Friday, October 27, 2017

It has been a busy several months...

Franz was good to write a post right after our move from NC to WI. I started several, but never seemed to get one posted.

I feel I should at least give something for those who might be wondering what we have been up to.

Kleinshire, what a summer! From the ardous journey getting our kids, animals, and stuff here, to now. Whew! I keep telling myself that we just need to get the garlic in and then baby Klein can come. I am not due till December 8th, but feel that baby Klein may not wait that long to join us on the outside. It seems we have been a on a pretty much non stop rollercoaster in regards to our farming. The weather has been crazy, late snow in the spring, torrential rain causing flooding this summer, and most of the summer being cooler, and then recently really nice warm spell, back to right now freezing.

Garlic, which I planted last fall has been a blessing in disguise. It was a lot of work to harvest and clean, but we made good connections for selling and sold the amount we needed to. We are expanding and hoping to continue a great garlic venture. We currently are planting now.

It was not the greatest year for growing squash. Winter squash was our crop for Organic Valley, spagetti, acorn, butternut, and pie pumpkins. We did get squash, but a large majority was undersize. What we have brought to Organic Valley was great, just not a large quantity. So we have plenty of small sized squash to keep us and family happy through winter. Harvesting of squash is done for this year. Too, we have gotten ourselves 3 piglets that were raised organically to help us with our leftovers. Two of the piglets will be for butcher and one is going to be kept for breeding.

I planted a large garden. Again, the growing year was not the most ideal. I put many hours into the garden. We are thankful for what have been able to harvest. Earlier in the summer when we really weren't getting much from our garden, a lovely elderly couple from our parish brought us veggies from their garden. From our garden I have made dill pickles, and canned tomatoes. We have sacks of potatoes and onions. We froze sweet corn, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, and scapes. We ate all we could of fresh veggies. I still have carrots, beets, cabbage, and celery to harvest.

The orchard was wonderful this year. Besides making many different desserts, we have canned many jars of apple sauce. Franz picked nice apples, wrapped them in paper and put them in bushel baskets for winter time. We have done several grindings of apples, making cider, wine, hard cider, and raw apple cider vinegar. The animals and the boys have been enjoying the apples at will. Our cherry trees produced well, and I made pies and cherry jam. Franz harvested the grapes making wine and jam. The grapes were also a favorite snack with the boys. An awesome friend allowed me to pick raspberries from her prolific patch. We ate fresh raspberries, made desserts, and canned jam. Franz also made currant wine, which we have enjoyed some with family and friends.

Our animals have had mixed results from our move. Tarcy Franz's horse, has done wonderfully on the pasture and has filled out and looks absolutely gorgeous. I am hoping over the winter months that we can finally give him the time and attention he needs. We are looking to find a large pony for the boys to ride and to be a companion for Tarcy.

The goats have not had an easy transition. Some have adapted to our new farm well, but the lower end ones have not fared so well. We have lost several and it is not easy to admit it. It seems that our goats have naturally culled out the weakest. We have one homebred doeling born here in Wisconsin, "Kleinshire Wood Violet." Unfortunately her mother was one who later in the summer died. But, thankfully Violet was old enough to be weaned and is doing well, even thought she is such a little thing compared to all the other goats. We also purchased a registered LaMancha doe in milk. Belle our Saanen who had been milking for well over a year came down with something. We successfully threated her, but had to dry her off. "Qilin" our LaMancha is our only milk source from the goats right now. One of our biggest challenges is that we have only one pasture. Next summer we plan to have several more pastures, for rotation, and to help with the parasite problem. We have 5 meat does bred for kidding in January. There are two Nigerians bred for kidding January as well. Our two bucks "Tuff" the boer, and "Matthias" the Nigerian are happy fellows who seem to have had a successful first breeding season. We can feel babies in some of the pregnant does.

The chickens are fine, though not as happy as they were in NC, where they were free range. They are in a coop with a fenced yard. Some of my Americanas have become smart and can fly out, but come back for the night. I have plans for making four yard/pens off the existing one. Every month we will open a new yard/pen area, to help give the chickens fresh ground to work. We have raised two batches of meat chickens here. Franz built a moveable tractor for the meat chickens. Seriously, we have never had such good meat chickens as we do now. Moving the tractor everyday to fresh ground has made a noticeable difference. We decided to try Turkeys this summer. I was skeptical, but must admit that Franz has done a wonderful job of raising them. I thought we would lose a good amount. Out of 30, we lost only one during the wild storm mid-summer that collapsed our milk house wall.

