Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There's a Reason I haven't Posted in a While...

Here I am, pregnant.  I've kept it to myself since the beginning of August.  Partly to protect myself, partly to protect those near and dear to me.

I've had two stillborns and three miscarriages, four of those losses happened since my last little guy was born six years ago.  So, I waited and waited and waited to tell everyone.  I knew for a month before I even told my husband.  My kids found out two weeks ago when I was four months along.

I just didn't want to hurt them, to put them through that pain again if something happened to this little one.  I know it's out of my control, but a part of me feels responsible for all of those losses.

If you've been following me for awhile, you know my story.  Last year I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks, but it really shook my faith for the first time.  You can read that birth announcement here and miscarriage announcement(not sure what to call it) here.

But eventually, I began to draw near to God.  Through all of my shattered dreams, He became my ultimate dream.

And so here we are.  I didn't think I'd ever get pregnant again and was quite comfortable with that.  But God has a plan.  My last pregnancy, I had so much faith that everything was going to be good, that I would get to hold my little angel, alive and breathing.  God led me to the name, Eliana, which means God has answered.  I held onto that and truly believed He was going to answer me then.

But He didn't.  At least not then.  I felt betrayed for awhile.  I had so much faith in my own outcome, but believing it was His intended outcome.

So when tragedy struck, I crumbled.  Yet somehow, I felt as if He truly would answer, someday perhaps?  I didn't know how or when, but I knew He didn't lead me to that name for no reason.

Could this be His answer?  I don't know.  I am blind to the outcome of this pregnancy.  I have to just trust that He knows what is best.  That's the hard part.  That's true faith, not in an expected outcome, but just holding on to His hand, believing that He will get me through it no matter what.

My last miscarriage really opened my eyes to what true faith is.  We are totally blind to His plan for us.  But we have to trust that no matter if it goes the way we like or not, we will continue to draw near to Him.  Oh how I want this pregnancy to end well!  To actually have a baby to hold and nurture!  I love my little Eliana so much already and the thought of losing her breaks my heart!

I even bought a doppler so that I can listen to her heartbeat.  If something should happen, I will find out on my own, not at the doctor's office.  The torture of laying on the exam table while they are searching and searching for a heartbeat that wasn't there has happened way too many times.  I love my doppler!

So here I am, feeling her little kicks as I'm writing, cherishing every movement she makes.

I'm 18 weeks pregnant.  If you think of it, can you pray for me?

                        Me and my pregnant dog:)

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Get Free Essential Oils and More!

Find out about essential oils for family and farm here!

And so here we are in July.  Just let that really sink in for a minute.  I kind of want time to slow down a wee bit.  The good news is there is always an awesome deal to look forward to each month with doTERRA essential oils!

doTERRA, oh why do I love thee so?  

  • You have given my medicine cabinet a major makeover.  Now, when my kids have an issue of some sort, I no longer have to tell them to just suck it up because I don't have anything for them(okay so I never was that blunt, but I have thought it).  
  • You have giving me relief with aches and pains after working in the garden, baling hay, jogging, goat wrestling, you know...the everyday stuff on the farm.
  • I am now equipped with essential oils to help my goats with just about any issue(although I don't have an oil potent enough to knock out an unruly buck).
  • You have given me freedom to choose a healthier option for occasional headaches.  No more Motrin for me!
  • You have proved that saying, "I've got an oil for that," is not an understatement.
The list could go on and on, but let me just tell ya, these oils are the real deal!

Did you know that there are a lot of small farmers and homesteaders who have chosen doTERRA?  Not only are these oils pure therapeutic grade(I would never buy essential oils that claim to be therapeutic but have nothing to back up that claim), but doTERRA really does go the extra mile to take care of the farmers all over the world.  This speaks volumes to me because as a small farmer myself, I know how hard it is to do what we do.

So, this month is an extension of last month's deals.  If you sign up with doTERRA and order a kit worth 200pv(personal volume) or more, or if you order individual oils worth the same, you get the Sunsational pack of four oils for free along with some other goodies that I will be sending you!  Check this out:
  • Sign up with a Home Essentials Kit or larger and I'll send you...

    • Ten packets of Deep Blue Rub samples
    • Ten packets of OnGuard toothpaste samples
    • My very own handmade goody basket of goat's milk soaps and lotion
    • eBook on how to get started with essential oils
    • Free recipe card to blend your own essential oils
    Plus these oils:

And a cool travel key chain that comes with 8 small empty vials that you can put your favorite oils in!

If you just want to start with doTERRA but are on a limited budget, you can sign up for a wholesale account.  This is kind of like Costco, but you only pay $35 for the year and get 25% off all purchases.  And guess what?  You have a minimum order of just one oil for the year!

Personally, I think an enrollment kit is the way to go.  When you purchase a kit, the wholesale account fee is waived.  Plus, spending 200pv will get you so much more, including all of the listed freebies that I will be sending you.

