Monday, December 26, 2016

The watercolor/spiral planner has been updated for Jan-Dec 2017

I know, I'm cutting it close!  The watercolor/spiral homeschool planner has been updated to reflect months January through December 2017.  *Just* in time for the new year!  Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Planning!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Millie, the milk stealing goat

I have mentioned previously that our youngest goat (Millie) is still nursing her mama (Aurora) at 9 months old, and I am trying to stop it.  We were separating them at night, but it is so cold that they need the warmth of cuddling, so we are trying taping to wean her.  When you tape the udders, it is simply a piece of low stick tape you place over the teat, going down one side, covering the hole, and coming back up the other side.  This was working well, except that it made Aurora kick like a maniac every morning when I went to take it off, and again when I tried to put new on after milking.  

Saturday, my parents came up to stay the night.  I wanted to make pancakes for breakfast, and just needed 1 and 3/4 cups of milk to add to the whey I was using.  We have been getting 3-4 cups or more of milk a day, so I saw no problem and premixed everything except the milk in before I went outside to do my chores.  As soon as I walked into the goat shelter I could see her udder was empty.  The teat tape was completely gone!  Millie had somehow managed to get the tape off and drank all the milk.  She was quite pleased with herself and was happily munching on hay while I put Aurora in the milk stand.  After getting every drop I could, I still had less than 3/4 of a cup.  Before I headed back inside, I made sure to not only go up and down the teat, but also around that tape with another piece to secure it.  She was not getting my milk again!  Poor Aurora though, she hates that tape.  

Fortunately, I had more whey, and a tiny bit of milk in the fridge so I combined those and made the pancakes.  They ended up very flat, but tasted good. The good news is, I did end up running to the farm store and got a heated bucket, so at least I wasn’t breaking ice!  Best $25 ever spent.  

With goats, it is always something.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

No time for cozy, there are chores to be done!

Today is one of those days where you question your life choices.  At 7 a.m. while most people are warm and cozy in their home or office, I am suiting up and heading outside.  The sun isn’t fully up, and as I make that first step outside, milking supplies in my arms, I immediately feel my nostrils freeze and my lungs seize.  First, I go to open the chicken coop door, even though I know they will not come out.  Their water is frozen solid, even with the heated cinder block, so I put it outside run and check for eggs.  There are none, so I head over to the goat shelter.  

I forgot to put teat tape on Aurora yesterday after milking, so all it takes is one look at her udder to see that Millie - the 9 month old “baby” who is larger than her mother - has emptied it.  I get 1/4 of a cup, and resign to just give it to the cats.  I do remember to put the tape on today, and make sure to let Aurora eat all the grain before I let Millie the pig out of her side of the shelter.  Their water is frozen rock solid as well, and weighs a ton, so I haul it out of the pasture also.  

Gloves aren’t really an option when you use your hands as much as I do, so my fingers are frozen, my cheeks are burning and my eyes are watering as I walk back into the garage hauling the milking supplies and frozen water. As I fill a new bucket with warm water in my kitchen, I reminisce on the days of summer, when my morning chores took 15 minutes and I did it in a t-shirt and jeans.   (Have I mentioned that winter has not even begun yet?  It’s only December 15th…)  I head back out with the water for the goats and chickens, place them in their appropriate spots and watch as Aurora gulps the water.  Poor girl.  I look around the shelter and am glad that I decided to pile straw in their bed last night, but notice Millie is eating the hay we stuffed in the cracks to block the wind.  Goats.  

I trudge back through the snow and cold (I’m so dramatic, there is only 3 inches of snow, but it is well below freezing!), take off my boots and layers, and head inside.  I’m grumpy and I know it.  It’s nearly 9:00, I haven’t had my breakfast or tea, and I am frozen.  I realize I am writing the “for sale” ad in my head for the goats and stop myself.  No, I can’t give up.  I want to see their babies, and I’m looking forward to attempting to get more milk than last year so I can make yummy things.  I set my tea, clean the milking supplies, and make breakfast while I ask myself whose idea all this was, anyway.  Oh, right.  Mine.  

For now, I will enjoy my warm home and hot tea.  In a few hours I’ll be back out replacing the waters with unfrozen ones again, and I just may run to the farm store for that heated bucket later.  Maybe we should move the goats and chickens closer to the house, after all.  I’m thinking directly out the garage door.  Who needs grass?  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our books of the week have a late 1700's focus

Julia is still learning about the late 1700's in Social Studies, so we borrowed these books from the library. They are from the American Girl history series. Felicity is a young girl living in 1774, and the books tell her story of life in that time.

