Thought patterns, for teens (and adults!)

If you, or someone you know, struggles with negative thought patterns, this article explains proper thinking really well. *(Link at the bottom) This is something I spend a fair amount of time talking over with all my teens. But even many adults fall into a trap with their thought patterns. This psychologist & his student have really nailed it in simple terms.

As a Christian, I also remind all my teens to think how God’s LOVE would view what they are thinking/seeing/feeling, and ask themselves if they are believing negative ‘lies’ in their mind.

Teens especially need to be on guard to keep themselves from believing destructive thoughts about themselves. And they ARE ‘lies’.

I’ve shared before how one of my daughters often struggles with thoughts that she’s not pretty. This is the same daughter in the ‘Red’ costume I shared on Facebook on Halloween! If you look at her photo, you know how false that thought is! (Not that beauty is important, this is just one example I can give that is so obviously a lie.)


Our teens must learn to SEE the ‘lies’ so they can learn to see & think otherwise. It’s their best defender against even worse thoughts, like not being worthy to live… We’ve all been touched by suicide in our lives, some of us many times over. I know 3 personally, or their families, who committed suicide. I attempted to commit suicide myself when I was 15. The approximate age of my three youngest girls now.

Fight for your kids (and your own) minds! Make them aware of how to win the negative battles in their minds.

And while we’re trying to think better about ourselves, let’s do the same when ‘assessing’ others too. I see WAY too much online ‘bullying’ happening between ADULTS lately. Be kind to one another, so our children can see it in action. It seems many think its ok to rip each other apart from behind a screen. Yet we all know its destructive, and leads to hurt, sometimes… even death.

I personally feel that speaking unkindly to (or about) others online is the equivalent of drinking and driving, and thinking no one will get hurt. We ALL know drinking & driving takes lives, and people get hurt. It’s about time we realize that speaking unkindly, bullying others, participating in tearing people apart online is just as foolish. (Even on ‘famous’ people’s Facebook pages- they ARE people- Robin Williams showed us all just how human even the highest profile celebrities are!)

We can’t be unkind to one another, and never expect to truly hurt someone.

We’re just FEEDING into one another’s negative thought patterns. Do we really want to continue doing that?

24 years, and ramblings from the homestead.


Today is our 24th Wedding Anniversary!
For some reason I woke up fighting grumpiness though, so I told the kids we’d have only a partial school day today and they agreed to make dinner for hubby and I too. We’re not able to get out and do anything special since he’s on 12 hour night shifts at the moment.


We have a lot to get done, so we finished up school quickly. While I cleaned, the girls set to work on shucking our corn crop. It grew so much better this year!


Elsa had a sweet surprise this week.


When we first moved to our homestead late last spring, we saw an advertisement for a mama cat and some kittens. She was all black. Elsa wanted her because her black cat had died the previous fall. So we drove the 1.5 hours to go pick up her and her kittens. We would keep one kitten and our friend wanted the other two kittens.

Elsa had Ceecee for about 3 months. We were told she had been burned by some teens as a kitten, but her fur had grown back nicely and only her tail showed any evidence of her sad story. Ceecee was a very friendly cat, and a good mom. However, she was scared of loud noises, and didn’t care much for the dogs. One night when our son lit a few small fireworks while family was visiting from the Netherlands, she got scared and ran away. We found her a few days later down the road at some grain bins.

About a month later, July 2013, she disappeared again. We searched everywhere for her, but never found her. We were sure the coyotes must have gotten her.

Two days ago Julia pulled me aside and said she was sure she caught a glimpse of a black cat that looked just like Ceecee, near the road by our driveway. We didn’t say anything to Elsa, because we were pretty sure there was just no way it really could have been Ceecee! She had disappeared 15 months ago! And, she really had only lived with us for a few months!

If we told Elsa, she was sure to spend her days calling and searching, and we just didn’t want to get her hopes up.

The next day I was filling up the sheeps water bucket when Julia called me from the horse paddock. She called, “Mom! You need to come here & see this!”

