Monday, March 28, 2011


Craig and I are so very blessed! We share 8 grand-children(two girls and 6 boys) now and we are proud to announce that there are two more on the way.

  1. Our "adopted" daughter(WE claim her as our daughter even though she came into our life as an adult) Heather Ruble-Cook and her husband Kenny Cook are expecting their first child together, a son, Samuel Francois-James Cook, who is due to make his arrival in June.

  2. Our son, David Koontz and his wife Andrea Bauer-Koontz are expecting their first child, a daughter, in late May, about the time of our Cousin's Family Reunion get-together. David and his wife Andrea live in Bavaria so we won't get so spend much time with their daughter till they come back to USA for a visit. Got to spend some time with Andrea and David during their recent visit to our part of the world. Sure miss them both!

Birth announcements and photos will be shared as soon as we get the news!

Please keep both couples in your prayers. Two new children are due to arrive into our family and into a world full of upheaval and destruction.

Catching up is hard to do!!

  • After a long delay and many searches to find my own Blog, I'm back! How sad is it to lose your own blog? Well, we had a computer issue and everything was stored in the old computer....well you know the story!

  • Those things lost in the "e-byss" some are lost forever, some are found after much searching. That's where I am today. After much searching, I'm BACK!!! Things have changed a lot in the past year+ and now it's time to get caught up! We are working seriously on getting our retreat, Knight's Rest, up and running.

  • Knight's Rest is set up as a not-for-profit retreat for families dealing with life threatening illness of a family member. Please check our retreat information for details.

  • I have spent the last couple days welding on a bridge to connect the east and west side of our "park" area along the wooded creek where we host our get-togethers, weddings, reunions and simple bonfires. The creek is considered a " wet weather" creek which runs north-west to south-east and is only impressive when we have had major rains.

  • The reason for the bridge is that the creek banks are steep and unfriendly which makes crossing next to impossible without getting wet! So to get from one side of the creek to the other, it's a trip to the middle of our farm to use the crossing we created when we dug a small pond and used the dirt to make a road across the creek.

  • If you choose not to use that crossing, it's a 1/4 mile hike to the north pond dam or a 1/4 mile hike to the south to cross near the road. This foot bridge will shorten the hike to about 1/8 mile until we add a couple more small pond dam crossings along the creek.

  • SO in this dreary gray and cold spring day, I've been welding. A bridge! Yes, a bridge....and as I work, I can envision my work holding up a father pushing his child in a wheelchair across, enjoying the beauty of the cathedral of stately pecan, oak and sycamore trees, couples lost in each other's gaze hand in hand, a young couple saying their wedding vows using the bridge for a symbol of their beginning of life together, the passing from one stage of life to another, or children bouncing happily across to grab another stick for the bonfire, OR?????

  • That list is endless! One more step in the journey to turn 160 acres of Oklahoma wilderness into a peaceful retreat for families.

  • Now for the pressing news, we are hosting our third annual Cousin's Family Reunion! We had a great turn out for the first reunion, the second was held last year in Sterling, Kansas. This is the third and we are so excited!

  • Saddened a bit because several of our family will not be able to attend this year...... However, those of us who will be here will have a great time! Since we have very few blood family members in Oklahoma, we have opened our "reunion" up to include those country "cousins" we CLAIM as family!

  • Those friends, who, like us, are separated by miles from their relatives..... Those who share the love of a simple country life...such as we have here in central Oklahoma.

  • The life of living life with children, pets, farm animals and very little $$ to spare. Those who enjoy sitting around a bonfire, telling stories and singing old songs. Those who wish their real families would embrace their country choices yet know they never will.. Country is not for the faint of heart! It's a tough choice to live 22 miles from the nearest baby-sized Walmart! No Pizza deliveries, no cell phone, no newspaper stand on the corner, no shopping centers, no grocery stores....we have left behind the city life and we LOVE IT THAT WAY!!!!!

  • MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND is the time to come join us in our celebration of country living! Saturday, Sunday and Monday May 28,29,30 our farm welcomes our friends and family to come camp and enjoy the fellowship of country living!

  • You are welcome to come camp starting Friday, May 27th and stay till you need to leave. Camping is primitive at this point, facilities are limited. Good water is available near the camping area. Porta John for necessary funtions.

  • Sunday is our big feast and celebration. We plan to have a brief devotional and time of thanksgiving for the blessings that brought us all togheter!

  • Come prepared to share a meal about noon on Sunday, May 29th. Bring along some good food to share with everyone, bring your own plates and utensils, chairs and other general comforts for outdoor enjoyment.

  • We will supply a roast lamb or roast pig or both.....don't know yet. Everybody bring something to go along to make a complete meal. alcohol on Sunday please.

If you need driving directions, please call or email. GPS may or may not get you here....Google and Mapquest send you about 10 MILES east of where you want to be.

