Spring Fever

April 17, 2013 | Category: blog train, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

I don’t know about you, but spring fever has apparently hit. My days are completely mixed up right now. I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Friday, only to realize as I was getting ready for bed that it was actually Tuesday. What a bummer! LOL

My husband built a new brooder for my chicks this weekend. I am so excited! It is a collapsible wooden one with a lid that seems huge right now due to the chicks still being small. They won’t be for long though, and this should be perfect for them until they are moved outdoors. We will easily be able to use this brooder for many years worth of chicks in the future.

The homestead is finally getting a good plowing this weekend, and I can’t be more ecstatic about that! I feel like we will finally be able to get things moving and really figure what we are going to do with the property after that is done. The place is a 5 acre mess right now. There are literally 7-8 foot weeds all over. We cut them down last year and they wasted no time growing back. Unfortunately, the root systems take forever to remove by hand with just a shovel, and we also were dealing with layer upon layer upon another layer of weed protection fabric that obviously didn’t work too well. Some of those 8 foot weed grew around the irrigation pipes throughout the property, making them nearly impossible to remove. By the time we got several weeds dug up, it was growing season again and way too hot to do much with it from there on out, therefore getting out of control once again.

Well, one of our neighbors saw us working one day and asked if we minded him “experimenting” with some of his heavy duty equipment and seeing if it would remove some of the stuff. We excitedly told him yes, PLEASE! Sure enough, in about 5 minutes he cleared an entire row that would have taken us a minimum of 6 months to remove. No lie! So, he is coming back this weekend to finish it up. After that we can remove the pipes that are literally EVERYWHERE. But that will be a thousand times easier without the weeds and fabric entangled with them.

So, we are definitely happily looking forward to the coming weeks. We will be busily planting our garden, building a new coop for our bantams, removing pipes from all over the property, and spring cleaning/organizing. Hopefully the grass will take off and fill in some of the sandy areas that will be overtaking the property once everything is removed. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and am super excited to see where we end up taking this old nursery property from here on out. 🙂

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New Additions

April 8, 2013 | Category: blog train, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

Last week was our spring break and most of the kiddos ended up sick the first few days. Kind of a bummer, but if they had to be sick, it was probably best it wasn’t on a school day. I doubt they would agree. haha So, not much went on aside from Friday when we decided we would look into getting some new chicks for our flock. We have 4 Barred Plymouth Rock hens we were given that were a couple of years old when we got them. They are sweet and really great layers. So, last spring we added 1 Barred Rooster and 6 red pullets. We only lost one of the reds when she was about 9 months old. Not sure what happened to her, but we found her dead in the coop one afternoon. 🙁 Our neighbor has lost numerous chickens to predators the past couple of months, so we feel one chicken lost in our year here was doing pretty good.

We, (well, to be honest it was really me and the kids) headed over to the feed store and picked up 6 of THE cutest assorted bantams we’d seen. Our thought is that we will let these free range in the soon-to-be garden area and rid the area of pests. We shall see how that goes. Of course, there is that pesky little detail that they are straight run chicks, meaning we have no idea if we have all girls, all boys, or a mixture….we can only guess what breeds they are at this point, too. We’re naturally hoping for all females, but statistically we know that is not likely. I’m not sure what we will do if there are multiple roos, because our current rooster is pretty aggressive. I suppose we will wait a while to see what they end up being and what their personalities are like.

So, want to see pictures of these cute little fluffy butt chicks we got?

Total sweetness, right?! I’m on the lookout for some Splash or Blue Silkies and Americana or Easter Egger chicks next. I would love the blue or green eggs, and those Silkies….oh my goodness, I just think they are adorable. 🙂

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April 3, 2013 | Category: blog train, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

It’s funny how time has a way of flying by without us even noticing. I am always amazed when I hear something significant happened 6 months ago, because it will sometimes seem like I just heard the news a couple of weeks ago. I have always heard that time seems to fly faster as you grow older, and I suppose that is becoming my reality.