Being the worry wort I am, I immediately started praying, “Dear God, don’t let it be a horse injury!” and headed over to see what Julia needed me to see.

And there she was, holding Ceecee.

Fifteen months after she left, she found her way back. Shorter frost bitten ears, and a great big pregnant belly.

Anyone want a kitten in about 9 weeks?


Elsa couldn’t be happier!

Stretching the goods!

Last fall I purchased a tiller at a farm auction for the hefty sum of 5 whole dollars. This past spring I decided to take it for a tune up before it was time to plant the garden.

I had been given the name and number of a gentleman that our friends recommended. So I gave him a call and brought the tiller over.

While there, him and his wife chatted up a storm with me about everything under the sun from my SUV & the best products to use to keep it running well, to farming, tractors, gardening to kittens, making buns, lard, and more. I love talking to farmers. There’s so much to learn from them!

While we chatted about gardening, at one point the wife asked if I had ever had banana potatoes after I mentioned wanting to grow purple Russian potatoes this year. I told her I had never heard of them before!

She quickly went into her home and brought out a handful of little yellow-ish potatoes for me. She said to cook them for dinner so our family could give them a try.

I looked at the handful of potatoes, and told her we are a family of 7 and knowing how much my kids love potatoes and trying new foods, would it bother her if I planted her potatoes in my garden, instead of cooking them and having them fight over the small feast? That way we would have several meals of banana potatoes instead!

She thought that was a great idea!

When hubby planted all our potatoes, he planted her handful of banana potatoes.

Yesterday we dug them all up!


Her gift of potatoes, stretched into FIVE gallons! Talk about stretching the goods!

Sometime this week we will cook up a dish of banana potatoes and finally taste them after patiently waiting for over 6 months. I’d say that return was well worth the wait!

Reaping what you sow.


I’ll be totally honest, my girls do not really enjoy weeding in the garden.

So…when I decided as part of their school year in the spring they would each grow their own fair sized garden plot start to finish, I expected them to complain!


Instead, they seemed excited!


It’ll be great in many ways for all of us. This years garden was overwhelming for me, I work full time hours plus homeschool, and the homestead. This will give about a third of my garden size over to them to care for.


In turn, they will be free to plant anything they would like, and watch it grow from seed to harvest! After that, preserving, cooking, and eating the foods they grow will also be a part of their learning process.

I think they are excited for a few reasons, but one is that even though they don’t like weeding, they LOVE harvesting, and they realize the work really does lead to the reward.


Even though this is our 20th homeschool year, I can honestly say I’m as excited for this upcoming year as I was on our first year!
We’re reaping what we’ve sown, in the garden and in our schooling too.

Camping? Vacationing! Is it possible with a homestead?


It’s early in the morning and I’m enjoying my first cup of coffee while watching the sunrise over Fishing Lake, here in Saskatchewan, Canada.

As a homesteading family, it can be difficult to get away on vacation. With animals that require care and feeding at least twice daily, it’s an act of organization, family co-ordination and some acts of sacrifice on the part of at least one family member each time.

Since we’re not a ‘real’ farm and are not earning an income from this lifestyle, it’s not possible to have a hired hand to care for things when we go away. Since we don’t have anyone else to watch the homestead, we simply take turns now that almost half the kids are adults.

This spring, all five kids went to Bible camp while hubby worked and I stayed home to care for the animals. Then the eldest two stayed home while hubby and I took the younger three girls to Nipawin Regional Park for a couple of nights! That was a ‘working’ vacation, as we were there to camp and check out things for Alesia’s wedding as well, which was later that week.

A couple of weeks ago hubby took the three younger girls to the Bible camp for a long weekend. I stayed home and cared for the animals, and enjoyed a weekend of quiet, tackling jobs around the house that I don’t normally have time for.

This week, and next, hubby and I are camping with the youngest three kids a few days at a time. We’re staying nearer to home, and our son is caring for the animals before and after work.

It’s not the most ideal solution, since we do miss out on camping as a whole family, but it works for us for now. My ideal would be to find someone nearby who also has animals, and would like to swap care. Maybe one day we’ll find another family to do just that!

