Thursday, May 26, 2011


This is the doll I gave away in the White Sugar Brown Sugar Blog giveaway.   I think she turned out adorable.  It was actually a bit of a challenge, because I usually make these with real wool stuffing, which is where shaping the head comes into play, but she asked for polyfil so it could be machine washed.  It was a little more difficult to sew her head on, but I think she turned out great.  I've also been busy sewing to add to my etsy shop inventory.

Vacation Bible School is coming up, too, and I'm in charge of crafts for that.  I've been tracing pattern pieces on foam for magnets and getting supplies figured out.  The kids always enjoy VBS, and so do I.

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and soon after will be the last day of school.  It has flown!  I'm also trying to get things together for summer.  I really want to focus on teaching more Spanish to the kids this year. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The chickens get a friend

A few days ago, we were inside the chicken yard when I noticed something unexpected.  An orange box turtle is living in the chicken yard!  We had never noticed before, but since Nathaniel went and killed the poison ivy, (and by default, a lot of the other vegetation, too) we saw him for the first time.  He's got very orange head and legs.  He's also not too shy; when I picked him up, he kept his head and legs out.  The kids were very excited about him. Apparently, he's been living in the yard for some time, since there's no way a turtle could get in or out of it.  Since I have the door open to the third yard, he may wander that way, but I think he's pretty well stuck in the chicken complex.  Neither he nor the chickens seem to mind, though. 
I'll try to get a picture of him a little later, if it's not still rainy. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost Feathered Out

The chicks seem to get more feathers every day.  They enjoy the outdoors very much.  We open the two yards that connect directly to the coop every day.  I haven't let them in the large adjoining yard yet; maybe when the weather's better.  They are about a month old now!
This is in the coop, where they all cluster in the corner when Lydia comes running and saying, "I want to pet a chick!"

Lydia wanted a mommy and me shot, so here it is, the kind where I hold the camera in front of us and snap!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Horsing Around

A lady Nathaniel works with invited us over to the farm to see her horses.  She even let them ride Midnight, her new Gypsy vanner horse from Scotland. 

Lydia didn't want to ride, but we did get her to sit for a moment.

Check out the horse's hairy feet. 

We all had a good time.  Lydia cheered on the boys as they rode (Go Malachi!  Go Elijah!)  It was funny.  We also got to see Joan's race horse (Royal Start)  and her old horse (Thunder Cloud), who really enjoyed carrots and mints. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Little Chickens and Garden Update

Well, the chicks aren't so chickish anymore.  They're really starting to resemble little chickens.  They have real feathers covering their wings and parts of their necks/backs. 
As for the garden, the broccoli and brussel sprouts look great.  The tomatoes are alive, if a bit sad.
Black Brandywine tomato


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In the Coop

Well, the chicks are in the coop now.  We have the heat lamp on at night and have them shut inside, but during the day they can roam their smallest yard.  I haven't let them in their bigger yards yet, but they are really enjoying the taste of outdoor freedom.

The coop isn't pretty, but it's functional!

Nathaniel put in the nesting boxes.  (One divider is missing here.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Chicks Have An Exciting Day

Well, no one died, so the first problem doesn't qualify as a disaster, but it was a mess!  When I went to change the water, the lid came unscrewed as I lifted it and water spilled all over the cardboard box.  The box was ruined, and I had to find a new spot for the chicks fast.  Luckily, Nathaniel made nesting boxes Thursday evening, so I modified them while the chicks chirped in terror from a smaller cardboard box.  Finally, we got them into their new temporary home:
Later in the day, the kids and I decided to let them have some time outside.  Elijah took these shots:

I'm not sure if you can tell in any of the pictures, but some of the chicks now have tail feathers.  They've definately changed since Monday when we got them!  The kids had a blast finding worms and roly-polys to feed to the chicks.  The chicks sure loved it, too. 

Looking for bugs.

Lydia kept scooping up the chicks, even though I told her to pet them, not pick them up.  She just can't seem to help herself.  Luckily, she's actually very gentle with them and picks them up right.  The boys are leery of actually picking up the chicks; they prefer to pet softly.  When I transferred the chicks back to the brooder, one was temporarily misplaced, but we soon found her and all 12 made it back inside. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...Garden Update

It was so nice to have a sunny day yesterday.  My plants desperately need to dry out.  The tomatoes are looking sad, except for the cherry ones, which look fantastic.  Go figure.  The broccoli and brussel sprouts look healthy but haven't grown in a week or so.  The cucumber and zucchini may be a loss at this point, but we have more seed, so it's not a disaster.  One bright spot:
Cilantro!  I have lots of cilantro, and so I bought some tomatillos and made tomatillo salsa.  So yummy!  Malachi and I like that green salsa. 
I am trying my hand at making my own chorizo, too.  I got a recipe off the girlichef blog and it is now sitting in the fridge, soaking up the flavors before I fry it up tonight with scrambled eggs.  I ground up a pork butt from the pig we bought, and mixed the spice paste and herbs into it.  I hope it turns out good.  I sent Nathaniel to a Mexican grocery in Louisville yesterday to get the dried chiles I needed.  I usually have anchos on hand, but the recipe called for pasillas and chiles de arbol, so he had to go exploring.  Thanks honey!

Nathaniel and the boys also made the nesting boxes for the chickens last night. He'll install them in the coop tonight.  I'll have to get a picture later.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Doll Giveaway

I'm featured on a blog where I'm giving away one of my dolls.  (If you want one, feel free to enter!) 

In other news, the chicks are doing great, and the kids are so taken with them.  Katie doesn't know what to think of them.  She keeps sniffing around the box and staring at me in utter confusion.  When we are holding chicks, she just stares at them.  I'm just thrilled she isn't barking at them.  Yet.  That may change when they're running around the yard.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


We actually did it.  Here are 12 Golden Comet pullets.  They are settled into a box in the garage, since they are only about 1 1/2 weeks old.  It isn't a pretty pen, but it will do until they are a bit bigger and able to get into the coop.  The kids are fascinated by the chicks.  Lydia loves them and is constantly wanting to go get them.  We've had them for less than 24 hours, so we'll see if they hold her interest.  They might; she's really in love with all sorts of animals. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wedding Fun

Alaina, flower girl :)

the Melissas take a quick break

My kids were glad to see friends at the reception.

Annabelle had a blast.

Our table was kid city.  At one point, we had 8 kids at it during the wedding!