March 23, 2012

End of week 2!

March 23, 2012

It is the end of week 2 with the chickens. The chicks are stronger. We have moved the heat lamp up several inches. The kids are now really able to hold the chicks a little more. We opened the chicken coop door and the chickadees really loved to go explore and soak up the rays. Their wings are showing more of their feathers they are just so beautiful!

I am excited to have more signs of spring. It rained yesterday and now it seems like the grass is getting greener as well as blossoms starting to bud and bloom on the trees. I LOVE SPRING!

March 22, 2012

The First Day of Spring!

In honor of the first day of spring, the kids and I planted our garden seeds. I am hoping they will germinate and grow on our window ledge in our living room. I have never started seeds before and we don't have a lamp to grow by. I am crossing my fingers this works! I am open to any suggestions from someone who is more experienced than I.

March 21, 2012

Brooklyn's 1st FHE lesson!

We do Family Home Evenings on Tuesday nights because Jeremiah has Fire meeting on Mondays. It was Brooklyn's turn to do the lesson, Mason had closing prayer, Dallas and I had music, and daddy had the snack. I just briefly helped Brook find a subject and gave her the book to read over. To be honest I wasn't sure if it would work or make sense because it was her first time.

She chose the subject of Testimony. What a testimony is.
I can't tell you how impressed both Jeremiah and I were. Brook read the questions, asked us each to give her an answer. She even asked for personal stories as well as shared her own personal experience. Mason sat very still and answered very seriously. She even looked up her own scripture to go along with the lesson. It all made perfect sense. She was very grown up about it. I didn't even expect it to go so well. I found myself laughing and tearing up at the same time.

There has been a huge change in our little girl ever since her baptism. I know the gift of the Holy Ghost is the reason for this change. Brook is growing up and I am so proud of the steps she is taking right now! She definitely going to be giving more FHE lessons from now on. :-)


March 17,2012

The day had finally come that we needed to transition the chicks to the coop! they really needed the space and I really needed to not smell the odor. This past Saturday we got some wire so they couldn't accidentally get out of the coop. Then we spread some pine shavings on the coop floor and set up their heat lamp with a long extension cord. It seems like their feed tray and water stay much cleaner now they have the space. The whole family got into it and we had lots of fun! I can't believe how big these girls are getting. We are into week 2 as of March 19th!

March 15, 2012

Porch Monkies! I Mean... CHICKS!

I realized that I haven't given you any details on where we are keeping these little buggers. Well, for now, they are in a bin, on a shelf, on our back porch, with a heat lamp. Their feathers are growing in so much that Brooklyn was afraid one of the Orpingtons almost flew out. Luckily that hasn't happened yet and as soon as it does, I don't care how little they are, they will be moved to the coop outside. Ha ha!

I am amazed! The more I learn about these chickies, the more worth while it is. I love a pet as much as the next girl. Cats are independent, although I'm not a huge fan. Dogs are lovable and loyal. Fish are great to look at and soothing. But chickens are becoming my favorite. Sure, it takes work to feed and keep their area clean but they give back so much in return. Eggs to eat, their droppings become very good fertilizer and even their own lives for food. They just may be the super pet! Not to mention how fun they are to observe!

The kids sure love to sneak quietly to the porch and watch them scratch, eat and cheep.

P.S. Thank you Bonnie for the huge stack of egg cartons! I think we may be set for when these girls start to lay!

March 11, 2012

Sunday Fun!

I had a little fun with the camera on the way to church!

My three kiddos are growing up so fast! I can't believe how fast the time goes.

Its a long 30 minute drive to Sterling so we talk and sing on the way to keep busy. I used to feel like the prairie was so desolate and dry but I have really come to appreciate it's subtle changes. How golden it gets in the fall and winter. How little pops of green show up in the spring and summer. I love how wide and open it feels. I feel like I could see forever kind of like an ocean horizon.

Yes Akron, you have won! You sucked me up. Darn you!!!

Chickens: End of week ONE

Our little chicks seem to be adjusting well. The little Americanas are settling in with the "big sisters".
I am amazed at how fast these girls are growing! So far the Buff Orpingtons are showing the most developments with their wing feathers and tail feathers growing in. We thought our Reds and Buffs were still teeny tiny until we bought our Americanas and put them all together. They look huge next to the new girls! Ha ha! The Red Leghorn's wing feathers are so beautiful to me! I am so excited to see how they continue to change through these next few weeks!

Busy Saturday!