For now, we’ll simply enjoy our trips away, and the quiet times that come from being the one at home and in charge.


Notes from the garden.




Some photos from parts of the garden yesterday. Lots of beets, potatoes, and tomatoes. I’m not sure how many tomato plants we planted, but you can see the first two biggest rows here and we have four more rows growing in succession. Almost all are Roma’s, for sauces etc..

The corn, peas, beans, pumpkins and carrots are also doing well but I’m not as happy with the melons as I just can not keep ahead of the weeds in that area this year.

I’m pretty sure my peppers are all a no-go this time. I’m just not sure starting peppers or toms from seeds will ever work for me. Most of my toms that are doing well, are ones we bought as plants. Meanwhile, I spent hours and hours of my time, energy, and electricity for heat lamps, trying to grow them from seed since March! When I think about those hours turned into hours working in my business, it doesn’t equal up. I’m also not fond of gardening ‘indoors’, so my time could be much better spent in the early spring. I believe next year I will focus that time on increasing my products in business, to stock up items for the shops, in preparation of the busy planting and summer season!

I totally failed at getting my salad greens planted. First we had all that rain and floods, then my tiller died. After that, I couldn’t seem to get the area designated for greens cleared of ALL the weeds that popped up from all that rain, long enough to plant the seeds!

I’ve decided I’ll plant a select few in a large antique laundry tub I have, and save the rest of the seeds for next year.

When I wander the garden this year(amidst all the horse flies and Mosquitos we have in an OVERABUNDANCE), if I look to all the enormous amounts of veggies that are doing so well, my heart swells and I feel so totally blessed. When I attempt to tackle the weeds that have completely overtaken other parts of the garden, I feel overwhelmed, and completely defeated.

This year has been a real mix of extreme ups and downs.

In the garden… and in our lives.

Baby Mine, Getting Married

As a parent, there are many milestones we go through while raising our children. The final goal is the same through each of these milestones, to do the very best that we can to raise our kids right.

This ‘raising our kids right’ thing has never been more prominent in my mind as it has been these past 5 weeks since my daughter announced her wedding date.

SO many emotions every day as we make plans and the date gets closer to when she’ll walk down that aisle.

Excitement for the new path that’s laid out before this eldest daughter of mine.

Excitement in our family growing by the addition of a new son (in law).

Yet the occasional struggle to come to grips that my time as “mommy” to my “little girl” will never be the same.

It doesn’t even seem possible that it’s already time, that she’s already grown up.

I was actually doing quite fine with it all, enjoying it and embracing it all very well actually… until I heard a song. I can’t even remember where I heard it? TV perhaps, or the background music on a Facebook video? Maybe the radio? I’m not sure.

What I am sure of though, is that I have not been able to keep my emotions under wrap since! And it’s kind of driving me bonkers… I’m not accustomed to not being in control of my emotions.


Over 22.5 years ago for Alesia’s very first Christmas my husbands aunt gave us a music tape of lullabies.
Every single night for many years afterwards I would play this tape and sing along with the lullabies while I rocked my baby, and later on, babies.

Baby Mine

This particular song was one of my favourites. It’s brought back such strong vivid memories of my first years as a mother with this Baby of Mine.

I sometimes feel like I’ve spent half my life battling this little girl. We are alike in some ways, both stubborn and strong willed. In other ways, we are very different. These differences have been the heart of many battles over the years.

I am an introvert, and this girl of mine is an extrovert through and through. It’s often difficult for us to understand one another because of this.

Yet these same ‘issues’ that caused struggles growing up, are probably some of the things we admire most in one another.

I admire her ease in public and ability to take on new tasks and meet new people.

I expect one day when she has children, she’ll appreciate her mother’s ability to be content at home raising her family.

But no matter the struggles, the joys have been so much more. With marriage and the addition of John to the family, there’s the promise of even more joy. We truly are blessed.

Family and friends are coming from as far as the Netherlands, Texas, Ontario, British Columbia and of course, nearby, to help us celebrate! I’m in awe at the willingness of so many to drop everything on such short notice to join us. It will be a true celebration!

