Tuesday, June 30, 2015

:: The Cute & The Not so Cute | An Animal Update ::

Things are "growin" like crazy around here. So I thought I'd share a little update on all of our critters.
Willie & Waylon; our jersey bull calves are doing great and love exploring the pasture.
I just love them!
Clarabelle is thriving and getting SO big! It's funny to see how much the size difference between her & Pistal have changed.
Here's a picture of them together back in April after we almost lost her :
and here they are together now :
 I think Pistal finally realized Clarabelle isn't a goat! LOL!
On the feathered side of things :
The meat chickens that we didn't butcher the first go round are plumping up nicely; so to speak.
The turkeys are well; at their "not so cute" stage but they are just so cool!
Amos watches over the chicken coop & by that I mean if any of them get out they become fair game. This is going to be a problem once the chickens get turned loose again after the gardening season is over.
The rabbits are fat & happy.
And I added a super to one of my bee hives last week! I painted it blue because well I had the paint on hand and wanted to do something other than just white. The other hive is still way behind because of adding the new queen. I'm hoping to have my mentor come over soon so he can evaluate how things are really going.
I hope all is wonderful in your neck of the woods!

Monday, June 29, 2015

:: Meet Rufus & Della | A Bluebird Story ::

Thanks to a family friend; Coe became interested in bluebirds a few years back. He gave him a few bluebird houses and since then Coe has been watching the birds call it home each Spring.
This year he painted it blue to match the birds I guess. Oh, and added a shingle! LOL!
Another friend told us about training them with meal worms. So Coe has been on a mission to do just that.
Last week or so Coe said to me "Mom, come see Rufus. He is out by the garden."
I laughed and went to see him. I said to Coe, "Where did you get the name Rufus from?"
He said "I don't know I just thought it was a good name for him."
I then proceeded to tell him that Rufus was my grandpa Castor's name. He just went by Paul (his actual middle name) his whole life.
From there Coe decided that "Rufus' wife" (as Coe would call the female bluebird) should be named "Della". (My grandmother's name.)
So, with that; we now have Rufus & Della the bluebirds flying around our back pasture. I've always known my grandparents were watching over us, but I think this is about the coolest sign they could have sent.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

:: Vacation Bible School Tshirt Test Run ::

This year I was asked to head up the Craft area at our local VBS. Which has nearly 200 kids attend for a week long amazing experience!
Because I tend to freak out and worry about something missing or not being right, my kids and I will be testing out each project and making a supply list. Which doubles as a fun activity for us to do at home anyways, right?
Yesterday we started with the T-shirts for the 1st-5th graders. Ella did a little tank top so she'd have something extra to where that week too.
We started by cutting cross templates out of cardboard.
Using a permanent marker the kids traced the cross onto the shirt.
Then, using painters tape (or masking tape) they simply created a mask and went crazy with acrylic paint. At first we just did the inside of the cross but thought it was a bit boring so we fanned out the color around the cross as well.
The kids thought they were so awesome once they peeled off the tape!
After Ella's dried I wrote the Bible points around the cross. I'm not sure we will be able to have the kids do this at camp because of dry time, but thought we could at least show it as something they could do later. Or it could be a fun place to write their favorite camp memories. 
Because today rained out my photo session we will be working on the other projects! I have to admit. This is way fun for me! I just have a hard time remembering that there will be SO many kids doing them and they only have 25 minutes at the station per day. Time for some planning!
Oh and this is the current situation on my kitchen table. It's a good thing Aaron understands my artsy fartsy messes. 
Happy rainy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, June 22, 2015

:: Father's Day | Catch & Release ::

Yesterday was Father's Day. We started our day with biscuits and gravy; which Aaron made of course, cause he makes the best!
The kids begged to go fishing. We hadn't been yet this year which is unusual for us. So, we loaded up and went to one of our favorite farm ponds.
Aaron hasn't been feeling very good lately. He stayed home from work one day last week and still hasn't shook it. It wasn't until going through the pics I could see it in his face.
But, being the person he; is he took the kids fishing anyways. It's just a small testament of who he is. He does so much for us and we love him with all our hearts!
Everyone was successful in catching a fish. Well, all except me. I was really good at reeling in moss.
The boys tried a bit of frogging as well. They've been counting down the days until frog season opened.
So close Chase! So close!
It was a good day to be together. 
The kids ended the day by cooling off in the pool and digging in the sand.
Another day reminding us of how blessed our little family is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

:: Picking Cherries, Cherry Jam, Freezing Cherries, & Cherry Cobbler ::

When someone calls and says "Come help yourself to the cherry tree because we have an over abundance". You do it!
I was so grateful my inlaws & their neighbor let us do just that today!
The kids were great help; well all except the moment when poor grandpa got hit in the head by a flying cherry that was intented for me by one of the boys. To this moment they are blaming each other and neither one will confess. Boys!
We brought home a huge amount of cherries & the boys (well mainly Chase) removed the pits for nearly two hours!
Sometimes, they can be such turds, but most of the time they are so much help! They knew I had to get some work done in my office so they jumped right in and did the dirty work.
Once the pitting was complete I started on freezing some, making two batches of cherry jam, & the best part; cherry cobbler for dessert tonight!
The recipes I used can be found here : Cherry Jam & Cherry Cobbler