a soft spot for rehab their whole life now. My soft spot came from growing up watching the Rehab telethon with Rex Allen and other stars. Calling in our pledge and feeling apart. My older boys did the same. Then as they started with livestock they started donating a goat or sheep to them like this. What a wonderful tradition it is.


Here are the promised pictures of the goat getting ready for her big day!
First the goat, Angle gets a touch up coat of nail polish on her horns and toes.

It is 6:30 AM and about 40 degrees.

Ribbon time! This was a labor of love for sure! Each bow is held on with a rubber band.

Sale time!

This is the lady from Rehab learning about MN and the fact she wanted to do this.

Here she is showing off her goat in the auction ring. There were lots of laughter and smiles at her goat. Junction at one time was the Angora goat capital of the World. This sale barn has sold a lot of angoras, but seriously doubt one as fancy as this.
MN has such a serious face here. She told me later that when she came out and everyone was making a big deal and taking pictures it made her uncomfortable. "Mom, that's not why I gave them Angel. I wanted to help people."

This is MN showing the goat to her new owners. In front of the lady in blue are two cute little girls about 2 and 4. They are the new owners of Angel. Angel brought in $95 for Rehab. This is a maybe $20 goat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sneak Preview

We are off to the auction, just wanted to share one quick picture before we left. I will share the whole show when we get home.

Isn't this the cutest little goat you ever saw?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Week!

I am SOOOOOO ready!

We have had a good weekend. We didn't go camping. I don't regret it. It would have been fun. Kids continued to fight and bicker into Sat. It was a lot of petty stuff that was driving me nuts! Funny it drove dad nuts too! So he was coming down on them as hard as I have been... OK, harder! Finally they had a wake up call! From there the weekend went great!

We had a great visit with oldest son and his family. His wife is due about Jan. 1. We are talking bets on when she has this little boy. His daddy was 6 weeks early and hasn't been late for anything he could help since. Daddy says if this baby isn't early it is his mama's fault! I admire her, she is working to finish this semester of collage, be mommy to a busy 5 yo, wife, my ds's secretary and be pregnant all at the same time.

We did a lot of working in the garden this weekend. I bought a weed eater this summer that I really liked. It had a cultivator attachment you could buy. We talked about it and decided to buy it. WOW! I am impressed! For what we want it works great! I have a raised bed garden so no huge areas to till, but lots of about 3 ft by 9 ft areas inside cinder blocks. A regular tiller wouldn't work. This worked great. Three passes and it is tilled. I plan on covering the beds with gin trash (cotton husk, stalks and burrs). I have a couple of piles of it from the last two years that we used for livestock feed. It has decomposed nicely. A friend said one year he dumped a bunch in his garden wet it good, then covered it with black plastic for a few months. On cold mornings the steam would rise all winter. The next spring it would grow anything! It was the best garden he ever had. I am thinking of doing something along this line to kill out a lot of the weed seeds in the beds. The beds that I plan on using for winter food I will just add some of the decomposed gin trash.

While part of the kids and I sorted my sheep the rest worked on some fence repairs then on to cut some fire wood. My sheep are all looking rather fat. They should start spitting out babies soon. I moved them to the front side where it will be easier to watch them. I have about 80 head. I sorted off my late lambs that were boys. They will be going to the sale in the next few weeks.

We managed to get our next beef sorted out so he can have some extra feed to finish him off. DH put a bail of hay in the pen and I will be sharing my cow feed with him for a few weeks. Then we will have beef! I am ready! We are down to not a lot of beef. The fact that this calf wants to act snotty has nothing, well very little to do with the fact I want him in the freezer.

DH has us enough fire wood to last a while. Not enough for all winter, but for a while. We haven't built a fire yet. We have turned on the electric heater in the living room a few mornings. I have shut my bedroom window to about 4 inches and moved the fan out of it. :)

Tomorrow we are having an un-school school day. MN has decided she wants to donate one of her goats to Rehab, which is the West Texas Rehabilitation Center She found out they help kids and she wants to help kids so she is donating one of her angora goats. To make it even more "special" the girls are decorating it. They have so far painted her toe nails and horns and combed her hair. In the morning they plan on covering her in ribbons. They have a bunch made into bows already on tiny rubber bands. She should be cute. I hope she stops the show so to speak and brings a huge amount for rehab. MN would be thrilled to help so much. I will try to get pictures of the whole process tomorrow.

For now I am off here to spend time with DH.

Maybe I am up to typing this....

Everyone is outside so I can boo hoo all I want, or don't want right?

I decided to see if I can just scan her written pages. I really don't think I can type it. I do promise this will be the last Sam news. My heart can't take much more.

I refused to even read this for about 3 days after she wrote it. Do not read it without LOTS of tissue!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We lost him this morning. Thanks for all the prayers. As you can guess we could still use some since there isn't a dry eye in the house.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Guess I'll Post...

It hasn't been a bad week, but it sure hasn't been a good one. Sam is still hanging in there. He looks terrible and I feel bad for him. He has a spot draining up high on his good hip. I am glad it is draining, but wish it wasn't infected. Funny I prayed over him for the infection to leave his body and next time I checked this spot that I didn't even know was there had bust open. I just thank God it is draining now. He has eaten some. I go out and make him stand up along. He is trying to sit some now which I see as an encouragement instead of just flopping down.

