Friday, December 28, 2012


We're coming back to the start of a New Year here at Fresh Egg's Farm. Looking back at where were were last year at this time is amazing. Last year, our farm was filled with kids and cats and of course our black dog named Blue. Since then, we've had more cats claim us, took in another dog, brought Josie and Blossom (the alpacas) home, next came Frankie and Itty (the angora goats), next was Mabel and Flora (the dairies) and finally Steve and Jester (the like rams). Change is a constant around here. I'm hoping this year brings spring chicks, honey bees, baby goats and more...I'm also hoping this year could mean a wedding on the announcements yet, but I'm hoping that Kait will be getting a ring soon and will choose to marry the love of her life, David, here on the farm. I'm hoping that our children continue to grow into the amazing, strong children they are. I'm hoping that Mark will find permanent employment, after his 10 week sub-job at a local elementary school. For myself, I'm hoping to find internal happiness, a higher self-esteem, less tears, a happy marriage, the ability to recognize and celebrate successes, a promise that I will not have to bear another year like the last one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

This is one of my favorite days of the year. A few years ago, we claimed Christmas Eve as our own time. In years past, we used to go from my parents' house to Mark's parents' house and come home late at night and still have to set our presents out for Santa to combine with his and put under the tree. Making for a very tiring holiday season. When we moved to Florida for a couple of years, we realized how nice it was to not have to run run run and just snuggle as a family. So from then on, we've made it a tradition to let the kids open one gift (which always ends up being a new pair of pajamas and sometimes a pair of socks) and then we watch any of the Christmas movies that we missed throughout the season and snack on goodies like cheese ball, mozzarella sticks, cucumber sandwiches and more. So here I sit, in a new pair of comfy PJs and warm socks, watching Christmas Vacation, surrounded by all of my kids (Gage, Drake, Cora, Kait and David...the only one missing is Tiff and she'll be heading out after she gets off work). Mark is sitting next to me..snuggling...Bliss.
Merry, Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
Snuggling with my boyfriend, best friend, husband, love of my life.

Cora, in her new PJ's, comfy socks and sleep mask.

Our Santa table decoration.

The food line starts here!

...and check out that spread...this is just the first round of goodies.

I love our table this year. All decorated and looking beautiful.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebration, Sickness, Sadness and Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing around here, now that I am FINALLY kicking this sickness in the butt. After the three rounds of antibiotics, along with the antibiotic ear drops (along with dayquil, nyquil, sudafed, benedryl, cough syrup and I can't even remember what else...), my doctor decided to send me to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist. I went to my appointment one day last week and the Dr. said it sounded like I was having an allergic reaction to something and my body just couldn't handle all that was being thrown at me. On Friday, I went in for a full round of allergy testing (60+ injections) and it was determined that I am allergic to, well, everything! I had a reaction to every single item they tested for....grasses (including the hay that we are feeding our livestock), molds (since we've had so much rain lately, I'm guessing that the trees and hay and everything is growing a bit of mold), severely allergic to dust mites and finally...wait for it...cats! I'm ALLERGIC to cats people...did I mention we have 13 cats!?! 4 inside (one that sleeps on me most nights) and the rest are outside. The allergists suggested that I go on a regime of weekly allergy shots; however, before I go to those extremes, I'm going to get through the holidays and determine if it is really necessary. The reason that I am waiting is because the allergist also explained her "bucket" rule to me. Essentially, your body can only handle so many things at once and I think that my body was trying to deal with the stress of having both strep throat and a major respiratory infection...and THEN we added a fresh Christmas tree and real pine garland, along with all of our Christmas decorations coming in from the garage...and my body finally said - that's it! I'm done :-) So, the allergist suggested that instead of taking a sudafed OR a benedryl OR Mucinex - that I actually take all three together for a bit. I'm hoping that if I take all three, it will get me through the holidays and then, once we take the tree down and my system has recovered a bit, I should be able to go off everything and be ok...if not, then I will consider taking the shots. But, I've been on the three different meds for 36 hours and I feel SO much better. I can even hear out of my ears (mostly) again.
So now we are playing catch up with Christmas and trying to get presents and celebrations taken care of as we can. It's hard to believe that Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas will be packing his sleigh and heading out in just eight days. We've already gone to our Beekeeper's Association Christmas Party, we have two more celebrations this week for our Neighborhood Watch Team (one with the Core Team and another with the whole group), I have a client holiday lunch tomorrow, during the day and then my company Christmas party on Tuesday. WHEW! THEN, we still need to figure out all the times to visit with our families. We can do it! LOL
Mark and I celebrated the 16th anniversary of the confirmation of our wedding vows...meaning that we actually had two wedding ceremonies - the first one on July 23rd (this was our actual/legal wedding that we celebrated with Mark's two daughters from his previous marriage) and then we had the large, church wedding on December 14th. As a celebration, rather than the typical flowers and chocolate, Mark thought it would be nice if we put our chickens on order for the Spring. So that's what we did. We ordered 6 layers (Silver laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Australorp, Easter Egger/Ameraucana, and a Blue Andalusian) and 10 meat birds to be delivered the week of April 8th, 2013. I am SO excited about this next step in our farm life. The Spring for us means fresh eggs, home raised meat and...honey bees!!! WOOT!
Here are some photos of what we've been up to recently...

