Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Serenity's 4th of July Get up

We had 2 invites. But with the illness, we were unsure what we were doing.

Seren was ready for anything though!

In the end, both parties were cancelled, we were not feeling well, and Christopher took Bailey-Judah to a parking lot to watch the Grace's fireworks display. Anna stayed home to watch Caleb. Dad and I were already in bed.

I love and am so thankful that my children are truly joyful and excited regardless of what we do! Praise be to God!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Baby Caleb

We went to finding Dori... let's just say, Caleb was NOT a fan!

He is however a fan of food, and copying everything everyone else is doing. He loves being outside. He enjoys being held. He enjoys making noises, and music. 

He is still working on walking.

Including playing tetherball after watching his big siblings play!

He is such a joy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A video for anyone interested...


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Back to the bees

Can you find the queen?

Hive 1 looked great! Lots of eggs, brood,  larvae, stores, and 7 frames almost ready to harvest!

Hive 3 looked good! Lots of eggs, larvae, and the beginnings of some nectar and pollen stores (though we are still feeding this split). We were very encouraged to see this hive doing so well.

Hive 2 still has no signs of a queen. It could be weather related, as the virgin queen may not have been able to make her mating flights entirely.

Or maybe she didn't make it back? 

We gave this hive a frame of eggs from hive 1 so that if they need to make a new queen, they can! 

They do have a little start to stores, which will help them once they have a queen.

Here are some pics of the bees working the clover in the yard.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Last picture at 3

It is so hard to believe that this little guy will wake up (Thursday) being 4 years old!

Happy birthday eve to Judah!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Spring means chicks!

We currently have 2 broody mamas with a total of 9 chicks!

And we had the opportunity to help Chris' sister with some eggs they were incubating, but would be on vacation when they hatched. They were so much fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why no updates?

I would love to say we have just been busy, or that we have been having fun.

This blog has always been the good, the bad and the ugly...and this week definitely qualifies in there somewhere!

We have had stomach flu at our house. This is day 12. Christopher was home from work today. Bailey still doesn't feel well. Judah is not eating and has taken naps 2 days in a row...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Something to Help Us Work Or A New Toy?

We have done a lot of labor around our homestead. From digging big holes to mixing cement, to setting posts, to carrying fencing rolls to mucking out stalls and coops, to moving bales, and super bales, to tilling large areas to ??? All by hand.

Now we have a work horse of sorts that is up to the tasks we need it to do!

Oh, and everyone thought it was fun, too, lol!

Leave it to Dad to turn something into a toy.

Seren was sick on the couch, and Caleb was sleeping during this time...so n

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Midwife Appointment

We officially have a midwife! We are looking at a home birth, probably mid to late November.

Today was my first midwife appointment. Justice came along.

He had lots of questions...which Roxanne took the time to answer. She asked if he wanted to see the way the baby sits in the womb. (Of course he did!)

She pulled out her visual aids.

Justice said, "Oh, this is the pelvic girdle, or butterfly bone, I see how the baby sits in there. Where would you pee from?"

Roxanne replied, "this is just the boney structures."

"Ok, so the renal system is not there. But where would it be? And is this a boy or a girl pelvic girdle?"

"Well, there are differences between girl and boy pelvic girdles, but this one doesn't show those."

"With a baby this has to be a girl though, because they are the only ones with a womb."

"Here, I is a book that shows some differences. By the way, How old are you?"

"I just turned 7 last week."

The conversation went on... the two of them looked at a book about pregnancy. Justice started turning pages and asking questions.

"What is that?" He asked looking puzzled at a page near the front of the book.

"That is how the baby is made."

"Remember the seed and the egg?" I added.

"Oh. I didn't know they looked like space tadpoles and planets!"

Then it was time to hear the baby. Justice got to listen to his heart with the stethoscope .

"I can only hear 2 chambers of my heart. Why can't I hear all 4?"

