Goat Collars

We mentioned the new goat collars in the post about our goat photoshoot, but we didn’t explain why the collars all look different, and why that’s important.

When we were talking about getting collars for our goats, we realized that we could use them as a tool. We figured out a system, and now, just by looking at a goat, I can tell you who the parents of that particular goat are. The color of the collar tells us who the dam is, and the color of the words tell us who the sire is.

We began by taking the older goats and assigning them a color.  We chose pink for Zuzu – the matriarch of one of our goat families.  And made her letters brown because we like how that looks. LOL

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But other than the senior does, everybody’s collar color is based on their heritage.

For example, Tapioca’s collar is light blue, with green letters. The light blue tells me that she’s out of the Payton line (since Payton’s color is light blue) and the green tells me that her sire is Panini. (If you really want to get detailed, her Dam is Thalia, Payton’s daughter, and I know that because her name starts with a T.)  Tapioca is chewing on her twin’s collar, which is the same color as hers. The only difference is that her twin’s collar says “Tempest” instead of “Tapioca”!

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Now that you know what the different colors mean, take a look at this picture. Each group of collars is a different family. If you see a collar that is a different color, it just means that goat has an identical twin and we made the collar slightly different so we could tell them apart more easily. I’m holding our buck collars – see how they’re brown, with different colored letters? The letter colors tell us the buck’s color.

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What do you think of our system? Do you think it’s too complicated, or do you think it’s cool?

I love it, because all I have to do is memorize which color belongs to which of our senior does, and with a glance at a goat’s collar, I can tell you who they are. It’s really handy when we’re working on breeding plans, because we can see who the goat can’t be bred to with just a single glance.

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We’ve only had the collars on the goats for a few days, but it’s been great!

When people come on tours they can see the names of the goats, and call them by name. Both the goats (yes, they do know their names) and the people love it!

Brett

 

 

UPDATE: See the video and get a coupon code!

 

Washing the Beast

We’ve had the Beast for a while now, and it was getting really dirty. Because of the wrap (the pictures) we can’t take it to a car wash – not that it would fit in there anyway. So Dad told the kids one hot summer day that it was time to clean the Beast.

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“First you had to spray the Beast very gently, from far away.” –Indigo

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“When it was wet you took the sponge and wiped it down, being careful so you didn’t wipe the stickers off.” –Jade

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“After Jade wiped it down, I had to dry it.” –Hewitt

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“I got to use the ladder too!”

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“Washing the Beast took a long time, but it looked awesome when it was done!” -Indigo

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They did a great job! The Beast was sparkly clean – until the next day, when it rained. LOL

Brett

 

 

Indigo and Jade

If you’ve been around our blog a while, you’ve probably discovered our Youngest Person Rule. I was looking through the camera* the other day and found these pictures of the Youngest Person Rule in action.

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For those of you who don’t know, the Youngest Person Rule means that the youngest person capable of doing the job does it. In this case, it means that Jade dries Indigo’s hair so Mom and I don’t have to.

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They like to have fun while they’re drying their hair – I’ve even seen several impromptu dance parties.

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My little sisters are adorable (not that I’m biased).

Do you ever implement the Youngest Person Rule?

Brett

 

 

*Amazon affiliate link

Dry Ice

The other day, we had a delivery (Graeter’s ice cream, yumm!!) that included some dry ice. After making sure the kids understood that they couldn’t touch the dry ice, they were allowed to do what they wanted with it.

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They wanted to touch the fog, to feel how cold it was.

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They wanted to pour it into another bucket, to see what it would do when it was transferred.

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And they wanted to look through the fog, to see the dry ice…

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… but they couldn’t see anything.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that Mom and Dad encourage us to learn about anything we want. Mom is always saying that it is her job to expose us to things that interest us and “spark our curiosity”  (her words, not mine).

In this case it worked!

After the dry ice stopped making fog, the kids got on the computer and googled “dry ice”.  They can tell you all about it now.

Homeschooling is awesome.

