Sunday, September 21, 2014

::lily - 11th birthday::

I had very strict instructions.
No theme.
No baby stuff.
All planning must be cleared by Lily.
It's nice to see her become independent.
She set so many rules I was a little surprised I got to do anything.  But she is growing up, and I am proud of the little person she is becoming.
This party was fun.  
She and her friends had a great time enjoying each others company.  
I tried hard not to over do anything. 
The girls arrived at 1pm.  At 1:30 my sister inlaw and I loaded them up and drove them to a local art studio.  While we were gone Emma was in charge of setting the treat table. 

Did I ever fall in love with this cake.
Click Here and Here for what Lily picked as inspiration cakes
My cake lady has a facebook page now - CHECK IT OUT!
She is so talented and reasonable.  

It was very windy this day so we had to make some changes to our back drop or the whole thing would have blown away.  
I think Emma was very clever with what she came up with.  
 Custom donut holes from our local donut shop - Titus.  
These were cheap and adorable.
I only ordered them a few days ahead and all I said was - make them bright.  

The treat table had all things that Miss Lily wanted.  
I didn't get a good picture of the grape kabobs we had, but they got devoured. 

The art studio we went to is called A Space to Create.  It was kind of pricey, but it was nice to have some of the pressure taken off.  The project they made was really cool.    

They colored on shrink film with sharpies.  

Cut the edges some.

 Then melted them with a heat gun.  

The result was a Chihuly glass like sculpture.
The teacher gave them a really great talk about the artist before they did the project, so they learned something too. 
Just being in that amazing studio got me excited about wanting to make some serious art.  

We had a little time left over so we took these girls to the park near by and let them burn off some energy.

Then we brought them back out to the farm for some cake, treats, and presents. 
It was so windy we had to come inside for candles.

 This little girl is getting so pretty. 

Q looks afraid.  

We had a tween lounge set up on the porch.

Miss Lily loved all her presents but she got some robot fish she really loved.  

Q and my nephew Caleb really loved the fish.  They couldn't leave them alone.  

The cleaning crew was very helpful with popcorn.  

Max stole two balloons and tied one of his army guys to them.  
He had a grand ceremony of sending his army guy into service.  

And my kitchen afterward.  

How was it letting go a little and not controlling every aspect?
A little sad.  
I realize I have a bunch more girl themes I never got to.  
So grand babies better be ready.
But really it was great to see Lily push back against me for control of her own life.  She is supposed to.  It makes me happy to see her be so independent. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

::sunday funday - spring mill park::

Josh works every Sunday and I am off every Sunday now days.  
Yet I work every Saturday.  
Sunday is really my only full day with the shorties.  
I am trying to take advantage of this by making it #sundayfunday
Last Sunday we headed down to Southern Indiana to go to Spring Mill Park.

This place is awesome.  
For five dollars you get all the fun of a state park - trails, nature center, play ground, etc.
But they also have a great pioneer village with many different activities.

Q was in a mood where he did not want to be in any pictures with Lily and Max.  Every time I tried I got this.

He was totally obsessed with the door handles in all the cabins.  
Such a mechanical minded kid. 

My kids can sniff out an art project for 100 paces.
They found one in the leather shop and all three actually worked on it.

But then I tried to take a picture of them together.  
Q denied his people.

Till suddenly he agreed to have his picture taken. 

Spring Mill has a huge working mill that we loved.  
The top two floors are a museum that the kids really enjoyed.

Of course my boys couldn't just look at things.  
They had to find a place to do some bad stuff. 

Another group picture attempt denied by Q. 

Yet he would not leave the steps till I took this one. 

Great minds at work. 

We had to buy the corn meal that was made at the mill.  
How could we resist?

Lily loved the corn husk dolls. 

They loved walking in the gutters, but Q had to lead. 

The wood shop had all kinds of different joint set up.
Lily loved it.

They had a garden set up that just about killed me with how pretty it was.  I need this stone arch. 

Another attempt at a picture together. 

And another...

