Sunday, April 28, 2013

He Loves To Snuggle

Solomon is just the friendliest little thing ever, he loves to snuggle in right around your neck and be held.

Does he smell like the barn?  Dancer doesn't care, she gives him kisses anyway.  And guess who "needed" one more night of sleeping in the house?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Introducing Solomon

Solomon, or Solo-mon because he isn't a twin, was born Wednesday evening after we spent hours in the barn awaiting his arrival.  We were out there so long we saw a chicken lay an egg, our first time to ever see that miracle.  Three chicken layed eggs while were out there so we told Lola, the first time mom to be, that everyone else was giving birth, why was she taking so long.
She had a little boy who was ready to stand up right away and was interested in where his first meal was going to come from. 
While the days have turned more spring like, the nights are still cold so in the house he came.  Skips dubbed himself the "kid"sitter and kept a close eye on him.
The first day he had one floppy ear, that happens if it is bent down in utero.  Usually they pop back up after a few days, as his did, but if not a cardboard brace can be made for it to get it back in proper position.
His cute little portrait.  It is hard to believe looking at him now that he will be a big, stinky, buck.  Actually, he won't be stinky because he is going to fair this year as a 4-H project and they don't like stinky bucks at the fair.
He has been sleeping in the bathtub but, last night he jumped out so tonight I think it will be out to the barn for him.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

That's Not Funny

Spark reaches in the peanut container, pulls out a handful and pops them in his mouth.
"Oh, dear me, I believe I may have had a tooth break" he says.  (Actually he said something else, but I want to remember him at this age being really well mannered and not repeating the less than Christian things his mother has been known to have come out of her mouth in some exasperating situations.)     
He reaches up in his mouth and holds out his tooth he just had break explaining that maybe there was a rock in the peanuts.  While my eyes grow big and I am just about to say "Oh, dear me,"  he tells me he is just kidding and it was a tooth that fell out about a half an hour before.

It's not nice to scare your mother like that. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

National Jelly Bean Day

Dancer and some of her friends celebrated by painting their nails jelly bean colors.  Hey, it is sugar free!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

First The Root Grows Down

We are getting desperate to grow something, anything.  With the weather not cooperating we put some seeds in plastic bags with wet paper towels and hung them in the window.  I did plant some tomato seeds but those darn cats thought they looked tasty and once the second leaves came out they ate them.  Those cats are getting less popular everyday.
So far we have had a pumpkin seed sprout, a couple of peas and a sunflower.  I am wondering if we aren't getting good germination because the window is either freezing cold from the temps outside or really hot from the two days that the sun actually made a showing.
One thing that I find amazing about seeds is that no matter how you plant them, the root always grows down first, they will even turn themselves around, and then the plant then grows up.  Amazing, just amazing that every seed knows to do this.
Looking at these seeds with their little roots has put a song running in an endless loop in my head that we use to sing when the kids were little sprouts themselves.
♪ ♫ Of all you learn here, remember this the best.
Don't hurt each other and clean up your mess.
Take a nap every day, wash before you eat,
Hold hands, stick together
Look before you cross the street.
Remember the seed in the little paper cup,
First the root grows down and then the plant grows up!  ♪ ♫

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oh Winter

Ben Franklin wisely said that company and fish stink after three days. 

It's been seven months snow, your welcome is long worn out.

Snow so heavy it bent over tree branches.

Spring, are you there?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Once In A Lifetime

That is how many times you have your wisdom teeth removed.  Dancer had that procedure today.  Pain pills and lots of ice have so far made it tolerable, that and the fact that she will never have to go through it again.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced carrot
1/2 c. diced celery
1 lb green split peas examined, sorted and rinsed
8 c. water
1/2 smoked ham shank
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Place the first 4 ingredients into a soup pot on low heat, saute, while stirring often, until onions  just begin to brown.  Add the remaining ingredients all at once.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the ham shank from the soup to cutting board.  Remove bones, fat and skin.  Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and return to soup and serve.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Plant A Seed

The theme of the day at co-op was seeds.  The kids planted them in pots, in cups, in baggies, and in eggs shells.  They planted everything from mint to sunflower seeds.
Here they are making the seed tapes.  Some of them really got into this made several strips, must have been the gooey flour/water mixture.

A little socializing, actually that is what these three do the most of.

