Delightful Doelings

Finally. We have been waiting for nine weeks to bring our doelings home. It is best to let them nurse for at least eight weeks.

Our dear friend Bryn is giving us these precious girls. Two were born to her Nigerian Dwarf doe named Pippa and one was born to another doe named Peach (she is all white like our Halle). The baby daddy is Calvin who is one of her three bucks that we board.

Here are the new additions to Salt Creek. The official colorings are: white and frosted black with black boots (front left), black with white, frosted ears and nose (center back) and gray with white, frosted ears and nose (front right)


Bryn has done a fabulous job of socializing them. They do not shy away from people at all.


Here is the birthday boy with one of them. We are letting Nicholas name this one. He is thinking about “Boing Boing” for this one because she literally jumps all over the place.


They really like being with people.


Such precious girls.


They feel free to climb all over you. I’m sure I will have tiny little hoof size bruises on my legs.


They will also chew on anything hanging. Good thing we all have short hair.


This one could easily be called “Curious Georgie”


Speaking of curious, Brown Sugar was wondering about the new neighbors.


Halle’s response was very different. She would look through and when one came close she would try to head butt it. Since the wall was there she ended up butting the boards. I couldn’t get a picture of it because when I went into their stall she wanted scratching and temporarily forgot about the newbies.

Speaking of head butting. Within minutes of birth they are jumping and within days are head butting.


We have them in a separate stall to give everyone time to get used to each other. We decided to let them out into the outdoor pen and see how they all acted together. The doelings loved the area.


Enjoying a pine branch.


Halle and Brown Sugar seemed perplexed about these strangers in their area.


We are happy with our new additions to our family here on the farm.

Enjoy the day,


PS: We thought it would be good to check on the doelings before bed the first night. All of us went out to the barn at 9:30  and low and behold the girl that we will most likely call Boing Boing had jumped the four foot high wall that separates the babies from Halle and Brown Sugar. She was hunkered down under the bench just crying away. We moved her back into the baby stall and hope that she didn’t enjoy it and won’t do it again.

The next day she jumped over the stall gate and was wondering around inside the barn. She also managed to squeeze out the cow panel fencing surrounding the outside pen and chase after Joshua. I’m re-thinking her name. Leaning towards “Problem Kid”.


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Nicholas Turns Eleven

My baby is 11 years old!

Time sure flies when kids enter the picture.

As usual we celebrated his birthday with a family celebration. You might remember his “half birthday” party with his new and old friends this summer. For this party his relatives from the Portland area came down to help him celebrate.

His cousin Sarah came with her mom. Here she is with Luke (Brian’s dog).


Emily had to work so she wasn’t able to attend. We missed you.

Here are my mom, sister and dad enjoying the festivities.


We had an early dinner together and then it was time for presents and dessert. Everyone gave him some nice gifts. Here is a Apache Helicopter model kit.


We had a lot of fun. We are so fortunate to have almost all of our family within the Portland metro area.

As usual I was enjoying myself so much that few pictures were taken. I’m sure you understand.

Enjoy your Monday,



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Moving Day for Fern

Well if you thought herding geese out of a neighbor’s wheat field in the rain on Tuesday morning was enough for one day….you were wrong.

That afternoon Fern was leaving our barn to go live in another barn. Who is Fern you ask? She is our neighbors pig. She was here before we bought the place and we asked that they have her moved out by the end of 2014 as we need the room for our animals.

Meet Fern.


She is probably 500 lbs and the sweetest pig I’ve ever known. Ok, so I’ve never known any other pigs but she really is a sweet pig.

She is Glory’s pig. Every year Fern would have babies and Glory would show them at 4-H. You may have seen the pictures of this year’s babies at the bottom of this post.

So, how do you get a 500 lb pig into a trailer?

You just tell her to get in there….right?


Wrong. She decided she didn’t want to go. She wanted to go back to her stall.


She almost made it too.


Let’s try this again.


Wrong way Fern!


Yeah! She is almost there.


Nope. At this point I’m in the trailer enticing her with food. No more pictures from me so if you want to know how it continued just keep going over the pictures about ten times.

Over and over and over again we tried to get her in the trailer. It is very difficult to get a 500 lb pig to go somewhere that she doesn’t want to go.

The boards that they were using are an absolute must have.

We tried fresh pumpkin. We tried pushing …..pulling….more food. We tried building a ramp so she didn’t have to step up the eight inches or so to get in the trailer.

What finally changed? Glory got home from school and came over. It still wasn’t easy (she is a very stubborn pig), but at least there was another person there that knew how to work with pigs.

45 minutes after we began we finished.

And what a beautiful end of the day it was.


What were the goats doing during the wrangling of Fern?

Eating of course.

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Now we are ready to receive our three new nine week old doelings on Sunday. I’ll have pictures for you on Monday.

Thanx for following along on our adventure,



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Our Wayward Geese

About mid-morning I heard someone shooting a gun. That isn’t uncommon in our neighborhood.

It continued. Then the phone rang. It was Nick our neighbor. He called to inform me that our geese were in the field that bordered his property and the owner of that property was shooting at them.

