Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Around Here

There is always so much going on at our little farm. We've cleared land to fence a larger area for our hogs to graze. We also separated our sows who will give birth in July and August. We planted around 20 trees this year. We will finish cutting the trees we cut down into firewood in the fall. We are keeping our eyes on the elderberries so we can make more syrup and benefit from those wonderful antioxidants. Our wild blackberries will be ready next month. We'll be canning to preserve the bounty.

Our garden has been hit or miss. Between the excessive spring rains and our schedules, we didn't get as much planted. We have a lot in containers and are starting a large carrot bed. I am planning a fall garden and will put that in the ground in July.

Brandon has just purchased himself a second vehicle and is returning to college in July to advance his education. He is enjoying gardening at his new home. He was happy to report that the grapevine I gave him a few months ago, from a cutting off of one on our farm, is producing grapes! He stopped by Saturday and played K'nex with Emily and Hannah to keep those relationships strong. Sunday, he managed to give himself a concussion and needed Amanda and Caleb to watch over him for 24 hours. He, Amanda, Bethany, and I have plans to go to Hobby Lobby this week.

Amanda is making strides in her studies. Her grades are excellent, and she gets nice notes from her professors. When she is finished, she plans to obtain her Master's Degree. She is also volunteering at two local churches and helps with the errands each week which has freed me up to resume the two days of bulk cooking each week requires. She often sends me, "I love you, mommy!" texts out of the blue which makes my day.

Joshua and Caleb are also volunteering alongside of Amanda at one church. They are handing out food to those who need it. They help carry the boxes of food to their cars. Joshua is building on his knowledge of car repair and is still taking behind the wheel under Clint. Caleb is happily using the new router (woodworking) every chance he gets. He's more than ready to start behind the wheel! Both boys are slated to get braces in the near future.

Bethany has been expanding her cooking skills. She recently surprised us with a homemade Boston Cream Pie! It was delicious! She's been showing us she's no lightweight when it comes to heavy work on the farm! She helped us put in a fence recently and did a great job. She and Amanda plan days out to shop and enjoy each other's company. Bethany's also been learning to groom our dogs and can give a pretty good men's haircut. 

Emily and Hannah are making strides in their school and are learning more and more every day! They love going outside to play and have been catching tad poles again this year. Tea parties are all the rage! They are usually filled with goodies that draw their brothers into the mix. This year, Em and H-bug aren't just getting eggs from their chickens, but they are cooking their own breakfasts using them! Emily is 8 and can cook breakfast for the entire gang in the time morning chores done.

Clint has been working overtime to pay for the medical bills from earlier this year. He's been trying to keep up with repairs at home to the stove, fridge, mowers, weed eaters, and other equipment. It's been one of those very demanding times of life where we struggle to keep up with all of the "to do's."