Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Preparing...

That's what this week feels like - preparing.  Next week we have Family Camp - a few days away on the coast with our uber-wonderful church family.

But this week?  Preparing.  The fishtank must be cleaned, arrangements for chicken-sitting made, and somehow I can never leave without doing some deep cleaning around here - so, floors must be swept and mopped (Friday), bathrooms must be scoured (Thursday), and I really must decide what to do about our garden while we are gone.

Our county has mandated that we can only water our landscaping twice a week, so I've been manually turning the sprinklers on (Wed & Sun) and off, and handwatering the actual garden each day. If we are not here for several days, what will happen to the tomatoes, bell peppers and the cantaloupe?  For that's really all we have left in our garden.  Should I let them just die? The season is nearly over. Or ask a neighbor to water?  hmmm....or I can be a rebel and just leave the sprinkler system on.

Chickens!  Our little girls are one month old today!  Our friend Sarah calls them monthlings.  I like that term!!  They are scraggly looking right now with their feathers growing in.  The wing feathers are all grown, now the body feathers are coming in and they look and feel sort of...nubby.  And they have distinct personalities now too.  A couple of them like to flutter up and sit on the edge of the box, but they don't seem inclined to hop out and explore yet.  Perhaps the box feels safe?

Other little chickies like to sit on top of the water or food bottles. We made a little roost/perch thing, and they much prefer to stand on that than just on the flat bottom of the box.

Well meaning friends have assured us that some hens get pronounced combs, and that there is still hope that Peaches may be a girl.  Apparently, we will have to wait until around the end of Oct to be sure...

In other news, the kitchen is still not finished. Michael took a break and worked most of the summer on outside projects - replacing eaves, siding and trim.  That part is nearly done - the siding is up, it just needs to be painted and the trim put up.  Another full day of work perhaps.

The chicken coop is nearly done as well. I think one more full day of work on that to complete it as well.  It will be nice to actually have a couple projects done.

Ok, The children are complaining of being hungry. Again.  I just fed them yesterday...sigh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Random Thoughts...

Hello all!  I have a few minutes to string together, so I thought I'd try to post.

The new adventures in our world currently involve chickens.  We bought 10 baby chicks about 3 weeks ago.  The currently live in a refrigerator box in the garage, but Michael and the children are building a chicken coop.  We expect the coop to be done in another week or so, and the chicks are due to 'graduate' to their new dwelling the second week of September or so.  I'm told they should have all their feathers at about 8 weeks old.

We got 2 chicks of 5 different varieties:  Black Australorp, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Silkies, and Barred Plymouth Rocks.  The children let me name one of the Buffs.  I named her Peaches - I know...I'm terribly unoriginal when naming things.  But she is just the color of Orange Marmalade.  The feed store assured us that the chicks had all been sexed and we had a 97% guarantee that the chick are all female.  I really figured that at least one chick would get 'loved' to death, and that at least one would end up being a rooster.  So far, all 10 are alive and well.  But Peaches is developing a little comb on 'her' head.  And she has noticeable larger feet.  Another week or so to be certain, but I have definite suspicions...   Why did it have to be Peaches?!?!

We've been snapping pictures of the chicks and the coop (and my knitting) but somehow downloading the pics doesn't happen very often.  And they always get loaded onto Michael's computer, which is a Mac and I'm not proficient at.  Sigh...

My knitting progresses.  I finished the tunic I was working on for Leah.  It's too big.  But it fits Hannah.  So she gets it this year, and we'll pass it to LeeLeeBear in the spring.  I've started on a stuffed animal snake for Nathan.  The yarn he chose is horrible.  It's a nasty acrylic - it's not soft, it doesn't slide through the fingers, make my hands a bit sweaty.  I named the snake Dreadful.  I'm trying to finish it as quickly as I can, but it's hard to get motivated to work on it.

Oops, my battery is dying.  More another time, my friends!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday

Michael took the older 3 off to the lake and I am home with 3 littles, trying to stay awake.

Hey, look!  I made a rhyme!

I was going to upload a few more pictures for you, but I'm using the new computer and I can't figure out where Michael is storing the pictures.  Actually, I could, but I'm way too impatient. It may take more than 3 minutes and that is waaaaay to long.

Well, I can't think of anything else to say. Maybe I'll go knit instead.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Adjusting to our new normal

Here's a cute picture of Olivia.  All of these photos were taken about mid-March.

Here's a good one of Josiah!


Hannah and Nathan!  Hannah is demonstrating some sort of finger-puppet thingy.