The kids have been less than helpful this week. Monday I spent at least 4 hours on the swing with kids. It was productive and tiring. No huge issues, just little things and in part not wanting to do school :). Of course when mom is swinging the other three seem to forget they need to do school. Monday not every one even finished school. Chores getting done?? HA!

Tuesday was a bit better at least 1/2 of them got school and chores done. The fact that it cost them a ticket for each chore not done MIGHT have played a part in some of the motivation to get through.

Today I have 3 still doing school. MJ did his today's yesterday to avoid dishes. He has dish duty until further notice. Dad was less than happy when he discovered MJ was avoiding dishes again/some more. T is having LOTS of redo's in school. Why? The reason is very simple. "I don't like reading the lessons." Oh wow! What a reason! When she takes the TIME to read the lesson she seldom has re-do's. Today she was asking me how to round 367 to the nearest hundred. I started to help her. Stopped and ask if she had read the lesson? Silence! "Did you read the lesson? That is a yes or no question." Anyone want to guess what her final answer was? :) Lets just say I didn't help!

They are all 4 tippy toeing around me today. I told them to start the week off if they didn't help and if it was a bad week there would be no camping. I was tired and about 1/2 sick when I got home. They have not been model children this week to say the least. Mom resigned this morning. As of this morning I have no plan to go camping. Maybe dad will take them. I don't even care! I will send the food for Sat. breakfast with older son and DIL. If dad doesn't go and they want they can take the camper. That will give them a warm place and a frig. and two cook stoves. I don't know what will happen. I know I feel better no longer worrying about trying to get it all done.

I have granola cooking to take. Part of it is without almonds as I forgot to dump them in after I chopped them up. Oh well! I made a double batch.

Tomorrow I need to go help unload wheat. Our wheat order will be to a friends house about 7 AM. We will have 5000 lbs of wheat to off load. Some is buckets, some 50 lb sacks. Being early morning of a weekday it may be hard to find enough strong male backs.

I also need to go vote. I like to vote absentee since life has a way of happening to me. I need to go get a ton of goat feed to start feeding my sheep and goats some. I need to give MJ a hair cut before we have to come up with a female name instead of MJ. Tomorrow is therapy so I have to be in town by 3 for that. Add the fact that I have a nice long Sam's list and I don't see it all happening. I can go do the voting and feed on Friday since I won't be camping. :) I can't do those things today because school work isn't done. Tomorrow they shouldn't have school work. If they do then they will be staying home with me on Friday to finish. They will have all weekend to do it!

As I sort out what I can do when I am feeling less overwhelmed. I will just be the bad guy and they can adjust! It was their choice to not do school and chores in a timely manor.

I do have supper cooking. I started out making potato soup for supper. Sounded OK, but not great. I really wanted something with more spice. Like.... green chili stew! Mmmmmm I gave in to the thought. I don't make good green chili stew. That has to come from New Mexico. Mine is a poor imitation. Even at that it sure smells good. I can't wait to try it!

I have been multi tasking for a while with this post. While I have been working on it Sam has gotten off the porch and used the bathroom. He has moved around the yard a good bit. He is now laying out in the yard. I am very pleased! I did have to laugh as my windows were all filled with children excitedly watching him do his business! MN said he still looks beautiful to her! One of the others had said he looks funny with out his leg. :) Everyone keep praying!

If you read this whole post sorry for the whine. Guess today is just a whiny day for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MN's Poem for Sam

She wrote this the day he went to the vet. We didn't know if we would ever see him again. Get out your tissues.

Sam..... I Love You
I Love you,
Sam. When
you were a
pup I Loved you.
When you played
to rough I loved
You. Sam I love
you. Now I feel
hurt like you. I
can't believe what
happened. Yesterday
I missed you running
with me. I wish
Today was never
here! Sam, I love
you! Come back!
I miss you! Sam.....
.... I love you.
I'll pray, just keep
holding on! I love you.
Hold on I'm coming.
by: MN
Sam is holding on, but today he isn't eating well so I am worried. Please keep him in prayer.

She's At It Again....

The Meadow

I am in
the meadow
far beyond
Sitting on the
soft green
grass listening
to the birds,
deer, the rustling
of the grass
and the sweet
whispers of
God. I never
felt so quiet
and safe. Suddenly
the quiet was broke
by screams. I
stood up and looked
around. I saw kids
with scrapes and
bruises. Cuts and burns. Hearts
wounded and stomped
on. Listen! Look!
They are crying
and hurting,
for someone
to love them!
Just listen
to them! Look
at the lives
you can save!
Help them!
They want you!
They need you!
They must have
You! You foolish
person! You say
its to hard to
deal with us!
When we need
you! You say
you can't
foster or
adopt us!
Why not pray!?
You say you can't
stand seeing us!
doesn't it not hurt
to see us hurt?
Please help!
set us free!
break our chains!
knock our bricks
off! Set us free!
Thank you! Keep
Praying! We need
Them! Thank you
for setting us free!