Our dogs have all adjusted well. Leche and Lilly are very adept at watching over the goats and turkeys out in the pasture. Lilly has especially filled out and looks like a different dog than the skrawny teenager we brought from NC. Snowy our farm dog has taken to her role with serious relish. She has claimed the farm as hers. When my sister brings out her dog Daisy, who is one of Snowy's puppies, there is a definite struggle of who is alpha. They for the most part avoid each other, but once in awhile have a scuffle.

The cats, "Siena" our beloved orange matriarch was doing very well, till she decided to sleep in the hay baler. Sadly she was baled and so ended her reign over all the other cats. We had rescued a kitten from our local bank. All children loved the kitten who was extremely fond of attention. Franz accidently hit the kitten "Boots" while backing up the van. Thankfully it was a quick death, but it devestated Cyprian who had claimed the kitty. "Cat," Siena's daughter was not faring well as her mom was very dominant. But once Siena was out of the picture, she has flourished and become very happy with being the oldest kitty around. "Camo," Cat's kitten came from NC pregnant. At the end of April Camo gave birth to 3 kittens which she hid. We found them and then she hid them again. Two of the kittens survived, and the boys tried catching them and taming them. They come around but are not friendly. One is male "Spike", the other is a female "Sasha," so we are looking to fix one or both quickly. Camo the hussy cat, has already had another litter in September. Four beautiful kittens that we found and she kept in one spot for a week. Then she annoyingly moved them. I was worried because we do not want a bunch of wild inbred ferral cats around. We were fortunate to find them a couple weeks ago. We set them up in the stock trailer and the boys daily play with them. They have gone from spitting little hiss balls, to fluffy little cuddle bugs. We are wanting to keep one of the kittens.We will be giving the other three kittens and Camo away. Camo (the hussy) can hopefully go to a home where they will appreciate her prolific fertility.

Louis and Zelie our parakeets are well and living in a bigger cage than we had in NC. Zelie still likes to bite hard if you grab her, but Louis is not so viscious. Cyprian has now gotten four goldfish from his godmother. We bought an aquarium earlier this summer, but due to some irresponsible behaviour, waited till we felt Cyprian was ready for getting fish. The goldfish are named, Mo, Hawk, Goldie, and Flake. Cyprians favorite is Flake the smallest who is half silver half gold.

This post is ridiculously long. We have so many plans and ideas for next year. The last I want to mention is that we have been in session with our homeschool for two months. It is the first year I finally feel I am not failing my boys in their education. We have a system and structure. I think having Franz teaching in the office at home four days a week, has in a way helped keep us on track.

A simple break down of our school day goes. Everyone getting up, making beds, getting dressed. The three older boys all have their respective animal chores. After helping Chrysogonus make his bed, I help him get dressed. Then I make breakfast while animal chores are being done. We sit down to eat. Quickly we clean up after breakfast and get the table ready for school. I get schoolbooks out and layout the days work. We start with attendance then prayers. Subjects go as follows, Religion, Math, Phonics/English/Reading/Copywork. Clement usually is done before Cyprian and gets breaks between. Most times we are done with these three subjects by lunch time. I make lunch we eat and the boys have recess. Mondays and Wednesdays we have History and Music in the afternoon, Tuesdays and Thursdays we have Science and Art. I have to this point faithfully recorded all that we have done. This is huge as I tend to have good intentions in this regard then forget to follow through. Not every day is easy, I have a temper and sometimes I get very impatient. We are a work in progress, but I do feel that our boys are where they should be. Thank God!

A photo montage will follow hopefully soon. The end for now.
Three little girl piggies!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Iterum incipit; or, Kleinshire 2.0

It is an anniversary of sorts for Kleinshire, as Rosemary’s and my first blog post was on an April day three years ago, shortly after we bought our little farm in North Carolina.

Incipit was the title of that first post, Latin for “It begins.” I remember writing about how we would be trying to grow as much of our own food as possible. It would be more than a hobby farm, I wrote, but not quite a real farm either.

Iterum incipit, Latin for “It begins again.” How things have changed!

Fr. Tim Welles, our new pastor, blessed the flocks and the fields
This April has been a month transition: A nice young couple made a cash offer in March and closed on our North Carolina house in early April. Then Rosemary loaded the boys and a few of the pets into the minivan headed to Wisconsin.

