Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pulling Their Weight

We finally got around to dyeing our Easter eggs today. I am so on the ball. We were going to do them on Sunday when my sister in law was over, but we had such a nice time sitting in the sun and watching the kids that we didn't get around to it. Despite the fact that I put out 5 colors of dye, James made all his eggs blue and Katie made all hers pink. It was fun watching them have fun. Afterward, I had them make their own lunch. I gave them each two hard boiled eggs in a bowl (I did peel them) and gave them a fork. They mashed the eggs up and I gave them mayo, mustard and dill. They stirred that up and had themselves some egg salad. Its about time they started pulling their own weight around here! :)

PS. Tyler has a new found affinity for dill pickles! He gets all excited and bounces up and down in his chair at the thought of a pickle. The other day he ate one dipped in applesauce. Blech!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crazy Days

By 9:00 am, I had already intercepted Tyler with a glass picture frame......and a chainsaw. Yes. Don't you let your kid play with those? By 9:00 am I had watched James do every rendition of the dances his Uncle Nate taught him: Stir the porridge, Start the lawnmower, The Sprinkler...and then a few of his own invention. My favorite: 'Cuttin' the hair' while he wiggled his hips and pretended to be buzzing his hair. Meanwhile, Tyler got a chair and climbed up to get into the easter candy. By 9:00am, we also discovered that the chicks had flown the brooder. Somehow they managed to escape into the garage. I think the latch wasn't quite closed. They were having fun. Its been a crazy morning. And guess what...I really hope I am wrong, but.....I think Chicken Noodle might be a rooster. The chicken in question has different coloring on its legs and beak, and the comb is more orangish-red. The feather coloring is also more distinct. I really hope I am wrong, but after all there is 5-10% margin when ordering pullets. Maybe I'll change its name to Chicken Noodle Soup.....

And did I mention that (fortunately not before 9am) I had to get my root canal re-done? Lovely.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Brain Ain't Workin'

Due to the fact that Katie decided to have an emotional breakdown at 3:30 am, I am functioning on very few brain cells. I am not really sure what the deal was, but she was scared, worked up, ticked off, super tired, mad at the world and couldn't sleep. Fun times. Instead of trying to type a post that makes sense (do any of my posts make sense??), I will just leave you with some pictures.

James proudly moussed and combed Tyler's hair; they were both very happy with the results

James: Official Chicken Wrangler

The children were not impressed by my rhubarb leaf hat....


Celebrating Easter!

Tyler and Katie getting along; they played like this for about a half an hour!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tyler and the Chickens

I am thinking about making up a new shirt for Tyler, something like 'Chickens tremble at the sound of my name.' He loves the chicks. Its just that he hasn't quite learned how to temper his enthusiasm. Although I do not intentionally let him hold them, he sometimes manages to grab one while no one is looking. He is completely unfazed by any squawking, flapping, or flailing. He doesn't mind at all. No! He has a chick and he's going to have fun while he can. Fortunately, I don't think he squeezes them, but I always try to get them away from him ASAP. When not wrangling stray chickens, he likes to drive his toy trucks over the top of the brooder, and stick his chubby little worm-fingers in the cage for the chicks to peck at. If he has a snack, he sticks some through for the chicks. He also shares with them, basically anything he can squeeze through the cage. I have found several pens and pencils, a rubber stamp, a toy frog, and several small toys. Either they are going to be scared to death of him, or totally unflappable. In the meantime they just have to figure out what to make of him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Like Herding Cats

Last night Con-Rachel and I tried to do a photo shoot of the kids. Of course, our heads were full of all the wonderful shots we could get. However, the kids didn't get the memo. Trying to photograph three kids is like trying to herd cats. Or stuff toothpaste back into the tube. We did get a few good ones (mostly Con-Rachel...) and I have been messing around in Picnik to edit them.

Mom's Diner Is Open For Business

The Drive Up window was officially open yesterday. Yay for warm weather!

P.S. This morning during breakfast the kids had a heated debate over who's stick horse was the fastest. It was pretty funny.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things That Make You Go Huh???

