Monday, June 30, 2008

Countdown to Coop

It's Done!
Moving day was Saturday. First, Kyle put the chicken wire on the vents, then decided to make some windows so we could see what those girls do behind closed doors:
Kyle plans to put doors on the windows for rainy or cold days. No chance of either of those conditions any time soon.
Here they are inside the coop. The roosting pole we made for them is too big around for their little chick feet, so Kyle quickly put together a smaller one that sits just a few inches off the ground. All the chicks have their butts to the camera. Are they mooning me??
Here's the ramp they use to get to their roosting pole. That's Dinah preening herself. (She's not headless although it looks like it.)
I'm so proud of this coop and the hardworking, super good-looking man who built it for us. See those happy chicks? They're thankful too.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tincture Tutorial

This week, one of my favorite things happened: I got a big box from Mountain Rose Herbs. Woo-Hoo!! Oh happy day!

I tore into it right away because I purchased a bunch of these $1 dropper bottles for my latest project:
I'm going to make my own tinctures! YAY! Do you have any idea how much money I'm about to save??? It's insane! A tiny 1 oz bottle of tincture at the health food stores averages $10-15. I'm about to make a several 4 oz bottles of tincture and, including the price of the bottle itself, it's going to cost me little more than $2.
I decided to start with Horehound (our go-to herb for preventing or curing ear infections), and Plantain (an astrigent - good for facial complexion, poison ivy, poison oak, bug bites, etc.)
Step 1: Fill a clean jar half full with fresh or dried herbs.
Step 2: Pour Apple Cider Vinegar to the very brim.
Step 3: Twist the lid on tightly.
Step 4: Shake the jar vigorously. Yes, the crazed look is imperative to the process. Look happy! Think of all the money and trips to the health food store you're saving yourself!
Step 5: Put a wet cloth in the bottom of your handy-dandy crock-pot. Set to WARM. If you don't have a crock-pot with a warm function, buy one. You deserve it!
Cover crock-pot and abandon for several hours- all day if you want, you've got other things to do.

Step 6: Remove from crock-pot and put in your cabinet. Don't forget about it, though! Become a good friend to your new tincture and visit it a couple times a day for a good shake. Refer to Step 4 at least twice a day. If you use fresh herbs, you will be ready to strain out the herbs after 3 days. If you use dried herbs, allow 3 weeks.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Countdown to Coop

The chicks are 4 weeks old now and we are very eager to get them moved to the coop!
We've turned the heat lamp off now and the roosting box is down to 80 degrees, which is significantly cooler than it is outside. Hope these chickens are tough and can handle the heat!
Jeff, you asked and you shall receive. Here's our coop:
And here's the Chicken Run:

After we put the netting over the vents, we'll move the chicks in. More pics forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And the Winner Is. . .

Vision Forum sponsored a DVD Giveaway for me, featuring their latest set

and Liz won the giveaway! Way to go, Liz! Email me your mailing address and I'll drop-ship your DVD of choice ASAP.

Time for Something New

I'm in need of some new tunes to add to the ole iPod. What are your favorites? I pretty much stick to two kinds of music: upbeat Christian bands or Praise & Worship. Gimme some ideas, please.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Deceiving Children

Last night at dinner, Kyle asked the kids if they knew how far away the moon is. They guessed 10,000 feet away. He then announced that he's been offered a job on the moon. This launched (ha ha) a discussion about what it would be like to live on the moon. I jumped right in, convincing the kids that this was indeed true. Kyle said that real estate is very cheap on the moon, so we could get a really big house. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed, so we had to come up with a solution for Misha. No problem. Pedro would have to stay on earth in order to finish college, so he could take care of Misha for us.
After about 15 minutes of this discussion, Maya said: "Ok, you gotta put a stop to this moon business!"
When I cracked a teeny tiny smile, Isaac said: "I saw that smile! I know what that smile means!!"

I'm curious: Have you ever deceived, fibbed, or told a tall tale to your kids?
Do tell.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting It All Done, Part 2

My friend Beth was kind enough to remind me that I never did follow through on Part Two of "Getting It All Done". I do that a lot, sorry! I had promised you all our chore chart and here it is: Daily Chores
And so you'll know what that actually looks like, I took pictures of all of us doing our chores on Friday:
Elena swept the dining room and entry way.
Maya swept the kitchen and den.
Isaac swept the front porch and sidewalk. (I have no idea what's up with the Aunt Jemima thing he's got goin' on.)
I was washing sheets and towels.
(I think Pedro produces way too much laundry for one week. What do you think??)
Elena wanted more camera time, so she found more work to do on her own. Whatever motivates you, honey. I'll take pictures of you all day long if you wanna clean the house top to bottom!
After the girls swept, Isaac mopped the kitchen and den and Chloe mopped the dining room and entry way.
Daniel and Lydia unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. It makes them feel so important when I ask them to do this. They are my most willing workers.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Elsie Dinsmore

I love these sweet books!
Elsie raises the standard of godly womanhood to new heights. Feminists will not be happy with Elsie. She is a God-honoring young woman who strives to solve problems while working through biblical authority structures.

For the next week, Elsie Dinsmore books and audiobooks are on sale! Woo-Hoo!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Countdown to Coop

The chicks are almost 4 weeks old now and we're not sure they're going to make it much longer in our garage. When they're little and lightweight, they can fly pretty well! This week, we've been taking them outside for some Chicken Run Time. Kyle and I made the chicken run on Saturday, and this was their first introduction to it. They all stayed in one end of it, seemingly unaware of how much space we had given them.
Elena stayed right by the run and babysat while the rest of us played.

Kyle takes his job as pitcher very seriously:
What a wind-up!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard;
I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had
a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on
his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked
down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard,
walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again
slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for
several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would
like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog
is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your
dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a
different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home
with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch
up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Every morning we start our day with a Meteorologist's report. One of "the four big kids" (our affectionate name for Maya, Elena, Isaac, and Chloe) will pull up the iGoogle home page, which looks something like this and tell us: the day and time, the weather forecast for the week, and the moon phase.

They love doing it and are learning a lot.
We've customized our iGoogle page to include Classic Art of the Day, scripture of the day, National Geographic picture of the day, and Baby Wild Animal Pictures.

Check it out!