Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Sick Day Sewing Project

Selah, #2, has had her share of illness and sick days this year.  We have had quite a few days home together during this school year and she is always dreaming up new things to do to stay busy once she is feeling well enough and between respiratory therapy sessions.  On the day that Livia and I were sewing her dress, Selah asked if we could make a dress for her favorite doll, Sarah.  We used scraps of fabric and beads and this is what we came up with.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Super, Simple Sewing Project

We have been contending with the chicken pox now for a couple of weeks, but this weekend it hit all the remaining girls and has since been occupying some of our time.  Thankfully, my oldest two are in school today and my kindergartner seems to be rapidly on the mend.  My girls all had the varicella vaccine, so this whole episode of chicken pox has been, thankfully, rather mild.

A few weeks back, Livia, #4, told me that she would like to make a pretty necklace.  This is the girl that wants pretty dresses, pretty jewelry, shows off her lovely dance moves to the family nearly every day, and gives out the sweetest, darling compliments to us, unsolicited.  I had a nice double-stranded chain that my Mom had given to me and so we trotted off to JoAnn Fabrics to find something pretty to attach to the chain.  We settled on a pack of clearance hearts, a bargain pack of colorful flowers, and jump rings for easy attachment.  Of course, while walking around, Livia spotted the fabric and was oohing aahing over all the beautiful colors and textures of the fabrics.  I saw that a fabric I had used in the past that is pre-made for dresses and skirts was on sale, so I let #4 pick out the one that she wanted and we bought grosgrain ribbon to match as straps.  All this requires on the sewing maching is sewing a few a straight stitches and zigzagging the edges, and "voila", you have a cute dress that was easy as pie to make.  I'm not very skilled on the sewing machine, so this project was right up my ally.  Here is a picture of our finished results.
It's hard to see but Snoopy and Woodstock are on the bottom of the fabric.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Family Party Time

I must say, my hubby outdid himself once again.  Even after a long day at work and 2 days left until the weekend, he pulled a fun, family birthday party off for me with all of his usual charisma and enthusiasm for a fun time together.  I think that one of his best ideas was bringing home a couple of bags of balloons for the girls which provided hours of entertainment (don't worry, all the popped balloon pieces were closely monitored and picked up promptly to keep them from the 2-year-old and dog).  Augustus put on some good tunes, the girls played "keep as many balloons in the air at once as possible" while intermittently dancing, and we all enjoyed a  delicious dinner which I did not need to lift a finger to bring about (one of the best parts of either Mother's Day and my birthday for me).  We had French bread and butter, grilled cajun shrimp kabobs, grilled asparagus, steaks, and a delicious finish with a double fudge cake and Bordeaux cherry ice cream (a delicious combo).  It is during these sweet times when I really see our family coming together in joy and celebration that my heart is full to bursting as seeing all the blessings God has given me in my life.  Another really sweet moment, was yesterday morning when I woke up early with my hubby and Little D wanted to get up, too.  I brought her downstairs with me and she curled up in a little ball in my lap with her blanket and just wanted to snuggle.  Now that she is a toddler (2), she is active so much of the time and doesn't stop that often just to sit with me, so it was a definite birthday gift to just get to hold my "baby" and sit quietly for a few moments together.

The photos are all courtesy of my multi-talented hubby who actually knows how to use our camera.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm 35!

Yep, today is my birthday and I've turned 35.  Where has the time gone?  Instead of pontificating on the subject, though, I think I will go enjoy the day and catch a few of those minutes that seem to be slipping through my fingers as we speak.  I'm off to feed my chicks and chickens, and then I'll make a cappuccino and sit down to enjoy with a good book for a while.  Here's to a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An Egg Salad Sandwich, My Way

Recently, I made a yummy egg salad sandwich that was super simple to make, so I thought I would share - basically it was California-style.  Here are my ingredients:
chopped up hard-boiled egg
1/2 avocado, chopped up into small pieces
mayo, to taste
Dijon mustard, to taste

Mix it all up, put it between 2 pieces of bread with a leaf of lettuce, and enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chicken Adventures Abound

Above is our Rhode Island Red rooster.  He began cock-a-doodle-dooing last week.
The chicken adventures in our house continue.  The chicks are now 11 weeks old.  Some weeks ago, it became apparent that we had a rooster on our hands.  We watched his crown and waddle grow at a much speedier rate than the rest of the other chicks and we started to suspect that the blue paint spot on his head at purchase may have been there for a reason.  Livia had unwittingly picked out a rooster that was actually requested by another customer.  His name originally was Mama Odie, so he is now officially Papa Odie.  As it turns out, though, the man who wanted the rooster never came back for him and we didn't want to relinquish him at this point.  I had been thinking about breeding some of the hens eventually anyway, so now I get my chance.  I will keep him in a separate area from the hens until such time as I want to have fertilized eggs and then will let him join the hens temporarily. 

Next, we realized that although we had been told we had Black Australorp chicks, we it seems that we actually have 2 Barred Rock chicks.  One of these black and white chicks, Belle, is quite a bit larger than the other one, Dixie Chick.  You can see Belle below.  We've been wondering for at least a month whether or not she is a rooster, as well, and thought that if she was, her name would change to Gaston.  After watching her carefully, though, I think we just have a large hen on our hands which I would much prefer over having 2 roosters. 

Belle, our bigger Barred Rock hen.
Lastly, I was having a dreadful problem with my other hens, my five Columbian Wyandottes.  For some reason or another, several of them had started to eat their own eggs.  This is pretty disastrous considering I mainly have hens for their egg production.  I, of course, immediately Google the problem and read about several possible ways to avert complete disaster.  One was to put golf balls in their laying area and they would supposedly grow tired of pecking really hard "eggs" that hurt their beaks and be dissuaded from pecking their eggs open.  I drove to the local golf course with the girls, begged about 15 bad golf balls off of them, and promptly tried this trick out.  It seemed to be working a bit, but of course I was also checking the coop every couple of hours for eggs to try and get them first.  Then, I found out they were eating eggs still, so I had to isolate a few on a rotating basis in a large box in the garage and watch them carefully to get their eggs before they ate them.  I finally have all 5 back together and for the last couple of days, I have been getting all of the eggs from the hens.  Now, I'm hoping that they'll forget how good their eggs taste and just leave them for me.  

At least I can trust that the hens and chicks will keep things exciting around here, along with 5 girls, a dog, new fruit trees and grape vines to care for, and all the other little daily items that pop up on a regular basis. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We're back, and better than before!

Well, our internet guys came back and after much wrangling and testing were able to find a different place for our wireless antenna that gets great reception and lets us get back to our usual internet usage.  Given, it doesn't look terrible attractive; the antenna is mounted on a long pole that extends up from our front deck on one side, but in this case, I am much more concerned with function over form and aesthetics.  It was nice having a local company that is close by and was willing to come out repeatedly to really see the problem through.  Needless to say, we are happy have the internet back with such a happy solution to the matter.  Three cheers to be back to blogging!