Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Duckies' First Swim

Its cold and blustery today, but the last few days have been sunny and mild.  Sunday, I had some time to get the duckies' pool set up and it was warm in the sun, so I thought I'd let them enjoy a first swim.

Funny story about the "pool".  It is of course the girls old sandbox. One of the first things Chloe said when we moved the ducks outside was, "I bet Mom's going to use that (lady bug sandbox) for a duck pool!"  Do my kids know me, or what!?!?! 

It didn't take them long to figure out swimming is fun!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Artist Series

On Friday night, we dressed the kids up and took them to Asbury's Artist Series to see a classmate of ours in concert.  Norman Reinhardt transferred to Asbury our Junior year, and we were all immediately blown away by his voice.  He now lives in Germany where he is a professional Opera singer.  The kids enjoyed staying up late, but I have to admit they are a bit young to appreciate Opera music. 

I took a ton of video for my mom (who loves good male voices) and other classmates who don't live close enough to see him in person.  If you don't fit into these categories, I won't be offended if you skip to the next post.  Do realize, though, that the last half of the videos are in English (mostly).  Please also excuse the people's heads that were sitting in front of us and the rustling noise you hear because my children just couldn't sit still that long.  Hopefully it won't distract you too much from the wonderful voice of Norman.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

for February at least.  My optimal temp is about 10 degrees warmer with a lot less wind.  Oh well, we'll take it for February!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ducklings- 2 weeks old

Ok, I'm sick to my stomach right now that my phone failed to format some update and I've lost the hundreds of pictures that were stored on there.  I do clear them out every month (usually), but with the ducklings and a quick trip to see my family this past weekend, I had a couple of hundreds pictures stored on the phone (including some ADORABLE video of my 2 month old nephew).  I did manage to get this video uploaded before the phone mishap so enjoy. It was taken on Monday, when the ducks hit the 2 weeks old milestone. 

Jump Rope Club

A.J. has been participating in the Jump Rope Club at Wilmore Elementary School, and last night the club performed at halftime of the Asbury women's basketball game.  Here are some video highlights (A.J. is on the far left):

Thursday, February 14, 2013

They Just Keep Growing

It was 50 degrees today so I peeked in on the ducks.  I can't believe (once again) how much they have grown.  I had to find a bigger food dish as they were draining the chick feeder in less than a day.

Matt's been concerned that I haven't planted enough tomato plants for all the salsa that will need to be made for my demanding public.  We counted 75 plants.  Since I planted 35 last year, I think I will have enough. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Digs for the Ducklings

Yesterday, we had a jail break with the ducklings so I decided enough is enough.  The ducks needed some new digs (outside of our house).  Everyone warned me that ducks are messy and indeed, they are. 


My sweet hubby took the morning, drew up some plans for a duck house and started building.

Of course the ladies had to check it out.

Materials cost us about $50 for this basic plywood building that measures 3' x 4'.
We were able to re-use this pallet for the roof and the base of the house is also recycled.

I also found this leftover siding from our shed upgrade and it was already cut to be the perfect length to cover the roof.  Took me about 20 minutes to nail it all down this afternoon.  We still need to paint, but I moved the ducks in this afternoon, complete with heat light, since it is way too cold for baby ducks outside. 

The ducklings checking out their new digs

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is it a Double Yolker?

We've been getting some ginormous eggs lately, I think from our largest hen "Big Red".
Egg collect a few days ago

This one was so big, it looks she had to do some extra pushing to get it out. (notice the middle is smaller in circumference than the parts surrounding it.) The egg on the left is one of our normal size eggs, which is a "large" egg, according to the size of eggs you buy at the store. The one on the right is so large, I thought it might have 3 yolks so we decided to video as I cracked it open to see what indeed was inside.

The 2 yolks on right side of the pan came from the enormous egg.  You can see they are larger than some of the "regular" eggs.

This Week's Hair Styles

The girls wanted pony tails this week.  This was about as close as I can get.  They've stayed in for 2 days so far well, but I'll have to re-do them tomorrow morning, I'm sure, because little curls are starting to escape from the pony tail.  



Of course as soon as I get done doing the girls' hair, Essie throws the blanket over her head because once again MacGyver is too intense for her to handle.

Essie peaking out from the blanket 
(excuse Chloe's leg sticking up in the way)

Nope, too intense to watch
We've told her that MacGyver always wins in the end, but apparently its just too much to handle watching him get to the end.  

Field Trip

You've heard of "Bring Your Child To Work" day, well, Matt took it a step further by making Friday "Bring Your Favorite Homestead Animals To Work" day.  A few of our ducks took a field trip with Matt to our public library, JCPL.  The ducklings spent the day in the Children's Library and the kids loved them (from what I hear).  Always love to help educate kids about farm life.

Look, but please don't touch!

Book display around our little ducklings

Phew...its hard work to be stared at all day by kids.  
Time for a drink!

I do have to give credit to JCPL for providing many of the books that I've used to research duck care and many other homesteading topics. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Videos of the day

Had to share some videos with you all of the cute babies and the old ladies of the homestead. It was a gorgeous 60 degree day here in Kentucky.  Not to shabby for February!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Did You Guess?

Did you guess the surprise addition to the homestead?  We had an early wake up call from the post office that a box had arrived for us that needed to be picked up asap.  Can you tell what was inside?

I hadn't told the kids what was on the way so woke I them up by sticking the box next to their ears.  Chloe heard the peeping and yelled, "Ducks!"  That's right, a box full of 2 day old Khaki Campbell ducks.  I'll only be keeping a handful, as we don't have room for more than that, but I had to order 15, according to the hatchery's policies.  A fellow homesteader will be taking the rest (to eat) but a lucky few ducks will be staying here to increase our egg productions.  Khaki Campbell's are known for their egg production (up to 320 annually).  These ducklings were hatched at JM Hatchery and I was very pleased with their service.  They shipped 16 and I only lost 1 in the shipment, so I am thrilled, especially with the bitterly cold nights we've been having and the fact that these little guys spent more than a day traveling via the USPS. (let's hear it for something the USPS is doing right!)

packed tight and arrived safe and sound (mostly)

settling into the temporary cage in our laundry room

I couldn't stop taking pictures...they're are so dang cute!

After school, the girls wanted to check out the ducklings


Chloe was an expert in about 10 minutes on catching these quick little runners. 
They move so much faster than the baby chicks did!

Essie wanted to take a video of the ducklings.

I also had to include a picture of today's egg collection.  I had 1 that was soft shelled (which Caesar disposed of) and then later found this massive one.  It has to be a double yoker.  Its about the size of a normal duck egg (which we won't be getting for at least 6 months). I'm pretty sure "Big Red" is laying these big eggs, which I get about once or twice a month. She is our dominant hen and a bit bigger than the other ladies.  The speckled egg was a nice surprise today as well. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snow Day!

We finally got some real snow...well...real snow for Kentucky.  I was supposed to work in Northern KY today, but the roads were a mess so I turned around (after driving an hour) and heading back to a driveway full of kids sledding down our little hill on the side of our house.  As you can see, they were having great fun!