Random Winter Pictures of Joyful Moments

Joy should be found in the small things.

Here is a report of thankfulfulness to the Lord for blessing us with countless small experiences that bring us joy.

Music of a big sister and a little farm boy

Enough pork chops for our whole fam AND to have grown them ourselves.

Farm Baby getting his first haircut

Bye bye long, wild curly hair!

The almost one year old Farm Baby soon-to-be Farm Toddler. Isn’t he adorable!

Our new calf, Frisky, we are growing to be in the freezer next year.

Roses from my Prince Farmer!

Our apple trees in the snow

A dream that is now a reality. Eggs, delicious eggs! And almost 3 dozen a day!

Our own grass fed beef!

 

Hey, this was fun! Maybe I’ll add some more pics again soon. Always good to be reminded of the Lord’s kindnesses!

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What Do You Do When Things Go Wrong?

Well, it is a sparkling day outside. Cold? Yes. But the sun is shining on the snowy landscape making it easy to marvel at God’s wondrous love. It does help that some of our landscape blemishes are temporarily hidden by the blanket of white.

Taking a closer look at how things on the Trustead Farm are going one would see, hopefully, how God’s sovereignty rules even when all is going wrong, humanly speaking.

Here are a few areas we are actively TRUSTing our great God to reveal His desire for us:

~ Power outages. Power outages are virtually non-existant when we were chilling in the city. And when the occasional one did come our way, it was much easier to manage.

In the country when you have animals to consider, things get more complicated. Add a bunch of kids, a “rattlebang” van, and a well that is operated electrically, temptation to grumble rises!

So, we will need a solution as water is imperative for all living things and when our well is out, we are in a bind. No water comes into the house. No water works outside for the animals. Thankfully, we have not been in that situation too often.

~ A “rattlebang” van. Have you ever read A Rattlebang Picnic? Ahhhh… it is one of my favorite picture books as it kinda sums up how we roll. Anyway, our van is a “rattlebang.” HOWEVER, the Lord has graciously allowed us to make it to our destination and home again EACH TIME. (Barring the one time the starter went out! But he also had all 7 kids, Granny Homemaker, and me squeeze into a little red car to make it home!)

~ An unbred cow. I personally have lost count of how many times we have tried to get June the Cow bred back. Farmer knows her cycle, we have a super farm friend who brings the AI things to us and does the deed, the kids notice when she is in heat, and I can almost see a difference in her milk output. Yet, once pregnant, she seems to keep miscarrying.

Since the entire reason we have June the Cow is to provide our family with milk, we have a dilemma.

We’ve already experienced dealing with a cow that had to be “put in the freezer” (Venus the Cow), while the grass-fed beef is DELICIOUS, we don’t have the $$ to drop on a new cow.

SOOOOOO… what’s a trusteading family to do?

We CELEBRATE!

~ Power outages. First, we pray for those in far worse circumstances (i.e. Puerto Rico) to have what they need and ulimately have their greatest need met (knowing the Savior). Then, we trust Him for each little step and smile knowing He will provide it in the right timing.

Also, we give thanks for children who can have a blast making tents with blankets and playing with flashlights giggling, totally unconcerned!

~ Our van. This is too simple to type but… we thank Him for His provision, that we owe nothing on it, that it truly does get us to church and back, the occasional library run, and fulfills the monthly or so farm needs (i.e. hauling our trailer full of alfalfa hay or me picking up 16 forty pound bags of organic animal feed from a local organic feed coop we learned about).

AND, we can truly see His answer to prayer as sometimes we pray while experiencing some van trouble only to realize moments later that He has miraculously stopped the smell or unsettling sound! HE IS GOOD!

~ June the Cow. We thank Him for all the milk we’ve had since we’ve purchased her and KNOW He has a plan. And we simply petition Him for wisdom and direction for the next steps. Hey, sometimes we can make mistakes. And sometimes the “mistakes” are simply His way of getting us to make some adjustments or change our direction. Either way, we KNOW He will provide!

In closing, troubles comes… even when doing the country / farm / homesteading thang. May we not “sweat it” but instead smile at His providence in our midst.

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Our Beginning 2018 Farm Update

2018. A new year, a new schedule for us trusteaders, and lots to stay excited for as the days in this new year unfold.

First, our family. We moved in late August 2016, two wacko parents with ZERO homesteading real experience with eight kiddos afraid of animals and knowing nothing about country life and feverishly cleaned up, unpacked, and tried to get our homestead groove on.

Today? Well, today we found out we are expecting a Baby Farm Gal to keep our hefty, big boy Farm-Baby-soon-to-be-Toddler company as the other eight live the country life taking care of animals, the land, and learning time management as they increase in their educational endeavors. All different, all so similar, all so funny in their unique ways, all loved by me and the Farmer so much more than they know. We really have some great kids. God has been so good to us.

