"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Merry Milkmaid

Hello, friends,

recently posted about cutting back on blogging...for the simple reason that my life is getting busier.
And since this isn't a money-making blog, it will get put on the back burner quite often. It just isn't a necessity in my life. 

But back to the busyness....
There are some specific reasons why my life is about to get even busier.

For one thing, Mimi begins Ambleside Online yr1 this fall. Prepping for and homeschooling 5 children is going to be very time-consuming. I am already in the process of getting books for next year.

For another, gardening season is just around the corner. Yippee!  :)

Also, (and this is the big one !) the Lord has provided us with something we've wanted for some time... dairy goats!  

Here's the story...  

My husband and I have often talked about getting dairy goats, but they always seemed so pricey. We prayed off and on about it and that's as far as it went. We try to be as self-sustaining as possible. And we loved the thought of becoming less dependent on our local Walmart for groceries. But the high prices of goats in our area always discouraged us.
Then, last month, I got a call from a dear friend (thanks again, Shana!) who knows someone who knows someone that was trying sell some of her dairy goats to down-size her herd. The price was unbelievably cheaper than any we had seen.
So prayed. 
And waited.
And prayed. 
And He answered.
The goats arrive this evening.  We are getting 2 mamas and 2 (bottle-fed) babies.   Imagine: our very own fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt! (I can't eat cow dairy products, but I can have dairy products from a goat, so this will be a real treat for me to finally be able to drink milk.)
We are beyond excited! I'm talking sleepless-nights-because-we're so-excited  excited.  :)
But my excitement has been tempered with some doubts..."Can I take care of goats?"  "Will I have time to milk twice a day?" and on and on...
So the research began - online and I also bought the book, Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, and read it cover to cover...several times. I have learned so much, but I know there is more to learn.

There was alot of work to be done to prepare for their arrival. My husband and children worked so hard to build the barn and put up the fencing. The entire project took about 2 weeks. Hubby would come home from work, eat, then head outside with the boys to work til dark.
  Here are some photos of the construction....

Planting the cedar posts.

The boys dug all six post holes in 2 hours! Love my men!  :)
The girls helped, too, by filling in the holes with dirt.

Roof is on, walls are framed, and windows are installed.

Ian loved using the circular saw.

Two stalls in the front, and a milking parlor in the back.

The boys built the gates for the stalls.

While discussing what type of barn to build, I casually mentioned that I have always loved Dutch doors.
My dear husband didn't just make one - he made two! (Love that man!)

A very sturdy milking stand.

Yay for electricity!  :) (My husband thinks of everything!)

 Putting up the fencing.

All finished.  I love it. this whole thing was truly a family project. Hubby even put me to work pulling electrical wire. Fun, fun!
Everything is ready, so
bring on the goats!
I'll be posting photos of our new family members as soon as possible.  But if you don't hear from me for awhile, don't worry. I'll be in the barn.  ;)

" You shall have enough goats' milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants." 
~Proverbs 27:27

Have a blessed day, everyone.
The Merry Milkmaid   ;)


  1. All of us without handy husbands sigh when we read about such things. You are blessed and I love the photos of your beautiful view. I wish I had me some cows, but my eleven year old is the only other one pining for all things farm.

    1. Dear Christine,
      I am so very thankful for my husband! And you're right - our view isn't too shabby, either. ;)
      the milking begins tomorrow. Yikes! I hope my swollen and painful hands can do it!
      So glad you stopped by.
      Have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.

  2. You can easily take care of a goat if you have food, water and FENCES :) It is my 11 year old's sole responsibility. She also has read and owns the Storey's Guide to Raising goats over and over again! That is very exciting for your family (and you to have dairy again)! Fresh goat's milk is really good! Also, we made some ice cream with the goats milk and honey and it was a tasty, guilt free dessert :)

    1. Thanks so much for the encouraging words, my friend. My children will be a big help with this endeavor, I am sure. :)
      Many blessings,

  3. Lisa... all that is soooo beautiful! Mimi will learn herself through year 1, :), and you will do GREAT with the goats. It is in you to learn fast about animals, gardening, and all things homey and poetic.


