Monday, December 29, 2008

Choo-Choo!



It never ceases to amaze me what boys will do when allowed free rein...

Half-Naked Dancing Boys...

Can make everything better...

The house is a disaster. We're about to move, so the garage is the cleanest thing. I've had a week of morning sickness, which I'm trying to stay on top of...

I was feeling sorry for myself.

And then this happened:









Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas!!!!

All the best to you and yours as we celebrate the Savior's birth!
May His Spirit be with you now and always!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, fudge!


My first attempts at fudge: traditional chocolate, and chocolate orange...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whoa, Nellie!

I have never had pregnancy symptoms this early. In fact, usually I can't even test this early. On top of that I'm having symptoms with this pregnancy that I've never had before. Like my boobs-- they HURT! As if I had left a newborn nurser for four hours without nursing. OUCH!

My blood sugar is insane. I have to keep snacking or I get the shakes. I've upped my protein to help with that, but it's wild. I didn't snack for an *hour* and I started shaking like a rattler's tail. Craziness!

Of course, if I don't eat constantly, then I start feeling a little nauseous.

And then, the symptom I had with Noah, but not this early-- I'm chronically thirsty and, no matter how much I drink, I am STILL thirsty.

But I look at all of this as a GOOD sign. The baby has to be ok if the symptoms are all before my period was even due, right? (Was due the 16th).

Hubby and I were talking about this in the car the other day-- I asked him why he was stressing, after his initial excitement, and he said he was scared-- because of the miscarriage. I told him that my excitement was a vaneer to keep me from falling apart because I was scared too.

Drew overheard us and asked what was wrong and I told him that we were worried because we wanted this baby so much and we wanted him/her to stay with us so we could love him/her and hold him/her.

He said, "You don't need to be scared. We are alive, and we were babies, and you held us!"

Out of the mouths of beautiful children. I love this boy very much!

Hubby gave me a blessing that night-- and I really do feel reassured. I'm still waiting until I hear the heartbeat before I announce outside of family, but I am allowing myself to hope.

And, meanwhile, it's time to eat again!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

God Laughed

I never wanted to have a baby in August...

and NOW I'm EXPECTING on August 25th!!!!!!!

I just tested positive! Isn't that the GREATEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm SO BAD

So... yeah... I'm BAD.

I was extremely bored.

And, after all, we ate my rooster on Saturday.

So, curiousity killed the cat once again and I checked out the eggs my MIL gave me and SURPRISE! They were fertile! (Little target-shaped white mark on yolk, if you're curious.) Considering that Blue was a bantam type and the hens are all big, these seems like quite an achievement to me.

And, because I've been bored, I have been on the ultra-dangerous backyardchickens.com and, so...

I have dusted one of my two incubators off, warmed it up to 102 degrees (F) as it is a still-air, bator, and thrown in some eggs. Who knows what will happen in the next 21 days?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Speak Now or forever holder.. er .. well, speak later

I'm ordering some chicks, ducks, geese, and turkeys for March. I'm very excited, though I decided NOT to hatch myself this year.

I'll have 10 pullets (future hens for those unfamiliar with the terms), 2 turkeys, 8 ducks, and 6 geese. I'm figuring that we'll have some fatalities (knowing me it will be a miracle if I don't have serious mortality rates.)

For Keepers I'm intending to keep the hens, three ducks (a drake and two ducks), and 3-4 geese (a gander and 2-3 geese based on what I get (straight run) and personalities). Depending, again, on the variety of turkeys I get and the personalities, I may keep those for hatching their own babies the next year. I'm getting them un-sexed (called straight run), so I could end up with two males or two females, and probably of different breeds... so, we'll see about that.

Six months of age seems to be the norm for eating these guys-- so does anyone want me to deep-freeze in a freezer bag and ship? Non-yucky, I promise. (I want to steal the down for some crafts at the very least.)

There's really no rush. I won't get the birds until mid to late March, so they won't be ready until Sept at the earliest-- more like Oct for a Thanksgiving or Christmas treat. Anything you guys don't want we'll probably break down and put in the freezer and have them all year round. I may sell some of the younglings if no one wants anything.

And if any of you (a-hem) have spouses that love this stuff and you don't, you don't have to eat it, but you can feed it to them! 

I will ask shipping expenses from family. Anyone else will pay fair market price. Extended family counts as family. Why not charge more? Because I get a *kick* out of raising these guys! :)

Yeah, as if anyone other than family would read this blog LOL!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We Ate Blue

Need I say more? LOL!