Oh, and if you’re worried about them playing with the dry ice, don’t worry – they were being supervised the whole time.

Brett

 

 

Where’s Indigo?

The other day, we were all in the soaproom getting our work done, and we couldn’t find Indigo. We weren’t sure if she was hiding in the house, or in the barn, but she wasn’t in the retail room, which is where she usually is if she’s in the soaproom.

Imagine how surprised Mom was when she found Indigo, tucked away on top of some boxes full of soap, ignoring the world because she was reading!

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I had just introduced her to the Goose Girl series, which is one of my favorite book series. She was so wrapped up in them that she carried them everywhere. She finished The Goose Girl* in five days, Enna Burning* in a week, and she’s almost done with River Secrets*! She’s going crazy because she hasn’t figured out who is on the cover of Forest Born* yet – she keeps trying to trick me into telling her.

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It makes me so happy to see my little sister falling in love with the same books I did. I’m going to have to figure out which series to give her next.

There are so many good choices!
Brett

 

 

*affiliate link

Ask A Jonas – Indigo’s Favorite Job

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm toursselling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of your own!

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“Indigo, what is your favorite job in the family business, and why?” ~Stephanie Fox

My favorite job in the soaproom is doing the retail room, mostly because it means I don’t have to do the other jobs, which I don’t like as much.

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I like the retail room because I can sit in there and read my book between customers. I get a lot of reading done that way.

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I can also play cards or board games with Jade and Hewitt which is fun.  I did this video about the retail room, where I talk about the other thing I like to do when I’m not working – make bracelets!

I do other stuff too, but I like to be in charge and I get to do that in the retail room.  So it’s my favorite job.

Signature Indigo

 

 

 

Have a question for a Jonas? Fill out the form and send it in – maybe we’ll pick yours!

Colorful Bedrooms

When they painted our bedrooms, we were that much closer to living in our bedrooms. We still needed carpet, lights, switches, trim, doors, and a whole lot more, but the rooms were very colorful.

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Which made all of us beyond excited!

Brett

 

 

Footprints

Since we did our handprints in the concrete at the soaproom, Mom wanted us to put our footprints on the barn’s porch. (Mom also suggested we do butt prints on the porch of the house, but Dad said no. LOL)

First, Ramblyn put the “broom finish” on the concrete – basically, going over the concrete with a broom to give it lines.

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We got a bucket of water to rinse our feet in afterward because uncured concrete can burn your skin.

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Jade’s feet wouldn’t go into the concrete – they had poured that concrete first, so it was too hard (and she didn’t weigh enough even with Mom and Lucky pushing on her feet) to make her footprint. We decided that she would get a bonus set of footprints on the other end of the barn.

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Lucky helped us push our feet into the concrete evenly. His hands were cold.

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So was the concrete, actually.

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Lucky picked the younger kids straight out of the concrete.  It was harder for the bigger kids (and Mom and Dad) to step out of the concrete evenly.

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But overall, the footprints came out really well!  Mom wrote our names by them again.

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I’m glad we put our footprints on the barn – it’s cool to see how much our feet have grown. (Well, my siblings’ feet – mine haven’t grown at all!)

Brett

 

 

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Jim and I met at The University of Virginia, so Thomas Jefferson is very important to us.  Here is an interesting fact – Thomas Jefferson was born on Jim’s birthday (April 13) and died on Jade’s birthday (July 4).  I always post the children’s birthday photos, and they insisted that I post Daddy’s birthday photos as well.

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Happy Birthday to my incredible husband!

PJ

Snuggly Sisters and a Famous Forehead

One morning the two little girls climbed into bed with Dad, wanting some snuggle time before they had to get ready for the day.

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At some point, they started talking about how Jade has bangs and Indigo doesn’t. Jade said, “Indigo wants to have bangs.”

Dad said, “Well, bangs look good on Jade, and no bangs looks good on Indigo.” He measured their foreheads with his fingers, from their eyebrows to their hairline. It turns out that Indigo has a much smaller forehead than Jade does.

After they figured this out, Indigo started laughing. “If you didn’t have bangs, Jade,” she said, still laughing, “you’d look like Peyton Manning!”

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Getting Eggs The Fun Way

Here on the Goat Milk Stuff farm, we got a lot of snow this winter. A couple of months ago, it was particularly nasty.

There were 3-4 inches of snow that had frozen completely solid, a sheet of ice on top making it almost impossible to walk anywhere. Fortunately, the next day it snowed again, so we had another inch of snow on top for traction.

With the snow frozen solid, you could walk on top without breaking through. And as the kids discovered, you could ride your bikes without breaking through! They found this particularly handy when Mom sent them to do their farm chores. A chance to ride their bike to get the eggs? They weren’t going to pass that up!

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Not only did they have fun riding their bikes to get the eggs, they didn’t break a single egg!

 

 

Ice Hockey

Since it’s been so cold for the past couple of weeks, our creek is frozen solid. (Yes, completely solid.) So the kids decided that they wanted to have a little fun.

What started as tossing an empty water bottle around on the ice turned into ice hockey, using an old water bottle and some sticks.

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They had so much fun, and though the creek melted, they haven’t stopped talking about it. I have a feeling that if the creek freezes again, I know where they’ll be!

 

How To Use Goat Milk Stuff Laundry Soap

All the Jonas children are very hard workers and have a lot of responsibilities.  Indigo (7) and Jade (6) have been doing their own laundry (with our laundry soap) for several years.  In this adorable video, they tell you all about it! 

 I’ve said it before, but I just have to say it again.  They’re just too cute!!

 PJ

 

 

How To Get Children to Stop Sucking Their Thumbs or Fingers

Getting our children to stop sucking their thumbs has always been a chore for me.  Brett was easy and decided to stop on her own.  Colter and Emery used pacifiers, which I took away from them when they were about a year old.  After 2 nights of crying for each of them, they were over their pacifiers.  Fletcher and Greyden were a lot harder – it involved a lot of glove wearing, duct tape, and many months. LOL

Indigo and Jade are the last of the Jonas children to suck their fingers.  We have been trying for almost 6 months to help them stop and they just couldn’t break the habit. Indigo has always sucked her thumb:

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While Jade sucks her two fingers:

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VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

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We thought that Jade had broken the habit about 4 months ago when she got a bad cut on her finger.  She cried for about 3 nights and then was fine.  But once the cut healed she went right back to sucking them!

While we were at the Christmas Show this year, I was walking around with Jade when I came across a vendor selling nail care stuff.  I was about to walk by when I heard her ask me, “Does your daughter need help stopping sucking those fingers?”  I looked down and sure enough, Jade had her fingers in her mouth.

The woman (Shirley) put a test coat on Jade’s fingers and I told her if it worked, I would be back!

I watched Jade for the next several hours and every time she would put her fingers in her mouth, they would come right out!  So (being a “fair” mother) I brought Indigo right over and had her put a test coat on Indigo’s thumb.  Same thing!

The next day I returned to the booth and bought a bottle because the girls cried themselves to sleep since they couldn’t suck their fingers/thumb.  It worked!

Within 3 days of using “Never Bite”, the girls completely stopped sucking and were no longer crying about it.  The best part is that they don’t even try to suck anymore.  We occasionally still put it on, just to make sure they don’t restart.

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The formula tastes nasty (I admit, I touched my tongue to it LOL) and we’ve had great success with it.  Shirley told me you only needed to apply it once every 3-7 days, but both my girls (who wanted to stop sucking their fingers) asked me to put on a fresh coat every night before bed.

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I purchased it from Shirley directly at the craft show, but you can purchase the “never bite” via her website at http://naturallybeautifulnails.net.  She does not have an e-commerce site, but I found her very helpful in person.  And just so you know, I don’t get anything for recommending this product.  I just wanted to share it with people because we had been unsuccessful for over 6 months and within 3 days we were completely finished with this issue!

Oh – and the boys are now asking for me to put it on their fingers to help them stop biting their nails! LOL

PJ