Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review Of My 2014 Goals

Last day of the year (Happy Birthday, Linday and Jackson!), time to check in on how well I worked on/reached my goals...

1. Read more books. That didn't really happen. I read a ton, but not in book form still. I just can't seem to find enough time in the day to both read all I love on the internet and in actual print. Although I did get some pretty awesome reading material for Christmas, which I do plan on getting around to.

2. Organize my photos. I have improved in this area! I am getting better at deleting the crappy/blurry/reject photos right after uploading them onto the computer instead of having them uselessly taking up space on my hard drive. I have also been keeping up at moving photos to an external hard drive.

Chicken Selfie

3. Start referring to myself as a homesteader. I am, just look at my "About Me."

Like it? You can buy it at the Egg Krate!

4. Learn to embroider. I have done some felt embroidery and it is fun. I'm glad I've got the ball rolling on this craft.

5. Rescue an animal. Not sure I've told the story, but we did rescue a chicken. She was posted on Craigslist, the owner lived in a rough neighborhood and was keeping the pullet in her basement. When Tyler went into the house to pick her up, he said the smell of animal feces was just overwhelming. Hopefully by taking Chickaletta off their hands we were also improving their living conditions. Chickens are stinky creatures. Chickaletta, while not the healthiest when we got her, is thriving and giving us regular eggs these days.

6. Heal my teeth. I gave up coffee for a while, but not permanently. My front teeth do seem better, but I'm not sure why. Maybe since Elliot and Finnley aren't breastfeeding as much they aren't sucking all the nutrients from my body anymore.

7. Fix my diastasis recti. Fail. Have not even started working towards this goal. I really should though.

Christmas card outtake.

8. Patience. Also still room for improvement here...

9. Add more prayer to our lives. We aren't regular church goers at this time, but I have been trying to pray more with the kids this year. Not as often as I want, but it has been a good start.


* * *

How did your year go? What goals did you check off your list?


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Morris Christmas Facts


On one hand it feels like Christmas didn't even happen. On the other hand, I'm still knee deep in new toys, I haven't found enough places to put things away.

I only took pictures of our little family Christmas together, I was too busy living in the moments of our other celebrations (AKA breaking up toy fights, dishing up kid food, changing diapers, picking up wrapping paper).

Mason was so excited about Christmas. We talked about what Christmas is really about, but he didn't seem to grasp it much. I'm not sure if it is because our cat is also named Jesus or because everyone else in the world seems to only talk to kids about presents and Santa Claus when it comes to Christmas.

Mason enthusiastically and genuinely thanked everyone for their gifts. Elliot and Finnley were so overwhelmed by new stuff, they would have been fine with just one good gift and didn't really care to continue opening after the first couple.

Christmas Eve service at church went very well. The kids played quietly/listened the whole time. Mason even tried singing along with a couple hymns.

The weather was beautiful on Christmas. The birds got a full day of free ranging as their gift. (Still on partial lock down due to the dog, we tie her up when they are out now)

Two nights in a row of staying up hours past bedtime and not napping equals irritable and cranky children.

We still have one (maybe 2) celebration left and I'm glad it is spaced out a bit from the rest of the chaos.

* * *

How was your holiday celebration(s)?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Lists

 I asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas gifts this year...



Elliot:
A House



Finnley:
Tree Forest
Basketball


Mason:
Legos
A Jeep
Big Legos
A Surprise


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Louisville Slugger Club


Unfortunately I was inducted into it this evening. I went up to the chicken house to get the eggs before they had a chance to freeze (it was chilly today) and when I walked in, the chickens didn't come running at me expecting treats like usual. Hmm, that was odd. Also, the hens were making weird noises, all flustered as was Tom. So I checked the first room for eggs, none. Went to the back room and shone my flashlight in the corner nest where they like to lay and there it was, the big ol' opossum. Great. We keep our Louisville slugger right outside the chicken house so I grabbed it. I don't like being in the club, but I am now. We've lost enough chickens recently, we'd like to not lose more. Plus, it obviously ate all the eggs. The chickens have been on lockdown since the dog incident a week and a half ago, so the opossum must have squeezed through a gap above the gate on the run and let itself in.





