Thursday, June 30, 2016

Midwife Appointment

We officially have a midwife! We are looking at a home birth, probably mid to late November.

Today was my first midwife appointment. Justice came along.

He had lots of questions...which Roxanne took the time to answer. She asked if he wanted to see the way the baby sits in the womb. (Of course he did!)

She pulled out her visual aids.

Justice said, "Oh, this is the pelvic girdle, or butterfly bone, I see how the baby sits in there. Where would you pee from?"

Roxanne replied, "this is just the boney structures."

"Ok, so the renal system is not there. But where would it be? And is this a boy or a girl pelvic girdle?"

"Well, there are differences between girl and boy pelvic girdles, but this one doesn't show those."

"With a baby this has to be a girl though, because they are the only ones with a womb."

"Here, I is a book that shows some differences. By the way, How old are you?"

"I just turned 7 last week."

The conversation went on... the two of them looked at a book about pregnancy. Justice started turning pages and asking questions.

"What is that?" He asked looking puzzled at a page near the front of the book.

"That is how the baby is made."

"Remember the seed and the egg?" I added.

"Oh. I didn't know they looked like space tadpoles and planets!"

Then it was time to hear the baby. Justice got to listen to his heart with the stethoscope .

"I can only hear 2 chambers of my heart. Why can't I hear all 4?"

"Justice, we will talk more about that this week when we learn about how the heart works." I quickly interjected.

Then it was time for my blood draw.

"Oh, I love blood!" He said.

"What do you like about it?" Roxanne asked.

"Well, I like the white blood cells the best because they are the soldiers and wariors, attacking germs to keep me healthy."

"Yes! Wow, you are exactly right!"

"And without my red blood cells, oxygen couldn't get to my cells, and I couldn't live, so I like those, too. They also make my blood red. And if God didn't make plasma, it couldn't flow through my body. And without the clotting agents, I would bleed to death when I got hurt. Like the time I was cleaning under the couch in the motorhome and it closed on me."

"That sounds painful."

"Yes, it was. How are you going to test mommy's blood?"

"She will have to poke me, and then fill up small tubes," I said, seeing Roxanne wasn't quite sure what to say to this. "The poke hurts a tiny bit, but then I won't really feel it."

He was fascinated and watched the whole thing!

The appointment took almost double the time it should have.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Awesome God!

What an incredible God I serve!

This is the incredible sight I woke up to on Monday.

What a great way to wake up ready to praise and serve God this day!

Such incredible beauty He creates!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Painting birdhouses

My children are so incredibly creative!

And the final results!

Each wonderfully different, just like my children!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Notes from the Hives

Our first hive, is doing great! They raised up a new queen and is laying. They are making honey. Lots of activity coming and going from the hive. They are using boxes 2 and 3 for brood, instead of 1 and 2, so we switched boxes 1 and 2, hoping to encourage them to use that box. There were lots of bees filling in comb and getting it ready, so I am hoping once it is ready that the queen will go to town to fill it up with brood and the field workers will fill in the nectar and pollen!

We found the queen!

Dead brood from hive 3, either chilled or starved...yeah, I am a bad beekeeper. But I am learning!

Hive #2 is the swarm from the first swarm we caught the queen with the swarm, and saw that she was laying. But it was mostly drones and kind of sporadic. The hive decided to raise up a new queen and kill this one. We are still waiting for this queen to begin to lay. We hope she hatched ok, and that she is ready to take her mating flights this week! But the swarm population has gone from 9 frames to 5 frames and their stores of honey and pollen have been severely depleted. We are feeding them sugar water and pollen patty right now. We took off their 2nd brood box as they do not have enough bees to protect that much space.

Hive #3 has a purchased queen. We made a split in case hive #2 doesn't get the queen going. Unfortunately, the hive population has gone from 5 frames to 1 1/2 frames. There were only 2 eggs and almost no brood. The brood looks like it was starved! I wasn't feeding them enough and the stores from the frames I started them with were totally gone! So, we added 2 more frames of bees and larva and eggs from the parent hive, along with a pollen patty and sugar water...hoping this hive looks better, and has lots of eggs when we recheck week. The queen looks good though, so we will give her the benefit of the doubt for now!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June homestead projects

The "desert"

Children's garden mural

The caterpillar 

Bee yard got new landscaping - can't wait to keep the progress of this over the next couple months as the wildflowers grow and bloom!

Grape arbor is really coming along! Look forward to competing this, hopefully next month!

9 chicks have arrived and look good!

Garden progress - everything g is growing very well!

Squash and potato garden.

Chicken flock - or most of them!

Cows are doing well and growing! We may be ready to slaughter at the end of July or August.

Serenity putting her handprints in the last post for the grape arbor for this year. Ultimately, this will be 80' long. This year we will do 32'.

Fruit trees are just loaded this year! We are excited to see the fruit getting bigger!

Asian pears

Bartlett pears


Front garden

Mama hen with chicks.

This area is between the chicken yard and the garden, we planted it 2 weeks earlier in wildflower is a low maintenance way to add flowers for the honeybees.

Love the eggs we get!

Berry patch looks good. We will even get some berries this year!

A d that is it. The end of July,w e will check out the progress again!

Saturday, June 25, 2016


I love seeing each of my children develop. I love seeing Caleb grow in his knowledge and confidence of walking! Wednesday night, he walked across the living room for the first time. He also started picking himself up in the middle of the room.

It is so precious to watch! I wouldn't trade my job for anything!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Surgery Scheduled

We heard back from the hospital, more than a week later than expected. We have anxiously been praying about this surgery getting done sooner rather than later.

God is so gracious. We were able to get our first choice of surgery dates, aug. 26th. Don't get me wrong, it is not without its challenges as the twins will be working at the fair, all 12 days starting Aug. 25th.

But it also means that we should have Callie home from her 2-3 weeks of inpatient therapy when I am 36 weeks, rather than her starting that time when I am 36 weeks!

Prayers for wisdom and guidance and peace would be appreciated along with God to guide the hands of the surgeon during the operation and for comfort and healing afterward. We should get her appoints before and after this time scheduled soon.

Praising God for orchestrating this timing!

Other Homestead Projects

Regrading the driveway.

Building the grape arbor. We have planted 6 of our grape vines, with one of 4 cow panels in place to protect them. 

We have half of the posts cemented into the ground.

We still have all of the Top structure to go, but at least we can now get the vines in and begin training them.

Have I mentioned how much  I appreciate all those who are helping with these major landscaping and building projects?

I am very, very thankful!

(This is Christopher's father's day and birds present this year...though we will only get it started as it will take us years to get all 80 feet constructed. The goal this year is to get 32 feet in length done.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New landscaping for the bee area

This is an area behind our barn, it is often neglected, then takes a week to clear out because it gets completely overgrown with blackberry bushes and grass, making this 48'x50' area impossible to mow!

The hope is to make it both pretty and very low maintenance!


Wildflower seeds

Putting in pathways.

Filling in the path next to the barn.

And after!

All the wildflower seeds are planted.

Here's the beehives in place.

The yellow wagon filled with gravel is for the bees to get water. They can land on the rocks and get a drink without drowning. This helps them to keep their hive cool during the summer.

I am so thankful for the time and energy, and financial contributions (in materials) that Chris's parents have done to help with so many projects around the property! It has been a huge blessing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My artistic children

This small triangular are is known as the children's garden. We made it more fun by letting Ashley and Anna draw a mural on the wall.

Grandma even helped paint, too!

Didn't they do a great job?

Here are other pics of the children's garden.