This April has been less hectic than normal here. April is Noah's birthday month. For the past seven years April has also been our biggest month for goat's kidding. So usually I'm up at all hours watching the goat's closely, helping with kidding and then the after care that goes along with balancing a barn full of mama's and their little ones. Most years goats kidding coincides with Noah's birthday which also coincides with chicks hatching, hiving bees and filling up the indoor seed rack. This year our chickens weren't laying when it was time to set eggs. I ended up getting reckless and setting ten Toulouse goose eggs instead....even though I have no idea what I'll do with them if any hatch. I haven't been able to make up my mind about bees. I have the registration form filled out and ready to mail. Each paycheck Dustin get's we've been paying for one big spring/summer expense. Seeds, soil and fertilizer, check. Noah's soccer, check. Avery's creative dance camp, check. Chicks and chick food, check. Next in priority is swim lessons followed by either another camp Avery wants to go to or Bees.
This has been my spring for indecisiveness in regards to animal husbandry. The reason being, is that we may be moving sometime during the summer or in the fall, hopefully before winter. This homestead we have made our home is beautiful and I love it dearly. I love our view, the warmer winter temperatures, the gorgeous Birch trees all around us. I love our garden and I could just go on and on about how much I value this home and land. We have decided however, that we want full southern exposure, a well and a bigger, finished house with lots of windows. It has to have a garden space. And we'll want to continue to keep layers and honey bees.
I wrote recently of shifting priorities. I want Dustin to be able to spend his evenings and weekends with us doing fun things and not repairing fences, building or fixing animal shelters and all the other odd homesteading chores that pile up. I want to spend most of my energy homeschooling, keeping house and planning fun activities and trips for my family.
The dilemma remains; how is one to plan a garden and and the summer livestock raising and butchering schedule when you don't know if and when you may be moving? I'll be taking it easy this summer. We currently have nine new layer chicks in the chicken house. The current layers are doing well. We will butcher them in the fall. We may or may not toss in a few meat chickens into the mix. And if I pick up bees, I'll be hiving them at a friend's house in town.
Here are some pictures of our last couple weeks:
First goat kids of the season, at a friend's.
Noah, tapping Birch trees.
Birthday Boy! Nine years old!
Xanadu kidded to a nice pair of twins, one buckling and one doeling. Her seventh season kidding! Zuri and Denali also kidded two twins, also a buckling and doeling each. Ember kidded to a single buckling and is a great first time mom. All does and kids are doing well.
Noah helping make his birthday cheesecake.
Kids reading dad their journals and showing off their workbooks from this past year. They finished writing their last journal entry this morning.
We have had such a great home schooling year. I'll have to sum it up in an upcoming entry. We still have about five weeks left to go before we start letting up a bit for our summer schedule, camps and planting the garden.