Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fun with a little brother

Ashley had fun playing dress up with Justice...
 
 



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Decorating for the celebration of the birth of our Savior





 
 

Mama Hen and Chick update

I think I last left this saga with mama hen sitting on eggs, with no chicks.  But when we checked in on them yesterday, this is what we found:
 
 
There are 3 little chicks!
 
And they are oh, so cute!

 
So far, mama seems to be taking care of them very well,
now that she has a secure place for them.

Getting a Christmas Tree















Friday, November 23, 2012

New Addition to the Chicken Coop

It may be too late for the first chick that hatched...and there was a 2nd chick that couldn't fight its way out of the egg.
 
But we have made an addition to the chicken coop...it is a removable cage that encloses the mom and chicks, with an access door for us to get to their food and water.  It includes the nesting box, and a 12" 'hallway' to a 30"x42" rectangle (where the food and water are located for them).
 
 
Here is the view from the nesting box.
 
The girls have changed her name from Jessie to Miss Muffet...and renamed the box she is in from #1, to "Tuffet."
 
So, here is Little Miss Muffet, sitting in her tuffet...not eating much at all, lol!

 
I will post better pictures tomorrow when we refill their food and water.
 
We also have a new little chick...just one right now, and we will just wait and see what happens.  I candled 6 eggs today, out of which, 4 looked viable, and 2 were duds.  That was about all the patience that Miss Muffet had for me taking and returning her eggs!
 
The girls are excited to see how things go for the chicks now that they have a more secure place.  I haev a couple of places to put up a bit of chicken wire to keep the chicks from being able to squeeze out.
 
The box is designed specifically for this one nesting box, so we will be moving her in the spring back to this location if she decides to sit on eggs again...which we do hope she will do.

A wonderful Thanksgiving!

This is probably my very favorite Thanksgiving yet.  (And that is saying something since Christopher actually proposed to me on Thanksgiving '98.)
 
Ashley, with the almost mandatory olive hand!
 
Callie was all over!  She did more walking than she has in quite some time!  It was wonderful to see her getting around so much!  There is a long ramp to get up to the stage that she spent about an hour and a half going up and down and up down! 

 
Christopher enjoyed playing some pool with a couple of the other men.  He said that he is just not the pool player he used to be, from when he had a pool table at home and would play everyday!

 
Miss Serenity was so tired by the end, but she kept on going!  She even held it together pretty well for as tired as she was.  She kept finding someone to hold her or walk with her holding her hand...didn't matter if she knew them or not (that was definitely a scary part for me!), she would just go along with them, lol!

 
Judah did a great job, too!

 
There was Thanksgiving holiday craft/snack project that told about the Pilgrims journey.
I may put it on the blog in a separate post.  It was actually very cool!


 
There really was so much food and so many desserts...here are some of our cupcake turkeys.


 
The girls did very well with their Little Drummer Boy play for the talent show.


 
Anna and Bailey also got up there and did another piece on the piano.


 
I really love seeing my children interact with their great grandparents!


 
These 2 just looked like they were up to something...I just couldn't tell what, lol!

 
I thought this was a good pic of Serenity - something that has been hard to get with as fast as she moves lately, lol!

 
Callie really wore herself out!

 
Even after the talent show, Brianna went back up on stage to sing more songs.

 
When it was all over, Justice insisted on helping to do the heavy work, like moving the pool table back up the hill to the other building, lol!

 
And this is what Callie looks like when she is beyond tired, and has lost all control...poor girl was in so much pain from moving having done so much, and was so sad...she really just needed to go to bed, which we helped her with just as soon as we could!

 
It was a really great party!  My sister-in-law did a wonderful job putting it together and pulling it off!
 
I am just so thankful for all that we have this year.  What a blessing it is to get to be with my family each and every day.  What a blessing to have a warm (or mostly warm - I need to go feed more pellets into the pellet stove at the moment, lol!) house.  What an honor that God would bless me with an amazing husband, and awesome inlaws.  God is so good!  His bounty is endless.
 
Happy Thanksgiving from our family, to yours!

Chick update

The we gave the chick back to mom before leaving for Thanksgiving.  The little chick was so lonely in the house, and so glad to be with others!  She let him cozy up with her, so we thought all would be well.

Here is the chick going back up with Mama Hen after getting
some food.

We even watched while the chick hopped over to the food container and then back into the nest.

Then it was time for us to leave.  We had locked everyone else OUT of the coop so they wouldn't disturb mom and chicks.  There was a 2nd egg peeping, though I didn't think it sounded as strong as the first chick did.

We got home and found that mom and chick were doing great!  The chick seemed even stronger than earlier in the day.  (I even started to think that maybe this chick would make it!)

We are working on a way to block off mama hen, eggs, and chick from everyone else, but it isn't quite ready yet.  And We just didn't want to leave our flock outside in the rain overnight...so I let everyone else in, with the idea that I would get up early and put them back outside as soon as I could.  They would only be in the coop for about 7 hours...

Well, that was long enough for the chick to make an attempt to get some food...where he met his demise.

My children are still sleeping, but it is going to be a very sad morning when they find out the chick didn't make it...the hen is still sitting on eggs.  But we are not sure how much longer we will let her do that.  hopefully before anymore hatch, we will get her area set up. 

But even more hopefully than that, we are looking forward to trying this again in the spring...when the weather is better  And we are set up in advance...and we will be giving her the eggs to sit on, rather than her accumulating them over time, so the chicks will all hatch about the same time...instead of 1 trying each day...

This has been a learnign experience for sure!  We are such city folk, that pretty much everything that happens here is new and different for us, lol!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So far, so good

 
 
The girls have named this chick 'winter.'
And so far, it is getting more and more curious and adventurous.
It is already able to climb up on top of the food container, just a few hours after hatching all the way.
In fact, just a few hours ago, I wondered if this little chick was still alive...
 
Other than sounding distressed, our little chick is doing well!  It is getting up, eating, and moving around.  Anytime someone puts a hand into the cage, it comes over to us.  It is really very lonely.  It seems to be calling with its distressed cry trying to find someone...
 
Right now, the plan is to get up early, and put together a cage area that will hold the hens and the chicks until they are bigger.  It will include the box where the hen is now sitting on her other eggs, and part of the coop.  Then we will give this baby back and hope that mom will accept it.  If not, we will give it one more try tomorrow night...

Busy Day!

In the corners of the house, blessings abound...
 
 
In the first corner, Bailey is hard at work making peanut butter cookies

 
The fruit of everyone's labor today.
(Callie helped me make indoor smores.
Bailey made cupcakes for a special turkey day dessert.
Anna made no bake cookie bars.
Next up are Ashley's molasses cookies
and Brianna's chocolate chip cookies.)

 
Lo and behold, we have a chick!  3 other eggs are working on hatching, too.  Mama is too stressed right now, and was pecking at this little one, who ended up with a tiny bleeding spot on its back...so we brought it inside.  (Where it is being quite the distraction!)

 
And in this corner, we have Anna playing Christmas carols!
 
The younger ones are coming in and out, playing.
 
What a wonderful, full, blessed day!