Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reunited after a busy week!

I love the way my children get along.  It really is different than anything I have ever seen before in siblings - and yet I have also seen it in other homes in my adult life...but not in my childhood, and certainly not in my household growing up.  (I was a terrible big sister.)

This week has been a strange one for us as the twins were gone during the first part of the week, and the middles were gone for the 2nd half of the week...and DH and I took only the twins to Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference Friday and Saturday.

Today was really the first day that everyone was reunited, and able to play!  It is interesting to note, that while they have been apart for much of the week, they are not getting along well least not this morning.  It seems very true that absence makes the heart grow further and colder!  It makes me even more glad that we are homeschooling and allowing them the opportunity to truly be best friends!

Things are getting more back to normal as the day progresses...

We went shopping for a friend together.

They came home and the older 3 played outside while the younger 4 napped.

Then they older 5 played card games together.

Anna made cookies with the Callie and J.

Ashley and Brianna were busy talking on walkie-talkies.

Bailey went outside to blow bubbles with Ashley, Brianna and Serenity.

Bailey included Ashley and Brianna in making more cookies.

At this point, late in the day, everyone is getting along like normal.  I love their servant's hearts toward one another.  The way they are willing to help each other and play together.  I love the way that they volunteer to get things done, to help not just our family, but others as well!  Like wrapping gifts, bringing in groceries from the bus, making goodies to bring to the family of a sick member of our church.  They are such a blessing, and truly THEY are in inspiration to ME to be more active and involved in helping others!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Justice growing up so much lately!

All of a sudden, this little man of mine seems so much older and more mature!

In the last couple of days, he has done a great job of getting his big boy underwear on and off by himself!  (Can't quite get the pants back on right, but it is a good start!)

His verbal skills are also increasing a great deal (more people are able to understand him more consistently now!).  Last night, he asked if I would take him to the bathroom.  While we were sitting there, he said, "Shhh...What dat noise?"

"What are you listening to?" I asked.

"The wader."

"Oh, you hear the water outside?  I hear it, too.  Where do you think it is coming from?"

"The wader come down, down, down from heaven." He answered very definitely, and without question or hesitation, while gesturing with his hands to show me how the water comes down.

He loves trains, and driving anything with wheels (or even sitting on something with wheels, like Grandpa's quad and pretending!).  He is great at steering and peddling, even bikes that are really too big for him.  He loves being outside, helping with the cows and the chickens, running, playing, swinging and sliding! 

But he also loves to sit and read books!

I can hardly believe that this little guy is almost 3 years old already!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our crazy chickens!

The last 2 nights, we have had to go out and round up the chickens and FORCE them into their coop...

The problem is that they don't see the coop as 'home.'  So they wait outside, CRYING, for us to come get them and bring them inside...yes, chicks can cry.  They basically have 2 noises, chirping that they are happy, or chirping that they are unhappy...

Last night, after contractions and some light spotting started, I sent Ashley and Brianna to chase them down and gently throw them into the coop...while I stood watch at the door, opening it each time they came to put another inside.  If we leave the door open, they just come back out!  They are certainly not the brightest when it comes to self preservation!  We thought that they would be attracted to the light and heat lamp and would go inside for those things...apparently, we were wrong!

After doing some reading online, we have decided to keep them locked inside for a few days to teach them that THIS IS HOME.  This works well since it is also decidedly cooler today and will be for the next few days...inside the coop, they have a heat lamp.

Until today, I hadn't seen them in their nesting boxes...but it was pretty funny to see them ALL inside them, too, lol!

Thinking that maybe they are huddled in there means they are
cold, I turned their light on early is chilly after the
last few days, so I thought they might need it.

They came over to see me and if I was going to open their door
when I peeked inside.

Having now been on the roosts, and in the next boxes, they
have officially checked out all of their coop.
So far today, all we have heard is happy chirping from them when we have gone to check on them - hopefully that means they are starting to associate their coop with home!

Here's hoping we do not need to chase them down again, but I will be sure to video it if we is like trying to herd cats - it just doesn't go very well!  So glad we haven't tried to let them truly free range!

Perfect Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial - attempt

A friend posted this on my facebook wall...I thought we would try it!

I will say that it looks easier when she does it than when we tried it, but my girls still like the results!

Bedrest affords us a bit of time to do things we wouldn't ordinarily do, like nails, fairly frequently.  The twins are gone this week as well, so there is even less school going on than normal.

I tried a pink/white combo to see how it worked...some of them definitely went better than others!

Brianna chose red, white and blue!

Ashley's nails still look pretty good from doing them last week, so we decided to let hers wear off a bit more before redoing them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's done!

We got the coop finished up...and not a moment too soon!

These chicks were seriously running out of space in their
little cage in the house!

