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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was very enjoyable. Not only did we get to get away for 2 family parties, but we also celebrated our daughters 4th birthday, which fell on Thanksgiving day this year. She is growing up so quickly, and loves playing mommy. Most of the day she is found walking around the house with a purse or two and pretending. This year I made her a purse cake. :)

As I mentioned before, this last year has been a bit overwhelming at times, but it has also been filled with blessings. I think sometimes it takes seeing how great your needs are to see how great your blessings are. We have had countless blessings throughout the year through friends, family, and even people we are just getting to meet. When we got home last night from our second Thanksgiving party, I was reminded again of the Lord's provision and the blessings He sends through others.

To back track a bit, Wednesday night Ethan was going to come home from work and get ready to leave early Thursday morning for our time away. Getting ready to leave meant unloading 3000 lbs of pig feed from our trailer, getting the chores done to be gone for 2 days, and then heading to the woods to cut firewood - of which we had just enough left for a small fire to warm the house that night. All to be done before the winter sun set.

Well, when there are nights like this things never go as planned, and this held true on Wednesday. Before Ethan even got home there was a pig emergency. (Hopefully there will be a post on this later in the week.) Ethan spent the rest of the evening with a sow. By the time he got things squared away with her to be able to leave for two days the sun was well gone. We went to bed that night with chores done to last 2 days but no new firewood for when we got back or feed unloaded.

Thankfully, my dad has wood so while we were visiting we squeezed in a nights worth into our over packed van. We could burn that the night we got home, and then Ethan could gather a bit the next day to get us through until he could really go cut again.

Well, when we pulled into our drive last night we were greeted with a surprise. We hadn't let anyone know we were out of wood, but while we were gone someone had dropped off a pile of logs. So today Ethan just had to cut some of it to size and can focus on some of the bigger priorities around here. (Funny thing how wood to keep warm turns into a small priority on the farm, but that's the way it goes sometimes.)

Hopefully next year we will be able to start the winter with a woodpile. Like I said though, sometimes when you have bigger needs you see how great your blessings are. I hope that your blessings are evident as well this Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Has it really been a year?

It was about a month before Isaac was born that when we finally moved into our house, and now we have just celebrated Isaac's first birthday. Just like Caleb and Hannah, Isaac loves the farm. His first word was "Oooff" (or Woof). Whenever he is held or in his seat, he looks out the windows for our oooffs. His love for our dogs started this fall when he sat outside in his stroller or highchair and the dogs licked his feet. Not only do the dogs captivate him, but watching the pigs, cows, and chickens is almost as much fun. So for Isaac's first cake, I pulled out everything but a cake pan (corningware dishes, a mini bread pan and a cupcake pan), and I put together a dog cake for him.

So here we are. A whole year on the farm. It seems like we've been here forever, and then it feels like we have hardly started. I think of the list of things that I wanted to get done this past year and realize that very little of it has actually been crossed off. Then I remember what we started with - a field of CRP grasses with no development whatsoever except for a colony of gargantuan ant hills - and I am amazed at where we are and so grateful for the community of friends, family, and church members who have helped us get this far.

Hmmm. A whole year here. Kind of crazy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blender Woes

When Ethan and I got engaged 9 years ago we ran around Target with a gun - scanning things to put on our registry. The way we scanned was the way I would have shopped, getting the most economical option available. One of these things scanned was a Hamilton Beach blender. And for 8 1/2 years of our marriage, it has blended well on a low demand basis.

Recently, however, I have been a little more demanding on our blender. This fall I have been blending up sugar pie pumpkins that Caleb grew and apples that my parents blessed us with from their place. We don't have all of either done, but we have a decent amount of pumpkin and a good start of apples. While working on these, I noticed that my blender was not too happy with me for asking a little more of it.

Last night I was working on apples again, and my blender finally had enough. I no longer have a working blender . . . or even a blender that will pretend to work.

Since I already had apples cooked down and ready to blend, I finished the night by just canning apple slices. (If you notice, I like to leave the skins on. You can't tell when they are blended up, and it adds in nutrients and also a pretty color.) I'll use these apple slices in our oatmeal, but I still would like to make some more apple sauce.

So now I am thinking about blenders. I really haven't looked at them much since the day 9 years ago when we walked around Target, giddy with our little scanner gun.

What do you think? Do any of you have any suggestions for a blender that can put up with a farm wife who hopes to fill the pantry with fall produce? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stoneyfield Snapshots: Fall Sunrise

Yesterday morning I watched this sunrise. It was a beautiful one! (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them and see how brilliant the colors were.) There are so many reminders out here of God's faithfulness. His mercies are new every morning . . .

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall Cleanup

If you have noticed that Ethan and I continue to be strangers a bit on our blogs, it is because we are working hard to knock off our to do list before winter. Right now we are in "priorities first" mode, because it just isn't going to be possible to get the list completed. Thankfully, we have some extra help though.

Our calves and heifers have been a bit of help over the last few weeks. They get to wander freely around our yard, and we have put up an electric wire across our drive to keep them on our property. (The heifers are separate from the rest of the herd, and the calves can still walk under the single wire fence.) They spend most of their days now mowing our yard, eating down the sweet corn stalks, and eating up our corn stalk decorations from our front porch. (Which is okay because now I don't have to take them down.) Just watch your step if you are in our yard. :)

This year Caleb grew our gourds, and boy did he have a bountiful harvest! We didn't even get get around to harvesting them all. Since they are in the garden for next year, however, they do have to be taken care of. This week we finally figured out what to do with them, and Caleb and Hannah have been tossing them to the pigs who are more than happy to help us with the job.

Today is going to be a beautiful day, temperatures in the 70's, so we are going to continue trying to get this place ready for the snow to fly!
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