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.


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. 


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?



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.


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.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why is he always correct?

Did you ever wonder what we do for fun here at why the simple life? Well, here it is!! One of our favorite stores to visit is Tractor Supply!! Here is a picture of my amazing husband loading some feed into the truck. I want to make sure before I say the next part that I love my husband more than anything or anyone. He is my second love. God first, husband second! They both do an awesome job taking care of me. He is a gift from God. Another thing I love in this picture is my truck! I remember when we were first purchasing the truck for me we fought about it. I did not think I would ever like driving such a big truck. I wanted a truck but I wanted to get another Ranger but Doug decided that we needed something bigger in order to be able to move round bales and other stuff that needs done on our farm. I fought it hard. I actually cried about it. But guess what, once again dear Doug was correct. The truck works much better then our ranger ever did and I love it!! I actually like to drive places, I cannot imagine driving anything else. Especially a smaller vehicle. It kind of irks me that he was right again but I am glad I learned to love my truck. It is not a new truck but a new to me truck.

Here is a picture of Doug on his way back into the store to get more goat feed. For some reason he thought one bag would be enough. Silly man.

This last picture has nothing to do with feed or farming but isn't he just adorable. This is my youngest grandson. In case you didn't notice he is really into spiderman this year which made Christmas shopping fun. This is the first year where he was old enough to really enjoy it.

Have a blessed day!!


Thursday, December 28, 2017


      Alot of things have been changing in my life and along with these changes I am beginning to see a change in myself. I still homestead, I raise my own meat, veggies, eggs, honey and hope to someday have our own fruit from our small orchard. I plan to can produce again this year I am interested in making my own cleaners and beauty products but there are things that have changed about me also. One thing that has changed is I have lost 40 pounds. I eat very little sugar and I have so much more energy and feel so much better about myself. I still drink whole raw goat's milk when the goat's have milk but I will also drink skim milk. I am interested in making my own skin care products but I also enjoy makeup and moisturizers from Sephora, I like getting my unmentionables from VS and I also like to get candles from bath and body works. I was going to start a new blog but decided that it would be better to stay on this blog and let you stay on this journey with me. I am confused by all that has changed. I used to only make food from scratch but I have been buying bread from the store. I will still shop at farmer's markets and grow my own food in the growing season and I stay away from prepackaged foods as much as possible. I have begun working at an afterschool program 4 hours a day to help with the costs of running a farm and it works out perfect because that still leaves me time to be a housewife and farmer. If my blog posts seem to contradict one another occasionally it is because this all confuses me. This is a new chapter in my life and I hope you will follow along with me while I sort this all out.
      Today was very cold. I think the high was around 20. We have to go out a few times to chop the ice off of the animals water but the animals seem to take the cold much better then I do. I have raynaud's disease and it causes me to get sores on my toes in the winter. It is painful but tolerable. I do try to keep my feet as warm as possible though. Mom had to work today so I spent the day working on our menu plan and shopping list so that and after she got off work we could go to the grocery store, mall and our weightwatchers meeting. I am up 1.6 pounds but that was expected after all of the sugary treats I ate over Christmas. Nothing exciting happened on the farm today. The winter is pretty boring, it is mainly spent trying to keep the water thawed for the animals.

Christmas was so much fun this year. I think it was our best one ever. Our 2 grandsons are at the perfect ages for it to be fun. I pray that everyone had a great Christmas and that you remembered to keep Christ first.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Living the Simple Life

While browsing pinterest today I realized that I have really gotten away from the simple life that I enjoyed so much and I have begun creeping my way into the fast paced modern world. Things that used to be so important to me have been moved to the back burner of life and it has left me feeling a little empty inside. So, this winter I am going to reevaluate my life and see what things need to be changed back to the way they used to be. We decided for me to get a part time job to help afford the lifestyle that we were living but I have discovered that instead we were trying to afford other things that did not used to be important to us. Today I am working on a list of those things that we want to do. I am not sure if my husband's list is the same but I hope it is at least similar. I have all winter to get this planned out. We are homesteaders and that is what I want to stay as.

1. learn to make my own beauty products
2. make my own cleaning supplies
3. bake bread
4. cook from scratch
5. raise cows for meat
6. raise ducks for eggs and meat
7. learn to spin yarn
8. have a list each week for things that I want to get done
9. meal plan
10. this should be number 1 on my list. Make God my first priority.
11. learn to live on less
12. purge our home of the things we do not need
13. less social media and television
14. have simple holidays

This is just the beginning of my list. I am sure it will get longer as the days go on and I know I have also said all of this before but whenever we fall down we just get back up and try again. Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I am sooooo excited!!!