So contact ahead of time for directions. email: knightsmount at earthlink dot net or visit our website for contact information: MORE INFO TO COME!! Please check back!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The making of our freezer lambs..

As the trends turn more and more toward home-grown, healthy, grass-fed, small carbon "footprint" foods and supplies, marketing our farm produce should become easier and easier.

Our sheep are commercial(not registered) Dorpers a relatively "new" breed of shedding meat type sheep. Meat sheep, definitely! Lambs generally weigh about 7 pounds at birth and will weigh between 80-100 pounds by the time they are 4-5 months of age, and incredible rate of gain! Shedding, yes, they shed off their wooly winter coat when the weather gets warm, usually retaining a strip of wool and hair down the middle of their back. They look like they are wearing a bad hair-piece, but it works wonderfully to protect them from the summer heat and keep the skin on their back from sunburning.

The most recent purchase for the farm was a group of 20 pregnant ewes which came from Jim Joerger in Missouri. The ewes were very pregnant when we purchased, some already had lambs at their side and several delivered lambs within a few days of arriving at the farm here in Oklahoma. The rest of the flock are sporting large pregnant bellies and will most likely lamb within the next 3-4 weeks.

We will have freezer lambs available for the Easter season 2008, check back for price list and to order your lamb for Easter. Our ewes are bred to lamb several times through the year so we will have lambs available all year long.

Here is a bit of breed information from the American Dorper Breeder's Society website:

Dorper Sheep – Meat Sheep for the Modern Producer
Hardy and Adaptable
- Dorper Sheep are highly adaptable and do well in harsh, extensive conditions as well as in more intensive operations.
Excellent Maternal Qualities - Ewes are excellent mothers and heavy milkers. Lambs are vigorous and have high survivability.
Long Breeding Season - Dorpers are non-seasonal or have an extended breeding season. They can easily be managed to produce three lamb crops in two years.Reproductive Efficiency-Dorpers are very fertile and prolific. Lambing rates of 180% can be achieved per lambing. They are early maturing and will produce a lamb crop at one year of age.
Pre-potency - Dorper sheep cross well with commercial ewes of other breeds and as terminal sires produce fast growing, muscular lambs.
Non-Selective Grazers - Dorpers are excellent converters of a wide range of forage types and they excel in grazing or weed control operations.
Heat and Insect Tolerant - Because of their Blackhead Persian origin, Dorpers have natural tolerance to high temperatures and heavy insect populations. They are productive in areas where other breeds barely survive.
Parasite Tolerant - Studies indicate Dorper Sheep are better able to deal with a parasite burden than many other breeds.

Sharing farmstead life..

Today dawned bright and clear and windstill, a new experience after days and days of high wind under gray and threatening skies, first blowing hard from the north, then blowing hard from the south.

Trees now dropping damaged limbs from our most recent ice storm as if preparing for spring's debut which promises to be just around the corner.

The bouncing lambs revel in the sunshine, popping up like fuzzy popcorn then racing around and around their paddock...

The littlest lamb, a single from a yearling mother follows tentatively behind the larger lambs...wanting to be included but a little scared to leave the security of his mother too far behind. This lamb must rely on the kindness of the shepherd, as his mother is not producing enough milk to sustain him. SO twice a day he slurps down a bottle of warm nurishment from an impersonal bottle then returns to the comfort of his mother's nearly empty udder. The little ewe is an attentive mother yet for some unknown reason she has very little milk to give her little one. One strike against her....a repeat of this performance with the next lambing and she will go for slaughter. There is no room on the productive farmstead for riders! All must produce and prosper or be replaced with those who will.

Horses stand broadside to the warming sunshine, soaking up the sun's relaxing warmth..Foals lay stretched flat on their sides, melted into the peaceful oblivion of contented sleep. Their world is safe, bellies are full and now after days of cold and damp they are warm once again.

Soon the youngsters will start their formal training, the foundation for their life's work as sport-partners for their human companions. Skills gently taught in the first days will set the tone for the rest of their lives. How important it is to consider what is first taught to a young horse and even more important WHO teaches them! A bully trainer can terrify a timid young horse and a timid trainer can allow an overly confident youngster to develop into the "boss" in the training sessions and life to come.

We work with our foals from their first day here on the farm to make every contact with humans a positive experieince. Foals are handled gently from birth and even necessary unpleasant experiences such as medications and vaccinations are administered with as much kindness as possible. It's amazing how forgiving foals will be when somewhat ugly things are followed by lots of gentle words and scratching those unreachable itchy places! Even timid cautious foals can be won over when the right itchy spot is found!

Most of our young Sporthorses are Shire/Arabian and Percheron/Arabian, the ultimate blend of size and substance combined with "fire and elegance"!