Monday, November 30, 2009

Onions and Consequences

I don't like to nag. It makes me tired to nag. I'm sure many of you know exactly how I feel. I do tend to hand out earned consequences pretty good. We have a ticket system going that helps. Each child started with 22 tickets. They are each a different color card stock, cut into a ticket. DH can cut 22 from a sheet. They are responsible for keeping up with them. Tickets are worth .50 each on pay day, which was today. But, you only get paid on the tickets in your possession. If you loose some or all of yours oh well so sad, so sorry. MJ has lost all of his once, cost him that weeks earnings to get more, then he washed them once, he only has about 17 left. If they can't keep up with these then how will they keep up with $$$. They are to be kept in a ziplock.

Today I decided I wasn't going to nag. I REFUSE to nag. They all know what is expected of them. School and chores are required daily. They played over breakfast. I didn't say any thing. Now my tongue might have been bleeding. They chatted in the school room over chex party mix. I did say, "Lots of talking going on." Lunch was a drawn out afair. Chores were done off and on throughout the day, with lots of looking busy as they "worked". Tongue bled a bit more.

At 5 pm I ask for a count of how many lessons, including redo's they each had. T was finished, and lacked putting stuff back in the bathroom for chores. The rest well S had 15, MJ had 17, and MN had 10 including chores. They don't even have that many to START the day out. They seemed to have failed one or more quiz's today. That means they have to redo everything from the quiz before, and it all counts towards tickets.

Until about 4 pm I had no idea what I would do if they ran out of tickets before the week was over. About 4 I tripped over the sack of onions in the freezer. I bought 50#, have used oh maybe 10. These are nice LARGE strong onions. I planned on working on them daily and chop them all then put them in the freezer one onion per ziplock. PERFECT!!!! One finely chopped onion equal one ticket! MJ got to experience it since he needed one more ticket than he had.

S has about 6 tickets left, MN about 12, T about 18, and MJ is totally out. I wonder how the rest of the week will go? Some how I feel they will be much more motivated to do well in school and chores the rest of the week. If not...... well I have LOTS of onions and can buy more. I did mention in their hearing that we could do this for our friends and they could keep them in their freezer too.

MJ does a really good job of chopping them. I will suggest he fiddle around tomorrow so he can do more for me. I know all the others can't wait to join in on the fun. They can have a contest to see who can chop them the best! I may suggest that :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Update...

To full to type? That pretty well describes how we have been all weekend. We have enjoyed the bounty of hosting. I don't know what is left. The fruit salad is about gone :( We did a double HUGE amount of it. Pies are going down. Looked like the ham was about gone. Lots of turkey left. Couldn't be the THREE turkey's we cooked. I was very disapointed in the one we fried with the cajun seasoning injected in it. It was just turkey, very very little spice. I even added a LOT more of the seasoning than it called for.

We did some re-arranging to put beds upstairs. Since it seems we are really getting the boys I need to start thinking of logistics of where they are sleeping and where their stuff will go.

DH has played er worked with the heavy equipment most of the weekend digging calchie to put on the road so we don't get stuck. His goal is to have a LOT done by Christmas and borrow a dump bed then and dump it on the road and pack it.

Kids have had a good holiday. I was very proud of the lack of melt downs and lack of issues this season. I was quite impressed with how well MN and S did on baking pies and other help. All the kids have grown so much. Not just in age, but emotionally also.

Compute area is back to being computers, not pies. It has been washed and re-set up for school tomorrow. Since our weather is going to be yucky most of the week I hope to get some inside things accomplished.

I do have a prayer request. Please keep the two boys we are adopting in prayer as they are given our picture book and told about us wanting them tomorrow. I don't know how long after that before we meet, or get to bring them home. The wait time has to be tough. The knowing your moving but not knowing when or really where with a 7 and 10 yo has to be very confusing.

