Winter and the Animals

This year's buck


This winter I had more animals to overwinter than any so far since I was a living at home with my parents. My parents had lots of animals, so I did spent lots of time in the barn in the winters as a teen! I started the winter with 8 chickens and 4 goats.

My Mom sent a buck with me in September for breeding my does. The plan was to use him for breeding the butcher him , so we wouldn’t have to feed him all winter. He was very mild mannered to the point I wasn’t sure any of my does would get bred! They beat him up. He eventually got a little bigger and it looks like he got the job done. My oldest, dominant doe is getting pretty huge baby belly and she is not due until March! Daisy, the youngest doe, just started getting a tiny udder. I am not sure when she is due. I never saw her go into heat.

Annabelle is the middle doe and was the only one in milk last year. She was bred for late February, I think, but miscarried right before Christmas.  She seemed to handle it well. She went into heat a week later…and then again a week and a half later…and again in another week and a half! I noticed this week that she has been shivering even though it is pretty warm here for this time of year. Her temp is low for a goat, 100.5. This is not a good thing! Normal is 103-104.  After a call to my Mom ( I have yet to meet a vet who knows as much about goats as my Mom!), I put her on penicillin, raspberry leaves, and vitamin B shots to help her along. I think she may have a low grade infection due to her miscarriage. I started yesterday and she seems to be looking better already. I will take her temp tomorrow to see if it is back to normal. I would hate to have anything happen to her. She is such a good tempered goat.


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Pattern Testing: Big Little’s Pixie Pants

Lately, I had the opportunity to test out some awesomely cute pants. They came out this week! Drum roll please… Big Little’s Pixie Pants! Aren’t they adorable? I think they are the sweetest thing ever, and they fit my Lillon’s personality perfectly. Sweet.



I think they are perfect for wearing with some warm tights underneath for fall or winter. They will probably need some REALLY thick tights if this winter is as cold as last. ( and a wool sweater, and fur boots, and a fur coat…) If it happens to be warm yet in your corner of the world there is a shorts pattern on the same lines that came out at the same time.





You can see Lillon is quite pleased with them. They fit nicely and are comfortable for running and playing. I like the flat waistband in the front and the elastic in back. It has a nice clean look while still leaving some room to grow.The Pixie Pants have a pocket option, so I went with it. Every kid loves pockets!




The instructions were simple and easy to follow. I didn’t have any trouble getting them together except for some absentmindedness while sewing on the pockets. I forgot to mark where I supposed to stop sewing on the pockets and ended up with some confusion and seam ripping a few steps later. It pays to read the directions well! I am slowly learning this lesson. Until then, my seam ripper is my best friend when I sew.

I think these would look really cute in corduroy or a plaid print wool for winter with a warm sweater. Lightweight materials would be great for summer. Oh the possibilities!


Great news! Lisa is offering 15% of the Pixie Pants Pattern here and the Pixie Shorts pattern here for the duration of the tour. All you need is the coupon code PIXIEPANTS15, valid until Tuesday 23 September.

Be sure to check back in on the Big Little blog on Tuesday for a giveaway too!

My first blog tour! Yippee! Check out  some of the other adorable pants and shorts:

Mon 15 Lisa @ Big Little
Tues 16 Leanne @ Paper Moon
Wed 17 Jenny @ Mend & Make New
Thurs 18 Leonie @ Sunshine x 3
Fri 19 Aimee @ Small Steps Big Noises
Sat 20 Brooke @ Gracenuts
Mon 22 Orsolya @ Borsoo
Tues 23 Viki – posted by Big Little and a GIVEAWAY!




link party palooza banner


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Isabella Dress

Say hello to this gorgeous little number! I got to be a tester for it!

Isn’t it darling? It is the Isabella Dress by Ollie and Annie. The pattern comes as a dress or tunic length. The front and back skirt have pleats and the back closes with 5 or 6 buttons. ( depends on the size you make) It has NO BUTTONHOLES, though. Instead it has loops! Buttonholes don’t bother me much anymore, but the loops were a chance to add a little bit of fun to the back of the dress. The bodice works well with a top under or as is.

For my fabric I used a sweet fat quarter I had won in a giveaway and a sheet in my stash that just wasn’t soft enough for me to want to sleep on, but perfect to make a skirt where a little stiffness is appreciated! I had a covered button kit that I used for the buttons down the back. The pattern calls for 7/8″ buttons which I didn’t have. Mine were 3/4″ which is pretty close, but I adjusted the button loops slightly smaller to make sure they stayed good and closed.

I had no trouble sewing this up at all. The directions were very clear and well written. (Some of the best I have run into!) Pleats are something I have never done before. They have always seamed a little fussy and intimidating, but this pattern has a pleat guide that made it really easy. I think the pleats turned out lovely! The fit on the bodice was perfect. I went by the chest measurement. I was a little unsure if it would work since Abigail is mostly in size 24months clothes. I was worried it would be too short, but the skirt on the dress was a perfect length. Extra length means it will fit longer!

