I did do a quick glance at things I had posted here before and realized how much our lives have changed since I last posted. I will do a quick update for all of you but I guess the best way to catch up would be to visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheBullsPen
First big change is that our kids are no longer the tiny munchkins I saw from the garden post of 3 and a half years ago. The oldest will be turning 10 this year, it just seems unreal! They have since all grown and are now in school all day (no Pre-K, 1/2 days any longer) making Mommy miss them very much during the day. They have moved on from each other a little bit too. They have very different opinions of things, friends and even needs. Thankfully they all still have the love we taught them for each other and memories to last a lifetime with more made daily.
Life has been a roller coaster the last few years and we have been very busy enjoying the ride, most of it that is. A big factor in the lack of post here and even my facebook was that I became sick about 2yrs ago, I was having horrible acid reflux. I was doing my best to treat it with medicine and diet but was just having no luck. I was having horrible pains all the time (not my gallbladder that was checked a few times) and burning in my throat, for someone who was rarely sick it was horrible. It felt like I was swallowing hot matches all the time and also had the taste of a freshly lit match in my mouth all the time, if that can put it into prospective for you. Eating was almost something I didn't want to do as it only made all the symptoms worse. After countless trips to many doctors, loads of Rxs and finally a surgery on my stomach Sphincter I am finally starting to feel better. I'm sure quitting smoking before I became sick helped me feel better as well and may also have been the cause of the problem but what is done is done I guess. Unfortunately I now have Barrettes Esophagus as a result of it all and am doing my best to prevent any further damage and moving on with our life that we love so here.
Another Big change for us is that this year I decided with finally feeling better and all our kids are in school all day I should also find a job. In April it will be 10yrs since I took my maternity leave for the Oldest Daughter and never looked back at work again. I loved every minute being a stay at home mom allowed me with my babies and would do every bit of struggling (money wise) again. As for what to do for employment we decided that I should be part time only right now because with the cost of daycare we could not afford to pay someone to take care of the kids all summer, on vacations and weekends and still make a profit from me getting a job. Not only that but since the Hubby has a great job with great benefits I need to be available to take care of our critters most of the time. So what type of part time job fits the description, substituting at the school works pretty well. I have social/adult interactions, time off when I need it (gardening season), I can say when I can and cant work and summers off, works perfect for us right now and then I still get to see my kids when I do work. Win, Win!
As for everything else around here well let me start with the basics again.
|Oreo and Heidi|
We still have the goats Heidi and Oreo, we still have Sparkles the bunny and some ducks (only one, Duck Duck is from the babies hatched a few years ago). We have since raised 2differnt sets of pigs for eating and are looking into this years pork already. Lastly is the indoor critters, we still have all of them (cat, dog, turtle) and last year added a few more in the form of 3gold fish and a hermit crab thanks to our big winnings at the county fair (the kids loved winning critters).This year we are going to be assisting our 4-H club in pheasant raising and are in the process of getting things ready for them so add those to the list of temporary critters. We plan to fulfill the Oldest Daughter's wish of getting a few turkey and we are also looking into getting a couple of beef cows. So I guess animals will always be a part of the Bull family.
The link here is to just some of the items they/we made last weekend:
|We have 14 members (1missing from photo) in the Team Clover 4-H Club|
Leaving GS was fine with me as I can teach them more of the way of life we live and why in 4-H and the benefits of it over how to sell some unhealthy cookies. I liked the morals behind GS, don't get me wrong but as for our local GS it just seemed things were more about troop secrets then troop sharing/helping than actually teaching the morals of GS. GS was becoming a lot of BS quickly for me so I was thrilled when the girls no longer wanted to do it. This also gave us the option to do something with all of our kids and not just me and the girls and the Hubby and our son.
|The Garden in 2012|
The Garden and may I say Wow after seeing my last garden post I almost laughed at the size of the garden. We have increased it twice since the last post and even plant in places other then our garden to be sure we can produce enough goodies to get us through till the next growing season. Still find it amazing at all the food we grew in such a small garden all those years. To think had it not been for the moodiness that came during the pregnancy of our 2nd daughter I may have never ripped out the brush and started digging here for our first garden to begin with. Funny how life changes when you are never expecting it.
Also in the last 2yrs I have also taken a lot to preserving more of what we grow and raise. We can freeze most of the garden but it takes lots of freezer space. I decided to try a new idea and now Pressure canning is not a frightening thing as it once was and with the freezer full of meat we raised it just makes sense to can the vegetable for preserving. I have to say my favorite pressure canned veggie is carrots, plain carrots no salts or anything.....Delish!
Well that should get everyone up to date for the most part and I really hope to try to post more frequently here. Even have a post planned for tomorrow should things work out the way I hope.