They found this waterfall and spent 40 minutes putting leaves in the stream to watch them float down stream.  I was shocked that no one fell in. 
Of course Max had to climb.

And ice creams where enjoyed by one and all. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

::chicken farmer Lily::

Last year we bought a few red hens to keep big mama company since she found herself the only chicken on the farm to survive the foxes that year.  Those new friends of hers are sweet - not as sweet as her - but sweet.  Early this year Rural King had some really cool breeds of chickens.  I had to bring some home, which left me with a nice little flock of pretty ladies and two accidental roosters.  My rule with roosters is that they can hang out till they start attacking me or the kids, then they go in the pot.  The two roosters are Aracauna - which means if they where hens they would lay blue eggs and since they are roosters they carry the genetics for blue eggs.  Roosters are bossy jerks so I had moved them out of the hen pen and was letting them free range.  About two months ago one of our red hens went broody.  She sat in her nest box constantly and only left for very short food breaks, then rushed back to sit on her eggs.  She was sitting on blanks because there was no rooster in that pen.  Yet - her hormones and instincts where driving her crazy trying to protect and hatch those eggs.  

(side note - if you know how eggs are fertilized skip this.  A chicken lays about one egg per day.  She does not have a uterus to grow a baby like we do.  She lays her uterus and sits on it.  The baby grows in that egg from conception to birth.  Many people get confused about how the rooster gets in on the deal.  The male and female chicken mate in the traditional way - its actually fairly dramatic as the rooster holds the hen down and she screams the whole time.  It only takes about one minute but it is very violent and ugly.  Once he has placed his sperm in the chicken that sperm would join with the female egg cell.  That collection of cells would still be inside the hen and the hens body would surround it with a yolk and nutrients and finally a shell.  Then she would lay that chicken egg.  Remember - she does this almost every day.  It would be like a human having a full menstrual cycle every day.  Then that fertilized egg has to be sat on and kept very warm and humid till it hatches about 21 days after it is laid. Got it?  Google it if you need more deets.)   

Lily was fascinated by all this.  She kept begging me to let the hen hatch her eggs.  No amount of bird and bee's conversations could make it clear to her that those eggs would never hatch.  Finally it sunk in - then she changed tactics and begged me to put the rooster in the coop with the hens.  She asked for a book off Amazon about raising chickens.  She started a notebook tracking what eggs where laid what day.  She started writing on the eggs with pencil.  She had me with the notebook.  We worked together and caught our prettiest rooster and let him in with the girls.  We got rid of all the eggs before him and I let Lily keep three of the best eggs laid during a few day period.  Broody, as we where calling her, was very happy to have some eggs to nurture.

After careful research on her part she built a chicken nursery from on old rabbit hutch turned upside down.  It was actually very clever.  One evening, about 10 days after we removed the rooster from the pen, Lily gathered up the hen and her eggs and moved her in to her new digs.  Then we waited... and waited.  We experimented with candling eggs, which is where you shine a bright light through the egg to try and see the baby inside.  I knew we had at least one that was working, but I thought the other two where duds.  Every day Lily ran out to check her eggs.  She was so excited and I was so nervous.  I was just about to go to a chicken breeder and buy her some one day old chicks that I was going to put under the broody hen and pretend the hen had hatched them when one day after school Lily found this...     

 A baby!!  A real live baby.  
Lily has a little cell phone for emergencies and she text me the first picture she has ever sent me to show me the new baby.  
I was so relieved.  I wanted this to work for her, she had put in so much effort.  
But we still had two eggs that Broody was sitting on and they didn't look promising. 
 I just kept telling Lily, "At least you got one!"

Then the next morning I saw this!!!

 Mama started to teach baby how to eat while she was sitting on another egg that was hatching.
Already a multitasker - so proud. 

Papa was walking around feeling very proud of himself.  

And when the happy farmer came home from school she now had two babies!! 

 There is still one egg left under Broody.  We will candle it tonight, but I think its a dud.  Of course I obviously have no idea what I am doing.  Maybe I will just let Lily handle it since she seems to have the magic touch. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails