Best 12 days ever!!

Okay, ladies and gentlemen. We are doing the most exciting project of the year, and I just have to tell you about it!!! Full details can be found here: http://www.gofundme.com/best12daysever

But the gist of the project is this. We have found a couple who is astounding in their goodness and we want to suprise them with the most spectacular christmas of their lives. The lady has been living with MS in a a not very wheelchair friendly house and we want that to change! So we are going to do major renos on the house each day of the 12 days of Christmas! What do you think? Will this be the #Best12daysever ?!!!

Day 3 Kitchen

Day 3 Kitchen

Day 4 Father-law-suit

Day 4 Father-law-suit

Day 5 Doorways

Day 5 Doorways

Day 7 Deck

Day 7 Deck

Day 8 Heating

Day 8 Heating

Day 9 Laundry

Day 9 Laundry

Day 10 Fans

Day 10 Fans

Day 11 Garage

Day 11 Garage

Day 12 Decorate #Best12DaysEver

Day 12 Decorate #Best12DaysEver

BEST12DAYs

12 Best Days Ever!!

My kids are involved in doing the 12 days of Christmas for neighbor.  They picked this couple because this couple have been so kind to the kids.  Here is the beginning of the campaign. . .

best12daysever

bearsbest12daysever

day12 day11 day9 day8

Day One-The Bombs Are Falling

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My kids have been preparing for our latest ‘experiment’ for the last month.  My younger kids are excited, but the two older ones are not too impressed.  They do not think it will be fun and let me know that often.  I am not going to make them participate if they don’t want to.  It makes it so much less fun when you have complainers.  I haven’t told them that I am letting them off the hook, tomorrow they will find out.  Steve too is not enthused about this ‘experiment’.  I think he thinks I am weird🙂  Took him long enough to find that out.

blindfolded blog
Today during FHE, unbeknownst to Steve and the three oldest, I had a surprise planned.  I told the littles because I didn’t want them to be scared.  They were so excited to have a ‘secret’ from the big kids.  First I blindfolded Steve and the three big kids.  I had the Proffitts over to video tape.  I told those blindfolded that each of the little kids were their ‘guide’ to a special place.  They had to listen to their guide and under no circumstances could they take off their blindfolds.
As soon as the four of them were in the living room I pressed play.  I had created a huge list of bombs going off, firecrackers, glass smashing and other loud noises.  I got some of the neighbor kids to come and yell, sprinkle water in their faces and shake the ground.  Then I yelled for everyone to get down “NOW”.  They did and removed their blindfolds (after I told them they could).  It was then I told them that the bombs had blown up all the roads and for at least one year there would be no buying groceries.  Their looks were priceless.  The little kids were giggling but the older (including Steve) were unimpressed.  I got everyone to go collect all the money they could find.  If the trucks ever did stop coming to town because of a disaster, the stores have about 3 days worth of food.  I told them that we needed to spend the next day taking invetory, and after dividing it in 12 (for each month) decide what we should go to the store and get.  The total amount we got was 316.  That included everyone’s savings (my 11 year old cried when he donated his money) except my 15 year old.  He swore he would not do it, said his life was over, told me that I was torturing him ect. . .  He had just got 100 dollars from his aunty and the idea of giving it up was more than he could bare. Finally we made a deal.  If he gave us his money, then I would split any money we had left with the three oldest kids (because they all put in 80-100 dollars each).  The idea that he could Make money won him over and he finally put it in.
We ended the evening watching the first half of Sound of Music.

So Much For Preparation. . .

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I was planning on starting our ‘No groceries” experiment in October.  I was waiting for our chickens to start laying and for us to butcher the roosters.  Unfortunately our neighbours dog got in the pen recently and killed 50 of our chickens.  I was devastated.  Those chickens that are left will likely be so traumatized that they won’t be laying for awhile.  Since the weather is nice, I think I am going to try and do the experiment asBaby than planned.  If I can get a chicken coop close to my house made this week, then I think I will go and buy 10 hens that are already laying, and move the rest of the chickens down.  I was really counting on at least having fresh eggs and milk.  Good thing my boys like to fish. . .  Hopefully we will be able to survive. . . .592

A Month Without Groceries (items sold at a grocery store)


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Every now and then I like to spice my life up trying out new experiments with my kids.  I think my experiments are fun and they add a little extra interest to our daily routine.  My first one was a “Can we go a week without electricity”.  The kids and I loved it, I learned a lot of things but my husband hated it and we had to end it after only 3 days. The kid’s favorite was the ‘junk food’ one where I let them buy all the junk food they wanted (and we never got) for three days.   They got corndogs, chips, pop, candy, white bread, cereal (sugar kind), and a tone of other treats we don’t normally get.  We only lasted a few days on that one because the older two were literally eating themselves sick.  My son (only 9 at the time) was popping stale jelly beans in his mouth at a steady pace as he laid on the couch moaning because he felt so sick.