Makeover that medicine cabinet for your family and farm!  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Whisper, Our First Foal

For those that follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you might have seen this beauty from a picture or two or three.  She is the newest addition to the farm and we love her oh so much!  But let me back up a bit and tell you the story of her existence.

My oldest daughter lost her quarter horse mare two years ago.  We believe it was from Impressive (stallion) breeding in her bloodlines.  This world champ stallion, as awesome as he was, carried a genetic flaw that has caused some major controversy over the years. We were unaware of any of this when we got her.  Needless to say, my daughter was devastated.

My kids show in 4-H and with three of them showing horses, we needed another taller horse for the older kids.  We have the shorter, stocky Haflingers.  My husband told me that the only horse he would allow us to get was another taller Haflinger.  They are so much more hardier than most horses and don't require a whole lot of feed.  In fact, we don't even give our Haflinger geldings any feed and they have consistantly kept their weight on nicely, too much at times!

Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me, but I saved money that I earned from online sales and started searching.

After some dead ends,  I found this veterinarian in Ohio who breeds Haflinger mares to her Gypsy Vanner stallion.  The offspring look just like this beautiful Gypsy, Leo, shown below.  She sometimes sells the pregnant mares so that others can experience the awesomeness of the Gypsy Vanner as well as the gentle Haflinger.

That is beyond cool.  But really, could we, should we?  Or was it too much of a dream?

Well, long story short, this dream came true for us.  Now, let me tell you, I have no experience with foals whatsoever.  But, sometimes you just have to dive right in and take chances.  How boring life would be if we were too fearful to step out of our comfort zone!

On April 18th, our little girl was born.  She was a week early, so we really weren't prepared yet and were planning on just letting our mare deliver in the pasture.  But you know, she was just grazing around our fenced in big yard as the pasture was still off limits because of the dry cold weather at that time (now our cellar is flooded...).  Anyhoo, she didn't act any different when her water broke.  

Then I saw a white hoof and started screaming with excitement!  She laid down to give birth.  Holy cow this was really happening!  This was a new experience that seemed like a dream!

Within a half hour, she gave birth to this little girl.  My husband broke the sac around her mouth with his knife, and then mama mare took over like a pro.  Within the next half hour, she stood, bless her heart!

My daughter wanted to name her Whisper.  I thought it was perfect.  But my little six year old wanted to name her Rain.  So we decided on Whisper Rain.  Even better.

This, is what life on the farm is all about.  To stand in awe at how the Creator orchestrates everything.  The beauty of a newborn foal, the instincts He gives them to stand quickly, to run and frolic within an hour after birth, the special bond between mother and foal, her ability to gently nudge the baby's head back toward her udder to help her find the milk.  So sweet, so precious, so perfect!


I am in awe.

Monday, June 15, 2015

When It's Time to Get Rid of Your Buck

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Raising goats is like, hmmm....I've got nothin'.  It's a humbling thing really.  If you struggle with pride, get a goat.  If you think you are the next best thing to God's creation, get a buck.

And that, my friends, is your spiritual lesson for the day. You are welcome.

In all seriousness, owning a buck is quite an experience.  Some good, some bad(especially around breeding time).  They are strange creatures and most visitors to our farm are quite appalled by their behavior.  And I don't blame them.

But, they do have a purpose...to breed. We need babies!  

Most humble goat owners don't keep their bucks forever and for good reason.  But when is it time to let these odd creatures go?

I learned a few years ago when I was thinking about getting our goats registered, that there is no limit to how many times the buck can breed to his close relatives.  Unlike dogs, you can breed mother to son, grandmother to son and so on.  I asked how far down the line can our registered buck go with inline breeding.  The kind lady told me there was no limit.

So, you can breed your buck with his relatives but just remember, the longer you use that buck, the higher the chances of getting his genetic flaws in the offspring.

I have been told that breeding brother and sister is risky, so I've never done it.  I've also been told that breeding no more than three generations with the same buck is a good rule of thumb before changing out the dude.  That seems to work pretty well with us.

Of course, if you think your buck is not improving your herd genes, by all means, sell him!

That is one of the reasons we are selling our black buck in the picture above.  He just isn't producing an improved doe.  In fact, he isn't producing very many does at all, which brings me to my next reason.

If you are getting a significantly larger amount of bucks than does, it's time to change up.  That is the other reason we are getting rid of our buck.  We are barely growing our herd because we want girls and we're consistently getting more boys!

Now if you are raising meat goats, this might not bother you as much, but we're dairy people.  

Another reason to say adios to your buck is if he is too ornery.  In other words, if you're scared to be within 50 feet of the guy, let it go. Oh no.  Those three simple words...  Here comes that song in my head for the next week.

Our buck can be ornery, but I've wrestled him to the ground in sweet revenge more than once, so he's not too bad.  His big behavioral issue is acting like it's breeding season all year.  Not fun.

So it's three strikes for this crazy goat of ours. 

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of when it's time to pack up the testosterone on hooves.  Do share your billy goat stories!

Find out how you can get these four oils for free and more! 

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