Thanks MN
a former abused child age 11

PS keep praying! We need them a lot!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sam Update

He ate this morning! That is a big deal. He didn't eat at all yesterday and drank very little water. I did take a syringe and give him water to insure he was getting some liquid. Lots of prayers from lots of people this morning he was hungry. I had a little table scraps, a little milk and dry dog food and almost a can of dog food. All left overs from us trying to feed him yesterday. I warmed the dog food/milk/scraps and took it to him. He would only eat out of my hand. That works I scooped he ate. I managed to hide his two pills in while he gobbled. I sent for the can of dog food. He ate that too. I figure that is enough for right now. Will give him more about lunch. I am just very thankful he ate!

He looks horrible. He is so skinny and with that leg gone at the hip it really looks strange, then the two middle toes of the other back foot are gone. I may need to change his name to Lucky, don't you think? I do pray today he starts moving around with a little more ease. I hate seeing him in so much pain. One of the pills we give him is to help with pain. Right now he is on a pallet on the porch in the sun. I am sure the sun will feel really good to him right now. He was cold earlier. I will be watching to make sure he doesn't over heat.

Thanks for all the prayers. Keep praying, he has a long road to recovery.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hiding Out, not really, well sorta :)

We have had a great day! Had a great visit with all the other Outbackers. I came in earlier that everyone else for some down time.

This morning we went to a flea market. Dad bought a grill for the RV. I would share what I bought, BUT since I want to surprise someone that reads this blog I will have to wait to share :) !

Then this afternoon we went to the Admiral Nimitz Museum This is an awesome museum on WW II, Pacific Theater. I didn't think I would like it. It was hard and at times graphic, but a very good reminder that freedom is NEVER free. Kids really liked it.

We didn't have time to "do" Fredericksburg. The museum took a lot longer than I thought it would. I told the kids we "Might" come back in the spring when the bluebonnets are in bloom and do more. Do it on a week day when there is less people.

Ok kids are all now in here and there is just not enough space for kids to bounce and get ready for bed and me to type. I will post probably when I get home or Monday. All have a blessed tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dog Update!

Vet said x-ray showed the other hip is OK not dislocated. He ate good last night and is standing this morning. Sam will loose one back leg and a couple of toes off the other foot. Prognoses is good! Keep praying and Thank You all who have been praying!

Dog Prayers

Yesterday afternoon as we were getting ready for our trip to town I heard Sam barking. At least I thought I heard him. He has been missing for several days. Older son was just walking up so I motioned for him to follow me. Off we went. Sure enough we found him not to far from the house under a bush. He had been hung up in a fence for a LONG time. One back leg I knew at a glance was gone. The other one isn't broke, but his hip on that side may be messed up. Sam is the dog in the chair.

Son and I discussed how to move him without hurting him more. He is quivering in pain, yet let me examine him and never even growled or whimpered. We decide to son will go for the Ranger and the bute (large animal pain killer). I just set and pray and pet him and try to figure out how to get him out from under this bush. Son comes back with his BIL and we give Sam some bute, it is a paste. Then they are off to find a stretcher to easy him onto.

They come back with a piece of 1/4 inch steal that will just slide in the back of the ranger. Again God provided as they cleaned the ranger bed out day before yesterday.

We ease the steal under Sam and I hold his collar as they slide it in the Ranger. Then I crawl in with him. You feel every bump as you know he is feeling them to the car. We slide him into the excursion and son takes off for the vet.

I have to take off for our CPS visit the other direction. I do take time to send out and SOS of prayer to as many people as I can quickly do.

I am waiting on the vet to call this morning to know if he made it through the night. If he has to much damage in the other hip to save him. When son left last night after the vet had filled him with pain killers and meds for infection he was standing. That is a good sign, but so far the vet hasn't called yet.

I hate waiting! I am a doer. I want to at least pretend I am doing something. I am doing all I can I am praying and have everyone I know praying. I know that is what I am to do. I just wish the vet would call! I then need to milk and go get produce. We are planning on leaving for camping sometime after lunch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CPS Visit, or lack there of!

You gotta love our CPS! Worker called yesterday wanting to come out and visit. She wanted to do it today, which was fine by me. Get it behind us. Nine thirty arrives and passes. I get a couple of phone calls that no one talks on. We all feel sure it is a lost CPS worker. Finally she gets enough service to talk. She is not even on the right HWY. I manage to get what HWY she should be on out and loose her. She goes back to the wide spot in the road to get service about 9 miles from our turn off. She gets directions and ask if I will be going to town anytime soon. I am going this afternoon. She ask to just meet in town! She was so flustered it was funny. We all had a great laugh and will see her at DQ about 5:30. Last time she was afraid of the cows. I told everyone then she would be calling and asking us to come to town for meetings. it IS funny but sad at the same time. What happens if they really NEED to find us? Of course they could ask at the little store that IS the wide spot in the road. They might even get better cell phone coverage.

A month ago J would have really been bent out of shape over this. It would have bothered her. She was laughing right along with us. Helped finish the cooking and went on to do school without any fallout. A month ago there would have been fallout!

Come to find out she used her "GPS" to find us. I died laughing when she told me that! I told her she was lucky she got as close as she did. Last person that tried that ended up in the wrong county even. She has been out once before. She also has written directions that I have provided. Maybe I need to print off a map and give her.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Amazing Day!

