Thursday, September 13, 2012

Its Been Far Too Long...

We can't really say I'm any good at keeping up with a blog. And with that ... I apologize for making you all wait to read about updates and seen new pictures. To say that I've been busy is an understatement but with that, I hope you all know that I really do feel bad about not keeping up with this blog!


My visit to Minnesota last month was amazing. It seems like the visit was so long ago. Cadence went though many changes and I learned so much about her while my time away from the farm. I think that had to do with the fact that I had more time to give more of my attention to than I do when I'm here with the animals and getting the house in order, (still from our move). I was with Cadence staying at my parents house for almost a month without Charles since he had to head back to Montana to take care of the garden and animals.

I miss Minnesota and my parents everyday. I'm such a MN girl at heart that being in such a flat area in this state becomes a little boring. But then again I'm used to being in an area that allows me more choices for entertainment and good food! :)

I'm sorry about not seeing more friends and family. I didn't realize just how important each nap is for an infant. Cadence needed to be  more on a schedule and I just didn't have the time to schedule outing with more than I could. I hope to those I was supposed to see or were in talks of seeing, I hope we can make things work next time.

So... what's new on the farm? Well... it's the same old, same old! Well, other than now I've painted the walls of our bedroom, kitchen and hallway. Next will be the living room and bathroom. The biggest project yet to come is getting the really old linoleum off the floor, re-patch the cement holes in the floor and apply the wood flooring! I'm so excited to have Cadence crawling on something that won't be too harsh on he knees.

I have finally gotten the hang of milking the goats!! Big accomplishment there! I've been wanting to learn for so long now. But I do have to be honest by saying that I can only milk 2 out of 3 goats. Maggie is just a little too difficult and my hands hurt after the first one! Oy!

Cadence is 15 pounds at almost 4 months of age. She is so vocal, alert and happy for the most part. She is finally sleeping through the majority of the night. Teething has begun! I find her with her finger index finger sitting in her mouth with big 'ol smile on her face! And that's another thing... She smiles like crazy! I'm so lucky to wake up to such a happy little baby! Now we're just working on getting her to get comfortable with being on her belly more and getting her to balance on her feet with the swing her Grandparents, Tom and Helen gaver her at my baby shower.

.... I will add more tomorrow if I can and with some new pictures!! ... And finally ... we now have extremely fast internet! That only took forever!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hooves and Toes

Hello everyone!

These past couple weeks has been full of all kinds of stuff. Where to begin? ...

We had a little incident with the dogs and the baby goats. And to get right to the point, they're all doing fine but it is a little scary what dogs are capable of! Yikes!

Charles feeding the goats with Cadence! The goats love to give Cadence kisses!!

Taking a peak!

Al and one of our goats!

I finally received my Medela Style breast pump. Works great, but Cadence isn't ready for the fast milk flow even on the slowest flowing nipple I could find. We're hoping she will be able to handle a bottle in a few months! So much for hoping to get more sleep. I love to breast feed but honestly, I feel like I'm at it all day. Its even worse at night because she does NOT like to sleep in her crib. She will sleep in anything during the day but for some reason she HAS to sleep skin to skin with me in bed at night. I cherish those moments greatly, but it really does take a toll on your body, physically and mentally.

The garden is coming along and things are becoming greener and more alive looking. The majority of the gaden has been planted or at least prepped but there's still quite a bit of more planting to do and the hoop houses are still waiting to be built. I cannot wait to start helping after I heal more. The front of our lawn is slowly getting worked on too even though its so hard for me to decide how its all going to look. I won't be surprised if I find myself digging out the plants I've already planted and change things up a bit. But that's what gardening all about, right?

PHOTOS: I'm very excited to post the pregnancy pictures Charles and I did about a month ago!! They're BEAUTIFUL! I can only imagine what our new pictures of all three of us will turn out. I highly recommend Photos by Kristy if any of you need a photographer in this part of town! :)

2 WEEK CHECK UP:  I took the little one to her 2 week check up last week and her doctor is so impressed with how strong Cadence is. She is now 6 pounds, 10 ounces, 20 1/2" long and can already hold her head up along with very strong kicks. She loves to hold onto my hands and try to pull herself up... she's quite the mover!

