Settling In

 It's been a busy week...I feel like we've gotten a lot accomplished. And I feel like there is so much yet to do. 

We finished our goat shed, which I am sure the goats are appreciative of since wind is gusting and whistling outside right now.

Bella, the worst of our escape artist goats, has already found her way out of her new yard. In the next few weeks we will bring out the electric wire and hopefully that will keep her contained. 

Spring is on it's way- 

though I am still expecting winter will make a return when we all least expect it...

We are getting ready to start our seeds inside and have someone coming out tomorrow to look at the area outside to be tilled. Hopefully I can get the cool weather crops in soon.

The boys enjoyed some golf practice. Rylan has a pretty good swing.

Cohen and Cale look a little more like they are taking a baseball bat to a car...

Annika worked on her putting.

She also helped make our compost bin.

Here is the finished project:

The house is slowly coming along too. This is our new school room:

Here is Annika's new room. I still have a couple dressers to paint, but over all it is done. 

Rylan and Cale's room is about done too. Yes, they have too many stuffed animals and no I don't make them make their beds. 

Lakin and Cohen's room still needs another coat of paint on the ceiling- which was orange before- but it's pretty well set up. 

We still have a lot left. Boxes to unpack. Another shelter to build. Another fence to put up. But all that will be much easier now that we don't have to travel 2 hours to work!


Decking Screw Art

Last week Paul left a box of decking screws on the floor from a shopping trip the day before. The boys found them in the morning....

They are in an X-Men kick so these first 3 are depictions of those characters...

This one is by Lakin, it's Beast. He's in a bathtub with lots of toys.


This one is Cale's. Wolverine.

And Cohen- this Gambit.

And a goat (by Cohen)

A pizza (by Lakin)

And a man (by Cohen)


And Cale's masterpiece:

Who knew a box of screws could provide so much entertainment?


The Goat's Pallet Barn

We have a couple of buildings in the plans here at our new homestead and first up was for our existing goats. Currently there are 5 and our 2 girls are *hopefully* expecting. Eventually this will belong to the boys of the farm- our Buck, Thor, and our 2 wethers Scooter and Scout. So here's what we did:

Step one- collect lots of pallets. We got most of these from Paul's work and also from around town from various businesses. Most places welcome people to take these off of their hands. 


We connected the pallets using lag bolts- here is Paul and Cale working on the lower level of pallets. The shed is approximately 10 x 10 and used 3 pallets on each side. 

Moving up. We connected the second level of pallets using boards from our knocked down barn and 4x4s in the corners.  We were working with a pretty big hill too, so a lot had to be done to get it level.

Because of the hill, the building ended up being a lot taller than the expected 8 ft. It is closer to 10 ft in most places. 

We used a lot of blocks and bricks to set the foundation aswell as using stakes to anchor the corner posts into the ground.

Getting ready for the roof...this is as far as we got before we moved. 

We used a tarp for the roof for the first 2 days, and then this past Friday it was sunny and 60 and the perfect day to quit unpacking the house and get to working outside. 

My dad and stepmother came over to lend a hand on the roof.

Annika spent lots of time with the goats. These 2 are small and really gentle- perfect for her.

Rylan especially liked being up high on the roof while Paul and my dad finished the supports. We got all but one roof panel hung before we had to call it a day.

We were blessed again on Saturday with another beautiful day. Rylan sat up on the tin roof to help with fastening the last panel. 

Then we moved on to siding. The boys were all eager to help with the drilling. 

But eventually they had to hand over the drill in order for the work to get done a little quicker. Though Rylan stayed and helped to fasten the siding the entire time.

Annika took an extra long nap, so my stepmother and I took over the sawing. And I realized that the saw wasn't so scary after all. 

We got 2 sides done before it was time to call it quits for the day. But here is the progress so far:

Bertie and Bella went right in to lay down as soon as we started the 2nd side. They hadn't really liked their new quarters before with the holes in the sides and the tarp roof. They are much happier now. 

And we finished it just in time to shelter them from the cold rain and possible snow that might come tonight.  


Valentine's Day and Good-byes

 Our co-op fell on Valentine's Day this year so we spent the day doing various Valentine's crafts and activities.

Like sorting and graphing candy hearts.

And making sun catchers by drawing on paper with baby oil.

Then the kids all handed out their Valentine cards to each other

This was also our last day with our friends...we were moving the next day...

They surprised us with this picture- the kids had made their hand prints at the co-op the week before but I hadn't known what they were for. I love it and know perfect spot for it on the wall of our new school room.

We loaded up the moving truck on Wednesday- so now we are in a sea of boxes, trying to get everything set up. We have been blessed with beautiful weather- 60s on moving day and today and yesterday. So we have been trying to finish up the goats' shed before the colder air and rain moves in. We still have to go back for a couple of our cats and our chickens, as well as a few more boxes, but for the most part we are all moved in and about half unpacked.


Cale Cooks: Crock Pot Lasagna

 I had the boys write out a list of goals for the year last week. 10 of them. When they handed me their lists I saw some fun and easy goals and some really good long terms goals to work toward. One of Cale's was to make dinner 5 times a month. He already knew what he wanted to make:


When Annika was born we received 2 from friends delivering meals. Cale was in love. And to tell the truth- I have never made one. It seemed like a lot of work and preplanning- when I could just make spaghetti. (Cale likes baked spaghetti too, which falls under the same category for me...and he made that earlier this week for the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet)

So he got all the supplies we lacked at the store and today he made dinner. Earlier in the week I came across a recipe for Crock Pot Lasagna and thought that it would be the perfect for him.

We changed it up just a bit, so here is the altered recipe:
4 cups tomato sauce ( I used our frozen Roasted Tomato Sauce from the summer)
8oz block of mozzarella cheese
15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
uncooked lasagna noodles (he used more than half of a 16 oz pkg)

  •  Mix all of the cheeses together in a bowl
  •  Place 1 cup of sauce at the bottom of your crock pot
  • Layer noodles on top- break them up to cover the entire surface
  • spread 1/3 of the cheese on top of the noodles
  • Repeat these layers 2 more times
  • Top with the final cup of sauce
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. The original recipe said 4, ours was done much sooner. I turned off the crock pot at about 3 hours and just let it sit until dinner which was 2+ hours  later.

Serve and enjoy!