Tuesday, March 13, 2018

till the cows come home

40 years have passed since there has been a cow in this old dairy barn. We brought life back to it!

Our original 12 are home. Happy. Eating. Drinking. Pooping.
The man who hauled the cows over snapped a photo and sent it to the man that grew up on this farm and showed him the cows in the barn. He almost cried he was so happy to see cows back in the barn again.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

the work begins

Before we could move into our new home, we needed to have water in the barn. No cows had been in the barn for 40 years. So it was a job to get it done, but all in all not too bad. Took some time though.
 I think the slow transition to moving in was good for all of us. We were at the farm everyday cleaning, and working, and eating meals. But at night we went home. We got used to being in a new place without  moving in right away. The kids started bringing over their stuff and putting it in their rooms! That was exciting for them too.
We tried to get the old water lines to work, but quickly found out they they were too far gone and rusted so we went with pex instead. So much easier and quicker and way easier to fix should something break. And my husband is quite handy in the whole carpentry aspect of building. So we did it together.
Was fun to work together on something we waited so long for.
We only needed to get water on one side of the barn to get our 12 home. So we did. Then we could work on the rest of the barn.

Then the day came. Just like that! LOL. Not really but sounds good. The cows were coming home! We were really excited too. A local dairy farmer said he would haul our cows home for us!!
And the day came for the girls to move over to the new farm!!

Here they are on the truck on their way to their forever new home!
All 12 of em. Took 2 trips to get them too. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

10 days

One phone call on that one Friday and life changed.
"Our offer has been accepted." Those words. I can't even describe how that felt. I can't even begin to put into words all we had been through the last two years. Two years we looked, worked and prayed.
All the time spent looking. All the pressure of finding a farm. Moving. Having to move. Wanting to move.
Was over.
10 days.
That was all it took for us to see decide, offer and have that offer accepted. The house was off the market. We were the only ones to get a showing. That's how fast it all happened. We knew it was right, and we moved fast to get it off the market.
We had our closing date. 
We closed in July. We wanted to close at the farm. Such a fine idea. The man we bought it from was really great. We still chat with him from time to time too. He lives in Florida.
But we didn't move in the day we closed. Why your wondering?
Well, there was no water in the barn. Part of the reason the cement was in such good shape.

The night we closed we had a big family BBQ! We invited all Matthew's family and mine. Bring something for the grill and something to share! It was such a huge celebration for us!! We were home. We had our dream farm. We were not moving to the county!

 We felt so blessed!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Rachel was fine.
 Life seemed to be moving forward again. We decided not to plant a garden. Our neighbor asked how the farm hunting was going. We told him we found a place and were waiting to here from the owners.

Then life got real interesting for my husband one afternoon. He received 2 text messages, and 2 phone calls. A friend. A brother. A neighbor. His father.
 There was a new farm for sale. In the town we live in. 3.9 miles from where we were currently living. Just on the market that day. His dad saw the sign go up on the lawn.
Matthew called me. He asked if I wanted to go look at it. I knew right where it was. Such a beautiful place. I said yes. Whenever. He called me back about 10 minutes later. We were going to see it that Friday. OK. I thought. I decided not to look at it online. I told myself it wasn't going to happen. The barn would make it a no. Don't get excited. It's not going to happen. Besides we were still interested in the county property, maybe a little. But not really so much. Things were on hold with that property, due to some estimates on building a dairy barn. And we really didn't feel like that was were we were supposed to be. Non of us wanted to go.
Friday morning came. We went to see it. We pull in the long driveway. It's a yellow house. Just so happens to be my favorite color.  It's a colonial style house. My favorite. We walk in the barn first. I didn't want to see the house. My jaw almost hits the ground. The barn is clean. It still has the stanchions in it, and water bowls that are rusted. The cement work is great. A few cracks in it, but the best I had seen in all the barns we'd looked at. 1959 in marbles by the milk room. That was the year the barn was built. Matthew knows the boy, now grown man, who put them there, and he lives down the road from the farm.There was nothing but an old saw in the milk room. My eyes looked all over. Dare I hope? My interest increased, and I looked to Matthew. He looked as surprised as I did.We didn't speak to one another.
We walk into the house. Oh the house is a beautifully restored country farm house. We open the door and enter a mud room. Oh a mud room! It's heated too. Barn boots outside I think. I step into the house. A huge kitchen. A long counter top with granite. The cupboards are the ugliest shade of yellow I've ever seen. A big table. A big stove with 6 burners! Whoa! I could cook a lot on that bad boy! Then I see the pantry. It's as big as my kitchen back home. The living room is a beautiful shade of pale butter yellow. I love it. The office is a deep blue with wood trim. The stairs are open and we walk up. The house gets better and better. The master bed room is pale yellow with a tinted blue curved ceiling. We kept looking. Four bedrooms and two baths. I felt like I should pinch myself. Don't get too excited. Don't bond with it. you ladies know. We like to bond with things! :)The house turned out to be better then we thought possible. And the dairy barn.
We walk up to the horse stable and look that all over. A big, beautiful riding arena! Big beautiful stalls, nice big tack room, grain room, a kitchenette. Oh man. This was right up my ally. Horses. Dare I even think I'm not dreaming?
After we look the whole place over we chat with the Realtor. He said go home, pray, think, talk and let me know what you think.  We leave.
We talk. Pray.
It's everything and way more then we ever dared hope for. And the timing. The timing was all God.
 We go see the farm again the following Monday. We decide to make an offer. We did so on Wednesday night.
They had until Friday to answer.
Matthew called me Friday afternoon and said our offer was accepted. I immediately burst into tears. Happy tears.  The stress and pressures of looking were over. We were finally buying a farm. A dream farm. No more searching. No more wondering where we were going. We were staying close to family, friends and church. Moving 3.9 miles from where we were. The relief flooded my whole being. Two years of looking washed away and it felt so good.

