Friday, January 11, 2019


Thank you for your questions! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas vacation. We did!

Yes, I have to work every day.
If I can't do the work, I have to find someone else who will do my work.
The animals on the farm depend on me to give them food and water every day. You depend on your parents to make sure you have food and water every day. If your parents go out of town for a few days, they make sure that someone else takes care of you.

This is a good question!
I go out twice a day to feed and water the animals.
In the morning I feed and water, AND I do all the milking. In the evening I make sure everyone has hay and their water buckets are full of water. It's important in the winter that the animals have enough food and water at night or they can't keep warm. If they don't keep warm, they can get sick.

We live in the middle of a busy city. We don't have many wild animals.
Some of our neighbors have raccoons and foxes in their yard, but our animals have been safe from the wild animals.
One of the other chores I do at night is to lock the chickens into their coop. Raccoons and foxes can't open the coop and kill the chickens at night. Sometimes chickens aren't in their coop. I have to gather them up and put them in their coop so they will be safe. Sometimes they are mad at me for locking them up!

Chickens don't know that I'm keeping them safe by locking them up while they are sleeping.

We don't have any plans to get pigs on our farm.
I would love to get pigs, but it's against the law in our town.

We have 3 cows.
Only 1 cow gives milk.
MissE is almost 5 months old.

She is so cute and friendly!
Another family loves her, too.
They already paid for her, but she will live her until Spring when the other
family has enough pasture for her to move.

Here's Chuck telling me good morning.
He's very friendly, too!
He's almost about a year old.

You remember Echo.
She is the cow that gives milk every morning.
She gives 4 gallons of milk every day!
We are kind to all our animals. We want our animals to be friendly and easy to work with. I do most of the work every day, all by myself. It's not safe for me to work alone with mean animals, so I make sure we have gentle animals on our farm.

I hope you make it a great week full of learning and growing and playing!

And I hope you remember that.....
Who did you help today?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas 2018

I don't decorate a lot for Christmas. We keep it fairly simple. We don't have decorations in every room. Homes that are completely decorated are beautiful! Like most families, we have a lot of responsibilities which means that we don't have a week to spend 'putting up Christmas.'

This is our simple tree. Last year it was teal and silver. This year silver with some red flowers.
The lights are colored so it looks as pretty at night as it does during the day.
You can see Tim's large nutcracker by the tree. It's the only one that doesn't fit on top of the piano.

Tim has been collecting Nutcrackers for a long time! We give him one or two every year.
It's my job to clear off the top of the piano.
It's Tim's job to set them all up!
There are a few that need a little repair, but no one really notices
and we all enjoy them standing tall and looking festive at this end of the front room.
In the back, on the left, you can see a beautiful candle holder that Tim turned for me many years ago. It stays out all year because I love it so!

I should probably take the red and white quilt off the back of the couch.
It's there all year and some years I just leave it.
I made the quilt on the wall a few years ago. It was a lot of work on the embroidery machine
and I loved the challenge!

My friend and I painted so many of these nativity puzzles many years ago!
She wanted one for each child in her family, I wanted one for my family.
It was quite a project getting them all cut out, sanded, and painted!

I bought this Nativity puzzle from Bless This Mess when she had an Etsy store.
One of my dearest friends painted it (Melissa's mom) and I wanted something to remind me of her
and the love we share.

This lovely nativity reminded Bryon of Lladro. He spent 2 years in Spain and he fell in love with Lladro while he was there. He found this nativity many years ago in a shop in the mall and got it for me for Christmas. I don't know how he managed to save enough money, it was out of our budget. It's very dear to all of us.

Of course Santa needs a magic key to get into the house! We always lock the doors at night, and I'm sure Santa doesn't want to come down the wood stove chimney!
I made this a few years ago, too.
The grandkids and many other families have one
because it's so important to make sure Santa can get into the house to leave his gifts!
I hope you enjoyed the little tour of Christmas at my house!

I love this post about Christmas. Brad does a lovely job explaining the meaning and importance of this wonderful season. This year our family has seen so many dear people pass away. It's at this time of the year that I remember and miss them. I also remember all the other family members that have gone before me. At this point in my life everyone who knew me as a baby is gone. It is an odd feeling.

However, I love that during this time of year I feel especially close to all those wonderful people. I'm a little sad when the 'holidays' end because it seems that I miss them even more.

The traditions that we enjoy link us to those who have gone before us. They remind us of family and friends, and help us remember to spend time together with those we love now, to think about the Savior, and to make memories with the people we love.