I told the boys to keep doing school and I would go round up our geese. No problem right? I have had to round them up many times.

I met Nick and he walked with me down to the field. While we were walking he called the neighbor and let him know I was coming to remove the geese from his property. I got on the phone with him and he reassured me that he wasn’t shooting at the geese. Just trying to scare them off. Being domestic geese they don’t move when they here gun fire. Living on this lane they hear it every now and then so they must not know the danger it poses to the wild geese.

The problem with our geese being on his property is that it is a wheat field with fresh winter wheat that has begun to grow. They are not just eating the green plant but pulling up the plants roots and all.

It also happens to be very wet. He warned me that I might get stuck. I asked Nick to stick around in case he needed to extract me from the mire into which I was headed.

Here is the field. Sorry. No picture of the geese in it. I was a little preoccupied with 1) trying not to fall or get stuck and 2) trying to get behind the geese. They have a much lower center of gravity and webbed feet that apparently don’t sink into the mud. Hence, they moved much faster than me.


After about 15 minutes I asked Nick to call the boys and ask them to bring some grain.

The boys joined me. The grain didn’t help. Of course new wheat plants are much better than grain. The dad didn’t mind eating it out of my hand but then he just went back to the field. Opposite the direction I was desiring.

Nearly a half hour after I first arrived the boys and I were successful in herding them out of the field and back home.

My Bogs were covered in mud. A good 3 inches surrounded each of my feet. I thought I was stuck once….in the bog that was the field, but my Bogs didn’t let me down.

Get it? “bog that was a field” “Bog boots”. A little mud humor for you :-)

So here is my question to all of you….

Which geese do I like better?

These are Christmas yard ornaments that we have had for years. They are all lights. They boys laid out some blue lights under them to simulate water. Very cute.


These are the trespassing, winter wheat eating geese.


When the boys put our Christmas decorations out I thought to myself ,”Wow! Isn’t it cool that we now have REAL geese.”

I’ve changed my mind.

Jerkey anyone?

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A Refreshing Start to My Tuesday

I opened the barn and coop today. It was nice that it wasn’t raining.

All the animals were happy to see me. Everything went like clockwork.

Until the end.

Since things are muddy and wet all the time now, we hose our boots off before we get to the house. It is an effort to try to keep the deck/entrance to the house clean. Somewhat clean.

Here is our hose off station


It is right where the grass meets the gravel.

Well, as I was hosing off my boots the hose twisted in my hand and I sprayed my face….completely…..with water. Dripping wet.

Oh well, what’s a little water? I can dry off and dry my hair again.

So I finish with my boots and drop the hose. On the handle. SPRAY. AGAIN. In my face.

What is a little more water? I was already all wet right?

I’m dry now.

Just a little “life on the farm” update.



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Every Thursday night during the school year for the past nine years our boys have attended AWANA at our church. AWANA stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15).


It is kind of like the Christian version of scouts. The kids memorize Bible verses and study scripture. They get tested and earn badges for everything they learn. Michael and I are leaders which means we test the kids on the verses they are studying and teach them what those verses mean. Of all the things we have done for our children this is one of the best choices we have made. This is Joshua’s last year and by the end he will have memorized over 400 verses. Storing up God’s word in his heart. It is a very good thing.

Along with all this hard work there is a lot of fun. We have individual groups we meet with where we go over the verses and have discussion. These are some of the girls in my group:


We also have what is called council time. Commander Steve teachers on a particular Bible lesson each week. It’s interactive. Sometimes the kids help him with the story by acting things out on stage. Other times they will find verses and read out loud.


At the end of council time they receive their awards for the work they have completed.


The big event of the evening for the kids is game time. It’s organized but it is also crazy! The competition is fierce. The winning team gets candy. That can drive any young person into a frenzied state of excitement. I’m not sure which is worse for them, losing or not getting the candy.

The games are varied. This one is trying to get a balloon around the circle and back to your start first.


Another game on this night involved team work. It is always a little scary when they have to be connected and run.

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Spread throughout the year are three nights called “Store Night”. The kids don’t just earn badges but points as well. Those points allow them to buys junk fun things at store night. It is amazing how motivated they are to get those points.

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Tonight the blue team won. That means that between the points earned for verses memorized and games won at game time they had the most points for the night. Yes, they got a little piece of candy for a reward. Our boys are on blue team. That piece of candy plus all the boxes of candy they bought at store night (there weren’t any lego sets)made it quite the rambunctious hour long drive home.

I really love AWANA. The kids are so great and they are memorizing God’s word. It is a good investment of our time.

Enjoy your weekend,


PS: Happy birthday mom. I love you.


Posted in Boys, homeschooling | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Animals, Antics and Analogies

I find it enjoyable to notice things on our farm. As the seasons change so does the landscape, birds and wildlife.

During summer the the barn swallows reigned supreme. A doe and her spotted fawns could be seen in the lower acreage in the early morning hours. The bull frogs lulled us to sleep each night. The Morning Doves serenaded us all day long.

