Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Elliot & Finnley - On Your 3rd Birthday

We got up bright and early (a recent trend I don't necessarily support), Dad and Mason slept in a bit.

We sang Happy Birthday to you, though  you didn't wait for us to start the song before blowing out the candles on your breakfast cookies.

Mason was so excited for you to open your presents he could hardly wait for me to make a cup of coffee. He gave you each a birthday shirt he proudly picked out.

Mom and Dad gave you some new books that I talked you into reading with Dad so I could finish making my coffee, before heading up to the playroom to try out your new dolls and furniture.

You helped do the morning chores, which usually consists of you:
  • Throwing handfuls of feed where you shouldn't.
  • Chasing the fearful ducks.
  • Mom holding up so you can shove some grass into the turkey run.
  • Playing in the duck pond.
  • Collecting walnut piles and playing on the mower trailer.
  • Begging to carry an egg or two back to the house.

And then there was mud. Elliot, you cried when you fell and got your hands muddy, but life was better after you wiped them on a buttonweed leaf. A bubble bath followed.

Dad spent most of the day at home. We just hung around the house, playing (and some of us cleaning). We had just gone to the zoo with friends the day before.

You talked to Grandma Deb on the phone, the conversations were short.

Grandma Kim and Grandpa Tim stopped in with Viggo and you piled on Grandma, per usual.

For dinner we had brats, taco mac n' cheese, and mixed vegetables. For supper it was yogurt, carrots, mango, grapes, strawberries, avocados, oranges, and kombucha. Your kombucha drinking faces are entertaining.

3 years old and you still make an annoying mess with your meals. You call it "soup pie."

The day ended in princess jammies, your chosen books (Turkey Day, Tiny Tiger, and Louis the Fish), and snuggles.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Highlights

The kids have been spending a lot of time playing outside in the mud. I don't have a lot of pictures to share of that because they always end up naked during that activity.

We met up with family at the Living History Farms in Des Moines and we loved it. Tyler and I want to go back sometime without the kids so we can ask lots of questions.

Lots of newbies on the farm this summer.. Tom and Sasha hatched one turkey baby. Every night the turkeys sleep outside in their run and the baby sleeps beneath Tom. If you talk enough, you peak the baby's curiosity and he pokes his head out through Tom's wing. It is seriously cute.

We had a raccoon break in up in our old coop and lost a couple young chickens. We also had an opposum living under the turkey house and probably assaulting Tom each night. The creature has been moved to another location, although we are suspecting another now...

If only we were ready to be bee keepers, we've got a hive inside the wall of our new chicken coop.

We took a vacation to the other side of the state to visit friends. It was fun, but long enough. We cut it short because everyone was tired and cranky.

Our niece spend a little over a week with us. She is so great with the kids and it was nice having her company. Wish she could visit more often! She also managed to get Tyler and I hooked on the show Grimm, something we would have never watched.

I successfully grew lots of rainbow chard, peas, and kohlrabi. The jury is still out on the rutabagas and I may get at least one pumpkin. The rabbits ate the five types of beans I planted since we didn't get the garden fence done. I was also unsuccessful at growing a few other things, guess there's always next year.

I butchered my first chicken! We had a young cockerel hurt himself and Tyler had to work that night so I took on the task myself. My parents decided to come watch, which was handy a few times during the process. It went so much better than I thought it would and the flavor of the meat was good. Tyler and I just did a second rooster (a Rhode Island Red that started attacking Tyler) last night and it did not go as well as the first one, but we learned some things that work and don't work with a full grown bird.

The kids all ran a high-ish fever for a day and then the girls broke out in weird spots. I was hoping chicken pox or measles to get those out of the way, but I'm still not sure what they had. I'm thinking hand foot and mouth. Whatever it was, it was thankfully a quick and easy virus!

We are getting plenty of eggs these days. The hens are getting better about laying in places we want them to. Our Pekin ducks and some of our pullets have started laying so the daily egg count keeps going up!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Our New Coop

The photo above was from the beginning of this summer. We had just started to make progress on the building. The photo below was today (view from opposite side of the building, but you get the idea).

We made slow progress (mostly Tyler) on our new birds' home, until the day we had to leave for vacation. We worked all day in the extreme heat and finally moved the chickens, ducks, and geese in that late afternoon and were able to leave the farm for a week starting that night. We wanted them to be able to stay on lockdown while we were gone, but the old coop was just too crowded. They have plenty of room to spread their wings now!

Bonus, we are getting eggs galore again which hasn't happened in a while. They had been laying here, there, and everywhere on the property except in the coop. Hopefully they are trained to do so inside now before we get back into free ranging mode.
We will be adding four more pens inside the building so that we can do some breeding in the future. Also, we have not even begun adding on the outdoor runs. But, the big move has happened and that was top priority!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Broody's

We've had three broody Iowa Blues sitting on a nest of around 45 eggs for a while. It started with just one, but the other joined in later. The first gal has finally hatched out 2 babies! Cutest thing ever. There might be more, but I've only seen two. They are so sweet popping out from under the mama. I'm so glad we let them set on the nest instead of taking the eggs.

We had three week old chicks living in the house when these babies hatched, so we decided to see if the mama would adopt them. Yeah, that didn't go so well. One was rejected pretty much right away and nearly got its neck pecked off. The second Tyler found shivering in a corner of the coop later that night. And the third was alone by the next morning, so they are all back in the house again.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Favorites at 2.5 & 4.5

I asked the kiddos what their favorites of each of these things were, here's what they had to say.

Mason - Mango
Finnley - Peaches
Elliot - Grapes

Mason - Red
Finnley - Pink
Elliot - Purple

Mason - Water
Finnley - Almond Milk
Elliot - Almond Milk

Mason - Grandma Jackie's
Finnley - Kid's Museum
Elliot - The Restaurant

Best Friend
Mason - Dad
Finnley - Grandma Kim
Elliot - Mason

Mason - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Finnley - (screeched some made up ditty)
Elliot - EIEIO

To Play
Mason - Legos
Finnley - Candlyland
Elliot - Candyland

Mason - Zebra
Finnley - Pigs
Elliot - Zebra

Mason - Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Finnley - Diego
Elliot - Dora

Mason - Chocolate Cake
Finnley - Suckers
Elliot - Choclate