Do you want to know why I am so excited? That picture above shows why I am excited. I am started a soap making business and yesterday I applied for my very own name!!!! I cannot wait for the big reveal that is coming up to the name of my business but you will just have to wait until it gets approved. Are you excited? I know I am excited!!

Short post today but I wanted to let everyone in on my good news. Now I need to go get ready for a meeting at church. Have a blessed day everyone!!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Braden's Hill

 This is a picture of my husband and our grandson at the bottom of what is lovingly called and named Braden's Hill. They remind me so much of what the relationship between my son and my own grandfather was like. I do not know whose idea it was to name the hill but our grandson thinks it is awesome. I love how close they have become. Braden spends every other weekend with us and gets to experience the country life.

 Doug always makes time to take him for rides on the tractor and other fun stuff for him. He has even ridden on a camel with him!! Mimi was a chicken!
This year we were blessed that Braden was with us on Mother's Day morning and he got to help Doug make my annual Mother's Day breakfast which was really nice because this was the first year that neither of my children live at home and they were unable to be here to help make it. Having our grandson here helped make it just as special.
I hope you enjoyed hearing a little about a couple of my favorite guys. Pretty soon our youngest grandson will be old enough to spend the weekends and we will be making lots of special memories with him also. You just dont understand how much you can love a child that you did not give birth to until you are a grandparent. There is something special about the love you have for your child's child. It is a wonderful and amazing blessing from God.

Have a blessed day!!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I am back!!!

      You will be happy to know (or at least I hope it will make you happy) that I am back!! Hopefully with a new and improved more interesting to read blog. *insert lots of cheering here*
      This sure has been the summer of surgeries for me. In April I had to have a hysterectomy and if that wasn't bad enough somehow I tore my bicep and had to get shoulder surgery in June. While they were in there they decided to remove some bursitis and bone spurs. I am finally healing up nicely and I am feeling back to my old self. My sister decided not to let me have all of the attention so she decided to have a couple places in her spine fused and her gall bladder removed. She always did hate when I got all of the attention. *snickers* Just kidding Val I pray that you are feeling lots better and we can attend vendor shows together again.
Speaking of vendor shows. Last weekend I tried to sell some of my crocheted items at a vendor table during the Italian festival in Weirton. Sadly my sister was not able to attend with me and I did not sell anything but the experience was nice. I have thought of a few things I need to do that might help me sell more. I will update you all on them after I see how well they work out.
  I of course have some updates on the farm! The goats have been supplying us with plenty of milk. The picture on the left is milk I am freezing so that I can make some more goat milk soap (right). The picture below is of yogurt that I made from some of our fresh goat milk. It is delicous with berries and honey. I also sell my goat milk soap for $5 per bar. It is fantastic. We love using it.

      Zucchini season seems to be about over here on the farm but we did get plenty. We sold some and I made zucchini relish. I love zucchini relish. My husband on the other hand is not to crazy about it but he does love fried zucchini so I have been making that for him. This is the first year that I felt we had the amount of zucchini under control and was not to overrun with it. At least not too bad.

Last for today but definitely not least, our bees did not do as well as we had hoped they would. We lost a hive over the winter and we still have a weak hive but we did catch a swarm this summer so we are back up to three hives. We are praying that the weak hive makes a queen and the hive gets strong enough to make it through the winter. Here is a little bit of the honey we got this year.

      Because I was laid up so much from surgeries my husband had to do the beekeeping over this summer. Here is a picture of his awesomeness that I took since I could not be up at the hives. He is a great guy and I feel so blessed that he is mine.

I have plenty more to update you on from my time away but I will save that for another post. Have a blessed day everyone!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

new additions

This winter it feels like one of us is always sick. First Doug had it, then I had it, now Doug has it again.  I really hope I do not get it again. It is one gift that I do not want.

Here is a picture of what we thought were Henry and his ladies but to our surprise one of his ladies is turning out to be a guy. Can you guess which one? He is definitely beginning to look like a Tom now. Oh well, surprises can be fun.

Meet my crocheting buddy Evelyn. She is very lucky that she is adorable because she can be mighty annoying. She loves to walk behind my head while I am sitting in the recliner around to my shoulder and get right into my face. I guess I am not paying enough attention to her. She is my daughter's kitten but when Caitlyn is not at home Evelyn decides I am the next best thing.

Now meet Sox (black) and Betsy. Betsy was only with us a short time before she developed a respiratory infection and died but she was a special kitten. My daughter loved her so much and was so upset when she passed. She was a very spoiled kitten and had a great life while she was with us and she will be missed. Sox is my kitten. She loves to have attention but she also seems to know when to stay away. She definitely is my kitten.

I hope you enjoyed meeting our new additions on the farm. Have a blessed day!