Monday, August 25, 2014

Chickens


I've always known my husband was a country boy at heart. What I didn't believe was that I am a country girl at heart too. 

Jason and I have talked over the years about getting chickens. I thought it was something that Jason and the kids would like and I would tolerate. We discovered that WCAs 4th graders hatched chicken eggs so we decided to wait until Grace was in 4th Grade and get our chickens then. 

This past spring Mrs. Manukian's 4th grade class was given 40 eggs to incubate and hatch. In the end they had less than a dozen baby chicks. Mrs. Manukian purchases enough baby chicks so that each class member had one chick for the chick Olympics. 

On "going home day" Grace was lucky enough to get 5 baby chicks, 3 were hatched by the class and 2 were purchases. 

We set them up in a brooder (plastic box) in the garage with a heat lamp, watered and feeder. After exchanging many emails with Sarah (the crazy chicken lady) I felt confident we were doing it right.

The kids enjoyed going out in the garage checking on the chicks and playing with them. I had expected this. What I hadn't expected was my attachment to them. I found myself thinking about these little chicks all day long and wondering if they were okay. 

Jason and I had decided to transform the kids' playhouse into a chicken coop. It didn't get done before we brought the chicks home and I started feeling anxious that it needed to be done so the chicks would have a home. Each night when I checked in the chicks I eagerly looked forward to the day I could move them to the new coop and watch them explore outdoors. 

Finally in May the chicks were big enough and we moved them to their new home. 
I had a new nighttime ritual. Each evening after coming home from work I would walk outside, swing open the Dutch door and watch my chickies. 

Over the summer they got bigger and bigger. We finished the coop and the run and figured out treats, feeders and waterers. 

We also decided to let them free range in the backyard. 
After they destroyed the garden by eating ripe fruit, digging holes and ripping up roots, we revised it to supervised free ranging. 

Now I am back to enjoying a glass of wine in the evening while watching my chickens scrounge for bugs and seeds. 


Golden Gate Bridge



Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge has always been on my "bucket list" (even before I knew what those were). 

Saturday I finally had my opportunity. Grace's Girl Scout troop decided to cross the bridge for their end of year party. I volunteered to be a chaperone and Emma tagged along. 

I'm not sure it the experience lived up to my expectations but I am sure glad I did it. Especially with my two girls. 
The day was beautiful and we saw many sailboats, seagulls, people and even porpoises. 
This huge cargo ship sailed right underneath us. That was pretty cool. It was ginormous!

After crossing the bridge we walked down to Crissy Field and fed the seagulls and pigeons. 

While the girls were gone, Jason and the boys took are of shopping, visiting Grandpa's barn and swimming. They sent me this picture of their post swim Mohawks. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

New School Year


We have officially started another school year!
Emma is a sophomore at Windsor High. Grace is in 5th grade. Cooper is in 1st grade and Henry is in the Dragonfly class in Pre-K. 
Emma actually started last week. She has classes with friends and likes all of her teachers so far. She has stories about her health teacher each day she has that class. 
We are still working out her schedule but should have it settled in the next week. 
High Sschool is so different than when I was in school. Emma has a block schedule with at most four classes a day. Right now she can start as early as 8 am or as late as 11:20 and get out as early as 1:50 and as late as 3:35. I've had to write her schedule day by day in my planner to keep track. 
Emma had a very successful first year and her transcript shows her ranked #1 in her class of almost 500. 
Grace is in 5th grade this year. This is the year of Survivor!  Emma loved her Survivor challenges and Grace is very excited about hers. Mrs. Jardine is her teacher again. She was a good fit in 3rd grade and I am hoping this year will be another success. 
Cooper is in Mrs. King's 1st grade. Shaylene was Emma's junior high small group leader so I feel confident that she loves the kids and loves The Lord. 
Cooper has been having an awful attitude this summer and I am hoping that Mrs. King and Mrs. Dick can help to turn that around. 
Henry is very excited about being the big kid on campus. He keeps telling me how the new friends at school won't know the rules and he will teach them the rules. We've never had Mrs. Greenley so I am curious to see how she runs her class. 
Henry very much wants to be big and in charge and I'm hoping he feels more empowered and in control of himself this year. 


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Life is Good


Life is good!  My life is also crazy, loud, busy, full of love, tickles, snuggles and exasperation. I never imagined myself as a mom of four, but now I can't imagine my life any other way. 

This weekend is the annual opening day of deer season, so I am a single mom. Now that Cooper is 6.5 years old he gets to go to deer camp with Jason. 

I hate having Jason gone, but I do sure love having a little time alone with my littles. I treat these weekends as "free weekends" and have as much fun with the kids as I can and let chores (and good nutrition) fall to the wayside. 

