Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Japanese Bantam Chicks

Here they are! Just as I promised.

The mama wasn't too happy to show off her children. But she moved...when I gently pushed her backside out of the way. Here she is with puffed out feathers, reminding me who is really in charge of the situation!

And here she is teaching her children about the evil ways of man.

I had to take the picture really quick before the mommy came back.

They hatched on Tuesday. The mama and babies are doing very well, thank you. I put mama and babies in the same chicken tractor that I put the other two bantam chicks in to protect them from my cats.

I love bantam hens for being able to hatch out chicks! They seem made for the job.

I do have one standard size chicken (a Delaware) setting on some eggs too. I wish her luck. I'd love to have some more laying hens!

See you tomorrow!

{ Growing! {

Are you ready for another garden comparison? I couldn't believe it when I saw the growth that had taken place from the 17th to the 28th! Take a look:

The difference is incredible!

Also, my Black Japanese bantam hen hatched at least 7 chicks yesterday. I am still trying to take a picture of them so that you can see. The mama is really protective and keeps them under her for protection and warmth, but I'll get a pic up ASAP!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

¯Happy Birthday, dear Michael....¯

We informally celebrated Michael's birthday last night for family home evening. I will have another celebration with our extended family soon, but this was lots of fun:

Afterwords, while we finished watching College Road Trip, Michael watched the video I made of Amber and him playing "Happy Birthday to You" on the piano. He watched it over and over for an hour, and then asked for it first thing this morning upon waking.

I also took a video of him watching his video; that was a lot of fun!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Touch of The Enchanted

I wanted to make my dear husband a yummy breakfast this morning, so I slipped out and went into our backyard farmyard and collected some eggs. Looking toward my garden I was compelled to go and see what kind of transformation had occurred after two days of rain. As I lifted the latch and went in, I felt that I had entered a magical world full of fairies and elves. The sun had not yet come up, and the garden was peaceful and still. The shadows still lingered from night, and I could almost feel the magic as I stood transfixed.

I wanted to capture that on film, to share with you and to keep as a souvenir for myself, but I wanted to make an omelet for my beloved, so I decided I’d go right back out after I’d made his breakfast.

When I got back to my garden, the morning light had broken through the magic of my enchanted garden and left in its wake my ordinarily beautiful garden. The fairies had already scurried back to where they live: under the vines and behind the blossoms, waiting for a quieter time to enter again and cast their spell.

But what I did find and bring to show you are pictures of my common, but very beautiful and bountiful garden.

I found that my watermelon that had been no bigger than an egg a few days ago had swelled into an orb as big as the pumpkin leaf it is lying next to.

And my herbs, which have spread and blossomed, still had drops on them from the night’s showers.

I want to keep my eyes focused on the magical today and not call any happening a mere coincidence. So whether it is a blessing from God, like my abundant garden, or a gift from the fairies, like the magical feeling that I experienced in my enchanted, early morning garden, I want to notice it all and be grateful.

Have a magical day!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Relish the Day

I have been canning relish today. I read the recipe wrong and anticipated 16 *pints* of relish. Instead, it said *half pints*, so I have a lot less relish and a whole lot of left-over zucchini. Oy! Well, at least I do have 8 pints. I wonder if I would have *meant* to can half pints if I'd feel more successful.

My son just asked if my relish was sweet or dill. He let it slip that he wished it was dill; next time I'll make dill! I'm glad he said something, because I need more suggestions on what to do next with my zucchini. I really want to put as much food away for winter as I can. With food prices going up, I want to save as much money on food as possible. If I run out of bottles I'll visit a thrift store and see if they have any for a lot less money than the grocery stores sell them for. I do have quite a few bottles though, so I think we'll be fine.

The process took pretty near the whole day. I started by trying to get rid of as many of these bugs and eggs as possible:

They are scary looking, aren't they? I think that they look like a triceratops dinosaur! I am always afraid to pick them off of my zucchini plants because they look like they'll bite off my fingers, but they are invading! They are also leaving their eggs all over the bottom of my plants. Unfortunately, when I pick off the eggs I usually make a whole in the leaf. But! the bugs themselves do the same thing, so I guess in the long run I'm avoiding further damage.

I picked the zucchinis after killing the buggers, and at around 1 p.m. I started with the process of canning and finished around 7:30 p.m. For my recipe, you cover the chopped vegies with cold water and let them set for 2 hours, so during that time I took a shower and ran errands. I am just really glad it is done!

I hope that you had a day that you relished, too! (sorry, just being punny!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

April Showers

I came across The Country Doctor's Wife after The Pioneer Woman recommended her at the beginning of this week, but then today The Country Doctor's Wife told everyone to go visit her sister April's blog over at April Showers.