This fall we have enjoyed a wide variety of water fowl on our pond. Wood Ducks, Mallards, Common Mergansers, Cormorants, White Egrets and Blue Herrons. Over on dry land a wide variety of song birds are enjoying the grain that we put out twice a week for the geese. Hanging the bird feeders and keeping them filled with grain is on our “to do” list.

As I observe all the happenings on the farm I couldn’t help but notice some similarities in the antics of some of the inhabitants.

Goats. Tongues. It is just something they do. A lot.

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The “I’m the dominant male”rut antics of goats.  Something similar with the way Nicholas is looking at this boy.

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Notice me!                                                                Notice me!

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Food is always being eaten…

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By everyone.

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The allure of someone else’s stuff.

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And the constant look of love between four legged critters.

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Life on a farm is fascinating.

Have a great day,


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As a homeschooling family we have a lot of flexibility with how and where we do school. In our previous home we mostly did school at the kitchen table and on the sofa. In our new home we do school all over the house.

Mostly we do it at that same kitchen table which is no longer in the kitchen.Here is Nicholas blindly taking tiles from a bag. He was learning about probability.


School is also done “in bed”.


The boys also have a play room. They have our old computer (no internet) and on it they play math games, work on their typing program and use Microsoft Word to write up their IEW stories.


Nicholas is doing his grammar. He is editing an article and I’ve taught them that sometimes it is easiest to catch the errors by reading it out loud.


We read history upstairs.


Prior to moving I signed us up to join the local homeschool co-op. We have never been involved in one before and thought it would be a great way to meet people.

Both boys have two classes and then gym time. I am a volunteer in one class for each of them. Nicholas is in his science class and then Joshua is in his logic class.

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Gym time is often dodge ball. What healthy young boy doesn’t love throwing a ball at other kids. Hey, it get their energy out.

Nicholas: “Hmm, who should I get?”    Joshua is playing nicely with a younger boy…..or is he????

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Homeschooling isn’t easy. Ask any homeschooling parent. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. We are more than halfway through the process of preparing them for adulthood and we have been together almost every day. Most of the time that is a good thing. And then there are the days where it isn’t so great.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into a school day on Salt Creek Farm.



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A Play Date

We are taking this week off of school. We drove up to Wilsonville today and picked up Nate. He is their favorite friend and they were going to get to spend the whole day together.

The excitement was palpable. Nate actually woke up at 4:00 a.m. asking his mom if it was time for me to pick him up. Too cute. Nicholas had me wake him up early so he could do his chores before we left. Hmmmm, maybe I should plan more play dates :-)

I only took two pictures. But these two pictures sum up the day very nicely.

Tough guys…..


Swinging :-)


These are the “tween” years right?

Enjoy the day,


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Building a Barn Door

Well finally, after many months I built the final door to close in the barn. Our barn is a great little barn, it has multiple stalls which allows us plenty of room for animals, storage and we even have a feed-room. There are 3 door openings that exit out the side of the barn from separate stalls.


Unfortunately when we moved this summer, the barn didnt have doors for any of them. Earlier I built batten doors for the two stalls that we put animals in, but the last doorway was left open. In the warm months this was fine, but now that the cold weather and windy days have arrived, I needed to close off the last one. The cold breeze would just blow right through the barn and I don’t think the goats felt very cozy!

First off I purchased some cedar from the local lumber company. They call it “utility grade” cedar, and it is great. At a little over $1/foot, for 2″x10″, I purchased some and brought it home. The first door I made was from 1″x10″ cedar and the door is lighter for sure, but doesn’t have the same “feel” as the heavier 2″ thick cedar.

Here are the boards all laid out before being cut.


The next step is to measure the door opening.

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I took measurements at the top (40″), middle (39.5″) and bottom (39″) of the doorway, and since these measurements were not the same, I used the widest section (the top) as the guide at 40″ and will then have to shave off some of the door at the bottom to match the irregular doorway.

I then transferred these measurements to the planks and cut each one.

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I then laid the door out and measured diagonally both directions to ensure it was square. This is made much easier with some good help. Both measured 88″. Perfect.

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Then I added the upper and lower battens to the face of the door being careful not to bump the boards we just ensured were all square. I brought the top batten down 2″ from the top and the bottom batten up 8″ from the bottom. This will allow my hinges, when centered on the batten, to be 7″ from top and 13″ from bottom.

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then I laid the board I will use for the diagonal batten over the door so I can transfer the angles from the door to the board for cutting. Once the cuts are made, position the diagonal batten down and its all ready to be screwed together.

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On my last door I used nails, but I opted for screws this time.


Then I cut some additional pieces where I will add a couple more hinges, 4 total. Remember, this door is VERY HEAVY.


And here is the finished product hung in the doorway. I did have to cut about 1/2″ from the side of the door at bottom, but we knew we would need to do that when we started. It takes some work to get the door in the opening square and true. We used some shims to lift it off the floor and create the space needed to open freely once bolted to the doorway.

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I also added some small trim around the door jamb to serve as a stop when closing the door. It also helps seal the gaps between the door and the jamb.

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So, that is the 3rd and final batten door for the barn. This is a fairly simple and very functional and sturdy door style for any barn, shed or rustic application.

Thanks for following along!





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