Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I captured these photos of my momma (aka Grandma) and Ruthie when we were visiting her the other day.

My mom was sitting sweetly on the couch enjoying my precious girl in her lap.

I thought in that moment,"I'm so blessed."

Mother: Author Unknown
    In her eyes
the look of loving,
    In her smile
The warmth of caring.

    In her hands
the touch of comfort,
    In her heart
the gift of sharing.

I love you momma! What a gift and treasure you are.

Friday, November 20, 2009

{{rEcIpE}} Broccoli Salad

I’m addicted to this salad!!!! This is an original concoction of mine and I’m so pleased with how the recipe turned out.

It’s soooooo good.

I make it and keep it in the fridge. When I have the urge, I open the door to my wonderfully awesome salad that is waiting to take me to broccoli heaven.

My girls love it too. They could eat broccoli and cauliflower right off the stem (I can't even do that) so I knew that they would love this salad.

Broccoli is in season right now, so this is perfect timing.

This salad is also super good for you and has all nutritious ingredients in it.

I’ve had similar recipes that call for mayo and sugar for the dressing. But, since I’m mayo-a-phobic, that won’t work for me.

Here is the recipe:

Broccoli Salad

3 heads of broccoli cut up into florets

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup raw cashews

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 cup shredded carrot (I peeled a whole carrot into the salad with a peeler)

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Optional: shredded chicken for added protein (the picture is shown w/ chicken in the salad)


½ cup cold-pressed olive oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup red wine vinegar

4 T organic maple syrup

3 T whole grain mustard (I use organic central market brand)

1 lime squeezed

salt, pepper, onion powder

Cut up and add all of your veggies and nuts. Mix up dressing and whisk together so dressing is mixed well. Pour on top of salad and mix together. Yum!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A note from Farmer J on "molting"....

We're experiencing an egg shortage around here. Just in time for Thanksgiving.....yes!

Its not fun having people drive up to the farm store for eggs only to tell them "we're out".

"What? How can this be?" They ask.

Well, you see, doing things the "natural" way doesn't always lend itself to our convenience. You would never know that chickens go through a molting process as a grocery store goer based on its endless supply of white eggs that magically appear on shelves all year long.

Sadly, our faithful customers know that this is not the case as does our family who is use to eating almost a dozen eggs for breakfast. What can I say, we love protein!

Laney Rae wakes up in the morning proclaiming that she wants "Eggs Momma Eggs!"

Chickens don't always lay eggs every single day.....unless you force them. And Farmer J will have no part of forcing his feathered girls. He is quite the patient farmer.

He posted the following post on our farm website HERE- we are posting regularly on the farm blog now!!

I really loved that my man wrote up this here post, so I thought I'd put it on here too for a glimpse into the mind of a farmer.

“Brenham, we have a problem.”

Due to chickens being chickens and in their natural environment, exhibiting all of their chicken-ness, we are extremely low on eggs right now. This time of year is a rather difficult time for egg producers- not the chickens. They continue to do the chicken things that chickens do each and every day but their conversion of feed and sunlight are going through different phases. Let me explain.

This time of year, chickens tend to reset their bodies. The most evident is in their displaying of new feathers. This amazing feat performed by the chickens is called “molting.” Throughout the year, they lose their feathers in different sections, putting new feathers on as they go. This keeps them from losing all the feathers at once for this would cause serious protection problems for the chickens. Then, about this time of year (late October – November) they do the big molt. New quills start sprouting from all over and these amazing new feathers begin to form.

Once it starts, there is drastic growth each day. It is rather amazing how these animals are made. However, because during the molting process all of their energy is going to putting this new plumage on, their egg production virtually becomes non-existent until they are done. Not all of our flock is molting right now. I would say about 60% of them are. These are the main contributors to our lack of eggs.

This leaves the remaining 40%. When fall comes, we begin having shorter days. Right now we have about 11 hrs of sunlight. Chickens are very finicky animals and feel they need 14 hrs of sunlight to ovulate at optimum production levels. The chickens that are laying currently aren’t laying an egg a day like they normally do. I hoping that they are laying at least every other day, but there is no way to tell with a flock as large as ours.

