Monday, September 3, 2012

10 years and counting!

10 years ago. 10 long years ago.
we've lived in 4 different apartments/houses.
we've lived in the city.
we've lived in the country.
we've had 2 babies.
we've yelled & cried.
we've laughed & smiled.
we've given all we had.
we've hurt.
we've healed.
we've agreed & agreed to disagree.
we've dreamed big dreams and rejoiced in the little things.
we've loved.

we've been *this close* to ending it all. but we didn't. 

and in celebration of all of that.... we went away for the night! to the Poconos where we dined and hot tubed and hiked (Appalachian trail!). I can honestly say that we're probably at the happiest we've been in our relationship thus far. it feels good. really good.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hatch Report

alright.... only 4 months late! 

Hatching this year was pretty disappointing. I think I know where I made my mistake** so that will be helpful in planing for next years hatch (oh yes, I will not be deterred). We had two chicks hatch, both in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping. The second chick didn't make it past 24 hours old. She/he was floppy from the get-go so I knew something was wrong. 

**I believe I had the temperature too low during incubation. I wasn't totally trusting the thermometers and for some reason had it on the low side even though I felt like they were too cold. There were quiet a few chirping and rocking that never made it to hatching. sad. 

May (and I) wake up at 3am to find we were probably 20 minutes late to the first hatching. Still exciting!

Because chicks like to be with other chicks we had to go to the local feed store and buy some more chicks for our lonely chick. They make you buy 6 chicks at a time so now we have a lot! Our chick was a bit of a bully at first while the others recovered from the transit. After about 12 hours or so everyone was normally socializing. 

Well, we already have 5 chickens and don't need anymore (hindsight is 20/20 haha) so we made arrangements for these new guys to get a new home in Philly. Unfortunately one of our cats (we think Kit Kat due to what happened next in our summer animal adventures) killed 2 of the chicks before they went to their new home.

So lets recap: 2 hatched, 1 dies, 6 bought = 7 - 2 killed = 5 whew!

^^this is the one we hatched ^^

bye bye 2012 chicks!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

playing catch up

sooooooo I've been majorly slacking on this blog. I don't want to give it up because it's proved to be a really useful tool when I need to look back on something. I check the blog and if it's important enough it's there! I guess you could say I'm using it as a journal/diary of me & the kids lives these early years.

Anyway, I want/need to get back to this space.

So far I need to rewind and cover these major events of the last few months....

  • Project Hatch #4 results
  • May anniversary trip
  • chicken cat gives birth
  • June birthday trip
  • summer poultry massacre


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

candling on day 16

We're less than a week away from hatch day! Normal incubation is 21 days but every time I've hatched they've come on day 19 so we're getting close!

I used this idea to make our own candling station in the bathroom today. I used what we had around the house. An Ikea lamp similar to the one in the link, a black turtle neck and some cardboard. Easy as that!

Above is a bad picture but you get the idea. You can see the air sack on the left side of the egg. if you look closely you can see veining and a dark spot (that's the chick!) We candled using a flashlight at 7 days and below are the results from both candling sessions.

Day 7: 11 yes, 1 no, 2 questionable
Day 16: 9 yes, 2 no, 3 questionable

Getting very excited to see our results this year! We'll be set up on Ustream once the action starts... link soon!

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 garden

it's garden time!

Seems like it warmed up early this year and the garden is already almost finished. We have the zucchini to plant and then we'll be done. Today the kids helped plant the tomatoes.... 

We're not doing much different this year. The most noticeable difference is the fence which our addition of chickens has deemed necessary. We we're offered the strawberries from our neighbor who has a ton of them and they seem to have transplanted nicely. 

we'll check back in w/ the garden later this season. YUM!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Project Hatch: year 4

It was April 2009 when we hatched our first chicks. looking back the kids were so little!! We've hatched every year since and I think it's safe to say that this is our Spring thing. We're not even able to keep whatever we hatch this year (we have homes lined up) because we already have 5 and 5 is enough! Each year we get eggs from a different location. This year is the first we've received fertile eggs in the mail. Very exciting! So, today we start with 14 eggs in the incubator... i'll be back in 3 weeks for more updates!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mayden's Eye: Smithville

A February hike at Smithville Park... complete with a big smudge on the lens!