Friday, December 5, 2014

Sleeping Beauties


Mason spent the afternoon with Grandma Jackie decorating her Christmas tree and making cookies. I took Elliot and Finnley to town to get some groceries. It was nice having two kids for a short while, even if I did forget my list at home. I did remember my camera though. These silly girls think they don't need to nap anymore, but a car ride will do the job every time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Irony

We traveled a couple hours to celebrate Thanksgiving with family this past week. It is always lovely to catch up. One subject that came up was our new dog, Sunflower. Tyler went on and on about how awesome she is. She's so sweet, calm, low maintenance, basically everything we could ask for in a dog. I completely agree.
Then we came home from our trip to six dead pullets (young female chickens) scattered across the yard. It was no doubt Sunny, as she got one more the next day despite my close eye on her. We really want to keep her as she still is the best dog ever, minus this huge flaw. For now we're keeping the birds on lock down as she won't stay in our fenced yard. It is quite cold, so they probably wouldn't venture out far anyhow.
Our neighbor stopped by to get some eggs today and she mentioned her relative used to tie the dead chicken to the dog. We don't have time to sit and train her like we want at this time, so we decided it was worth a try. I duct taped one of the dead birds to her collar and she had to drag it around all day (could still jump over the fence with it of course). By the end of the day, just the leg was left attached.. so I'm not sure it will work. Hoping!


The look of guilt.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Turkey Update

I haven't mentioned the turkeys recently so I thought it was time to give an update, since Thanksgiving is getting closer. First of all, we no longer have Lady. She was killed. We are 99.9% sure it was our dog, Jax, who no longer lives with us consequently. We did replace her with another hen about the same age, but she is not related to Tom, so that is the good part. Her name is Sasha and while they get along well, they don't have the same chemistry as Tom and Lady did.
When Lady was killed, Tom was also pretty ruffled up. He had many feathers missing and we found him in shock hiding in the old combine on the hill by the turkey house. Luckily he's made a full recovery and doing well.

Last picture I posted of Tom vs. now.

As you can see, Tom has gotten much bigger. He also thinks he's much more intimidating. The kids know to keep their distance, for some reason they really get Tom fluffy. He's always puffing up when they are nearby. We think it is their height, it must be threatening to him and his mate who he must protect. While he'll deflate and run if I run towards him, he holds his stance if the kids get close and I know he'd totally peck them. Mason is scared and will stay away, but the girls are fearless. I have to play body guard too often. The other day the kids were playing in the driveway (in the mud, nonetheless) and Tom started coming down the hill to show how tough he is. I just had to chase him away a couple times and for like a half hour he just paced back and forth at the top of the hill all puffed up.


The turkeys are total creepers. They watch me do dishes, they watch us eating meals, they watch the kids playing in the living room.. he gives meaning to the term peeping Tom. I don't mind, I just wish they'd stop pooping on the deck.
Tyler built a nice sized run off the turkey house a few months ago. We thought it would be nice for when we weren't going to be home all day so they wouldn't have to be cooped up.


We have decided for sure that Tom and Sasha will be sticking around for the long haul.  No turkeys for Thanksgiving this year, but perhaps next year. As soon as Sasha starts laying (in the spring), we'll be incubating and hopefully hatching a good number of turkey poults to raise for meat or sell.  So keep us in mind for your holiday meal needs next year!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mason, On Your 4th Birthday...

You woke up a little after 7, even though you were up late the night before.

I made cinnamon raisin biscuits for breakfast and we let you have "old" (pop, but not really pop) for breakfast. You were pretty darn excited about that.


We sang Happy Birthday and you blew out your candle. Then Finnley kept saying, "My turn!"

We presented you your present by playing the trailer for the movie, Big Hero 6 and letting you know we'd be taking you to see it later in the day. You were disappointed because there weren't any presents to open.


I left you with Dad and your sisters to attend Brandie's baby shower. You got to watch your favorite show on Netflix, Oscar's Oasis and have hot dogs and chips for dinner.

