Wednesday, December 14, 2011

needing spring already?

Today's unseasonably warm weather had me looking outside wanting to dig in the dirt.  Unfortunately I had way to much to do to play outside.  But all I can think about now is starting the seeds in the basement.  If only it wouldn't drive my husband over the edge.  He is still getting used to my crazy ways.  Growing plants in the basement will be hard to ease him into, and with how crazy things have been around here lately I am barely able to get up a blog post.  So perhaps seeds will have to wait for another month.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sisters, slips and sleep.

These two kiddos have stolen my heart.  They love each other so intensely I can't believe it.  When Annie walks in the room Elsie lights up, starts hitting whatever is in reach, grunting with anticipation and excitement.   At some point I may have to address the grunting with Elsie, but for now I think it's cute.   Annie loves being her favorite.  Loves knowing that with little less than a smile she can make Elsie laugh hysterically.   
 Annie has embraced the new dress up clothes I found for her.  Mostly modified old dresses and slips of mine, but they cover her completely, and I love that she's learning to feel pretty with more instead of less.

 Yes in this photo she is asleep.  The problem is she just went to sleep and this photo was taken at 7am.  After tag teaming through the night with Elsie, I got the morning shift with Annie and Jon got to sleep.  I'm so tired my eye is twitching and I can't think straight.   If these teeth don't come through soon I'm contemplating dropping her off at my moms for the night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elsie Steps!

I almost forgot to post that Elsie took her first step yesterday.  I don't think she even realized she did it.  She was trying to hit the baby sitting next to us at bible study.  She let go of my hand, took a step, hit the baby and then sat down.  I haven't gotten her to repeat the step, but it might take more baby bait to lure her.


It's 6:30 at night.  I'm driving to the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall.  All that's left is a run down Kmart and a Taco Bell.  I didn't even know we still had a Kmart around here.  I pull up to see the usual crowd parked waiting in their cars for the semi to pull in.  We are a small group of people who are committed to organic natural foods, but not so keen on Wholefoods and their over the top prices.    I love seeing what everyone else is buying, learning how they store it and what else they do to cut corners.  There are lot of corners you can cut to feed your family well, but it is a commitment that many people don't understand, even criticize.  My husband being one of them.  He does not understand my need to make sure our children don't consume chemically laden juices and snacks.  He only see's the big price tags at Wholefoods eating away at his hard earned money.  I am not a huge fan of Wholefoods, it's convenient, but not for feeding my family.   My solution is to cut back every where I can and get quality food at the lowest price possible.  So once a month I place my order, wait a week and then when I get the call, drive out to this sad lot to pull my food off the back of the truck.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


 Yes It's the day after Thanksgiving and Annie is outside in a T-shirt.  We are having some seriously unseasonal weather, but at least we're taking advantage of it.  Annie spent the day singing and swinging on her play set, while Texas and I decorated the outside of the house for Christmas.
 Annie's angel is not in our outdoor decor, but Annie wanted to bring her outside to see the lights.
 Have I told you I love my insanely talented Husband?  I love that her spent his day off work Hanging lights on the gutters and rigging all our outside decorations to turn on with the flip of a single switch!  
 Elsie hung out on the porch in her high chair eating various toys.
My mom even came over and blessed us with her insane creativity.  I can't wait to show you all pictures of what she;s done inside.  But that will have to wait.  I'm tired and have to work early in the morning.  Goodnight.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Turkey

 Meet Jake, he died just a few minutes after this photo was taken.  He is now in my Fridge waiting to be cooked. 

 We had a fun weekend of fires, turkey slaughtering and friends (notice the mountain sized fire going on in the background).
Jake is all clean, and 5 more people now know how to kill, clean and gut a turkey.  I love Thanksgiving.  It's sole purpose is to eat and give Thanks, not just for food, but for the people who grow it and share their knowledge with us all. I was happy to teach my new friend Carol the joys of slaughter.  Congrats on your new farm and good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011


The last two bars of soap were found today when I was going through a bin of clothes in the storage room.   He hid them at the bottom.   So he didn't eat any bars of soap.   Just wish I knew why he hid them.  Strange dog...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moving on up

Their life in squaller has officially ended.

They were all to happy to get out of there,
and mysteriously seemed to know exactly where to go.

 Texas, tossing food in the new run might have tipped them off.

Scratching around the new homestead, they looked happy.
*They moved in Monday and strangely we haven't seen a single egg yet, but they do seem happy.  Perhaps they are just letting me know we took way to long to get this done.  Sorry girls, but it's been a rough year.

Getting a little help

Elsie was nice enough to help me empty the dishwasher today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Work day

 Step one:
 Prepare for work

Step two:
 Situate baby

 Step three:
Fuel up with pancakes

 Step four:
 Get to work!  haul those bricks to daddy.

 Step five:
 Hand delivery is always best.

 Step six:
 Get in there and help!

 Final step:
Milk break.

Annie put herself in charge of our work day yesterday, and helped us get a lot done.
Believe it or not the chicken coop is in it's final stage of completion.   All we have to do is hang the door to the run and they can move in.  Unfortunately the cowboys have a game today, so that door might have to wait till next weekend.  Sorry again girls.