Just a cute picture of Dancer.

Making bread sticks for lunch.  The kitchen we get to use is amazing, it has all the bells and whistles.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Carrot Curls

Everyday Chester gets some kind of veggie or fruit peels.

As soon as he sees us coming out with the bag he starts running back and forth in his house.

"What do you have for me today?"

Cat Cave

While men have their man caves, Skips has his cat cave.  Spark made it for him out of a stacking bin and some receiving blankets. 
He also loves those reusable shopping bags. 

Dancer took these pictures, he is quite photogenic.

The cat is only half out of the bag.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Make Your Own Homemade Seed Tapes

With snow in the forecast for the next seven days we are still hopeful that there will be a spring, even a summer, and we will be able to plant a garden.  There will be a need for seeds!

We plant our garden with a planter, a must have when we were selling at farmers' markets.   If we didn't, these seed tapes would be the way to go, make them in winter, save your back planting them in the spring.  We are making these for an activity to teach kids in our homeschool co-op about plants and gardening. 

Lay out a strip of toilet paper and place a seed about every two inches. 
Mix up a batch of very runny paper mache (flour and water) and put a teeny, tiny drop on each seed.  This is to keep the seed in the proper place.

Fold the paper over and press down on every seed.  It takes just a few minutes for that little drop to dry and then the paper is stuck together.  Roll up the tape and it is ready for planting.
If you are working with really little seeds you may need a few couple loupes to see them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Leapin' Llamas

The llamas have been living in their new abode for a week and a half now and are getting quite use to us.  The kids can get the halters on almost always on the first try so we thought we would try taking them in the corral with the leads on.

We found that Marceline is definitely the spunkier of the two.  She would leap and
dive and

pretend she was with the program and then

dive again.  The kids held on to the end of the leads so their arms didn't get ripped off and the llamas had plenty of room to do their antics.  

Marceline would run and then suddenly stop only to

buck up and down.  I think there might be a reason why people don't ride llamas and use them as pack animals or to pull a cart instead.   They reminded us a lot of how baby goats flip and run around. Even though they are as tall as we are, these two girls are only eight months old so they are young, maybe this is just their carefree, childhood way of enjoying a day outside.

Just so it doesn't seem like Nora didn't have her obstinate moments as well, here she is zagging back and forth.  They also did a lot of walking so we think they are coming along well, they will need a lot of sweet talking.  Today it snowed close to a foot so that will hinder them getting out for a few days until it melts but, we got a good start.  It will give them a few days to think about it.

And They Are Off!

Last night was the AWANA Grand Prix, most exciting thing happening in the little town we go to church in.   They put their cars on the track and the go to finish line to cheer their car on.

Cheer for Spark or the girl in this race?  The girl is one of my AWANA group girls and in our homeschool co-op but I guess being my son trumps that.  GO SPARK!!  Actually she is a sweet girl who I think he should ask out in six or seven years.   I'll have to hone up on my matchmaking skills. 
3rd place!  Way to go Spark!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4-H Project Day

Last Sunday was our yearly club project day.  It is a day where each family takes topics and does a little talk and has the kids do a project in that area.  The kids in our club range from 5th to 12th grade making it easier to do more complex projects.  This year we:

Made bread in a bag.  The kids loved, loved, loved this.  Most of them were eating their bread from the top down as they were leaving.  We even got one phone call that night saying how good that bread was.  Seems no one bakes bread any more and know how yummy good it is.  Hopefully a couple of them will be inclined to start now.

Canned pickle relish.   Only one other family had ever canned anything.  Seems we are in 4-H with a bunch of yuppies that need to be countrified.

 Cute memo boards.  A frame, chicken wire stapled to the back, a piece of fabric on cardboard hot glued to the back of that and clothes pins and buttons hot glued to the front.  This one is Sparks.
Dancer's, her fabric is much cuter than this picture shows.   
Painted flower pots and planted flowers. 
Made plant starters out of toilet paper rolls and planted seeds.
Fire pokers.  This was a length of rebar spray painted black,

with a wooden handle that was burned and then they could use a wood burning tool to put their name or whatever they fancied on it.  We tried it out with our first bonfire of the year. 
Kacheekers was very pleased that we were outside.  He is a lap cat and he doesn't get much attention all winter so this made him happy, happy, happy.