Monday, February 12, 2018

life tipped on its axis

Our youngest was sick.
 I had never seen her like this before. None of the other kids were sick. She would be OK, then spike a fever, turn white as sheet of paper, grab her stomach and burst into tears. This would last about 10 minutes. Then she would get color back, the pain would subside. The fever stayed. This would happen at different times in the day. She would sleep, a lot. This lasted a couple days when I called the Dr. Things were not changing and she was not getting better. My Mommy's heart was in my throat. I couldn't make her feel better.
We were sent to the hospital to get some blood work done on her. One of the tests that she needed done they could not do at the hospital we were at. We needed to go to Bangor. Off we went. The other kids were with Matthew's mom.
She was a trooper. She napped in the van on the ride up. She would chat with us. The pains she would get were not as strong, but still happened. Our minds were whirling with what ifs. Not a place you want to go, and yet somehow you find yourself there. I was glad I was driving. It helped to keep my mind occupied.
At the hospital she had the blood work done, and we went home.
Life moves at a turtle speed when you wait for doctors to call you. Somehow you continue getting things done. All the while keeping a watchful eye on you sick daughter.

The call comes. It was the Doctors office. Her blood work was not normal. We needed to go to the cancer center in Brewer to have some more extensive blood work done...
My world stopped. Nothing mattered anymore. I couldn't think, or breath. Cancer Center? Ran through my mind like a freight train.
Life moves at a turtle speed when you wait for doctors to call you. Somehow you continue getting things done. All the while keeping a watchful eye on you sick daughter.

The appointment was set up. We didn't tell the other kids or Rachel anything. Just that they needed to do more blood work.
The day came. It seemed like an eternity to me.
During all this there was much prayer. Much confusion, and still trying to function normally, and buy a farm. But that didn't matter. Life was on hold.
We get to the doctors. We get taken in. She gets her blood work done. We wait. Keeping cool, and not alarm Rachel. We read a story together on the couch. She eats a snack of chips. We get taken in to a room where we wait for the doctor. The doctor walks in. My palms are sweaty and my heart racing, and I'm fighting a silent scream in my brain. I look to Matthew. He's silent. He looks at the doctor. The doctors first words were:
"Let me get the hard part out of the way. There is nothing wrong with your daughter..."
Now those words penetrate my heart, mind, body and soul. They still do today. I still get teary eyed just thinking of it. Like now as I type. I'll never forget because it was Rachel's 10th birthday.
Relief. Thankfulness.
"Your daughter had a bad virus that took her body for a ride and that was her way of fighting it off was her off blood work."
I'm blinking rapidly to keep from crying. Rachel is looking at us with her big beautiful blue eyes and big smile. We chat for a little longer with the doctor and then we leave.
We bought Rachel McDonalds for lunch, per her request. And start the drive home.
 We were quiet for a while soaking it all in. Then I said:
"Matthew, what would we do if we were in the county? We have no one up there."
"I don't know." was his only response.

We had quite a nice birthday party that evening. We were all very thankful that this had turned out the way it had. She was fine, and healthy. We could breath. Life could continue.

Friday, February 9, 2018

aroostook county

Quite a drive. It was cold. There was still a lot of snow. It was the county.  It was winter. I kept all kinds of thoughts to myself. I really didn't want to be going. I kept saying to myself that "it will be worth it if this is where God wants us".
The further North we went the more snow there was. There was no traffic that we met on the highway. The temperatures got colder too.

Arrival at the farm with the white house. The driveway was bearly plowed, and we had to carefully climb up a rather large snow bank to get into the front door. The house was very nice. The kitchen was huge. As I said I do like to cook.  The kids picked out what bed room they would like to have. 2 bathrooms. The land was flat and open. Nice view.We chatted with the realtor and got the disclosures and all that fun stuff. More looking around and seeing how we could make the house work. Not really all that hard. A few things could be changed around and fixing up a room and it would be bigger. Totally doable.
On the very long ride home we weren't really talkative. So much over load and we were all tired.
Over the next few weeks we talked things over and decided to make an offer on the farm. We told OV about it and they said yes that it was a doable pickup. We made an offer.
We told the kids. They cried.
We told Matthew's mom, she cried.
We told my mom, she cried.
Why if this was it was everyone we loved crying? Doubt creeps in. We move forward with it.
 But things seemed to be falling into place. Maybe this was it. The decision was made to go. If this was the place then it would be a good thing for all of us. 
Moving to a place with no family, no friends, and no church family. Such a huge deal. For us anyways. This decision was not made lightly at all.
We got a counter offer.
We were working with the realtor and the farm owners were in Florida. So this all took some time to work out.
We had some more questions about the farm and got answers and then again counter offered. Had more paper work drawn up...

Our youngest daughter was going to be turning 10 soon. She was all excited about that. Then she came down with a cold of sorts...