Monday, February 6, 2012

You've got mail!

One of my favorite things about elementary school was making mailboxes for Valentine's Day! I remember loving giving and receiving Valentine's from my classmates. So we made some... I'm hoping this will encourage us in reading, writing and positive encouragement.

So we started out with (what else?) some empty Girl Scout Cookie boxes. Covered them with plain wrapping paper then cut a slit on top with an X-acto knife.

we were just going to use stickers to decorate but I couldn't find the sticker so we brought out the paint....

and then... i found the stickers. 

because of the paint the stickers didn't stick really well so I added a layer of mod-podge which helped!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter scavenger hunt!

the boy has been sick. 

but, outside has been unseasonably warm and wonderful! May needed a little something to encourage her to be outside and not glued to the TV like her brother is.  So, I created an outside winter scavenger hunt!

Ready? GO!

She loved it so much that she requested a new one for the next day. I think we'll be doing many more of these and maybe even include the boy next time!

Here are her finds from the first scavenger hunt...

Want to join in? 
Between our two lists you could probably come up with one for things common to your yard.

List 1
1. acorn
2. stone
3. shovel
4. colorful leaf (tricky this time of year but we found one!)
5. egg
6. corn cob
7. stick over 12 inches long
8. stick under 12 inches long
9. something that does not belong outside (make sure you find it outside!)
10. bark

List 2
1. shell
2. berry
3. 7 blades of grass
4. brown leaf
5. green leaf (think bushes)
6. trash on ground
7. something (else) that does not belong outside
8. ball
9. flower (good luck!)
10. pine cone

Found stuff from list #2

let's get ready to rumble!

in this corner we have Mayden Rae Speer: age 6 weighing in at 52lbs and measuring 46 inches tall! The nurse mentioned that despite being overly anxious about the possibility of a needle (which she did not receive) she seems "very mature for her age". it's so nice to hear good things about your kids, isn't it?! She has 20/25 vision in both of her eyes which is good to hear since there was of some concern last time we had a visit.


in this corner Cameron Jude Speer: age 4 weighing in at 34lbs (he'll never get out of that "baby" car seat) and measuring 39 inches tall! Cameron passed his vision and hearing tests with flying colors. He was praised for his ability to concentrate during these tests (which blew his Mama away but apparently other 4 year olds don't sit still long enough to do them well) He got 4 vaccination shots and 5 stickers (like that makes up for it lol)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

speaking of games

It's probably weird, sad, wrong (insert your own adjective) that i'm this excited about storage. But, I am.

so we recently got a hold of a larger bookshelf and decided to stash it in Cam's room and move all the kid books there. That freed up his little bookshelf to go to Chris. I inherited our shared bookshelf and left May with a small empty one. 

yes, we each have our own bookshelves! (plus and large one in the hallway!)

So what's an empty bookshelf to do?... turn into a gameshelf, of course! Yay, we found a perfect spot for all the kid games in May's room. Just in time since we got quite a few new ones for Christmas this year. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas Chickies!

so about a month ago through the power of Facebook I came across this video:

naturally, I though this was a genius idea. and one I had to steal..... 

I started by cutting the top of our tree off and plopped it in the coop. interesting indeed, they were curious and stayed nearby for the nearly 1 hour of coop trimming I did this afternoon.

I added some bits of tree everywhere throughout the coop area. they didn't seem to mind and welcomed the change of scenery. 

I probably could should have broken down the branches a bit more. this just shows my lazy side... perhaps if i had better clippers....

anyway it sure does smell much better back there now!