I followed over Palm Sunday weekend, with the assistance of two of my brothers, one of Rosemary’s brothers, and one of her nephews—assistance for which we are immensely grateful. All told, our caravan was comprised of a 26-ft Penske moving truck, a pick-up truck borrowed from one of Rosemary’s brothers to haul our 16-ft stock trailer, and another pick-up truck borrowed from yet another brother.

Our two livestock guardian dogs, love all the space.
It was ordeal, to be sure: Stories could be told, for example, about how we finally got the horse in the trailer. The brother-in-law and nephew left early Saturday evening with the stock trailer. My brothers and I stayed behind to finish cleaning the house. We left in the early morning hours, with me driving the moving truck and with them taking shifts driving the other pick-up truck, with the two full-sized dairy goats, two cats and the second livestock guardian dog in the truck’s covered bed.

Praise God, 20-plus hours later all the animals were safely in Wisconsin: all 17 chickens, all 20 goats, 5 guineas, 3 dogs, 3 cats (one being pregnant), 2 parakeets, and 1 horse.

Yes, that’s a lot of animals!

The goats absolutely love all the pasture.

But we are only getting started. Iterum incipit, it begins again: for this spring marks the beginning of our full-time farming adventure.

I took three days off from school during Holy Week and the entire week off following Easter break in order to get things started on the farm.  These three weeks have truly been a whirlwind.

Belle, our Saanen dairy goat.
First there was the business of moving ourselves into the farmhouse and, simultaneously, moving Rosemary’s parents into their new house a hundred yards up the road. Then, for me, it was off to finish the barnyard and the electric fence for the first rotational pasture while, for Rosemary, it was continuing to work on making the house into a home. With four boys in tow, that makes for one hardworking, tired mother. Did I mention the exciting news that Rosemary is pregnant?!?!

Farming, in any case, requires some major purchases. The first of them came this past week: a 1964 Massey-Furguson tractor, diesel engine, 62 hp. I had never driven a tractor before, but after a brief tutorial, I managed to drive it 10 miles back to the farm. Later in the day, I moved 20 or so hay bales out of the field with a hay spear. I think my father-in-law was smirking as he watched me learn not to lift the bales from higher on an incline. Never mind that, I got the concept after the first four or five slid off the spear!

For his part, my father-in-law has been an immense help. He and his brother went with me two days later to purchase a three-bottom plow and a ten-ft disc. We had to drag the disc sideways off the trailer when we got back to the farm, and I’m still not sure how we did this without breaking any of the discs!

Well, that would be besides the two discs that were already broken. That’s used equipment for you.

My "new" Massey Furguson 180 tractor, with the disc implement attached.
Speaking of used equipment, the next day I learned first-hand why a good deal of a farmer’s time is spent fixing broken equipment. The hydraulics to raise and lower the three-point arms stopped working, and after exhausting every other option I drove the tractor to Cashton in the frigid early morning air, and there it sits at Portland Implements. Prayers, please, that it’s not an expensive fix.

Snow covered garlic on April 26th.
Did I mention that was snowing on Thursday and Friday?!?! I think that it was 90 degrees in Raleigh at the same time, but I digress. Prayers, too, that some of the blossoms on the cherry and apple trees make it through this unusual cold snap.

 There is so much left to do. I am back in North Carolina for the final month of the school year. Rosemary is holding things together back at the farm. Prayers, please, that things continue to come together during this momentous transition.

Iterum incipit.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

And so the fierce battle begins....

The battle is real, it is hard, it is every day. What is it I am speaking of.... Why of course, the battle of keeping a house clean when you have children.

With our house on the market now, it seems I might have to keep the house always clean. If I look at the positive, I have never had a more compelling reason to make sure my house is so presentable. Not saying I wouldn't like it always to be beautiful, but I am just sometimes tired of fighting the battle of mountain laundry, splattery cooking, slippery muddy floors, garbage collecting (boys treasures they find), and so on. There are many different battles in the fight of keeping a house.

Now I am suppose to keep the house clean so that prospective buyers can see it for its charm. Whew! Please Saint Joseph, help us sell this cute little farm quickly! If you by happen chance read this, please pray for us to sell our house to the right person, at the right time, for the right price.

God bless!

P.S. It would be even more awesome if you could add that I keep sane as we try to keep the house presentable:')
The day we bought our little farm.

Back pasture and the barn.

Our three original Nigerian Dwarf does.

The barn has been a huge blessing to us.


Such a cute place!

