Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mimi's Tree

My favorite part of Christmas is the adventure of finding and cutting down a tree. Last year we went into the woods behind the farm and cut down a tree. Then we found out that I am allergic to pine tree sap, even in winter time, and we had to take it down. Last year, for the first time, we had a fake tree (purchased anonymously for us by someone at Jason's work). This year I really missed the tradition of hunting down a tree.

Mimi requested that we find her a tree. Jason talked to his buddies and one of them has a wood lot with lots of unusable pine/fir trees already on the ground. Saturday we dropped Our Sweetie off at Mimi's house and then trekked to the wood lot to take a look around. While we scouted out a tree, Stomper played in the snow and slid down a little snow pile he found. It didn't take us long before we spied one on the ground that was just right. Jason hacked off the last four or five feet and packed it into the van. 

At Mimi's house the kids decorated it with garland, blue lights, and ornaments. It was a lot of fun looking at all the old picture ornaments, there was even one of Bumpa! We watched a Christmas movie or two together and passed around Our Sweetie.

I think we have a new family tradition!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Sweetie

Things have been a little crazy around here and at times, sleepless. A few weeks ago we took in an infant Foster Child. Stomper calls her "Our Sweetie". For legal purposes I cannot show you her face (just her toes in Stompers jammies), or give you any details. I can say this: we are enjoying having a little baby in the house again.

We pulled out what we had left from Honey Bee, most things I had given away. My philosophy on baby items: clothes, toys, equipment is this--God gave it to me when I needed it. Who am I to hold on to it when someone else needs something? I've kept some of Stompers things that were extra special, but most things, including the expensive baby equipment, I passed along.

The day that Our Sweetie came to live with us I put a note on facebook stating that I needed baby things. I don't think it was an hour before a friend from church sent me a list of things she had available to lend. She loaned us a bassinet, play mat, baby swing, toys, and clothes -- everything I needed. What a blessing! 

Our Sweetie is fitting into the family quite smoothly. The whole family is savoring every moment of snuggling, burping, diaper changing, and baby smiles. Stomper is adjusting as well as a three year old can. Jason and I have been soaking in baby snuggles and reminiscing  about when Stomper was a baby. 

We don't know how long she will be with us, but while she is here we are enjoying every moment!

Monday, December 2, 2013

White Blanket

When we went to bed last night it was snowing. When we woke up this morning we were greeted with a small layer of snow on the ground. It's just enough snow to make things messy while driving, delay school, make snowballs for the dog to chase, and build a few snowmen. Its pretty much the best way to start the morning. 

Today Jason took the day off to process the broilers and the layers. The broilers have reached their full size and so today he will process all twenty-two of them. It has been a short nine weeks with these chickens. At times it's been a little rough raising them in the cold of the fall. A few times when we've gone down to tend them they've been a little chilly and we've needed to add more warming lights for them. 

We are culling over half our laying flock today too. They aren't keeping up their end of the bargain, by laying enough eggs to pay for their grain. We will keep the seven hens we bought this year in addition to Charcoal the Rooster, and Twig the Broody Hen. In the spring we will purchase more laying hens. 

We are keeping Twig in hopes that she will raise the new chicks for us. We have a neighbor who let their hen sit on a bunch of eggs for the appropriate amount of weeks, and then slipped day old chicks under her. She then raised the chicks herself. If that works than we can do the same thing with her and broilers too and raise meat birds any time of the year.

The ducks don't mind the snow. This is their second year with snow. They waddle around the barnyard looking for scraps and morsels. There isn't much for them to eat under the snow, but they persist. It's quite entertaining to watch them dig in the snow with their bills.

In addition to all the chicken processing Jason's Dad hit a small deer with his truck on Friday. The deer is hanging in our garage waiting to be made into ground venison. Looks like the freezer is going to be full this winter. God certainly provides!

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