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Showing posts from August, 2009

More Random Tidbits

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Yesterday we got our first green egg! It was a pleasant little surprise (and little egg , too!). I had a feeling it was an "araucana day" yesterday and when I only found three eggs in the nesting box, I thought my feeling was wrong. And then I peeked into the chicken run to change out the water and there it was. Sitting in the dirt. A mini green egg. After a little research recently, I was worried that my five araucanas were under stress from the other hens. I think they are the lowest in pecking order. They are picked on mercilessly by the other girls. I had read that soft eggs could be from stressed araucanas and I didn't know how we'd remedy that with only one coop and one chicken run. I guess the soft eggs were just some early eggs. We'll see. The kids are so excited about the green egg. The brown egg to the bottom right of the green egg is the size of an extra-large store-bought egg. Yesterday I was without internet for most of the day. Which was really f

Seven is Heaven

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I have a brand-new, seven-year-old boy in my house. My Mason. He has the largest blue eyes that make me melt. And two missing top teeth. He couldn't wait to open his present this morning. I had forgotten to wrap it until late last night. And I could only find Christmas wrapping paper at that hour. It made him smile even more. And then, when he opened the larger box, he found a smaller, wrapped box which held the beloved gift he wanted so much ... A blue iPod Shuffle. He was so full of giggles. It was adorable. And I'm sorry that Joe is out of town and missed it. I have a $5 Amazon credit for music downloads, so after dinner and soccer practice, I'm going to let him pick out a few songs. A few days ago I tried to remember when and how I went into labor with Mason, and I couldn't remember. After freaking out for a few minutes, I started to remember. It was a Monday morning and Joe's parents had just arrived the day before (I think) to help with the kids when

Last Day of Summer Break

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Yesterday was the last day of summer break for the boys. We decided to end the summer with a day trip to the lake. (And a quick stop at the big slide on the way home.) They swam. Built sandcastles together. Bickered. Threw sand at each other. Laughed. Cried. A typical day. It was a good day to spend together. Followed by a very busy night of meeting the last teacher, soccer practice for two, and a town meeting for me. And dinner for me at 9:30 p.m. This morning Taylor left for his first official day of 7th grade. I like the photo, despite the shirt. Of all the new school clothes this boy has, he chose this old one. And Carter (5th grade), Mason (2nd), and Jackson (3rd). Check out Carter's new orange Chucks. He was dying to wear them today. I offered to make the boys scrambled eggs for breakfast (as was my traditional, first-day-of-school breakfast all through high school, which was the only time I ate breakfast all year long), but none of them wanted eggs today. As the bus

Bakers Dozen

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Thirteen eggs. There would have been more, but I dropped one. And two were laid with thin shells and were broken (but not eaten) when I found them. One broken one was laid in the nesting box. The other on the floor of the coop. (Maybe the hen didn't know what was happening and it just came out ?) Here are the eggs compared to a store-bought, extra large white egg and a penny . The egg right below the white egg was laid yesterday by our first layer. Her eggs are definitely increasing in size in the nearly two weeks she's been laying. And remember the very first egg? The long and skinny one? When I cracked it open last night, the freaky thing had two and a half yolks. Two and a half! I was quite a surprise to see a yolk growing off another one. The kids enjoyed looking at it. And see that little spot on the half yolk ? I freaked out a bit, but learned that the spot is perfectly normal on fresh eggs. It's a blood spot and does not indicate the egg has been fertilized.

The Big Slide

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Yesterday I took the children to The Big Slide . It is a giant wooden slide not too far from our house. I never remember about this slide, except we passed it last week on our way home from a day trip to the lake. It is owned by a church and it is free. And fast . It must have been fun because, as you can see, even Taylor is smiling coming down the slide! Mason did some fancy monkey work on the monkey bars. (I have never been able to do those things.) He was spinning around between every rung. I was very impressed by this almost-seven-year-old. And we can't forget this crazy merry-go-round. My kids love that thing. I could actually sit on the rocks and watch them yesterday. Usually after a minute or so I am too dizzy from watching them that I have to walk away. But yesterday was just the perfect day for hanging out. We had also planned to visit the covered bridge park and creek yesterday, but the road was closed due to flooding. (It hadn't even rained to my knowledg

The Big Push

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I am experiencing "The Big Push" right now. School starts on Tuesday and I am trying to cram everything into our last week at home together. Good-bye, Summer's Remorse ! You aren't hanging around here this week. We had a great summer. We did more than I expected. I had less on our to-do list and just did what felt right at that time. Last night we released our butterflies. Last summer I bought a butterfly habitat and then never ordered the caterpillars. (It was a total scheduling thing with vacation and school starting, etc.) This year I ordered ahead and had them arrive the week following our vacation, knowing in advance the metamorphosis would happen before school starts so no one would miss anything. Just this week all five hatched. The habitat had been hanging from the light in our dining room and we would eat dinner with the fluttering above our heads. We had a lot of fun watching them this week during dinner. Last night as part of our family night, we set

Before & After

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We received a box of hand-me-downs from Joe's sister. Inside was this brand-new, boys (size 16 !), purple dress shirt. Immediately I knew that none of my boys would ever wear it, and it was placed in the donate pile. While adding to our large donate pile on Friday (our monthly Purple Heart donation day), I saw it again and remembered this tutorial . I wasn't sure if it would work, being that it is a boys size 16 and well, I'm an almost-forty mother of six. I placed it back in the donate pile and immediately pulled it back out. This time, I wasn't so much thinking about the peasant blouse. I was thinking about all those potentially size 16 boys that this shirt could harm. Some mother, some where , would see the shirt, still in its package, and think that it was a great deal for her son. With that in mind, I knew that I had to take this shirt out of circulation. It could not go to a thrift store to be bought by a well-meaning mother. It would not be fair to the boy

