Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals 2012

Happy New Year mofit

Goals. . . I have never really sat and thought hard about them, or even written them down.  Goal planning has just never been one of my strong points - although working through the chaos that comes from not having a set course is not easy either.  So after reading a post from Quinn at On Just a Couple Acres, I decided it was time this year to put some goals on paper for our One Blessed Acre homestead.  Building a homestead isn't a quick process - it doesn't occur in one year, but over several and we are beginning our third year here, so I feel it's time.

Our goals for 2012 ~

~At the beginning of the year we are planning and praying that our baby doe Nubian goats will be born and delivered to us.  We are anxious to begin the journey into raising goats for milk so that we can drink it foremost, but also to learn the process of making cheese, butter and soap.  The back area behind our chicken run will have to be enlarged and fenced in to house these new additions to our homestead. 

We enlarged our garden last year and while we were able to grow more vegetables this last year, we had a slow start.  If it wasn't the crows stealing the seeds or the gophers digging up the potatoes, it might have been the slugs that ate up the tender shoots.

~I hope to try my hand at winter sowing seeds.  I just might be able to get some early seed growth going while we are in our rainiest months April - May.  This just might actually beat those darn slugs.  With the mini-greenhouses, I might actually get some herbs to grow here on the North Coast.

~Our first order of business will be to make a scarecrow for the garden.   Perhaps something like this. .

Two scarecrows in the field
~Next, we'll need some row covers and the West Ladies are just my inspiration.  In their Homestead Blessings Gardening DVD they show exactly how to install row covers which will protect my early crops from a myriad of pesky pests.

~I also hope to expand my herb garden and fill our front garden beds with more perennial herbs, both medicinal and culinary.

~To our orchard - Next fall, my plans are to plant a few more fruit trees , such as another pear tree and perhaps a plum.  I'm not sure what will do well here. . . I'm hesistant to try figs (while they grow great here) because no one in the family is particularly fond of them.  Maybe another apple tree to replace the old one that only produced a handful of apples this year.
~We'll be adding some new layers to our flock in the spring so that we don't always have the "Sold Out" sign up on our egg stand.  We have been blessed with such a demand for our ladies' eggs, we rarely have enough to supply everyone that stops by.  Anne is also going to try her hand this year with some specialty breeds to show at the fair this summer. .  perhaps a Silkie.

~Our meat chicken production has been nil.   We'd like to try doing a set of 25 in the summer, but we are struggling with where to house them. .  we aren't sure if we can put them in with the other layers.  We know that the meat would be far superior than the meat we are buying at the grocery store, as well, we'd know how well the animals were treated while with us.
~Hannah would love to get new rabbits this year - she is still missing her two bunnies from last year that died unexpectedly.  My husband would love to get into raising meat rabbits, and we could easily build a few more rabbit hutches.

~I'm determined to finish a king-size quilt I began about 4 years ago for our bedroom.  This is just one of the many pieces I have completed.   I just need to piece it together and put a backing on it.

~I am going to keep better financial records of how much our garden costs and food storage amounts that we put up this year to get a better understanding of what it will take to be self-sustaining (well, at least 75% or so)

~And lastly, I hope to paint our master bedroom . . . . I'm envisioning this color

So, while I've never done any formal goal planning, this seems like a good fit for us to accomplish this 2012.  Many blessings to you all.


Monday, December 26, 2011

home during the holidays

CHRISTMAS is for family

we have been busy this month

every year we begin with the town tree lighting. . . the streets are packed, we are all dressed warm and the town kicks off the Christmas season by lighting the tree at the end of Main Street, while singing several carols.

even Anne got to participate in running the show this year through the 4-H Community Pride group

the tractor parade is always a fun time.  George especially loved seeing the many John Deere tractors drive by all lit up with their twinkling lights
and for a first - it didn't rain this year

we had a cookie exchange at our house - I ate way too many cookies - must stop eating cookies

we've baked cookies, santa hats, peppermint bark and pretzels and delivered them all before Christmas to our neighbors and close friends. .  .  spending time together with the kids baking creates such wonderful memories
no one, not even Grammie will forget George swinging pretzel dough around the dining room - good thing not one pretzel was formed with that dough!  Keeping things simple and lighthearted creates something so sweet and special.

we've been to the dentist this month, and we have to go back this week for cavity and sealant fills - not such a fond moment for those un-named children
we've been to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas Eve dinner. . .the fireplace was roaring, heat pouring throughout the room and once in the door, everyone scrambled to get the "hot seat."  The candles were lit and little ones were told NOT to touch them (that sometimes can backfire)

we ate our traditional, delicious Northern California crab and steak dinner with my parents

we haven't had all rosy moments this month and not all the moods were festive - Anne was not feeling up to par, but was a good spirit and came with us to Grandpa and Grandma's for dinner and gifts

we've opened many gifts - all of which are so appreciated. . . both in the time to make and/or buy them, wrap them, and send/give them. . . I think everyone would agree that we are all very blessed

All kids got new warm socks.  A bonus was to be had for the girls. . .Grandma got them new pajamas for when they spend the night
we've enjoyed spending time with family.  Family is what makes this season special . . .we love sharing it with family.  We only wish that ALL of our family could be closer so that we ALL could be together during these days.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Right now. . . I am. . .

Right now, I am...
:: enjoying every warm day we have before the rain and the chill brings us inside for several months.
:: ecstatic that Lindsay doesn't have another ear infection. . . she's just growing up and more teeth are pushing through those gums of hers and they hurt. . .
:: feeling the busyiness of the holidays picking up, as we scramble to get ready for the coming of Christ.
:: harvesting, still, every last bit of swiss chard and brocolli I possibly can.
:: wanting to get my hands busy with some sewing  . . . both Christmas presents for the girls and the king - size quilt I began several years ago.  Don't you love the way my new table runner turned out (pictured above)!
:: enjoying apple butter canned from last year on my toast this morning.
:: holding my daughters hair while I roll it in rag curls
:: thinking that life couldn't get any better than this
:: grateful for "family" - the ones born into as well as the ones married into
:: anticipating our Christmas morning worship service - we have been truly blessed by those in our church
:: itching to open my presents. . . sometimes I think I'm less patient than the kids
:: wishing my husband a very Happy 17th Anniversary. . . it seems like just yesterday we got married in Lake Tahoe on that blustery, snowy Christmas Eve evening . . . . . I wish I could express in words how much he means to me
:: wondering what next year will hold for our family. .  we went through a big change this year when our second oldest daughter moved out
:: hoping your day is a lovely one, friends.

Merry Christmas to All!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brave Enough

Momma finally got brave enough to use the clippers on my hair. . . . .  don't I look all grown up?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Serve One Another with Love

I Corninthians 13: 4 -7

 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love seems to be missing in our normally quiet home.  Tensions are high and bickerings are abounding as we shuffle from activity to activity during this busy holiday season.  I am currently reading The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson and she touches on this topic of making sure our children understand that loving one another is one of many things they need to be trained for.  She brings her readers right to this passage. 

Loving one another does not come naturally, just put two toddlers together in a room with one toy and see what happens - our nature is inherently wicked - not inherently good as most would like to tell us.  Perhaps that is why we are constantly reminded in the Bible,  Romans 3:10      As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one 

So, whether I have to read this verse to the littles or the olders have to write it over and over, we will learn that love is kind and we are called to be loving towards one another as Christ, our ultimate example, was to us.

Galatians 2:20      I have been  crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but  Christ lives in me; and  the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in  the Son of God, who  loved me and  gave Himself up for me.