"....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   ;)