Agriculture Bees Family Finnsheep Goat Milk Lotion Goat Milk Soap Goats Homeschool Sheep

Highlights of the Year

It has been over a year since I last wrote a blog post. It’s crazy how fast time goes. Life has been busy like normal and we’ve had the usual changes that happen as the seasons go by. I thought an update was long overdue so here it is!

Last summer we had our first litter of livestock guardian puppies. We ended up keeping two of them – Jayde and Maizie. Jayde is an excellent lgd however, Maizie prefers to lay around near the house. Unfortunately, we lost our male and had to buy a new one this summer. Chief is the sweetest, softest puppy ever. He is growing so fast and is just as big as the other dogs even though he’s only 6 months old!

We had our second crop of Finnsheep lambs this spring shortly after our second shearing. Parasites have been a struggle this year so we are working on building a more resilient flock. The differences in hardiness between our hair sheep and Finnsheep are still so interesting. I am very pleased with the quality of our lambs and their fleeces though. It is so hard to be patient for next spring when we finally shear the lambs!

Two of our beehives survived the winter and we will be harvesting the honey soon! The hives have very different personalities. One is calm and quite while the other will swarm and chase you as soon as you open their box! Needless to say, I don’t open their hive without my full bee suit on.

The garden is currently in desperate need of attention, mostly the tomatoes. I am planning to work on that this week. We really enjoyed the salsa I canned last summer so I need to get some done for this year. Both my flower beds and vegetable garden seemed to struggle this year. It seemed to be a combination of weather, bugs, and naughty dogs that kept everything from growing well.

Last spring, Lance and I bought an old building in town that had most recently been a restaurant. We are currently renovating it into a venue and airbnb. I love the building and all of the character and quirks that come with a building built in 1909. It has a room that is perfect for me to use as a studio for our Ranch Store. I have loved having more room to make and store all of our products. Lance and our oldest son, Cody, have done all of the renovations so far. I am always amazed at their knowledge, ability, and work ethic.

Our oldest daughter, Hailey, graduated from high school in May. I am still processing how she is already an adult and not a little girl. She is enjoying college which makes it a little easier that she is no longer living at home full time.

I am still making our Goat Milk Soap and Lotion. We only had one doeling born this year which was really disappointing for Colton. She was named Marshmallow because she is the color of hot chocolate and has a white spot on top of her head like a marshmallow. He is hoping for more girls than boys next year! Colton bought a new buck this year. His goal with a new buck is to improve the quality of his goats and add in some color variety.

The younger three kids and I started our third year of homeschooling in August. After using a few different curriculums the last couple of years, we felt like we had a good idea of what works for us, so we have used the mix and match approach to curriculum this year. I will be sharing more about our homeschool in a later post.

Over the summer, we went to several horse shows. The kids have improved so much in their riding skills. The circuit we do is great for all ages to ride in. Three generations of our family are currently riding. The kids love competing against dad and grandpa!

Since we bought the building we decided to host a fiber festival! The first annual Fiber Flurry will be held November 4-5 at Sikes Venue in Leonardville, KS. There aren’t any other fiber festivals in our area so we are hoping to have a good response. If you live nearish to us, we hope you will come either as a vendor or to check it out!

I think that wraps up the highlights from the year. My plan is to attempt to write more regularly and send out a newsletter one time a month as well. If there is anything you would like to hear about please let me know in the comments!

Book Lists Homeschool

Winter Books

Post does contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We finally had our first measurable snowfall Monday & Tuesday! However, they were predicting 8-12 inches and we only received maybe an inch of snow along with a little ice under it. It was enough for the kids to have a snowball fight though so they were happy.

This week we are studying snow for science so I thought it was the perfect time to share our favorite winter books. Most of the books are winter picture books. I also included some chapter books for reading aloud or older readers and a few books for the grown-ups too.

Just click on a book and it will take you directly to the Amazon link for the book.

Winter Picture Books

 I LOVE this book.

 Obviously, we love Jan Brett books!

 There are several gingerbread books by Jan Brett.


Chapter Books 

 This one is for older readers/listeners.  It does talk quite a bit about good versus evil and magic.

Books for Grown-ups to enjoy
 This is my all-time favorite book series.  I like to read at least one of them, if not more every winter.

 I have learned so much about homemaking from Sally.  I always pull this one and the one below out every fall or winter.  When the weather turns colder, I tend to look around our home more and seek out ways to make it more comfortable or “us”.

Happy reading!


Post does contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Book Lists Christmas Homeschool

Christmas Books

Post does contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Over the years we have put together a fairly large collection of Christmas picture books. Every year it grows by a few books. I love children’s books and our Christmas collection has some of my favorite books.

The kids and I enjoy reading a few books everyday from advent until epiphany and then they get put away again. I usually keep the books in baskets around the Christmas tree. When the kids were little, this helped to keep them out of the tree!

My sister asked me for a list of “must have” Christmas books. She is starting to collect picture books for their son. I decided that it would be easier for her to find them all here rather than text her a million pictures of books! So here is my “Must Have Christmas Books” and I added a few books at the end for mom’s too.

All photos of the books are Amazon links – just click the picture!

Picture books that the whole family will enjoy:


For Older Readers or Family Read Aloud

For Mom

This isn’t all of our books but these are the ones that we tend to read over and over. If you have any Christmas books that I haven’t listed please add them to the comments section of this post. I love to learn about new Christmas books to add to our collection.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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