Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Valentine's Day!

February 14th was a very special day for both Matthew and I because it was our first Valentine's Day that we had a special someone to celebrate with!!!

After several gifts and surprises back and forth between us, we ended the day by going out to eat on a double date with my parents. 

Taking photos....

Group shot...

Excited to be going on a date!

Matthew decided to take me out to the Olive Garden on our lovely Valentine's Day date!  For me, this was a very special decision on his part, because when he was 16 he had made a promise to himself that he would wait to eat at the Olive Garden until he could take someone very special there.  So by taking me there for Valentine's Day, it made it that much more special!

(Happy to be together!)

Mom and I waiting out front.

My wonderful parents.  They were a lot of fun to go out on a double date with and shared some advice about relationships and marriage with us while we were eating.

Matthew and I, sharing a cheesecake.


 After dinner, Savannah, Gram, Noah and Ethan volunteered to milk for us and finish chores, so Mom, Dad, Matthew & I headed over to the river walk in Augusta, GA and enjoyed a nice stroll!  

There were swings set up over-looking the river, so we stopped for a little while to talk and swing.

Enjoying my time with my Valentine...

It was a lovely evening, one that I think we all enjoyed.  It was such a treat to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day with Matthew.  And all the little details that went into making the day extra special were very sweet!

~ ~ ~ 

A big thank you to everyone for all the birthday wishes!  It was a wonderful day! Matthew surprised me by writing up a very sweet birthday post!  He's so thoughtful.  

I'll be posting more details later about it, so stay tuned.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Kelsey turns 24!!!

 Happy 24th Birthday Kelsey!!!

April 4th
 Hi everyone!  This is Matthew hacking into Kelsey's blog; cause I know she's far too modest to write about her own birthday.  ;-)

 Kelsey has grown to be a beautiful godly young woman marked by her attractive and delightful character. She has been such a blessing to know, not just as a courtship partner, but an amazing friend.
Just when I think I've met the perfect girl she somehow surprises me by being more amazing with every passing day.
Kelsey knows when to laugh, smile, cry and pray. She is very sensitive to those she's around and always there to lend a helping hand

I can't describe how happy I am to be courting you Kelsey. God has blessed me immensely in just getting to know you and I can't wait for what the future holds.
Your family and I greatly appreciate you -so much-
We're praying for you and your future.

Favorite Verse:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths
Proverbs 3:5-6

Happy birthday Kels!
Blessings! ~your Beau 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Pictures from Matthew's Visit

Drum roll please!  The pictures from Matthew's visit!

When he first arrived....

Two very thrilled people to be with each other again!

Standing in the kitchen catching up with each other and getting ready to eat.

The first night he was here, there was a full moon, so Noah chaperoned us while we sat and talked on a blanket under the stars and admired the moon.

Matthew playing the Wii with my brothers.

 Dad had put together a list of odd jobs around the house that he needed done, so while Matthew was here, he accomplished most of the list.  Some of the things on the list were....

- Build 2 mineral feeders for the goats
- Fix outlet in kitchen
-Clean up computers
-Replace back door and the framing
-Cut up wood pile
-Order and replace window latches
-Replace back deck
-Help clean pools 
-Stack branches into a burn pile in field
-Replace door knob handle
-Milk with Kelsey
-Make cheese with the girls

Here he is fixing the outlet in the kitchen.  I enjoyed helping him when I could, or simply watching him work.

~ ~ ~

Every Thursday we season our cheese that we take to markets on Saturday, so Matthew jumped right in and helped us on those days, apron and hat and all!

Goofing around!

Very happy to be working with Matthew in the cheese room!

Mr. Cool...

Savannah, Matthew and Mom stirring the cheese.   Us girls always switch back and forth with stirring so that our arms don't get tired, but it became a challenge for Matthew to see how long he could stir two pots of cheese without needing help.  ;-)

The back deck...before

Taking all the boards off.

Two hard working guys!  Ethan is such a goof ball with that prybar. 

Putting the new boards down.

Dad, finishing up with caulking the back door.

Working together....

Wrapping up the cords for the day.

The finished back deck....with a new picnic table.

Milking time...this was probably my favorite time while Matthew was here.  We were able to milk together almost every morning and evening during his month stay.  It was a nice time to talk or goof around while the goats were milking.  We tried singing together, and we enjoyed writing notes on the board for each other.  We even tried to race each other to see who was the fastest at completing their job.  All in all, it was a wonderful time to just simply get to know each other.

We had a great time working together and I would be willing to help Matthew tackle any project.  He made every job enjoyable and he was a lot of fun to be around, even when he was stumped with a problem on one of the jobs.  He just kept thinking about it until he came up with a solution and then worked on it until it was finished!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Newest Member of Trail Ridge Farm & Dairy

Meet Buddy!

Buddy is a Nigerian Dwarf goat.  For years Mom has been wanting one because they are so adorable and so for her birthday this year, we were finally able to find one!  And he's black, nonetheless, which is her favorite goat color!  

He will stay very small, about the size of a small dog,  but he has a BIG personality.  He is very smart and can already get away with a lot.  He's already butting heads with the big baby goats!