We only borrowed the first three in the series (I believe there are 6) and the "Welcome to Felicity's World" book that gives lots of facts and photos about that time period, because we only get a small window of time to borrow the books, but we do plan on borrowing the last books in the series because we love them!  

The American Girl history series books are great for adding more life to your lessons, and we highly recommend them!

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale.  Clicking through these links do not cost you anymore than you'd already be spending, and I greatly appreciate your support!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How we deal with a sick day

I woke up to Kayla’s pitiful voice last night telling me she was cold.  When I got to her, she was shivering and could barely hold herself up to walk, so I took her to the bathroom just incase.  It seemed to take forever to get her warmed up, even with her body pressed against mine under several blankets in my bed.  Eventually we moved to her twin bed, and slept on and off until morning.  Farm chores are taken down to "necessity only", so I let the chickens out, checked their food and water, milked and fed the goats, and filtered the milk for the fridge.  Feed the dog, the cats, and done.  I'm praying I do not get sick, because just these few things will be way more difficult when I am sick.

When the girls are sick, I let them stay in bed with books, Sparkle Stories, and an occasional movie.  (I wish I could do this when I am sick!)  Chelsey started feeling bad after breakfast, so she joined Kayla in their room for the Martin and Sylvia Sparkle Story, “The Crud”.  Appropriate, right?  Martin was sick in this story, and couldn’t do something special he had planned.  So thankful for our 15 day trial, we will be continuing it for at least a month after we finish the trial. 

After being up most of the night with Kayla, I didn’t have a lot of energy for detailed homeschool lessons, so Julia and I snuggled up on the couch in front of the Christmas tree with tea and blankets to finish our book, The Wishing Spell from the Land of Stories series.  It was a very good book, and once we finish some school related books we are going to move on to book 2 in the series.  We also started Meet Felicity from the American Girl history book series.  I love using these books in addition to our history curriculum.  Julia is currently learning about the end of the Revolutionary War and this ties in nicely.  She enjoys hearing stories that are written as if the person lived through it.  It is a much better way than the dry facts I learned (and promptly forgot) back in school. 

At lunch time, I went in to ask the girls if they were hungry.  Kayla was sound asleep, and I think Chelsey was as well, but heard me walk in.  Poor babies.

I guess if we are going to be sick, we picked a pretty good time.  The rain was relentless today, even the cats and dog didn’t want to go outside to play.  Lennon is our dog, whom we rescued from a shelter about 6 years ago.  He is a good, lazy dog.  Before my cat Daisy died, she tormented him constantly.  I’ve never seen a dog scared of a cat, but even without front claws, she had him terrified.  When Daisy walked in a room, Lennon would turn his head away and “hide” from her.  If Daisy came over to drink from his water bowl while he was eating, Lennon would stop and go to another room.  Up to the day she died, he was afraid of her and all cats.   When Miss Kitty came, she was such a different cat than Daisy.  She always wanted to rub against Lennon and he would yipe or run.  Today I saw this:

Is that not the most adorable thing ever?  It took over a year of Miss Kitty living with us for him to come around and not be afraid of her.  She will rub on him, and now even lay with him.  I had to snap a picture.  

Come dinnertime, I was so grateful that Kevin got me the Instant Pot for an early Christmas present.  There is nothing better than homemade chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, or in this case, turkey noodle soup I made with leftover frozen turkey from Thanksgiving.  I’ve only used the IP three times now, but I am impressed and looking forward to finding more recipes.  It took 20-25 minutes from starting cutting to finish for the soup.  Amazing.  Several of my friends have sung it’s praises for months, but I wouldn’t buy into it.  When Amazon had it on sale for $69 after Thanksgiving, we decided to take the plunge. 

The younger girls got to watch Rudolph while eating dinner, poor Julia was stuck with us adults talking at the table.  She wanted to watch Harry Potter, but it was already too late in the evening for that.  

It's been a long, tiring day.  I'm glad for it to finally be bedtime, and I'm crossing my fingers that everyone sleeps through the night tonight!  