Here is Miss Cora (left) and one of her best friends (Everest) at their Christmas Concert - such great kids.

Here's another photo of Cora's concert - they did such a great job with all the songs.

I just love this photo of all of Captain's newest batch of kittens, staying warm on our patio chair.

We also had the honor of watching Drake (front center) perform at his Christmas Concert. He plays the flute beautifully. Below is a partial video of one of their songs. I'm a proud mama. 
Finally, I hate to end this post on such a terrible note, but I have been so affected by the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. I cannot imagine how a young man could walk into a school a murder 20 children and 6 adults...I think of how scared those poor babies had to be. I am so proud of the heroic measures so many of the teachers took that day to protect their students. I feel so much pain and utter sorrow for those families that are probably curled in fetal position wondering how they will ever be able to move past this horrific situation. I look at my own children and am thankful that they are healthy and here with me. Situations like this make me want to hold them so so tight, smell their warm hair, rub their sweet cheeks, tell them how proud of them I am, tell them how much I love them and how amazing they are...and that is just what I have done this weekend. I've loved my babies with all my heart, just like every other day of their lives.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holidays, family, barnyard and sickness

Three weeks since my last post!? Oh what a terrible blogger I have been. I'll share what has been keeping me away for so long. First, just a few days after my last post, my cousin, her husband and their three children arrived at our house for a week long visit. We had ten people in our house - and no one killed anyone else LOL. I'm so thankful that our home is large enough to comfortably house so many people and everyone even had a bed! Unfortunately, we all passed around quite a bit of germs while they were here and I've been suffering from it ever since. Ugh - I wound up with strep throat and am on my third round of antibiotics! The strep seems to have cleared from my throat, but I have a terrible ear infection and can't hear very well out of my left ear (still). Enough of the bad news. On with all the good happenings around here.
Thanksgiving was amazing. We hosted 23 people for dinner at our house. 23! ...and we were able to seat everyone together in our dining room. We (mostly me) kept fretting about being able to comfortably seat everyone together - I didn't want certain people in the living room and parlor and others in the dining room...I didn't want to have a designated "kids" table...I wanted everyone to be able to sit together and mostly, I wanted to be able to look around the room at so many faces of the ones I love. We had my mom, dad and Nana, my cousin, her husband and their three kids, my aunt, uncle and other cousin, Mark, our five kids, our daughter's boyfriend and his parents, sister and her boyfriend and me and SO SO SO much food...and SO SO SO much dessert!
I'm amazed that we fit 23 people in our dining room for a sit down dinner. I love this house!

My cousin, Tonia, serving up her Thanksgiving Dinner. Look at that spread ;-)

Mark took a picture of me - not a fan of pictures of me...but loved this day.
Unfortunately, we lost our poor sweet Runt kitty this past week. He was born this Spring, in Captain's first litter. He was one of the sweetest cats I've ever known. He would always come running from wherever he was, as soon as he would hear our voices. He would sit on my lap, on the porch out front - especially when I was having a not so good Spring and Summer and his purrs would make me feel better. I miss him so much. He died trying to pull road kill off the road for Captain's new kittens. A car killed him swiftly. We buried him under our black raspberry bushes, a favorite hang out of his. His brother, Lockhart, stood by our side the entire time, while we dug the hole, said good-bye, laid his wrapped body in the hole and filled it back in. Our children dig a good job saying good-bye...such a painful part of life.
Beautiful Runt, RIP
I'm sure one day Gage will kill me for this photo - but look at my little man shaving for the first time ever! Mark was patiently showing him every step. It was so cute. And not a single cut! Makes a Mama proud.

We started a new tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree this year. Here are Gage, Drake and Cora warming up in the stone house in the tree field.

Ta-daaaaa we found The Roberts Family Christmas Tree!

Mark and my little lumberjacks.

Got the tree home and it ACTUALLY fits in the spot that we wanted it to!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! So pretty...we're using LED lights on the tree and mostly outside.

A wreath that Mark and I made with our left over garland.

...and here is a cuteness intermission...this is Luna - Drake's new angora bunny. There is a chance that she is pregnant - Drake is hoping that this will be a new business for sell the fiber and possibly sell the babies. Isn't she adorable!?

Our beautiful Nutcracker collection - Mark and I got engaged at the so many years ago! Seventeen, in fact!

This is our entry from the living room, into the parlor.

Watch out for the mistletoe!!!

Real pine garland smells so amazing.

We bought a discounted tree to get some of the boughs off of to help create our wreath and make a table decoration - the rest of the tree we three into the pasture and let the animals go to town.

Josie says "Oh, you're taking more pictures? Let me give you my best side"

Um, know that is your brother...and you are both males...right? I mean, who am I to judge and we love and accept you for who you are...and I guess whatever happens in the barnyard stays in the barnyard???

Num num num! Pine tree goodness :-)
Ok, it's time to fill my body will mass amounts of pharmaceuticals and crash out on the couch! Hope everyone is doing well...