Today was to be our field trip. I had found out Monday that J lied about being caught up on school to go to the Retreat. Ooops! Not a good move. I had checked with DIL to see if she would take the other three. J had worked hard, well sorta hard to get caught up in the hopes of swaying me. (I hear some of you chuckling.) Then yesterday MJ yet again didn't do dishes on his day. It isn't manly. I let dad talk to him. I just put him on dish duty until further notice. T decided to play games with the other two girls. She got busted on it. They are both mad at her still. Then I discover that MN lied about getting her school finished yesterday evening. This after I point blank ask her.

I REALLY wanted to go! REALLY REALLY! But, I couldn't allow this type behaviour to be rewarded. We stayed home. I was expecting a rough day filled with attitudes. What I got was an amazing day of peace!

J and MN worked on catching up on school. I had the CD's playing praise and worship music low. They sang along off and on all day with the CDs. They worked and laughed and generally were joyful to be around as they did school. T volunteered to go clean the camper. MJ did his dishes then his laundry and generally was fun to be around. He and T spend HOURS playing upstairs without fighting.

There was lots of teasing with the two girls down here. I am seeing a much more calm, content J. She laughs easy, but not a forced type laugh. She is starting to take teasing and give without getting bent out of shape.

After they finished school the two girls went for a walk. T wasn't invited. I am hoping some peer pressure will change her bossy, game playing attitude with the other two girls. They are mad at her over some lies. They "Love" her but don't trust her right now. I keep pointing out that they to have had their turn at lying and if Dad and I hadn't gave consequences and forgave them where would they be. I think the shunning consequence is quite appropriate. I don't think it will last long. J just can't shun well. MN on the other hand.... well she will finally get happy. I just don't understand how a child not of my womb can be mine in so many ways!

J is excited as she is loosing a LOT of weight. She probably has lost a full clothing size in her hips and waist. I am happy for her. She isn't dieting at all. She just doesn't have access to the junk food she use to eat. She was also talking about how well the acne treatment I bought her works. I don't think that has as much to do with it as the diet changes. Another change in her is her focusing ability. She was so proud yesterday because she stayed focused on school all day! Now my idea of being focused and hers aren't quite the same, but she is learning to handle her time and responsibilities better every day. She is taking pleasure in that.

Her mix and match way behind school is going good. I really feel we have about the right grade levels of school. She has ask me to install Bible, but I couldn't get the 3rd grade to install, so will dig out the 4th or 5th and let her do it. I am judging her abilities by the number of redos she has each day. Usually less than one per subject but 1-3 a day total. Some days a few more. Some days she is very excited and has NONE! Fractions seem to be one of her hardest areas of math. She will be done with the grade levels we are doing Jan. 1. Ready to jump to the next grade level. Her self-esteem is also rising as she succeeds in her school work and other areas.

Tomorrow we are having the CPS worker "visit" again for her monthly visit to see if J is still breathing. J laughed today about meeting her at the door doing deep breathing to show she was breathing and telling her bye! She is to be here about 9:30. I hope I get the cow milked and breakfast done before then. My light speed morning around here the past week or two don't reflect that happening.

I also need to decide if we are having Pizza for Friday night camping or hamburgers. Then either make Pizza dough and freeze it, flat bread for personal pizza's or hamburger buns for hamburgers. I am leaning toward the flat bread pizzas. It is easy and we can all decorate them to suit ourselves. Sat. night we are having dinner as a group with the other Outbackers. I am hoping it is fun not a drunk fest. :) If it is to wild we will just take our Taco Salad back to our RV and pig out! I made granola today so we will have that to take for breakfast. I have also been ask to make pancake batter. Toss in some eggs and maybe peppers and onions and we will be set!

All have a blessed tomorrow!

Monday, October 13, 2008

If it's Monday it must be laundry day

I really do love Monday. I like having the laundry caught up and the week return to normal, or our version of normal. I am hoping that this week will go well. It is shaping up to be very, very busy.

Today MN is off to Junction with her brother. I did warn him she is broke. He said that seems to happen to all of us. He also said he didn't think he paid her for last week. I pointed out she would much rather have her pay in 4 legged pay than $$$$. He agreed on that one. We will see just what she manages to drag home this week.

Tue. is MN's 12th birthday. She has ask for a cherry cheese cake. MMmmmm Sounds good, except I forgot to get the stuff on Sat. to make it. We usually wait until the weekend to have birthdays anyway. Since we will be gone this weekend not sure what we will do.

Wed. we are off for a field trip. It should be interesting. It is an exotic game ranch about an hour from us. We are going as a group then having a picnic there after we take the tour.

Thursday will be a make up day for school work that didn't get done on Wed. So it should be a low key stay at home day. Except that I have Heart to Heart that evening. So that means a trip to town. Maybe I will get birthday cake stuff then. It would be just a little late.

Friday we have produce then we are off for a weekend of camping. I guess I am looking fwd to it. :) It will be a new experience. We will be back Sunday to start the week all over.