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale.  Clicking through these links do not cost you anymore than you'd already be spending, and I greatly appreciate your support!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent 2016 planner

One of the traditions my girls love most about this time of year is Advent. For us, Advent starts on December 1st, and ends December 25th. What we do each year varies depending on how ambitious I am.  This year, I have decided to try and plan a different craft, activity, game, movie, etc for each day of December.  Thank you, Pinterest, for making this slightly easier on me!

To help me plan out our Advent activities, I created a little planning page to motivate me.

Would you like to use this simple page to help you plan your advent?  If you click below, the link will take you to google drive where you can download and print it for your own personal use.  I used graphics by HarperFinch designs, and I just love them!

Download Advent 2016

How do you celebrate Advent?  I'd love to hear in the comments below.  Feel free to share by linking to this blog post so your friends can get their own copy of the 2016 Advent planner!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

More goat breeding! Fingers crossed this is the last time...

A month ago, a friend came over to artificially inseminate our mama goat, Aurora.  Wednesday of last week was her expected cycle date, so we were hopeful that the AI had taken, and she was pregnant.  Monday, however, she was in heat worse than we had ever seen her so far.  She was yelling loudly, her tail was messy with mucus, and her tail was wagging (also called "flagging") constantly.

We could have had her artificially inseminated again, but I recently met a woman who is very near my house that just got a lamancha buck.  I connected with her, and she allowed us to bring Aurora over to her farm and see how things went.  With Aurora in standing heat, she was very eager and willing to accommodate her new boyfriend.  He was quite a handsome guy!  Unfortunately this is the best photo I got of the two of them, but he had such beautiful color.

After they accomplished their task a few times, I led Aurora out of the pen.  She was not happy to leave her new friend!  We began walking away to find the kids and next thing we knew the buck was right next to us.  He had jumped the fence and ran over to find Aurora!  I really hated pulling them away from each other, they were so cute.  My husband had the van that day, so I had to hoist her up into our Pilot, which is considerably higher.  I could have sworn I was going to put out my back, but I did not, and we were able to get home without incident (read; she did not pee or poop in the back of the car).  After the breeding, Aurora did continue to yell and search the fence line for a friend, but has now calmed down.  Fingers crossed this is the last time this year I have to transport a goat anywhere!  

Aren't they adorable?  I can't wait to see what the babies look like!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

What we are reading, our book of the week for November 21, 2016

Kevin and I switch off at night, one of us reading to the younger girls while the other is either reading to Jujubee or listening to her read to us.  This week, Kevin has been reading from Oak Meadow's Fables book to the younger girls, and I have been reading to Jujubee.  Normally, I post a picture book that is good for the whole family as our "Book of the Week", but we have been enjoying this so much that we wanted to share.

Our book is from the series The Land of Stories.  This is book one, The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer.

This is definitely a book for older children.  Jujubee is 11, and there are some parts I am unsure of as I read, and some small parts I skip that I just don't feel are appropriate.  The kids in the story are also 10 or 11, and their father has passed away in a car accident.  Before the accident, he and their grandmother often read many fairytales to them and they all loved that time they shared.  Now that the father is gone, it is just the two of them (they are twins) and their mom, who is struggling to make ends meet and works a lot as a nurse.   

The boy, Conner, struggles in school, often falling asleep in class, even though he could easily do the work.  The girl, Alex, is an overachiever, and their teachers often ask why he is taking it harder than his sister.  Their mom ends up having to work on their birthday, so she asks their grandmother to come visit them as a surprise.  She gives the kids her cherished book of Fairy Tales, and that is where the adventure really begins.  

Jujubee and I are halfway through the book, and she looks forward to our reading every night.  The chapters are quite long, so sometimes I have to split them into two nights.  I am also enjoying the stories, however, like I had mentioned, there are mildly inappropriate sections.  For example, in one chapter, Conner makes a comment about a photo of Red Riding Hood scantily clothed and it being "memorable".  Nothing too risqué, but I felt it could have been left out altogether.  I'm hoping the incidents do not increase as we get farther into the book, but we are looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale.  Clicking through these links do not cost you anymore than you'd already be spending, and I greatly appreciate your support!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Homeschool real-life lesson: Experiencing goat kids being born

Birth on a farm is amazing, whether it is a baby chick hatching under its mama, or a goat kid being born in the barn.  On Tuesday, my friend Melody over at Solstice Sun Farm invited the girls and I over to watch her goat have babies, and we were happy to have the opportunity.  