This introvert is trying her best to embrace the ‘crowd’ and follow her daughters lead in enjoying all the people! ;)


As we spend these last ten days preparing for Alesia’s wedding, I’m sure the emotional roller coaster will continue and I’ll keep hanging on for the ride!

Raising children is definitely the ride of my life! I’m quite sure that ride doesn’t stop when they get married!

The Balancing Act

The balancing act.

How to do it all, and do it well.

Parksville Beach, Vancouver Island, BC

Ever since having children, life has been a balancing act. It’s one thing to balance the ‘todo’ priorities on the list, but what about the extras? Often it’s the extra things in life that are truly the most important to us. The things that drive us, give us our ambition and motivation. Our passions, our desires. What about balancing life enough to give time to THOSE things?

Since my eldest was born over 22 years ago, I’ve always made it a point to find the time to relax, enjoy life, and enjoy the simple things life has to offer, no matter how busy things get. Our culture is busy, and I get that. We are a busy family, even though we spend the majority of our days now at home. With a homestead, life at home IS busy.

But, it’s important to slow down and smell the roses, as they say. If we, as mothers, rush through life and don’t stop to enjoy the little things, our children will follow our example and be stressed out, rushed teens and adults.

Stressed out teens and adults is not our ultimate parenting goal.

Enos Lake Nature Hike, Vancouver Island, BC

With 5 children in the first 8 years of our marriage, the youngest three being born within 22 months, it wasn’t always easy to find that time to enjoy the simple things. However, with creativity and some forethought, it was always possible!

While our first children were babies, and I worked outside of the home, I learned to take time out by having a long hot bath at least once or twice a week to refresh me, and lift my mood. Even if it meant dragging a baby bassinet into the bathroom with me, to have baby close enough if he/she woke up. Often times the heat and steam of the bathroom would help them sleep even better and I’d be left to enjoy my quiet time with baby near by, and a great book in hand, while I soaked up some bubbles.

During the time of just one child, we lived in BC near the ocean. Hubby and I would go for a walk on the beach many evenings with our two dogs, and baby Alesia in the snuggly. It was good to get out and enjoy nature and the peace and quiet the ocean has to offer. By the time our second child was born, I was working evenings and hubby worked days. We didn’t see much of each other for a while. We planned things this way though, so that we’d never need childcare. We ‘tag teamed’ child raising for a few years. During part of that time, I also had a home daycare. Often I’d load up 7 children ages 5 and under, and take them to the park and beach. Two good friends with children the same ages, would meet me there and we’d take turns pushing children on swings and visiting with one another while we all kept a watchful eye on our group. We’d bring along coffee so it was a real visit, even with so many little ones joining us. It worked out so well for us to have 3 adults. When we would all go to the beach, one mom could stay on the sand with the babies, the other two could be in the water with the ‘older’ ones.

Once all five of our children had come along and were old enough to walk, we would go on picnics at nearby parks or the beach, any and every chance we got. Nature walks were a HUGE thing as well, hikes and walks, as soon as they were old enough to walk or bike any distance, or even just sit in a stroller for a good amount of time. Where ever we went, I brought along a book so I could sit and read while the children played and/or rested. I think back to days on those days spent on picnic blankets with great fondness.

Lantzville, Vancouver Island, BC

I still remember the very first outing I had alone with all five children. I had been waiting for weeks, because I had delivered our twins by c-section and I was not permitted to drive. At exactly 6 weeks, I loaded all five kids into the van along with the double stroller and we were off to the local beach park! It was so great to get out, and everyone had tons of fun, until it began to pour down rain. I rushed as fast as I could to gather the older kids while pushing the awkward double stroller through the sand to the van only to find out I had locked the keys in there… By now the park had been emptied out and there was no one to ask for help.

There we all stood, my very first outing alone as mom to five kids, in the pouring rain, locked out of our van. Ha!

It’s still a good memory though.
Alesia and Joshua went to find someone to call autoclub and they didn’t take too long to arrive to unlock the door for me. I was still proud of myself for getting out and about on my own with an 8 yr old, 6 year old, a not quite 2 year old and 6 week old twins!

Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island, BC

These days, the kids are 22, 20, 16, and the twins 14. It’s no longer a struggle to find alone time to have a bubble bath (although my kids still seem to have a hard time NOT knocking in the door while I’m in the tub…). Now that the children are older and can mind themselves, I can sneak away and have a good long soak, or even go for a walk, with or without them.

Prairie Grove Road, Saskatchewan


We no longer need to drive for a nature walk, since we live in the rural prairie countryside! We still love day trips though, to check out nearby bodies of water and other attractions. Hubby and I have decided that every ‘stint’ of time off he has between his 12 hour work shifts, we will make a point of ‘staycationing’ at least day trip! We did this a few years ago while we were still living on Vancouver Island, and we all loved it. With a hobby farm and animals to feed, a garden to water and weed, and a home based business, there’s not so much opportunity to go away for long vacations so day trips and ‘staycations’ have become our favourite thing!

Ammonite Falls, Vancouver Island, BC

My extras are different now from years ago. Now I take time out to garden, which really isn’t an extra, since it does feeds the family & needs to be a top priority. It’s still an extra to me though because I love it so much. I learn SO much good stuff while gardening. God often whispers great wisdom to me while I’m working there.

I also like to write, and read, but in the last while I have not taken the time for either. I’m trying to change that because it helps to keep my creativity flowing and inspires even more creativity. Sewing, it’s something I do almost every single day yet I can not remember the last time I sewed something for myself. I did sew each of the younger three girls a bamboo velour quilt, but it took 14 months to complete them in time for this Christmas! They were meant to be given the Christmas before! lol I’ve purposed to make myself a quilt too now, since they don’t appreciate me constantly stealing theirs. I’ve decided to make it a family quilt by having each one dye different colours to be added to my quilt. It’s going to be my Mother’s Day gift. Hopefully for 2014, not 2015. Ha!

Julia & Nikki, just look at that smile!

Another extra that is very important to me, is riding the horses. This ‘extra’ has been neglected for far too long, through too many moves. It’s to the point now that I’m actually fearful of getting on my horse which really is a shame and not something I’m proud to admit! How many people dream of having a horse? I have one, and I’m too fearful to hop on her because it’s been so long since I’ve had the time to properly work with her. Plus I constantly worry about falling off and falling hard since I’m not as young as I used to be, and out of shape. I fear if I fall I’ll break an arm or my sewing foot or something, and then be out of work for a while. The fears are some what valid, but they are still fears. I want to conquer fears!

So that’s my goal this year.
To conquer fears, set aside excuses, and work on adding back in all the extras!

Train Tracks, Nanoose Bay, BC

How about you?
As a parent it can be more difficult to fit everything in but you can do it!

What are the extra’s in your life that you’ve been missing out on that you would like to find the time for again?

If you’ve ever wondered why… regarding shipping times here at the Homestead Emporium

It’s Monday and we’re behind on shipping.
I REALLY hate it when this happens! I hope my customers truly understand that we never ‘aim’ to have shipping delays!! We’ve been working hard since finally settling into our ‘final’ homestead, on getting shipping times down. However, sometimes life gets in the way and one day turns into two, then three, a busy weekend comes along, and here we are, late.

Our goal at the Homestead Emporium has always been to have two shipping days per week. This actually works out quite well and most weeks one of us gets all our packages to the post office twice. Sometimes, like this past week, things come up that cause every.single.thing we do to get backed up. We didn’t even have time for a stocking this week, which REALLY affects the home budget! A trip to the city on Tuesday for taxes, pretty much a full day adventure. Friday and Saturday an indoor garage sale to benefit our local museum. My goal each week is to TRY my best to have two days for just family, Saturday and Sunday. That didn’t work so well this week. I ended up working until 11:30pm Sunday, and I’m still not caught up.

