Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy 15th Timothy!

Recently, my freshman, Timothy celebrated his 15th birthday.

In standard casual birthday protocol, he got his presents, followed by a home cooked meal and dessert of his choosing.

The big news was that we gave him...a phone.

Actually a used phone that we had but...his own number.

His fingers haven't slowed down since.
For dessert we had the much requested "Ice Cream Brownie Mountain".

The topping is supposed to look like snow but in the picture it almost resembles an avalanche.

Still yummy though.

For two weeks I will have three 15 year olds.

We refer to them as Irish Triplets.

Happy Birthday Tim!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The chickens and making do with what you have

Growing up, we had chickens.

I loved the experience, mostly because it was all fun and no work.

Now that I'm an adult on paper anyway, the thought of having chickens, laying eggs and wandering around the yard just seemed so...homey.

My dear husband wasn't as enthusiastic but the squeaky wheel gets the grease he very graciously picked up the supplies that we needed.

Since I last posted about the chicken, we have added to our a big way.

Someone on Craigslist was giving away their chicken flock. It was quite a drive from our home but the thought of all those free hens really spurred me on.

Plus they were free.

Did I already mention that?

Turns out that after umpteen years of marriage and 10 kids, the couple in question was calling it quits and getting rid of all their animals.


I graciously took all the hens (even the rooster) and brought them home.

We put them in the coop after our hens had already roosted up for the night.

We got a good laugh thinking about what would happen when our chickens would wake up the next morning.

I'm sure they were like..."WTH?...where did all these birds come from?"

At that point, we had 27 hens and one lone rooster...whom we named Ranger.

Then...sometime before Christmas...there were 31.

Someone pointed out on Facebook that the three new hens were french hens. Since it was before Christmas that did make me pause to consider but...I'm pretty sure they aren't.

Only because there never were any drummer boys....thank goodness.

Because we have such a variety of chickens and I don't take the time to get to know each one individually, I couldn't even tell who the newcombers (Ha!) were. we have 30 hens and one rooster.

Every day, when we go out to feed them, the hens flock to you. It is hysterical to watch them come a runnin'. They work their drumsticks as fast as they can.

It makes me laugh out loud.

Which is probably one of the reasons that the neighbors think I'm certifiable.

Here are about 1/2 the hens, all lined up, eating the morning scratch.

Sorry for the feather butt shot.
The coop we got for free off of Craigslist. It was a shed in some one's backyard and they just wanted it gone. Corey and the boys dissembled it, brought it home and put it back together again.

The shed is really not crooked, it's just that the person taking the picture was keeping one eye peeled for the attack rooster.

His days are numbered.

I had to suppress the urge to scream "Dead chicken walking" at him this morning.

But, again, I refrain...for the neighbor's sake.
We needed some roosts so we looked around to see what we already had on hand.

In the shop were some water bed rails.

I had bought three sets of water bed frames last year at GW for $10 total. The side rails were the only thing that wasn't going to be used in a project.

Great roosts they made!
The nesting boxes were actually a shoe bin that I had curb shopped last year.

My very first curb shop. sniff...sniff...

Just give me a moment to compose myself...

**wipes tear from eye**

Corey pulled the top off of the shoe bin, turned it to it's side and attached it to the wall of the coop.

Total cost so far...$0

Does that make me sound cheep Ha! Ok, sorry...I just can't help it or what?!

You can see that the hens are laying underneath the nesting boxes too but they seem to prefer the left side for some reason.

And boy are they ever laying the eggs!

Today is the 23rd and through yesterday we have collected 391 eggs this month.

I'm almost drowning in eggs.

I've been giving them away fast and furiously to the neighbors.

Which is probably one of the reasons why they aren't answering their door anymore.

I do have a few chickens that are not laying in the nesting boxes.

Easter egg hunting is great once a year...everyday...not so much.
Someone out there is laying the funniest shaped eggs.

We refer to them as "bullets".

See the one on the right?

They are the chicken equivalent of a cone head.
And, because someone must have hit me with the stupid stick again we now are the proud owner of 12 baby chicks.

We went in to get "just a couple" and came out with "a lot".

Kind of reminds me of what happened with the kids.
A couple of these are promised to lay chocolate brown eggs.

I'm so excited.

Hopefully they will have rich creamy centers...


They are only the color of chocolate?

That's just not funny.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Week Activities

The week before Valentines Day was full of school activities which the kids were very involved in.

There were dress up days, hall decorating contest, cake contest, fashion show assembly and Mr/Mrs Irresistible.

Michael was in the fashion show as Edward Cullen from the Twilight series.

The sophomores won the fashion show, hallway decorating contest and got 2nd in the cake contest.

Can we say Competitive?

Michael was also the sophomore class Mr. Irresistible.
So..where was Joseph during all of this?

Sadly, even though he had been the main force behind Valentines Week, aka Control Freak the main event, the fashion show, fell on the same day as Swimming Districts.

So, Joe was enough to make the the only underclassman represented from our entire district in his two events...and he qualified for state!
Tim and Michael went to the dance...with dates.

I just love that they both choose girls with high standards and good values.

Aren't they cute?
Since I didn't feel like buying the kids things that Valentine's Day that they didn't really need...

I made them cookies instead.

Cuz, everyone NEEDS cookies...right?

The best sugar cookie recipe EVER!

Any cookie recipe that combines both cream cheese and almond extract is a keeper.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hannah Banana is 5

Recently our sweet Hannah Boo-nana turned 5.

She requested homemade pizza for dinner and asked to have cupcakes for dessert.

We made the cupcakes together and she was in charge of the sprinkles.

She got dressed up in her 2nd hand skirt and Goodwill sweatshirt and boots.

Then, she opened her presents that had been wrapped with paper purchased at GW.
Inside she discovered a "new to her" Build A Bear puppy that I had purchased 1/2 off at GW.

It looked like new but it was nakie so off we marched to the Build-A-Bear store for a new outfit.

Afterwards we went out to lunch at Izzy's Pizza because she had a free birthday coupon.
Was her birthday any less fun for her...wearing preowned clothes...receiving a preowned toy...eating lunch with a coupon...having homemade pizza for dinner...

I think not.

Happy Birthday to our sweet little daughter!

We love you!