Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not such a good day...

It wasn't a great day on the farm today. First of all, we discovered that the cherry tree was destroyed by raccoons. They must have climbed up in it to get at the cherries (which were ready to be picked) and since it's still a young tree it wasn't sturdy enough to hold their the top half of the tree snapped. It's just hanging over now and those little thiefs picked EVERY LAST CHERRY OFF!!! I'm not kidding. They didn't miss a single cherry. The stems are all still on the tree and the cherries were all neatly picked off. I hope they got a belly ache!

The goats almost got their ticket to the sale barn. Jason got really mad at them. I mean really, really, really mad! They have been kept enclosed for over a week now because they were wreaking havoc in the garden. Today, we decided to let them out to browse while we were outside (the sweet corn patch now has an electric fence to keep them out). Well, they were still out when Jason was feeding the heifers and the goats decided to jump up in the feeders to help themselves. Jason tried to shoo them away.....the heifers freaked of the heifers ended up in the feed trough with her leg wasn't good. I can't express enough how mad he was. He told Leah that the goats are lucky that she likes them so much!!

By far, the worst news of the day is that Sidney the cat died. He was about 15-16 years old but unfortunately didn't die from old age. He was run over by a truck which is surprising because he hardly ever went into the road. Today was his day. It was pretty heartbreaking because he was a gift to me from my parents when I was a sophomore in college. Jason and I were dating then but we had broken up and Sidney was a gift to try and cheer me up. He was a housecat for many, many years but became an outdoor farm cat about 6 years ago. He loved it outside and was a really cool cat. Leah was sad and said "We have to bury him and put a stone up with his picture on it." We'll see what we can do.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chicks are here!!!

Our chicks arrived today!! For a couple of years now, I have been telling Jason and my parents that I wanted to get some chickens for the farm. From the beginning, Jason said "Go for it!" because he really is that kind of a husband. My parents looked at me like I was crazy. We always had chickens when I was a kid and my dad had chickens his whole life (the farm is where my Dad grew up). In fact, the farm had a huge hen house and a brooder house up until a few years ago when they decided that no one would ever have chickens on the farm again and they tore them down. (The hen house wouldn't have been useable anyway but the brooder house was salvageable and obviously hindsight tells us we should have left it standing!) Well, my Mom decided about a year ago that she too would like to get some chickens again so her and I started our planning. When I say planning what I really mean is we started telling Dad and Jason that we're going to get chickens and they need to come up with a chicken house for us! I still feel Dad's reluctance about this but he's a very giving man and has never told me "No".

I did a lot of research (as is my nature) and found the breeds that we wanted....Light Brahmas and Silver Laced Wyandottes. Both are good layers of brown eggs, docile, quiet and tame. I don't want mean chickens. The plan is that I'm going to keep the Brahmas and Wyandottes here in our garage for a few weeks so that Leah and I can tame them down. The 20 Cornish Cross broiler chicks are going to the farm for Mom to take care of....since we really don't want Leah making a pet out of a future dinner!

Leah and I were SO excited when we got the call this morning that the chicks were waiting for us at the post office!! We could hear them peeping when we walked in the door. We brought them home, unpacked them one by one, showed each one the water and just stood back and smiled ear to ear! They are SO DARN CUTE!!! I honestly spend the entire afternoon looking at them. I probably checked the temperature of their box about 50 times! I'm a crazy chicken momma!!!

I ordered them from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, MO and am very pleased with everything. They shipped when they said they would. They arrived in great condition and are nice, healthy chicks.

Let me just share some of the cuteness with you....

My little chick helper.....

Even Lucy was excited.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Growing up

Our little girl turned 4 last week. I know I'm not the only parent to say this, but "Why do they have to grow up so fast!?!" I looked at the clock throughout the day and would think "Four years ago I was being admitted to the hospital at this time.....I started pushing at this time, etc." What a wonderful day....the day my heart overflowed with love. She really is the center of our world and certainly the brightest part of our days. What a blessing she is to two VERY grateful parents!!

On her actual birthday, we took her to the Kansas City Zoo. She wore her pink giraffe shirt because she said "I have to wear something zoo-ish!" The elephant keeper heard us talking and told Leah that one of the elephant's name is Leah too!

After the zoo, she chose Chinese food for dinner because egg drop soup is "yummy". It was a good day. It was HER day and we spent it as a family doing whatever our little birthday girl wanted to do.

We had her birthday party this past weekend. It was a Reptile Party because she is completely and totally obsessed with reptiles.....mostly snakes. So, what else is a mother to do but make a snake cake? I searched the internet for ideas because I was sure it wouldn't be as easy as finding a snake shaped pan!! I found this idea which worked great. It is two bundt cakes cut in half and then placed end to end to make the curves. Very easy! She absolutely loved it and I think the other kids at the party thought it was pretty cool too!

