Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Giving up

I'm totally giving up on pulling together a cohesive post here... At this point, my brain is mush, and it seems Mark's isn't doing much better, so I'm just posting what I can before I forget.

Because I needed another thing to keep alive, we got a puppy. For serious. He's a border collie mix. Mixed with what? Not sure, but we think American Bull. He's dang smart, and learning to keep the chickens pretty well. Mark claims we got the dog for Jon, but he needed the dog just as much! The fox hasn't been around as much with Jeeves (yes, that's his name) around. He's bell trained to go out, LOVES the boys, and learns tricks really quickly. We're quite happy with our big boy.

Jon had kindergarten graduation, where they sang a bunch of songs and got "diplomas". He hates that kind of stuff. To make it fun for himself, he chose to spike his hair, wear a t-shirt and clip on tie, and sing with his "rock star" face. It was hard to get a good picture, but trust me, it was awesome! And SO Jon. 
He also lost his first tooth - and by "lost", I mean we yanked it out. He inherited my genes for having two rows of teeth. Boo. Starting my search for a good orthodontist around here...

We've made it to the last month of pregnancy! Baby Girl decided to turn (WOOHOO), has a bunch of hair, and looks just like Kai did in ultrasound (it was 3D, so I'm not just being silly). Isaac is dying for her to get here. I can't decide whether I'm more terrified or tired. 
Either way, we'd better get that crib set up.

Here's some random pictures, because I have them.

Practicing for Baby Sister. 

So glad they love each other! 

Cub Scout treasure: a recycled "chompasaurus". (He also went to Twilight Camp last week and LOVED it!)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Current Favorites

I've got a bunch of stuff to post, but the last three weeks have been so busy I can't keep up! Instead of a meaningful post, you get pictures of what we're enjoying right now (when not CRAZY busy):

This one is older, it's of Isaac and the little chicks. But we are letting the hens out again - with CLOSE supervision. 

Mud pies are BIG this year. 

Building cat-shaped rocket ships. 

Destroying my kitchen with kinetic sand. 

Zoning out with the laptop. 

Drawing random stuff...

Isaac has been sewing Harry Potter owls. 

And, FINALLY getting hair cuts for all the boys! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What does the fox say?

I'm hoping he/she (we think it's a mama fox) at least thought "Yum!" The fox that had been checking out our coop lately got the better of us - she killed three of our four chicks, right as we were thinking they were getting assimilated into the flock, and injured two of the hens.
The whole incident was worse because of my assumptions... It was noon, so they were out foraging and I wasn't paying any attention, since I assumed we were outside fox hours. I heard them squawking and assumed they were just yelling at each other, since the hens were still wary of the little intruders. I finally looked out the window just in time to see the fox on the porch hovering over Blackout. She ran away as soon as she saw me, but as she got closer to the fence, one chick jumped over just ahead of her. (Chickens aren't known for their brains.)
Luckily, Mark was working from home that day, because I probably would've just sat there in a puddle of hormonal tears if I'd had to deal with all that on my own. (7 month pregnant ladies aren't known for their composure.)
We were able to recover two of the chicks, and I'm sure they made a fine dinner for our friends who took them off our hands. Mark field dressed them, but (mercifully) waited until we were all in bed. Isaac wouldn't let any of us eat "friends" which was a bummer, but we are happy to respect that.
The neighbors watched the fox get the third chick, so we knew what happened there. We couldn't find the fourth chick, so we assumed the fox had gotten her too. Five hours later, she came out of hiding - obviously shaken and stressed, but physically fine. We called her our "miracle chicken." The two injured hens were Phoenix and Blackout - both missing quite a few feathers, but healing well.
Valkyrie was quite upset about the chicks - she sat in the nesting box and made weird noises (like crying) for a couple days, and took care of Dot (the "miracle chicken").
That was about two weeks ago, and Dot has had to start over with making her way into the flock. I feel so bad for her, being all alone out of her little group, but we are super happy to have had one of our little chicks survive!
So, our hens are doing very little ranging at the moment, while we are working on our plan to get rid of the fox. Mark was able to hit it in the flank with a pellet gun when she came back last week, but I don't that will deter her for long.
(I never even blogged much about our chicks, so I'll attempt a post on them soon, but here's Dot and a VERY happy Isaac:)