Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Zoey!

My beautiful girl is 5 years old--so hard to believe! We had a great water party over the weekend with our slip n slide, sprinklers, water balloons and splash pools! The weather was nice and muggy, so cooling down was quite a treat. Really wasn't too much of a theme going on this year. She chose animal invitations, wanted a princess castle cake, and a Hannah Montana pinata. What a combo :)
Above is everyone gathered 'round the castle singing to the birthday girl! I love all of her relationships with her little friends--she is so sweet natured and her imagination is fantastic!

What do you think of the castle cake we made? It's rough that our girlie can't have a pink castle, but I think the yellow came out pretty good. Zoey was ecstatic about it, and that's an A in my book!

Water baby Cams playing in the yard for the party. What kid can resist running through the sprinklers?

Kleine Schätze

Just wanted to show off my little ladybugs--we're having a great summer! The days have been pretty warm now in June, so we try to stay indoors for most of the afternoon hours. That means playing and projects! Here's Zoey practicing writing her name and the alphabet for Kindergarten! She is doing such a great job! Camryn loves to play with Mommy's guitar--maybe she'll want to learn with me soon! I took a video of her a couple of days ago strumming the guitar on the floor and belting out 'want to be a rockstar...want to be a rockstar!' Just too funny!

Chicken Business

Our little chickies continue to grow and make us laugh every day--they are 5 weeks old now! We have now moved them from our brooder (dog crate) in the kitchen, to a small A frame chicken run in the backyard. For about a week I was bringing the dog crate outside during the day and taking the bottom out so that the chicks could scratch and forage through the grass. Teaching my chickens to be chickens...HA! They are so entertaining and the girls absolutely love them. Our cat, Biggs, checking out the day old chicks. He would spend hours just watching, probably dreaming of a little, fluffy snack! He doesn't bother now, they would probably gang up on him now!
This was one of their first adventures outside! Look how much they've grown!

In the evenings when we can be out in the backyard with them, we let the chicks out to wander. They always stay in their little pack, moving from tree to tree. The above pic is of the chicken tractor tilted up on its side, until it's time for bedtime!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Canning Day

The garden is growing and producing! In past years I've used our freezer in preserving what we harvest, but this year I have been doing more research on canning. Truly, canning seems kind of like a lost art. Earlier this week was my first canning experience and I had a blast! My Great Grandma Ann canned all the time, and one thing in particular I remember was her watermelon rind pickles. Sweet, sour, crunchy, and soft all in one bite. For my family reading this--you remember, I know! So drawing from that, I found a recipe online (I love for watermelon rind pickles. I couldn't get ahold of my mom at the time for the family recipe, but these turned out great as well. Can't wait to try new things as more things are ready for harvest in the garden!
Above are the watermelon rinds softening up a bit and sterilizing my lids.

Giving the first batch a nice hot water bath! This giant enamel pot was used by my Grandma and Grandpa back in the day!
Filling my jars--do you see all of my zucchini and Delicata squash in the background?

My project finished! On the left I canned some zucchini pickles and the right are the watermelon rind pickles. They both tasted great and I'm sure it will only get better after curing for a few weeks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Busy Weekend!

This last weekend we were surprised (a fantastic surprise!) by our Tio, Tia and cousins coming for a visit to Hartland! We always have such a great time when we're together--the combo'ed menagerie of all our kiddos always makes me smile! We had quite an adventure at the big air show in town with jets, snow cones and air pirates...And of course I forgot my camera! It did get pretty warm (I'm still trying to recover from a toasty sunburn on the back of my calves!)

Afterwards we all needed a cool down so the slip-n-slide and kiddie pool were hauled out to relax and rejuvenate! Here are some pics of the mischief makers! Oh how I love them all :) Above is Alexis taking a break from the slip-n-slide.
Here's Justin taking the scooter for a cruise!

Alissa hanging out with her Daddy (Our Tio)

The kids have fun...I get my grass watered!

My little Cams giving a big cheese for the camera!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Success! After a short search for some local fertile eggs here in Hartland, we decided to give incubating eggs another try. I posted an add on craigslist that I was looking for some eggs and a great lady responded who lived just a couple of miles south from us! We hatched 4 of the 7 eggs that she gave to us (better than 50%, I'm ecstatic about that!) and they are just the cutest little balls of fluff ever! Our egg donor told me she had a pretty wide variety of chickens, so I'm not quite sure what we'll end up with. 2 of them are bright yellow and the other 2 are a cinnamon sort of color. It was quite a bit of work consistently monitoring the incubator temperature, turning the eggs and making sure there was enough humidity, but I'm happy with our results.
We have a 'nursery' brooder now set up for our chickies in the kitchen. It's made from a dog kennel with lots of shredded paper bedding and a sheet to keep the heat in from our heat lamp. The girls are having so much fun with our new babies!
The video below is of our first hatch! Tom called me as I was on my way home from work on Thursday and told me that one of my eggs was chirping! Those sneaky little chicks weren't supposed to start hatching until the next day--it was a fun surprise! Oh and in case you're wondering, the names of the chicks are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Cookie and Cupcake.