Monday, March 3, 2014

Lambs everywhere!!

The ewes have finally finished lambing.  I am quite frustrated with the new ewes, they are not very good mothers.  Out of the 15 new ewes 9 decided not to care for their babies.  I have never had a ewe refuse all of her babies.  It seems that these girls just have no clue what the little ones are trying to do, they will not let them nurse and butt them away.  I even restrained several ewes hoping once the little one got a good drink mama would take such luck.  We are bottle feeding most of this years lambs which really sucks the time.  I am not a happy farmer.  I wish I knew why they will not take the babies.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Farm Fact Friday

Dairy cows drink 25-50 gallons of water each day.  We have 5 dairy cows right now so in a year (if they drink 25 gallons) they drink  45,625 gallons of water a year.  Wow!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Good Bye Plastic Wrap

 I have always had a love hate relationship with plastic wrap..I love that it can keep my food tidy and fresh.   The thought of that plastic being cozy with my food kinda un-nerves me a bit.  Now I know that  plastic people swear that it is totally safe for my cling wrap to contain my food items,but still I worry about the long term effects of such items.  I also hate that plastic wrap is pretty much a one time use sort of thing. I like wax paper but again one use and in the trash it goes.  I thought I would give waxed fabric a try and see if that would work.
 I have a collection of old feed sack cloth, it is 100% cotton and the old prints are so fun.  I cut out a square of fabric and ran it through the serger to hem the edge.  Then I shaved some lovely beeswax.  I bought a old cookie sheet from the thrift and layed my fabric down.  I sprinkled my shaved beeswax over the cloth and put it in a 250 degree oven for about 3 min.
 After I took everything out of the oven I used a cheap paintbrush to push the wax down into the fibers of the cloth.  I hung up my wax infused cloth to let it set.
 After just a few minutes the wax was set.  I love that the wax gives the fabric some body and it sticks top itself just like the plastic wrap.  It does a lovely job clinging to casserole dishes and it looks so pretty surrounding one of the kiddos sandwich.
If the fabric gets soiled I just give it quick swipe with a soft soapy cloth and we are back in business!  I am loving not having to fight that silly plastic wrap!
Linking up with New life on a Homestead

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Home school our way

Homeschooling can be scary.  We started down this path a few years past, and I was terrified.  I had no clue what to do or how to do it.  The amount of information about homeschooling is overwhelming.  I  had met some home school families that were so organized (and seemed to have their second graders doing algebra) I also met families that seemed to not have any structure and the kids ran a muck. Both families were happy with what they were doing and the kids were doing great.
  I started trying to be very structured.. I had everything planned each day down to scheduled free time.  UGH! that was such a failure.  If the phone rang or a customer came everything fell to pieces.  I liked the schedule but it just was not working.  The guilt I had at the end of the day if we got off track was motivation enough to toss the schedule.
My kiddos are great kids but not self starters.  They will gladly do whatever I ask, I just have to ask.  That means I assign math then reading then science then get the point.  Once again If I got busy and did not "ask"them to do math they would just skip it.  I am working with them to work on their own but it is a slow process.  I hope that with time they will learn to do more on their own.  As for right now we have a schedule that is loose,sometimes school does not get finished until after afternoon chores and some days we are done by lunch.  I am not happy the days school goes late but it does get done.  I love homeschooling, the opportunity for the kids to learn in a way that is fun and exciting has really changed their attitude towards learning.  I do not get the whining and complaints like before when they went to public school they love to do school.  It makes me so happy to see them thriving in their education.  #4 has had a wonderful time raising rabbits as part of school.  He has done a great job learning about different feeds and how to care for the bunnies.
I am sure we will continue to have ups and downs with school scheduling and curriculum, but for now it works for us.  Do you homeschool?  How does your day go?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We are pretending it is summer.....

 We have had quite a bit of snow here on the farm.  The kiddos and I have made snow ice cream and decided something new was in order.    With more snow predicted for our area we were desperate for thought of summer.  Snow cones!!
I made a simple syrup of sugar water and drink mix.  It was super easy and the kids LOVED having something a bit different. We made two flavors Tropical Punch and Grape.  They turned out perfect (although I really wish they would not put so much food coloring in the drink mix)

                                                               Snow Cone Syrup
                                                                     1 Cup sugar
                                                                     1 Cup Water
                                                                     1 dry drink mix packet
                                                         Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan
                                                         Stir mixture untill sugar and drink mix are dissolved
                                                         Boil for 1 min.  Let cool and pour over fresh snow. YUM!