Sunday, December 6, 2009


Every year we try to get up to Breezy Point for a week. This year's vacation provided us with a new challenge - milk goats! We are so thankful for our wonderful neighbors who were willing to milk our goats, morning and night, for a whole week! (Lena, we couldn't have done it without you!! Thank You!!) :)
We love Breezy Point! Up there we do a lot of swimming, reading, shopping, playing, sleeping, and some resting! :)

We figured out that if we went to the pool right at 9am, when it opened, we would have the pool to ourselves until about 10am. After swimming we headed back to our unit for math.
Isn't it terrible to have to do math on vacation? Getting behind in math can be really miserable, so we faithfully plug away at it. (And I am a stickler for completing school books by the end of the year.)

Every afternoon we spent time in the gym playing family soccer - three against three. Instead of coming home from vacation relaxed and refreshed, I came home with stiff muscles and lots of bruises and scrapes. :) We had way too much fun playing soccer, and sometimes it even got pretty competitive. :) Speaking of competitive, climbing the fire tower is another way the kids compete. This year all the boys were brave enough to get to the top. When not competing physically, the children are pitted against each other in card games or board games.

We had our Thanksgiving dinner up there this year. Of course the turkey was awesome! :) On Black Friday we went shopping in Brainerd and later in the day to Nisswa. We have our favorite shops we go to every year. In the evening, they light up the town with lights (every building is covered in lights and they turn them all on at the same time.) Then they have horse drawn hay rides and Christmas music playing. The fun evening was brought to a close with an awesome fireworks display. It was a great day!

Since it's good for our children to practice mealtime etiquette, we go to Antlers restaurant every year, where they experience fine dining. We each bring one set of nice clothes along just for this occasion. :) Then Mike and I always have one night that we go out alone. We spend this time planning, which is what we do on most of our dates. Since our vision for our 2010 season is not clear yet, this tends to be the topic of our "talks".

It's a blessing to be able to get away from it all for a week and have some fun family time together. Again, we are so thankful for our friends that were willing to do chores for us.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


One thing I love about life on the farm is the unexpected events that happen. Life is NEVER dull! You can try to plan, but so much depends on the weather and nature. Animals don't always behave as you plan for them to, as much as you try, and some things just don't grow or they grow in some strange way (like our summer squash this year). Understanding these events can be troublesome, you can usually find answers, but some times life is a mystery. :)

While there is nothing mysterious about lambing, we do know how it happens :), yet nevertheless, today was a total surprise! Mike was checking the sheep water tank, amid the falling snow, and there standing before him were two adorable little lambs!
"WHAT! LAMBS! It's snowing, we are not supposed to be lambing until spring!"
Well, another one of those unexpected events! :) Obviously, we did not get our ram separated from our ewes soon enough, or the cold spell we had in early summer may have caused the ewes to go into heat early, whatever the case, we have new lambs! Emily named them (two boys) Frosty and Snowflake (Daddy's suggestions).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deer Harvest

Our family was blessed to harvest three deer this fall. Deer season is something we all look forward to, yet are glad when it's over. Sitting on stand takes a up a lot of time, but also works patience into one's life. :)
Emily shot a beautiful eight point buck opener morning. After sitting on stand for a whole ten minutes (that didn't take much patience :) ), he came walking by. I shot a button buck a couple days later, and Brandon shot a nice doe that week too.

Since the freezers are almost full, I guess it's time to kick back and enjoy some venison stew, or better yet some homemade venison jerky. My children are usually seen during the day sitting at the kitchen table chewing on jerky while working on their math problems. :)
As a joke, one of the children told Grandpa that I shot a twelve point buck. To follow through with the joke, Mike and I attempted to put twelve points on my button buck (after it had been hanging in the garage). :)

Garden Salad in December?

For some reason going to the garden in December to pick spinach, radishes, beet greens, arugula, broccoli, and parsley for a salad is even more rewarding than it is in the summer. To think that I may have out-smarted the cold weather, at least for a month or two, brings a bit more satisfaction.

Early in the fall, we planted some cold-hardy crops in the garden so they could get a good start before cold weather struck. Then late in the season, Mike put some straw bales around these planting and set used glass windows and doors over them -a perfect little cold frame! This is the first year we have experimented with extending our harvest. Having put very little time and energy into it, we are still enjoying the fruits of our summer labor. It's been worth it to enjoy a fresh December salad!