The End Of “Just The Four Of Us”

~Life changes, but memories don’t.
The ability to tell a story through a single image is something I have always loved and have tried to do with my artwork, paintings and drawings mostly, but to capture the feel of a moment and to portray what it is to be in that moment with a picture has consumed my creative energy lately!

Capturing a moment is something I have fallen in love with these last few months. The ability to tell a story through a single image is something I have always loved and have tried to do with my artwork, paintings and drawings mostly,

but to capture the feel of a moment and to portray what it is to be in that moment with a picture has consumed my creative energy lately!

Apple blossoms yellow house.JPGMaybe it is my slower paced lifestyle due to my ever growing baby belly that has me noticing things in a different light and appreciating them more. It is so important to slow down and live in the moment! Why don’t I remember this more often and not just when I am forced to move slower?

rhubarbprissyThis new-found outlet for my never-ending creative juices is the perfect venue for me now that I am in my ninth month of pregnancy with my husbands request that I “take it easy” and wait for our new little one to join the family.

Judy Spring 2017.2.JPGTaking a step back after a busy two weeks of finishing the bedroom remodel, freshening up the nursery, shopping and more shopping for baby and “helping” Drew plant the gardens, I have been reflecting this week on this time in our life as a family and how it is coming to the end of “us four” and soon it will be the FIVE OF US!  A whole new chapter!

growingup3I decided to document this “moment in time” with pictures of our daily life together on our place and it has left me feeling so very grateful for what I have been given and this time we have had together.Drew brushingThere is a sense of sadness for me knowing this part of our life, just the four of us, is coming to an end and yet there is so much joy and anticipation for the new life we will have together as a family with the arrival of baby!

reflectionsI had the same feelings of reservation just before Caleb (our youngest) was to join the family now almost five years ago.

young hensWe had stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream and drove home the back way on the gravel roads of our township, talking while we ate our cones with little four year old Carter in the middle of the bench seat of the truck. There I was 8 months pregnant with Caleb, wind blowing through the open windows just us three together and I was so happy!

Carter mud puddle Then the thought came over me, this could be one of the last times it was just Drew, Carter and I together! “Us three” would never be just “us three” again and with no idea what the future would be like with a new one added to the family I was saddened and was afraid of our little family changing.

Why, I wonder do we hang on to the past so much when the future has so much to hold? 

brothers.JPG

Dwelling in the past is just silly when you don’t know what is in store for the future right? Well, once again I have had my little moment of dwelling in the past and being sad for just a little bit about leaving this time of our life behind, now I am ready to fling open the door to the our future and welcome this new life together as a family of five!

I had both the boys early, Carter was born four weeks early and Caleb was five weeks early….Right now with this little one we have four weeks to go and its hard not to think constantly about how it really could be anytime now! With that thought in my mind I am living in the moment now more than ever, enjoying my boys and trying to capture the feel of this moment right now with “just the four of us” in my memory and with my camera!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

Fargo Creamery Open For Business

That is much of the draw to living the country life and you really do end up living out those peaceful moments in your day to day on the farm. But it is also the security one gains from NOT relying on others to feed or provide for their family and this creates a distance from the chaos and demands of the world and a place for your kids to explore and learn in nature.

brian2Near most small rural towns here in Wisconsin, there used to be a creamery just about every 10 miles down the road. Dairy farmers had a place to sell their milk to and families had a place to buy dairy products if they didn’t make them at home already for themselves. Right down the road was the Fargo Creamery and the Liberty Pole Creamery past that and the list grows from there as you drive through the small towns you can still pick out the old creamery buildings that are now houses or businesses.