Bad Banjo Soap Dog

Banjo, has obviously been feeling left out lately from the blog, so last night he did something so terrible, so insane, I can't not blog about it.  Texas and I came home with the girls from dinner to find Banjo huddled by the back door, looking guilty, and somewhat ill.  I let him out, turn around and see all my soap gone!  the piece of paper I set the soap on laying on the floor, empty and torn.  The amount of anger that went through me was intense.  No wonder he wanted outside before I noticed.  I made him stay outside the rest of the night, to freeze his bad little butt off.  Plus, I imagine him being rather ill after eating a pound of lye soap.  Come bedtime, I'm climbing into bed and I there under my pillow is a bar of soap.  I check Annie's bed, same thing, a bar of soap under her pillow.  Come to find out, he didn't eat the soap; he hid it all over the house.  Under couch cushions, bathmats, chairs, were my bars of soap.  So Annie and I had a soap hunt this morning and found all but 2 bars.  Banjo is still looking rather guilty this morning, but all I do is laugh when I see him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monster baby

 As Elsie gets closer and closer to walking I have become more and more fearful.  I don't want a walking baby.  I want a lazy lumpy baby who just sits.  Who is content to stare at the wall and play with her toes.  For some strange reason my babies don't do that.  They roll over on their first day of life, crawl before I've even had a chance to feel adjusted and then walk right when I'm starting to think I can handle this whole mom thing.
 Elsie is going everywhere.  Cruising along the kitchen, crawling through the dust bunnies (eating a few on the way), standing on her own in the living room.

 Her and Annie have become a daring duo of trouble already.  They set up obstacles for an overtired, oblivious mom to stumble into.
The only time I'm not worried about what she's getting into is when she's tucked in her swing.  So why won't my loving husband understand my desperate cry for a swing inside the house?  He simply says no and walks off to do something on his own, with no babies attacking him or conspiring with tricky 5 year olds to set a daddy trap.   My new plan is to leave him with the children more often.  Alone, two against one, lets see how he does...
(please note, if he does fine and has no problem I will most likely cry for days on end at the unfairness of life.) 

apalogies to the girls

 First off, I'm so sorry our chickens had to cram into this shack of a coop.  I made it from scraps and never thought it would become thier actual home for 10 months. I feel embarrassed to have the chickens go from this shack to the coop Texas built them.  I have been put to shame by Texas and his idea of a comfortable coop.
 So the coop is built onto the modified boat trailer we picked up from craigslist.  In all honestly it will probably only move a few feet before the axle breaks and gets stuck, but it started out as a great idea.

 The storage bin might be the most ingenious part.  No more going into the garage for feed or 
chicken related stuff.

 Yes this deluxe coop is complete with custom ladder and 4 nesting boxes.  What Hen wouldn't swoon for these luxury accommodations?

The front porch has a lovely view of the vegetable garden
and will soon have a custom ramp installed.

 And since Texas built it, he got to pick the color.  I will miss my soft green, but who doesn't love a barn red coop?

Where's Elsie been these last few weeks while we've been working our butts off? No we did not sell her to the gypsies.   Texas put up a swing off the back shed, and she's spent her days swinging 
amongst the chaos.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Here we go...

 Why am I too busy to blog these last few weeks?  Well aside from the kids, one of which is turning into a monster (I'll be posting about her soon), working, trying to keep said kids in relatively clean clothing, and remembering to feed my family on a somewhat regular schedule I've been busy doing this:

 Expanding the garden for next season and attempting to right the terrible wrongs in garden order that I committed in a desperate attempt to get my plants in the ground four weeks after giving birth to Elsie.

 Harvesting whats left in the garden before it freezes.

 Jarring what we can, and freezing a lot.  I'm pretty sure we have enough frozen bell peppers to last us through two winters.

 Texas begged me for pickled jalapeno peppers this year, so as a thank you for the amazing chicken house sitting outside I made him 12 jars of Jalapenos and 3 larges jars of banana peppers.

 Pumpkins were carved and seeds were saved for next year.  I have been trying really hard to find a project for Annie to help her learn the value of work and earning her own.  This year she's been working with me to harvest all our seeds for next year.  In the spring she'll be selling her seeds to anyone who is interested and donating 1/2 the money to a charity.
Annie has really enjoyed here slimy new occupation.

 I have black walnuts everywhere.  They are a pain to clean, hard to open and very messy, yet I keep getting more and more.  I am addicted and in love with these very messy nuts.  The best part, they are a FREE yummy source of protein and Omega-3 for my family.

And then there is the soap.  I have no pictures of this messy endeavor, but I'm making soap in order to save more money at home.  We switched to me making our  own laundry soap about 7 months ago and after saving on average $15 a month on laundry detergent, I'm taking things a step further.  Thankfully my friend Anne was nice enough to talk me down from my fear of Lye (it's seriously scary stuff), and our soap is slowly curing in the kitchen cabinet.  

And of course there is the house, it's like trying to tame a wild beast.   Toys, clothes, dishes, books, you'd think 12 people lived in our tiny little house, but no it's just the four of us.  We're just all really committed to making it look lived in.


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