Actually, it was an interesting experience-- and one that I highly recommend.

Why?

Everyone should know where their food comes from.

And, it's strangely not gross. Once my MIL had chopped his head off it was no longer 'him' but something else. We poured scalding water over the body and it was plucked in about 2 minutes flat. (My MIL is SKILLED!!!!)

She then taught me how to clean a chicken and what parts are kept and what gets tossed. I rubbed it down with salt and pepper and baked it.

And it was GOOD! Best chicken I've ever had.

It was fascinating, a learning experience, and I'm proud of myself for being even LESS squeamish than either I or my MIL expected!

And now there isn't the annoying racket every thirty seconds all day and night. It's been surprisingly... peaceful there since we ate him.

LOL.

Christmas Treats!

Today we're making Christmas treats!

Last night Kevin and I made Christmas toffee.

This morning we made homemade marshmallows.

And the boys are currenly decorating the gingerbread men we've been making with creamcheese frosting (red and green) and chocolate chips.

In a few more hours we can cut the marshmallows.

Talk about STICKY! I had to put a combo of cornstarch and confectioners sugar over it to press it down into the pan, because it was sticking to my spoon(and everything else) so badly!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Food Storage Thoughts: Eggs and Fowl

When I think about food storage, more than just cans, lined up on the shelves, fill my mind.

My main concern is renewability.

Cans of food and bottles of treated water are great for the short term, however, there has to be an understanding that they are, by nature, short-sighted.

In my opinion, food storage is also about knowing how to feed ourselves in the long-term, in case of disaster.

I could ramble on and on about that whole idea for hours, but, today, I'll try to keep myself specific.

I'm not sure how many people know that it is legal, in most areas, to have chickens in their suburban backyards. Each state and city has their own Chapters and Ordinences about what is permitted, but, for example, here it is permitted to have up to 24 fowl in a suburban backyard, permitting, of course, that they are cleaned up after.

And, of course, provided none are male. Roosters, specifically, are forbidden. Anyone who has woken up at three in the morning because their rooster is too stupid to tell time can understand why.

I should mention that Home Owner's Associations have the right to forbid their areas from owning fowl, just as they can dictate level of grass, etc. So, check out your HOA guidelines before taking me up on this.

From the food-storage point of view, chickens are a wise investment. Think: eggs, meat, and renewability.

Of course, roosters are forbidden, which makes one aspect of renewability challenging, but, in case of emergency, there is always access to... contraband roosters.

(I should note that I have included two incubators in our food storage-- so fertile eggs from anyone can mean more chicks.)

Chickens pay for themselves pretty quickly-- even with the costs of food and the initial expense-- whether you order from a hatchery, or if you hatch them yourselves. My mother in law has eight chickens. Only four are laying right now (three others are babies and one is... gulp... um... yeah, you guessed it.)  My MIL gets, from four laying hens, four eggs a day.  28 eggs a week.

My MIL gives the chickens their normal feed (from WALMART :)) as well as letting them run around and scratch in her whole yard every day. She throws food scraps to them-- weeds from her garden, veggies that have gone off in the fridge, and, this summer, over-ripe pomegranites.

In return she gets large, brown, fantastic-tasting eggs.

Right now those four eggs a day provide enough eggs for three households-- hers, mine, and my sister in law's.

Blue, the... non-hen... is destined for the pot... I think. He's one of the least intelligent creatures on the planet. I've met roosters that aren't stupid-- but he really takes the cake. Good thing he's beautiful :).

My MIL uses the chicken litter for under her citrus trees, so they go into nourishing her plants, as well.

I was just thinking that, even two chickens can make a huge difference in a household. Eggs are expensive. The ones from the supermarket are usually at least a month old and have been shipped from all over, costing who knows how much gas and wasting precious resources.

And, I like to use this as an opportunity to get involved with all my heritage and heirloom livestock.

Here's a great list of endangered/at risk chicken breeds:



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Drew...

Last week my guinea pig died. He'd been sick for a while-- lost all of his hair and got weaker and weaker no matter what we did to help him...

Drew was at Grandma's house when it happened, so she broke the news to him and, apparently, told him that Thunder went to Heaven.

This morning, I was making pancakes for the boys, when I heard Drew playing with his cars in the livingroom. Suddenly, without warning, I heard him demand in a loud shout...

"Heavenly Father! Do you still have Thunder????"