Oh my goodness is that woman hilarious! I read the post her sister had told me to at:
but then had to go and read the rest of her blogs at!

I'll probably post something else later on today, but do yourself a favor and go read April's blog for a minute!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Pioneer Day!

Want a cheap, fun thing for kids (and kids at heart) to do? Take a look at this new water toy that you and your kids can make with just cut up sponges and a zip tie at

Today is a holiday here in Utah, so our family is just spending some good, quality time together.

Amber & I hung out for a while, just catching up after 10 days of her being with her Grandma and Grandpa. We wanted to go shopping at a thrift store, but when we got there we found it was closed for the holiday. So we just took a walk together and then went and got a yummy fruity drink.

Steve & the younger kids went to the park while Amber & I were gone.

Later, the older kids watched Step Up 2 the Streets while the Steve & the younger kids set off some fireworks and I took a nap. (I'm still not totally recovered from being sick a couple of days ago. No wonder I wasn't very cheerful on Monday; I was getting sick!)

It has been a nice relaxing day for all of us. I hope that you all have had a wonderful Pioneer Day, whether you celebrated it as a holiday or not!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nick Vujicic

(picture by

Need a hero? Get to know Nick Vujicic. This guy is absolutely amazing. Born without limbs, yet he attributes everything he is to God's love and strength. He has no doubt that God loves him, saying that even if the miracle of him getting arms and legs won't happen, he can be the miracle for someone else.

(Everything I quote here about Nick Vujicic is from this YouTube video:

His official website is

He was speaking at a church and was saying that he was using his circumstances for the glory of God. That God is more interested in changing your heart than your circumstances. He said that maybe someday he would find someone in his circumstance; little did he know that a 19 month old boy born without arms and legs was in the audience. He is hoping that by that young boy seeing someone else go through the circumstances that he will go through, it will help him throughout his life.

He has been in 14 countries, spoken face to face with 2 million people, and 140,000 people have responded to his message.

He has a DVD out called LIFE WITHOUT LIMBS. From No Limbs to No Limits about his trips taken and Asian tours. He said, "It is just amazing to see how God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet in such a way that others haven't been used; who are able to go to Indonesia and a lot of places closed to the gospel."

He says in telling your friends about his dvd, don't say, "check this dvd out about this Jesus Christ guy" no, you say, "Hey, their is this dvd about this guy without arms and legs from down-under" "and they'll find out it is about Jesus Christ anyway!"

Quote from Nick: "My purpose in life, no matter what happens, is to bring Glory of God to tell somebody else that Jesus Christ can set you free, that who the Son sets free is free indeed. . . . Sin, fear, & guilt are going to hold you back more than having no arms or legs. It is the greatest disability of all. Jesus Christ can set you free and bring you life and renew your mind and live a life with greater purpose for His name." A lot of people come up and ask, "Nick, how come you smile?" and he replies, "Because the joy of the Lord is my strength."

Pastor Greg (the interviewer) asked him what he would say to people who say that they have different pain and struggles. He said that he would say, "Don't you dare think I'm suffering more than you." "I could find you a sixteen year old girl who would give up her arms and legs if something else could change in her life." "There is no hope in comparing each others suffering but their is hope in the name of the Lord because only He has set us free from sin, only He gives us His spirit inside of us to be the strength to become more than conquerors. . . My circumstances doesn't have to change for me to be happy. . . . Never give up on God, because God will never give up on you."

I always root for the underdog. My heroes have always been people who are dealt a bad hand and make their life good anyway; the ones who don't whine and complain (like I am known to do sometimes), but instead make lemonade out of their lemons. Nick Vujicic is my newest hero.

Thanks for introducing me to him yesterday on your blog, Coffee Bean! You have provided lots of ideas for my posts lately. :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Too Funny!

I came across MUD, the blogger at Riding With MUD, today as I was following a link from Coffee Bean at The Righteous Buzz. This comment that he made me laugh out loud:

"In one article today, a community in New York have an ordinance that baggy pants will no longer be tolerated. There is a $25 dollar fine if you show three or more inches of your underwear. My (goodness), I would glue my pants on a pair of underwear at 2 1/2 inches and wear them just as a form of protest. (Being chicken, I would also carry a tape measure to display my compliance with the law. Geez, I would think the butt crack exposure by old men like me with a big belly and no butt would put us in Jail for life. At least a big fine would ensue. "

Too funny!
Have a great day, and keep your chin and your pants up!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday in the Park

We went to the park...but first we bought an ice cream cone/cup.

Getting out - and the ice cream - made me feel a bit better. The kids had a great time! Michael was excited for the ice cream, but when he saw that we were going to the park he hurriedly handed me his cup, "I'm done! THE PARK! THE SLIDE! WAHOO!" he said and quickly unbuckled his seatbelt, opened the door, and got himself out of the van quicker than I have ever seen him get out before! Steve & I wished we had anticipated that happening and had the camera on camcorder mode just to record the sheer excitement.

