Monday, May 16, 2011

Boys and their Toys!

Daniel is all boy. The kids LOVES anything with wheels or scoops or power. :) Recently our neighbors had some large trees cut down. We were sad, because two of the trees were great shade trees for our house, yard, and driveway. But we understood - the trees were getting old and branches came down every storm. On the plus side, they gave us most of the wood! I'll have to get a picture of the huge pile in front of our barn that is waiting for Garr to cut, split, and stack! It is much appreciated as wood heat is our only heat! We have rarely had to pay for wood. Garr is very resourceful and does things like put ads on Craigslist for people who have trees down in their yards that they want removed. He goes and cuts them up and takes them away for people and we have free heat! :) He also has a friend who has a lot of acreage and they spend time working together cutting wood.

So back to Daniel. The other positive was my boy got to sit and watch men work with power tools and bucket trucks and tractors ... to his heart's content. Nothing better for a little boy.

Here is the wood we were given -
you can see how big the chunks of wood are
compared to our recycle bin!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Well, I'm not sure what the problem with Blogger is, but I haven't been able to access my account since last night (until right now) and I am missing some of my posts! Yesterday's post is gone and I had a post all ready for today and it's gone also. :( I'll keep checking back and try to post when it shows up!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Daniel checking out the chicken door :)
Abby cuddling one of the chicks
The white leghorns as babies
Eme peeking through the chicken door
Abby and Daniel settling the chicks in

We decided to get chickens this year. We like the fresh eggs and the girls are excited to have yet another pet. :) So yes, some of the chickens have received names... such as Cheeseburger, Nugget, etc. LOL They have decided if we get a rooster, he will be called Big Mac. :) One particularly sweet and friendly white chicken has earned the name Matilda.

We first bought 6 white leghorn pullets. They have all thrived and are getting big. They have learned to go in at night and roost (which makes putting them in at night a whole lot easier, let me tell you!) Then we bought 10 of a Rhode Island Red variety. Unfortunately one of the chicks died in the first week. Then another chick was lost (we think taken by a hawk) one evening. We had originally thought the hawk had gotten two chicks, but Garr found one chirping and scurrying around the barn the next day. It must have just gotten lost. We do have them fenced in but the babies could (and daily do) squeeze through the fence and run around until we herd them back in. Which is highly interesting with Rocky running around! (not really - he has caused lots of screaming and a little cussing around these parts lately!)

The kids do great with caring for the chickens. My parents bought the chicken coop we have and the chickens seem very happy in it. :) The kids get them fresh food and water each day and spend time playing with them. Yesterday they cleaned out the coop but said it was no big deal. :) I love my kids - they are such hard workers and rarely any complaints.

Last week, they proclaimed that they love this house, this garden, the chickens, and they don't ever want to move. So there you go. :)

White Leghorn - around 2 mo old
Rhode Island Red - around 1 mo old

The coop
The White Ladies roosting
The white leghorns as babies
A better view of the inside
Abby talking to the chickens
Another angle of the coop
The white ladies around 1 mo old
My girls - probably feeding them worms

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our Garden

Here you can see the orchard,
the smaller melon/berry garden (L shaped) and
closest, part of the big garden
The rest of the big garden
The last part of the big garden,
our chicken coop, barn, and back of the house
Dad ducking for the sprinkler :)
Green things growing!!!

We planted a garden this Spring. Not just a little, bitty garden either. A BIG garden! I'm so thankful for my parents and their gardening experience. There's no way we would have pulled any of this off without them. The main garden is quite large and we've planted corn, peas (2 varieties), beans, onions, scallions, radishes, carrots, lettuce (2 varieties), peppers, and tomatoes. There might be more, but I can't remember :) In the second garden, we have lots of strawberries! We've already gotten to taste them and they are SO good - definitely make the store bought taste like nothing! The third section of garden has melons, pumpkins, potatoes, and cucumbers. I can't remember if mom was able to fit the zucchini and squash. :) We also have 8 fruit trees planted - apples and peaches. We planted blueberry bushes (two of the four look very sad and I'm not sure if they will make it!) And for beauty, we've planted a pink dogwood tree in the front yard and two lilac bushes out back. We are hoping to do lots and lots of freezing and canning to help supplement during the coming winter. :)

The gate has to stay latched to keep Rocky from digging monster holes in the garden :)
The kids enjoy climbing over it!
Dad and Mom working
Great Grandma came for a month long visit.
She got to enjoy the sunshine and watch the grandkids play.
We loved having her here.
Livy labeling the row markers.
Can you tell who was hard at "work" here?
Dad did a lot of rototilling and
working on the rototiller this Spring!
The girls found quite a bit of broken pottery and bits in the garden -
rather like their own archeology dig!
They had fun examining the pieces and
trying to figure out where they came from.
Daniel works hard emptying our buckets
as we fill them with weeds!
Mom weeding with the girls
lovely Livia
Dad mowing the perimeter so Abby could mow the inside :)
Daniel trying to feed a worm to the chickens
Abby - working hard weeding
working together
Dad talking with Daniel over the gate
Mom and Liv working together
some rows of greenery coming up! sans weeds!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Photo Shoot

So while writing my post yesterday, I realized I don't have any photos of myself with all the kids. Apparently, I'm usually behind the camera instead of in front of it! So I asked Garr to take some pictures of us for Mother's Day. The kids were happy to do it - well, except Danny, who wasn't in the mood for pictures as you can see from his face :( I did manage to get him to stand near us by bribing him with a sucker... hey, you do what you gotta do! :)

The most wonderful father to my kids!
My oldest, who now is as tall as me.
And soon will be taller I'm sure.
All 4 kids, and of course,
Rocky had to get in the photo also.

Abby and I
almost 12 weeks pregnant with #5