So, what to do? This is what we are asking ourselves. We can’t do anything about the molting. This is a natural occurrence that chickens go through. I don’t believe in forced molting that is performed in commercial industrial models. The chickens are starved from food and water for several days until the process stops. They start back up laying eggs once food is introduced again. These chickens look terrible with extreme loss of feathers, which I guess they feel they don’t need since they are packed inside buildings in tiny little cages.

For right now and for the sake of keeping things “natural” around here, we will just live with the molting part of chicken-ness. The shorter days can be remedied. It would be easy to put lights in the house and plug it into the wall for a couple hours a day after the sun goes down but their house moves everyday since they are out on pasture, so that just won’t work. This is where solar lights will come in handy. We are currently figuring out a way to run some lights off solar polar. I feel this will greatly improve production from the non-molting chickens. We’ll see.

All of this is to say, “Please bare with us”. We try to allow our animals to live in the most natural environment possible, which leads a lot of time to natural processes out of our control. We have 400 new layers that should start laying in a few weeks. Our hope is that they will greatly fill in the gaps.

Thank you so much for your support of our farm. Honoring God and His perfect creation, being caretakers of it everyday, and producing healthy food for families is our passion and we are so thankful for families and individuals that allows us to do this everyday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our little dancer....

Kaylyn recently started dance class. This is our first "organized sport/activity" endeavor. I DO feel like dancing is a "sport" so boo yah! Have you seen the figures of those who have been dancing their whole lives? Hello, you don't get abs or legs like that unless you are working your boo-tay off!

Kaylyn has fallen in love with dancing. I kind of saw that one coming....but she has REALLY fallen in love with dance.

Kaylyn wore her dance uniform three days in a row.....and I even let her wear it to the "city" when we went to run errands. I had to make her take it off so I could wash it because the pink tights weren't so pink any more.

Here are some photos I snapped of her a few days ago. She was practicing her "moves" in front of the mirror on the armoire on day 3 of wearing her uniform.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ruthie {aLmOsT 6 mOnThS}

Ruthie is still as sweet as ever! I still can't believe how laid back she truly is.

Most of the time, she is either in my lap perfectly content looking at the world or playing on a blanket in the floor. She has plenty to watch with her older sisters and plenty of little kisses throughout the day from them too!

She is a wonderful sleeper too so I'm very thankful for that.

Ruthie has two teeth. And they aren't just barely in....they are two big teeth. All three of my girls have gotten their first tooth by 4 months old.

She hasn't really started a whole lot of solids yet. I plan on following the Weston A. Price's recommendation for "Nourishing a Growing Baby"- minus the feeding liver part. I still can't do that!

I made lots of whole foods for Laney Rae and didn't do the baby food in a jar thing- just my preference. We eat lots of steamed veggies so this was fairly easy for me to do.

But, I didn't hold off on giving grains until one year like WAP recommends doing. This time around, I'm going to try that out with Ruthie. It makes perfect sense since grains are harder for our bodies to digest.

I've been reading a lot lately about natural whole food diets in general that are rich in fruits, veggies, and meat. So far, this makes the most sense to me, but it's the entire opposite of what I did Kaylyn (our first) and what I knew then.

Some of the first foods they recommend at 6 months are:

- Boiled Egg Yolk (not the whites since that is where the allergens are)
- Pureed Meats
- Vegetable Puree of either squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots or beets- Individually
- Fruit Sauces of peaches, nectarines, apples, blueberries, cherries, pears, or berries

Basically anything that is considered a real whole food.

Ruthie was too cute sitting in our mother daughter chair in the living room yesterday. I wanted to capture the moment and savor it forever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Goodbye Rowdy

This morning we awakened to a horrible tragedy.

{RoWdY}, our farm dog, companion, and friend was found hit and killed by the road.

If you've ever been out to the farm, you've met Rowdy. He was our Blue Heeler. What a character he was- full of energy and personality.

He was a terrific hand out on the farm herding cattle, pigs, and chickens.

If we were out working in the pastures, Rowdy was right there with us.

If we were in our little farmhouse, Rowdy was on the porch waiting for us to come out and take on a new adventure together.

If we were sitting out by the fire, Rowdy was there snipping at the embers that drifted away to the stars- we always thought that was a little weird, Rowdy biting at fire.