So far this weekend Henry has cooked dinner both nights. Friday was pizza bread.
Saturday was nachos. 
He loves to cook or really help in any way. 

We also had doughnuts today, went to Target and got stuff for Grace's birthday party next week, and then went bowling. 

Henry has been asking to go bowling all summer. He wanted to go "when it snows outside this summer" but since I didn't think that would happen we went today. Emma was volunteering for a back to school backpack event with the church so it was just Henry, Grace and I. We had a lot of fun and actually did pretty well.

Henry got 67, Grace got 90 and I got 132!

Being this kids' mom sure is a blessing to me. Hard to believe that next week Emma starts her 2nd year of High School and the week after that Grace starts 5th, Cooper starts 1st and Henry will be in Pre-K. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holiday Traditions

There are some holiday traditions that you just HAVE to do every year, carve pumpkins, decorate the Christmas tree, and dye Easter Eggs are a few of those in our family. Each of these activities has a huge buildup each year. The kids ask for days (sometimes even weeks) when they are finally going to get to do it. When the day finally comes I get questioned hourly "is it time? Is it time yet?".

Today was that day for Easter Egg dying. The kids were excited. I didn't feel there enthusiasm. Added to my dread was the fact that Henry is only 1.5 years old and we had a two child to one parent ratio. Grammie and Grampa usually take part in the traditions with us but they had a special 50th birthday party to go to tonight.
It started in a blur as the kids filled their cups with dye. Henry tried to eat one of his and ended up with blue lips after Emma fished it out of his mouth. Then we finally got ready to dye the eggs and Cooper dropped his first one on the floor. Henry threw each of his into the cups. When Henry tried to get his first one out we ended up with green dye all over the kitchen table. Then he tried to eat the first one. Then soon after Cooper spilled two of his cups on the table. He said it was okay since he was done with those colors.
In the end with wound up with 15 or so beautiful eggs and four happy kids. I guess that is all that matters, right?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just One Thing

Someone in my moms group recently asked, "if you could only teach your children one thing, what would it be?"

There were some great responses that I could identify with but none of them were all encompassing enough. Sure I would love for my kids to be happy, and confident, and self-sufficient, and to know Jesus but I want more than that for them.

What first popped into my head and what still is repeating in my head is the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. I want them to be kind to others just as they would want others to be kinds to them.  I want them to be respectful of others just as they would want others to respect them.  I want them to give others the benefit of the doubt, to show gentleness and patience.  I want them to be helpful and considerate.  I hope they are humble, grateful, and willing to serve those less fortunate.  I want them to be loving and joyful and considerate.

As I list out all of the qualities I wish for them which I think fall into the Golden Rule it reminds me of the "Fruits of the Spirit".  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."  These are the qualities I wish for my children.  I pray nightly for my children to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  I know that I can't force the qualities on my children I can only pray that the Holy Spirit fills them with these qualities, and I know that if they are filled with these qualities then by default they will treat others the way they would want to be treated.

Some key scriptures that I pray they will learn, understand and exhibit:

Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Serve the less fortunate.  Honor all people.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Remember that all people were made in the image of God and are valued.  It is what you do when no one is watching that is the true measure of your intentions.


Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. ~ Do your best in everything you do.  Do everything as if God, your friends, you mother, your Grandmother were watching.  If you wouldn't act that way to your teacher, principal, Pastor Lance, don't act they way to me, your father, or your siblings.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~ If you don't know what is right or what to do, pray about it.  Think back on your Bible teachings.  What would Jesus do? 

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. ~ Be in the world but not of the world.  Walk the narrow path to Jesus, salvation, everlasting life, don't be caught up in the world and it (lack of) values.  Don't follow the broad road that leads to sin and damnation.


Sometimes it is overwhelming to wonder how I am going to raise these four precious children that God has entrusted to my care.  When I think it is too much I remember:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top Secret Personal Beeswax

Being a working mom is HARD... especially with school aged kids. They do so many fun things during the day and it is disappointing for both of us when Mom can't be there to join in.

That I why I make a concerted effort to attend as many things as possible. I try to go to just about every soccer and basketball game. When I have to miss one I make sure Daddy, Grammie or Grampa is there. I go to Girl Scout events, ballet recitals and special plays, concerts and performances.


I also try to go on at least one field trip with each child each year.  Last Friday was my turn to go with Grace. I went with her class to see a Junie B Jones play. I had seen an earlier version of the play with Emma Jo when she was in 2nd grade. Just like that time I was engrossed in the play. It was quite fun to see how many characters there were in the play with just a handful of actors. It was also great fun to remember all of the stories from reading them with Emma. It made me realize that I need to dig them out of boxes so that Grace can read them before she is too old to enjoy them.