As her doctor would say, she's a very 'demanding' baby... as in almost always wanting to have all the attention on her. I don't do well with the MOBY yet but I'm so glad she loves to be strapped in to her daddy. I think she associates eating when I try to use the wrap, so she always fusses and cries because she's confused. But I'd rather her be with her dad for a few hours so I can rest and get a few things done. Its odd though, when I finally start doing something that I want, I see Charles coming around the corner telling me I'm back on mom duty again. That silly girl!

Charles and Cadence

Snuggle time with dad.

A little vitamin D!

Roaming time for the goats in the front yard. 

Charles' small project he did for me! :D

Front of the house... one side.

Making the tree stump look half decent looking... will be changed soon once i have more energy and time... if that will ever happen!!

We unfortunately found out that Miles City's rules on selling our products at the Farmer's Market are pretty strict. For me, it's a total turn off to want to sell anything here but we're going to try hard to change the minds of these rule setters ... wish us luck. Apparently ther key people we need to talk to, are hard to get a hold of, and for me that doesn't that doesn't make sense since this town if VERY small.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Welcome to the World...

Its been a week and two day since Cadence was born. Its still hard to believe that this precious human came out of me. The night  before her big day, I could barely sleep. I kept wondering if everything was going to end up ok and if the health of my child and myself would be ok too.

One dose of the spinal block wasn't enough for me so I was concerned how many shots it would take since the shot itself was so painful. Two doses worked plenty! The whole delivery room was scary, esp with the fact that Charles could not come in with me for the spinal block... and that process itself was delaying the whole surgery. I couldn't stop shaking while I was waiting for the numbness to take over my lower half. I felt so alone even though there were at least five nurses and three doctors. And it really didn't make me feel any better to know I wasn't in the actual Labor and Delivery ward for the possible seriousness of my surgery. I kept asking when Charles would be able to come in and when he was finally able to, it honestly seemed like it had been hours. He held my hand throughout the whole process and I couldn't have asked for anyone better.

Its a very bizzar feeling to be laying there waiting to hear a little one crying in the cold atmosphere. That too seemed to take forever but when I finally heard my first born cry, it was bawling. It was a wonderful, personal experience to see Charles waiting in anticipation for his daughter to make her big debut into the world. It was so hard not being able to see her right when they took her out. I just wanted to see her. And when I finally did... I couldn't believe how beautiful she was. And to know that I was finally meeting for the first time in my life something that was blood related to me was a total blessing from God!

Overall, Cadence seems to be a pretty good baby... for all I know! There's so much I want to get done around the house and start helping out in the garden that sometimes it becomes a little frustrating that I can't do those things quite yet. I have to keep reminding myself and being reminded by others that my job is to rest, heal and take care of Cadence. And as much as I love looking at her and holding her when ever I want, sometimes I just want to be able to do something else so I can actually miss her. But to be honest, I miss her all the time when I decide to let her nap in her crib, so really, I should appreciate the time I have with her more.

From personal experience I have to be very blunt by saying I think all women who are capable, should breast feed their children for at least six months to a year. I understand how a lot of women are afraid or get turned off by breast feeding because of how painful it is at first. Honestly, I even considered not wanting to do it after the second day. But I knew that was just my emotions talking. So, I 'woman-ed up' and stuck to it. And I'm so glad I did. There's a TON of benefits to breastfeeding that I couldn't turn down!

SLEEP: That's a word? I thought I was prepared but I wasn't! Feeding used to be kind of all over the place, which... is natural but now it's come to the point where Cadence has to fall completely asleep in my arms before I can lay her in her crib. That becomes pretty exhausting when I seem to have a bad judgment of when she's finally fallen asleep. But when I hold her again to get her to sleep she expects to be nursed for another hour, if not more. Unfortunately she doesn't actually nurse from me when I have to hold her the second time so when I do finally get her to sleep, she's up a half hour later to be fed.

Today marks the first day of using cloth diapers. Cadence is TINY! She looks super ridiculous but both Charles and I feel better about not contributing to more garbage than we need to. What cute designs too! I'm a HUGE fan of the brand KUSHIES and OSOCOZY! I just wish I had known Kushies had a newborn size.

One of our goats had two baby girl kids! Which is super great news for us!! So much milk that can be turned into ice cream, milk, cheese and butter. What joys we've been given!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You Start With Seeds...

Alex is done with school for the year and is helping out so much with the garden this summer! It's been great to see the transformation of both the yard and vegetable gardens. And while it doesn't look like much has been going on, the boys and Kristi really have been working hard! I can't believe how much they do in one day!

