Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give Thanks.

We're now able to have regular, un-impeded access to blogger once again!! I'd almost forgotten what it feels like to open up a new window, type in and actually have my dashboard pop up. These past few weeks have seen me trying various methods of trying to solve the problem. You know, like spending a very long hour troubleshooting, then checking to see if I'd fixed the problem only to find that I'd deleted half of our archives by mistake (thankfully I was able to retreive them!!)! And then, terrorized with the thought that I could really do something permanent to the blog, completely ignoring, and hoping that maybe it'll just fix itself. Then I finally narrowed it down-- it wasn't some corrupted html that was blocking us out, but actually a filter on our computer. So today, after a 7 minute conversation with the customer support person, we're now back in business!!
And after long weeks of staring at the same old posts on our blog, unable to upload new posts, it's truly tempting to create dozens of new blog posts for this sadly neglected blog, showing you all the wonderful pictures and updates I've been compiling. But with the clock chiming a late hour (or is it a early hour??), and our family scheduled to depart on a 3-day trip to visit family first thing tomorrow morning , I just quickly uploaded one post. But it's not such a shabby post after all, so maybe you'll want to check it out!!!!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day; a day when we're reminded to express our gratefulness to the Lord. But don't forget each day to thank Him-- for life, for family, for provision, for freedom, for salvation. For the blessings; big and small.
And thank Him because He's always there, and He's always listening!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!!
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Colossians 3:15

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Shed.

Remember this???
This spring we came to a point where we knew we needed a better facility to house our animals. We had three buildings, one housing 5 horses (the large on in front), which had previously been a chicken coop and as you can imagine, not at all suited for animals the size of our horses!! The remaining two housed chickens, one for layers and the other for the baby broiler chicks we raise every year. Even after repeated repairs, neither of them were rodent proof and we lost many birds to rodents (as many as 100 chicks in one night). The 700-1000 broilers we raise every year had to be butchered outside, rain or shine, so a butchering facility was neccesary.
The "Shed Project" was thus begun, and we sought to build one building that would be multi-functional for the vast and always changing needs we have raising our own animals.

Our first task was demolition. Tearing down the three existing buildings; salvaging any supplies we could use later and doing the ground work.

Tearing out the walls of the old building.

Getting closer!!!

Pushing the building over.

After some mighty tugging and pushing, the building is flat!!

Seth begins the groundwork!

Moving the former brooder coop.

Looking so different!!
Once the buildings were gone and the ground leveled, we worked on digging holes for the posts.
Digging the holes for the posts turned out to be quite an ordeal. The area we were working on was more clay then dirt and hard to break through!!

Where'd Micah go??

A little assistance needed to get the hole dug!

Slowly getting more and more holes dug!!
Setting the posts.

Tabitha mixing cement.
Slowly getting all the posts up.

We're done setting posts!!

Seth begins trenching so we can lay the pipes.

Laying the pipes for the drain.

Slowly but surely coming along!!



Poor Seth was the only one who really knew what he was doing, but by everyone pitching in, we managed just fine!
Handing up the trusses.

::Little Helping Girl::


We always known he is part monkey!

Working in the rafters.

The skeleton is complete-- now we're ready to start putting up tin!

Cutting trim

Dad carrying tin.
:: Measuring::

Charity holding tools for quick use.


Slowly making progress.


We're ready to put the top on!!

Almost finished with the roof!
Once we had the roof and the walls up, we waited for a rainy day to pour the cement, so Seth wouldn't have to take off work.

Time for Cement.

All ready to pour the cement.

Guiding the chute.

Working Fast!

Moses holding the chute.

Here comes the cement.

They work so fast, and in perfect unison.

The offical dog-holding girl.


These guys are so good.....

Cheerfull Helpers.

Getting the last of the cement.

Smoothing and finishing.

"This cement is cold and hard!!"

As soon as the cement was set, we started using the shed for butchering. This fall we had over 450 birds to butcher, all during either rainy, windy or very cold weather (one day it hovered around 30 degrees with 40 mph winds!!) Needless to say, we're very grateful to be able to butcher indoors!! And will a concrete floor and a drain, clean-up is so much faster. Dad and the boys put in fences for the horses and calves and built the chicken rooms.
We're done!!
The horses are now inside out of the cold!

The new chicken coop! Right now this area houses our laying hens. Next spring when we have broiler chicks once more, we will split it in half and use part of it for a brooder for the young chicks. Above the coop is space for storing waterers and feeders during the off season and other things; like our trampoline.
We also used double trusses above the concrete end of the shed so that we can hang our own beef. In years past we've had to have the killing and hanging done by professionals because we didn't have a sturdy enough building to hang the carcass in. Now we'll be able to butcher our own beef from start to finish!! We'll also be able to hang deer in there as well.
Plenty of room for our beef steers.
Storage space for tools.....
and butchering equipment.

The completed shed!
(And if you want to see it in greater detail, well; you'll just have to come in person.) :)
So that's a short of one of our biggest projects this summer. We were blessed to be able to do the work as a family, and it was such a fun family project. The Lord's protection was evident-- over a summer filled with saws, power tools, nail guns, drill guns etc... we had no major injuries!!

We're so grateful for the Lord's provision of this shed!! (And a huge thank-you to Grandma and Uncle George for their blessings and generosity!!) It is an enormous blessing and we will reap the continued benefits of it for years to come!!