Friday, January 22, 2010


This is Lucy. She is part of the Cow Share program that we just joined. I'm so excited! A cow share program is when you buy an interest in a local farm's cows. And then you get to regularly pick up your share of the raw milk from the cows each week.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heated) or homogenized (processed to keep the cream from separating). Raw milk retains all of the natural vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and healthy bacteria which are killed during pasteurization. Real milk is naturally very healthy, while commercial processed milk can be linked to dozens of chronic health issues. One study I read recently found that calves who were fed pasteurized milk taken from their own mothers died within 6 months! In most states, it is illegal for farmers to directly sell raw milk to customers. But through a cow share program, non-farming people can get nutritious REAL milk. (see or for more information, and different state laws and farms.)

When we go to the farm, we fill our half gallon jars with milk from a huge, silver refrigerated milk tank. The milk goes straight from the cows to the milk tank without ever being exposed to oxygen. Raw milk is safer than it may have been in the past due to modern milking equipment and refrigeration.

This week I made butter from the cream that rises to the top of the milk jars. It's very easy using a food processor.

I went to a "milk class" at the farm last weekend where I learned how to make yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, and ice cream. All are very easy to make. We may have to increase our share to get more milk each week if I make various dairy products regularly. We're going through it faster than we thought we would! A friend is also gong to teach me how to make mozzarella cheese. I can't wait; I love fresh mozzarella cheese!

Two of our boys, as well as myself, have had sensitivities to commercial milk in the past and could not have it regularly. But all of us are tolerating the raw milk just fine (which is very common). I'm enjoying drinking milk again!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I just realized that it's been one year (and a couple days) since I started this blog! It's really been fun for me. I would like to have more posts about homeschooling and cooking, so I'll try to work on that.

If you read this blog from time to time, but have never commented before, could you humor me and leave a comment? I don't really know how many people actually see my blog, and I'd love to know you were "here", even if you only visit occasionally or don't see this post for quite a while. Thank you!

And, just for note, the award for Most Faithful Reader and Commenter goes to . . . my mom!! Thanks, Mom. You've always been a great cheerleader!

(Here's how to comment if you don't know how. Click on the word comment(s) at the bottom of the post. A little window will pop up. Type whatever you want to say in the box under Leave your comment. Next, under Choose an Identity, click on Name/URL and then just type your name in the little box. Last, click on Publish Your Comment, and you're done! If you have a Google account, you can sign in to that and then it will show your name.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Holidays

The holidays seem long past now, but just so I can feel free to move on, I'll post a bit about our Christmas and New Year's Eve.

We celebrated Christmas with my family in Illinois. After the ice storm on the 24th, several inches of snow came on the 25th & 26th. For once, more snow than back home in Michigan! Saturday the 26th, we traveled with my parents through the snow to my brother and sister-in-law's home in Chicago.

Aaron with chocolate money from his stocking

Isaac, apparently happy with the stash of goodies he found in his stocking

Noah found the hidden pickle ornament!

hanging out with my uncle's sister's grandchildren on Christmas evening, whom the boys had never met before!

driving slowly to Chicago on the 26th

opening gifts at my brother & sister-in-law's apartment in Chicago

My brother's dog Manu being friendly with Aaron!

family picture at my brother's

quiet, snowy residential block in Chicago

a quick drive down Michigan Ave. in Chicago

Back in Michigan for New Year's Eve, we celebrated at home by ourselves. We pigged out on steak (grilled on my new stove-top grill pan!), with cheese and chocolate fondue. Then everybody, even Aaron for the first time, stayed up until midnight playing games, watching TV, and goofing around, as usual.

fondue! Just for Aaron, we tried dipping tater tots in the cheese. It was a hit!

Waiting for the ball to drop, just before midnight:

I crocheted my way into the new year working on an afghan, that looks more like a scarf so far. We'll see if I can get it finished before the end of winter 2010!

Here's to a happy and healthy 2010!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ice Storm

I'm still getting Christmas photos downloaded and tweaked in order to post about our holidays. And I've been busy getting all of us back into our usual school schedule this week after an enjoyable two weeks off.

In the meantime, here's a few photos of the beautiful ice-covering that we woke up to on Christmas Eve day down in Illinois. Leave it to God to create something that can be dangerous also amazingly gorgeous!