We welcomed two female goats this past week. One is pregnant and is due in June. We get about 2 gallons of milk every day and it's seriously the best milk I've ever had. My stomach and blood type really cannot handle cow milk so goat milk has been such a blessing. I learned how to milk the goats a couple nights ago, and boy... it's not as easy as I thought it would be. But all I need is more practice!

Alex and Kristi put a fence around the duck/chicken/turkey house a few days ago which also includes a little pond. I can't wait till the ducks finally stop being such pansies and move around more in their pen and venture into the water.

So far we've planted:

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Carrots 
  • Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Asparagus 
  • Onions
  • 20+ Fruit Trees
It's coming along! 

While I wish I could be doing more, I can't. Cadence will be here on Friday and for some reason I feel incredibly exhausted ... more than I usually do. It's been a long haul but I'm thankful that I don't have to be in it for another 2 weeks like most pregnancies due to my condition. Yay! My life will completely change in just a few more days. I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Ofta! 

Charles setting up the crib.

Babies are so lucky to get such cute things! Too bad they don't care!

Chickens, ducks and turkeys... when we first got them. 

The ducks!

The ducks were getting way too big so we moved them to a little house with a pond next to it. 

 This was my favorite duck that I would always snatch and give extra attention to.

 But now he/she could careless about me and always runs away from me along with the other ducks.

 Charles working hard.

The duck house and pond before the fence was put up. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No April Showers... But May Is Sure Blooming!

I'm sorry for not updating... it's been quite a hectic April and now I've heard that it's already May. I'm still trying to believe that rumor...  :D

Wondering what's been going on? 

Baby Cadence, Charles and myself moved to 'The Big Sky' state: MONTANA. We're fortunate enough to be living in a decent size house that has great, open space for us to start the family garden business. Not only that, the house is nestled in the convergence of two rivers: The Yellowstone and the Tongue River, which if you know what that means, well watered and cared for plants... the more delicious and pure they taste! 

I'm not allowed to do much under doctor's orders but I try to keep the house clean, water plants, letting the chickens run in and out of their pens, start seedlings and brainstorm fun ideas to transform this place into a floral and vegetative oasis!! The most credit goes to Charles and his mom, Kristi who have worked so hard on plowing and tilling the acre of land we're planting on. 

We have also been raising chickens, turkeys and ducks. The ducks are my favorite, being funny looking with really no wings to speak of. We also have been taking care of laying hens and have gotten pretty decent sized eggs. They are by far the best I've ever eaten, and that's coming from someone who absolutely does not like eggs in the first place. 

Other than trying to fix our house up, baby proofing, planting seeds, and feeding our birds AND maintaining 22 fruit trees, things have been pretty swell!! We can't wait to see how this place transforms! It's really coming along for us being here only a month now. 

Looking for some bonding time with us and the earth? We would love for really passionate people to come help us! Any one who would love to get their hands dirty and really live by being self sustainable and organic/natural raising of fruits/vegetables, chickens and meats, then come out for a few days or a couple weeks. 

Pictures will be up soon! 

It's kind of a waiting now for when Cadence will arrive... counting down the days! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Covered in Chocolate

Valentines Day may have been a month ago, but that didn't stop me from making one of the most romantic symbolizing fruits covered in chocolate today. Yes, I'm talking about chocolate covered strawberries! This is such a simple dessert to make, that it's appalling how much restaurants and grocery stores charge for one. Personally, (like most cases), home made foods are always better, esp. when using wholesome organic ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic Strawberries, Bitter Sweet Dark Chocolate Chips (60 % Coco), Heavy Whipping Cream, Glass Bowl, Cooking Pot, Parchment Wax Paper, Water, (Optional: orange zest) and a non-stick cookie pan.  

I made two different batches to see which flavor tasted best. Personally, the dark chocolate was my favorite even though I'm not a huge fan of bitter chocolate. 
        1. Creamy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
        2. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

1. Always rinse your fruits and vegetables weather or not it's organic. But it's best to give an extra rinse to fruits that claim to be 'All Natural' and non-organic foods. 
               TIP: Ask your local co-op if they have specials on bulk fruits. Usually, if your a member you can receive a decent discount. ... Always a great choice!

