Monday, August 11, 2014

The New Girls Get Names

Well the girls are all grown up now, so today was the day we banded them and gave them names. Here's the roll call.....
Nadia got her name because as we were watching her after the banding she walked across the roosting bar and balanced on one leg while stretching the other leg out in front of her and repeated this with the other leg with exception of stretching it behind her- she looked like she was preforming a balance beam routine.


Helen is a rather flighty bird. She made the biggest fuss when she was being banded.
We don't know any fussy Helen's but Dan felt that she looked like a Helen so the name stuck.

Lizzy, of course is named after Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudiced. She is not proud or prejudiced but I love the name Lizzy. Too bad she will never meet her
 Mr. Darcy.

Ethel got her name because of her BFF. She is usually found hanging around Lucy!

Bertha is the biggest of all the girls. Big Bertha just seems to suit her.

Guinever's band color is white and for some reason she just kept reminding me of
 Lady Guinevere so the name stuck.

Little Lucy actually got her name when we brought her home. She was is the smallest of the girls and always came running to me when I would peek into the brooder. She usually is one of the first ones to get to me when I go out to the coop- that is if Claudia will get out of the way!
And last but not least...Gertrude...Dan picked her name. 

Guess who would not leave me alone until I took her picture?
Claudia the photo bomber!(by the way...she rules the roost!)
So there you have it. About three weeks ago we combined the "Three French Hens" with the new girls. They are getting along as good as can be expected. They were 20 weeks old on August 7th and we found the first egg  from the new girls, laid in the run, on Sunday the 10th. There were two more today, one broke in the nesting box and the other was laid in the run again. Both were small really small but we are thrilled that they are starting. I know production will increase as they get the hang of it. The next project is to increase the size of the run and finish painting the coop. I am also not happy where the old coop is placed so we have plans to move that again. When it is all done I will give you a picture tour....or stop by and see them in person. 






Friday, April 4, 2014

God Is Holding The Umbrella

I am sure you have heard the phrase "when it rains it pours". I have heard it all my life. Something told me when I woke this morning that it was going to be a gully gusher kind of a day, and there was nothing on the local radar forecasting rain! 

It all started with me oversleeping...(you don't need the details)...racing to the bathroom to get ready...calling out to number 2 child to hurry up and get dressed, take the dogs out, feed the dogs....the phone rings....it's the husband...."have you eaten yet? I want to take you out for breakfast." (He has been on out of town trips all week, bless his heart, and wanted to do something fun with the family)....but it's a school day......Oookay...we'll go out to breakfast...child number 2 is still not up, no dogs have been out or fed and dad is pulling in the driveway..."why aren't you ready?"...(Let's not go there)....number 2 child is finally dressed, dogs have been out and fed...pile into the car and on to the restaurant...after we are seated I notice that number 2 child's hair is making Einstein's hair look professionally styled...
And that was the calm part of the day.

