The truth about chickens

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From raising...
to building...
to roofing...
to painting...
to cleaning...
to preparing...
and organizing...
and loving...
we now have ourselves a cute little flock of chickens. 

We wanted to be able to provide our children with the real life work (and mess) of caring for animals, and as far as barnyard animals go - chickens are pretty easy to care for. Getting everything ready for them was a lot of work, but now it is pretty low maintenance. 
We started out with 6 ISA chicks. We bought them because they were guaranteed hens. They lay brown eggs. 1 little chick passed away when it was just a few days old, which they say is pretty common. So we were left with 5, which kind of seemed pretty perfect, since I have 5 little chicks myself! We then bought 6 Ameraucana's. They lay blue/green eggs, but come with no promises as to what they are.
So we bought 6, hoping to end up with at least 3 hens. Any roosters would have to go when the time came. We lost 1 to a bird of prey and quickly covered the chicken run with a net. Again we ended up with 5. As they grew we thought that 1 for sure was a rooster - he soon confirmed of beliefs with his first sad little "cock-a-doo". They don't actually always "cock-a-doodle-doo", they mostly just "cock-a-doo". It is kind of cute the first few times - not so cute anymore and we are hastily in search for a new home for him. Out of 5 birds, we only ended up with 1 rooster! ( I have heard horror stories about people ending up with 95% roosters) Our brown hens are all laying now, and we are getting 5 eggs a day. Even though they each lay brown eggs, each egg is a slightly different color, some even have speckles. 
The eggs are another reason and an added bonus for keeping chickens. It is a good lesson for the children to understand where our food actually comes from. When the kids bless the food they always ask for a blessing to be upon the farmers. The other day we had eggs for lunch and Emma asked that the farmers who grew the food would be blessed. When she finished and we opened our eyes, I smiled at her and told her that we were the farmers. They all thought this was pretty cool! 
We have been patiently waiting for the Ameraucana's to start laying. 

I am happy to say that the first one is here!
This - this is the real reason that I personally wanted to keep chickens. 
It is so beautiful - our very first green egg!

Christmas 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Post Nutcracker

Friday, December 17, 2010

It was FA-BU-LOUS! If you have never been - GO!
(I forgot to tell Bergen that he wasn't in a J. Crew ad. That boy's gotta learn to SMILE!)

The Nutcracker

We are off to the theatre, and we couldn't be more excited! 
(and this is what happens when I attempted to take one nice picture of us all before we go - some are enthusiastic, some a little too enthusiastic and some just got hit in the stomach by a little brother and show no enthusiasm at all)

Christmas Crafts

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few of us girls got together and we made these cute Christmas plaques - some as gifts and some for our homes.
Thanks to Debra who owns a vinyl cutter, we have been having a little too much fun 
sticking letters and numbers to things! 

Snowflake Tortillas

Fold tortilla into quarters and cut as you would a paper snowflake
Dust with icing sugar
Bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes, until crispy
Let cool 
Fun, easy, super simple! 
That's my kind of cooking!

A Warm Welcome

Thursday, December 9, 2010

one brown egg

After months, and months.......and months -

When dad runs home school

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dad ran homeschool today. The kids love it when he does. 
I do not speak a second language, but Darren can! 
So he has been teaching them Swedish.
 They are learning fast, and loving it.
 I love that I get a break from teaching and that Darren gets that time with the kids. 
From our house to yours - God Jul! 

homemade garlands

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We have an artificial tree. It is a great tree! But when it comes to garlands - I love them fresh. They are the simplest things ever to make. All you need is some fresh cut pine and cedar boughs, and an fake wire garland. You can a 6 foot strand at Walmart for under $5. As for the greenery, you will have to scout out a location from which you can trim. Fortunately for me my parents house backs onto a beautiful forest.
Once you have your supplies, you can assemble your garland. Just hang the fake strand where you would like it (mantles, over doorways, on the banister) and attach the boughs one at a time to the garland by wrapping the wire around the stems. Start at the bottom and work up to the top, covering the cut ends as you go. When it is as full as you would like it to be - you're done! You can either leave it as is or add berries, or bows, or whatever else you would like. They look fantastic, they smell even better and they are a fast, cheap, and easy way to add an elegant touch to your Christmas holiday decorating. 

the tree