Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Resting and having fun!! And a cute baby goat picture.



Farm life can be alot of work. Tending the livestock and the garden, milking the goats, keeping the bees happy and not swarming, tapping the trees in the winter for healthy great tasting maple syrup, caring for sick animals, keeping pens clean and feeders full can sometimes leave me feeling a little ok alot overwhelmed. That is why it is also important to learn how to rest and how to have fun. Sometimes all I can think about is the work that needs done and I feel guilty if I am not working but the Lord rested on the 7th day of creation and we are also commanded to rest. I have learned through the years that God knows best and wants what is best for me and things always work out when I am following his plans. Things go astray when I fight and try to do things my way.








I would miss out on so much if all I ever did was work. There is not anything in my opinion more precious on our farm then baby goats. They are so sweet and innocent. I only bottle raise them if there is a problem. I have had young does who refuse to take care of their babies and I will bottle raise in that situation but I believe it is healthier for the goats if they are raised by their moms. A goat can do a much better job teaching how to be a goat then I can. The way our pen is set up also makes it impossible to keep the baby goats in if they do not want to stay in and if they are bottle raised they spend too much time away from the herd and spend it with us. I am not saying that my way is the only correct way, I have friends who bottle raise all of their goats and they have healthy wonderful goats, I am just saying this is the best way for us. Back to my point of rest and fun now. After all of the work is finished, I enjoy going out to the barn and just sitting with the babies. They get used to humans and are so much fun to play with.




And the biggest most important reason why farm life should also be fun is these human babies. These 2 awesome boys are my grandbabies. I want them to know that you have to work in life but I also want them to know that it isn't all work. That it is ok to have fun. I also want them to learn that there is more to life then electronics, social media and video games. That life is to be explored and can be fun even while we are working. In the picture to the left we took a break from our morning chores to go for a short walk and they were having a blast with a piece of tree bark they found along the road (I love living on a back road) and a stick. It doesn't get much better then this.






By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Have a blessed day!!

~April

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Update~it has been alot harder then I thought it would be



I have now been on my real food challenge for 2 weeks since the start or 1 week from my restart last weekend. I was doing great this week. Grinding my own flour, not eating anything processed and no white flour or white sugar. I was rocking it!! Then it happened, I got what is either the flu or a really bad virus. I was feverish, aching, coughing and congested but I was also still getting hungry. I did not have the energy or strength to get up off the couch and make something so I gave my dear husband a break and allowed him to give me canned (canned by progresso, not me) chicken noodle soup and *gasp* white bread from the store and a few other processed foods. It just happened to also be the day I would have made bread so we were out of my fresh made, home milled flour bread so I ate some of the junky bread which in my opinion did not taste anywhere near as good as my homemade. And since I have decided I am going to be 100% honest with my readers during this challenge I have to let you know I allowed myself some candy today since it is Easter. I am feeling a little better today so I ground some flour and made some bread from all real ingredients and I am planning to have an awesome week this week.

I pray that everyone reading this had an awesome Easter and remembered the true reason we rejoice today. We rejoice because we serve a risen Saviour! Jesus Christ!

~April

Monday, March 26, 2018

Starting over

     My plan was to be able to update everyone today on my real food challenge and say how wonderfully excellently perfect I did but that would be not exactly true a lie. I realized that I chose a very bad week to start the challenge. It was my birthday week! I did great up until my birthday and when all of the wonderful friends in my life wanted to celebrate it with me. I don't know about you but I never realized just how much we celebrate with sugar. As someone who likes sugar a little bit a whole heck of alot and is a tad bit majorly addicted to it, this was an impossible temptation. Now that all of the celebrating is over, I am re-starting  today, right now, not a second later! All of the rules are the same as in my last post and seeing as how I only get a year older once a year noone should be bringing me donuts. Unless of course they are made with all real foods. "hint hint". So without further ado today is Day 1!! I hope next Monday to be celebrating with all of you how great I feel but I imagine with the way I like sugar a little bit way too much that I will be talking about the withdrawal I am having but it won't be long until I am shouting how great I feel!!



      One of the things I love about spring is the babies we have on the farm. So I decided to share some pictures with you of all of the cuteness we have added so far. I sure do love this life that God has blessed us with.

This is Lucy. She is a heifer calf that we bought to raise for meat. She is what is called a freemartin and cannot get pregnant but we will love on her  everyday that she is with us.

These are 2 little bucklings that were born yesterday afternoon. I think baby goats are just about the cutest thing God made. I love these little guys already. They still need names.

Last spring one of the baby goats knocked over my meat rabbit pens and the rabbits got away. Last week I found these little ones in the barn. There are 6 of them in total but we were only able to catch 5. The 6th one enjoys sitting in the middle of one of the goat stalls and then darting away as soon as I begin to open the door.

I cannot be trusted at Tractor Supply. A couple weeks ago I went in to buy feed and came out with 20 chicks. You can never have too many eggs. 


I hope you enjoyed seeing the new faces on our farm. Happy spring!!!!