After "breakfast", we had a few errands to run, so it makes sense to just do them while you are out right? While driving hither and yon the check gauges light on the dash comes on..."no big deal" I thought...husband had the mechanic at work test the alternator and battery last week when it did this and the voltage read fine...husband thinks it is a malfunction in a computer chip....(you do need the details on this one)...sometime during the morning rush husband tells me he is going to go to a computer customer after work so won't be home until late...call number 1 child and arrange to have her bring number 2 child to her house after youth meeting for husband to pick up on his way into town...(sounds like a plan)(insert distant thunder rumble here)...rush home just in time for husband to go back to work...phone rings..it's number 1 child..instead of picking number 2 child up pack a bag so she can stay the night to help with grand-babies on Saturday...(thunder is a bit closer now. Why? you ask...the laundry isn't done yet for the week and who knows if number 2 child even has clean clothes at this point)...call to number 2 child to pack a bag....with the hour left before we need to leave for dance class(I decided to run to Walmart before dropping her off)....load the car with props to drop off at the dance studio for a performance tomorrow...realizing I hadn't eaten since "breakfast" I decide to do something that my OCD self has never done...ever... throw a few sweet potatoes in the oven at 275 for the hour(at the most) that I will be gone so that I have something ready to eat that is on my new eating program when I arrive home.(Note: at this point I am not really hungry and can wait until I return so I don't even grab a small snack)(insert flash of lighting and large clap of thunder here).....rush out the door and notice that number 2 child has on a ratty pair of flip flops...oh well she is just going to youth after class and will be inside and the weather is nice....not paying attention, I miss the first road I was going to take and had to go down the more crowded highway(insert large raindrops here)...the check gauge light comes on..not to worry it's been doing this...a few seconds later the airbag light comes on...not wanting to scare number 2 child I think to myself "what does that mean?... I have no air bag?...the airbag is going to deploy?...what do I do if it does?"....stopping at the light to turn into the Wally-world parking lot, all sorts of bells start going off..every light on the dash is flashing yet I have no turn signal or any dash lights...as I pull up to the car in front of me I see that my head lights are barely visible... I pull down the first parking isle and coast into a spot.(thunder, lightening, rain) I call the husband and leave a voice message that the car broke down and call number 1 child, who is on her way to work at the dance studio to come and help. Number 1 child doesn't have a voice-mailbox set up....great.....decide to go into the store to get the things I needed...forgot one of them...and while I am at the self-checkout husband calls and says "here I am going to hand the phone to my bus aide..tell her what happened."...trying to insert the right amount of cash into a self-check register and having a second party conversation with your husband while low blood sugar is setting in is not all it's cracked up to be....walk back to the car with a slightly hysterical child when number 1 child calls back.."did you call me?"....explain what happens...she can't come because she has to open the studio....great...low blood sugar hits hard and triggers my memory of the baking sweet potatoes in an oven I never leave on while I am not home! I send an emergency text message to a friend to swing by my house, look for the hide a key and turn off my oven because I don't know when I will be home...(insert loud stomach rumble here) Across the parking lot is a McDonald's. I can't eat at McDonald's(not on my new eating plan)...(louder stomach rumbling and shakiness sets in) I have to eat something so number 2 child and I walk to McDonald's, get something to go and walk back to the car to wait for husband to arrive...while walking back number 2 child cries "my shoe just broke". 

How is God holding the umbrella? My normal reaction to a situation like this would usually be one of complete panic and although I had one moment of snappy words due to the low blood sugar, I had the peace of the Lord that everything would work out. Not only did He give me the presence of mind to get the car to a parking space, food when it was needed, and Walmart's shoe department, but there was a service center that checked alternators and batteries across the parking lot. Husband arrived, we jump-started the car, brought it over to the repair shop just before it closed and it was fixed within the hour. And..my wonderful friend got the text message and turned off the oven. Most importantly, I was able to show my little girl how God cares about us and provided for needs we didn't even know we had yet. 

Psalm 73:28
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.




Thank you, Lord, for holding the umbrella today.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicken Littles.......not so much

Three weeks ago I posted here about the 10 baby chicks we added to our flock. I was amazed at how quickly they outgrew their first little home. At two weeks we moved them to their new digs.....

We cleared out a space for them in the garage and my handy man Dan rigged up this baby pool with chicken wire and netting and voila'........instant chicken brooder!

Today, they outgrew their waterer. (who knew chicks drank so much!) It was almost a full-time job trying to keep it full. Thankfully, a few weeks ago, I bought another large waterer with the anticipation of needing it for the new coop. I don't even want to talk about the amount of chicken feed they are going through! Here is what they look like today, at three weeks old. 

Abi found a long, thin piece of bamboo on our walk through the park the other day and it perfectly spans across the brooder as a roosting bar. Some of them just started to use it a few days ago. You can see how they are loosing their chick down and getting their feathers. Their new coop will be going up next week and as soon as they get all their feathers, and if the weather will finally cooperate, we will introduce them to the Three French Hens.

This is a picture of what a full grown Buff Orpington hen will look like.




