Friday, April 24, 2015

Chicks get a new pen to explore!




Our little chicks have been quite a delight! When we bought this container to get started, it was perfect as they were so small! Now they were getting to the point of needing more room; so Jerry built a new little pen for them in the garage. I have to say as attached as I am to them, I'm glad to have them out of my living room as the dust was everywhere!




As we were moving them out, we let Elvis meet them. He was just curious and did really well with them. They just sat there and let him, lol.



We used some moving blankets that we had to cover the new pen as it helped to keep the heat in. We also have the heat lamp on since it's not as warm just yet outside. Good thing because yesterday we had snow!! (April 23rd)


Jerry used 2 x 4's to make the pen and attached chicken wire to it. Then we turned the metal tub sideways that they were in previously for extra shelter and comfort. We put wood chips on the bottom of the pen.



They were happy to have more room to move around and I am convinced they are getting bigger and bigger every day! ;-)


They are such sweethearts and so very curious about their surroundings! I talk to them and we hold them every day.


It's funny, I never thought I would have chickens! ;-) But I am enjoying the process of raising them.








This one is one of my favorites, she's a little different color than the others and so very sweet!


Jerry made a door on top for easy access for cleaning the pen and feeding them. My friend's husband Sam gave him a hand but sadly I lost all the pictures of the process. :-( Other pictures too, so not sure what happened.







Jerry put on a simple door hook to hold the top up when we need to get in there. He just attached it to the wall in the garage and top of door on pen. He has a variety of odds and ends in his tool boxes. Always says to me that you never know when you might need something.....





This is my girl that is so tame! Just love her!!




She just curls up contently right with you...


This is another little girl....a little feistier! LOL Well I can say we hope they are all hens and no roosters!!!








We keep the heat lamp on all the time and we use a thermometer still to regulate the heat. So far they are doing really well! It gives them a lot more room to move around.


Good morning girls!! :-) I love calling to them and they all run out towards my voice.



We open the side door in the garage while we are there to supervise and they like to look out and watch the dogs and look out into the yard. They are very curious and observant!


In about another month or so as it gets warmer they will be heading out to the new chicken coop and run :-) Jerry is also building that soon and I will post more as we get it started.

Ending with a few quotes to enjoy! Have a fabulous week and enjoy the warmer weather!! Spring is finally here!

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us"  Joseph Campbell

"Your big opportunity may be right where you are now"  Napoleon Hill

                                                                   Blessings,
                                                                        Jill

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015



"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world"  John Muir

April 22nd is recognized as the "official Earth Day.... but truly we should strive to make every day Earth day, and teach our children the importance of caring for the Earth and the impact it has on us now and for many generations to come.

I've always celebrated the day with my girls, doing various activities, but always stressing the importance of practicing these things every day!



Earth day is about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling as a small part of making a big difference! Some simple ways to do this are the following:

~ Start and maintain your own garden

~Use cloth napkins and towels every day. (Especially when packing lunches. I did a post about all the items I reuse for our lunches)

~ Shop at your local farmer's markets and buy foods that are in season!

~ Recycle!!! Plastic, aluminum, paper, etc. Many schools now offer a recycling program and a large bin to take your recyclables to. What's even better is not only does it help the environment, it raises money for your schools!

~  Reuse items such as toilet paper rolls for crafts.

~  When going shopping, use reusable bags. Many grocery stores will actually give you a credit per bag that you use. Not to mention it works so much better than plastic bags ripping out on you. :-) From selling Thirty One I have quite a bag collection and it keep them in my van for when I go shopping.

~ Be sure to turn off water while brushing teeth and limit shower times. Conserve water as much as possible and consider recycling the water; rain collection bins, etc. Also turn off lights when leaving a room.

~  Shop at consignments, yard sales, Goodwill's, etc for clothing and more. REUSE!!!



 We have taught the girls the importance of keeping a compost pile in the yard for gardening, etc. This is a picture of Kathleen the other day picking up yard cuttings, etc. and taking it to the compost bin. She's a hard worker, learning skills to last a lifetime!



"Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life"  Thomas Alva Edison


A project I'd like to mention is about the Monarch butterflies. They are on their way to extinction as they are rapidly declining due to less and less milkweed being available. One way to help is to plant milkweed in your gardens as it is the only plant a Monarch butterfly lays their eggs on. For a good website about saving the Monarch butteries, please click this link: Save the Monarchs Lots of information and resources to get started. :-) I can't imagine one day not having these beautiful butterflies to enjoy seeing!



Some things you can do to celebrate Earth day (and every day) with your children is:

~Plant a tree in your yard

~  Visit a recycling plant and take a tour

~  Take a nature hike and be observant of all that surrounds you. I always like to take a bag along so my girls can collect items from the hike. Then we study what we found and make crafts out of what materials we can. I always encourage them to write a story about something they found or an animal or insect they saw along the way. So neat to see all the things they have come up with over the years :-)

~  Start a community garden that many can benefit from! Even if it's a container garden :-)

~ Clean up litter at locals parks, community, home, schools.