Today only you can get 20% off the pattern with the code: Isabella20 .

As you can see fall is on its was here. The goldenrod and asters are in bloom!



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Healthy Living E-book Bundle

Coming in about 2 weeks…Can’t wait!




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Goat Humor

I can’t count the number of trees, flowers, and shrubs my goats have destroyed in the last five years. We got a new fencer this summer and it seems to be keeping them in now. Let’s hope for the best!


<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img alt=”The Chicken Chick” src=”” /></a></center>

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Busy Season

Summer is always a busy season for us. We usually have a good size garden, meat animals, and some ministry/Bible conference stuff, and the county fair to fill our time in the summer.

These got even taller! The woodchuck knocked over a bunch of them and ate the tops, so it was a small bean harvest. :(


My garden has done well this year and I had little trouble with it until a tree crushed our garden fence earlier this summer.. This left great access for our local wood chuck family. They happen to LOVE things like lettuce, bean plants, dill, cucumbers, peas, cilantro, and carrot tops. I do not love them, though. In fact, I could truthfully say that I passionately dislike them! I tried to get my furry enemy out several ways, but they just didn’t work until last week when it abandoned its three burrows for no particular reason that I could see! YAY! Richard cut up the tree, so I can repair the fence. I also have plans to repair some spots where the rabbits can get under, and I need to figure out what is eating my tomatoes now…but there is NO WOODCHUCK.

Earlier this month was our county fair. I always enter lots of sewing stuff and photography. This year we also did a homeschool booth for our local homeschool group and a personal homeschool table. The kids competed against their cousins and the pastor’s kids. We got 3rd place out of 3 people. Ha! Can’t win them all. ;) It was our first year, so it was all for fun. Watch out for us next year. We will be prepared. Muhahahaha! Richie and Lillon showed zinnias and each sewed a pillow. Our whole family enjoyed the demo derby. It is a family tradition for the Sunday afternoon of the fair. After we go home from the demo derby we know the fair is over until next year.


One thing that I am excited about is the new farmer’s market that just started in town. I was even more excited when I found out that vendors could sell for free the first season. I think it started at the end of July, but our first week was last Wednesday. I sold hair bows, headbands, and girl’s gingham aprons. I will try to get some pictures up soon. Richie and Lillon sold zinnias and basil. A couple friends of mine were selling there, too, so we didn’t get lonely.The first market was pretty slow. I sold 5 things, but the kids did okay with their stuff. They want to go again! The local extension office had someone make salsa from the things the vendors were selling. It was so good that I had to go and buy stuff to make my own! Nothing beats garden fresh salsa!


Richard has been speaking quarterly at Berean Bible Church Chippewa Falls, WI for their Timothy Sessions. They have a marathon of preaching and several younger men doing it.  If you know of any young men who would benefit from some preaching practice and some learning please encourage them to join in! If you would like to hear Bible teaching online, Richard has a podcast( see top right corner of this page) or you can listen to the messages from the conference HERE.

I thought I would end this post with a pictures of my turkeys. They were hanging out at our campfire and would not leave us alone!



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Kid’s Clothes Week: Days 3,4,and 5

The goal during KCW is to sew an hour a day for your children. I am not sure if I made an hour or not on Wednesday, but I picked out the pattern and fabric. I also cut it out. The material was from a dress I had picked up to use a LONG time ago. It takes a little longer to cute out something from an re-purpose item, but sometimes you make it up during the sewing stage. I was able to use the original hem on the skirt, so no hemming again! Yippee!

My pattern is the Miss Madeline dress from the Handmade Dress. I won the pattern in a giveaway. I was quite thrilled. The pattern is a pretty simple peasant dress. It sewed up fairly quickly. I sewed most of it Thursday and worked on the waistband and elastic today. The skirt on mine might be a little wider than the original since I used the existing skirt and it is cut on the bias. This makes the drape really nice! My only problem was that the original brown trim on the dress was not usable. It had faded in some spots. I found a pair of brown pants in my re-purpose pile that matched nicely. Unfortunately, I realized after I had sewn it on that it was a bit too heavy and doesn’t look as nice as I had hoped. It is a play dress so not a big deal. Lillon is quite pleased with it and had a ball posing for the pictures! She wanted to wear the necklace she purchased recently some money she got from Great-Grandma her birthday. I think she looks irresistibley sweet in these pictures. It makes my Mama heart swell up with love!


kid's clothes week


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Kid’s Clothes Week: Days One and Two

It is hard to believe it has been so long since my last blog post. I keep thinking of posting, but I ran into a series of “difficulties”. My nicer camera died- a “lens error”. *sigh* Now I have to use a small, cheap camera that my Mom gave me when I was pregnant with Richie over EIGHT years ago. I am thankful I have something to take pictures with! My battery charger also died. No pictures with the cheapie camera for a while, either. Yeah,  I am a little slow so it took a long time to get a new one. After a trip to Walmart, I have a new battery charger and an ancient camera so I am good to go! You don’t want to hear me boohooing anyway. ;) On to the sewing!