"Justice, we will talk more about that this week when we learn about how the heart works." I quickly interjected.

Then it was time for my blood draw.

"Oh, I love blood!" He said.

"What do you like about it?" Roxanne asked.

"Well, I like the white blood cells the best because they are the soldiers and wariors, attacking germs to keep me healthy."

"Yes! Wow, you are exactly right!"

"And without my red blood cells, oxygen couldn't get to my cells, and I couldn't live, so I like those, too. They also make my blood red. And if God didn't make plasma, it couldn't flow through my body. And without the clotting agents, I would bleed to death when I got hurt. Like the time I was cleaning under the couch in the motorhome and it closed on me."

"That sounds painful."

"Yes, it was. How are you going to test mommy's blood?"

"She will have to poke me, and then fill up small tubes," I said, seeing Roxanne wasn't quite sure what to say to this. "The poke hurts a tiny bit, but then I won't really feel it."

He was fascinated and watched the whole thing!

The appointment took almost double the time it should have.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Awesome God!

What an incredible God I serve!

This is the incredible sight I woke up to on Monday.

What a great way to wake up ready to praise and serve God this day!

Such incredible beauty He creates!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Painting birdhouses

My children are so incredibly creative!

And the final results!

Each wonderfully different, just like my children!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Notes from the Hives

Our first hive, is doing great! They raised up a new queen and is laying. They are making honey. Lots of activity coming and going from the hive. They are using boxes 2 and 3 for brood, instead of 1 and 2, so we switched boxes 1 and 2, hoping to encourage them to use that box. There were lots of bees filling in comb and getting it ready, so I am hoping once it is ready that the queen will go to town to fill it up with brood and the field workers will fill in the nectar and pollen!

We found the queen!

Dead brood from hive 3, either chilled or starved...yeah, I am a bad beekeeper. But I am learning!

Hive #2 is the swarm from the first swarm we caught the queen with the swarm, and saw that she was laying. But it was mostly drones and kind of sporadic. The hive decided to raise up a new queen and kill this one. We are still waiting for this queen to begin to lay. We hope she hatched ok, and that she is ready to take her mating flights this week! But the swarm population has gone from 9 frames to 5 frames and their stores of honey and pollen have been severely depleted. We are feeding them sugar water and pollen patty right now. We took off their 2nd brood box as they do not have enough bees to protect that much space.

Hive #3 has a purchased queen. We made a split in case hive #2 doesn't get the queen going. Unfortunately, the hive population has gone from 5 frames to 1 1/2 frames. There were only 2 eggs and almost no brood. The brood looks like it was starved! I wasn't feeding them enough and the stores from the frames I started them with were totally gone! So, we added 2 more frames of bees and larva and eggs from the parent hive, along with a pollen patty and sugar water...hoping this hive looks better, and has lots of eggs when we recheck week. The queen looks good though, so we will give her the benefit of the doubt for now!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June homestead projects

The "desert"

Children's garden mural

The caterpillar 

Bee yard got new landscaping - can't wait to keep the progress of this over the next couple months as the wildflowers grow and bloom!

Grape arbor is really coming along! Look forward to competing this, hopefully next month!

9 chicks have arrived and look good!

Garden progress - everything g is growing very well!

Squash and potato garden.

Chicken flock - or most of them!

Cows are doing well and growing! We may be ready to slaughter at the end of July or August.

Serenity putting her handprints in the last post for the grape arbor for this year. Ultimately, this will be 80' long. This year we will do 32'.

Fruit trees are just loaded this year! We are excited to see the fruit getting bigger!

Asian pears

Bartlett pears


Front garden

Mama hen with chicks.

This area is between the chicken yard and the garden, we planted it 2 weeks earlier in wildflower seed...it is a low maintenance way to add flowers for the honeybees.

Love the eggs we get!

Berry patch looks good. We will even get some berries this year!

A d that is it. The end of July,w e will check out the progress again!