While Grandma Kim stayed home with Elliot and Finnley, Dad and I took you to the movie (your first!) in the afternoon. You thought the inside of the theater looked like a hotel, probably because of the carpet. You held your ears for the first few minutes and couldn't quite get your seat to fold all the way down when sitting in it. After a while, your feet fell asleep and you sat on Dad's lap and later mine. You had popcorn (complete with yellow dyes, boo) and a bottle of water. I think it is safe to say you enjoyed yourself.


We stopped at Hy-vee before heading home, got a few groceries and a pizza to bake for supper, which we had with raspberries and knock knock jokes.

After supper, we got ready for bed. Dad read you books, you told me you were going to dream about robots, and you went to sleep, snuggling with Dad (and beloved Paci, of course.)


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Elliot and Finnley at 2 Years Old + Mason at (Almost) Four


Personalities
Elliot is a big sweetheart. Lately she has been acting very shy around both strangers and close family, but once she warms up to you she'll give hugs and smiles. She can also be independent and plays in her own world at times. Elliot likes to be the "monster" and chase her brother and sister around the house.

Finnley is silly. She loves to do what her big brother is doing and will follow him around/take orders to play with him. Finn is the biggest mama's babe out of the crew, but can be lots of fun, too.

Mason is an outgoing burst of sunshine. He has a big imagination and enjoys laughing. He will listen intently to what you have to say, unless he's busy doing his own thing. He goes with the flow very well, although he has his not so great moments, too. Just like all of us!



Favorite Foods
Elliot is a big fan of broccoli, berries, and green beans. She also likes meat of all kinds and cheese. This girls is lacking a sweet tooth though, which makes me question whether or not she is actually my child.

Finnley is also a big fan of meat, green beans, berries, and broccoli. She loves chocolate. Definitely my child.

Mason loves potato chips, rice and gravy, cookies, mac and cheese, pancakes... pretty much if it is a somewhat unhealthy carb, Mason likes it. He also really likes mixed veggies, green smoothie popsicles, peas, carrots, apples, grapefruit, really most fresh fruits and vegetables. He does this thing where he refuses to try something on his plate, but he is never allowed more of something else (or dessert) until he takes one bite just to try it. Most of the time he tries it, pauses to think, and then excitedly exclaims, "I like it!!"




Vocabulary
Elliot is a soft spoken little girl. Her voice is quiet and high pitched, really quite cute. She doesn't say too much, although lately her vocabulary has been expanding by leaps and bounds. I still have a hard time understanding a lot of her words though.

Finnley is loud. She talks a lot. I can understand most of the things she says, although every once in a while she'll repeat something for me over and over and I still just can't get it. The other day Mason came over to her to ask if he could play with the toy she had. She replied, "Yes, of course, Mason!" It was totally cute and a great sentence!

Mason loves to talk. He has stories and jokes galore. The stories aren't that good and his jokes don't make sense, but it is still fun to hear them. His vocabulary is extensive, but still learning new words every day. Today he learned the word incision as I was telling him about how he was born.



Creativity
Elliot loves to draw. Her work is mostly scribbles, but it really relaxes her.

Finnley sings to every song she hears. The words are not right, but the melody is close enough.

Mason enjoys building legos. He builds mostly vehicles, but some things he comes up with are really unique.



Likes
Elliot Cats. Hats. Dora. Hugs. Carrying eggs. Picking berries. Hide and Seek (she's really good at seeking). Aunt Lindy. Reading.

Finnley Swinging. Climbing. Umizoomi. Chasing the birds. Milkies. Let It Go. Opening butter. "Row row gently" (Row Your Boat). Horsey rides. Spinning circles. Reading.

Mason SwimmingSwinging. Building. "My girl"--Pecka the chicken. Paci. Eating all day long. Playing the Kindle or computer. Special trips with Dad. Reading.




Dislikes
Elliot Strangers. Ice cream. Seeing owies on herself. Naps. When the dog touches her. Swinging high. Elderberry syrup.

Finnley Squash. Wearing headbands. Naps. Being alone. Not being allowed to climb on the table. Wrappers on the crayons.

Mason Loud flushing toilets. Water in his face. Waiting. Getting his hair cut. Only getting one vitamin a day.




Pictures
Elliot














Finnley















Mason