    1. Dear Silvia,
      It's so wonderful to have you stop by.
      Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I needed to hear them. :)
      Much love to you, my friend.

  4. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." Ephesians 3:20

    This is such a beautiful picture of how Christ loves His church. I know it's a great sacrifice for my husband to come home from a hard day's work and work until sundown on something for the family and I'm sure it's the same for yours. And it sounds like your hubby did more than you were thinking in putting the electricity in. He thought of everything for his bride, just like Christ has done for us. What a beautiful example for your children!

    I think you'll be up for the challenge of raising goats. I'm sure it's like every other challenge in life that brings reward: there's a learning curve but once you get the hang of it the rewards are great and many. I think this experience will provide much more than dairy for your family. God's blessings on you all as you dig in!

    1. Hi Charlene,
      This verse is one of my (many) favorites.
      Thanks for opening my eyes to how this project is a picture of Christ's love for the Church; I had never thought of it like that. And I will definitely tell my children, too. I have a bad case of "goat-on-the-brain" - lol, and sometimes I'm not thinking about much else. However, I did repeatedly thank my husband and children for all their hard in building the barn and putting up the fencing.
      And hopefully that "learning curve" won't last too long. ;)

  5. Oh Lisa, how exciting! I'm so excited for you all!!! What fun! And I can't wait for pictures! Yes, you will be even busier, in a fun & sufficient way.

    We use to have Angora goats that I had high hopes of shearing, carding, & spinning the mohair myself, but found that to be more than what I dreamed and then when grain prices shot up and our shearer was retiring a few years ago, we sadly sold them. I contemplated dairy goats and know what you mean with the price, but decided that milking goats in minus 20° winters was not my idea of fun and that perhaps the work out-weighed the benefit for us, but at times I'm sorry I didn't get dairy goats. At least I have a source for raw cow milk. And my beloved quickly converted our goat pen into a tack room, so as to discourage me from filling our barn with all sorts of animals, haha. This spring we are looking at building a bigger chicken coop so that will be my excitement.

    I do wish for you the best and hope you won't be away too much and that you will supply me with lots of fun goatie pictures. Btw, I love seeing your family in spring wear as I sit here looking at another winter storm about to bear down on us today. I know I need to order garden seeds, but it seems so far away yet, but I praise God for the much-needed moisture. Have a GRAND week my friend! ♥

    1. Dear Jane,

      Early on, the thought of the extra responsibility/work/time involved in this new venture really stressed me out. But at the same time, I knew that this opportunity was straight from the hand of the Lord. And although it will take time and effort to become an efficient milker, I am loving every minute of it. :)

      How exciting to be expanding your chicken coop! We love our chickens. We are getting ready to hatch out some baby chicks as soon as the girls get broody.

      Have a wonderful week, my friend! :)

  6. Wow, that is amazing! I grew up taking care of goats, it is a fun experience...

    1. We're loving this new adventure so far, Stephanie. And the milk is delicious. :)

  7. Congrats on the goats and the amazing goat barn! We had hoped to take on this venture as well this year, but alas, it was not to be. I'll vicariously be a milkmaid through your adventure here. :) Maybe next year will be my turn... In the meanwhile, let me send you to Amy at Homestead Revival; she's been raising goats for a while and has all sorts of wonderful info that you are sure to find helpful: http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-give-herbal-remedies-to-goats.html

    Blessings! ~Lisa

  8. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks so much for the blog info. I have already visited and love it - so much wonderful info. And I love the natural approach that Amy uses.

    Yes, maybe next year will be your year for goats. Until then, come "visit" if you need a goat fix - I'll be posting lots of photos. :)

    Have a wonderful Tuesday, my friend. :)

  9. I can understand about putting blogging "on the back burner." I don't post as much as I used to anymore either. When our lives change, sometimes certain activities much be reduced. I'm slowly learning this lesson with my own life.

    I'm glad to hear that the Lord has blessed you with the goats you have been wanting. Take care, and remember to try and get some rest throughout your busy days.


    1. Dear Mara,
      Rest is really hard to come by these days, but I am loving being a goatherd - so far. :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
      Hope your day is blessing-filled!


Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from my readers, and your thoughts are welcome. And I try my best to respond to each and every comment. :)