Six months have flown by since my last update on this blog. I honestly didn’t even realize it had been that long. Sure enough, it has been six months since our little crayon art project. It surely doesn’t seem like it though! We recently spent a day with our old homeschooling group. The last time I saw one of the moms was about 2 weeks before her due date. Her little one just turned a year old, and I missed his entire first year. 🙁 It definitely doesn’t feel like it has been that long. With good friends though, it is always easy to just start where we last left off. I suppose we have texting and facebook to help as well, since we are all able to still communicate and keep in touch easily despite now living three hours away. So, what have we been up to during this time? So much that I find it hard to abbreviate it all into one blog post. However, I will give it a try. 🙂

September found me turning another year older. We went to Disney (a common theme in the rest of this update). It was a really fun day. We met a super nice couple that sort of adopted us and taught us the ins and out of the Sorcerer’s Of The Magic Kingdom game. They even gave us an extra collector book for our cards and set it up and walked us through one level of the game. Super fun times! Midway through the day, we hopped over to Hollywood Studios. As I walked out of Beauty and the Beast with three of the kids, a cast member from Tower of Terror came and started talking to me. The guy was hillarious, and he led us over to see the ride with him as our tour guide, so to speak. The only one of us willing to ride the thing was my husband, so he rode and the friendly cast member entertained us a little while longer. Just before hubby was likely coming off the ride, the cast member asked me to wait and he’d be right back. He came back with an envelope that contained a letter giving us reserved seating for Fantasmic. I was so surprised and thanked him many times. Such a cool experience. I wish I hadn’t been too chicken to actually try the ride, but falling elevators just isn’t my thing. LOL

We continued school with the same schedule I mentioned before. The kids and I met up with some of our homeschool friends at Epcot and took a tour of the countries. The younger kids got the “Duffy on a Stick” to have stamped, and I brought along index cards for the older kids to use. My kids loved this! Each time we study a country, I have made it a point to teach them how to say hello, goodbye, and thank you in the languages of that country. Epcot was THE PERFECT place to practice and be sure I had taught them the correct way to say them. It was pretty awesome to hear my kids go up to the Kidcot table in Japan and say “Konnichiwa” without having to look at a cheat sheet. The cast members in France even complimented me on my French. Haha I guess those cajun roots of mine were finally showing. 😉

September also marked the start of “Mom and Me” trips. I told my husband that while we had Disney tickets, I wanted to be able to take the kids individually to Disney for a day. They get to see me as Mom, teacher, enforcer of rules and chores, bad cop, etc all of the time. I wanted to have at least one day alone with each to just spend time having fun. He agreed it would be a nice idea, and so that’s what we did. Each kid would get to pick which two parks they wanted to go to, we’d get up early on Saturday and head out for the day. We all had a blast with this, and since we renewed our tickets this year, I am hoping to do it again this fall. Elena’s trip revolved around shows and the smaller kiddie rides. Cassie’s revolved around princesses and Thunder Mountain. And Joshua’s trip was all about the characters. He really does not like most of the rides thanks to a bad experience last year on Everest. It was enough to freak him out about most everything at the park. We are slowly working on this with him though. (Jacob’s trip was in November, btw. I didn’t forget him!)

October was a fun-filled month. My best friend came down to Orlando for a conference, and her little girl (who is only a month younger than Elena) came and spent a night with us. The girls had a great time together, as always.

We celebrated Joshua’s birthday and had his birthday trip to Disney. A few days after that, the boys, my husband, and Grumpy (hubby’s dad) took a trip to The Blue Ridge Parkway for a week. The boys had a great time on their trip, and Joshua still talks about his trip to Tennessee and North Carolina. He can’t wait to visit again. In all, the four guys came home with way more pictures than you could ever imagine – just under 8 GB of pictures! While the boys were on their trip, the girls and I stayed here and visited Disney’s Food and Wine Festival and a little shopping one day with Nana. The girls each chose a dish to try at the Food and Wine Festival. Elena tried the Cannoli al Cioccolato (Chocolate-Covered Cannoli filled with Ricotta, Chocolate, and Candied Fruit) from Italy that she thoroughly enjoyed. Cassie and I decided to try a California Roll and Karaage Hand Roll in Japan, both of which we loved enough that we convinced Jacob to try on his “Mom and Me” trip in November. (FTR, he was less impressed than we were) And finally, the girls split a Molten Lava Cake from Ireland. We also were lucky enough to get to experience the soft opening of New Fantasyland. The girls participated in “Enchanted Tales With Belle”. We rode the new Little Mermaid ride three times in a row with no wait, and then went straight over to visit Ariel in her new grotto and Gaston with no wait as well. It was really neat to get to experience this with just the girls. The boys wouldn’t have been quite so excited. LOL