I have the chore charts printed for this week. I am still enjoying the chore charts. Even if they aren't doing them as well as they were. I need to come up with a motivational tool to get the chores done. Maybe they will start loosing tickets for each chore NOT done correctly. This is a great site to make chore charts at: .

I also need to order some more of my yeast stuff today. I really do feel better when I take that nasty stuff daily for a while. I feel results in 24 hours. Then I get to feeling better and forget to take it.

I guess it is time to start my day. I have procrastinated and chatted until it is time to go milk cows and wait for a phone call to run MN to the hwy. All have a blessed day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Morning Quite

I managed to drag me out of bed before everyone else today. I have been struggling with that. Friday night I started taking cold so yesterday I wasn't very human. We went to town which is tiring at best. I came home and crawled into bed for a while. Got up a couple of hours and went back to bed. I am floating in Vit. C and Eccicinatica. I think I feel better today.

I think J had a great time at retreat. When she called to tell me what time to pick her up she was excited. By the time she had been still for almost 2 hours she was more asleep than awake. It didn't take any encouragement to get her off to an early bed. I can't wait to hear about it today.

Maverick is still doing well. She has filled out and seems to be adjusting well to milk cow mamas. I would like one of the milk cows to just adopt her. That would make life easy. So far it hasn't happened. Since I have her I do cows on Sunday again. :) I had been able to skip that for the past few months. Oh well, such is my life.

I have all my 6th grade school stuff except History. I will be looking for it in the next few weeks on Vegsource and Ebay. I also want to get a Texas History SOS for the three older kids to start soon. Our school year will end/start April 1. That isn't far off.

I would like to start working in my garden, but I just can't seem to get motivated to do that or anything else I don't have to do. I am hoping that after this cold is gone I will have more energy. I want to get a fall/winter garden planted. We are still getting tomatoes and peppers out of the garden. I have sweet potatoes that need gathering and the rest is weeds. I plan on moving most of my herbs to the front flower bed. They are way to pretty to just have stuck in the garden.

This coming weekend we are planning a camping trip. We are going to an Outback Rally. It will be a small one. Outback is the brand of RV we have. It will also be a field trip for the kids as we hope to visit a WWII Museum. I know MJ will be excited to do that. I don't see the girls being overly impressed, but they can adjust!

MN has spent her bankroll on goats. Now she has to back off buying until she sells some or earns more money. I wonder how many those big brown eyes will bring home Monday with out having to buy any? She did well on the ones she got last week. Of her 4 free goats she has only lost one. She hasn't lost any of her bought goats. She picked one up that was down in the alley. The guy that works that area said it would never stand up. It took 2 days for it to stand and walk but it is. :) She can't wait to tell him!

Time to start my day. All have a wonderful blessed day.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Here are a few snapshots of life around here to start this blog off.

This is GS-T playing with his trucks. He was quite proud of himself for finding the "perfect" place to sit!

MJ teaching GS-T his letters with chalk on the porch.

T working on DIL's hair while J works on school.

Dishes for MJ. There are so many because he didn't do them right the first time and is getting to wash ALL the plates and cups. Doesn't he look happy? He is the child that makes the most noise when he finds a dirty dish. Yet, since he didn't want to do them he put many up greasy and otherwise unclean. When ask if he wanted to drink/eat out of the dirty ones his quick answer was, "NO!". So why would everyone else? Don't you just love kids logic?

Today is the Girls Retreat. J was very excited last night when she went to bed. She had an upset tummy and threw up. I am praying she is fine today to go. She hasn't gotten up yet. She did come downstairs sometime and homestead the couch. We had a wonderful greasy lunch and that may be what upset her tummy. It could also be some fear of being away from us. So many mixed emotions as these kids work on attaching. I hope she has a wonderful time at retreat. We are giving he a hard time about doing pizza tonight while she is gone. :) She on the other hand is saying she heard they would be eating cheese cake. She point blank told us she wouldn't bring us any!

Yesterday when we got home from town I noticed the Ranger was gone. I thought the big kids were probably dove hunting. I heard it drive up in a little bit. I went to tell them not to put it up as I had salt blocks that needed unloading out of the excursion. It was just DS and over his shoulder I saw a black ear in the back of the ranger. :) A calf ear! I knew I didn't have any calves that color/size so out the door I went to see what he had "found". You have to understand that around here you never know what someone is going to bring home. This time he hadn't exactly brought it home, at least from a great distance. It seems the neighbors hired hand came down and told him we had a calf on him. We didn't but this guy insisted. So to make him happy DS went to check. What he found was a very hungry, weak less than 2 week old calf. He caught it and brought it home. The neighbor did have cows there. My guess is they moved the cows a few days ago and this baby got left. Hired hand didn't want to deal with it, or didn't consider that or what ever. It wasn't ours, but it would soon starve without milk.

Because one of my milk cows has decided not to come to the house she is no longer with her calf. I will feed her calf IF the calf comes to the house at night. This made the perfect mama to fed this hungry baby on. Starting baby calves is usually less than easy. They are afraid of the strange cow. She doesn't smell right. If they are dairy calves they have been imprinted with humans so they want the milk to come from the human instead of that big black thing. This baby was different. Milk cow is really good about allowing what ever to nurse. Calf smelled her a minute and snuggled up and got down to business. DS said that was probably the easiest calf he had ever done. I hope she makes it. She is a beautiful black girl. She was very dehydrated and pretty weak. DS has decided her name needs to be Maverick. If you want to know why Maverick look the word up in the dictionary. :) I will try and get pictures today or DIL will try.