The theme for Kid’s Clothes Week this year is “Kid Art”. I didn’t follow the theme. I think all sewing is an art. I just made a list of things my kids needed and went from there. Abigail needed some warmer pj’s. I didn’t realize we were going to have such a cool summer, so I thought she could get by with just a onesie most of the time. The weather did not cooperate ( thankfully!) and it has been BEAUTIFUL- mostly between 70 and 80 degrees. I am in heaven!

For the Peachy Pj’s I used two different patterns. The shirt on the pj’s is made from the Fast Stash Onesie pattern. It is a pretty basic pattern and after the first one went together pretty quickly. The bottoms are made from the Leena’s Leggings pattern. It is FREE. Can it get better than that? I added cuffs to the bottom for longer wear. The peachy fabric is something I picked at an estate sale in a box of sewing goodies. Estate sales are wonderful for finding fun sewing stuff! For some added fun I took a monkey I cut from a worn out stained t-shirt and stitched it on the front. I am in love!

Lookin' good in the Peachy Pj's

"Do we have to take pictures?"


For the purple pj’s I used the same patterns but changed things up a bit. I hacked the shirt pattern up and turned it into a long sleeved raglan. The fabric is a wonderfully soft t-shirt that has been in my re-purpose stash for too long. I wish I had pj’s made out of it! I used a purple thrift store t-shirt for the leggings. It made for a really quick sew since I was able to use the t-shirt hem for leg hem. NO HEMMING! Yay!

Snuggling with Teddy

Too cute for words!

Also sitting in my re-purpose pile was a tube top I picked up for just such a purpose as an adorable baby t-shirt. This was also a hack of the Fast Stash pattern. I just shortened the pattern so it didn’t have the snap bottom on it, and re-used the pretty, wide hem on the bottom of the boob tube. The bra lining had enough fabric to make the collar.

No more Pj's!

This is my favorite thing I made up this week. The coral color makes me smile every time I look at it.  Abigail wore it to a party already! We had a cookout last night with friends for some visiting missionaries to South Africa. They were so nice and had a baby Abigail’s age. There ended up being a whole pile of kids there. The adults were vastly outnumbered! I have a dress on the cutting table for Lillon, so hopefully I will get that up here, too! I also am hoping to give some updates on my critters and garden soon.
kid's clothes week

Are we done, yet?

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Pattern Testing: Puffer Shorts

Well, it isn’t quite shorts season here, but hopefully summer will come. I am beginning to wonder if it will ever warm up! I had an opportunity to test some shorts for Abigail. She will need some if/when it warms up. ;) ( Note: I tested these last month.It has warmed up this week! Yay!)

These Puffer Shorts are from Whimsy Couture. They work great is shorts or under a dress. I love that you can have fun with your fabric choices and have lots of color or just a little bit. I think the pockets on the outside are just awesome! A bonus is that they fit over cloth diapers. Abigail is wearing cloth diapers under them in the pictures. I am always on the look out for clothes that fit well over cloth.

The instructions were super clear and I really liked how they turned out. Abigail looks a little less than impressed in the pictures, because it was COLD out that day…and everyday. She also did not want to stand still! Most of the pictures were taken on the run. She has a blast whenever I turn her loose outside.

While Abigail could care less everyone else gave her new outfit their seal of approval!

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Spring Farm Updates

Spring has finally come to the farm! This year we got turkeys and chicks again this year. They were tiny and cute a few weeks ago. They looked like this:

Soft, Fluffy, Cute!


In just four short weeks, they look like this:

Turkey Poults

These are my turkey poults. They are a blast at this stage. Turkeys are much more personable that meat chicks. These ones have been following us around as we work on various projects. Here you can see them eating asparagus! If one of the kids goes running across the lawn, seven turkeys can be seen running along, too! It is a good thing they get less cute as they get older.

This turkey is looking at her reflection in the window.


Abigail really enjoys the critters on the farm. We were working on pitching last year’s manure out of the goat pen. You can see the turkey again hanging out where all the action was!


My Menagerie


Speaking of manure, I am glad to have Richard around to do the grunt work! He has been abusy guy helping with the manure, setting up my clothesline, and trying to get the rototiller back into working order. Hopefully, I will be planting my main garden soon. In the mean time, I have been busy with things like lettuce, beets, carrots, and radishes. My radishes will be ready in a few days! Yippee!


Grunt Man



Our place has lots of apple and crab apple trees. I look forward to when they bloom every spring. We have three full size apple trees, two smaller trees that I planted recently, and six crab apple trees! That is a lot of beautiful flowers! Their scent hits you when you walk out the door.


Crab Apple Blossoms



Linked up to:

Homestead Barn Hop | The Elliott Homestead


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