Everyone did their own thing. Steve found a park bench and started reading (glancing up every once in a while when he saw the flash go off in his direction!)

Jared started by pushing the little kids around (thank you Jared, for pushing them for as long as they wanted so that I could have some time for myself! =)

Emily, my little drama queen, gears up for round 2:


She comes by the drama queen title honest though, since she is the granddaughter of a true Drama Queen. My mother was in drama and played the queen once...though I don't remember what play it was in. But Emily will certainly follow in her grandma's footsteps, I'm sure.

Then Jared found that he wanted a piece of the action:

Michael's favorite thing is the slide!

And Matt is my monkey. His kissin' cousin is in the zoo! (Did I ever tell you that I kissed a spider monkey through the glass at the zoo? I did! I taught him to pucker up and kiss the glass. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen!) Here Matt is on TOP of the jungle gym (where the signs say NOT to be!):

And, just to be clear, he is giving the PEACE SIGN, NOT the finger! Just so you understand my kid a little better. 'Cause from where I'm lookin' on my computer screen, I'd wonder too!

So that was my evening. And it was cool, and there were no bugs. Those things are important when you are trying to de-stress, you know.

I hope that you had as great of an evening as I did!

See you tomorrow.

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days. The kind where everything seems to go wrong. The kind where even if something does go right, it doesn't seem to matter as much as the wrong.

Maybe an ice cream cone would help. I remember being a little kid and ice cream cones always made things better. Maybe I'll try my theory. It couldn't hurt.

I hope that you have a great day, and I'll try to.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Curl Up and Dye

If ever I was going to be a stylist/salonist and open my own shop, that's what I'd call it. It is so classic! I first found a Curl Up and Dye in Kentucky, but since then I have seen a great many.

Anyway, Josh didn't get a perm or cut, but he did color his hair last night.

His young neighbor friend did it for him. I wish that you could see the highlights appropriately. They are purple. LOL! Sorry, that slipped.

He wanted red tips, but they didn't realize that the black they chose was a he has purple hair.

So here is what he has done with his hair this year:

I always thought purple hair and grey eyes sounded pretty. Though really I've only thought about lavendar hair and grey eyes when I am writing a story about fairies. But, if I was a fairy I'd choose lavendar hair for myself....and maybe a masculine equivalent of lavendar is black-purple. Not that I'm calling my son a fairy! Nevermind.

He is being such a good sport about it. He can laugh at his own mistake...all the while wearing a hat. LOL! Sorry.

I actually think he looks pretty good with dark hair. It'll take some getting used to, but it kind of reminds me of Elvis. In a good way. Even though Elvis never did play the part of a fairy. (as a side note: after he read this post he said, "I thought that same thing! In fact, when I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror I said, 'Thank you. Thank you very much.'")

Maybe he could get a part as an elf in Lord of the Rings!? You know, and capitalize on his mis-match of coloring. I love having Josh around. He always finds a way to make me laugh.

Have a wonderful, unexpected weekend!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Family Eyes Game

I made this game for my family last night and they did remarkably well. I guess maybe my children do pay attention to the little things!

I have now added it to the extended family blog. It will be fun to see who recognizes us. :-)

I wish you a wonderful and FUN weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kindergarten Cuties

Do you know who these kids are?


A few years ago I got the bright idea to hang up pictures of Steve & myself at different stages of our growing up years. These pics were taken when we were both in Kindergarten. Aren't we cute? I won't mention that those pictures were taken almost 33 years ago.

My picture has bothered me for years. It must have gotten wet and stuck to the glass in the picture frame, because when it was removed from its original frame it tore off a little of the picture. After putting the picture up here, I decided to try to fix it with Gimp. Here is the result:

I think it looks much better!

It is always fun to look at pictures of ourselves or our loved ones from long, long ago. Looking at these pics makes me want to look through all of my old photo albums, so maybe over the course of the next few days I'll share a few more.

So pick up those old photo albums, dust them off, and have a great time just remembering "the good old days"!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Garden: Before and After

I found pictures of my garden today and was surprised when I saw that they were taken on June 17...exactly 1 month from today. So I took some pictures to compare the growth:

My zucchini and cantaloupe plants on June 17:

On July 17th:

My rhubarb and cherry tomato plants on June 17th:

On July 17th:

My Early Girl Tomatoes on June 17th:

On July 17th:

My cucumbers on June 17th:

On July 17th:

They've come a long way, baby!

And here is a pic of my garden from today. Just ignore the weeds, that's what I do ;-)

I love gardening! Enjoy your day!