Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Smiles on a Sunday!

Simple Spring Smiles!  Some moments just take your breath away, you realize it's the little things that fill your heart! We are so lucky to live in such an amazing place with two happy healthy little girls. Sometimes a fun game of hide and seek in our planted fields is just a little reminder of that! Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Exciting Things!

So confession...I am an official blogger slacker!  Time these days seems slim to none, and to be honest bedtime has been earlier than normal!  So to catch everyone up!  Lots of change has happened with not only our family but business.  Starting with the girls both changing schools (yes mid year)  Joe and I officially decided to move schools which are now a bit closer to our house and both a better fit for both girls.  I have to admit I had major MOM GUILT...making this decision. Now after making that choice I have no idea why!  It is one of those parenting moments that lets you know you are on track when your kids just seem to adjust and move on with only a smile on their face and sheer excitement!  So happy little girls are now fully adjusted, there is no more mom guilt an one exciting change complete! Joe is still managing Swallow Valley Farm, and they are now up and milking their sheep. He is also in full honey do construction mode around the farm, trying to meet deadlines.  I am busier than ever trying to adjust to new kid schedules, homework, full on business mode and all other things that come along with mom, wife and starting a business!  SO yes my house is a bit of a mess and my yard also not due to non mowing...but we had 900 sheep sheared in my backyard!  (martial spat included, and yes I am still picking up chunks of wool, and no it is not normal to have sheep sheared in your yard) All part of the farm life!
On the farm many of you already know, but for those that don't we are starting a creamery! YES....we take on a lot, and YES it is a TON of work.  WE are full on construction mode renovating our { farmstead cottage creamery buildings}, which included 3500 subway tiles, concrete, lots of stainless.  Needless to say Joe and I have practically lived at Lowes and our back to our aisle arguments. We are SO lucky to have great friends and family helping every chance they get {thanks Matt...who has been a huge help} So our little idea has gotten bigger than we thought, and we are super excited and embracing another change! Our days have been filled with packaging design {Third Bay Letterpress} and Branding {Brandmint}who have gone above and beyond to make everything perfect!
So in a few months our first product will be available in stores. Huge Thank You to Mike Keefer.   So...that being said you will now be able to purchase our first product Bottled Sheep Milk.   So exciting things on the farm, lots of work ahead and lots more to come!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Change and Transitions

Absent blogger confession.  We now have another crazy hectic month under our belt...both personal and with business.  I had a chance to take a family vacation minus Joe with the girls and my family to Hawaii this past month.   Great trip lots of laughs and close to a full week of relaxation.  All the while Joe.....worked for us to vacation!  He is pretty great like that! The girls have been great. Busy growing up too fast in my opinion.  Avery started back on the swim team and now on the official junior swim team.  So now this poolside three days a week.  Pretty great to see her really take to swim and love every practice!  Hadley still busy with ponies.  Seriously a bit on the obsessed side.  We have some very sparkly ponies around the farm even during mud season due to perfectionist grooming skills.  She also learned to ride a bike without training wheels. right seeing that Avery just learned a few months ago.  Lets just say second child syndrome.  They move along quite fast!! I joke with Joe if we had a third they would be potty trained at 12 months!  I have been busy trying to ride in between rainy days and super occupied with the farm.  Joe is now officially working on the farm full time.  YAY!! It is so great to have him around (so far anyway)  I am sure this will bring some new found marital issues.  He seems so happy and now able to get our farm running efficiently.  He is also still managing the sheep dairy at Swallow Valley Farm around the corner. They will now be milking sheep in another week.  Pretty neat to see him build another sheep dairy from the ground up.  We are pretty proud of him. This month for us has brought lots of change.  Good change, and much needed change (more on that later).  Joe and I have learned this month that time is so precious, animals are so precious. We are so so lucky to have such a great team, friends and two amazing little girls.  Sometimes things happen (even when you think it will never happen to you) we have learned to grow and cherish every little second and appreciate everything we have!
On the farm we are in full swing.  Busy days full of non stop mud around the farm.  One of the bonuses of living on a run down ranch at the bottom of beautiful hills.  We seem seem to have caught all the rain water off those hills.  So a major cleanup and more renovations are underway!   Lambs are still arriving which means the lamb barn is still full.  The grass is now green, so the ewes are finally able to graze the grass again.  It was a rough couple of months with our not so beautiful dirt pastures.  So another crazy month lots of changes and transition and LOTS of news to come!! 

                                            (a little hawaii fun )

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nice To See You

Well Hello February, nice to see you. Where has time gone?  Well our months are flying by, our kids are growing up. Everyone tells you that will happen.  Well, it does!  Hadley learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Avery lost her first tooth.  So Joe and I are walking around trying to realize that kids do grow  (not sure if we are ready for them to be full on kids)  kids that ride bikes, loose teeth an all that kid stuff.  I have learned to cherish every second, every hug, and every stare that they don't know I am doing....except when they blurt out "Mom...why are you staring at me weird"  then I am caught.  For the most party I keep it pretty undercover.  A few new things on the farm, another new pony!  I know what the heck, how many horses and ponies can you have? (a small collection)  Well you see, we have been in search of a starter kids pony, one to ride around the farm, safe, kids can handle and ride without too much help just learn basics confidence etc.  Grant our first favorite fancy pony is the second step and doing amazing.  (THANK YOU Tina and Maddie)  Well Finley our new mini pony (rescue pony) has a few issues and is not the perfect end to our pony search.  So welcome Cookie Monster aka Cookie!  The PERFECT no joke they do pony.  He is a been there done that pony (meaning kid safe, no spook, loves attention a pony that acts like a dog)  lucky he is too big to fit in the girls room because I seriously think he would be in the house!  HE is that amazing. One of the hardest things on the farm are our animals.  Our pets have to be compatible with kids and sheep and all other farm things.  Sometimes (especially rescues it can be a bit much) I mean some days I am over stimulated from farm life!  SO we have learned that it is a process finding the right pets for our lifestyle is not always easy!
The farm well we are busier than ever.  I don't even think busy describes it. Probably adrenaline and exhaustion with a side of crazy are keeping us going.  Our new sheep arrived along with lots of lambs on their side and lots of wool.  (two years worth) We are down one employee meaning Joe is working triple duty and learning he can't do it all.  I have even chipped in on farm chores and have really learned this past month how HARD it is to be in the agriculture industry, it is no joke!  This past month I have learned not to wear my nice jeans to the barn, not one day is ever the same, if you think it is will take 10 minutes it will take 30.  Having the amount of animals we have and the amount of projects on our plate can be overwhelming at times!  I have learned the importance of making lists this month.  We also started a few new major projects on the farm (can't wait to share).  I keep this blog honest...its not always sunshine and rainbows.  We get overwhelmed and are so so lucky we have amazing friends and family who always help out when needed.  So each day is a blessing even when we are so busy we don't know what day it is, we have learned how lucky we are to have kids that tote around and help with a million chores with only smiles and giggles on their face.   A crazy month behind us and another one ahead we wouldn't trade it for anything.  Stay Tuned!!