Now to the farm! The farm is still in operation, providing an endless amount of ways for us former city-folk to see our Almighty God. He has humbled us and stretched us, He has abundantly and uniquely blessed us, He has shown us how dependent we are on His grace and how ALL good things we have and ANY good thing in us is simply evidence of His work in us. To God alone be the glory.

We are down to ONE dairy cow who is providing us around 3/4 a gallon a day and who we hope is truly bred back.

We have a flock of chickens, not sure how many. Maybe FIFTY? We’ve gotten chickens in varied ways from buying them as layers to hatching our own to being gifted fertilized eggs and everything in between. We love us some farm fresh, soy-free eggs! Yum! Currently we are getting anywhere from 1 to 7 eggs a days. God is in control, amen?!

We have THREE adorable ducks. Love watching them waddle around with the chickens.

Somehow we ended up with TWO farm dogs, Rex, the hyper, super fast Anatolian Shepherd who stays on a long lead during the day to keep him from… er… eating our chickens. The other dog is Buddy, our big, furry, gentle yet guardian Great Pyrenees. And to think we were a dog-hating family!!!!

And the only meat we are raising currently would be our FOUR pigs. Our four piggies, one of which will be heading to the market next week, are a Meishan-Berkshire mix. They are truly pastured piggies and have been fed mostly chemical-free, non-certified organic, non-soy feed in addition to our kitchen scraps. People warned us how gross it would be having them BUT we have found the experience super pleasant and most worth the effort as the meat of our first heritage breed (Red Wattle) was outstanding! Pastured pork IS the way to go!

To wrap up our virtual, farm tour-like update, we have ONE barn cat, Rosy. Yes, Rosy had a litter of five little kittens late December but we are sad to say they all died. Very sad but real life. One was stepped on by June the Cow, a couple froze, and the other two just seemed neglected by mama Rosy.

And as I write this four kids are playing with Play Mobile in the playroom, one is with his sister in his playyard watching the kids in the playroom, two are on  computers, and two are outside with Daddy trying to hunt and shoot a pheasant. Country life… is sure is a blessing from the Lord!

Posted in Daily Life, Farming, Uncategorized, What's Up? | Leave a comment

We Thank You, Our Provider

.. for the leaves that dangle from the autumn trees …

We thank You, Our Provider,
F0r the food we eat,
For the clothes we wear,
For the sun and the moon
And the grass everywhere.
For the leaves that dangle
On the autumn trees,
For the summer that has passed
With its exasperating bees,
And for the wonderful deeds
You have done this year.

We thank You, Our Provider,
For the things we dislike:
For the blizzards and the hailstorms,
The snow and the ice.
For trials and temptations,
For discomfort and pain;
Just help us to bear them,
And we’ll remember again
All the wonderful deeds.

We thank You, Our Provider,
For brothers brave and sisters sweet,
For mother dear and father wise,
For friends and family alike,
For beds in which we sleep and rise,
For the farm that You have given us,
Along with all our animals.
Thank You for our grassy fields,
For all their nooks and knolls.
Thank You for the wonderful deeds
You have done this year.

I thank You, My Provider,
For ev’ry drop of blood You shed,
On that cruel tree,
For all the shame and misery
You endured for me.
In response to that, O Lord,
To give my life, my soul,
To always live for You, and
Your glory is my goal.
Thank You for redeeming me,
For it has been,
The most wonderful deed
You have done all these years.

~~Poet

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Picture of the Day: Getting Them In

 

Here they are, refusing to get inside.

Farmer decided it was time not just for Calfie but his mama, Venus, to be processed. Big Pig was forced in earlier and was in the front part of the trailer with the divider up.

There was nothing easy about getting those animals in. But, thanks be to God, all three got in and we were able to drive to the meat locker, get them unloaded and filled out the quite extensive “cut sheet.”

Now, we wait about three weeks for them to age then… we dine!

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Picture of the Day: Apple

Farmer let the kids buy a miniature horse. They named her Apple. Comedian is obsessed with learning how to ride now.

I still can’t believe we have a horse. Another thing to add to my “Things I Never Imagined” list.

Hmmm… what might next week bring?

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Pictures of the Day: Animals

Foggy, wet day around here. Not much time being spent outdoors beyond the farmwork that must get done.

Rex, our Anatolian Shepherd farm dog, behind the fence in the first pasture. The three bovine happy to be free to roam…

Ducks…Our little turkey… One of our four little piggies not set to go to market till early next year. Our big pig will head in later this month. And the backyard which is home to all our animals, except Rosy. Rosy is still a barn girl, we think.

