***~~~ Please click on any pictures to enlarge~~~***

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's been over 2 months and......

Things have been crazy busy around here the past couple of months. We have been dealing with a rather personal medical issue and then it just seemed like one thing after another and here we are.
The farm animals have been growing and life is just moving along.

Out of 15 turkeys we had 5 to live. I just could not imagine processing any of them after having such a hard time keeping them alive. We ended up sending one gobbler and 2 hens to my mother's and keeping 1 hen and 1 gobbler. However, we have decided to go ahead and process the one gobbler and take the remaining hen to my mother's. We are just not turkey people. One thing is they will not stay in confinement and we do not have fences high enough to keep them in. The other thing is they are a huge mess when they get on my porches. I know that sounds petty but it is what it is and I like clean porches when I rock in my rocking chair and overlook my little farm. :)
They are beautiful though!

Here's Phoebe. She is still our favorite farm animal and we love her!

Ramsey is doing his funniest move here. He is sniffing the air. Cracks me up everytime.

MaeBelle has been growing by leaps and bounds. She is still just as tame and loves us. Don't you love the hot pink halter?
And there's a snippet of one of our little pink pigs. They seem to be filling out overnight. They are still just sweet, sweet, and I can't imagine processing them but Lord willing, they are going to get nice and fat and we will be ready for them to leave. :)

Our chicken who had babies, have all grown up. Six out of the seven babies lived and 3 of them were roosters. Needless to say, we needed no more roosters around here. So 3 of the roosters were processed for our Thanksgiving dressing. They served our family well.

Here's the main man getting the water ready to plunge the chickens in to loosen their feathers.

This is our "make do" killing cone.

One thing that is taking up a big chunk of our time is our little local homeschool group started a boy's basketball team. We were looking for something more local for our son to participate in sports wise. We feel sports are very important for him. Learning to be part of a team and leadership skills are invaluable but we will still want to keep the integrity of our homeschool lifestyle. This has been a blessing.

The Scott County Flames
Our Peyton is #4. They aren't winning lots of games but they are having a great time. :)
Here's a snippet of our Christmas decorations.
Our Tree

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care......

This would be my all time favorite nativity scene. I love it!! It sits on top of my grandmother's original singer sewing machine. I need to put that thing to use.

The kids got together with some of our local homeschool friends and made gingerbread houses. It was a ton of fun and we all had a great time.

I am linking this post up to Barn Hop #40.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Very inspiring girl of mine......

My 19 almost 20 year old daughter writes some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring notes. This is her recent work that she has been working on for about 3 months. I would love for you to read it. I only wish I had her maturity and wisdom at her very tender age.



Monday, September 19, 2011


Here's a quick video clip of our...... drum roll please....... MayBelle. It took us a while to come up with a name but it's perfect for her. She is just the most fun cow. If there could be such a thing. We are currently working on halter and lead rope training. She is not loving the halter but she does tolerate it. :)

I also want to tell you about a great giveaway over at Life on A Southern Farm. They are giving away another 3 hole Hen Pals nesting box. We currently have the 6 hole nesting box and love, love, love it. I hope I win the 3 hole, as well. :)

I will also be linking this post to the Barn Hop.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sometimes Dreams and Plans do Come to Fruition.....

After years of research and careful planning the day has come.......

Checking things out.

The horses were quite curious as to what we have managed to bring home now.

My honey brought the kennel in the barn and you would have thought the little girl would have run out after her long ride but no. She was timid.

Here's the man of my dreams trying to coax our new little addition out of the kennel. I tell you that kennel is getting quite the work out and it has yet to see a dog. :)

Whew, she finally came out and immediately started sniffing out her surroundings. She is a curious little thing. So far she seems very bright eyed and energetic. She is only 5 days old but was with her mom for 4 full days. Lord willing, she has gotten a good start and we will have no problems.

If you look real closely you can see the sweetest little tongue. Oh, she just melts my heart. By the way, she doesn't have a name yet....... Any suggestions? I always wanted a Jersey Cow named Butter Bell but she doesn't look like a Butter Bell. Our short list right now is Heidi, Bell, Elsie, and Anna Bell.

Oh, wow, isn't she just beautiful? I can't tell you how excited I am about this little missy.