Well, almost done!  we still need to make a door for above the
water in the run...for now, we will just cover that spot with something!

We started everyone of inside...hoping they would realize
where their food is, and that they can come in on their own.

Slowly, they made their way outside

They definitely like the outdoor roost!

As dusk came, no one went back inside.  They had been in at least a little bit, but were 'crying' and waiting to be brought in the house as they got cold.  I had to grab them and put them into the coop.  Once they were all there, they found the warm spot under the light and settled in for the night.  by morning, everyone had moved further from the light and were moving around.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

While I was sleeping...

I have been so sick, and in bed basically all week....Coughing, sneezing, congested, runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, no energy, no appetite, fever, coughing caused a lot of contractions (that I am still erring on the side of caution over - 25 weeks is WAY TOO EARLY), headache, achy, basically all around icky feeling!

The twins (with the assistance of Ashley and Brianna!), have done a wonderful job of maintaining little ones, changing diapers, caring for animals, and even were able to take care of a chick incident with minimal instruction.  (One of our chicks was picked until a blood feather was bleeding.  They needed to stop the bleeding, and separate out the chick so she could heal.)  They have also kept laundry moving, and the house pretty well picked up.  I am so proud of my big girls!

Yesterday, I was able to get up, help with baths for everyone, get ears cleaned, nails trimmed (and painted), and hang out with my children...whom I have missed so much!  I am glad to be feeling even a bit better today.

Meanwhile, Dad was busy on the coop!  Here are some pics I was able to get this morning on the progress he has made.

This is what will give power to the lights, and the switches
will control them.

Full spectrum light and a heat light for the chicks.
Not sure how we will cover them, but we will figure something out!
Probably make a cover using a frame and chicken wire to keep
them far enough away from it!

Access door to the food...

That also has a smaller door in it to be a window.
Here is the full door open, where we can access
the already hanging food container.

Here is their door that will open into their run.
You can see the loop in near the top that needs
to go to the hook on the right to open it.

Here is their door in the open position.
Here are the first 2 wheels on the coop to help us move it
from place to place around the yard.

It is such a blessing to have family who keeps things running fairly smoothly, AND who is willing to do projects like this, even when I am sick in bed!  God is so good.  I am so blessed!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More work on the coop and run

Today, we got the chicken run done enough for the chicks to enjoy the outdoors for several hours, in the warm sunshine, while we were working close by. (and counting them frequently, as there are 3 sections that are not completely finished on it!)

Here is the latest on the coop.
 The finished nest boxes are the girls' favorite part of the coop so far!

Dad working on the nest boxes.

2 perches and a door cut into the front.
We will put a ramp from this door into the run for the chickens to go in and out.

This hole will be a door w/a screen door to
access the food.  We will also be able to
open the door and leave the screen closed for
more ventilation in the summer.

 The chicks were not happy about being rounded up and put back in their little cage after the hours of freedom!

And now the chicks are sleeping soundly!

Justice riding a big bike w/training wheels

This boy is amazing on a bike!  He pedals fast and steers well.  We set up obstacle courses around the living room/kitchen/dining room and hall, changing it with each lap, and he drives right through, even when things get tighter with each lap!  He also knows how to skid to a stop and drift his rear wheels around a corner on a trike.

Today, when we went outside, he was determined to ride a big bike.  This boy is only 2 1/2, and this was his 2nd lap. (he is already getting better, and we are working on stopping with the brakes rather than running into things, lol!)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Progress on the Chicken coop and run

After we got done with the sewing projects, we took advantage of working on the coop and the run outside.  It was a great day to paint (and to touch up the paint the rain tried to wash away)!

My children wanted to demonstrate how the run would work
when we are ready to put the chickens in it, lol!

This end of the run has not been enclosed so that we could
add a perch and a ladder/ramp for the chickens to easily
get in and out of the coop, which will attach to this end.

The closest corner of the run is going to have a door in it
so that we could easily access the water bucket.

Ashley is demonstrating how the chickens will lay the eggs
in the box.  We still need to put the 3 partitions in to separate them.
Anna is demonstrating how she will collect the eggs.

Here is the front of the coop.  It still needs a door cut into it.

Dad was able to get the nesting box assembled and on today.
We still have a bit more to do on the coop.  We are putting in a full spectrum light so that we can get eggs all winter, hopefully, and a heat lamp, so that the chicks do not have to be so overcrowded in their little cages for much longer.  We will also put in a couple of perches, a door at the far side of the coop to easily access the food container, and the back of the coop, which will be able to open so that we can get into it to clean it.  Oh, and wheels!  Both the coop and the run will be on wheels.  And we need to get both items set up so that they will attach.

We are hoping to be able to finish things up tomorrow, but it will be a big push!

Project progress!

Ashley is done with her dress.

The twins are as done as we can do here at home with their quilts.