The front. Now there is a fence and gate over the drive.


The inside of the barn. It looks a bit different now.

Behind the garage. There is a cloths line and the fence is gone from this spot.

Front pasture

Fond memories, Franz mowed a track to bike on around the back pasture.

Breaking ground for our first garden.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Let's Party!

We are party central at Kleinshire. Two boys with birthdays back to back and triplet goats born too! Whew, some days you just have to keep the party going strong.

Chrysogonus turned two on Wednesday February 8th. After doing school work early in the morning, we spent almost the rest of the day outside. We did have to run and return something to Walmart. So, while there I let Chrysogonus pick out his present. Of course it was a gun and lightsaber. I started regretting the lightsaber, as it makes noise and lights up. Chrysogonus pretty much non-stop kept pressing the button. I got a big thing of bubbles, and found a brownie cake for 4 dollars. The cakes sell by date was February 8th. I had planned on making a cake, but rationalized that I would make one the next day for Cletus's birthday. On my way home from Walmart I picked up a young lady who comes and helps me once a week or so with animals and barn chores. The day was absolutely beautiful! Chrysogonus did not take a nap after lunch like he is suppose to. I gave Cletus and Chrysogonus the big bottle of bubbles. Both boys were getting overly tired. They got some use out of blowing bubbles, before a fight broke out and the bottle got knocked over. Oh well. I really didn't mind as it was on the screen porch. It is an easy way to mop the deck, pour a bucket of water and "tada" kids think it is fun to slip and slide on. While I was doing the last of the animal chores I let the boys sit down and watch the "magic school bus." Apparently the boys were exhausted as the three youngest were asleep on the couch when Franz got home. Because we all had worked up an appetite, we necessarily agreed the birthday boy needed to be awoken. Cake and ice cream were on the menu, but could not be touched without the presence of the birthday boy. I held Chrysogonus till he was fully awake. Then we had cake and ice cream to every ones relief and enjoyment. Thus ended the first birthday of the week for us.

Next day February 9th, Cletus turned four. Boy he was excited as we had talked about it being his birthday next. The day before seeing Chrysogonus's presents and cake, made Cletus anticipation high. Cletus woke up early like he usually does. It does not matter how late he goes to bed. Like the day before we did school work early. I got a text with a picture of a sweet baby girl. My newest niece was born to my baby brother and his wife. She was born February 8th right before midnight. It seems this is a good time for babies:') I was constantly going out to the barn because Brownie our goat was due, and she was in early labor. It was really windy Thursday so the boys stayed in the house for most of the day. They would come out occasionally to check Brownie with me. So, time spent inside was, nerf gun wars, forts, building bridges and towers, flying from bunk beds and shelves unto the love seat in the boys room, and a LOT of BATTLES. Seriously, the boys were enjoying their wars. In the late afternoon I made Cletus's cake and put it in the oven to bake. I went out to the barn to check Brownie. I was getting anxious as she had been uncomfortable all day. Immediately I knew the real action of birthing was taking place, as she had a mucus string hanging. Sorry if this offends anyone, but this is a part of farm life. So, I had Cyprian run back in and get me clean rags and my phone. Just after five Brownie pushed the first kid (a buckling) out. Brownie was not extremely large looking during her pregnancy, so were anticipating a single, or maybe twins. Then she pushed out a small doeling. Done I thought, but no. Brownie then pushed out the biggest of the triplets, a huge doeling. Whew! After clearing their faces, I let Brownie do her mothering. Cletus will get to name at least one of the kids as they were born on his birthday. That evening after all the animal chores and settling, we had Cletus's birthday supper, cake, and ice cream. It was nine or so when we got the boys in bed.

This has been a week of partying!
We have attitude!
Playing hard all day on your birthday, makes a tire boy.
Don't worry we couldn't let Chrysogonus sleep through having cake and ice cream. He seems to agree!
Blow out those two candles!

Who wants cake!

Look at the force!

Seriously, watch out!

Come on it is another cake!

Brownie the proud mama of triplets.

Left: 1st born buckling. Middle: 3rd born large doeling. Right: 2nd born little spunky doeling.

Cletus is very excited to hunt. Especially his brothers:')

Monday, January 30, 2017

Where to start

2016 ended and so did a tough year. Most know of my three miscarriages, but I miscarried a fourth time two days before Christmas. Caspar Marion Klein is the name I gave my last miscarried baby. I waited to name Caspar till the Epiphany and so hence part of the name. All of us were very sick Christmas through the New Year. I was put on antibiotics, which anyone who knows me well, knows it takes a lot for me to take medicine.