Around the Yard and In the Garden

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I know. I know. We had pumpkins in July. They were volunteers from our Christmas card photo props (that we actually didn't use) but they rotted and seeded themselves right there in our herb garden next to our barn. Why is it that we can only grow pumpkins accidentally? This year in our herb garden I planted four heirloom tomato plants: Giant Oxheart , Mr. Stripey, Aunt Ruby's Green, and Brandywine Black. I thought I'd be smart and plant a jalapeno plant right there, too, so I could have salsa makings at my fingertips. But some little critter chomped it to the ground. And same with my basil (except I just noticed that it grew back and is hiding under the pumpkin plant, which was pruned for the photo). There is also a volunteer cherry tomato plant creeping up the side of the barn. These, I believe, are the Giant Oxheart . I just picked a bunch. I couldn't tell if they were ripe because they never turned red, like normal tomatoes. As I was weeding, one fell off t

Bits of Random

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Carter and I gathered locust shells last night. (I think he said 22 in all. There were two on the chicken coop that we couldn't reach. I even tried to stand on a chair. Until it started to tip. Suddenly the other two didn't see so important to us.) They are pretty ugly close up. They are uglier when alive though. Our hen, Poachy, laid two more eggs. Both very teeny tiny. I was there when one literally dropped out of her (she was standing up when it came out of her, which totally surprised me). I had just closed the door on the coop when I heard a thud on the nesting box bottom. I opened the door to peek in and there was an egg between her feet. Then, I assume to let the other chickens know, she began to cluck as loud as she could. I have never, ever heard such a sound. She continued for a minute or two and then hopped down and walked down the ramp into the chicken run. Then she stood there and clucked again for a half minute more and then went about her business. The oth

Look!

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No. Not at that fun, vintage skirt I'm wearing. Come a little closer ... We got our first egg on Saturday! It's long and thin. Carter thinks Poachy laid it. It's a month or two earlier than we expected. No more eggs since, which is both fine and disappointing at the same time. It's just the beginning of good things to come.

T-Shirt + Tulle Skirt

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We were packing up Taylor for a week of vacation and a consecutive week of summer camp (where he and Carter are currently) and ran across an old T-shirt that Taylor no longer wanted and the boys said they wouldn't wear (Taylor's friends had signed the back of his shirt on play day). Joe was about to ditch the shirt when I told him I could reuse it. If I cut right below the large red dot, it might be long enough to make a skirt for Spenser. And it was already conveniently hemmed. Then I remembered Miss Chris's tulle skirt and knew the time had come for Spenser to get hers. It goes perfectly with her $3.50 ruffly Garanimals shirt from Wal-Mart (which was bought the same day as the other white tee and the day of the splashing ). And her reaction? Well, she loves it. Just as I knew she would. (She wants me to make a matching one for myself. Hmmm ... an almost-forty-year-old woman wearing a tulle skirt? It just might work.)

Splash!

Nasty things that have splashed on my forehead this week: Toilet water from the automatic flushing toilets at Wal-Mart. I was helping Sawyer when the toilet suddenly flushed and splashed my forehead. Now, had it gone in my mouth, I would have just drowned myself right then and there in the toilet . Raw chicken juice. In almost the same exact spot as the public toilet water. You don't need photos, right? Just use your imagination. And the toilet water was as bad as you can imagine. Three showers later (and countless face washings) and I think I'm just about clean now.

School Stuff

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I seriously cannot believe it's August and the kids will be back to school by the end of the month. Where did this summer go? Anyway, I had to run into town yesterday to buy the basics (milk, bread, etc.) since our return from vacation. I stopped in the kids' section at Wal -Mart to buy the kids new socks and underwear for school (and spent over $70 in just that stuff alone!). I noticed a plain white tee for Spenser. I've been trying to find a plain white tee for ages. And nothing was plain. Or it wasn't the right style. For $4, it's perfect. I embellished it with three rows of purple ruffles. As soon as I finished, I realized she might not have anything to wear with this new shirt. So I whipped up a skirt, too. The skirt itself is made from some old Amy Butler fabric I bought ages ago and was too afraid to cut. The ruffled hem is just some purple polka dot fabric ( leftover from our Easter outfits a year ago ). I'm saving it for Spenser for pre -school. Sh

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

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I am indecisive. Annoyingly so. About most things. Unless I have a strong opinion about something. And I do have strong opinions. Letmetellyou. Anyway, I need a new header for my blog and I can't decide which photo I like best of the kids. It's so difficult to get them all looking in the right direction. Smiling at all. Eyes open (as opposed to squinting in the sun). Non-goofy looks. (Yes, there were some minor threats being tossed about.) And there is always at least one child who is not looking at the camera, not smiling, eyes shut, or has a goofy way about them, and it's hard to decide which kid to "sacrifice." Here are the three best photos from our week: Photo #1: This photo was taken at the same rocks as last year . Sawyer is not looking at the camera and Taylor looks unhappy. Everyone else looks good, though. Photo #2: Same shot as above, but Sawyer is just about to yawn. It's kind of cute, but kind of weird. Photo #3: This photo was ta

Playing

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We had two rainy days this week on vacation. Joe took the older boys to see the new Harry Potter movie one rainy afternoon, while I stayed at the cabin with the two younger ones. ( We watched Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and ate lots of popcorn.) During yesterday's rain, we played games. Scrabble Apple . Bananagrams . Boggle . (We found Scrabble Apple and Bananagrams at our local Target and Boggle was a freebie from the Swap Shop.) And after playing games, we started this 1,000-piece puzzle that I bought on clearance after Christmas last year. It's almost finished. (And last night, after the rain stopped, we took the boys to the Mountain Coaster .)