Monday, October 19, 2009

catching up

Gee. I am really bad at this blogging stuff. I think I check my FaceBook ten times a day but rarely get on here anymore. I know that I have people visit it still because they'll tell me to post!
Briefly, I'll list some things that have been going on since my last post. Let's see:
*I turned 40!
*I went to Camp Sychar with Winston, Martina, Jasmine, Sophia, Winston Sr. and Lynda
*My son Todd turned 16!!!! Holy smokes, I can't get over it! He's 6 feet tall now! uugghhh.
*We started our 2nd year of homeschooling. I'm using a different curricula this year and we really like it. It's Answers in Genesis. I'm homeschooling both Martina (7th grade) and Jasmine (Pre-K). Sophia started preschool at Camp Dick Elementary (see photo of her first day with her teacher) which is less than 10 minutes from here. She's in Speech Therapy so she can catch up with her language skills. Martina is less than thrilled with History still, but is getting through it better than last year. :) Jasmine wrote her name for the first time and is now a pro (see the photo of her first time!)
*I've been working with Dixon Design to get our website updated. It was out of date with information, and even had a wrong map on it! We've added a lot of really neat features. Please visit it the last week of October, it should be launched. If it's the new website, you'll see a series of colorful photos at the top, and lots of tabs underneath directing you to various features.
*Speaking of our website, Pike Valley Farm has been blessed with new customers since the summer. We've added Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, KY and Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, KY. We're thrilled to have these fine establishments as part of our list of customers.
*We've also increased our on-farm sales. We can't raise enough pork. We raise a heritage breed hog out on pasture; some organic and some natural. The taste is unsurpassed and is much healthier than factory pork! (eeww). They say pigs can't fly, but they fly right out of our farm! lol
*Martina got braces!! And contacts!!! She's turning into a young lady right before my eyes! (See photo)
*Sophia celebrated her one year Gotcha Day with us back in August! In some ways it seems like she's been here all her life, and in other ways, I can remember the whole experience as if it were yesterday. She's settling in more and more all the time.
*Sophia had surgery in September at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She had several issues going on, the most complicated of which was that she had malrotation. Her stomach and intestines were all in the wrong spot, and they were in danger of twisting. If this had happened, she would have been in serious danger of death! We had to keep a close eye on her prior to surgery and were relieved when the day came for her procedure. They also removed her appendix as it was in her upper left abdomen instead of her lower right. Her liver and gallbladder are also in the wrong spot; they left them alone. They also identified and removed over 30 adhesions on the outside of her intestines! It caused the intestines to bunch up and become unhealthy in certain spots, but by removing them, it would allow them to become healthy again.
*Sophia is also scheduled at some point to have more surgeries; we have an appointment this month and next to discuss such possibilities. I will try my best to update.

So, you can see we have been terribly busy and that's my explanation of why I haven't blogged.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Busy week

I am going to Whole Foods Market in Cincy this weekend to hand out samples of our chicken, and totally forgot that one of my best friend's son's wedding shower is the same day! I have two farm dinners in the next week, then have another Whole Foods Market in Louisville to go to; then my birthday... then my son Todd and daughter Martina will be in from vacation! Busy busy busy. Then a few days after that we're going to Camp Sychar! Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking of my schedule. And that's certainly not all, that's just some of the highlights.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Give me a break

Man oh man. There are days that I just feel like I need a break. I was gone all last week after driving 7 + hours to the Salatin's farm in VA. I enjoyed my time there, very much. I got up really early a few days and helped do some different things, really getting in the day to day stuff. I learned alot from these fine people. I'm glad to call them friends. I came back Friday with some more layers, so that means I drove up with a 16' trailer attached to my truck! Now, that's not all, I had to stop under a bridge to put a tarp on because it began to rain and the interns at the farm didn't put it on for me before I left at 6am that morning! it's a bit stressful driving in rain, never mind with a trailer on my truck. Whew!
More layers means more eggs, not that I should be complaining. I now have around 100 organic layers, 250 natural layers (of which roughly 150 are currently laying) and another 300 or so in the brooder ready to begin laying this winter.

So Monday, Sophia got her new glasses. She looks adorable! On Tuesday evening, she broke them!!!! NOT so adorable. i live about 30 minutes from the eyeglasses place, and just packing them up and going there is just a really big deal. (read one of my previous posts to see what THAT's like!)
So on Tuesday, Winston drove to Bowling Green KY to get the chickens processed (3.5 hour drive) and once there had truck trouble AND there was a huge storm that came through and took out the electricity to the processor. SOOOO he drove back here only to go the next day!!! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we finally got onto our poor pitiful bank account online, and, well, it's back to the drawing board on the finances. It's really tough having a business to support, kids, having had an expensive adoption last year, medical bills galore, etc.... And the economy is NOT helping a bit, our 401Ks are virtually non-existent. :-( boo!
Later that afternoon, we got a call from a guy we'd sold our boat to; he has had some problems with it and wanted to complain about it. So, even though we were not aware of any of the problems, we told him we'd take care of it, so we called the boat people we used for that boat and asked them to go and repair it. They told us that they didn't think that was anything we should worry about. But we don't want that man to think he's been taken, so we're fixing it. Uuuggh.
Winston's got drill this whole week, so that adds on more responsibility for me this week than normal. I am so so tired, stressed about various things (please pray for us) and just want to go to bed. But instead, I stayed up an extra 20 minutes and posted this blog.
Silly me.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm back: an update on all of us.