2017 has already seen a month through. Still tough times. Though I feel we are past a rough spot personally. I feel like there are so many struggling. Sometimes I would just rather hide my computer, cell phone, radio, and the television. I do get some enjoyment out these devices, but lately they seem to spread negativity like a wild fire running on a land of drought.

PEOPLE, why are we not turning to GOD! Look to God for guidance, comfort, peace, and most of all a shower of LOVE. I am thanking God for my simple blessing in living a family life. My life which brings me, laughs, tears, rants, and rare and precious moments of peace.

It is another day here at Kleinshire. I woke up early with my husband. Franz got up right away (like he usually does), but I lingered in bed (like I usually do) and said my morning prayers. It may seem like cheating, because I am still in bed while praying. For me I find I am relaxed and not distracted by anything else. I love my morning prayer time as I snuggle under my covers. Then I get up whether I feel ready or not to start the day...

Just before 6 am I popped out the door to head to the barn. Franz is usually a few minutes ahead of me (this morning was no exception) and had already started feeding animals. My job is to milk and feed the dairy goats. Franz does all the other animals, feed, hay, and water. Sometimes Franz finishes before me, other times we head into the house together. Today he was ahead of me.

Once in the house, I put the milk in the fridge. Franz went and took a shower and got ready for work. I packed a lunch for Franz, made a pot of coffee, and breakfast for those up. Usually Chrysogonus and Cletus are up and eat breakfast with Franz and me. Which was the case this morning.

After blessing our food, Franz ate a quick breakfast. Then he kissed each boy, and me with a "I love you." Off he went to battle dragons, as he tells the boys.

The two younger boys and I finished breakfast. Cyprian and Clement finally awoke, took showers, then came and ate their breakfast. I needed to clean chicken feet for making stock. I detest this job. If it weren't for the awesome product that comes from simmering chicken feet with veggies in water for at least 24 hours, I would happily toss the feet to the dogs.

So, I proceeded to clean, boil, peel, rinse with vinegar, then throw into my huge pot to simmer, 28 chicken feet. Cyprian and Clement meanwhile worked on math. Okay, honestly I kept having to badger them to stay on task. Between Cletus and Chrysogonus interrupting, playing, and wreaking havoc, it took us all morning to finish the chicken feet, math, play making forts, having lego wars, and folding and sorting laundry. I won't lie, sometimes I hollered at my boys...

Finally, we were able to have lunch a little after noon. We ate leftover pizza from Cyprian's Birthday supper last night. Then while Cyprian was left to watch boys, I went and took down a load of laundry and hung another. Which reminds me I have yet another sitting in the washer at this moment needing to be hung. Anyway, I went and checked on animals.

Then I came into the house and Cyprian who got a real little tea set for his birthday, and was dying to use it, got me to agree to let him make tea for his brothers. The boys and me like to have tea time. It is one of the things I took from the Charlotte Mason teaching style. I boiled water and steeped the raspberry leaf tea in my big pot. Then we poured tea into Cyprian's little tea pot. Cyprian commenced pouring tea repeatedly for his younger thirsty brothers. After enjoying the many little cups of tea and some organic annie's graham crackers, it was time for quiet.

So, after changing Chrysogonus and then tucking him into his bed. I settled on the love seat in the boys room with the three other boys tucked around me. We read from one of my favorite books, a Wonder Book. I may not talk a lot, but we have plenty to do. The quote below from our story seemed suitable.

"A good man should talk little and do much." Taken from Wonder Books, The Princess on The Glass Hill

Here is our tea time!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Letter, 2016

December, 2016

Dear family and friends,

Every day during this season of Advent, Cyprian, Clement, Cletus, and Chrysogonus eagerly take out the crayons and construction paper to make new ornaments for their Jesse Tree. And each week, they look forward to lighting another candle on the wreath. Forgetting for a moment the endless scraps of construction paper, the messy piles of crayons, and the squabbles over whose ornament is better and who stole what from whom; taking a deep breath after the youngest is found in the vicinity of the wreath striking matches; in sum, embracing the crazy imperfection of family life: This is the spirit of Advent as it exists in the Klein household. Prayers for you and yours, that you are also able to mark this special season in your own home, crazy or quiet, as the case may be.