              This Saturday we did a ton of yard work. You can't probably tell by these pictures though. Jeremiah rented the backhoe from work and we cleaned out all of the tree stumps in our back yard. We also got rid of that ugly dead bush in front of our house. Jer seeded the lawn in the front so hopefully we will have grass soon.
The kids and I raked and cleaned up all of the garbage that the last tenants left or never picked up. I trimmed all of the trees and bushes. The chicken coop area is all clean and ready for the chicks!

Speaking of chicks, I want to introduce you to the newest members of our brood, our Araucanas or (Easter Egg) Chicks! We stopped by Bomgars and saw these adorable chicks and had to get a couple! They lay a colored egg anywhere from light blue to turquoise green! They are originally from Chile and have almost owl-like features. We already named one Cachaton, it means fat cheeks. :-) I can't wait to see how beautiful they will turn out to be!

March 6, 2012

All things Chicken!

In honor of getting our baby chicks, we have had an all things chicken week for school.

Pinterest has been my good friend this week. I have found so many things on there to help with experiments and projects to do with the kids.

First, we made oven baked eggs. They turned out phenomenal! I HATE hard boiling eggs. I have tried many recipes and every single one never peels easily and the yolk ends up with a little green/gray ring around it when I do try to peel them after refrigeration. This idea was amazing! You place the eggs directly on the oven rack, turn on the oven to 350 and bake for 30 minutes! After they are done, place them in a bowl of ice water to cool. Then instead of cracking them and rolling them, I took a paper clip and poked a hole into the bottom of the egg shell. I gently scraped the shell to get it started and from there they were easy to peel with our nails. Even the kids had fun! We didn't get any of the whites broken off like usual either! They even seemed to taste better, but maybe it was because I wasn't eating a crumpled mess of egg in frustration. Ha ha!

The next project we did was make a naked egg.

I took an egg and covered it in vinegar for about 3 days. The vinegar reacts with the shell of the egg and dissolves it, leaving the inside membrane intact. We experimented with the naked egg and noticed that it bounced at about 3-4 inches high but broke at 9 inches high. Next time, we will play with how much moisture it can retain or take out. Its been fun!

Today we will continue to read about eggs and chickens and maybe make some pickled eggs!

Baby chicks!

We got our baby chicks!
 Monday morning we woke up really early to get to Murdock's on time. It turned out that they weren't ready yet, so we walked around the store for a while. The kids were so excited, it was like torture to not be able to go strait back to the chicks to see them.

We eventually got 8 chicks. 4- Buff Orpingtons and 4- Red Leghorns. The Buffs are the yellow chicks and will grow to be a very docile golden hen. The Leghorns are the drown/red chicks that will be red hens that are good layers.

This is a learning experience for me and I am determined to record every step of the way. So, please bare with me in the up coming blog posts?

I have been reading The Joy of Keeping Chickens by Jennifer Megyesi. Its a really great book with lots of gorgeous pictures. Its been a big help with knowing what the chicks needs are and how to transition them to the coop when they are old enough. One thing is for sure, chickens are NOT as low maintenance as I thought. I think I have caught chicken fever though. I'm in love with these sweet little fur balls!

Out of the eight chicks we bought, only seven made it through the night. We lost one of our red leghorns. We noticed she was the smallest of the bunch and was struggling right from the beginning. It was almost painful to watch her little beak open struggling to breathe and not have the strength to get up. All of the other chicks who were stronger kept walking all over her. Each time, she would cheep and it could just break your heart!

This was our children's 1st time dealing with an animal's death so Jer and I woke Brooklyn up to tell her about it and talk to her. She seemed really sad but surprisingly okay because she knew the chick was stronger now and felt better. Mason was very sweet last night and told me he was going to pray for the chick to live. I said well, if she doesn't we know that Heavenly Father just wants her with him. Mason replied, yeah I think he would like the company! And that was it. The faith of a child is as simple as that! My kiddos amaze me every day!

So now we are into week 1 with our baby chicks. They get a heating lamp 24 hours a day and vitamin nutrient rich feed and a waterer with pebbles in it so they don't accidentally drown themselves. They will remain like this until the weather evens out and it stays 60 degrees at night or until they are about 3 weeks old and grow their scapular feathers on their backs that will insulate them and help them stay warm and dry.

March 2, 2012

Fun With Boxes!

What do you do when you have a ton of styrofoam and boxes on your front porch? You dive in and make it snow of coarse!

The kids sure had a fun time making a mess on the front porch. Later Jer made them a fun fort out of the boxes and I poked Christmas lights throughout the ceiling of the fort for cool lighting.

The kids love it! Can I just say, I HATE cleaning up styrofoam pieces! They do not sweep up well and they stick to everything! But at least the kids had fun. Later Brook wanted to make an airplane out of the left over boxes so I said have at it! She did a pretty good job I think. What a bunch of goof balls I have!