~  Instead of buying books, utilize your local library! Also do book swaps and give donations to others.

~  Carpool when able and ride a bike when you can and very importantly educate your children every day and encourage them to ask questions!

"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour"   William Blake




A great site for kids that has lots of information and learning resources as well as learning videos is Time for Kids. Please click the link to explore this site and share with children of all ages!




Kathleen's sweater with the message of HOPE and her single beautiful flowers serve as a reminder that we can all make a difference, no matter how small. To give back each and every day and to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us; and to take the time to truly appreciate it!



"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, find tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything"    William Shakespeare

What will you and your families be doing to celebrate and give back daily? :-) Happy Earth Day!!

                                                                        Blessings,
                                                                              Jill

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kathleen in The King and I School Production



A few months ago, Kathleen tried out to be in The King and I at the high school. She made it as one of the Royal children. :-) This was quite a big commitment for a nine year old as she juggled school and late night rehearsals and learning lines and songs. This was the first musical she has been in and she really enjoyed it! We are so very proud of her! The entire cast was amazing! These kids worked so hard and put on such a wonderful show! The music teacher who produced it is new to the school and is only 23 years old. Quite impressive for his first production.

I took the pictures with my cell phone and with low lighting it was hit or miss... I tried choosing the best ones to show a few of the scenes she was in. She is the red head in the dark green costume :-)


This is the scene where she meets Anna... their new school teacher.


Here the girl who plays her mother is helping her walk backwards to her spot on the stage.


Waiting for all the children to greet Anna and move back to their places under the watchful eye of the King. We enjoy musicals in our home and encourage the arts with our girls. She watched the movie before and had a good sense for what it was about. If you haven't seen the movie and you enjoy musicals, I'd highly recommend it :-)


Here they are listening to one of their lessons. All the ladies lined up are wives of the King! He had up to 70 plus children!!! Can you imagine!?



This is the "getting to know you" part of the movie where they sing and dance with Anna.






This is our beautiful Kathleen getting flowers from us at the end of the show. :-) Wish we had family nearby to see her as well. Such an amazing performance and always a big smile!


Our neighbor down the road brought her little girl who is in Kindergarten and rides the bus with Kathleen. She just loves Kathleen and told her mom she wanted to come see her. They gave her carnations at the end of the show, we thought that was so nice! A few teachers from school came to support her as well. In total the performed 4 shows! One Thursday night, then Friday night and two on Saturday! To say we are all tired is an understatement...lol


Not sure how well this will turn out but tried to catch a small video of some of the performance.

video

I am so very proud of her for trying something new and getting involved. I know it's an experience she will never forget! They took head shots of them and had them hanging up and also a booklet was done with a biography of each person in the play. :-)



                                                                           Blessings,
                                                                                 Jill

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Totally Random



I have to laugh to think that the first picture I'm posting is of an Oreo cookie! But when your 9 year old asks you to take a picture of the inside and share it on my blog... well I couldn't say no ;-) So here you go... a lovely picture of the inside imprint of an Oreo! Such an exciting way to start a random post :-)






Kathleen has been putting in some very late hours after school rehearsing for the King and I. Just had to take this snapshot of Hayley walking her in. A great big sister who doesn't even realize how much her little sister looks up to her.



"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there"    Amy Li


I've mentioned before that our family loves the library and the programs they offer. The new library we found is a bit of a drive, but offers many great opportunities and fun things to do. This past Friday Kathleen went to an American Girl PJ party including yoga! It lasted about an hour and a half and the staff did a great job!


They all made blankets for their dolls, did yoga, had snack and socialized! She had a great time :-)


Hayley is trying to teach me how to take a decent selfie.... well let's just say this is about the only one I'll post, lol!


In other news.... Jerry had to get bifocals! He's always had perfect vision, but lately is having a terrible time seeing close... sure it has nothing to do with age.... ;-)


Elvis got to meet the chicks, and all went well. He's been quite curious about them.


Not every day you see a sign like this when you are out driving.... lots of Amish nearby!


We had some cool storm clouds roll in the other night.


Getting a lot of rain mixed with sun. Weather changes frequently here. Weird to get used to!


Kathleen lost another tooth and got her tooth fairy pillow ready with a note ;-)


When I was at the library yesterday I replenished my reading materials. One of the books I found was about Sylvia Plath's life written in her journals. Interesting read so far. I know technology is trying to take over, but I just love to hold a book in my hands and to read. To wonder of the people before who read it and all the history the books hold. Easier on the eyes to read too, not so much strain.


And last, but not least..... who's going to the Bloggy Conference this September at Cedar Point Amusement park? Hayley and I both are registered to go and we can't wait! We're all going as a family and taking time to enjoy the park as well. If you're interested in the details, click the link through the picture on the upper right side of my blog.  :-)

                                                                   Blessings,
                                                                         Jill