My main computer is ill. It keeps giving me the blue screen of death. I am very pleased I decided to pay the $$ to have it backed up on line. A friend was quite pleased with the results and since I hate loosing pictures and other things I decided it was worth it. I hope it is something minor but if not other than the pain of setting it all up again I should be safe. Until then I am on my laptop.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting Ready...........

Yesterday was pie and tortilla roll up day. We did a LOT of both! MJ was in charge of the tortilla roll-ups. He has started doing them almost totally on his own. He does them every year with help, but this year I refused to help. My standard answer was, "What ever you think is right."

Girls did most of the pie making.
Apple, Cherry, Pumpkin, Coconut, Chess, Pecan, and last but not least pecan less pecan. That last one always reminds me of my mom. She started making that pie, which is a pecan pie without pecans for my DH maybe the second year we were married.
This morning Grandmothers dip is warming and fruit salad is being made. Turkey is being cut up and ham is on to cook. Dh will start frying turkey about 9. I will get dressing and gravy on in a little bit. Then we will be done!
I told people we would start eating at daylight, but I was wrong. I checked the turkey at 1am and started then. Kid have been eating since before daylight as they chop fruit and such.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just for those not coming.........

Here is today's accomplishments....

Trash is done! I don't know how I ended up with two pans full but oh well I'm sure it will all be eatten. I followed the recipe........... as much as I ever do!
Onions are chopped, well MOST of them. I think each child can contribute chopping one onion. Celery is done. Both the chopped for dressing and sticks for snacking.
I do still have bread to crumble. I will do that in a bit and add my sage and poultry seasoning so it can blend for Thursday. Bread is thawed I think. That will complete today's check list.
Tomorrows check list includes....

Make pies (chess, pecan, pecan less pecan, pumpkin, coconut, apple, cherry)
Cook Sweet potatoes
Grandmothers Dip
tortilla Roll-ups
boil eggs
slice eggs

Adoption News.............

Received this from the adoption worker yesterday.........
Great news!!! We finally got the approval back on the home schooling!! I
will take the picture book to the counselor's office on Monday. I took
the boys to their psychological this morning and I will call in a couple
weeks for diagnsis and recommendations for the HSEGH. I may go head
and send the HSEGH if I can with the old information and have you sign an
addendum later. Once that is out of the way we can have you talk to
the boys on the phone and set up a weekend for you to come to Lubbock.



Maybe things are moving fwd. In some ways I want to get them before Christmas, but in other ways because we don't "do" Christmas I know that will be one more change for them. I wish the timing was different. I do know that God's timing is perfect though.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quick snapshot of my morning

One of my kid goats that really belongs to the big uddered nanny. She can't seem to master her mom and when I go out there she chases me to "help" her. This morning her mom didn't have enough milk to fill her and my other extra kid up. So I decided to see if I could get her oh Hershey. She was a bit short legged, and I wasn't sure that Hershey would let her milk down, so I decided to start milking her and use a step stool. Goat caught on quickly. She was soon ready to bust.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My week in review... or maybe just a few of the highlights...

It's been a week! Lets see, goats started kidding Wed. I noticed we had a set of twins as I went to get grand son. The day was beautiful! I think we ended up with 8 kids on the ground. We only had one mess up. We had a set of nannies that decided to kid way to close so we had 4 kids in a pile. We sorted them out best we could and moved them apart. (We being MN and I.) Then went back later to check and they had moved their business back together and added another kid to the mix. This one neither loved. So we caught one and made the nanny let it nurse. We squirted it with milk and mama was happy licking it when we left. Some times this will be enough to remind them that this baby is theirs. Sometimes not. Not in this case. We nicknamed this kid, "problem child".

Oh back up to Monday night. The bull again decided to visit a cow 2 fences over. I got up about 12:30 to see what the dogs were barking at. It was the bull. I went back to bed telling dh he had outstayed his welcome and was leaving Thursday. Thursday is cow sale day. DS was nice enough to drop what he was doing on Wed. afternoon and come with his goose neck trailer and help me load him. That was not as easy as I would have liked, but could have been harder.