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My latest experiment is going to be longer than the rest.  For one month we are going to try and see if we can go without groceries.  I am going to try and divide my food storage into twelfths and only eat one twelfths of what we have.  That means if I have 12 cans of pineapple, we would only be able to use one of them.
Three billy goats gruff

Three billy goats gruff

I am excited.  I think it will be really fun.  I had hoped that I would be able to spend the whole summer building up my food storage, raise chickens and plant gardens.  That didn’t happen.  Instead I have spent the whole summer trying to get siding on my house, fix my fences, and put a driveway in.  The only thing I have planted are potato’s and a couple of pumpkins.  I did plant a ton of tomato’s but my son’s goats ate them.  At this rate I am going to end up eating them.  This is going to be very interesting. .

Family, Excommunication and The LDS Church

Some have said that the recent potential excommunication of Kate Kelly (the founder of Ordain Women) and John Dehlin are un-Christlike and should not happen.  They argue that a loving Father would NEVER force his child out of his home.  While I don’t know all the facts about the cases (and either does anyone else since the ONLY information we are getting is from Kate and John) I do know some things about how a family works.

I am a member of a large diverse family. My family (thinking of just my siblings and their spouses) consists of 8 biological children and their spouses and 3 adopted First Nation siblings who happen to LOVE to argue–I mean discuss things passionately.  While we all have the same end goal (to return to our Heavenly Father) we definitely act out those goals differently.

Some of us homeschool, some don’t, some have gone on missions (girls and boys) some have not, some struggle with FASD, and mental illness’s and some don’t, many suffer from clinical depression, many don’t. Some have left the church, and some have never even come close to a ‘crisis of faith’. Some live with pornography and word of wisdom addictions. Some struggled with same-gender attraction. Some are caucasion, First Nation, Hawaiian, and American (I am canadian  ).

Some are unmarried, some are married. Some have been on the brink of divorce, and some have not even seen that as a possibility. ALL have wrestled with what they believe and why (and likely do on a daily basis). Here are some things I have learned in working in this loving, accepting, kind,crazy and incredible environment.

1) God makes all kinds of different people who all have weakness’s and strengths and each one is a gift to us. Our weakness’s and strengths can both be used to uplift and challenge those around us. This is a good thing (they can also bring us down)

2) We are all God’s children and priceless to him and ALWAYS will be, no matter what we do, what we say and what we believe. The Savior cared enough to die for each of us collectively and individually.

3) A family is the best place to make mistakes, to foul up, to learn and to grow. If we don’t feel safe making mistake around those who should love us the most, it makes life a very insecure place to be.

4) All of us make mistakes, from the parents to the child. Oldest to the youngest.

5) It is the relationship that matters most. Who cares if someone has an addiction, leaves the church, is in jail or can’t read. We are all part of each other, what one can or can’t do, did or didn’t do should never trump our relationship. Even if someone is terribly wrong, how can they even imagine to be able to repent, change or grow if we don’t let them know that we care, and that they are infinitely more than their actions.

6) Sometimes it is appropriate to let people just get their ‘natural consequences’.

7) Occasionally (it has only happened once in my families life and it was so painful) it is best for everyone to ‘let go’ of someone who is trying to leave. To admit that as painful as it is for us, we each need to walk our own path of faith-even if we know that the sibling is walking into the lions den unarmed and without much faith (unlike Daniel, much like the prodigical son). On these occasions you need to be sure to be so close and ever aware when the moment of pain is so great that humility is found and your sibling returns. That is NEVER the time to gloat, instead, killing the fatted calf should be expected.

8) Occasionally (it has only happened once in my family, and I was the person who had to do it) you need to prayfully open the door and tell the brother (who already ran away from home and was wanted by the police) that it is time to go, knowing he has no other option but literally camping. Sometimes, the kindest thing is to admit that this place that I call home is really a prison for my brother. Sometimes the only way someone can learn to fly is help lovingly push them out. This could be for their good, or for the good of the other children in their home. If this ever has to happen, I promise you that it is not easy for the one involved to make the choice. It is not done lightly and pride is not usually to cause of this.

9) If you ever do have to have someone leave your home, it should never mean they are not still loved and part of the family. You can still love, support, pray for, be kind to, and help someone who is ‘ex-communicate’ from the protective wall of your home. This is not an ultimatum, it, in some cases is a healing process. In our case it has been an important step to ‘facing reality’, learning important life lessons, and can truly be the most Christ-like option.