Amber, the mama goat, had been contracting all night the night before, but thankfully held off until about 10:00 a.m. before really progressing.  At 10:14 Melody sent me a message to head out, so we grabbed our things and hopped into the car.  Once we arrived, I could hear Amber vocalizing and knew she had to be close.  I got to the stall just as Melody was giving a little tug on the babies feet.  He had been in the birth canal for nearly 30 minutes at that point, so she felt like the mama could use a little assistance.  The baby slid out and was dried off.  I watched Melody take a little of the afterbirth and feed it to Amber.  She explained that if you do this, you can sometimes get the mama to “adopt” you, which makes her more willing to share her milk with you.  Amber did begin licking Melody, which is a good sign.

A few minutes later, the next baby came.  It happened much quicker this time, and slid out with no assistance.  The baby did need some vigorous rubbing to get her moving around, and some help removing the caul.  One boy and one girl!  Amber was only slightly interested in the babies, but more interested in eating the afterbirth.  Once the babies were cleaned up, we both took a baby and headed to the house to warm them up.  

On Melody’s farm, she likes to bottle feed the babies.  It is said to make friendlier goats, and also helps with stand manners once they have their own babies.  (I can attest to her goats being very people friendly and sweet!)  In order to do this, the babies are removed from the mom so that they form an attachment to the person taking care of them.  Instead of nursing, the caretaker milks the mama goat and feeds it back to the babies via a bottle nipple.  It takes a lot of commitment from the caretaker.  In the beginning, you need to feed the baby every few hours, even at night.  The frequency of feedings decreases, but you still need to bottle feed them for 12 weeks.

We were so excited to be able to witness the birth!  It was the first time any of my girls have gotten to see a mammal give birth (they have only seen baby chicks hatch), so it was extra cool for them to be there.  The whole thing made me even more excited for our own goats to have babies.  Aurora and Millie have both been bred, but we are not sure if either are pregnant yet.  If so, they should be having babies in early and late April.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Poetry Tea Time, November 15, 2016

It has been a busy morning for us, which is unusual for a Tuesday.  After finishing chores, having breakfast and getting everyone dressed, we rushed over to a friends farm to watch her goat give birth.  That was truly amazing, and will be another post.  We got home just in time for lunch and nap, and though we didn’t have much time before we needed to rush off to book club, we needed the peace and calm of poetry tea time more than ever.  

Today, we read from Poetry for Young People, by Robert Frost.  For each season there is a selection of poems - I love books like that, ones that you can use year round.  

A favorite poem of mine is The Road Not Taken, which I was happy to find in this book and share with the girls.  Going for Water was also a nice poem, and one I hadn’t read before.  This is a library book, but I have made myself a note in my planner to check it out in future seasons for poetry tea time.  We all enjoyed the poems, but most of all the peace in the middle of a busy day.  I am so grateful that we decided to bring Poetry Tea Time into our homeschool.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale.  Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you'd already be spending, and I greatly appreciate your support!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Book of the week, November 13, 2016

We have been learning about trees for a few months now. We started off with a field trip to our state park for a tree identification meetup. Then we checked out several tree books, like the Audubon tree guide, of course. But I also like to have several living books that are child friendly on whatever topic we are learning about. 

This week we borrowed Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees by Jim Arnosky. I adore Crinkleroot books, and so do the girls. 

They have such cute illustrations and bring the information in a gentle, fun way. After we read this book, the girls promptly ran outside to check out what kind of trees we have, and to collect fallen pinecones. 

We are fortunate enough to have this book at our library, but if we didn't, it would definitely be on our buy list.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale.  Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you'd already be spending, and I greatly appreciate your support!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book of the week, November 7, 2016

Autumn is my favorite season of the year, so it makes sense that my favorite months are October and November.  The cooler weather is nice, but the beauty of fall is what makes it my favorite.  I remember taking fall in even at a young age, but now that I am older, I find myself marveling at it in a whole new way.

The book I chose this week does an excellent job of describing what I love about the season.  It is In November, by Cynthia Rylant.

I love so many of her books, so I doubt this will be the last time she is showcased on my blog, but I had to share this one with you.  Besides having wonderful content, I am in love with the illustrations.