With so much to do and so much fun to have during this season remember that we can still do something nice for someone else every day! The nice things I do, I do in memory of the family and friends that have gone before me. They would love me to reach out to lift and strengthen others that are also feeling loss at this time of year.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Water Barrels in the Winter

It's cold outside!

Echo has a big heater inside her called a 'rumen.' Cows have 4 stomachs and one of them (the rumen) produces a lot of heat. We make sure Echo has plenty of food and water so she stays warm even when she's covered with snow.

JJ has a warm fur coat on.
Her coat helps keep her warm in the winter.
She doesn't mind the snow!

Scout has a warm fur coat, too.
His coat keeps him warm, too.
You can tell that his fur keeps him warm because the snow is on his back.
When you wear a coat the snow stays on the outside of your coat, too.

Midnight usually stays inside the barn when it's snowing and cold.
She has a warm fur coat, too. She doesn't like the snow even though she has a nice coat.
She likes to find a dry place in the sun to warm herself.
She's about 10 years old, that's very old for a barn cat.

Water is really important for animals. They need to have water to keep healthy. It's been very cold outside so their water freezes.

We use electric water heaters and electric buckets for the water.

Do you see the round piece of metal at the bottom of the bucket?
That is a heater that keeps the water warm enough that it doesn't freeze.
The animals are a little sloppy and they've dropped hay into their water.

This bucket has an electrical chord that plugs in.
The bucket has a heater inside the bottom, you can't see it
because it's enclosed inside the plastic.

This is a special hose.
The hose has a heater in it!
It keeps the water from freezing inside the hose.
That's important because if there is ice in the hose we can't use it.
If we can't use the hose then we have to carry buckets of water to fill all the barrels.
That's a lot of work! We would have to carry 14 or more buckets of water every day
to fill up all the barrels. 

Water is important for healthy animals. If they have enough clean food and water they can stay warm and healthy during the winter, even when they live in a barn with no heaters.

There is also a heater in the water that the chickens drink, but the chickens don't mind eating snow if they aren't in the pen. The cows, sheep, and goats don't like to eat snow or peck at ice to get their water so we make sure they always have water, not ice, in their barrels and buckets.

Heating water takes a lot of electricity so this year we put solar panels on
the roof of the barn. They help pay for the extra electricity we
need to keep the water from freezing.
We have a great place for the solar panels.
Not everyone has as nice a place for the solar panels as we do!

The little tree by the barn has solar lights, too!
I love turning the Christmas lights on when I do the barn chores at night.

Especially during this holiday season remember that....

Friday, December 7, 2018

Animal Feeders

Do you remember the types of dishes and bowls and cups you used during Thanksgiving dinner? Some dishes were probably flat, some were more like bowls. Each bowl or dish is used on purpose to hold each type of food.

The animals on the farm have certain types of feeders, too. We use the word "feeder" for something that holds animal food.

This is the feeder on the milk stand.
It's called a 'hang over bucket' because it hangs on a bar or a piece of wood.
This is what it looks like with feed in it.
We don't wash the feeders very often. People need clean dishes, bowls, and cups to eat out of. Animals don't need to have their feeders cleaned that often.

This is Echo's 'hang over bucket'.
It's much bigger than the goats' bucket because Echo's head is much bigger!
This is the same size bucket that horses eat out of, too.

The chickens eat from a hanging feeder.
I pour the feed into the top and it fills a dish at the bottom.
The chickens are so messy that I put a rubber feeder underneath to catch all the food that falls out.
The chickens can still eat the food in the rubber feeder and it doesn't get wasted by falling all over the ground.

This is how we feed hay inside the stall.
The fence holds the hay and the goats can pull out what they want to eat.
We take the hay that's on the floor and bring it out to the chicken pen.
We put it inside their nesting boxes, and sometimes spread it on the ground.
The chickens love to eat the leftover hay.
This is the feeder we use for Echo and the little goats.
It's really a horse feeder, but Echo doesn't mind it.
We like to feed her outside because she always poops while she's eating!
We don't have to clean the stall as often if she poops outside.
The feeders are all under some sort of roof in the winter so the food doesn't
get spoiled by snow and rain.

What about water?

You drink from a cup or a bottle, but that doesn't work well for most animals.

The white part of the container is filled with water.
There is a float at the bottom so all the water doesn't spill out on the ground.
Look closely and you will see a black cord coming out of the top of the waterer.
That cord is attached to a heater that sits at the bottom of the bucket.

I'm sure you've noticed that there is a lot of ice on the playground, and maybe around your house. The animals can eat snow, but they like liquid water better. If they have enough water and food, and if they have a place to get out of the rain and snow, they stay warm without a furnace like we have in our homes.