10) Lastly, it is so important that other family members, who do not intimately know the details are so careful about judging other and and passing judgement. Out of respect to my brother, I choice not to disclose some personal reasons why I asked him to leave even though I had community members, family members, and even church members not only question my actions, but criticize and malign me. My heart still breaks when ever I think of my poor brother who I adore, snuggled to bed, wiped his tears and had live with me for years.

With these things in mind, I doubt that those who are participating in exploring the possibility of excommunicating Kate Kelly and John Dehlin are doing so lightly.  I am sure their knees have been worn with wear and their hearts full of concern for all who are involved.  Does this mean I support the excommunication?  I don’t know, with the information I have thus far, I am willing to trust in God and humanity to do the right thing (since I have no control or influence in these cases that seems the right thing to do) and try to be careful about passing judgement on anyone who is involved.

Our Llamas!! Officially a Farm!!

 

Mama and baby Llama at Aunty Bears Farm

Mama and baby Llama at Aunty Bears Farm

I am delighted to say that I think I am officially a farm!!  To date we have:

5 Dogs, 2 Cats and 13 kittens

Mama and Puppy At Aunty Bears Farm

Mama and Puppy At Aunty Bears Farm

 

2 Cows

62 Chickens

Catching Chicks At Aunty Bears Farm

Catching Chicks At Aunty Bears Farm

3 (for now) Rabbits

6 Sheep

Feeding Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Feeding Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

2 Goats

and as of this week. . .

7 Llamas!!!

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

 

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

I got Llamas because they are edible (so they say-I haven’t tried them yet), cheap to purchase (50 dollars each), and you can graze 4 on the same place you would graze 1 cow (but they give 1/6 the meat).  My son wants to teach them to pull him on a sled and to be pack animals so he can get them to carry his pack when hiking🙂

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

I am loving life.

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Most of my fences are up.  My dogs are well behaved most of the time.

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

My cows get along with my Llamas.

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

Llama Farmers at Aunty Bears Farm

My bummer lambs are thriving.  Our goats milk taste yummy so what do I have to complain about?

Sunday Walk at Aunty Bears Farm

Sunday Walk at Aunty Bears Farm

Who cares that my siding isn’t on yet, that I can expect tonnes (literally) of mud to be tracked into my house for the next month, that only 1/3 of my trees survived the winter, that my toilet overflows every day and we can’t seem to fix it ect. . .  For now, for this moment, I am going to relish the little things and magic of being a farmer.

Lady Bugs at Aunty Bears Farm

Lady Bugs at Aunty Bears Farm

I just love working outside and visiting my animals.  The Lord has sure blessed this little piece of heaven!.

 

Most Economical Meat To Raise

Wading the Irrigation Ditch at Aunty Bears Farm

Wading the Irrigation Ditch at Aunty Bears Farm

I live on 5 acres, but c0-own another 80 acres with my sisters and sister-friends.  In the past year I have fenced in about 7 acres for my personal use.  I have a fence backyard (about 2 acres), 2 two acres of fenced pasture and a two acre fenced dog run in the front of my house.  I also have a fenced 2 acre pond area (with little kids I had to make sure the pond was fenced).

Red Fox and Black Labs at The Farm

Red Fox and Black Labs at The Farm

With all these fenced area’s complete, I finally have the luxury to buy animals!!!  I am so excited.  It is a much nicer feeling having an area fenced before buying animals vs buying the animals first and frantically trying to fence them in (like we did with our dogs and cows).   Since finances are tight, I am trying to figure out the most economical meat source to raise.

Kissing the Lamb

Kissing the Lamb

My math formula is “cost of purchase + Cost of butcher + cost of packaging / average lbs of meat”. . .  I haven’t taken into consideration the taste of the meat.  Rabbits seem to win because I got the rabbits free and don’t have to pay much for feed.  I got my chicks free as well, but the feed is about 5 dollars a week for 6 months for 30 chicks. . . .

Baby Llama At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Llama At Aunty Bears Farm

Llama– 30 (purchase) + 75 (butcher) + 78 (processing 100 lbs) / 100 (amount of meat) = 1.30 /lb

Mini Cow– 600 + 75 + 156 \ 300lbs = 2.70/lb
big cow– 1400 + 75 + 312 / 600lbs = 2.98 /lb
sheep–  50 + 50 + 32 / 60 = 2.68 /lb
deer– 0 + 75 + 78 / 150 =1.02 lb
rabbits–20+0= basically free
chickens– 120 (feed 30 chicks 6 months) / 78 lbs (2.6lb meat per 4 lb bird) = 1.53

 

Baby  At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby At Aunty Bears Farm

It seems that raising a few milk goats vs a milk cow would work better for us as well considering the cost of purchase (which is high for both of them) and gestation times.  Unless of course our baby yearling heifers are fertile, and then I would have plenty of milk and the equation would look like this.