Buddy is going to be our traveling goat, if everything works out like planned!  We are always getting asked to bring a goat to a festival or to an event where we are selling, but it's not always that easy.  The milking does get too stressed when they travel, therefore resulting in a drop in milk production, so we really don't like to take them off the farm.  And the babies are suceptible to catching something.  Billy goats smell, so they are out of the picture.  
That's where Buddy comes in.  He will be small enough to travel, and we are hoping to be able to train him to a leash.  
So, Lord willing, you all will be seeing Buddy at some of our festivals throughout the year!

Oh...by the way...Mom loves him!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Hope Chest

As promised, here's the first of many posts about Matthew's visit at our place!

Let me back up a little and fill you all in where I left off.  Matthew had been at our place at the end of December and we were able to celebrate the New Year together.  After that, he spent the month of January in Florida with his friend Joel, helping out a friend with some landscape work, practicing his dulcimer, visiting his brother and sister-in-law, researching, and doing a lot of praying about decisions that will be made in the near future as far as what job to pursue and where to live, etc.

During that time, we've been staying busy with all of the baby goats on the farm.  Mom and Dad were also able to make a trip up to see Jordan, Caleb and the girls at the end of January.  They had a wonderful time, despite the frigid temperatures, and came back home to us safe and sound on February 2nd!

Matthew arrived back at our place on February 3rd!  I was one happy girl!  I was beginning to feel like the month of January was never going to end...
But end it did, and it was very nice to have Matthew with us for such a long time.  We spent a total of 35 days together, and I am so thankful for each and every day we had together.

So, I'm sure that you are all curious as to what we did in those 35 days...hmm?  A lot!  And one of those special times was building a hope chest together....

~ ~ ~

A few months ago, Matthew had asked me if I had a hope chest, which I did not.  Little did I know that his mind started ticking as soon as he heard that.  When he arrived at our house, he asked to see my grandfather's wood-working tools.  He had already mentioned that he'd like to build something together, and that he had something in mind, but he didn't tell me what.  

After making sure that my grandfather had all of the necessary tools to complete the job, he let me in on the secret.  He was going to build me a hope chest!  And he wanted my help!

What girl would turn down an offer like that?!!

After looking over several different designs and colors online we had a pretty good idea of features that we liked as well as things we disliked.

So Matthew sat down with paper, pencil and ruler and sketched out two drawings of different designs and asked if I liked either of those.  I picked out one that I really, really liked. 

Photo bomb by Ethan!


Goofing off!

It's amazing we get any work done together!

After finishing the rough sketch, Matthew set to work figuring out how much wood we would need.  He did all of the figuring in his head, as I sat there nodding and smiling, knowing that I would need paper and pen to accomplish that!

The next day found us checking prices at Home Depot as well as Lowe's to see how they compared for what we needed.

Having fun shopping together!

Going over prices....


After buying most of the wood that we needed for the project, we loaded up and headed home, ready to start building the next day!

We spent the first few days working on it in my grandparents garage, since that's where all their tools were.  After doing all of the necessary cutting and lots of figuring, we were finally able to bring the project up to our house to work on it as we had time.  

During one of the steps we used a nail gun "gone bad"!  No matter how straight Matthew held the gun, it kept shooting the nails out slightly bent so that they would stick out of the wood, aggravating both of us.  At one point, while Matthew was holding the backside of a board, the nail came out of the wood, and succeeded in hitting Matthew thumb.  All he said was "Oww" very calm like, but as he pulled his thumb away from the board it was already forming a puddle of blood.  It wasn't very big, but it was too deep for comfort.  Once he got it washed out and bandaged up, he went right back to work.

I enjoyed helping him when I could, handing him a tool, or holding something for him.  He did an excellent job of explaining each step to me, and I liked just watching him work.  He was very encouraging anytime I tried to help.  I have used a drill before, so I felt comfortable putting some of the screws in, but I let him handle the nail gun!

Matthew spent quite a few hours working on this hope chest, many of which were all by himself as we made cheese or milked.  He was diligent and hard-working and I admire him all the more for all the time he took on this lovely gift to me!

The next trip into town that we took, we stopped by Home Depot again to pick out a color for stain.  That's a hard decision to make when you don't know what color your other furniture will be some day!

Matthew offered to take a picture of our choices so that we could go home to decide.  Or at least, he was supposed to be taking a picture of the colors....not me....

...there we go!

Here it is almost fully assembled!  

It was really starting to take shape and after a good sanding from Matthew it was really looking good!

Almost finished!  Attaching the trim and feet...

Victoria was even helping!


My finished Hope Chest!!!

My guy with his work of art!

I knew Matthew could work with wood (he built himself a dulcimer after all!), but I had no idea just how skilled of a woodworker he was!  I feel extremely blessed, not just because of the gift of the hope chest, but because of how sweet it was for Matthew to want to build me one, for all the time and effort he put into it, and for the special treasure it will always be to me!

 My siblings were all very good at giving up their time to chaperone us so that we could work on this project together, for which I am very thankful!  They are the best siblings a girl could ask for!

The next time he comes for a visit, we are going to work on applying the stain.  (We picked a light cherry color.)  The adventure continues...and I can't wait to start filling it!