Yesterday was therapy day. I love hour therapist. She is so good. She is a Christian and believes in the Holy Spirit healing. She doesn't want to cart me off when I tell her of the healing times we have on the swing. We talked about all that has went on in the past two weeks. The healing times the issues and just life. She met with each child and they visited. Afterwards we talked again. I told her I may have my head in the sand but I don't see any deep rooted serious issues with any of them right now. She said she isn't picking up any either. That they are meshing into a family in an unbelievable way. They get along better than some "families" that are birth bio's. This is even after I had to referee an argument between the three oldest. They all were doing the be ugly to another one. They even admitted they didn't know how they ended up trading insults. I equally chewed on all of them. Then went back to talk to the therapist. In a couple of minutes they were all giggling and laughing. At this point most of our issues are kid issues. They aren't about being abused, or neglected or adopted. They are about being kids and testing the boundaries.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MN's Goats

As promised I managed to get some pictures of MN's goat herd. Of the 9 she brought in last night she lost on. Not a bad amount when you consider the quality. This was one of her "free" angoras. It wasn't the one we both thought would be dead or at least not up. She had one that couldn't stand up last night. That one is walking today. I found out all these angoras had quite a ride before they got to the sale barn. They are from Arkansas! The truck broke down a couple of times, blew 4 tires....... So they were stressed and tired and had been hauled a long time. I hope that the rest make it. They all seem to be pretty good. This is three of her new ones. As you can see they like that feed! That is a good sign. Only 2 of them didn't get up there to eat. The grown nanny and the Spanish kid. They don't seem to know what feed is. Here is MN moving one of her goats to it's new home. Doesn't it look like it leads well?
The bigger goat is one we raised last year that MN claims. The other two are our last bottle babies. She claims them also. She did do most of the bottling so I guess her claiming them is fine.
This outstanding herd is her herd she has collected already from the auction barns. They are really looking pretty good. I hope she is ready to sell most, (all) of them in Jan. when the prices go up. That is her plan.... if she doesn't get to attached.

Pet Beds and Other Rambling

It seems that I really need to invest in some pet beds for my cats and dogs. I have found them sleeping in the most interesting places.
This is Sam. He is a clown all the time.
He always finds a chair to rest in.
This weekend we discovered this cat hanging out under the eve of the porch. She looks pretty comfortable. She is 10 ft off the ground. To access her bedroom you have to climb a ceder post that holds the roof up.
Yesterday I watched as Mouse, (yes that's the cats name,) making her a bed in my sage bush. That is the bush that I have at the top of my blog.
Now doesn't that just look like the "perfect" bed?
MN made quite a haul yesterday at Junction. She came home with 9 head of goats. Her "bill" was $66. I will have her average that out to see what they cost each. This "haul" included one grown nanny, 1 boar cross kid, 1 Spanish kid and the rest were angoras. Some of them were not bad, some were junk, no JUNK. She bought 5 head and had 4 head given to her. This morning we will worm everything and give meds as needed. We will move them out of the barn so they can graze. I will try to get pictures of what junk goats look like. I did laugh about it. It is so much a blast from the past. My oldest did this for several years. He would bring home junk, which was all he could afford. We would spend the next day doctoring it and hauling the dead to the dump. The ones that lived and got better in a few weeks/months he would take back to the auction to give him more operating capital. He called me after she got home to say "Your welcome" He just KNEW how much I was going to thank him. Wasn't that sweet? He did tell me he refused to buy several for her that he didn't think she needed.
I guess it is about time to start my day. Kids are sleeping late so I will have to do a wake up call. :) Hope everyone is blessed this wonderful day!

Monday, October 6, 2008


We had a beautiful thunderstorm blow through last night. It wasn't bad. The wind which had blown terrible all day stopped about the time the rain started. There was some lightening and a couple of loud cracks of thunder, but for West Texas a mild mannered storm that dropped about 2 inches of much needed rain. We were getting very dry. Grass fires were popping up almost every day on the scanner. No big ones had happened yet. This should give us a break from fires and a greener fall/winter. I can't wait to see how much water the pond caught.

I did get laundry soap made! I made three batches. One for myself, then one for my SIL and DIL. I hope my SIL likes it. She liked the price of it. Since almost everyone I know uses it it can't be to bad. For those that want the recipe it is on my recipe page. I was down to about 1 inch in a plastic gallon container. Nothing like procrastinating in getting it done. The thing is once you start getting it done then you wonder why you put it off so long. J got in on making the second batch and did most of the making for the 3rd batch. She loved it.

We had a great weekend! My SIL and nephew came out Sat. and stayed until Sunday. I wish they could come out more often. We had a great visit. I sent them home with part of my produce. I had bought extra just to send home with them. I also made granola and they got a bag of that. It is fun sharing what I do! I hope to do some more granola today. I like doing it with the dates for the sweet. It seems to work just as well.

