Around the Homestead

Firewood season is upon us

We love to cut firewood and try to make it a fun experience for the girls also. We grilled out and had a makeshift campsite before cutting and loading up a tree the guys had taken down by the pond.

We forgot our chairs and had to improvise.
We actually liked the stumps so much we left them behind to use again.
Taking a snack break

Then all three of the little ones took a swim in the pond to cool off. It was a fun relaxing day with a little work and the reward of a truckload of firewood.

Around the Homestead

Another day at the pond

We try to go to the pond at least one day during the weekend to hang out if not more.

Canyon kayaking

Laila loves it too. She likes to run and wade in the water. She’s not much of a swimmer, but still loves the freedom she has there.

And then needs to rest from her adventures.
And then gets nervous from the camera clicking.

It’s just such a fun place where we can get away, get dirty, and enjoy nature. There are no cars, no cell phone reception, and no demands. Just us and about 10, 000 frogs!

Around the Homestead

Girl’s First Kayaking Experience

We are in the process of having a pond dug, so we thought even though it isn’t finished, we could take the girls out on the kayaks they got for Christmas.

Because goggles are essential when you kayak…to know Canyon is to love her

The girls had a great time. The frogs were all over the pond, so they got to see them up close. We had a little picnic lunch when we were finished kayaking before heading home.

The pond in progress

We still have a long way to go, but hopefully by next spring it will be complete.

Around the Homestead

Baby Goats…A Real Birth Day

We went to my parents on Sunday for my birthday dinner.

The girls frosted my cake.

While we were there three of the goats decided to have babies. While Canyon was less interested and went upstairs to play with magnet blocks and read, Aspen was right in the middle of the whole thing. She was so excited to actually see a baby animal being born. She has seen lambs before, but was so little she doesn’t remember it.

She had her camera out taking pictures, asking a bazillion questions, and was glued to the scene the entire time.

Aspen and Dad checking on the new mamas and babies.

It was a pretty exciting day for her. It is so nice when all of us just take a day to spend together when we aren’t working on a farm related project. Kidding doesn’t count!

Around the Homestead

We are officially a “real farm”

According to our girls, we are officially a “real farm” now that we have a cow. The llamas, sheep, chickens, cats, and dogs have not officially qualified us, but the cow has done it.

I truly can’t believe we actually took the plunge for a milk cow, but even through all the struggles of introducing her to our farm I have not regretted it.

She is a registered Jersey named Lexi, due to calve (a girl) in February 2021. She has come leaps and bounds since we brought her home. She still hasn’t adjusted to life in the same pen as the sheep and llamas, so for now she can only visit them over the fence. In all honesty, the sheep are the ones scared of her. They start running and in turn get her excited so she runs after them and causes problems.

We hope to sell her calf (once she is old enough or possible bred) as a family milk cow. That is a long way down the road. So for now we are just enjoying getting her used to us and looking forward to milking season.

Around the Homestead

wild turkeys and new chicks

To make a very long story short, while having our pond dug our friend stirred up a turkey sitting on a nest of seven eggs. It was right where he was digging, so we decided to take the eggs home and incubate them.

We did everything by the book, temperature, humidity, stopped rotating them prior to hatching…EVERYTHING. One hatched no problem, one hatched and never stood a chance. The girls named turkey number one, Lilly. Aspen spent hours with this little bird. She was adorable, seemed fairly hardy, and also lonely.

On Randy’s way home from work on day four of Lilly’s life he stopped and picked up the minimum required five chicks, Isa Browns, and TSC. That night Lilly and her five chicks were curled up sweetly sleeping. The next morning I awoke to find Lilly had died in the night. All we can come up with is at one point the previous day Lilly had gotten herself lodged in her water dish and possibly dropped her body temperature enough to where she couldn’t recover? We really have no idea.

All we know is that we had the most heartbroken little girl that morning when she woke up to find that her pet wild turkey had died. We’ve lost dogs, cats, pet sheep, an incredible guard llama and never has she been so upset. She loves animals and for some reason, losing this little bird was her breaking point.