Posted in Chickens, Cows, Daily Life, Farming, Pigs | Leave a comment

Picture of the Day: A Gate

 

Oh, hello! We took a super long “break” from updating this site as summer on the homestead is B-U-S-Y! Lord-willing, we will randomly post pictures that capture all we failed to chronicle.

But to begin, we will take it slow and share a picture of the day. Are you ready?

Here it is:

… a pallet gate for next year’s garden.

A simple, smart design at a terrific cost that is functional and “farmy”?

Gotta love it.

Posted in Creative Solutions, Garden, Picture of the Day, Praises | Leave a comment

Rosy, Our Barn Cat

Rosy, our barn cat, is a long, gray, white, and black cat. She is an excellent hunter, and has caught rabbits, moles, mice, birds, and Comedian claims that she’s even killed a small rat!

She can be cute.

Us children pet her and play with her, but it must be understood that Rosy is NOT a pet, just a barn cat. Some of us, (me included), can make her come to us by clapping and calling her name.

Comedian and Athletica hold her by grasping the fur of her back neck. To me, when they do that, it looks dreadful. If you do it the right way, however, it doesn’t hurt her.

Sharpening her claws to be able to climb better…

 

She displays her playful obstinacy by perpetually going in the garden by leaping easily over the fence. She doesn’t even touch the fence while she jumps over it!

Once, Rosy was perched on the barn door’s handle, then pushed her feet off of it to jump up and squeeze through the narrow opening at the top!!! She’s amazing.

So far, we’ve been totally satisfied with her and are not regretting that we got her. I like her a lot, as I’m sure most of us do.

Rosy, our barn cat.

If she would only stop getting into the garden and pooping in it, then she’d be a perfect barn cat!

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R * I * P

I had high hopes for today – lots of plans and an expectation that we would get some boxes checked off on the to-do list.  The early morning was pleasant as I walked Venus and Calfie to the back forty to do a mow job in some 5 foot swamp grass.

I got the cows all set up and was making my way back to the barn when my phone rang.

“Aw, man,” I thought to myself, “… must be the emergency service”. (Hey, a modern Farmer has to have a day job, you know!) I slid my phone out of the back pocket and was glad to see the name ‘Wifey.’

I answered and she said right away, “Did you hear, did you hear?…a pig is dead!”

Gasp.

Ugh!

No!!!

I couldn’t believe it!  No way, what happened?

I quickly made my way to the pig pen and could see the same pig was still lying in the same position he had been in when I had passed him with the cows.  Only this time Poet, Comedian and Dimples were nearby.

He was dead.

How?

I gave a quick visual inspection and could see no wounds indicating a predator.

His body was still flexible and he didn’t smell any worse than normal.  The death must have been within the last few hours.

His mouth was not shut all the way and when I pried it open, I saw a long strand of fatty meat jammed in there.  I pulled it out, and out, and out, and it kept coming….for about 8”.

It had choked him.

“Oh no” I thought “the rattlesnake?”  When Helper killed the rattlesnake last weekend I figured it was a good opportunity for free protein, so I cut it up and gave it to the pigs.  They hadn’t seemed very interested in it.  Did he choke on the rattlesnake?

No, it wasn’t the rattlesnake I realized.  It was a long fatty, piece of chicken.

The night before we had thrown some raw chicken out to the pigs.  We weren’t going to eat it and knew they would like it.  It never crossed our minds that chicken could kill a pig.

Sure enough, he had choked on it.  Poor fella must have just kept jamming it in until….he couldn’t breathe.  Choked to death by poultry.  What a way to go.  What a shame.

What do you do with a dead pig of about 60 lbs? 

I didn’t know whether to try and butcher him, feed him to the chickens or just chuck him in the trash can.

I walked around in a stupor for several minutes, finishing up other chores and seriously bummed.  Homemaker did some internet searches on butchering pigs.

We decided we weren’t ready to properly butcher him for human consumption (plus my wife wasn’t too comfortable with us eating him) and besides, we didn’t know how long he had been dead.

But a dissection seemed a good use of this sad situation, so…

Thanks to our new sharp knives, this dissection was like butter.

I hung him up on the old laundry post and began cutting.

Cool intestines.

Not the day we expected or wanted.

To add insult to injury, Braver was dead too.

Death. A homestead reality.

Comedian’s rabbit that Rosy caught….he named him Braver. Well, he had died overnight too.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

~Habakkuk 3:17-18

Yes, death is a homestead reality but we will take joy in the God of our salvation.

Posted in Challenges, Cows, Farming, Homesteading, Pigs | Leave a comment