Thursday morning I hit the floor running at daylight. I checked goats, can't even remember how many more new babies, one set of triplets at least. Problem child seemed sorta full. We headed to town. MN had went in with dad early to help her brother. After therapy we came home and MN and I grabbed flashlights and off we went to check babies. Other kids were in charge of unloading the excursion. We again fed problem child by catching a nanny.

Friday I had invited friends out. Only on made it. Boy did she and her kids get educated. They got to see a goat give birth. MN and her DD gathered Problem Child and two others up and took them to the barn. The other two were born Friday morning. Mama sorta loved one. I saw her toss the other one higher than her head two or three times. MN and I tried to catch her and couldn't before friends got here. She at that point didn't want anything to do with either. So I had the girls take her babies to the barn and thaw some cow col strum for them. They had a blast feeding them. Then after friends left MN and I got serious about catching her. I finally grabbed her way up by the far feeders. Did I mention the ranger was out of commission? So with a lead rope and collar I led, (drug) while MN and the dog nipped at her tail and twisted it back to the house. These are not small goats! They are nice boer and probably weigh 150+. It was a LONG drag home. We then fed her babies last night on her, and Problem Child.

She was so sweet she bit MN as we were making her let the babies nurse. She got coat, but the try was there.

Last walk through of the evening, night really as it was about 8 pm we knew one nanny was going to kid that night. We also knew she was going to be a problem. To say her udder is large is an understatement. The kids can nurse but they have to learn where to nurse. Sure enough we had hungry triplets on the ground this morning. MN helped me feed them a bit up there. Even a few drops of colostrum the first few hours will give them the ability to live. So we settled on a few drops and the hope that DH would get the ranger running again.

Did I mention MJ has been trapping? His first attempt caught him a HUGE albino raccoon.... think great pyr puppy! He bought more cat food and set it yesterday. He had better/worse luck this time. He caught a skunk. (Now is the time for anyone drinking to swallow before reading more.) The girls all had to go see. So my er bright er smart er what ever children BROUGHT THE LIVE TRAP SKUNK AND ALL TO THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While they didn't get coated in yellow spray, they all smelled. It would have been funny except I was battling a killer headache and trying alone to get chores done while this took place. I did go a bit ballistic. Once I calmed down on the fact I was doing chores and dealing with goats without help on a day I really wanted it I saw the humor. I went in the house found a bar of ivory, tossed it to them and pointed to the pond. It wasn't COLD, but it wasn't hot either, maybe 65 degrees. I'm sure the water was much MUCH cooler. Life went on. DH and I went and caught our big uddered nanny and her kids brought her to the house, fed her kids. Went back got another one that had foundered and wasn't walking well and her two kids. Fixed breakfast. Oh some where in there kids tried to convince us that they didn't smell any longer. They had gotten wet oh maybe to the waist. Er, no head to foot,with soap. They finally came in showered in warm water and had breakfast.

Today we have had a set of triplets and two sets of twins born. MN did have to assist on one of the twins. She loves doing that. She might swoop in before help is really needed. I don't know where she gets that. :) This afternoon I took my camera and shared how it is to walk through the pen. What we do several times a day.
Any kids that isn't with the bunch we check on to see if they are full and OK. This one is being checked by an expert.
We check for new babies. This one is still drippy wet.
We have to check under feeders for babies.
Pull them out if they are under there.
Check to see if those babies are full.
Probably my favorite picture of my short legged helper helping.
Just a few random goats to be caught if he can catch them.
Education! They are quietly watching as the mama above works to have baby number 2. MN ended up assisting her while her helper stood by a tree out of the way and watched.
DIL was nice enough to make another feed run for me today. This still has to be unloaded. This is cow feed so it has to be taken out of sacks and put into barrels. A big job.
Tue, DIL made a goat feed run for me. It helps she likes going and I can stay home and supervise kids school. MJ was ask to unload it. I backed it up to the barn. When I unload it it is tossed in the barn. As long as it is on the pallets and out of the weather I am totally happy. MJ has different ideas.
Each sack is about 50lbs. He not only unloaded it but STACKED it! I was pleased and amazed! Such a transformed young man from the child we were dealing with a few months ago. Here is another example of the young man he is becoming. He started the fire for BBQ ribs all by himself! A few months ago I wouldn't have let him near the lighter, much less ask him if he wanted to do it.