2. Shake up heavy whipping cream carton, to break up cream molecules. 

3. You don't need a large glass bowl, but a big enough one to sit in a sauce pan without the bottom of the bowl touching the bottom of pan. Fill the sauce pan with no more than an inch of water. 

4. Add 6-8 oz of bitter sweet chocolate chips with 3-4 oz of heavy whipping cream (use however much cream you want if your not a fan of the bitter taste of dark chocolate). Melt chocolate over a medium-low heat. Melting time takes less than 5 minutes with continuous stirring. 

5. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper in a flat non stick cookie pan. 

6. Grabbing strawberries from the leaves/stem, dip berries into the melted chocolate in a twirling motion making sure the majority of the berry is covered. 

7. Lay chocolate covered straw berry on parchment paper so chocolate can settle and harden. Once all berries have been dipped, place strawberries in freezer to allow the chocolate to fully harden. 

8. Before serving, place serving plate in freezer for about 5 minutes so that when serving the chocolate covered strawberries can stay cold and chocolate can stay hard. 

Enjoy! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Letters From Me to You...

As the temperature begins to drop and the snowflakes finally decide to show themselves this year, it's time to bring out new ideas for hand made crafts.

In my last post I mentioned I was going to show you how to make Letter Pendants. These are great for baby showers, wedding showers, BFF necklaces/bracelets/earrings, and wedding centerpieces. 

Let's get started! 

WARNING: This project takes quite a bit of time! 3+ hours. So if you have a weekend to yourself, try this out! Also, once you get the hang of the process it will become less messy as you go. Good luck and have fun! 

Materials: Wax Parchment Paper, Tacky Glue, Mod Podge Dimensional Glue, Super Glue, Nail Filers, Metal Filers, Small Paint Brushes (2), Scissors, Card Stock, Small Metal Rings, Mod Podge Sealing Glue (aka Puzzle Saver). 

  • I thought the idea of Scrabble letters was cute, but with the numbers in the corner, I didn't find it to be as personable as they could be. I was glad to find these letters at Michael's and even happier to know they saved me the time energy with the pre-punched holes! These letters come in a pack of 100+ and super cheap!

  • I have three different sized jumpers but tend to lean toward using the medium and large size to create a rustic look. Also, bright silver polished jumpers look too bright and clean cut for me. Keep it old fashioned with darker polished jumpers!

  • Find card stock that speaks to you but also for your guests. I used scrap booking paper because of the vastness of texture, colors and patterns. Personally, I would love to stick with only black and white patterns, but not everyone else likes that. 

  • You can either trace each wooden letter onto the piece of paper and individually cut out each traced piece. Or you can paste the wooden letters on the card stock and cut around each letter. 
  • I paste the letters directly onto the back of the card stock, (make sure the paper is faced down and the plain side of the wooden piece is being glued directly onto the paper).
  • Take the Tacky Glue and dispense a small drop onto the back of the plain side of the wood. Using a paint brush, paint the glue evenly, paying close attention to get the edges and corners. 
  • Place wooden piece on card stock. Glue dries fast... Cut very close around each letter. 

  • Now its time to lay down the wax paper! 
  • DO NOT shake the dimensional glue! (Will cause unwanted bubbles). 
  • Start from outside in. I focused on making the letters pop, but it's up to you what side you want 'laminated'. Starting from outside in, make sure to cover the whole surface. If your handy enough, you won't have to worry too much about the drilled hole being filled. You'll see once you do it yourself!
  • If you do have bubbles, (which will happen), simply use your finger nail and lightly scrape it off. Using a pin does NOT work. Don't waste your time. 
  • If you screw up, don't worry! This glue is water based and can be cleaned easily with cold water and soap. 

  • Once having applied the dimensional glue, let letters sit for at LEAST 3 hours to dry, or else... you may run into letters sticking together if you decide to clean up your project for the day. 
  • Once the letters have dried for at least 3 hours, take another paint brush and paint a small dab of the sealing glue on the paper backing and spread evenly making sure to cover the sides of the wooden letters!

All together this project took me about 2 days to do. A few extra trips to the craft store for extra supplies and waiting to dry took the majority of the time... 

And there you have it! I added little rhinestones to the lower right corner of some letters making it fun for my guests to choose which letter they like most!

If you're thinking of doing something like this for small wedding details, make sure you have the time and energy! Since it's an inexpensive craft, hiring someone else to make these for you on your special day may be a better choice! For every 100 guests, charge no more than $150... heads up! :)