It has been a LONG time since I posted... life has gotten very busy!

Our farm is bustling with baby chicks, piglets, a few calves. I'm the sales and marketing person for the farm; I really enjoy it, though it keeps me incredibly busy. Plus, I take care of the egg layers, collect the eggs, clean them, package them and so on. It's really a fun job most of the time, but something I NEVER thought I'd be doing! We are really excited to get an updated website, which should be in the next couple of weeks. Check it out over the next few weeks to see what we've done!
Josh and Jamie have moved over to the farm for now, but have decided to farm with his brother Daniel in the near future. We have gotten to see Hudson a lot as Jamie brings him over frequently. In fact, I was holding him last night on my couch; he's got a really sweet smile. :) We also get to see them at Kim and Jordan's along with their baby Mercy. Jordan is our resident Farmer Extraordinaire. :)
Daniel and Kristin are doing well, and Ezekiel is growing like a weed! I get frequent pictures on my Ceiva, which I absolutely LOVE. They will be moving back to KY in February, but to do their own thing with Joshua, and several other families.
Mark is busy with work and his beautiful wife and daughter. Caitlin often sends pictures of her young family, showing off London in bows, bows, bows! She's adorable!
Todd is still running in track in WV, where he lives with his dad. He has done quite well, and is planning on running cross country this year. He is doing very well in school, hoping for a 4.0 this quarter. He's only got two more years and then it's college for him!! Wow! He's driving on a learner's permit until August, when he gets his license. He's looking for a used car right now.
Martina is finishing up school soon and has for the most part enjoyed homeschooling. We've had our moments that were frustrating, but overall, we really enjoyed it. She is going to be home schooled again next year, if her dad agrees to let her. Today she is going to a soup kitchen to serve homeless and needy. She enjoys going to do that, she goes with one of my friends from my bible study. That's something I used to do a lot, and I'm glad she has a heart for it too.
Jasmine is turning into an incredibly sweet (most of the time) little girl that says the most moving prayers from her heart. She loves to play outside all day long if she could, she takes a break once in a while to watch a movie or play with some toys. She's really interested in learning her letters and writing them. She says nearly every night "Maybe we can put some letters together tomorrow, Mommy". :)
Sophia is a vivacious, spunky, full-of-fire little girl, turning 3 in July. We've known her for nearly 1 year now; I can't believe how much she's grown, both physically and otherwise! She is in speech therapy, hoping to improve her communication skills. She's REALLY smart, and I mean SMART! She can watch you do something or figure it out on her own. She's tough to handle at times, but has a good hold on our hearts. She's beautiful and a very special part of our lives. We are going to Kazapalooza in about a week and a half, a weekend where there are 60 or more families who've all adopted from Kazakhstan. I think Sophie will look around at the kids thinking "ah, that kid looks like me!"... okay maybe not. But I am anxious to see what she does when she sees other Kaz kids.

Winston had surgery on his knee last week. He had injured it while on duty in the KY Air National Guard; we're hoping he won't have lifelong problems from it. The doctor said last week after the surgery that he thought he would need a knee replacement some time down the road. Otherwise, he's doing well. We're excited that the farm is doing well, especially in this poor economy.

I am doing fine, other than a broken finger. I slammed it in the van door a couple of weeks ago, but can move it some now. I sure do hope the economy turns around soon but have to say it's been an incredible spiritual journey for me. For the first time, I've had to depend on God for my daily needs rather than my bank account. The latter is ridiculously small, but God is incredibly big and supplies all of my needs.

I will try to post sooner than 6 months from now, I do enjoy your comments!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It makes my heart sing!

Martina came home from her dad's house after spending the holidays there. When she came home, her Christmas presents were waiting for her here. Jasmine got to help her open them; she was very happy to help her! The first box was an impressive size to Jasmine. If she had curled herself up, she could have easily fit her long, lean body of nearly 4 years inside. She would make an absolutely beautiful present! She began to tear open the paper, shiny red and green. What a wonderful noise to the ears of a child... the ripping of wrapping paper. The power, the anticipation. What could be inside? Even though the present wasn't for her, she filled with excitement as the large slice of paper was extracted from the package. Her frame even taller now, with exhilaration filling every pore in her being. Her hands were lively and dancing for another piece of paper to rip off the package. What was revealed beneath the paper was less than she'd expected. Her body sagged with disappointment, the shoulders searching for a place to rest after such a thrilling moment. The brown, boring box was such a stark contrast to what she had been feeling just moments before. She exuded her disappointment with her voice as well, as if we couldn't read her body language. She said "Oh. It's just a box. It's not a toy." Martina, Winston and I nearly died with laughter inside. We told her that there was a gift inside the box. At this point she had already set herself up for the boring brown box, it almost didn't matter that there was a gift inside.

Soon after, Martina opened up a small present, again, she had Jasmine's "help" with opening it up. It was a bottle of perfume. Martina opened up the box, and spritzed a bit of it onto the inside of her wrists. She smelled it and was pleased with her new treasure. You could nearly see her thoughts right there on her nearly 12 year old face. Kids grow up way too fast. She asked Jasmine if she would like to smell it. She put her tiny little nose up to her sister's wrist. She closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet aroma. She opened up her eyes and said "Mmm. It smells so good, it makes my heart sing!"

And this is why I blog. :-) I love my family.