300 (purchase and milk replacer cost) +75+312/600=1.14 which is cheaper than my llama.

Mama Llama At Aunty Bears Farm

Mama Llama At Aunty Bears Farm

 

Bummer Lambs A Delight!! The Good Shepherd!!!

I was so nervous to get my first batch of bummer lambs.

Baby Lambs

Baby Lambs

 

I only did it because my eleven year old kept begging me, and because the lambs were cheap (30 dollars each).  I researched, and researched the day before they came and finally resorted to expressing my worries on facebook.  Immediately I got messages of reassurance.  A whole bunch of my experienced friends shared their own stories of raising bummer lambs as kids or adults (yah, I have cool friends🙂  ).

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

I felt much better, especially when they assured me that I DID NOT have to feed them every two hours and during the night.IMG_8012

The lambs came in a small box.  They were so tiny and noisy.  A few were so new that they still were wobbly on their feet.  For the first three nights I put them in my laundry room bathroom.

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Yucky I know, but I just didn’t want them to be cold and I wanted to be close to them in case they needed me.  I also planned on feeding them ever few hours just like one of the websites said.  Luckily another friend told me after the first night that it was not necessary.

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

I was so happy because I was so tired waking up to feed the little ones.  I did wake up the first two nights (because I felt so sorry for those sweet things) but I didn’t tell my real farmer friends🙂 –They are so much better than google!!

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

I was worried that the lambs would have to be forced to eat but once again, I worried for nothing.  After the first night, the little lambs eat eagerly and with relish!!

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

They are so pretty.  All different kinds of fur and all different colors.  I absolutely love them.

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

Baby Lambs At Aunty Bears Farm

They bring me so much joy watching them, and feeding them.  I now feed them every five hours or so.  They love it and so do I.  I feel so blessed to have them.

The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

We are just like bummer lambs.  We have left the home we know (heaven) to wander in a strange land alone.  We are small and fragile, but the Lord keeps us close.  He is the good Shepherd.  He loves us and he cares.  Each one of us are different but special.  Our differences are unique and He knows us personally.  I am grateful that I have felt so safe in His loving flock.

 

 

Our Baby Lambs

IMG_8016In the heat of the afternoon today my husband is bringing home 6 baby lambs.  They are orphans, called bummer lambs, and are very fragile.  A few are a week old, but a few are just days old and very weak.  I am nervous.  Babies are so fragile, and babies away from their mama’s are more so.  I remember our baby goats being born.  It was on a cold windy sunday.  Bree, the mama gave birth to twins.  A husky boy and a fragile, wispy girl.  We had just driven home from church, hearts still pounding.

Bree and Duffy

As we left a fabulous meeting with Elder Holland, the wind was blowing wildly as we dashed to our car.  Breathless and cold, we were slowly leaving the parking lot when out of the corner of my eye I saw an elderly fall flat on her face.  It happened so fast and was at the other end of the road between two cars that I wasn’t sure that I saw things right.  Obediently my husband didn’t question me and zipped over to where I directed him.  Sure enough, there on the road was an older lady face first.  The wind must have pushed her over as she was trying to cross the street.  Luckily we saw her and we were able to get help to her fast.

Baby Goat

As we came up to our house in our suburban, I noticed Bree’s amazing accomplishment and we all squeeled for joy.  Then I saw the little doe.  It was so tiny and wasn’t moving.  The march winds were so cold.  Jacketless, I ran to her side and gathered her up in my arms and brought her and her shivering brother inside.  Carefully we dried her, laid her on our heated bathroom tiles and tried to get her to drink some milk Zik had just milked out.  That tiny little thing was feisty and refused to drink a thing from us.  Finally after multiple tries we got some milk in her.  For hours we kept her warm, fed her and watched her.  Then it occurred to me that unless I did something fast, I would be getting up all night feeding that girl.

Little Miss Loves Her Babies

Little Miss Loves Her Babies

It didn’t take long to decide to bring mama in the house.  While I fixed the mudroom, the kids herded mama in.  The mama happily fed the boy, but the little girl was too weak to compete with her brother.  For days we would have to pull the boy away to let the doe eat.  After a week of our house smelling like a barn-oh, I mean, after a week of it being a barn (luckily it was so cold outside that there were no flies attracted to our ‘barn’) we moved the family back outside.  I was so happy to have weathered my first birth on The Land (besides puppy births).

Milking Bree For Her New Babies

Milking Bree For Her New Babies

I am hoping that my experience with the goat will help me with these lambs.  I don’t really think I know what I am getting myself  into.  I am supposed to feed these babies EVERY 2 HOURS!!!!  Yikes, let’s hope it all will work out.  I am going to start them out in the shed but have a feeling that I may move them inside fast.