As many of you know, we are all into self sufficiency and preparedness. Well, most of the animals have been things that my husband has been really excited about. For the last 2-3 yrs. I have been researching keeping a family cow. I have really wanted one, but for a good tame family cow, they are quite expensive. So it has always been on the back burner. Then today, we drove about an hour away and picked up this little beauty. She is half Jersey and half holstein. She will eventually be our family milk cow. It will take probably 2 yrs. but in the mean time we will be training her to be the best most gentle milk cow ever and I could not be happier!!! This little farmstead is really starting to take shape.

***** Don't forget to give us your name suggestions******

Monday, August 22, 2011

Castrating our little piggies....

I really debated long and hard over doing this post. I would much rather be doing a post on new window coverings or something but this is real life on the mini farm. We are what I am calling Google farmers. We have no real knowledge of this life but are winging it all with the help of lots of Google searches.
As many of you know, we are all into raising everything we eat. That includes animals. We have been raising pigs for the last two years. However, in the past we have always made a point to get females because we didn't want to mess with castration. This go round we could not find a single female feeder pig. What a dilemma!!! My honey, Mr. I wanna be a real farm man, decided I can do this. So we brought home two of the cutest little pink pigs that were MALE.

Well, today was the day. After, much research the boys dug in. The pictures aren't great because I didn't even go out there. My Lindsey took all of the pictures. She is a girly, girly, girl but will get all in the middle of anything the boys have going on. It's too funny.

First, they caught the little pigs and put them in the pet carrier to hold them while waiting. They then laid one little pig in an old wheel barrow and held him tight. They cleaned the sac with soap and water. Little pigs are dirty, dirty and we do not want infection.

They are proceeding to make the first very small slit in the testicular sac of one of our little piggies. My son has a very tight hold on our little man.

Here they have already cut the very small slit and are pushing the testical through the slit.

Here's the testical out of the sac. They are about to make a clean cut to seperate the testical. (I know TMI) UGHHH!

They did this on both sides of both pigs. After finishing with each pig, they cleaned the whole sac with iodine to ward off infection.