The blue barrel, and the green barrel, both have electric heaters at the bottom.
You can see the chords plugged into the grey box on the post.
Echo, River, and Serenity use the green water barrel.
Misty, Clover, and Annie use the blue water barrel.
The hose also plugs in! It's hard to get water into the barrels if the hose is frozen. Someone was really smart and figured out a way to put a heating wire inside a hose so that farmers can use a hose in the winter instead of having to fill buckets of water, then dumping them into the barrel where the animals drink.

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Every morning Scout, JJ, and Midnight like to have a treat in the barn.

JJ gets her sip of milk from an old plastic feeder on the floor.

Scout gets his sip of milk in an old metal pan near the milk stand.

Midnight gets her sip of milk in an old metal lid.

Bubbers used to love drinking out of a running faucet. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Map of the Farm

This is very similar to the post last year about maps. There are a few changes because we move things around a little every year depending on what animals we have, and what works best that year.  We talk about maps every year!

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Did you get to travel to someone's house for Thanksgiving? Are you going to someone's house during Christmas vacation?

When we drive somewhere the driver often has a GPS or phone that has a map to show them where to go so they don't get lost.

We use maps on the farm, too. Sometimes we go out of town. Then we have people do our chores. They need to know where everything is, where each of the animals live, where to find the food, and where the gates are.

This is what our farm looked like this spring.

This is a map of our farm.
We use it for visitors and for people who come help on the farm.

There are a few differences from the airplane view and the map I drew because the photo is older. Can you see what's different between the photo and the map?

This is what it looks like when I walk out to the barn in the morning.

The big white door is usually closed.
It's open so you can see inside the barn.
If I leave the door open all the time then Echo,
River, and Serenity would make a mess inside.

There are two milk stands.
Do you see the blue hose on the left?
It's a special hose that has a heater in it.
We plug it in in the winter so the water in the hose doesn't freeze.
We can use the hose to fill the water buckets around the farm even when there is
ice on the ground.

This is what the right side of the barn looks like.
This is the south side of the barn.
You can see 3 stall doors.
The door closest in the picture is the stall where Echo sleeps at night.
The middle door is where Annie, Misty, and Miss E sleep at night.
The far stall is empty, except for some small bales of hay.
Stalls are like bedrooms for animals.
They come inside when the weather is bad, and they come inside to sleep.

This is the back of the barn.
If I open the big door on the back, the bucks will come running inside.
Two big bales of hay weigh about the same as a small car! That's heavy!
It takes about 2 weeks for the animals to eat a whole bale of hay.

On the other side of the barn we keep grain in big, blue barrels.
We buy grain in bags. Do you see the two stacks of bags to the right of the blue barrels?
We store food for the animals just like you store food at home.
Do you see the white door? That's how we get into the chicken pen.

The chicken pen is under the roof.
The chickens need shelter from the weather just like the other animals.
And you can see our red tractor!
The little dog house is for the ducks.
They need shelter when it gets cold, too.
Sometimes they go into the chicken pen,
sometimes they like to get into the dog house.

Here is a map I drew of the inside of our barn.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of our farm!

Maps are very useful! The people who come take care of our animals while we are gone like having a map to see where all the animals are supposed to be. They like knowing where the food is, and where to find everything they need.

Friday, November 16, 2018

What Do Farm Animals Eat?

 Quin and Xander love to visit the farm. There are always animals for them to play with, and things for them to do. They like exploring to see what is new, they like helping to feed the animals, and they like to pet any animal that will let them.

Ronnie, our turkey hen, is so friendly!
Quin and Xander love her.
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Look where I found a bunch of eggs!
The new chickens are sneaky and were hiding their eggs in the hay shed.
I hope they keep laying through the winter.
Most chickens don't lay eggs unless there are at least 14 hours of daylight.

Here is a special calendar that shows when the sun rises, when the sun sets,
and how much daylight there is each day in November.

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Are you excited for Thanksgiving vacation next week?

Since you are thinking about all the yummy food you will be eating next week I thought it would be interesting for you to see what types of food the animals on our farm eat.

Your teacher has small baggies with the different kinds of food we feed the animals. You can see and smell the food as you look at the photos.

Nutrition is a big word. It means the way animals, plants, and humans take nutrients from food and use them for energy and growth.

If animals, plants, and humans (that's you!) have food that is good for them they grow strong and are healthy. They are able to perform well. That means they are able to do what they were meant to do. 

A milk goat that is given the right nutrition (food, vitamins, and minerals) is healthy and strong. She can give between 1/2 - 1 gallon of milk each time I milk her.

A calf that is given the right nutrition is healthy and can grow into a big, strong steer or milk cow. 