When you wonder why I haven't blogged just remember this post. Remember I also kept grand son 2 days this week. Grandson who is teething and wants to be held even. Made cheese once or twice, and dealt with the day to day school/child issues. Life is never dull!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I have to admit I did NOT want to get up this morning! I didn't rest well and got up about 5 but decided to try napping a bit more. God gave me this when I got up the second time!

Aren't they beautiful! If any thing by the time I got through admiring them and grabbed the camera they had lost some of their appeal.
Made life worth getting up for!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Sunday...

Last night my friend gave birth to her 10th blessing! Since we house church at their house we stayed home today. It has been a wonderful peaceful day. I have did some of those little things I don't seem to have time for like taking down my dried red peppers and grinding them. I have about a quart of chili powder or fine ground red chili peppers.

We had lots of milk and no jars for milk this morning so I used 3 gallons for cheese, plus part of a gallon of buttermilk for seasoning the cheese. I dumped the rest of the gallon of buttermilk into cheese cloth to make cream cheese for Thanksgiving use. I then started a new gallon of buttermilk and am allowing the cheese to flavor. I have about an hour before I cut the curds and salt. Then press and refrigerate. I love having a huge frig to store it in. This is the third round of cheese I have made. The first one I need to either wax or eat soon. It has had a week to form a rind.

The bottom pot is a pressure canner to give you an idea of the size and amount I am talking. Did I mention I have TWO cows due to calve in the next 2 weeks and 2 more when ever?

I also made three loaves of bread. I added chili powder to one since I had it ground at the same time the bread was ready to punch down. I don't know how well it will turn out. I am really liking the bread recipe that I got of the Holy Experience blog.

And since this picture was already on my camera when I went to down load the pictures I took today I thought I would include it.
Rocking grandbabies!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great American Bus Hunt ~ Day 3 or is it 4

I have had strange men emailing me and calling me from around the country for the past 3 days. Most of them haven't read my email carefully and are trying to sell me something I totally don't want. You would think when the email says "NO 6.0 diesel" you wouldn't try and tell me how good that motor is and how much easier it is to find one. Uh, yes you can find them because the best use found for them is a boat anchor. Then there are those that try to tell me that gas is just as good as diesel. Humm I drive both now, I know the difference. Needless to say I don't listen to what ever else they have to say since they started out lying to me. Oh then there are those that didn't "notice" I specified co-pilot seat. So for I have found ONE maybe. It isn't 4x4 but it does meet most of the other requirements. We are just majorly picky. We know what we want. We have researched and continue to research. I know God will provide what He wants us to have. We have to allow him to work. So we look and wait and continue to seek His guidance in what we are to do.

In other news MJ has been "trapping" on the back side. He has our largest live trap set somewhere back there. He baited it with a can of cat food. First morning nothing, then this morning he had something! He had what the kids dubbed a giant albino raccoon. Also, known as the female pyr puppy. That would have been a FULL live trap. This "puppy" is oh 40 lbs or so already. She was very happy to see them!

Adoption news...... there is none! The case worker did get our picture book. They won't show it to them until after they get their psy eval. That is scheduled for "later" this month. I find it hard to really grasp it is real. I know that stuff can still happen and we won't get them. I try hard to focus on just waiting and being prepared.

I have been busy making socks on my knifty knitter blue loom. I have one more pair to make. I am TIRED of socks! I should finish this pair today or tomorrow. I think I have made about 8 pair. My "fishing" loom should be in any day. I want to start making me a shawl. It is my "fishing" loom because I didn't buy into all the fishing stuff on vacation. I teased DH about I was going to get me something I really wanted. So I did!