A few notable things about the whole process were, our pigs did not squeal much like we had seen in videos. My son even wore ear plugs just in case but they really weren't that bad. I don't know if it's because ours are more tame or what. Also, there is little to no bleeding and now the pigs are back in the pasture running around like usual. One is a little slower and stiffer but I am amazed at how well they are doing. Praise the Lord!! God is merciful!!

~~~O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34 ~~~

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Old McDonald had a farm......

Today, we added the second of two pretty pink pigs (Large Whites) to the farm. We got the first one last week. The big draw back on these little sweeties is they are male...... Which means one day this week my honey and my boy will be castrating little piggies. They have never done this themselves before and I will be doing some serious praying!!
In the past we have kept our pigs in a pen and have fed them out before processing them.
We are excited to have this portion of pasture fenced in and our little piggies are now out rooting it all up. Our goal is to have everything we raise here and everything we eat, to be free range grass fed. Here are all of the reasons why: The Amazing Benefits of Grassfed Meat

And here's our little Ramsey. He is definitely becoming all male. I don't really like that part but I guess that's what you have to have if you want to breed sheep. UGH......

And here is the true Old McDonald had a farm or what we affectionately know it as, Mr. Ronnie's farm. We love it!!! We fenced in a pasture right behind the garden area and we now have the turkeys, pretty pink pigs, Phoebe (pot belly), and last but not least Ramsey our St. Croix ram living back there.

We don't intend on keeping them all together forever. We plan to put the pink pigs in their own pasture behind the barn in a few months. Most of the turkeys will be making it to the freezer in October/November. Ramsey will also get his own little pasture, as soon as we get the ewes in the Spring. However, having them all together right now really works, not to mention, it is so entertaining out there. You can see our Retriever/ Lab mix, Daisy, wishes she could join in on the fun. We have been giving them all of the rotting left overs of the garden. They are loving it. This evening they got some watermelon, pears, and muscadines. As soon as I get everything I want out of my garden, which is going to be real soon, I hope to put the little pigs on the garden spot for a couple of months. I want them to root up all of the weeds, to their little hearts content. I am hoping that will help out our weed problem, which has been TERRIBLE this year.

I plan on linking this post up to the Preparedness Challenge and the Barn Hop over at Homestead Revival, one of my all time favorite blogs.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting prepared

If there were ever a reason to get somewhat prepared for things to come this might be a good one. We have been on a track of getting ourselves more and more self sufficient and more and more we see that it's the right track to be on.

~~The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3~~
~~ The sluggard does not plow in the Autumn; he will seek at the harvest and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4~~

Friday, July 29, 2011

Busy Days of Summer and Rendering Lard

Rendering lard, why would anybody in their right mind do this? Well, when we process the pigs they always send us home with nicely wrapped packages of lard, such as below. In the past I have promptly thrown it in the garbage, not wanting to tackle this project. However, the more I read about "Good Fats", I thought why not give it a try. I have to tell you it is a long process. I should have started earlier in the day. I just did not realize.

The lard starts out a nice white and pink color when first going in the pot.

You put little chunk pieces in a stainless steel pot on the lowest stove setting. Stirring often the lard will slowly begin to cook down.

Then it starts to turn a grey color as it is rendering down. You will be left with small pieces of cracklin. The end result of hours of rendering. I could not wait on it all to render down so I finally just filtered out what I could and ended up with 3 pint jars. I poured the lard through a cheese cloth several times to ensure a clear end product. The jars sealed themselves during the cooling but I still think I am going to run them through the canner for a little while. It's beautiful and I can't wait to make a pie crust!! Today, I am rendering more lard. I am starting wwaayyy earlier and using a smaller pot. I hope that speeds up the process.
The turkeys are now 12 wks. old and are just so interesting looking. I thought they might be bigger by now but they aren't. Lord willing by Nov. they will be a good size.

Here are the turkeys walking across the backyard during a good downpour. They just absolutely refuse to stay in the acreage that we fenced in for them. We need to clip their wings but I don't know that that will help.

Our days are full right now on the mini farm. We have been canning pickles, freezing peas, squash, and zucchini. We are also really busy with all of the animals around here.

I will leave you with this last little snippet of happenings around the homestead. We have a small game chicken, who we lovingly call bird, because she looks like a bird up next to regular size chickens. Anyway, we had not seen her in weeks and thought that a predator must have gotten her, as she comes and goes as she pleases, out of the pen. Well about a week and a half ago we found her and 7 baby chicks in the barn. We promptly put her in the chicken tractor. I would have loved to let her walk around the yard with her babies but from past experience we knew that she would be too vulnerable to predators. Lord willing, when the babies get bigger, we can let them out to run around together. I am thankful that we have some chickens with the natural instinct to set and care for babies.

Have a great weekend!!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My daughter is turning into quite an awesome photographer and she tooke these amazing pictures of our turkeys. I love this one.
They are growing so nicely. I am amazed at how much more friendly they are than the chickens, who we also raised from day one.

And Ramsey just loves them. They are buddies.

Have a great week.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

How do you spend Father's Day on the mini farm......

You drive 3+ hours to Louisiana to bring home a 3 month old sheep in a pet carrier. ha ha

This is the beginning of our St. Croix sheep breeding program. He is a registered St. Croix sheep. His name is Ramsey and he is finally home. He is just another step in our overall plan to be as self sufficient as we can. We hope to breed for selling and whatever we can't sell, process for our freezer. We decided to go with St. Croix sheep for a number of reasons but mainly we were looking for a heritage breed. Heritage breed animals do not have a lot of their natural instincts for breeding and mothering bred out of them. The St. Croix is also on the threatened list. So we feel good about helping to conserve the breed. They are also extremely parasite resistant, which tends to be a big problem with sheep. We want to do things as naturally, as possible and would prefer not to use commercial wormers. They also thrive on pasture.We are really hoping these two become fast friends. That is until we get Ramsey a girlfriend or two or three. We did not realize at the time that St. Croix sheep are such a rare breed. There are no breeders in Ms. and the ones that we found in Louisiana had already sold out of all of their ewes. So it looks like it will be next Spring before we get our ewes. We are on the waiting list now for next Spring. However, after we get our ewes, we will be the only breeder of registered St. Croix sheep in Ms.

I couldn't leave you without a picture of Phoebe. We got her her own swimming pool and she spends a good bit of time wallowing in it. This is one spoiled pig!