This is the one real struggle for me about being a work at home mom. Work and home life must co-exist. There’s no heading off to work for 8 hours, working, getting it done, and going home. Since I’m at home and not away at work, it can often be taken for granted that I can run the kids to places, or I can stop everything to do whatever might come up. On top of working at home, I homeschool the kids, so I really do NOT like to disrupt our routine. I prefer to keep weekday mornings free for school and weekday afternoons (and often evenings) free for work. Things flow well when we stick to this schedule.

What’s all this got to do with shipping times?

I read a review the other day about a work at home mom (wahm) and it got me pondering our shipping issue. The reviewer was comparing the first wahm to another, saying that the first wahm had a smaller business then the second wahm, but the second had faster turn around times for email replies and shipping. So, to this reviewer, the first wahm had no excuse for not being just as fast, if not faster.

The review, in reality, was simply not a fair comparison. It got me wondering if this was the view of most wahm customers? Do they expect super fast shipping and emails from wahm’s because they are always at home and should be near their computer and sewing machines?

The first work at home mom does a lot of the work herself, as I do, in her business. Her turn around time was being compared to another work at home mom that has a lot of help. The first work at home mom does all her own sewing, all her own email replying, as do I. The second work at home mom has seamstresses that do the majority of her sewing now, and her husband also works the home business full time.

The comparison, and ultimately the review left for this wahm, did not take each woman’s reality into account.

I know our business is not lightening fast with shipping, and I really don’t know how to change that without drastically changing our family & homestead lifestyle.

I do have a shipping helper, but she’s young, and still learning. She does a great job gathering all the items and packaging them, but the final job of closing up packages and printing out shipping labels is still something I have to do. I decided a long time ago that this business would remain a FAMILY business as much as is possible while allowing our children (who are all now teens and adults) to come alongside and learn the business in ways that they WANT to participate. There’s no forced labour. Although, my son may argue with that as he really doesn’t “love” doing snaps, but thankfully he still does about 60% and our 16 year old is helping me do the other 40%. That means I’m doing snaps again where as before, Joshua did them ALL. The business is growing though, and I’m not wanting to ‘force’ him to do more than he wants to do, but there’s only one of me and only so much time in a day. Or in a week.

It’s a constant balancing act. Trying to figure out the very best way to allow the business to grow, while allowing my children to grow IN the business, in ways they WANT to.

This means deciding when it’s best to hire outside help, like Wendy and Ryan from, who have taken over a lot of my webwork! None of my children have the capacity, or desire, to do webwork at this time. At one time, Alesia did, so she took care of some, like all our etsy listings. Now she’s an assistant manager in her outside-the-home-job, and is in a serious relationship. Her other half lives 2 hours away so this means a lot of travel time for them. She simply doesn’t have the time to devote to Homestead Emporium any longer. So now Wendy is my right hand woman when it comes to all things online! And she does a fantastic job!

But Wendy can’t come over here and ship packages for me. She’s 2 hours away. :p

Besides, our children all enjoy the income they make from the business. This is the ultimate goal, that each family member who so desires, is able to make a good income through Homestead Emporium.

But that requires patience from me, to teach them and work alongside them. Teaching your own teens to work alongside you is different than being able to hand over a job to an outside adult. Since I do both, I know which one is easier. Hiring an adult…
But nothing worth while in life is easy, and watching our children grow and learn from a business I began is worth the extra work. And patience.

However, it does require a little more patience from our customers too. My hope has always been that each one of you will feel it’s worth the wait too.

Our family and business goal, has never been to deliver the FASTEST.
Our family and business goal has been to deliver the very BEST!