~April

Acts 14:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I am either crazy or very smart!

Well, I have finally done it. I have either become crazy or I am going to feel like a whole new person in 100 days. I have no idea why I decided on 100 days but I guess if I last that long then it will probably (hopefully) become a life long change. I have decided for the next 100 days I am going to not eat anything processed. It has to either be grown, raised, foraged or hunted here or be something that could have been. I will be scouring farmer's markets and Amish bulk stores. I will probably be driving my family crazy and at first I may even be a little mean to them. Sorry family, please just remember it is the lack of processed things talking, especially the lack of sugars. I may have a headache for awhile but I believe by the end I will feel better then I have ever felt before.

Here are my rules:

1. It cannot come in a box
2. It can not come from a grocery store
3. It can be anything I grow
4. It can be anything a local farm grows
5. It can be anything from a tree that a local farm grows
6. It can be anything foraged on my farm or a local farm
7. It can be anything that comes from my goats
8. It can be meat that comes from our cow, pig, chickens, ducks, turkeys and rabbits
9. It can be eggs that come from our ducks and chickens
10. It can be anything that grows wild on my farm or a local farm
12. It can be from my bees
13. It can be from the trees. (maple syrup)

I also have a few exceptions to my rules:

1. I am still buying coffee. I do not know of anywhere local that grows coffee and I think for the safety of everyone around me I should still have coffee.
2. I will be buying wheat berries and yeast from a local bulk food store to grind my own flour for pancakes, breads, waffles etc.
3. I will buy local Amish butter. I do not have the resources right now to churn my own butter.
4. I may have to buy some real maple syrup and local raw honey . I am almost out.
5. Raw apple cider vinegar
6. I will be buying milk from a dairy until my goats are providing me with milk in a couple weeks.

I will also be making an exception next Saturday. My wonderful daughter already has a birthday party planned for me and I do not want to ruin her fun so I will allow myself for that one meal to eat what she has planned.  :)

I realize this is going to be a hard road at first but it is one that I am willing to take and I believe the Lord will be right by my side. I will have weekly updates about how it is going. I cannot wait to see how I feel at the end. This mornings breakfast was great, even though the taste of the coffee without all of that flavored creamer will get some getting used to.

Breakfast today:

Bacon, eggs, potatoes with onions and coffee sweetened with maple syrup and whole milk.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and hope you will comment and me know what you think. Have a blessed Sunday!!

~April

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

I got this idea from an awesome blogger I have been following. Please go check out her blog. She even has a great members area for only $5 a month. I think it is worth the money!!  Farm Fresh For Life

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Goals not resolutions


Before I get to my post about New Year's goals I would like to share with you my morning. It definitely did not go the way I had planned which goes along with one of my favorite sayings. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." Today is my first day back to work after being on Christmas break and the school had a 2 hour delay so I was called in to work part of the morning shift. I only work the afternoon shift except when someone from the morning shift needs the morning off or if the school has a delay. Around 15 minutes before time to leave I went out to warm up the truck but it would not start!! My wonderful sister came up so we could use the jumper cables but either through user error or mechanical issues we could not get the truck to start so she left for work. I let my employer know I would not be in and then I went to get the charger off the tractor so I could hook it up to the truck. I know that I will someday be laughing at this but at the time I was not in the mood to laugh and the darn turkeys were sitting right beside me not knowing how close they were coming to being in a pot pie. I could not take the extension cord that the charger needs plugged into because it was encased in a frozen pile of turkey poop!!! Seriously!!!???? After dear old Doug stopped laughing when I called him he told me where to find another extension cord. The charger is hooked up to the battery but I still cannot get my truck to start so my mom will be taking me to work this afternoon.

Now onto the topic of my post. I have said this before and I am still a firm believer in making New Year's goals and not resolutions. For me it is alot harder to give up on a goal then it is to decide not to do a resolution. Everyone is different and if you like resolutions then I am glad that works for you but for me I need goals. Here is a list of the goals I have planned. This list is subject to change throughout the year (probably by adding more) but this is what I have so far.

1. stick to my read the bible in a year plan                          
2. learn to be content in all situations                                   
3. prioritize what is most important                                      
 4. lose the last 9 pounds I need to lose to hit goal                 
5. be a better wife                                                                 
 6. read more, electonics less                                                  
 7. the most important one rely on God more and myself less
 8. save money                                                                        
 9. eat less sugar  (goes along with weight loss)                      
10. love myself more and not worry about what others think  

I also have a goal of getting our farm running even better by the end of 2018 and other goals with the animals, garden, etc but I didn't want to bore you with a long list. Have a wonderful 2018 putting God first. God bless you all!

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 

~April

Monday, January 1, 2018

How we bring in the new year.

Here at Why the Simple Life we started an annual tradition of having a game night to bring in the new year. Last year was the first year we did this and we had so much fun that we have decided to do it every year. Last year my son and daughter came with their families but they were unable to come but my sister and her family were able to come again this year and so did my mom for a little while. Last year once we decided to play Taboo we never got to any other game so we decided to play some other games first and this year we ended up never playing taboo because we got into a cutthroat game of Monopoly which my husband won but not for lack of trying on my sister, niece and my part.