The other night, the word on the street was that there were two weed whackers in someones trash!!!! (The explanation points are SARCASM.) We all know how Jeffrey is attached to his pet lawn mowers, all four of them. So it should be no surprise that his love for lawn grooming paraphanalia would also extend to weed whackers. (Oddly, though, he actually hates yard work) To his credit, the man does need himself a weed whacker. And he can fix anything. All this to say that Jeff decided to go liberate the weed whackers from their sentence to the landfill. It was only down our street, and he drove over and threw both weed whackers in the back of the truck. When he was driving back, there was a quick hiss and bam! The tire was flat as can be. He got out and looked, dumbfounded, to see a small stick poking out of the side of the tire. (Not the tread...the side!!) The stick was about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter and 4 inches long. An old, brittle stick...not sharp at all. Two ladies happened to be walking by and heard the tire pop. They were just as shocked. We can't for the life of us figure out how in the world a stick like that could poke into the side of a tire but it is what it is....two broken lawnmowers for the low, low price of one new tire!

And another story that is kind of funny, if a bit sad: James came up to me the other day and was very serious: 'Mommy, Daddy never pooped when he was a little boy.' I said 'Yes, he did. Everyone does.' 'No,' he replied. 'Daddy never had food to eat when he was a little boy, and you only poop when you eat food, so he never pooped.' Jeff has told him in the past that when he was growing up there was never enough food and that they often only had one meal a day. (Which is, unfortunately, true) That must have kept coming up in James' mind, and he came to the conclusion that if you don't eat, well, you don't poop. That kid is always thinking!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quotable Quotes

James just prayed '...and help Mom to live, she's getting old.' These kids are too much!

Weekend Happenings

We had so much rain this weekend it was unbelievable. The baby pool was nearly full overnight (and it was completely EMPTY when we started). After the rain came sunshine, and I worked in my somewhat soggy garden. Everything is coming up nicely and I am hoping to have some radishes in a week or two. Over the weekend Tyler managed not to add any new bruises to his countenance. Katie sat in her car seat on the way to church rocking her 'baby chickies' (a bean bag) and yelling at her brothers to SHHHHHH!!!!!! MY BABIES ARE TRYING TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was pretty hilarious. James has moved into the arena of horse racing and now makes himself various obstacles and a starting gate which he uses for racing his stick horse, Patty. The chickens are growing, along with the amount of wood shavings they fling out of their cage each day. It will be nice for them to be outside where they can fling to their hearts content and I won't have to sweep the floor after them. They have all got the hang of perching, even sleeping on it. Now whenever I am near I get the 'What did she bring us??? Worms!??! look:

We also celebrated Easter this weekend with my bro and his wife and Mom and Dad. I made a cake (picture above). Alas, while I enjoy decorating cakes, I don't think I could even score a job at the grocery store bakery. I can never get the frosting to do what I want it too. Luckily the picture hides the flaws, and it tasted good too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Family Boring Night

A while ago, James was requesting some sort of fun night that we could have every week. He started referring to it as Family Fun Night. We play board games, watch movies or play in the yard. This Family Fun Night holds a lot of excitement for the kids. They pretty much squeal when they find out its Friday. Jeff and I have taken to calling it Family Boring Night, or Family Torture Night, just for fun. Katie also likes using our terminology but James gets so riled up. 'It's NOT Family BORING Night, it's family FUN night!!!!!' he says, every single time. Like we're going to up and decide to sit around and watch paint dry or something. So tonight, after we watch the paint dry, we are going to partake in a little mens figure skating, followed by a trip to the grocery store to compare the price of antacids. To top of the exciting night, we'll watch an episode of 'The Secret Life of the North American Brown Spotted Moth.' Sound fun? I didn't think so either. Maybe we will stick to the usual Busytown board game, and maybe a round or two of Candyland, with a side of cookies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Art Lessons: Goofy Glasses

Last week Noah requested that we make glasses, so I found a nice idea for making some. It was really hilarious to see the kids wearing their glasses. Afterward, Noah and Amanda were mesmerized by the chicks. We gave the chicks a worm and of course they went crazy, chasing each other around. Noah and Amanda were giving the play-by-play...'Oh, Pippy got the worm. Go, Pippy! Now Big Martha got it. Oh, no! Big Martha...' It was like watching two sports fans narrate a game of football...hilarious! The little girls, Katie and Emma, played dress up and house. They sure come up with some 'special' outfits! ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Worms, Balloons, Nonsense!!

Pippy Woodstockings

Our new-from-the-dumpster brooder

This weekend we gave the chickies their first handful o' worms. Hilarious!! They jump for them, chase each other all over the place, even try to escape from the cage in order to eat their worm in peace. They also had grubs, disgusting juicy grubs. Grubs are gross, but with each one I toss into the cage I have one less grub to terrorize the garden! The chicks now equate an open hand with food, which has led to a few digits being nibbled on.