Aren't they beautiful?  I am not sure what this "style" of painting is called, but I love the look of it.  This book does a wonderful job of portraying what November might be like for those parts of the country (like mine) who have all four seasons.  Let me know what you think if you check it out!  Do you have a favorite book for autumn?

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale. Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you’d already be spending. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Farm update - November 4, 2016 Breeding the goats - Artificial Insemination...

I can certainly say I didn't know what I was getting into when we decided to get goats.  Of course we knew that you had to breed them in order for them to make milk, but we didn't realize how difficult that could be when you do not own your own buck!

Your options, if you do not own a buck, are to either take your doe to a buck, have a buck brought to your doe, or artificially inseminate (AI) your doe.  The first time Aurora went into heat, I talked to my friend and arranged for us to visit her buck, who was in "rut".  Oh my goodness, was that ever hilarious.  After I packed her up into a dog crate in the back of my van, hauled her over there, watched the (fruitless) mating session and, ultimately, her deny him, we were still without a pregnant doe.

Fortunately, my friend also just got a tank (I cannot recall what it is called right now) that holds frozen "straws" from a buck.  So, I looked through the online catalog (this was hard, considering I had no idea what we wanted from a buck, genetically) and finally chose one.  My friend bought the straws - we choose a nice Lamancha buck) and held onto them until Aurora went into heat again.

A doe cycles every 21 days.  I took that little fact to heart and really thought they would be like clockwork.  They are not.  Well, finally on Friday we noticed she was in heat again, and my friend came over to AI her.  I felt awful for my poor girl.  It seemed awful.  5 minutes and we were done, and now we wait!  If she goes into heat again we will know it didn't take.  AI is only about 50% effective, whereas the traditional method is more like 90%, I believe.  If it doesn't take, we can AI her again, or breed her to a buck.  Fingers crossed we have babies in 5 months from her.  We still need to breed Millie, and for her we may do a Nubian buck, I'm still not sure of my plans.  There are extra straws if we decide to AI her with the Lamancha.

This is the only photo I have of her that day.  I was trying to get a "before" picture for size comparison.  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A beautiful day for a hike

Oh my goodness, this weather has been amazing!  I cannot believe it is November.  I'm sure we will be paying for it later, but we are definitely enjoying it now.  My husband took off work Monday and Tuesday, so Tuesday we decided to go to a park about 35 minutes away from our house.

Fall is the perfect time for a hike.  The trees are gorgeous, the parks are mostly free during the week, and, even better, mostly empty!  We took a hike around the lake, tried to use our new skills to identify leaves and trees, and played by the water.

Kaybug had fun with the binoculars 

After our hike, we had a picnic lunch, then played at the playground before taking another walk around the empty campground.  

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, and are so glad Daddy was able to join us.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Changing up poetry tea time

We really enjoyed our poetry tea time last week, the girls couldn't wait for this week!  With Halloween, we decided to take our poems from the book Halloween Stories and Poems.  Some of the stories and poems were a little too scary, so I made sure to read through them before reciting.

This was a fun poem called "I'm Skeleton", where the skeleton talks about how he scares everyone, but then a dog comes and he has to run away so the dog doesn't take one of his bones.  The girls thought it was funny.

Normally for poetry tea time, we just have snacks and tea while listening, but this week I wanted to add in some art time.  The girls were free to paint whatever they wanted with watercolors (we love these  stockmar ones and these by Roseart, we do not like these Crayola ones, but do use them.  The colors are so muted).

Sometimes it is more fun to just experiment than have a specific theme or goal in mind for art.  I haven't decided if we will continue to incorporate art time with our poetry and tea.  We may just do whatever fits for that week and what we have time for.  

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means that if you purchase something from that site after clicking over from Journey Through Love, I receive a [tiny] percentage of the sale. Clicking through these links does not cost you any more than you’d already be spending.   

Monday, October 31, 2016

Book(s) of the week, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!  It is so hard to believe it is the end of October!  Normally, I choose one book for the book of the week, but the girls wanted me to share all of our favorite Halloween themed books.  I keep bookshelves in the basement with all of our books, and rotate them as the season or events change through the year.  That way there is always something new to read, and the girls aren't overwhelmed with choices (and I am not overwhelmed with books all over the floor!)

Here are our Halloween selections.  The girls look forward to these books, and I usually add one or two each year. 

