Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Fox and The Bull

I wanted to update you on Monday – but Monday got away from me. Yesterday and today have been a change in routine because Joel is home sick. Yesterday he slept most of the day and woke up today feeling much better, but he also had an eye infection of some sort and that was twice as bad today. At the rate it’s going, it seems like his eye will be shut by tomorrow.

While he’s at the doctors, I thought I’d finally sit to write.

Last weekend was a wonderful but busy one. We celebrated Resurrection Sunday with a Sunrise Service, Church Breakfast and Worship Service. It was a wonderful time! We spent some time at Joel’s sister and brother in law’s house with his family, and then came back to my parents for a dinner. We intended to go back down to his sister’s house, but we had a chicken problem to take care of and we were quite drained.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tribute to my husband – Thanks for sharing the load

There is a really cute video going around right now. I really like it. It lists all sorts of job requirements that seem unreasonable if a boss were to ask you to do them. 24/7 on the job. 365 days a year. You can eat after the associate finishes eating. You would benefit from medical, culinary arts, and finance training. You need to be mobile and active and be able to be on your feet most of the day. You may need to stay up at night with the associate.

And you don’t get monetary reward or reimbursement.

Here it is:

Until he told them who did those jobs, this job seemed unimaginable and doomful! It made me think about why it isn't completely draining for me to be a stay at home mom and it's not just because of the feeling I get from knowing I'm helping the associates.

The money aspect

It’s not all about how much we are worth to society monetarily.

My husband makes sure we have what we all need. He’s not hoarding the money or saying “I worked hard for that money so I’m going to go buy this…” If I ask for clothes, he'll make sure we can buy them. The kids are clothed and we eat food.

I’ve never felt like it’s his money v. my money.

Reward of the feeling of helping my family and children

This is the truth. It is wonderful to know I'm helping. I save our family money by staying home too. I know I’m contributing in multiple ways.

Not being able to run away from being a mom/wife - but not wanting to either

That whole no vacations/no time off thing doesn't bother me. But it would if I was literally doing all this by myself.

I’m not a lone parent. My husband doesn’t come home and kick back and expect me to continue doing everything. He plays with the kids, changes diapers, tucks them into bed, does homesteading stuff, cooks in the kitchen. He’s a variety pack. And he helps our children in the middle of the night.

I don’t feel mommy drained or like I need to escape. And I do not envy an out of home job. I know my husband would love to be able to work from home.

So, who has the hardest job?

I tend to think my husband has the hardest job in our family right now. And I have the best job.

My job is hard, but Joel is so good at helping, making time for us, and listening to needs in the house, that I don’t feel like I’m personally running the show 24/7 without a break. Sometimes I ask for an extra break after a particularly difficult week, or couple days, but on those days he makes dinner, lets me sleep in, or changes the rest of the diapers for the night.

I get to work at my favorite job, put all sorts of skills to use, and get the reward of helping my family.

My husband appreciates everything that video says and he pitches in. I'm thankful to have a husband who participates so much around here.

And that video makes me appreciate my own parents too. My mom was ALWAYS there to listen, day and night. And my Dad, who worked 40-60 hours a week, was always supporting her. I remember him randomly vacuuming the floor for her, or telling her to sit down while he did the dishes. And I remember both my parents coming into our rooms at night when we had nightmares. I’m so glad to have had the model of two active parents.

So while this made me so thankful for all the moms out there, it also made me so thankful for all the active parents in general.

Thank you, video, for making me all mushy gushy about being a parent and how much I adore and am thankful that I'm not on the parenting journey alone. My husband is a rockstar.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to name a cow - the calf's name revealed

We had a hard time naming our little calf. Some people can’t name the animals they are going to eat. I do understand that naming them might cause more attachment, but we think we’ll be alright. We plan to love all the animals here personally and that’s easier for us if we can talk to them and call them by name. Our meat is going to have a good life here.

So here are the steps that went on with naming our cow:

First establish what the cow is for. Sale? To raise as a milk cow? As an oxen? As a Bull? Or as meat?

    - so ours is meat. Can’t be too personal. Have to remember it will be in the freezer.

Look up popular names for cows.

    - Calvin, Mr. Moo, Norman, Wilbert, Sir Loin

The extra step for a meat animal: Picture yourself sweetly calling the steer to the fence for a treat. Then picture yourself declaring any of those names as being in your freezer.

   - Wow, (Calvin, Mr. Moo, Norman, Wilbert, Sir Loin) gave us a lot of meat this year.

Okay, so how did that go? All of those names seemed too creepy to me. It's probably just because it's my first time. And maybe because a lot of those names sound like a great uncle, twice removed's name. Giving our first steer a real human name like Calvin, Norman or Wilbert seemed odd. I can’t talk about “Norman” in the freezer. It had to be a nonchalant name that just rolled off the tongue.

So what rolled off the tongue when I was calling him? I present to you:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Winter's out, spring is in - new gardening tool to celebrate

Brrr… It’s cold over here. That’s mostly because I just finished drinking more chocolate milk (with ice in it because I like it extra cold). We made maple chocolate syrup last night and it is wonderful.

Thanks for the milk, lady.
I asked Noah to get me a blanket, but Isaac eagerly brought me one instead. They are sweet boys. Isaac also brought me a pillow… I wish buddy. I can’t wait for nap time!

We sold our car recently, which is wonderful. We spent some of it on a fun homesteading investment (I’ll tell you about that in a second), but then some went to oil. It’s been a long, rough winter on the oil bill. There were so many extreme colds. We have a plan for oil, but it is for a ‘regular’ year. And this was not a regular year. It ended up being perfect timing for the car sale.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Calf's First Day, Continued

Read part one here.

And then… we heard loud mooing. This time, someone was complaining!

Joel got up and looked out the door. The calf was wandering around outside with Buttercup following close behind. Norway was watching from his side.

Joel turned around and told me they seemed fine but he wanted to keep watching to make sure. When he turned back around:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Calf is Born!

I’ve been absent from blogging for a little while. I think I treated Buttercup’s end of pregnancy like I’ve treated my two pregnancies – I went into numb seclusion and had the attitude of: let’s just not talk.

I was so excited in my own way, but didn’t want to make too many assumptions about how wonderful it would be. Would she have ketosis or milk fever? Would she be a good mom or reject her calf? Would the calf be strong, eager to eat, or be weak?

Jerseys are supposed to be at particular risk for milk fever. And I was hoping that we had balanced her nutrition properly for a healthy calf and mom and safe calving.

Well – it happened! And everything went generally well! Here's the story:



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