For a couple days, my little girls and I took on some farm life.
You see, my sister and her family are pretty awesome temporary farmers in a pretty gorgeous corner of the world.
I talked about our trip to visit them back HERE for MFME, and I’ve longed to take my family back ever since.  (For MUCH more information from my sister herself about the farm and why and how they are doing it, click HERE.  It is a pretty amazing/hard/exciting/stretching/awesome ride for this great family!)
I don’t know how long they will stay there, so I decided I better get whoever I could on over there speedy quick while that sister of mine is still in the middle of it all.
So we packed up from Southern California for the 4th of July, me with my “super helpful” children (Dave and Elle had headed back to the desert for work).  Claire limping around with her stingray-stung-stitched-up foot, and Lucy with her deteriorating vision weren’t top notch helpers, but they’re still pretty awesome so I’ll keep them.
We packed up, bid a sad goodbye to friends and left those rich 4th of July memories swirling in our hearts to head out on the myriad of freeways California has to offer amidst the thousands of other drivers trying to get this way and that.
My map on my phone started out telling me it would be 8 1/2 hours to the farm but I swear every time I looked at it that darn time went up instead of down!  It took us eleven hours to get there and I swear we took every single freeway and hit every traffic back-up.  

But we were listening to Little Women en route (so good, more on that later), and those girls of mine, including Bo, were pretty great troopers.

We pulled in after dark, after soaking in the gorgeous sunset along the route, and joyed in hugs all around and my girls eyes lit up in that little farm house with their cousins.

Within seconds Claire looked up at me with bright eyes and told me how worth it all the driving was 🙂

First thing in the morning we milked the goats.

I adore this picture of my sweet niece Emeline showing Lucy how to milk using her thumb as the udder for an example:

It was the cutest thing to watch those girls work together to get that milk out…with my sisters help too.

 Hazel taught Claire the art of milking as well.

 More about what they do with all that milk in a minute…

All these kids were pretty excited about Bo.

And Bo was pretty excited about the goats 🙂

Emmeline taught Lucy how to make bread:

 She makes it each day and does such a great job.

Last time we were at the farm (with all my sisters), the hills were rolling with green, and the mud was deep and thick.

Now it is all dried out, golden rolling hills of beauty that these little Shumway kids delight in sledding down on cardboard.

So we trudged on up to take in the scenery and sled back down.

There’s a platform at the top with such a beautiful view.

It was much more steep than it looks, and no one actually made it too far on those makeshift sleds that day, but I loved watching them try.

The the farmhouse down there in the distance?

We checked on the plants growing in the greenhouse:

And gathered eggs…

…and fed the chickens:

…and fed the goats.

Light in barns is so pretty.

My sister Saydi is really pretty incredible.  She works that little farm like nobody’s business.  
She has planted lots of crops:
(Yes, along with her family, but I think she’s the main one in charge of all this stuff.)
She has figured out how to make goat cheese in many varieties:

She takes her kids to the closest little town once in a while to let them sell it along with some farm fresh eggs.

And she whips up some pretty tasty stuff in this kitchen.

Meanwhile the kids sure had fun on that farm I tell you!

Peter decided it was time to start riding the goats.

Lucy snuggled up her dog…

…and we removed probably 1, 397 burs that attached firmly to her fur.

We mucked out the barn to earn our keep 🙂

We raked and shoveled so much straw and poop.

And had a pretty grand time putting our shoulder to the wheel.

We went on an adventure down to the redwood area on the other side of the property.

It goes from those vast expanses of golden to this just over one little hill:

Check out this bridge with trees (or maybe branches) growing straight up from it.

It is magical down there I tell you!

These girls “dunked” in that freezing cold water “29 times,” and came out literally glowing with the confidence it took to do it.

We drove to the neighboring town to drink in the sunset.

There’s a Ritz Carlton where you can go hear the bagpipes as the sun sets.

It was purely magical.

Oh how I love this family.

Nothing like spending one on one time with cousins.

Especially before the big reunion shebang!

Saydi is three and a half younger than I am, but boy I look up to her in so many ways.

We explored a little ways away from where the sun was setting as well…watching the sky turn purple and gray as it gathered darkness.

The next day we spread all our straw we had cleaned out of the barn over the garden.

Visited the most picturesque little goat farm not too far away:

And sat on a gorgeous beach.

Saydi and I were so tired we stretched out and took a little catnap while the kids played and talked and let the wind toss their hair.

And then it was over.

A pretty great farm adventure for us city slickers.

Now my head is spinning trying to figure out how to get the rest of the family there!

We got up at the crack of dawn the next day to caravan to Utah so we could get to Bear Lake where everyone was beginning to gather.

Somehow road trips are stepped up quite a few notches with cousins…

…and movies.

And also someone to take turns driving (Saydi drove part time with me while her husband drove the other car).

The sky was so gorgeous that day!

I’ve somehow become one of those ladies who holds her dog on her lap in the car.

How in the world has it come to that, I ask?

We drove through the Salt Flats…fun to point them out to Claire since she wasn’t with us when we went last month (back HERE).

We also drove past the Great Salt Lake but no one was about to get out by that time.
They wanted to GET THERE already.  And so did I.  But I did at least pull over for long enough to take a far-away picture. 
I grew up in Salt Lake City but I’ve never been to the Great Salt Lake before.  Kinda crazy right?
And now we are at the lake.  
And it is all kinds of beautiful in a different way.
So very grateful to have had the opportunity to soak in the beauty of that farm for a couple days before we got here.
Check out more about the farm and Saydi’s beautiful writing over HERE.


  1. It's wonderful how your love and admiration for Saydi just shines through in this post. You have chosen pretty different lifestyles and it's so great how much you can appreciate hers.

  2. I did this lifestyle backwards. I grew up on a homestead in Eastern Oregon (Not too far from where your family built their cabin) with my grandparents. Then I moved to Phoenix my senior year of high school and graduated from there. I always thought I wanted to be a city girl, but I ended up buying my grandparents homestead and lived there for seven years with my daughters before moving to Boise. I so appreciate having the best of both worlds. If needed I could survive without all of the comforts of the 21st century. Yet, I am just as comfortable being in cities and getting my way around and living there.
    Kudos to Saydi's children for their skill of milking goats! My worst chore to do. Goats are absolutely hilarious and get in all sorts of mischief, but I swear they knew when I was milking them and kicked the bucket over EVERY TIME! My granddad definitely had the touch.
    So glad you had a great adventure!

  3. Fun adventures! What a grand time you are having with your daughters this summer.

    I was surprised to see that your sister lives – judging by the pictures – near me. Then on a whim I looked and we're in the same stake 🙂 Such a small world.

  4. I haven't opened my computer for a very long time and it was such a delight to find this today when the crowd thinned down enough to leave for a couple of hours and catch up on a lot of things! Love seeing this grand adventure! Lots has happened since we were there! 🙂

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