Family Picture, from Cyprian's First Holy Communion in May

This year we’ve managed, for our part, the monumental task of keeping the house from burning down. More seriously, it’s been a year with its share of difficulties, especially with Rosemary suffering through three miscarriages. We now have four little ones living in God’s embrace: Cosmas James, Anastasia May, Andrew Joseph, and Agatha June. For all the struggles, though, it has also been a year filled with God’s blessings: Franz is still teaching and coaching at St. Thomas More Academy, where this fall his boys’ cross country team was the private schools state runner-up, and Rosemary oversees our own Little Flowers Homeschool, where both Cyprian and Clement are now tackling schoolwork in earnest. This May marked Cyprian’s First Holy Communion, and both Clement and Cletus are attending a Montessori “Good Shepherd” catechesis program. Chrysogonus has an ever-increasing vocabulary and an impetuous laugh. In the midst of it all, Rosemary finally earned her Taekwondo black belt in September after working at it determinedly during the past three years that we’ve called North Carolina home.

Busy as all that sounds, it won’t compare to the coming year. Many of you already know our news--that we are moving back to Wisconsin. Four years in Texas and four in North Carolina, and now we’re coming home to our beloved home state, only three miles from the rented farmhouse from which we left  back in 2009 with an overloaded Ford Taurus hauling a construction trailer. Specifically, we will be moving to the Korish homestead near Cashton, St. Jude’s Acres, with Rosemary’s parents building a brand new house on a small parcel of land that they carved off for themselves. The big move will occur in just a few months, at Easter. Then Franz will return to North Carolina to finish up the school year and, with God’s help, sell the house in time to return for the spring planting season.

It’s a big transition not just in terms of geography but also occupation, as we are planning to start farming in earnest. This past summer Franz was back in Wisconsin fencing a pasture for our growing herd of meat goats (who will make the trip from North Carolina to Wisconsin in a 16-ft. livestock trailer that we purchased). Then in late October Rosemary flew back to Wisconsin, with Cletus and Chrysogonus in tow, to plant our first crop of garlic. We will file the application for organic certification at the beginning of the new year, and, God willing, this spring a good portion of the tillable acreage will be planted with some sort of crop to sell to Organic Valley. We are also considering the possibility of raising Thanksgiving turkeys, selling produce in La Crosse CSA-style, etc. Really, we’re open to anything that provides an income stream.

Prayers are definitely appreciated as we make this transition. We know that the first year will be very difficult financially, as at first the goats and the garlic are break-even propositions at best. We are realistic enough to know that farming won’t pay all the bills, especially at first. But we also know that Franz holding a full-time job would make running a full-time farming operation nearly impossible. So, pray that we make the right decisions in considering the range of possibilities--adjunct teaching, freelance writing for Franz, which both worked well during our time in Dallas; possibly a return to nursing work for Rosemary; really, anything that the Lord might provide. Pray, too, that the means become available to purchase a tractor, a cultivator, and haying equipment. Please, pray that we don’t become discouraged in what is sure to be a challenging first few years.

We send this letter with a promise of prayers for you and yours during this time of preparation for Christmas. We look forward to reconnecting with many of you with the move back to Wisconsin. As was the case when we left Dallas, we are again sad to leave behind so many dear friends. We will always treasure you in our hearts. Please stay in touch!

God Bless,

Franz, Rosemary, Cyprian, Clement, Cletus, and Chrysogonus

Chrysogonus' first birthday

Cyprian after First Holy Communion with Fr. Phil Tighe, our pastor, who has since become vocations director

Praying for vocations at Compline, with the traveling chalice from our parish

Fresh fish from Crooked Creek, a half mile walk down Cheves Rd.
Rosemary's first-ever fish. Really!

Cyprian at the 4-County 4-H Livestock Show this fall with one of our young meat goats

St. Thomas More Academy, CIC Conference Champions (boys & girls), NCISAA state runners-up (boys)

A bountiful harvest from our garden this year.

All the veggies we can eat.

Our beloved Cardinal Burke visited St. Catherine's in Wake Forest last December.
Some of our dairy goats enjoying the front pasture.
We had all the pork we could eat this past year.  
Cyprian putting his 4-H premium to good use, investing in one of the batches of meat chickens we raised.

Rosemary, after years of effort, finally earned her first-degree black belt in Taekwondo. 

Boys and fireworks: an explosive combination.

Chrysogonus checking out his haircut after losing his baby curls.

Fun at the N.C. State Fair

Christmas cookies!