Thursday, April 23, 2015

Seven!

Isaac is officially seven years old now! He's pretty darn excited about it too. He pestered me for a few days before his birthday with "It's close enough to my birthday you can just call me your seven year old now, right?"
His two best friends at school also have birthdays in April (all within 10 days of each other), so we just did a group birthday party this year. It was really fun! They invited their whole class and just ran around like crazy. We decided to do something for each of them on the cake, so it was a Pokemon-Power Ranger-Toothless cake. (The Power Ranger was amazing, but super heavy, and I didn't manage to get any pictures of him on the cake except this first one.)


On his birthday, he opened presents at breakfast. Since it happened to be a late-start school day, he went straight downstairs to play video games with his new Skylanders. (Jon wasn't upset about this either.)


Isaac's favorites this year:
Skylanders
Bean and cheese tacos with sour cream (and sometimes avocado)
Pokemon (Pikachu, Squirtle, and Charmander)
Isaac is almost always the first one up in the morning. He gets dressed, makes his bed, and does his hair before he does anything else. He loves writing stories and drawing elaborate pictures to go with them. He's had a rough year at school, but he's worked hard at being positive about it. He always eats his veggies before his treat in his lunch at school, even if that means he can't have his treat until he gets home. (I actually have to do some serious convincing to get him to eat his dessert first!) He's just a super good kid, and I'm so glad he's part of our family!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter

We spent our Easter weekend listening to General Conference, which the boys did pretty well for. (For those who aren't members of our church, General Conference consists of 12 hours of sermons from the leaders of our church. Our boys watched 8 of those with us.) I'm pretty sure this one was my favorite talk: Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet. They're all awesome, but I've always loved Jeffrey R. Holland.

Since discovering that Kai is super sensitive to artificial food dyes, we've been on a quest to replace them with alternatives that he can enjoy. We tried with Easter eggs. It didn't work so well, but I'm pretty sure I know what I did wrong, so we'll try again next year.


The chicks are still growing like weeds, except for Nugget. I really don't know if she's going to make it, but Isaac loves her, so we're enjoying her while we can. If anyone had told me two years ago that my favorite chore would be hanging laundry outside with my boys and my chickens running around, I definitely would've laughed in their face. It's true though - I thoroughly enjoy it. Now I just need to get the weather to cooperate!


Isaac has a birthday coming up, and this is going to be one heck of a cake! Here's a sneak peek (they're solid sugar):

Saturday, April 4, 2015

This is what a Bailey girl looks like:

I was finally convinced to allow the chickens when I realized I was fighting a losing battle with earwigs. Turns out, my favorite garden foods are earwigs' favorites too. Also turns out that chickens LOVE earwigs. (This has already been tested and proven true at our house.)
We started by getting two chicks, a Barred Rock that we named Nugget and a Black Australorp, who Isaac insisted be called Blackout. Jill lent us a heat lamp and feeder and waterer (her chicks aren't chicks anymore). Our brooder is a large cardboard box, reinforced with duct tape. We drilled holes in the sides and put in two sticks as roosts. At first, the chicks slept totally sprawled out on the wood shavings. Once they learned to roost, the slept on the sticks.
A week after getting Nugget and Blackout, we picked up Red (a Red Star) and Valkyrie (an Araucana). Valkyrie was important - she lays blue eggs!
When we introduced the new chicks, Valkyrie immediately made it known that she was in charge! Nugget had been top of the pecking order before, and, even though she was WAY bigger, she spent a lot if time cowering in the corner of the box. A little while later, we noticed that Nugget was breathing really heavy, and sleeping standing in a corner. At first, the others ignored her, but then they started pecking her a lot more.
We decided to separate Nugget, in case she was sick and would pass it to the others, and to see if maybe her ailment was just stress from the new chicks. She got worse, and we noticed she stopped growing. She also just cried a lot, so we put Blackout in with her. She perked up a little, but not much. Finally, we went ahead and gave her some Duramycin, and she looks MUCH better. She started sleeping on the roost again, and it seems like she's growing again. We're waiting until she and Blackout have finished their course of meds, then we'll put them back with the other two.


Nugget used to climb all over Mark (she liked to sit on his shoulders). She was feisty, but friendly. Now that she's on the mend, some of that is coming back. (Nugget has the white wing-tips.)



Blackout has always been more docile. They love each other, and cry if separated. 



Red is fast (and actually yellow at the moment)! Isaac commented that sometimes it seems like we have 3 chicks and a yellow bullet. She doesn't particularly like being caught, but she likes being held. 



Valkyrie rules the roost. She's pretty and she knows it.


We're still working on the coop, but it'll be done in not too long, since these birds will be big before we know it. We've got everything cut and primed, and half painted. This week's chore is to start hooking it all together!
Aside from feeling like we've gone completely crazy, we're enjoying our chicks. Looking forward to eggs, but enjoying listening to our girls chirp and peep all day right now.