I have made two rounds of cheese. I hope they turn out. Both look good. They are aging in the frig right now. Once they have sat about a week I can either wax or I can eat. We may eat one and wax one. It takes a LOT of milk for a little cheese. I used some of the whey to soak beans in. It really does improve the flavor of the beans. I have done 2 pots in the past week and we are out of beans. I think I will use whey today to make bread. Instead of water which is what my recipe calls for I will add whey. IF I manage to get it made today. It was on my "to do " list yesterday. Still on it!

Time to get my day started! All have a blessed day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Heart of Motherhood RetreatFebruary 5Th -7Th

Just received this today. Anyone that wants more information email me. It really is an awesome weekend of uplifting filling mothering! Great for any mom but especially those struggling with motherhood.

Mark Your Calendars for Heart of Motherhood Retreat February 5Th -7Th , 2010Heart of Texas Bible Camp on Lake Brownwood"Are you tired? Worn Out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11: 28-30 Message translation We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass of the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 Message translation
Hello Everyone, We are so excited about retreat. Time is drawing close. We have a few changes this year. We're changing locations. The Heart of Texas Bible Camp looks very inviting and I think we will all enjoy it. We're bringing a variety of speakers in this year who will encourage us, challenge us, grow us, and build us up on our motherhood journey. The cost is still $99.00. All you have to do is tuck away $7.00/week. We're looking forward to seeing you all!!! We're praying for God's abundant outpouring on all of us during retreat this year. We'll be sending out registration forms in Dec.Blessings to you all Julie

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I figured something out!

I am not a gardener. I don't like it! I do it because I like fresh vegetables, but I don't do it well. I don't like weeding, I don't like watering, I don't like even harvesting them. I like cooking them and eating them. I am a little slow but I finally figured that out. I always struggle with a garden. I want one, I get it started but quickly loose interest. I do the token amount, but not with heart. I truly don't find satisfaction in it. It is WORK!

On the other hand I can work all day with livestock. I can be stepped on until the tops of my feet are black and blue. I can eat dust and blow dust out of my nose for days. I can walk the cold pens checking for babies. I can milk 7 days a week, rain or shine. I may not like it when it is cold, but I don't hate it. I look fwd to baby season. I am willing to spend a lot more time out there than in the garden. I will nurture babies and feed them multiple times a day, if/when I can beat MN off of doing it.

How I arrived at this knowledge was yesterday I went to the garden to harvest potatoes. The weeds have won yet again this year. I stood there looking at the weed jungle a while and finally wondered off to do something less stressful than fight weeds to get potatoes that may or may not be hidden under all the weeds.

Last night DS called and mentioned he had bought 50 heavy bred nannies. I started doing the happy dance! This afternoon I had the kids help me clean feeders so he could order feed. Then he will bring them out here. To most people cleaning that feeder that was half full of year old moldy decomposing feed would have been much more work than weeding the garden of every weed. Nope! I supervised and dug my share of yucky feed out. We all smell like dusty feed now.

While 50 nannies may sound like a lot to me it isn't. We will walk through them twice a day at least until they have all kidded and the kids are up and going. Then just once a day. I have a feeling since he bought these he will buy more :) :) :) !!!! In years past we have done over 500 bred sheep and goats over the winter.

It usually makes Thanksgiving exciting for some as most years we have to take time out to catch a sheep or goat that is having trouble kidding either before or after Thanksgiving dinner. There are usually bottle babies to feed and this year we have a cow due the Tue before Thanksgiving and another one due the 10th. So two cute baby calves for people to mess with. Besides the fact that when I get "peopled out" I can go check the pens. :) I love Thanksgiving and all the friends and family that come but I still like to stow away for a few quite minutes during the day. A walk through the pens is always calming no matter how many tag along.