Here she is going down the slide wearing the "FOUR" shirt I made for her. She actually watched me make it but wanted me to wrap it up with her other gifts and said "I'll act surprised."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sounds So Good

We are country music fans around here and we listen to a lot of music since we don't watch television. If you are also a country music fan you HAVE to get this album !! She has a couple of songs being played on the radio now and maybe we're late to hop on the bandwagon, but we are loving this album! Jason told me he had heard a singer that he thought I would like and man was he right! She wrote 10 of 11 songs on the album and to me that is awesome. I always enjoy a singer more when I know they write their own songs. There's a lot of singing about "cold beer", "coolers slushin", "whippoorwills singin" and "long dirt roads". If you grew up in a small town it will be very reminiscent for you!! Be forewarned though.....if you don't like your country music with some southern might not like this! I LOVE it!!!!

Tending the garden

My parents have always had a pretty large garden. In fact, when we were kids we had two separate gardens. One was the main garden for the veggies and the other was a big strawberry patch. The strawberry patch is long gone but the main garden still exists. Last summer, Jason decided we should plan the '08 garden for a month of "living off the land". He watched a PBS program several years ago about pioneer living and thought that would be a fun challenge...I guess he thinks we all have the same idea of "fun"!!! Seriously though, with grocery prices steadily increasing, I for one am looking forward to meals made from our garden produce. Not to mention there is no worry about where it came from and what kind of chemical it has on it that could potentially give you cancer....but I digress (don't you get tired of hearing about the latest thing that's going to kill us all?). Anyway, the garden is all planted with onions, beets, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, red & white potatoes, eggplant, butternut squash, cantalope, pumpkins, okra and sweet corn. Whether or not we have a corn crop depends on these girls.... Yes, the goats have found a way out of their pen and they come out each morning and browse anywhere they feel like it....including the garden. Mostly they just nip a leaf here and there but the sweet corn has really been damaged because they just walk down the row and bite off the top of the plant! OOPS!

Other than discovering the goat damage, we put cages on the tomatoes, tilled and hoed

and picked some green onions.

Leah found a worm and was fascinated with that for a while.

And just look at these little beauties ripening!!! Dad just planted the tree last year so it's still small and probably only has enough cherries for one pie but let me tell you.....that pie is going to taste SO good!! The farm has been without a cherry tree for several years and we have missed having it. I can't wait for this one to be big enough to produce enough cherries for the freezer so we can have cherry pie in the winter!! There are few things better than that....YUMMY!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We had a great weekend at the farm. My sister and her kids came for a long weekend which was a treat for us all since she lives 7 hours away and we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like. Leah and Vivian had so much fun...they are at such a fun age and love being with each other. We have found that they are a little more brave when together and sometimes a little more sassy! More than once they were found a little too far out in the hay field and had to be rounded back up closer to the house.

Then, they were a little too quiet in Papa and Grandma's room. They had found Grandma's makeup.....UH OH!!!

It wasn't just trouble all the time. There was sweetness.

There was sharing.

But mostly, there was love!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Leah and I took a vacation last week to visit my mother-in-law in southern California. We were there for 5 days which went by very fast with so many things to do. A 4 year old doesn't understand that we can always do Sea World next time...we have to do Disneyland AND Sea World this time!!

Leah got to pick oranges in her Great-Grandpa's back yard.

She enjoyed a carousel ride at Disneyland....

...and the tidepool at Seaworld where she got to pick up sea stars.

I enjoyed every minute of watching her have so much fun. I also have to admit that I fully enjoyed Disneyland and Seaworld too. I am one of those adults who absolutely LOVES Disneyland!! I get all mooshie inside the minute I walk in the front gates. There is just something about that place. I'm actually not a very emotional person but Disneyland sorta gets me choked up at times. Another thing that does that to me is this....

The Shamu show is really incredible. I think this was the third time I've seen it in my life, so it's not like I didn't know what to expect....but, WOW it is amazing!!

It was a great trip. We always have so much fun when we visit Grandma Anneli and we always get first-class treatment!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here we go!!

Well, I have finally started my own blog. After months of obsessing about it and spending way too much time reading my favorite blogs, I have decided to jump right into the blogosphere and do one of my own. I will admit I am very hesitant about it because there are so many great blogs out there and I think "Why would anyone be interested in anything I have to say?" I do tend to overthink things and I'm pretty sure that's where I was at when my Mom told me just to do it!! I absolutely LOVE all of the crafty blogs out there and have gotten lots of ideas of things I want to make (you should see how long my list is). Now I just need more time in each day so I can actually get some of those things finished!

This blog will probably not give anyone any helpful tips or great ideas, but I hope you enjoy some of my families experiences as we travel weekly from the Street Lights to Starry Nights!