A Lunatic Encounter and other Fall Fun

Last week it was strangely warm, even by my friend visiting from South Carolina’s standards. This week it truly feels like fall! Saturday morning we got up and tossed up a few ideas before loading up and driving to Kansas. I had free wristbands to the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka and we decided to take advantage.

We really wish we had left Friday and enjoyed the whole weekend, but we only attended Sunday. Though, we were one of the first dozen cars there and chased out at the end by 3 security guards! More about that later. 😉

Our break point on the way was the Turtle Playground in St. Louis and dinner. I was so sad that we didn’t get to eat at Tucanos (they had a 2 hr wait), but that’s ok. The boys enjoyed the day very much, even if they did drive us crazy in the car! lol!!

We stayed on the Kansas side of Kansas City, arriving about 10PM. Kansas City is MASSIVE,, by the way. City lights stretched for MILES!

We left after packing up and breakfast for the last hour leg of out trip. The country side really spread out, but there were still lots of trees! The doors at the Expocenter wouldn’t open until 9AM, but we were there, waiting, before many distributors even arrived. Matt and I flipped through the paper schedule, trying to decide what talks would be best and which booths demanded a visit.

The first talk of the day was at 9:30, Salad Bar Beef, by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Matt really wanted to catch this one (I did, too), but I felt it pertinent to catch the Garlic Talk, since we have 6 lbs to plant this week. We decided to divide and conquer. Though I learned a bit, Matt’s texting of messages like , “This man is a genius!” made me wish I could have heard Joel. Matt and I both read “Folks, this ain’t normal” by Joel Salatin, but hearing him speak is truly an awesome thing, as I would see later in the day when I listened to the final talk, Joel’s Benchmarks of Truth. In between we listened, talked, tasted yummy things, and pet adorable animals.


After the last talk ended, a bathroom break was a must before getting on the road. Then some talking with another homeschool family. As we prepared to walk out, the center was ready to shut us out and start clean up, Joel just happened to be standing in the doorway!! Not only did he autograph Matt’s “Salad Bar Beef” book and take a picture with me, he talked with us 10- 15 min. We all actually had to be asked to leave by 3 different security guards. Joel Salatin is a genius! He is also kind, devoted, full of life, vigor, and creativity. Apparently, according to his bio, he is also a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist Lunatic farmer. It was a pleasure to be amongst a Lunatic Farmer! 🙂


We stopped about halfway through Missouri for the night and made an hour pit stop at the St. Louis Zoo before driving home. The fair was a learning experience and I am thankful we were able to attend.

Yesterday we drove to the farm. It was a great night for camping it the cabin! This morning we had fire-perculated coffee before tilling up a garlic row, asparagus row, and scooping 2 Gator beds full of mud to fill in a low spot in the front yard. It was such a beautiful day!


How is Autumn in your neck of the woods??

Many blessings my friends! ❤











Many of you probably read that I am out of space on my  Der Bauernhof Blog for pictures. If you are a regular reader, you know I LOVE sharing photos. So until I find an alternative (or fill this one, too, lol!) I will put new posts here and share the link on Der Bauernhof.

I love Autumn! I do battle some depression this time of year as we travel through the anniversary of loosing Levi, but there is great joy in this season, too!!

We pick apples, hike in the changing woods and crisp air, and pick pumpkins. In school, the boys and I have been learning all about pumpkins. We talked about how they grow, the difference between gourds and squash, made pumpkin seed art and jack o lanterns, pumpkin goodies, and made our yearly homeschool trip to Goebel Farms.  Enjoy our past few weeks of pumpkin fun!!

After we read the Pumpkin Patch Parable and carved our pumpkins, I cleaned and dyed some seeds with food coloring. I let them sit in a strong dye for 3 days before daring, rinsing, and drying. Then the kids glued them onto a tree outline for a pretty picture.


We read lots of pumpkin books! Gabriel seems to fully understand the difference between Fiction and Non-Fiction. Here is a list of the books we enjoyed this week and last.

  • Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
  • By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert
  • How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara
  • Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson
  • The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
  • Seep, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum
  • The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Nancy Munger

We just love our teary trip to Goebel Farms in Evansville! Jenelle Goebel, a homeschool mama herself, gives a fabulous tour! I just adore the touches of the Lord added. Jenelle made sure to let us know that God helps the pumpkins grow by providing what they need. We learn about wheat, corn, pumpkins, other squashes, and gourds. After, we are taken on a “straw” ride to pick a fruit from the field. When we return, there are corn mazes, a huge barn play area with a slide, animals to feed and love on, apple cider slushies to enjoy, and great friends to visit with. I always enjoy my time out in the field talking with Jenelle about our farm and theirs and her squash suggestions for the year! I am still hooked on Autumn Cup as the yummiest winter squash EVER! I prefer it over pumpkin in most recipes. I love it’s creaminess. It is also sweeter than pumpkin, so I can reduce added sugar in my recipes (usually by half!). Here are some fun shots of our day. I forgot my camera, so excuse the cell shots.


