October 2019

Okra, okra, okra. We’ve enjoyed our okra well into October.

Sweet Laura ready for church. She’s wearing her new backpack I picked up for her at a yardsale. It was $2 well spent!

Apples! I ordered a few cases of apples from Azure Standard and have canned a lot of applesauce and experimented with canned apples too. Looking forward to enjoying this applesauce – especially on sourdough pancakes this winter.

Laura loves helping her daddy care for Buttercup. She goes out with him every morning to help him feed her, brush her and help her get used to being in her head gate to prepare for milking.

On October 14th, our family and John David’s mom took a day trip to The Foxfire Museum in Rabun County, Georgia. We enjoyed a lovely drive and really enjoyed touring the museum. There was a sweet lady there who was a weaver. She gave us a wonderful weaving demonstration as well as showed us how to card and spin wool.

We ate a picnic lunch on Foxfire grounds and then travelled back to Blue Ridge and went to Mercier Orchards for some apple treats and apples.

October 16th garden harvest. It’s still such fun finding all of these treasures in the garden. I’m going to miss this so much once it frosts.

Weston with our barn cat. He was pretty feral when he arrived but with Weston’s regular visits and animal whispering skills, he’s getting less wild and is even allowing us to touch him.

Fair time!!

We entered several items into our local fair this year including baked goods, craft items, art and produce.

Weston placed first with his homemade bread.

Paxton’s biscuits placed first!

Cecilia absolutely swept the Primary Baking! She placed first with her biscuits, muffins, corn muffins, bread and cookies. She was excited.

I was tickled that my biscuits placed first!

With my first place fair biscuits!

My green beans also placed first! There were several green bean entries and I was excited to see the blue ribbon for these.

Laura loves helping in the barn with daddy – she even helps with some of the dirty work.

Serious little girl picking okra with her daddy. He took this picture – he said she was munching on an okra pod and telling him a big story.

On October 30th, Buttercup had her calf! It’s a boy! It was such an exciting moment to see a baby calf just after he was born.

Sweet baby calf. We haven’t named him just yet but he’s adorable.

John David milking for the first time. We’re looking forward to fresh milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, cream and all the  yummy things that an abundance of milk means.

We don’t make a big deal out of Halloween but the kids do enjoy dressing up. They attended a trunk or treat at a local church and at their Mimi’s school and had a party with the sweet sitters and kids who attend childcare with them when I’m at my small group Bible study.

This year we didn’t buy any costumes, they used what they already had.  Cecilia was Elsa (in her well loved, tattered dress), Paxton was an ESPN sports analyst, Weston was a cowboy sheriff and Laura was Cinderella.

I love them and the simple joys of childhood.

September 2019

We bought a cow!!!!!

On September 3, we traveled to Middle Tennessee to pick up a beautiful jersey cow. She’s 5 years old, is bred and expected to calve sometime in October. We have named her Buttercup.

Sweet Laura spending time with the goats and sheep.

The first weekend in September, we took a little road trip to visit my parents at their property where they are building a house. We took some back roads to get there, driving through the town we lived in when Paxton was born and then went to Shaffer’s Farm Meat and Texas Barbeque for lunch. This was John David’s favorite place to eat when we lived in the area – they have amazing brisket. The kids all enjoyed their barbeque and eating in a restaurant (a rare treat for our family these days!)

We enjoyed our visit with our family – my parents and sister and her family were there with us Friday evening. Then my aunt drove up with my grandma and cousin’s daughter. We had a nice day visiting and enjoying a nice September day.

Laura wearing one of my favorite outfits. This one was Cecilia’s and this is probably the last time Laura will wear it. It’s such a sweet little outfit. I’m trying to remember to take pictures of my children in the outfits that are my or their favorites.

The okra has loved the September weather. We’re picking okra every other day and canning batches of pickled okra, freezing some and eating okra nearly every night with dinner. We still haven’t gotten tired of okra!

Canning goal achieved.

My original goal was 150 jars and once I hit that goal, I decided to go for 250! I reached that goal September 14th and still have apples to can.

My sweet little loves ready for church.

Our happy little flerd (flock + herd)! We’ve been running the cow, sheep, goats and pigs together. Everyone has been pretty content together.

We finally have cleared the floors of our shed and have almost everything organized and put away. Woohoo. So exciting to see this space looking so good.

John David’s tool wall – this was his idea. We have outlines of all the tools behind so everyone knows what’s missing and where it goes.

The biggest project of September has been adding on the milking shed. John David has worked very hard and spent very little on this thanks to salvaging most of the materials.

Buttercup in the head gate.

Letting the animals graze their way across the back yard to their new paddock. Love it.