Chicks that are given the right nutrition are healthy and can grow into hens that will produce eggs. 

Chickens that are given the right nutrition are healthy and can produce eggs for our family.

Dogs that are healthy can run and play and learn new tricks. They have energy and can help us with the animals on the farm. 

Animals that have the right amount of food and water can stay warm in the winter.

Children that eat the right foods are usually healthy and grow properly. They can learn and do well in school. They can run and play at recess. Now you know why your mother tells you that you need to eat fruits and vegetables every day. That's why she tells you not to eat too many sweets.

People eat different foods to get proper nutrition and stay healthy. Animals need to eat the same things every day to get the proper nutrition and stay healthy. They don't need to eat different foods every day. Most animals will get sick if you change their food every day.

You will have many different types of food for Thanksgiving Dinner. The animals on our farm will have the same food they eat every day.

That may sound boring to you, but it is what is best for the animals. We like to do what will keep our animals healthy and strong!

This is cat food. 
You might know what cat food looks like if you have a cat. 
Cats need to have the same food every day or they may get sick.

This is dog food.
Some dogs eat too much food and get too fat! They are not healthy if they are fat.
Our dogs get fed about 1 cup of food for breakfast and 1 cup of food for dinner.
That is all they need to stay strong and healthy, so that is all they get.

This is called a 'grain blend.' 
If you look closely you can see different types of grain and some pellets in the food.
This is what we feed to the milk goats and Echo, and Miss E.
We never feed this type of feed to the bucks (boy goats). It isn't good for them.
We can feed a little bit of this to the chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

This is wild bird food. 
We have bird feeders on our farm. 

These are alfalfa pellets. 
They are made from alfalfa hay. We feed a little bit of this to the milk goats, Chuck, and Echo. We don't feed them very much of this because we also feed them hay. 
We don't feed this to the bucks (boy goats).

These are Timothy hay pellets. This is what we feed to the bucks!
They don't get very much of this because we also give them hay.
This is called "Calf Manna."
If you guessed that we give this to calves, you are right!
We give it to any animal that needs more protein.
You probably eat meat and beans for protein. Protein helps you grow properly. 

Our animals don't eat meat but they need protein just like you do.
We feed Calf Manna to the milk goats and Echo.
Milk goats need protein and fat to make milk.

These are called lay pellets.
We feed them to the chickens and the turkeys. Lay pellets have protein, too!
Chickens need protein to stay warm and to make eggs.
Some people like to feed chickens 'mash.' It is made up of the same things that pellets are made of, but it looks like corn meal. It looks like the chick starter in the next photo, too.

We like pellets because it doesn't get wasted like the mash does. Chickens can make a mess. If their food is small it can get lost in the dirt when they peck it out of their feeder. Then it's wasted!

This is chick starter. 
It has the right nutrition for chicks to grow into chickens.
It also is small enough for the chicks to eat.
They can't eat pellets like adult chickens can because their beaks aren't big enough yet.
This is oat hay and alfalfa hay.
We feed this to the milk goats, the bucks, and Echo. 
These animals also eat grass in the pasture.
In the winter there isn't any good grass on the pasture so we make sure they have
plenty of hay to eat.
Can you see the seeds in the hay? Those are oat seeds!

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Everyday we move Midnight's food because the chicken and the neighbor's kittens eat it.
Today we put it on the top of the hay stack.

Miss E is still drinking a bottle every morning.
Her bottle doesn't look very big when I'm letting her drink from it.

This is Quin when he was 4 years old.
He's holding a calf bottle.
When you see a little kid holding a calf bottle, you can see how big it is!

Here's another photo of a calf bottle on the right.
A calf bottle holds 1/2 gallon of milk.
That's the same amount of milk that's in the middle container.
 The gallon container on the left is the same size container that
you probably find in your fridge.
That container holds a whole gallon.

Can you imagine drinking an entire half-gallon of milk in about 3 minutes? Whoa! That's a lot of milk! Miss E drinks that much milk every morning for breakfast.

She also eats hay, pellets, and grain during the day. All that good food helps her to grow big and strong, and stay healthy and warm through the winter.

Next week I will show you what the animal feeders look like. We have a hanging feeder for the chickens. The chicks have a special feeder for their food. The goats eat their hay out of a special feeder, so do the cows.

When you eat Thanksgiving Dinner this week look at the different types of dishes and bowls that the food is served in. Each dish is made to hold a different type of food. Bowls hold soup and liquids. Different size plates hold different types of foods.

Animals have feeders that hold their food just like you have bowls and dishes to hold your food!

I'm sure there are a lot of things you can do to be nice and helpful as your family gets ready for Thanksgiving Dinner. 

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!