I have plans for LOTS of pumpkins and squashes at Der Bauernhof. I have so many seeds I have saved. Praying next year is the year of the Pumpkin Patch!


I hope all is well for you, dear friends. I have missed blogging. I really hope to figure out a better solution soon. Meanwhile, thank you for reading! Many Blessings!!






Happy New Year!

We spent NYE on the road, in the ER at Riley with Gabriel, my 5 year old, on the road more (about 6 hrs total) with a very cranky, tired grouch of a daddy. Learned nothing new. Got home at 8:30… 😦 Our usual NYE of appetizers, puzzles, games, movies, and cookie baking has been postponed. We will be having a Happy 2016 party tomorrow instead. I will NOT travel and I WILL spend the day in my PJs (and apron).

If you are out and about tonight be safe!!

Please pray the 2 hrs of sleep is going to get my husband through work tonight and home safely tomorrow. K, please??? Happy New Year!


PS- I have a cornbread post, but I will have to share tomorrow! Night!

Horse Progress Days

It was a dreary type of Friday. Light mists, fog, lots of gray. All the better!! As soon as Matt got home from work and changed clothes, we loaded up and headed to Odon, IN. The drive was nice, we had time to chat as a family and listen to our audiobook (We are on #5 in the Little Britches series, by Ralph Moody).

As future small farmers, the thought of doing as much as we can the “Old Fashioned” way is idealistic to us, if not a bit naive at times…lol! We dream of our farm being ran by horsepower! As in 4 legs! Or, more than likely, 8! 2 HP!!! Woohooo! 😀 So, a few weeks ago, when I found out about an event showcasing draft horses at work in the Amish area an hour north of us, I knew we should go!

Being a holiday weekend made it a bit rough with Matt’s crazy work schedule, and he only got 5 or so hrs of sleep today, but we were thrilled to go and wished we could have spent all day. Sadly, we missed the parade of breeds. And the auction proceeding it, which might be a good thing, knowing Matt! Ha!! And we didn’t get to watch as much as we would have liked. It was BIGGER than I expected! People came from all over to attend. Many were Simple Folk. We always feel right comfortable in their company, as their ideals are so much more on track with ours than 90% of America. So we were cramming it in! And if you know my husband, personally, you know he doesn’t avoid good conversation. 10 minutes with the Bee Guy here, 15 with the walk behind tractor guy there, and a nice 20 or so with the Amish gentleman from Iowa!

And did I mention it was muddy? As in I REALLY shoulda wore my rubber boots. But, nope, I went in flip flops. I saw several young Amish ladies barefoot, and the idea was carefully considered on my part, but I decided against it.

There was a playground area, booths, a petting animal tent, and one booth even had a Gypsy Vanner!!! Yes, my friends, it is my dream horse…. ❤ They also had the neatest restore Gypsy Cart! Enjoy the pictures!

We arrived, parked in a pasture, directed by sweet Simple young gals on horseback. We rode a school bus (the boys were ECSTATIC!) to the entry of the event, and from there took a wagon in. Our wagon going in was a pair of mules, coming out was Clydesdales. On the way on the bus, it was neat to see all the buggies grouped together! We had seen plenty of buggies grouped together before, but not HUNDREDS! A sea of them!

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The first stop for us was this lovely High Tunnel green house. The tomatoes!!! Wow!! We plan to see what one would cost for our garden.

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We watched the horse for a bit working the ground with sprayers and such. I apologize that I only had my cell for photos today. I was worried my camera would get rained on! We did get closer than this photo, but I forgot to take any pictures!!! :/


These few are the Gypsy and Petting Animals.

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After we left, we stopped at Stoll’s, an Amish Buffet, for Supper and looked at West Boggs Lake before driving home. It was so nice and cool! A lovely family day!!

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Tomorrow is Independence Day. God Bless America. My prayers for this country are of healing. We are broken right now. How we got here isn’t the concern, only to learn, to unite again. I pray for this fervently. For my children and grandchildren, and so forth. So they can have freedoms, not have them taken. And I pray for those who fight for those freedoms. Amen.

Be safe tomorrow!

On my heart this week….

I am asking you to join me in saying a short prayer, a prayer of guidance. This passage has been on my mind a lot lately.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.- Jeremiah 29:11

But on Sunday morning, I went to the alter with serious prayer on my heart. This is something my family and I have been praying for anyway, but I felt moved to go to the alter and really lay it out for my Lord. I know some of you know this already, but some may not.

About 3 years ago we started looking for a place to build and farm. The first property we looked at was almost perfect, but we decided to keep looking, perhaps it was a mistake. IDK. Anyway, for the past 3 years our view of our farm has grown, just as we have grown. Our family has been through a lot, but we are pushing our way to a place that is good. A place we feel God wants us to be.