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

52 Weeks Book Challenge



For several months, I have been slowly savoring the pages of a book after my quiet time. That book is....



One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp

Between the pages of this book, Ann shares the struggles and hard places of her life that brought her to ask and answer these questions:

 Where is joy in the midst of cruelty and chaos, duties and despair?
How does one slow down enough for the soul and God to live in sync?
How in the world do we learn to find God and live fully?

Through piles of laundry, homeschooling kids, and everyday routine, Ann finds the one motivating key that will answer all of those questions. I really enjoyed this book. I am beginning to practice Ann's ideas in my own life, taking one small step at a time, trying to discover for myself, how to live fully right where the Lord has me.  




52 Weeks Book Challenge

Well, it has been a while since I have posted a book review for my 52 Weeks Book Challenge. You are probably wondering at this rate will she even make her goal to read more books this year than last? The jury is still out on that one. ( I am reading the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series- they are over 900 pages each! Does that count as two books?) Anyway, I have also been reading some other books as well. I am the kind of reader that can have more than one book going at a time.

 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Unabridged.

 I have enjoyed the movie versions of this book for years so I thought that it would be a great thing to read it aloud to Abi. While some of the events of the book are found in various films, there is are many differences. The book follows the journey of Dorothy and her three companions, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion as they make their way to see the Wizard of Oz to see if he would grant them the things they wanted most. After following the yellow brick road to the Emerald city, each of the sojourners met with Oz, who appeared in a different form to each. Oz says he will grant their wishes if they will kill the wicked witch of the west who rules over the western Winkie Country. Once the Witch realizes what is going on, she tries many different ways of disposing with the travelers in hopes of obtaining the magical silver shoes that Dorothy was given by Glinda, the good witch of the North. When all efforts fail, the witch resorts to using a golden cup to summon the winged monkeys to capture the four friends. The witch forces Dorothy to do house work around her castle, all the while scheming for a way to get the slippers. When she tricks her into giving her one slipper, Dorothy grabs a bucket full of water and the witch melts. The winged monkeys fly the friends back to the emerald city but their journey does not end there. The three face many more obstacles before Dorothy ends up in the land of Glinda, who tells her she has had the power in the silver shoes to go home to Kansas all along. Abi and I both enjoyed reading the original and comparing it to not only several movies but also the stage version, which she had the opportunity to be a part of last spring, that our community theater group performed.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Welcoming Our New Arrivals

Life has been rather crazy here so there has not been much time to "blog", which I have very much missed. I knew earlier in the week that I would have several hours to myself tonight, with Abi out with her special friend Miss Kate and Dan driving a trip, but I had the hardest time deciding on what to share. Then, this morning, we welcomed our new arrivals. 

It began last night.............
Preparing the "brooder"
Then bright and early we picked up our friend, who knew more about selecting than we did, and drove to the next town an came back with a "Munchkin"-looking box ......

Our box of munchkins


If you haven't guessed, we have added 10 Buff Orpington chicks to our flock. 



We had planned a space in the garage to keep the brooder because the temperatures have been more mild here lately but, this being the crazy winter from I don't know where, the temperatures are going to dip down into the teens again tonight. Even after leaving the heat lamp on all night last night the temperature in the brooder was still only 60 degrees when we came home with the chicks so we had to move everything into the laundry room until the cold snap snaps! They are the cutest little things I have ever seen. If you would have told me years ago I would be raising 10 baby chicks I would not have believed you. Abi is thrilled with her new little fledglings. She has chosen two names (8 more to go) but I told her to wait until we can actually tell them apart before she assigns the names. What are the two names, you ask?  Greta, named after one of Mr. Popper's penguins, and Isabelle, after her niece. Not sure how big sis is going to like that but, oh well. I am planning on posting pictures each week as they grow so you can see the change. Now....to build the new coop!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Photo-a-day Challenge Day 23~

Today's challenge is to take a picture of your shoes. Well, of all the pairs of shoes I own, I have been looking at these a lot more these days...and it feels good!


My walking shoes