Some of these are my old books from when I was a kid.  My mom kept them all these years, and I was happy to take them when she cleaned out the attic library.  The first book the kids go for when I bring these books back upstairs is Mucumber McGee and the Half Eaten Hot Dog.  It's such a silly book and has been a favorite for several years.  

Last year I purchased Pinkalicious Pink or Treat, and Spooky Pookie.  It is kind of funny to me that my girls are generally very sensitive.  They get scared easily, but they absolutely love Halloween books.  I make sure they aren't super scary or gory.  I guess it is just enough of a scare to be interesting and different from what they read all year.  

Do you rotate your books?  What are your favorite Halloween themed ones?  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Farm Update, October 28, 2016

This has been such a busy summer!  I can still remember last winter, sitting in our house and looking out at the snow covered field.  Dreaming.  Hoping.  Waiting for Spring.  At that time, we had just 5 chickens, a dog, and 2 cats.  And a large, empty field with nothing but weeds.  How things have changed!

Our field has been harvested twice now.  The first time we got 111 bales, and it was mostly oats.  It was terribly difficult to get rid of (and then after it was nearly gone, everyone wanted it!  Of course.)  The second cutting, we got a surprising 160 bales of beautiful alfalfa, and pasture mix.  Half the field is in alfalfa and the other half is a high quality alfalfa/pasture mix.  We sold 100 bales and kept 60 for ourselves for the winter.

The field today, after 2 cuttings this summer.

Kevin and I built this storage "hut" from cattle panels.  It held 61 bales, which will hopefully be plenty of hay for our 2 goats this winter.  It is a challenge not having a barn, or even a shed, but we are doing our best to make it work!  

Aurora is doing well.  She has improved so much on the stand!  She no longer fights me at all (unless a fly is bothering her.  Thankfully those are gone for the year)

Millie is as big as her momma already.  And still nursing at 7.5 months old.  I thought she would wean on her own, but no such luck.  I am going to have to make a sling to keep her from Aurora's udder during the day.  I still only milk in the morning at this point. 

Isn't Millie pretty?  I just love her spots and band.  That fluffy tail is adorable!  But those horns!  She was disbudded three times, and they still grew.  That is why one points forward, and the other points back.  

Both goats are ready to be bred, and I have even noticed good signs of their fertility.  A friend of mine as "straws" from a lamancha (frozen semen) that we will artificially inseminate Aurora with.  Millie will be bred to one of her nubian bucks the old fashioned way.  I have been tracking their cycles according to their signs, but we keep missing the window!  I am hoping this next cycle they will both be bred.  

The garden is pretty much done.  It did really well, especially the tomatoes and peppers.  There are a few carrots in the ground, and a lot of sweet potatoes that need dug up this weekend.

 We were doing so good keeping up on the weeds, until the last couple months.  There are even a few peppers in there we could still harvest.  

This was our "oh no, a frost is coming" solution.  We had the squash on the porch curing, so we put them in an empty cabinet we had in the garage.  Then we grabbed buckets and picked as many tomatoes and peppers as we could in the dark.  We actually didn't end up with a frost that night.  Our first frost was October 24th.  
The ladies have been enjoying the spent produce.  Tomatoes, watermelon rinds, and squash everywhere! 

Such pretty ladies.  They aren't happy that it is getting cold, though.  The egg production was amazing about 2 weeks ago, but has slowed down dramatically.  We are down to about 3-4 eggs a day right now, and I bet it gets to be even less next week.  We were getting up to 9 a day a couple weeks ago.  

We have them in an electronet fence.  The main coop is to the upper left inside the fence/kennel.  The chicken tractor on the right houses the bad rooster until we can find a home for him.  This weekend we will probably open the fence up to surround the garden so the chickens can get the remaining veggies and bugs. 

I love the fall colors.  You can see how the neighboring farms have been plowed.  That happened just a couple days ago.  It's so weird not to have that "wall" anymore.  
Miss Daisy's tree.  She passed away early this year and we planted a new tree with her.  I am happy to see it is thriving.  She loved Christmas trees, so we thought it was a good choice.

So that is the current farm update!  Lots going on, lots more to do to put the farm to bed for the winter.  Unfortunately, the chores don't stop in winter, and Aurora has already expressed her dislike for cold hands on her udder.  Poor girl!  I'll have to find a way to keep my hands warm on the walk out.