Enjoying the ridiculously warm weather

Chicken Noodle? Cheepa? Not sure which chick this is...not sure it really matters either.

Tyler desperately wants to hold the chicks

Big Martha staring down the camera

Hmmmm....can we eat those?

Tyler is officially a fan of balloons. He can spot one a mile away and spends the duration of his time at whatever location saying 'ba-oon, ba-oon, ba-oon,' over and over and over again. I bought him one of those big mylar ones yesterday and the boy is in heaven. This is in direct contrast to James, who was deathly afraid of balloons for the first four years of his life.

Yesterday was a whopping 84 degrees!! It felt quite hot actually, considering its been in the mid-50's. Today is back into the 50's but it was nice for a day. We even filled up the baby pool. The clean water got muddy very quickly after they stirred it around with a sunflower stalk they scrounged from the garden, roots still attached. Of course they also had to go fishing with a butterfly net!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Yesterday Mom, the kids and I had a Friday adventure. Its been a while since we have had one of those, and we did it up good. The original plan was to go to a living history farm, then go to our favorite vintage furniture store. As I was walking out the door, a friend called and told me that I just had to stop by her neighborhood on the way because someone on her street was putting out tons and tons of trash. I am so glad she called because guess what I found?! A cage that is big enough to hold the chicks for the rest of their time inside. They were getting cramped in their storage bin, and I was trying to rig up some safe-from-Tyler cage. No more! It was like Christmas. As I was scoping it out, the scrap metal guy pulled up and was also scoping it out. I grabbed it in a hurry and put it in my truck. Woo!! We also stopped at the library before finally making it to the farm. Which is AWESOME!! There was a lot to see, and they have events almost every Saturday (free!) through the whole year, like ice harvesting, wagon tours, and maple syrup making. All the baby animals were there and now I want sheep. Is anyone surprised? Here are a few pictures, in digital scrapbook form...trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Tyler finally has a hat to match James! Both hats are made from a flannel shirt that was Grandpa Cheyney's.


Earlier I was tucking Tyler in to bed and he was smiling up at me. I was blowing him kisses and he was blowing them back. Then he saw how I put my hand to my mouth to blow him a kiss and so he kept smacking his mouth with his hand, sending me little kisses. I was pretty much in heaven, and then I heard James yell from the kitchen that he had taken my burrito out of the microwave for me. Right about now you are probably thinking that he dropped the burrito on the floor or fed it to the chickens! Nope. He was just being sweet. I pretty much felt like the luckiest mama ever at that moment with one of my boys blowing me kisses and the other one trying to make my happy by getting my lunch for me. :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Katie and Tyler Cuteness

Monday, April 04, 2011

Human Battering Ram

Tyler's face looks like he uses it as a human battering ram. He has scratches, bruises and bumps which seem to multiply daily. Running into walls, tripping on the sidewalk, and just all-around boy shenanigans. He just added two cuts this morning, and I have no idea how. He was playing with a yo-yo. Next thing you know he was screaming and had two little cuts on his face. Seriously! I feel like I should pin a note to his shirt saying 'Yes, my parents do take care of me. I just like to do my own stunts,' or something like that. I wish I could wrap him in bubble wrap and stick a helmet on his little noggin!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Public Service Announcement From The Chickens

I was watching the chicks the other day. One of their favorite things to do is chase each other around fighting over some miniscule piece of food. They will run circles in their brooder all trying to snatch the food in question for themselves. Usually Big Martha is the one with the scrap and the others are chasing her around. The funny thing is, as they are running around they end up hopping over, around and through the rest of the food. All they see is that little piece in the 'other' chickens mouth, and they WANT IT!! So, I was telling Jeff about this phenomenon and he made a very keen observation: "They're just like people. Always chasing the next best thing, trying to keep up with the Jones' not realizing what is in front of them." Learn from the chickens, people. After all that chasing, you just might end up realizing that that crumb of cornbread you thought you were chasing is only a wood chip after all.

PS. The chicks have all been named. You ready for it? We have Big Martha, Pippy (Woodstockings), Patty, Cheepa, and Chicken Noodle. There you have it. I gave them a little pep talk yesterday about laying lots and lots of eggs for me! They just stared at me.