Friday, March 30, 2012

Chick Update

Its been another crazy, busy week and I can't wait to start spring break with the kids.  We are heading to my parents for a few days.  Not looking forward to the drive, but the kids can't wait to see their cousins and I can't wait to say, "go outside and play with your cousins."  =)  Here's a little update on our not-so-baby chicks.  I guess we need to start calling them pullets (young chickens) now.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Dog's The Best

Had to catch Essie on video reading her homework book for the week entitled "My Dog's The Best".  Matt showed her how to read the My with emphasis.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Empowered to Connect

Mark your calendars now...Empowered to Connect is coming back to Nashville: September 14-15, 2012.  This is the best parenting information I have ever heard.  It's a must for foster and adoptive parents.

Host an Orphan this Summer

I've worked with several families who have hosted through this program.  Some of gone on to adopt their host child, some haven't.  Its a great program!

Chicken Run

Well, here it is...the long awaited post showing off our chicken coop and run.  (Ok, its really only long awaited by my family, but here it is anyways).  I made the coop entirely of recycled material and didn't pay for anything except the chicken wire for the run.  Even the nails and screws were ones we had left over from other projects.  So while this chicken run won't be used for its aesthetic reasons in any Urban Homesteading magazine, it serves its purpose and was made on the cheap.  I think I only spent $80 for the chicken wire and I have half a role left over that can (& will) be used for other gardening projects.  

The kids have outgrown their old playhouse so it became our new coop. 

 The area behind the playhouse and shed was a mess of junk so we had to clean it out first to make the chicken run.

I used leftover "ends" from our deck to make the floor (and yes, it was this crooked by the time I was done nailing it all down. I learned a lot more skills by the end of this project, but the beginning was pretty rough). 

This is the old door from the shed.  I tore apart all window frames and reused them to cover the windowless windows in the playhouse.

Playhouse on the platform now

My sister Kelly suggested using our old tack box from our 4-H years as the nesting box.  Great idea!
The wagon is to hold it in place while I screw it in.  Hey, you have to improvise when you are doing all this by yourself.

Interior view-of course I had to remove the soccer netting

Gotta keep the predators out!
One day, we'll be able to get our eggs without having to climb into the coop

AJ waking weeds 

The honeysuckle vine is everywhere in the field behind our house and overtaking our back yard.  It is such a nuisance!

This is half of a bi-fold door that I decided to use as the new door for the coop (had to be cut down to size and painted). The other half of the door is used in our house, but this half has just been sitting in a closet for the past 4 years.

One of the girls took this so I could be in at least 1 shot.

This is my modified window.  None of the sides of the playhouse are even because of all the decorative do-dads, so I had to be creative in making the windows.

Chloe helping out by cleaning the finished window.

AJ helping to nail the fence up-notice his hard concentration.

 The girls helping to move rocks

One side of the run completed!

All the neighborhood kids got involved in helping with this project.
(You know me, no one stands around and watches; I put them to work)

The run is behind the shed so my husband doesn't have to look at it.  It is a good use for the otherwise useless space, but I wish I could see my chicks running around more. 

The finished product (minus some painting that still needs to be done)

The people gate (located between the coop and shed)

The chicks checking out their new home

This photo is for my sister Kelly: see the 2x4 here...its from your old bed frame.  Worked great!

The neighbor kids love to dig up worms to feed the chicks.  Such a good sensory enriching activity and notice this chick leaping in the air to get it.

The chicks enjoying some leftover beans from supper.  Matt said to me, "are you just going to slop the chicks after every meal?"  To which I responded, "Yes! The more leftovers they eat, the less food I have to buy for them."  That's the whole idea: waste less, get more compost!  Its amazing that it took us dumb humans so long to figure out that God set up nature the way He did because its the best way to do things.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weekend with the Cousins

My sister Jen came down last weekend with her 2 kids and these were all the pictures I got from the whole weekend.  I can't believe it, since I'm usually snapping away.  We were just that busy!  Jen and I enjoyed a great conference last Friday on dealing with children who have Sensory Processing Disorder.  Lots of great information!

Shelby enjoying an inside-out Or*o cookie

Trying to snap a picture before Jen, Hunter & Shelby take off for home.

Always interesting to try and get 5 kids to all smile for the camera

My Name is Faith

Hoping to find out more information on this movie.  When I do, I'll be sure to post it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tornado Relief

Matt & I took a small group from our church out to Morgan County today to help clean up after the tornado that touched down on March 2nd.  We cleaned up a lot of twisted trees from Woodsbend Community Church and viewed much devastation.  The tornado was an F-5 when it hit Woodsbend and an F-3 when it hit West Liberty (the town nearby).  I'll try to post our pictures from West Liberty tomorrow.  Too tired tonight.

 Across the street from the church

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sun Bathing

I was working outside yesterday and couldn't figure out where the girls had gone, though I heard them talking.  I finally looked up on top of the fort and found that they had carried their lawn chairs up to the top to catch a little sun.  I died laughing and grabbed my phone to snap a picture. There they were, talking up a storm about school and friends and just chillin'.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chick Update

Sorry, this is long overdue.  I've had a very busy week!  For all those who don't care about chickens, please just ignore this post and check in with us later.  For those of you who think I'm completely crazy (Matt Kinnell) just ignore all this because its obvious I'm WAY too into these chicks right now. We celebrated the girls' Gotcha Day last night at the Chinese restaurant (b/c we don't have an ET restaurant yet) and the Chinese word in my fortune cookie was "Chicken".  Confirmation, of course, that I'm on the right path.  Anyways, my public (ie my sister Kelly) has been asking how the chicks are, especially after Sunday night when our dog Caesar got a hold of one.  I caught him running up the stairs and all I could see what a chicken foot hanging out of his mouth.  I wasn't sure the chick would survive the night. The poor things was in terrible shock.  But here is what I found on Monday morning...


Tuesday Night



Ever since I let the chicks outside on Wednesday, they have really gotten the idea of this whole scavenge thing.   So glad because they will have to work for food, if they want to stay on this homestead.  They will be getting all the table scraps, weeds, and bugs they can handle.  In return, I'm expecting some gorgeous eggs and wonderful compost.