Today MN is going to work with her brother. She almost didn't get to. She missed her time frame by about 20 minutes. I took pity on her, or maybe her brother as he called begging. He said that one of the other guys there would also be willing to call and beg. They have a big run this week. He didn't realize how many steps she saved him until she wasn't there last week. I told her this is the perfect time to negotiate for a pay raise. She wasn't sure what that meant so I explained more money. She said she didn't want more money, but more bottle babies/goats. Should be an interesting time to see what she comes home with if they have 3000 + head to sell.

Plans for this week? I have plans? Wow! News to me. Laundry isn't planned it just needs doing. Friday J is going to a girls retreat for teen girls. It should be a lot of fun and I pray eye opening to her. She will know two of the girls that are putting it on. The rest will be House of Faith Girls that come from unchurched backgrounds much like hers. I am praying that this will help her see the choices God is giving her. She is excited. It will be at the same place the Heart of Motherhood Retreat will be in Feb. That is a great time for moms! Anyone want to come? Start planning now, first weekend in Feb. It is a wonderful weekend of refreshment, growth, fellowship and great food.

Time to get my day started! All be blessed!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Amazing God

God really is amazing! I know most of you know this, but just tonight He again showed me how much so!

MN and I were talking and she was talking about a fear she has. As she shared I ask if she had ask God about it. "No". She did want to. I took her hands and we started praying and asking God to show her the root of this fear. As she went back she would stop at this very graphic picture. She couldn't see a truth in it, but it was painful. We examined the picture and still nothing. I then ask her to look around to see if there was a spirit keeping her from seeing God's truth. (Believe me I am flying by the seat of my pants on this!).

As she looked around in her "picture" she saw a prancing spirit. I told her to tell it to leave in Jesus name. She couldn't, it was to powerful. She was afraid. I ask her to look for Jesus in the picture. She found him in the corner. I told her to move in to the corner with Him. He was in "her" corner. She did then had the power to tell the prancing spirit to leave in Jesus name.

After she told it to leave she looked around the "room" and found it hiding in the corner. She again told it to leave. Then we again looked at the "picture". She said this time Jesus said satan was in control of her life and the other people in the picture. That satan wasn't in control of her life anymore. We then looked at the fear that had started the whole thing. She said it was gone. This is a fear we have talked about more than once. It is very real and for very valid reasons.

I do not doubt (much) that God has taken it away. I just am in awe of His power and healing in my children. I continuously ask His forgiveness for my doubt. I know His word says we have the authority to cast out demons. I just find it amazing when it happens! I find it amazing and so humbling to be allowed to be apart of something so powerful. Today this was part of what we talked about in church. How little we really know and understand the power we have through Him. Then tonight yet again He used me and allowed me to be apart of something powerful. How powerful is MN going to be when at almost 11 she has experienced the power of casting out her own demons. What will God use her for as she matures in Christ? It is no wonder satan has fought long and hard to destroy her. He knows she is going to be a powerful force for Christ.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pictures ~ This and That

Here are some pictures of the kids being kids. This is T and GS-T playing in his camo cart. Notice the cat in T's lap. The tiny dog is Shilo. Wouldn't you love to know what the conversation is all about?
Kids of all sizes! Notice how big the big kid pushing is.
How about a horse ride?
Here is J cooking flat bread. She did such a great job.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lost~ 4 Joyful Spirits

My children are all setting upstairs trying to find their joyful spirits. They are all most welcome downstairs once they ALL find them. It may be a while. This morning started with bickering upstairs before they all made it down. Then it has been judgments and acting dumb ever since. As I was putting up milk I was asking God if some how I had a bad attitude and it was causing issues. I didn't think I did. About then they all 4 came in bickering. That answered that! I listened a few minutes and decided they could take it upstairs until such time they ALL can develop compassion and a joyful spirit today. I know it exists in all of them. I am just not seeing it today.

J is trying a new tactic. Yes, I think it is funny in a frustrating sort of way. Yesterday one of her chores was to pick up and sweep the school room. She did a quick pick up and try to tell me there was nothing to sweep. I know better! So back she goes and she sweeps, dirt, crayons, pens, pencils.... all into the dust pan and into the trash. I went to change the trash later and discovered the top full of crayons. Her logic, "You ONLY told me to sweep, so that's what I did!" OK that logic will work except that she does know how to do it right. She also didn't like it when I pointed out that T who is 7 knows the correct way so I ASSumed that a 16 yo would. I guess I was wrong. I will explain better next time.

She pouted and stomped upstairs. We got supper stuff out and told her we were eating if she wanted to join us. She wasn't hungry. Before we finished eating she came down in her night clothes. MN picked up on the fact she had a nightshirt on that said "Grumpy". It was lost and wasted on me. So "Grumpy" sat in the living room "reading" while we ate. Then the three littles and grandbaby all played in the living room while "Grumpy" grumped. I did point out if she wanted to be left alone and have "me" time she should pick a different spot. After grandbaby went home I sent the other three out on the porch to play. Grumpy is still "reading". I made her come set in my lap. She snuggled, not a bit of angry body language. Just a need to be snuggled. I think she didn't know what to do to get out of trouble. We talked a bit and just snuggled and chatted and giggled about lots of stuff for about 30 minutes then I sent all of them off to bed.

