Taken for Granted

Most modern American families have washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, blenders, refrigerators, cars, and many more such modern conveniences. We often forget to appreciate these inventions that do the job for us, giving us more time to spend with family, work and play. Just think if you had to walk or take a horse everywhere you needed to go? Or if you had to wash your clothes by hand? What are taken for granted even more are inventions such as electricity, clean running water, electric or gas stoves to cook our food, a bathtub or shower, and flush toilets. There are many in our world who live without such blessings.

After 6 years of daily using an outhouse, we now have indoor plumbing! What a luxury to have, especially on cold winter nights! Think about the everyday modern conveniences you take for granted, and take a moment to be thankful for what you have!

Homegrown Baby Chicks

Introducing our 14 new baby chicks that just hatched last week!

We discovered the two hens sitting on 32 eggs in our laying boxes. So we moved them with 10 eggs each to a better place where they could brood without disturbing the rhythm of the rest of our hens. We set them up with food and water in their own large separate cages, inside a well insulated and protected shed.  After 21 days of patiently sitting on their eggs, both of our broody hens had 7 baby chicks each.

Baby Chicks 2We were privileged with the experience of watching one of the chicks hatch out of its shell. It stumbled along but the mother hen just left it alone as it found its way into the world. The kids were in awe as they witnessed this tiny miracle

If you have ever bought pullets in the spring and raised your own chicks using a brooder, then you know how much work it it just to keep the chicks warm, safe and fed. When you let a broody hen sit on her eggs, once they hatch she does most of the work. We make sure the chicks have a high protein crumble food and access to water at all times. But the mama keeps them warm and protected, even from us sometimes.

Most people who raise chickens get rid of broody hens or kick them off their eggs. We get excited when we dicover a broody hen, then help them get set up, and stand back and watch nature run its course. Of course, don’t forget you need a rooster and fertile eggs to actually get chicks in the end. 😉


Learning to Mill

Noah decided to teach our very enthusiastic seven year old son how to opperate the sawmill. They started with a scotch pine log salvaged from the town of Taos, New Mexico.

Milling Young

They put on ear protection and started making lumber. Then they sticker stacked the lumber to let it dry and cure, ready for the next project. I believe our little apprentice is hooked.



From Trash to Greenhouse

Ever wonder what to do with your old plastic juice jugs? The sun and wind in northern New Mexico can be brutal on seedlings and we needed to give our plants some better protection this year. After a long cold spell, the days finally warmed up and we were able to transplant our seedlings to our outdoor garden. While a greenhouse is the ultimate solution, it just didn’t fit in our plans this year. We heard about an idea to reuse clear plastic containers as miniature greenhouses. So we rumaged through our recycling bin, cut off the bottoms of our juice jugs and carefully covered our new arrivals. Then we munched with straw to help hold in the moisture. We were able to rest easy when the hot sun, the wind, and even hail arrived.Try it out, could be that simple idea you were waiting for…

Our children had a lot of fun helping create and plant our garden this year. They watched their seedlings sprout and grow inside, and they are now continuing to care for them along with the rest of our family garden outside. It is a great activity for any family to grow a garden together, even if it is just a few seeds in a pot.

Every man’s dream


What man hasn’t dreamed of building his own log cabin in the mountains? For some you can never start too early in life.

Our seven year old son disapeared one afternoon, and we discovered he had found his own plot of land, hauled in all his own logs and began constucting his log cabin. As parents, we were greatly encouraged by and proud of his choice in activity, using many skills we have taught him, and even recruiting his younger sisters to help. We are so blessed to live where our children can step out their door and actively explore the natural world around them.

Ready for Rain?

Living on water catchment has made us more aware of how to be good stewards of the water we are given with each storm. Considering how little moisture we get, we have learned how important it is to be set up to collect as much as we can from every roof. When we heard about a possible storm bringing rain to Northern New Mexico, we installed another 1650 gallon water cistern to collect water off the roof over our shop and sawmill. The storm should be here tonight and we got the gutters up just in time!