Friday, March 29, 2013

The new animals

It's turning into a regular farm around here again.  After losing our goats and chickens a couple summers ago it was hard to start again, but we felt like we were finally ready.  Last Monday we got the 6am call from the post office letting us know that our 24 chicks had arrived from McMurray Hatchery.  So Christian drove down to pick them up so we could get them warmed and fed quickly.
Opening the box is always such fun.
The chicks are now almost two weeks old and are a lot of fun.  We keep such a close eye on them the first couple weeks that they almost become like babies and you will often find Christian and me looking tenderly at them before bedtime when they are sleeping, saying things like, "awww, look at that one with his neck stretched out" or "oh that one is so adorable with her head on the feeder".  It's crazy what they do to you.
The lone Polish.

The majority are Rhode Island Reds.

Another exciting farm addition this week was a pair of female goat kids to eventually be bred and milked.

Rosy reminds me of the old days.
Aiden in 2008 with a newborn goat kid.
It is so nice to have goats back again.

While we are on the subject of animals I have to show you the craziest thing.  In the last couple of weeks this starling in our barn has decided he wants to make friends with humans.  He started with just fluttering down nearby, and then someone decided to try to see if he would eat some cat food out of their hand.  When he went for it then everyone wanted to try.

Now he comes down all the time.  He has no fear whatsoever of people and will fly down from his perch in the barn and perch on Christian or the kids shoulders or head.  The kids think maybe he is a decedent of Noah or Elijah's ravens.  Why else would he be so tame they wonder.
Well I would say it is pretty near a petting zoo around here now, complete with our own pet starling, Sparkles.

Well, new animals means new chores.  We have full day tomorrow: cleaning out and whitewashing the goat shed and chicken shed,  fixing up the chicken yard, repairing doors, making sure the coop is hawk proof, and setting up the coop with the deep litter method to help keep it clean and sanitary.  Farm work is so satisfying. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grace's birthday

I am a little late in getting to this but the puppies and the puppy blog have been taking more of my time these days.  I think we have all three sold at this point and that is the most time consuming part of the whole thing, so hopefully I can get some more time to blog here now.

We had a birthday party for Grace a couple weeks ago.  This was the first party we had for her since she turned one.  She had been wanting a party, but the thought of parties always caused anxiety for me and I just did not want to do it.  Since she was turning 12 this year I thought I needed to brush aside my anti-party opinions and just do this thing for her.

In the end, once I resolved to take a deep breath and just do it we ended up having a lot of fun planning the party.  We decided on a fairy theme and Christian helped come up with some fun ideas as well.  First off, Christian thought it would be fun to get the high-reach out and give the girls "fairy rides" up in the lift.  The reach goes up 50ft so I wasn't sure if they would be up for it, but most of them were and I think they had a lot of fun.

Next Christian came up with a fun scavenger hunt with about 10 different riddle/clues for the girls to figure out. 

The "treasure ended up being buried in the garden and they had to follow the clues very carefully to know where to dig.

One of the most fun parts was decorating the dining room.  We made these tissue paper flowers for the chairs and walls, strung some lights for the ceiling and added egg carton flowers to some of the lights, and made a banner.  Christian added the touch of the hornets nest that we decided to turn into a "fairy" nest.  We used spray adhesive and glitter on it and stuck little paper fairies to the nest and branches.  I also saw this cool cupcake stand on Pinterest made from wood rounds.  Of course we have plenty of wood around here so Christian made one, although ours was a little more rustic looking, which I though was a nice touch.

My sister Amy made the beautiful crocheted headpiece for her.

And then I realized too late the putting 12 candles on a cupcake would be slightly difficult.  Oh well.  We made it work and it ended up being pretty dramatic and fun in the end.

Now before you think I am the perfect party thrower and you feel down on yourself (because I know that is what I would do) please keep in mind that this is the first ever party any of our children have ever had since turning one (and then only family), and I had to hire a cleaning lady the day before to keep my sanity and it took a month to plan this thing.  Hope that helps.  Just because you don't have a high-reach at your parties for your kids doesn't mean you aren't a super awesome parent who loves their kids.  :)

New chick pictures next!!!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Puppies and Alpacas

Trouble is coming.  The puppies are starting to think about venturing out of their home.  That means we will start needing to watch for little pee puddles.  That's going to be lots of fun with a toddler around.  :)

Their adorableness makes up for it though.

The kids are still having fun with their 4-H alpaca club.  Christian took the camera over the other day while Grace was getting a weaving lesson and took some fun shots.

A cashmere goat.

McQueen and Monroe

Fuzzy lips.

Dagger and Griffin playing around.

This week Christian stayed home with Claire so I had a chance to go with the kids.  I only got to watch Naomi work with McQueen while the other two were inside dying alpaca fiber with Kool-aid.
She does a great job.  She's firm yet gentle and the 4-H leaders are impressed with how well she handles them for her young age.  McQueen is a young one and needs a lot of work to be ready for a show.  Grace and Aiden are awesome with them as well, I was just too cold to stay out any longer to take their pictures. 

Speaking of animals.  In about a week we will be getting an early morning call from the post office that our newly ordered chicks have arrived.  We finally decided to be brave owners of chickens again.  After nearly 3 dozen chickens died a violent death from a fat fox a couple summers ago we were too depressed to try again, but we think we are ready now. 

Pictures to come!
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