About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Make your own baby food...seriously do it!

After I had Henry and Addie the time quickly approached when they were onto eating food. I bought the baby food at the store and quickly found myself spending a small fortune on this tiny little person who hardly ate anything!! But for some reason I was fully convinced that if I fed them anything other than the food provided by Gerber that my child wouldn't develop properly... Fast forward a few years and now we have George. First off I dont have it in my grocery budget to afford all those tiny little jars of mush and also I have found too much research on how it really isnt that good for your baby either. 
I started George on food at 9 months old and he progressed from the blended food right into everything else quite quickly! Within a month or two he had plenty of teeth that I was just feeding him small cut up pieces of whatever we were having for dinner. I remember it being so much more of a challenge when dealing with all the blended jars of baby food for Henry and Addie. 

I wanted to start him out on squash. So I had saved a butternut squash from last years garden and I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and baked it at 350 for 45 minutes or so (till it super soft). He liked the squash, but LOVED carrots!! I did them the same way!
It really doesnt get much easier than this!! 

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes!!

Get your plants ready cause its a plantin time!! Well, actually it was planting time several weeks ago, but Im just running REALLY behind! I clipped off all the lower stems to my tomatoe plants several weeks ago and now they are all ready to be in the ground! 
I got my whole locations all set so the tomatoe plants would be right at the drip whole of the dripper line. Then gave each of the kids a shovel to help dig the whole a little bit deeper. 

The tomatoes are doing great!! 

Just a little bit of goat fun!

I adore these little baby goats! I could sit outside and watch them play all day! Well, actually I couldnt because they sleep alot of the time. But then every once in a while they take off through the yard and play for a while!!

They are so curious!

They sneak through the fence to come play in the yard and then scurry back through when they want a little milk or rest!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Honey Leather Boot Protector

Oh do these boots sure take a beating! I pretty much wear them all day everyday. I absolutely love them and I definitely want them to last a LONG time! I bought this Honey Leather boot protector for Bryan for Valentines day, but its proving to be more beneficial for me! I read a lot of reviews and this is by far the most highly recommended and I agree! Look at the difference...they look almost new once they are all shined up!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Niece Laken

Here is my niece Laken. She is SO ridiculously photogenic! I love taking pictures of her. 
She has also recently decided that when she grows up, she wants to "have a farm like Aunt Abby". 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Goat time! Baby Goat Pictures are so FUN!!

 Henry and Addie wanted to build the goats a playground...so they did! There are boards and ramps all over the place! The little baby goats absolutely love it! Now Peaches and Poppy seem quite annoyed by the "playground", its quite funny. They just go off to another part of the yard and lay under the tree...I call it "Mommy goat time". 

This little buckling is hilarious! He will make a great service buck for anyone wanting to start a Nigerian Dwarf herd. He already prances around like he owns the place ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grafting Tomato Plants...how NOT to do it!

So I said I would keep you all updated and share my grafting progress. 
Well, I love to learn and I sure learned a lesson here... I'm still not sure what I did wrong...but this is the ONE graft that is still alive! ONE! I am definitely going to try grafting again here soon because I want to get to the bottom of what I did wrong!

 This plant better be extremely vigorous because it has all the research for my grafting laying on it alone! 

Who wants to snuggle a baby goat!! I DO I DO!!

Addie couldn't be happier!! She adores all these new little babies!

 I have to make sure to keep the goat barn cleaned out with fresh hay quite regularly...not necessarily for my goats, but for my kids! They are constantly climbing in there to hold the babies!

Henry has named this little guy "Zoomer"...wish we could keep little Zoomer, but he will be going to another home soon. Now I completely understand why people end up with a ton of goats...you just want to keep them ALL!!

Its like a Kitten...you just want to hold and snuggle them all the time!!

Now, if you knew this little boy, this picture would be ALL THE MORE precious!!! He is all boy, full of energy and very intense...He is Grant! When he held this little goat it made my heart melt. He snuggled it close and was so sweet! Of course that didnt last long and he was off running with Henry in no time! But my goodness, does it get any more precious than this!!??!

 And his dear sister Taylor!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oven Roasted Garlic SO easy SO delicious!!

This is so easy and absolutely delicious!!  If you like garlic then you HAVE to try this!!

Select fresh garlic that is nice and firm...

Cut off the tops about 1/4 inch...dont cut off too much!!

Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top of each bulb...

Cover with parchment paper...

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes...depending on how soft and roasted you want it...

Let it cool and those little soft cloves of garlic will slip right out of their bulbs and will add a burst of flavor to any dish it joins!

Mint Double Chocolate Stout won 2nd Place in local brew competition

We seriously have the best neighbors!!! They are all very nice and fun to hang out with... not mention the fact that they let us have a mini farm in our backyard!!

Our next door neighbor Eric hosts the regular "brew day" where these 5 crazy guys get together to experiment and concoct the most delicious home brew beer!! In fact, they actually just WON 2nd place in our local brew competition for their Mint Double Chocolate Stout!!! I must say that it is a VERY unique and delicious beer. 
Way to go guys! Now its 5:00pm...I think Ill go enjoy one of those right now!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Peaches had her babies!!! 1 Doeling and 1 Buckling April 17, 2012

 I seriously dont think there is a more precious goat than my little Peachy Peach. I just love how sweet and affectionate she is...as well as being a fabulous milker and excellent mommy!
Last tuesday Peach was acting mighty uncomfortable and I knew she was quickly approaching the birth of her babies. I talk to our breeder who told me that is she is showing all the signs of labor then I could go ahead and give her "Magic Goat formula" (1 part molasses, 1 part oil, 2 parts corn syrup)...the sugar gives a boost to the system as well as the added energy to go into labor. After giving her the formula it was only a few hours and she was hunkered down in the barn ready to deliver her babies. 

Now let me add here how drastically different Peaches and Poppy are during birth...Poppy sure wants everyone and I mean everyone in the world to know that she is in pain and about to give birth. Then there is Peach, just so extremely quiet! She only cried out a few times and that was in the moments she was pushing out the babies. I sat with her just about all weekend to make sure I was there to help her if there were any complications. After the events of last year I didnt want her to be all alone and end up loosing one of her babies. So finally the moment was here...as were some of our friends who were intensely excited to see their first goat birth!!

 Peach did great!! The first baby to come out was a little white and black female with blue eyes! This baby was by no means small!! I was so shocked at how big she was and within a few seconds that tiny little baby was up walking around...seconds!! She is so extremely strong! She was heading for milk from mommy before Peach even had a chance to push out baby #2! Within 5 minutes her second baby was here and it was a precious little tri-colored blue eyed male!

 I have never seen such a precious bond between an animal and her babies! Peach just LOVES these 2 little goats! And Ill be honest, I just about cried too! Shes had her babies almost a week and hasnt let them out of her sight! Whereas Poppy makes an escape and hides every chance she can get...but she also has 4 babies runnin after her for milk and Peach only has the 2. 

My friend Rebecca took the above birthing pictures and she did a FABULOUS job! She took some amazing/shocking but VERY impressive pictures of the actual birth...I wont post those on the blog though ;)

Here they are!!!! This picture was taken the morning after they were born...just SO soft and adorable!

This little buckling was sold immediately! A family snatched him up right away to be there startup herds service buck. 

 He has absolutely beautiful coloration and just a precious temperament...like his mamma!

 Then there is this gorgeous doeling!! She is so wonderful! I love her coloration and her cute pink nose...not to mention she has blue eyes and is polled (no horns and will never grow horns). 

I couldnt be happier for my little Peachy Peach!