This morning they were late setting up the milker. I went on to the barn, sorted the cows. Put the bull and the beeves back where they went. Still no milker. I went to the house to find it setting in the cart at the back door. I went in and got the wash water and told them, "Thanks!" J said, "Your welcome." I said that was said sarcastic! She again tried the "I didn't know you wanted it at the barn." This was after she and MN decided that going to the barn and helping MIGHT be a good choice. I didn't buy it. I didn't even want to go there. I did point out even if she DIDN"T know the other three DID! I then sent them to gather the garden. "But, I want to help you." Three others are scrambling to do what mom suggested. I point blank told her that she wasn't welcome in the barn this morning to go gather the garden!

Wow they just came down stairs. One even gave me a hug and said sorry. The girls weren't as willing to go that far. :) I hope this changes the flow of the day.

Today is our catch up/down day. MN usually works ahead today. J has regular school and T and MJ can work a head but they don't have to. I try to come up with something fun and interesting to do. Like the bark rubbings. I may break out the microscope today and see what is to small for the human eye to see.

Thanks for the way to move pictures around on here. That doesn't sound to hard. I think I can mange that. So for I am liking the things I can do. I did catch the spacing issues. I am open to other ideas.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Day, New Month, New Blog Home

I am hoping it is easier to upload pictures and change the background here. I loved the peacock stuff on my old blog, but it gets old, just like the purple did on homesteader. So I keep looking for the "perfect" blogging home.

Yesterday we had a great day. We really seem to have lots of those. God is so good. J and I did have one little disagreement. She had ask to call her old therapist and I agreed. She started out talking to her and then started speaking untruths. I called her on the first one, that she didn't have a therapist lined up. Made her correct what she said. Then she told another one. I then said tell the therapist you will have to hang up now since you can't speak the truth. So the therapist ask to speak to me. :) We had a nice little chat and life went on. I had told J she had now lost phone privilages for not speaking truth as she was avoiding telling therapist she had to get off since she couldn't speak truth. Yes, I said it loud enough and close enough therapist heard it. Thearpist told me, "way to go!" She was glad to see someone wasn't afraid to address issues. :) She has no clue how many issues we address!

After I got off the phone J and I swung. She was mad at me. Gee imagine that! She didn't think it was fair that she lost phone privilages. She just told 2 lies. I said fine I will only put two goat pills in a pan of brownies. She wasn't OK with that! She said it would ruin the whole batch. So we talked about how lies ruin our lives. How they hurt the teller and those around her. I decided to let her see what dad thought. She can take the loss of phone privilages up with him. She was all for that! I just thought to myself, you think dad is easy :) Funny when dad came home she was busy and didn't mention it. Later she was going to call her old foster mom. I said no. She gave me the confuses look. I reminded her that she had lost phone privilages. She said, "Oh yea, until you talk to dad about it." LOL, "Nope, you will have to take it up with dad. It isn't my problem." Funny thing dad was setting at the table and she never bothered taking it up with him.

What I found interesting was that she was my shadow the rest of the afternoon/evening after our swinging time. I tried to read, couldn't had a child sitting beside me not really talking just there. The other kids wanted her to go ride bikes, swing or otherwise play. She didn't want to, she wanted to hang out with mom. Not a problem, but just different.

Since it was her day to help cook supper she helped me make flat bread. I ground the wheat and allowed her to add the ingredients as it mixed in the mixer. After it had risen she finished added the rest of the ingredients and punched it down. Then we made the balls for flat bread and let it rise. I showed her how to keep the flow going, roll one, flip on, take one off the grill. She kept asking for help. I kept doing other things toward supper and supervising. She was so proud of herself as the stack of flat bread grew! I wanted to put a picture of her cooking the flat bread, but it doesn't seem to want to go where I want it to! I will have to figure out what I am doing wrong.

We had a wonderful supper made with fresh hot flat bread that we each turned into individual pizzas. It was so easy and quick but yummy. We used canned spaghetti sauce for the sauce added what ever floated your boat. J even put some pinto beans on hers. Most of them microwaved to melt the cheese. I put a lid on mine and cooked it on the grill.

It is always exciting to think of what a new day will bring. What blessings and challenges we will face. I always wonder after we have had a challenge the day before how that child will be the next day. Usually, when we have talked it out and life has returned to normal I see growth in that child. Growth is such a painful process at times. I see the pain as my children grow. I feel the pain as I try to grow in God and walk His walk not mine.

Slow morning around here. I have now gotten cows done, breakfast behind me and still haven't posted. In part I am slow posting because the Internet is up and down and down and up. In part because I didn't get up early like I should have life has way to many distractions.

T was just asking for help with school. I went to help only to quickly discover that she hadn't even read the lesson! Wow! She read it and got it! Amazing! When mom gets tough about reading the lessons I have two that have a lot fewer redo's. Why can't they get it figured out if they study, and READ the lesson they will pass the quizzes much more often?

OK time to get this posted so I can go on to something more productive. I have 3 busy on school, one is "talking to God". Right! Yea, I have my doubts. Laying on the couch petting the dog and not being motivated sounds closer to the truth. I will just keep my mouth shut for now and see if school gets started or not.