I don't seem to have any current pictures of Leah or Seth.  Hmmm....will look and see if I can find some for the next post.

We (I) are slowly adjusting to a new normal with 6 children now.  I can't seem to wrap my brain around having to buffer by at least 30 minutes for any task.  It shouldn't take 15 minutes to get into the van, for instance, but it does.  Shoes are lost, someone needs to potty (usually me), you realize that someone stinks just as you walk out the door...I fear my friends are becoming annoyed with me for ALWAYS being late.  I'm trying, but somehow being punctual is beyond me.  It's immensely frustrating.

In other news, Hannah wrote a book.  A real, live chapter book, geared toward 9-12 year olds (70 pages!).  It's called Icefire and is about a girl who discovers she has a sort of superpower (breathing fire).  We have submitted the manuscript to a self-publishing entity and to a literary consultant (which is a liaison of sorts for publishers).  Both places are reviewing it this week and will get back to us next week to tell us if it's just a cute kid story, or if it might make some money if published.  It's kind of exciting!!

The children are finishing up current grade levels and should be done by the end of June.  We'll take a week off, then start their new grade levels in July.  We will officially have a seventh grader, a fourth grader and a first grader.  Olivia will be doing preschool stuff, and Joe will just be making messes.  

Hannah and Nathan have both grown several inches and can now wear the same shoe size.  Leah is learning to read.  Olivia likes to do things slowly.  Very slowly.  Josiah is 2 years old and can do everything himself.  Seth is 4 months old today and is just fat and jolly and sweet. 

Well, I need to close for now.  I have little ones who want to play in the kiddie pool and I need to be present.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Introducing...


 
Seth Michael Begley
 
1/29/2014
 
9lbs, 5oz.
 
 
On today, his 3 week birthday, I am finally posting the official notice!  Sorry, my friends.  6 children, new baby, and a kitchen remodel.  I'm a little behind...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Still waiting...

My word for this week is SLOWLY.  I am practicing my patience.  I move slow, I think slow, everything is slow.  Baby is now 4 days overdue.  My Dr appt yesterday showed no dilation at all.  The Cervix of Steel strikes again.  I have a scheduled induction for 8am Friday morning if I don't go into labor by then.

Since my last post 3 weeks ago, I finished the little red baby pants and made a little red sweater to go with them.  I realized that I have an abundance of short sleeved onsies, and needed something to keep little guys arms warm. 

Leah has changed her mind and no longer wants a knit butterfly, but a knit Canadian Goose.  Really?  A goose?  Okay...

We have done no school for a couple weeks due to illness and because we all keep thinking that the baby will arrive any minute now.  But after my Dr appt yesterday, I realize that we just might have several more days.  So, probably still no school, but my goal for today is to tidy up and organize the school room.  Somehow the table in there is stacked with board games, craft clutter, books and other random stuff.  A little organizing always makes me feel better!

I also may go to the grocery store today.  My kitchen broom is annoying me.  It is very soft bristled, and the bristles are saggy and uneven and warped.  I suppose the broom is about a year and a half old now and gets used nearly every day.  Anyone know how long a broom is supposed to last?

Well, that's all for now folks.  We'll have a new baby by the end of the week!

OH!  Prayer request:  I find myself whining/complaining a lot lately.  I need an attitude makeover and a whole lot more gratefulness.  This discomfort is so very temporary and for such a good cause.  There are Christians being tortured in Chinese prisons right now, and I'm whining about achey hips.  Shame on me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

January 2nd.  I don't quite know what to do first.  I normally make a New Years Resolution or two, but this time I can't quite come up with one that I think I can actually manage.  I have a couple of goals for the children, but nothing really for me.  Just have a baby, teach school, try and lose some weight by next Christmas.

I am knitting obsessively of late.  Little red baby pants this time.  I promised to start knitting something for Leah, but she's not impressed with any of my cute clothing ideas, and wants a butterfly.  So, I'm searching Ravelry for butterfly patterns that a) she likes, and b) I can actually understand the directions.

A couple of us have mild colds this week as well.  It seems that every time we take time off of school, we get sick and my well laid plans for accomplishing things spirals down the drain. Oh well. 

January promises to be a busy month for us.  Every weekend is a flurry of activity in the kitchen as Michael rips out or replaces a cabinet or two. My birthday is in a couple weeks, then a baby shower, then a baby.  Throw in a couple family member birthdays, illness, and just plain tired.

I think this year will mostly just be survival.  I will try to be content with all things.