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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A good day for Hot Chocolate and making recycled crayons……

Only the 4 little ones and us home today…everyone else is visiting grandparents.  It is a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon.  So…my little domestic goddess decided that we should do an art project out of our homeschool curriculum; making recycled crayons.  We took all of our broken crayon pieces (we end up with a lot of these with a 2 year old in the mix), took off the wrappers, separated them into colors, and put them into cans out of the recycle bin.  We then put 2 inches of water into a saucepan and put the cans into it until the crayons melted (important to keep it on low heat because crayons are FLAMMABLE).  Then we poured the crayon mixture into muffin liners in the muffin pan.  We then put it into the fridge to harden while we went to Tractor Supply to purchase Calf “formula” and also to check on our booth at Martin’s Flea Market. 

The kids are coloring with them now while they enjoy hot chocolate and whip cream.  These are the days that you don’t want your kids to ever grow up.  These types of days get you through the other days that you have to walk away and count to ten……..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This one is written by Tammy :)

Well we haven’t been on here recently….It seems the more we try to slow down the pace of our family, the more we speed up. However, I am happy to report that although the pace is not as slow as our expectations; it is 99% better.  The first year back in our home state has been trying.  We have struggled with the loss of Albuquerque; which I now often refer to as home.  As many know out in The Land of Enchantment, on more than one occasion they heard about the “FINE” state of Kentucky, and of course “The Kentucky Wildcats” may have been brought up a few times.  It is funny because now we reflect back on NM, and what we miss so much now.

The move; which of course was in the dead of winter and during the holiday season (which created additional struggles), was successful; and finally..we were here. Angie has spent the year struggling to find full-time employment which would provide insurance for me, and pay the bills.   I am happy to say that she starts working full-time at the University of Kentucky in December; and this job will take care of both of these issues. 

We have jumped through the hoops of a move; such as changing our driver’s licenses. And, don’t even get this family started about satellite TV, which we gave up completely in March. We added several new animal friends and we lost some our new animal famil: Annabelle the goat, Betsy the cow, a few chickens and 1 duck, and lastly our beloved great dane “Ruby Lee.”

On our small piece of Kentucky heaven, we have started the process of becoming a self- sustainable home. We have also taken steps to try various ways to bring income into the family.  The kids and I have 50 pullets en route from McMurry McHatchery.  We plan to free-range these chickens and sell the eggs in the spring at the Farmers Market in Frankfort. We have the goal of expanding it in the future. The ultimate goal is to use this project to hit several academic areas by Harman Farm’s School House. 

We also opened a booth at Martin’s Flea Market; #334 on the corner of 151 and 127 it is stuffed full of items at bargains prices.  This project has been done by primarily by Angie; with Robert and me being the lifters.  By spring the goal is to have a green house in place, so that we can get our garden going earlier and also sell vegetables at the market.  Kennedy has taken a real interest in gardening and the goal is to give her a small area to do her own garden this year.   We have 2 bee hives which are doing well and plan to expand with 2 more hives in the spring.  Our goats are working on expanding the herd.  The calves; Daisy and Annie are growing like weeds.  Both are very friendly and the kids handle them a lot, so let’s just say that they put up with a lot.  The pot belly pigs continue to be useless (as Angie points out).  My argument is that they are good for the soul.  Our chickens have given us so many eggs I think the kids have grown a little tired of eggs at times.  The pony and miniature horse continue to be useless as well but I do plan on putting them to work this spring.  Robert and I have tackled little projects during the day while Angie is at work.  The kids and I are in full swing with school and although we struggle at times; it is working. 

Angie has found full time employment with UK and she comes home at night and jumps in with the kids. We are going to use this winter to hibernate, and work on projects.  The kids are spending time getting to know their family and new home state.  Robert is chomping at the bit to join the Marines, Sophie is always into something, Kennedy is blossoming as she explores her new surroundings, Sawyer has started asking if we need feed from Tractor Supply, and Jack is on the move with the rest of the family chasing him. 

Last year at this time we were wrapping up Sawyer’s adoption and aggravating everyone about Jack’s adoption (we wanted a date so that we could leave).  We were living in a packed up house and each day we would try to decide the logistics of visiting for Christmas in Kentucky and moving permanently to Kentucky.  The days were so long and the longer we waited; we became more frustrated. Then when we were just about to give up the Christmas visit we got the call the date for Jack Henry’s adoption was set and the whirlwind began.  So here we are trying to make a go at it now; one day at a time.  Sometimes when we are talking about the things we are doing I look back and want to say Angie and I are crazy.  But I am quickly brought back to reality, by something going on around us and realize that our family is struggling to make a go of this together and we are learning as we go, and how many families really get this opportunity? I hope you all continue to follow us during the New Year and look for our “accomplishments” and small mistakes.  The kids have started a book they plan to have printed as a reminder to these days. I have a feeling looking back will provide a lot of laughs. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ruby died

Ruby, our beautiful 120 pound Great Dane, died this evening.  She had been having some gastro issues (not uncommon for her) and Tammy had scheduled a vet appointment for her in the morning at   However, when we went to check on her…she was gone. 

Ruby was a clown.  I named her after my paternal grandmother; Ruby Lee Riddle Newman.  She was one of the goofiest creatures that I have ever met, and she loved her family very much.  She would let Kennedy (who weighs not even half of what did) pull her around by her collar. 

Ruby had some mischievous adventures in her short life.  When we lived in Albuquerque, we had a pool in our back yard.  When she was about 6 months old, she jumped in the pool; and obviously did not have the instinct to swim.  Robert hoisted her out before I even knew what happened.  It bruised up her belly and she was having a lot of trouble walking.  So..we whisked her off to the vet where she made a fool out of me by running around the vet’s office uncontrollably.  Then, last summer, on a very hot desert night; the gate to our fence got blown down.  I went out back to let her in and she was gone.  I was a lot like a crazy person driving all of the west side of Albuquerque looking for her.  When I finally found her it was like a Hallmark card.  I threw the Suburban into park on a main street (98th) and jumped out of the truck.  Ruby came flying across the road to me.  We literally stopped traffic. 

A part of my heart died tonight L

Recyclables of Harman Farm

We are off to a new adventure…we are renting a booth at Martin’s Flea Market.  It is located at the corner of 151 and 127; close to the Frankfort/Lawrenceburg line.  The website is  Our booth number is 334 and my sister’s booth is right across the aisle from us in booth number 64.  We are selling decorative items, dance shoes, children’s items, a Margaritaville margarita maker, etc.  Every booth in the flea market is full and you can find just about anything that you are looking for…great for Christmas gifts!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toys R Us catalog came today.......

A balancing act…isn’t that what parenting really is?  We really feel this way around the holidays.  When we first began fostering/adopting, we had the tendency to “overcompensate” for what the kids had never had.  We would “over buy” and this would overwhelm all of us on many levels.  Over the years we have certainly reduced the amount that we buy; for a variety of reasons.  First of all…the lovely recession, the hiking upward of food prices, gas prices, etc.  Also, we took a hit when we decided that Tammy would stay home with the kids full-time.  I think that it has been the best thing in the world for all of us; but financially it sure has been tough.  It has made us really the vast difference between what is “wanted” and what is “needed.”  And I am not going to lie…it has been tough!  I miss shopping!!

Anyway, this brings me back to the holiday discussion…we are really trying to teach the kids what the holidays are all about.  It is not about how many toys that you can accumulate and then 2 days later not even remember what you got.  We are not so great about teaching the religious part and are trying to find a church.  (we tried one a few weeks ago that just didn’t fit us; so we are on the lookout again)  However, we both have a very giving heart and the ability to empathize with others.  And this is what we are focusing on this year.  The fact that we are lucky to have such a great family; that we always have food to eat, a car to drive, electricity, running water, etc.  Many, many families around the world cannot say this.  So..we are going to pick a person or organization to donate to; not sure of the specifics yet...but I have some strong ideas J

Mission Statement for Harman Farm

Mission Statement for HarMan Farm

We are a family-owned and operated small farm who plans to ensure the opportunity to the next generation of Newman/Harris children who choose to maintain the life style of meeting their own needs with less depends on Big Brother. HarMan Farm will strive to produce healthy food and animals; for consumption by our family and the public. We will strive each day to improve the soil, the quality of eggs, and the livestock produced on our small farm.   We will strive in every aspect of our lives to educate ourselves on how our actions affect the earth and people around us. Therefore only non- hazardous materials will be used on our land and when possible our farm will use local products for all aspects of operations. Land stewardship practices will be a priority while maintaining our rural life values and being stewards of the community. This is done with the goal of maximizing profitability by using naturally made products.

Vision Statement for Harman Farm

Vision Statement for HarMan Farm

Established November 2011

Family Members: Tammy Harris, Angie Newman, Robert Harris, Kennedy Harris, Sophie Harris, Sawyer Harris, and Jack Henry Harris.

Our family will provide a real-life working model of what it means to live on a self sustainable homestead on a small piece of property, without destroying the land.
We will strive to take full responsibility for our actions, and correct our misdeeds. Our family will demonstrate respect for all people and living beings that touch our lives directly or indirectly.  Angie and I will strive to raise children who have strong work ethics; and the ability to address anyone they come in contact with as a human being with dignity and rights. Our goal is that our children are able to embrace Happiness which is all around them every moment of the day. And as they enter the world hopefully they will not to let it slip away; but will continue to embrace happiness individually and as a family.

Tammy Harris
Angie Newman
Robert Harris
Kennedy Harris
Sophie Harris
Sawyer Harris
Jack Henry Harris