Thursday, September 8, 2016

Farm Changes and Fun Children

Summer is quickly closing in on us.  Some of us are in denial....okay most of us are.  We've had such a fun summer of additions, new experiences, family outtings, and enjoying this country life we've been blessed with.  

Since my last blog post, we've added two girls to our family.  These girls have been in Jonathon's dreams for quite some time, and he finally found them and brought them home.  They were just waiting for him at the auction barn.  We are realizing that he got a good deal AND some beautiful ladies to enhance our farm life.  His family used to raise Herferd cows and my Grandpa German also had them, so it only made sense for us to find some of this breed to buy for butchering.  Well, who wants to butcher such pretty animals as these.  So, after his wife told him that he really shouldn't butcher them because they are such fine specimen, Jonathon was granted permission to keep them for breeding.  What am I turning into?....don't you dare say a "farmer's wife".  :)   So, now we wait to breed them and see how that process goes.  They sure have added some beauty to our field and have been a delight to watch.    
 Meet Rosie and Iris, the first cows of the herd that we would like to develop on our farm to produce and sell purely Grass Fed Beef, full of nature's plants that put health into meat.  If you're interested in meat, please contact us for more information and a time frame of when we'll have meat available.
 The farmer boy is sure loving them.

And now the farmer is looking for cows that he will actually butcher in the fall or spring.  He loves shopping for cows.  :)

 You've all met Titus.  He continues to become a good dog.  He's met our new girls and is scared of them, so he reacts in his scared way with barking and hair standing on his back.  He'll get used to them eventually, but he is monitored closely around them at this point.  He's now off leash on the farm, which  is great fun for us and him too.  He's doing great!  He still has some issues to work through, but he's really come a long way.  I can't let these two little ones grow up without posting some of their interaction with each other.  They sure love each other.

 One of their favorite games to play is taking the bone away from each other.  Titus will lay down and start chewing on a bone, and Hadassah will crawl over to him and take it away from him.  He politely waits til she has it infront of him and takes it away from her.  Then he usually gets up and walks a few steps away and lays back down.  She'll crawl over to him and take the bone away again and the game continues.  They do this for an hour at a time.  It's hilarious to watch.

 Oh yes, she always tries to eat it too.  Ugh!

 He's so patient with her.  :)

Our Saphira Grace had a 4th birthday last week.  She sure is growing and hasn't changed out of the little gem that she was born as.  Our hearts melt at so many things she says and does.

Happy 4th Birthday to our Saphi G.

School is in session at our house.  We balked at starting for a long time, because there is still garden work, ball to play in the yard, outside adventures, and too much fun to be had NOT in the house infront of books.  :)

We had a garage sale at my parent's house this week, and I knew that would be counted as school (running the money box, counting back change, conversing with customers), but we also took along some studies on DNA that we are working on.  We've tested our dog to see what breed he is and are waiting for the results to come back.  In the mean time, we are learning all about DNA, traits, and heredity.  It's been fun for me to do things not in the books and just enjoy some different learning ideas.  We extracted DNA from a banana which was very interesting.  The children paired up and made DNA Helix models.  They watched videos on the topics, including one on dogs that was a great overview of all that we've talked about this week, but relating it to dogs, which they are all interested in.  As a family, we did a Trait Activity with M&M's to show how each family trait can be found in our children from past grandparents....or not found.  That was fun as we called each grandparent and asked for 6 family traits, then as the children randomly drew out traits of the grandparents we read through the traits we wrote down to see which ones they got.  It was fun, not very accurate (since Benaiah didn't draw out all of the Murphy traits like we thought he should've  :D), but a good hands on experiment for them to see how it all works

 Jonathon might have had more fun with this activity than the children did.  :)

Today they are writing letters to a person of choice to explain what they've learned and practice letter writing.  It's fun to see the difference in what they say and how they write based on their age.  Tomorrow the books come out.  Sadly, they can't stay on the shelf forever.  Hopefully it will be a quick school morning as we will have tomatoes to can, and then in the evening we help pack food boxes for Feed My Starving Children.  If you've never participated doing this, check their website and see if there is a location near you.  It's a great organization who needs lots of hands to help their mission.

The farm is growing, school is off and running, the weather is changing, and we are all gearing up for some fun fall activities and family time together.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Moments to cherish

What a full weekend of delight we had!  A wedding took up a lot of time with rehearsal and the actual wedding at the end of the week, and then we went right into the rest of the weekend with fun with our family.  Two dear friends of ours got married on Friday evening.  It was a beautiful evening for it and such a lovely place to be married and to celebrate this special time.  Jonathon and I sang during the ceremony and during the reception, so we were glad to be a part in this way.  Alegra was able to be one of the photographers to get some practice with wedding photography.  She learned a lot and got more ideas of what to do and not do.   Most of these pictures are her's.       

On Saturday we decided to take a family day and stay closer to home.  After a lazy day of playing with the dog and just enjoying the rainy day, the wet weather cleared, and we headed to David Roger's Park for the country fair.  We always enjoy the old fashioned games and crafts and hanging out with our friends who do blacksmithing there.  It's a slow paced time where we can just sit around and watch good entertainment done the old way.  This year was especially fun as another family joined up with us and added to the festivities with their participation.
 The girls love making baskets.

 There are always fun contests for children and adults.  Our children aren't into the contests (maybe one day they will be), but Jonathon and I participated in the quick draw, gun shooting contest.  Cattle Girl (aka me) won in the adult division and then had to prove my quickness by going against the Lone Ranger.  I beat him too.  :)  I won an amazing Gold Cap Gun that Benaiah is quite fond of.

Then onto the pie eating contest.  Our friends two boys were selected to participate and boy did they make it a lot more fun to watch.  Ian and Micah did a great job chowing down on that pie!  I probably took way too many pictures, but I just couldn't resist all their facial expressions and mouths full of pie!
 The contestants and their pie.

 Ready, GO!

 They had 7 minutes to eat as much as they could.

 No hands allowed.

  Only their faces.

 The crowd cheered and laughed with enjoyment.

 A proud dad getting the amazing eater on camera.

 It was epic.

 No, he didn't eat the pie pan.

 Holding up the pies to see how everyone did.

 Noticing Ian's pie is gone, except a few crumbs on the table!

 Pronouncing the winner!  

 And the first to eat the whole pie!

 After the pie eating we watched Punch and Judy, a puppet show, then headed back up to tghe stage to listen to the music and do some square dancing.
 We all participated and got a chance to learn some new things and just enjoy being outside with friends.  Those simple moments just can't be beat at times.

Sometimes we have to sit back and remember what life used to be like for people.  When we visit David Rogers Park, we often wonder what it was like to live in community and have neighbors that you were in fellowship with on a daily basis.  Our family would love to live back in those times of working hard on farms, living closely with neighbors, and helping each other out when there's a need.  It seems like it would be a harder life, but seems like it would be so much more fulfilling than the fast paced day we live in now.

We sure try to keep our children focused on the little things, the things that really affect people's hearts and encourage others for good.  We try to not get caught up in fast paced activities that keep our family constantly on the go.  We try to do more things that revolve around nature, music, and hands on activities.

Slow down.  Smell the fresh air.  
Take in the views that are around you.  
Drink some lemonade and have a sweet treat with a neigbor. 
 Lend a hand and offer some words of encouragement.
Enjoy the simple things.