To wind up the month, we headed a couple of miles down the road to a local corn maze. They actually had three mazes and a ton of activities for the kids, so it was a LOT of fun. And who can forget Halloween? We weren’t real sure where to go for Trick-or-treating since it was our first Halloween in this area. We knew it wasn’t something you normally do out in the country, but we didn’t know just where to go. After a little research we found out a church in the area had a Trunk or Treat event, similar to what we did in our old city. The kids loved it, and they came home with way too much candy. In fact, we STILL have some left and they occassionally have a sucker. (Cassie was somewhat offended by the “Kids For Sale” photo prop, so she is not pictured in there. LOL)

November was another busy month. The kids did lots of playing outside with the neighbor kids (they also happen to be homeschooled), and Jacob and I did our “Mom and Me” trip. I discovered Quiet Books for the first time and began working on pages for my nephew. We had the official Disney Passholder preview of New Fantasyland (the guys had never seen it, and the girls and I were still loving everything about it). The kids continued their lessons, and in our body unit study we began talking about the brain and nervous system. I even found this cool brain hat on Pinterest, so we were able to have fun making that.

December is usually a month of crafts and preparation. We used to take the entire month off of school, but now that the kids are older, they only get a couple of weeks off like any other school would do. We did drop to a little less work though at this point, covering the basics – grammar, math, history, and journaling, and spelling. We still managed to throw some fun in there though! My best friend called to let me know that she had 6 free tickets for Legoland that she wanted to send us if we wanted them. We had never been, so we excitedly said yes! What a cool place! We were in awe of the Lego creations around every turn. For Elena, who had always been a bit timid about rides, it was perfect. The roller coasters are all relatively tame and really great for beginners. It really opened her up to trying new things, and she has been doing so ever since.

Thanks to Legoland, we were able to finally mark Elena’s first ride on Thunder Mountain that month as well. A couple of weeks later, my best friend and her family came down and we spent the day at Disney with them. That was a ton of fun! It’s so awesome to see our little girls playing together and developing their friendship. 🙂

Then we wrapped up (bad pun, sorry!) the year with Christmas. I was given a DSLR camera from my in-laws, and my goodness, I could not have been more surprised or excited. I had been wanting one for so long that I was almost too scared to touch it for the first couple of weeks. Haha I have gotten over that though, and have taken way too many pictures since.

December is also when some family drama reared its ugly head. I will make a post about that soon, as I am in need of a good venting session. I think once I am able to vent, I can move on. For now though, There were broken relationships that I fear are beyond the point of being able to be repaired. It basically boils down to us being stupid enough to allow a cousin and her boyfriend freeload off of us for 11 months. They ended up ruining our first house and leaving us a ton of work to do (and redo in many instances) …but more about that another day.
-UPDATE (4/17/13): After much thought and prayer I decided that these people are no longer worth the time and anger I have felt since December. They are no longer a part of my life and I honestly am much better off that way. I did in my heart what I felt was the right thing and got seriously burned by a group of family I always cared more for than was ever mutually shown to me. Lesson learned and I am moving on. There are too many other people in my life that genuinely care about and love me as much as I love them, and I plan to focus on them instead of letting those who continually make poor decisions try to drag me down with them. End rant. 🙂

January was back to school, including our body study. We focused on learning about eyes. We even covered what was wrong with Cassidy’s eyes and what it meant (she has astigmatism). They even watched a video of laser eye surgery. I couldn’t watch it….I just hate studying eyes. It’s not normal eyes that bother me. No, it is the protruding eyeballs you see when doing studies, and fish eye balls, and icky eye balls having surgery that gross me out. Leave it to the kids to be fascinated though!

Hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by taking a weekend trip away from the kids. This is the first trip away from the kids in two years, and I was sick! Doesn’t that figure? :/ We enjoyed it anyhow. It is amazing how quiet it is without kids. LOL We were able to go to Medieval Times for the first time ever, and it was a blast! I vowed to take the kids this year and be sure to study that time period, because I KNEW they would love it as much as we did. We then spent two days hopping around Disney and such. It was nice having time with just the two of us, as that NEVER happens. Hubby got a new to him car with air, something he had been lacking for several years, and in the Florida summers, was miserable to be missing. It also marked the final days of us owning our 2002 Honda Odyssey, as it was appearing to have the beginnings of transmission failure. So, I ended up getting a new to me 2009 Odyssey. It is amazing where 7 years time has taken cars…and us, too, when you think about it! We went from a cheap and basic model to getting one that has so many buttons, I haven’t even figured them all out yet. Heated power leather seats, heated mirrors, a CD player (my old one still had a cassette player and that was it!) and the controls for it are on the steering wheel, a DVD player, storage galore, and an 8th passenger seat. Well, it will have the 8th seat once the dealership finishes playing games and gets the proper one to us. It even has a sun/moon roof! It’s been quite a welcome change, and the kids think they are living like royalty when they are in it. LOL Cracks me up! We also sold hubby’s old car to our neighbors who were in need of a vehicle. Winning situation for all!

That brings us to February. We planted red and white potatoes, have dealt with freezes, lots of school and playtime. We were just enjoying life as it comes. We also took the last trips to Disney using our passes, and assumed after seeing our destroyed house, figured we wouldn’t be able to renew like we once had hoped. We also joined my parents on a trip to Disney for Mom’s birthday. It was a good month overall.

That catches us up to March. We joined our old homeschool group at Legoland for their Homeschool Day. What a blast! In addition to our regulars, we also had another mom and her daughter join us. Great day!

Then, in talking with one of the moms, we discovered that with the monthly payment plan at Disney, we could renew our passes and not have to put down a huge downpayment or any interest. It ended up being very doable for us, so we went ahead and renewed after all! Yay!

March was also the beginning of my working on our new house. Yes, that and heading to the old house to start repairing all of the damages our freeloaders left for us. :/ Good thing I actually enjoy painting, since the majority of work is exactly that. Anyway, I started painting the kitchen cabinets at the new house and adding hardware. I think it will look so much better when done, and then once that is finished we can focus on choosing colors for everything else. Here’s a before and in progress for you…

In school news, one of our favorite things we have been doing is diving into American History and Government quite a bit this month. I must say, there is nothing like trying to teach kids while hearing them giggle over terms like “caucus” and “US Alien”. lol It’s been fun, and they are learning quite a bit. We took a trip to Epcot during the study to visit “The American Adventure”, which touched on a little bit of the things we had studied. I love it when something comes up that we have studied and they realize it. You can just see the lightbulbs click on and the interest pick up. And I love that so many of the things we see other kids grumbling about how boring they are, my kids just seem to eat up with a spoon. In fact, “The American Adventure” and “Hall of Presidents” are a couple of their favorite things, and EPCOT is by far the favorite park for most of them.

Here it is, the third day of April, and it has already been a busy month. The kids had their annual well checks and three out of four ended up being sick for them! Could not have timed that one better if I tried! Cassie has a sinus infection, Elena seems to have some type of allergies going on, and poor Josh ended up with the suspicion of asthma. I don’t think he is officially being diagnosed yet, but we have had to do several breathing treatments. He never had any wheezing or anything, just a few days where he kept taking huge breaths. I asked if he was hurting or anything and he always told me no, so I didn’t think much of it since it would eventually stop after several hours. He just happened to start doing it on the day of his appointment, so I brought it to the ped’s attention and she said he sounded a bit tight. She had him do a breathing treatment and Josh told me he didn’t realize before that he was tight until the treatment made him feel open. Interesting! She said his lungs did in fact sound more open after the treatment. So, we continue those as needed and go back next month to see what she says.

So, just a little busy over the past few months. 🙂 But all are happy and healthy for the most part. Everyone that has seen us says our new home must be agreeing with us because we all look so good and happy. I can’t promise to do better about updating this blog, but I sure will try. I have so much we are doing – home improvements, starting to garden, our homeschool studies, our Disney trips, and so much more. There is no lack of things to share. It is definitely just a matter of finding the time to sit down and type it all out. I can’t complain, as we are definitely blessed. 🙂

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Anyone who is on pinterest has likely seen the really nifty melted crayon art. I think it was one of the first things that I pinned, and let me tell you, I have pinned a LOT. This past weekend I decided to bite the bullet and drag out crayons and get Jacob to bring out a canvas board he was given out of my grandfather’s things. We decided to go with traditional rainbow colors. We lined them up, hot glued them and then Jacob went to work on melting the crayons with the hair dryer. We love the result! After letting it dry over night, it now has a place on a shelf in our living room.

It definitely has me itching to take on some of my other pinned projects. If only there was an endless amount of time and money, eh? 🙂

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