I was the lucky one who got to have a partner in every game. See that little cutie sitting beside me? She loved playing the games with us.


I was the banker but of course Doug had to sit and watch over my shoulder to make sure I was being honest with the money.


I was so excited when I landed on Park Place and was able to buy it. My sister and I thought we had the win in the bag working together but it just was not in the cards.


Grace did not play with money or properties but she had fun moving her little doggie around the board.





If you look in Grace's hand you will see the very very good cowboy cookies I baked. We had cookies, chips with salsa and veggies with spinach dip along with some pop and a couple wine coolers. Don't worry I do not make a habit of drinking them. I just had one since it was New Year's Eve but ended up realizing that I would of rather drank a pop. The wine cooler tasted good but it made me really sleepy.


My oldest niece Tomi, she is a teen and actually had fun with us old adults. She was the only one that came close to beating Doug and she hung in really well clear until the end but in the end Doug won.


The guy closest to the camera is my brother in law, as you can see in the back that Doug was reading the directions to the game. Something probably was not going the way he wanted it to. lol

I love that my family can have a good time without having to load up on alcohol or do anything other than have some good old fashioned fun together. If you would like I would love for you to share how you rang in the New Year in the comments.

I am wishing each and every one of you a happy, wonderful, blessed 2018. Please remember to keep God first. God bless everyone.

~April

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking back on a wonderful year!!

Today marks the end of another year so it is time to reflect on the many ways God has blessed us.

Family

One of the ways I feel very blessed is with the family God has gifted me with. I consider it to be a gift that my family is so close. We spend alot of time with each other, go places together and I consider them to be my best friends.


My son and grandsons surprised me out of the blue one day by taking me to lunch at the Wooden Angel. It was a very nice surprise. Those 3 guys and my husband are my most favoritest guys in the world.




My daughter and I started going to Painting With a Twist together. I absolutely love it. Who knew I could paint!! I believe that when our children are young we need to make sure that we appreciate all of the little and big moments because the do grow up so fast but memories with my grown children are so special to me also. Instead of having to be parent/child all of the time we can now also be friends. My children have grown into amazing adults that I am proud of.


I am blessed to be close with my sister and her family. While going through my pictures I realized there were lots of pictures of me and my youngest niece, she sure does love her aunt April and I sure do love her. This is a picture of us rocking our lu la roe.


My niece was so proud to win a ribbon in the children's tractor pulls at the fair. I love that I get to be there for so much of her life.


Sister, her husband and my 2 nieces.


I think my sister was trying to steal one of my goats while I was on vacation. She was doing it while trying to tell me she was just feeding them. Warning Val: they dont stay this cute and cuddly.


I cannot believe this little cutie started Kindergarten this year.


This one might surprise everyone but I am blessed to have wonderful in-laws. I get along with my husband's family and we all love each other. This is a picture of me and my sister-in-laws, we are as close as sisters. I do not get to see them as much as I would like. I have many nieces and nephews that I love and even 2 great nieces!!! It was funny because when I became a great aunt it made me feel older then when I became a grandma!


We are very blessed by getting to spend so much time with our grandsons. I know some people do not see their grandkids often and it breaks my heart. Without the closeness of my family, life would be so much harder. Please remember though that even if your earthly family does not spend much time with you your heavenly father is always waiting with arms open wide. Above is a picture from my mom's birthday party.


Strawberry picking. We do this every year. Traditions are wonderful.


Our family is blessed with 5 generations. 


pumpkinland


That is Caitlyn's boyfriend in the picture with her. He is fitting into our family wonderfully. I am so happy that she has found a great guy who treats her well.


We were able to take our oldest grandson on vacation with us this year.


It was so much fun. We felt he was finally old enough to go.


Kids putting off little fireworks on the 4th of July.
Can you see our youngest grandson hiding behind Doug?


Spidey!

Friends                                                                                                                                                        

This was my first year going to the ladies retreat and I had such a great time. I cannot wait to go next year. My mom usually goes to these things with me but she was unable to go. My friend Brenda went with me and we had a wonderful time even when the gps decided to not want to take us home. 


My friend Brenda and I singing karaoke.

Husband                                                                                                                                                     


I have the most amazing husband. He puts up with so much from me. From my crazy moods to my crazy ideas. He is always there for me. He even surprised me and gave me a pandora bracelet for Christmas, sat through the Nutcracker ballet because I wanted to go see it and takes such good care of me. We are in a new season of life. Our children are grown and we get to focus more on each other now.

2017 has been such a great year and looking back on all of it helps me to remember just how blessed we truly are. There were some hard and sad times but the joys have outweighed the sadness. I hope everyone looks back on 2017 with joy and is looking forward to whats to come in 2018. Have a wonderful and blessed New year. God bless you all!!!

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.