Now we know God answers prayer. And Patience is a virtue. And waiting on the Lord can only be good.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.- Psalm 37:7-9

So we just keep looking for our forever farm, asking God to guide us to the one. The place where we can live as we feel God wants us to, and the place where we can do His work. “What good can a small farm do for the Lord?”, you may wonder.

Well, we have plans and ideas. Food is a basic need. We all know that. Our food system is in shambles. If we could just help others to learn… Show kids where food really comes from. Show them how to be nearer to God by getting their hands dirty. Well, I believe we improve a generation with knowledge and love from Christ. Growing food is a miracle, He gave us this miracle. We want to share it.


Will you help us? Pray for us? Pray that we are still on the path He has chosen. That we find the means to see it through?

Thank you.

have. We have a vision; growing as much of our own food as possible.

Isabelle is home!!

It was a long night last night! I couldn’t keep Sawyer and Gabriel asleep, I think they were anxious to see Sissy! But at 3:30, sleep was again interrupted, by the screaming of a chicken! We ran out, barefoot, PJs, Matt lugging a shotgun, me a flashlight, to find our Mama Hen terrified and her feathers pulled out and stuck all over a corner of her pen. Baby Chickie was not to be seen. 😦 Sad, but it is just part of this life.

We got up, rolling out of bed, tired and sore, but ready! We got dressed and headed for breakfast at the little place in Selvin before heading toward KY. It was so early, we didn’t have to be at Higher Ground until 1:30, and we took our time. We made a few stops and followed some for sale signs before finally turning into HGMM’s drive. It was a BEAUTIFUL day! And a comfortable 78 degrees!


Isabelle was right out front when we pulled in. And though she was heading out to saddle a horse, she took time to love on her brothers!!


Meanwhile we took a minute to talk with Sarah and Brystol while the boys had a moment to play before walking down to watch the “Rodeo”! Isabelle was to ride Barrels, so she had to wait while the other teams ran Poles and Keyhole. She already ran those earlier in the day.


Finally the field was prepared for Barrels!! Isabelle was one of the last to run. She had plans to ride Scout, the sorrel she had been riding on and off all week. But someone suggested she just ride Thunder, who she hadn’t been on. Aside from that, she hadn’t got to practice much, since last night when they had scheduled to they were in a cellar waiting for a storm to pass for a few hours. Thunder didn’t quite ride how she expected and she hit a barrel, but I was still PROUD!!


Then she and her friends rode up to the barn so awards could be given at the tent.


The closing ceremony was nice! A picture slide of the week was shown, awards given, and Isabelle’s group read a poem they wrote about Joseph. Isabelle won 2 awards; a small lime green ribbon, her award for “Growing in Grace” and a Champion ribbon awarded for her team winning in Pole Bending. The boys happily played at the playground. 🙂 We visited and walked around a bit. Isabelle had to show off her favorite horse, Checkers! Soon we were saying Goodbye.



Isabelle and I took a short walk, just the two of us. She had dropped her Grace ribbon. It was a nice few moments of Mother and Daughter reflecting. 🙂 She says she enjoyed taking care of horses. And it wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be. Makes this Horse- Lovin’- Mama’s heart smile!



She would like to go back! She had fun, though she was homesick. And I know this was so wonderful for her! I am so thankful to the group at Higher Ground. They are doing God’s work in a powerful way. Brystol is an amazing young lady with a vision and plan that is led by prayer and God’s hand. I am so glad we could be part of it.

Blueberries and a prayer request

On Saturday, as we were driving home, the blueberry patch near us had put their sign out. So, spur of the moment we headed in and picked 2 large buckets of berries! None of us had ever picked blueberries before, so it was super fun. Typically, we just grab already picked ones, but they were sold out.

Gabriel was a great picker! Sawyer picked a handful at a tim, but I don’t think one ever went in the bucket. 😛 We made it great family time! We took our bluetooth speaker and listened to our audiobook while we picked. We are working through the Little Britches series, by Ralph Moody.



We ate a bunch, froze 15 cups, and I made Blueberry Oatmeal crumble bars Saturday and these tarts today. They are shortbread, homemade custard, and blueberry compote. YUM!

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I hope we can get over there one more time this week. We shall see. The heat is pretty brutal this week.

Which brings me to my request. Isabelle and the other campers and staff are out in it most of the day. I pray, and ask that you join me, that they stay as cool as possible and well hydrated. She seems to be having fun! She has a group she “hangs” with! 😀 They are called Sky apparently. I know no other details, though.

She sent me this picture Monday morning. Look at her flowers and nicely made bed!! Proud mama!! Higher Ground posted a picture with her in it yesterday. It can be seen on their FB page!! HGMM


Thanks for your prayers!! Hope you are having a Blessed Week!!!