 Around these parts you don’t have to look very far to find someone to talk with who’s family owned one of these country creamery’s. It is a big piece of our local history and I am thinking I should re-open the Fargo Creamery! Buy Drew a herd of cows and just start making cheese and butter to sell! What do you think?Video Camera Pictures 156.jpg

Noooooooo…..Opening a creamery is not really a dream of ours…Right now anyway! But never say NEVER right? With our own family milk cow we are running our own farmhouse kitchen creamery everyday!waterbath

We have been in full production here on the farm since our dairy cow calved about a two months ago, causing my kitchen to feel more like a creamery than part of our home! It has been keeping me busy every morning and it is a challenge I have learned from so much in the past. As with so many other homesteading tasks like making bread, daily barn chores or gardening, with practice comes efficacy. Thankfully the time spent in the kitchen is less and less these days, as the process has become second nature to me after years of trial and error.calfPrissy our dairy cow is giving 38 lbs of milk per milking, that’s 8 gallons of milk a day and the last few days she has been giving closer to 10! I am trying my best to use up as much of that as possible by making fresh yogurt, homemade butter and buttermilk, fresh mozzarella and other soft cheeses (so far, no hard cheeses in the press yet) and of course milk to drink and bake with. But even with the addition of five piglets to raise up on milk, we are still dumping a few gallons a day.growingup4It is one of my favorite times of the year on our farm when we buy young stock, like piglets and chicks! These cute little porkers are spoken for already and will fill orders as milk-fed pastured hogs that we will sell to friends and family. We buy them from a local creamery that raises them on milk and whey from their cheese making operation and we buy them at this young age and continue to raise them up on grain and milk until the fall when they are fed out and ready to be butchered.may

Ever thought of having your own family dairy cow?

The 8 gallons of milk that our cow gives a day is somewhat exceptional, and a more average amount that you would most likely get from having your own dairy cow would be about 4 gallons a day. Our somewhat “high production” milker is a three-year old milking shorthorn who gets a little grain to get her in the barn and high quality hay. We spend $8.00 a week on feed for her and she gives us wonderful sweet milk filled with high amounts of cream. She is easy to milk and she is a real asset to our farm. Her calves are raised up as future dairy cows or beef. Having a dual purpose breed cow on a small homestead is a great way to raise animals. A family dairy cow is a wonderful way to feed a family with all the dairy products you can make and it brings so much more to a farm than just milk!

Finding and using recipes that call for milk are a great way to incorporate all the milk your homestead cow will give you. You don’t have to learn how to make cheese to have owning a dairy cow be a profitable venture for your family, though I did just go grocery shopping for the month yesterday and saved $50 dollars that I usually spend on cheese, dairy products and milk because we are now making all that again on the farm.breadintheoven I make our bread for the week using a wonderful recipe called Farmhouse Milk Bread, it is a very old recipe that dates bake to the Victorian era and it uses milk just like the name implies. 

sunset

Homesteading Makes Sense.

I think people desire a slower paced lifestyle and ALL the perks that come with it because they can see the common sense of it as a whole. Raising your own food and having gardens bursting with produce and barns filled with animals brings a sense of nostalgia and reminds us of a simpler time that was slower paced and peaceful. That is much of the draw to living the country life and you really do end up living out those peaceful moments in your day-to-day on the farm. But it is also the security one gains from NOT relying on others to feed or provide for their family and this creates a distance from the chaos and demands of the world and a place for your kids to explore and learn in nature.

Beyond the dairy products and the step back from busy life your farm will simply be more productive in all areas by adding a dairy cow to it. Each year your cow will can give you a calf to sell, raise to eat for beef or keep on as your next milk producer, it will also provide manure for the gardens, milk for other farm animals to be raised on and will maintain the pastures. The whey from the cheese making is poured on garden beds for added nutrients. The used bedding from the barn pens goes right back into the gardens and your neighbors will be looking on in envy of all the amazing amounts of vegetables your well nourished gardens produce! Your freezer and pantry shelves fill up with all the production from your farm. The chores done at the same time every day result in well cared for animals that are healthy and grow faster. Farm buildings even last longer when they have animals in them. You also gain a family member as everyone knows a family dairy cow is one of the gentlest animals you can have around kids, gentle and sweet, she is also the boss of the barnyard to the other animals and a companion to you, she will greet you each time she see’s you!

It is a beautiful circle of life on the homestead all because of a dairy cow!image

The amazing productive circle this creates along with the peacefulness and happiness that occurs when you work hard to do things for yourself grows your family together. The results from all that “hard work” pays you back in more than the money saved. Once you get into a good routine and learn how to use up milk it is not hard at all, it becomes second nature!

What do you think? Time to buy a dairy cow for the farm?

Thanks for reading!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.