If we were blowing bubbles, Rowdy was there leaping through the air chomping away at the round shiny floating clusters.

We thought we had broken him of the habit of chasing cars. Blue Heelers by nature are chasers and herders. It's what they live for. Rowdy had his whole entire muzzle ran over by the trash truck before. He walked away with the most mangled up teeth you'd ever seen. The top part of his mouth was split in two. Rowdy was rushed to the vet in town. They vet said he'd be just fine. And he was.

But, last night a car got the best of him.

We've lost two amazing dogs to the road we live on. It's a busy highway.

I don't know if I can bare to have another dog. We love them, raise them, train them, and welcome them as part of our family- then they are gone. Sounds a little dramatic, but it's true.

But, what is life in the country on a farm without a dog?

Rowdy, we'll miss you.

We are very sad not hearing your "broken bark" as the farm buggy fired up this morning.

You were such a wonderful asset to this farm! It won't be the same without you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a very happy farmer's wife....

{taken yesterday on our anniversary}

Can I just take a moment to tell you how amazing my husband is?

He pulled out the big guns this year and blew my socks off!!!

I've been wanting to grind my own wheat for quite some time now for my homemade breads. The only problem was that I didn't have a wheat grinder.

And I really wanted a hand wheat grinder in case we are ever without power for long periods of time....that's another post:).

There is something fun and magical about turning a handle to grind wheat.

Jason gave me The Country Living Grain Mill for our anniversary and I couldn't be more excited!! This was such a great gift. He is the BEST gift giver and always goes all out.

Thanks Honey!

I can't wait to try it out and begin grinding my own wheat, corn, and beans. How fun!!!!

I just need a reliable source to order my wheat berries from.

Any suggestions???

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

9 blissfully wonderful years!!

Today is the day I married my best friend 9 years ago.

Right about this time 9 years ago, I was getting all fancied up for my wedding awaiting the moment that I would say "I do" with excitement.

I remember our simple little wedding very vividly. I could have cared less about the details- just ask those in attendance:). I hadn't ever attended a wedding prior to my own. I was 19.

All that I cared about was being the wife to the most incredible man I'd ever laid eyes on.


I love you.

I think I say this every single year, but I love you more than I did last year. I didn't think that was possible. But, as the years pass by and babies are added to this little farmhouse, I fall more and more deeply in love with you.

I'm so thankful that you have made Jesus Lord over your life and this family.

Its an honor to live out my days beside you loving and serving you. You make it so easy for me to do.

These 9 years have been amazing. I can't wait to see where the road ahead takes us.

Your Bride
This year for Halloween, the girls were dressed as something very fitting to their character. It just sort of worked out that way.

Kaylyn wanted to be a bride after recently attending her very first wedding of this special couple:). Needless to say, she was inspired at the thought of being a bride! She wore my actual wedding veil that I wore in my wedding. We made her a bouquet out of silk flowers that she chose at Walmart (yes ma'am).

Kaylyn could NOT be a bride without the bouquet toss! Oh, and at the wedding she went to, she practically stared the recipient down who caught the bouquet until she gave it to her. The bouquet sat in a vase for weeks on her dresser.

Kaylyn tossing the bouquet to herself.
Laney Rae wanted to be a cowgirl like her daddy. That is what she says all of the time. If we ask her is she wants to be a cowgirl, she always replies,"Yes, I wanna be a cowgirl like daddy!" Ha! How cute! Oh and she wore this outfit to church a few weeks ago too for no apparent reason. Its a multi-use costume. Gotta love that! This is her favorite outfit these days.

Here is Laney Rae saying "Yeeeee Haw!" for her picture.

Ruthie didn't really have a choice in the matter. She dressed up as my little cheetah cub. I've had this costume for years since we've had Kaylyn. But, Ruthie has been the only one that has been able to fit into it right around Halloween.

We had a great low maintenance Halloween. The area churches in Brenham all get together at the fairgrounds and have a big Fall Festival with free food, live music, and fun games for the kiddos. It was a great night!

I didn't get any photos of the actual event though. There were people everywhere and I was busy holding the hands of my wee ones.

Here are a few more pictures of the little misses in their costumes. Enjoy!

Kaylyn is such a great big sister!

Cowgirls don't get any cuter than this!