So now we have five little Isa Brown (whatever that is) chickens stinking up Randy’s shop in a cute little brooder Randy whipped up for them in a day.

The are just as cute as they can be and the beginning of our restoration of our homestead. More on that later, but for now, our laying hen flock is growing ever so slowly.

Brooder pen for chicks

Our little farm just keeps growing and getting restored from our 5 year hiatus.

Around the Homestead

Summer photos of the girls

Every so often I like to take the girls around the countryside and find fun places to take some pictures. We love doing this when the wheat is golden, the wind isn’t blowing too bad, and have a few clouds in the sky. We have a 1% chance of all of this happening at once in Kansas, but here we go.

Canyon and Aspen
At a lake near our home
Finding feathers

It is so much fun when we take the time to do this. The girls are good sports and it’s fun to have these memories to look back on.

Around the Homestead

Early Summer on our homestead

It’s warming up here and the garden and flowers and blooming.

Diego and Roxy
First lettuce of the season
Lamb’s Ear and Milkweed
The girls curled up with a magazine
We spend many a summer day on our front porch reading, snacking, and sharing a cold drink together.
Our front yard “kitchen garden”
Aspen and Canyon

The garden is doing so good and the weather is cooperating with rain to keep everything green and growing. So thankful for the girls help everyday to keep it all going.

Around the Homestead


For years we have rescued dogs that have been abandoned along the side of the road and given them a home. It is our love for animals that has given us the motivation to do whatever is necessary to adjust our farm to accommodate these dogs and other animals we have taken in.

One day on my way to work, an hour away, halfway there I came up to three dogs along the side of the road. I called Randy to let him know I was about to get out with three dogs and where I was in case something happened. Two of the dogs immediately ran away, but one of them was laying on the side of the road. He appeared to be hurt, but was easily coaxed into the backseat of my car.

I called work to let them know I would be a bit late, turned my car around and headed for home with a slightly damp, very smelly, super timid, but very well-mannered dog in tow. I gave him food, water, and put him in a dog crate in our garage before heading to work. I stopped at houses along the way home to see if anyone had lost a dog and called the local post office where I was told a mail carrier had seen this dog running for weeks.

So he was our’s! A trip to the vet to get him checked out and fixed and then it was time to introduce him to the two dogs we already had (Ash and Koal). Everyone got along great except for one problem. When the sheep would graze along the woven wire fencing that separated our dog’s backyard and the sheep pasture Thai would bit their ears OFF, yes off.

This is the part of rescuing animals from all different backgrounds and all different temperaments that gets hard, time consuming, and expensive. We ended up having to build a privacy fence along one side our our backyard to separate the sheep lot from the dogs to create a barrier between the sheep and what appeared to be a harmless Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix.

The three dogs got along great despite their very different personalities. The vet estimated his age around one year old when we brought him home to live with us. We loved on him for twelve years until he woke up one morning disoriented and sick. It was all of a sudden and we weren’t prepared to lose him, but we let him go with grace and will never forget this big, harry dog who would literally greet us with a smile.

Around the Homestead

Camping in the yard

It is probably the last cool evening for us for awhile so we decided to camp with the girls. They were a bit nervous about leaving the house, so in the yard the tent went.

The girls helped Randy put up the tent while I gathered all the food, bug spray, and necessities.

Our front yard view
Our backyard view

A quick change in the house into pajamas and two sweaty little girls were ready to wind down for the evening.

And one little dog on her first camping trip

Very seldom is it green enough around the 4th to safely do sparklers. We had some leftover from last 4th of July the girls finally got to use.

They had so much fun running around the yard in their pajamas with the sparklers.

One last trip around the yard for Laila’s bathroom break, and we all crawled into the tent for a cool spring night of sleep. We had so much fun and the weather was just perfect for sleeping in a tent. We will definitely do it again in the fall when it cools back down again.