I’m hoping to get into a blogging groove…

I probably shouldn’t even type that out, I’m likely to ‘jinx’ myself and forget all about blogging from here on out! Things have been relatively busy here on the homestead for the past while. Then again, when isn’t it? Between getting ready for spring and planting seeds in countless pots in hopes of not having to buy starter plants this year, to the regular work of the Homestead Emporium, to homeschooling 3 grade 10′s and every day life of cooking, cleaning, and caring for animals, I don’t doubt busy is the ‘normal’ for our family. 20140427-141830.jpg   This afternoon I spent 1.5 hours planting more seeds. So far I’ve learned that the Jalapeño pepper seeds grow wonderfully and easily. Onion seeds are either very difficult, or they simply hate me. Sweet peppers came up ‘ok’. Out of all the seeds I started, I have 6 healthy good sized seedlings. Giant peppers, I have four. Hmmm…. I guess we’ll be eating a lot of SPICEY foods this upcoming year. lol Good thing most of us like the spicy flavour of Jalapeño! I hope to make Jalapeño infused oil this year too, so I’ll need extras in case I goof up a few times. Or more. So far my asparagus seeds are not really showing any promise, but I have lots of seeds left and considering they take 2-3  years before we can eat any anyways, I’m not in a hurry. We’ll get there, sooner or later! I have 3 wonderberry trees/bushes/seedlings coming up already. I’m pleased about that. Growing veggies is one thing I expect to be able to do. Growing fruit, to me is a true added bonus. I found out today that you can grow elderberry here in Saskatchewan. If I can’t find any starters this year, I’ll definitely be looking for seeds to start my own next  year! My tomato plants are doing alright. They are a tad leggy but I’ve started some more seeds in hopes that all is not lost. My Dad’s tomatoes grow the best, followed by the Pearly Pinks, with the Amish Paste tomatoes coming up very poorly. That’s a disappointment since I want, and need, them the most. I started a bunch more today in a better starter soil. Hopefully they will come up better this time. I was leafing through all my seed packets today and realized quite a few seeds need to be planted 2-3 weeks before last frost… hmmm…. that would be a week or two from now. Considering we can barely get TO the garden due to snow, and on days like today, muck, things will need to warm up and dry up awfully quick for that to be happening any time soon. Knowing the incredible rush & hurry that occurs once spring planting season is upon us, and knowing that I was too late with about half my seeds last year, almost causes my heart to skip a beat thinking about the busyness that will soon be upon us! Homesteading isn’t easy, but I have to admit, that for the most part it’s quite pleasurable. The other week when the family was away and I was left to feed all the animals their mid-day meal, even though it was blustery outside, I found myself pausing as I pushed the wheelbarrow of hay and just gazing around in awe that all this is ours. That this is my life. Finally. I really don’t think the wonder of that will ever cease. 20140427-141843.jpg   On the Homestead the baby animals are growing well. Sadly, Cinder the pint sized lamb did not make it. She fought well for about a month and we had hoped perhaps she’d simply be a pint sized lamb for the rest of her life but she passed away in her sleep one night. She never did figure out how to eat, or even suck on a bottle, so it wasn’t really a surprise. We had been syringe feeding her every feeding since birth. She gained weight slowly but steadily, and always seemed happy, and definitely very sweet, but she just never thrived, and always only barely survived. Her brother and sister and then Millie, our first lamb, are all growing like weeds! They get to play outside daily now that the weather is warmer, and they love it. Millie is so happy to finally have playmates! She always tried hard to get her mama to play with her, jumping up on her back, bouncing all around her, but to no avail. Now she has two playmates as they all share the large stall together, and the outdoor pen. It won’t be long before it’s time to find new homes for the moms. Our ram has already found a new home with a great big family of girls. Shaylah was SO worried that he’d miss her, but seeing as he’s gone from having 2 girlfriends to about 100 times as many… I think he’ll survive. Thankfully Millie, his daughter, is just like him. Super friendly, learns fast, and is more of a pet then livestock, so Shaylah’s very happy about keeping her. Julia is raising her lambs to sell once they are older. Once they are sold, she says she’ll stick with horses and focus more on horse training and riding. Shaylah will be getting one or two Shetland lambs early summer, and will raise them, along with Millie, to be used for their wool from now on. She’s also got plans to make a small cart, which she intends on teaching Millie to pull. We’ll see how that goes! I think we’ll need to make a custom halter for her, since their wool tends to be pulled on when sheep pull carts. I’m pretty sure we can figure something out though, with a little creativity! As I keep writing I’m realzing I probably don’t blog a lot because it always takes me so long and I write too much. It’s a vicious cycle! One day I’ll learn how to write SHORT blog posts. Obviously not today though! Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow. ;)