Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Final Blueberry Planting of 2014

We've been so busy and working hard this past week.  Despite the stomach flu hitting the ladies of the house, we've managed to accomplish what we wanted to on the farm.  

The chicks are moved in with the older hens and roosters and have their wings clipped.  There is some pecking going on, but hopefully that will subside after a short bit.  They are doing well though and figuring out their pecking order.

 Onto the field.  A friend very nicely let us borrow his post hole digger which made the hold digging part of the blueberry bush planting go so much quicker.  I guess we had to do it by hand to truly appreciate the piece of equipment though I bet Jonathon would say that he didn't really need to dig those holes in order to appreciate it.  He was very thankful to use his tractor for that part of the job.

All 300 bushes of Dukes, Patriots, Berkleys, and Legacys are planted and fertilized.  The children were such great helpers and really did help the job go faster.

 Except this one.  He mostly played in the mud.  :)

 Everyone in action.  The children took turns driving the mower doing the job of mowing the rows and pulling plants down from the trailer up by the house.  They also helped plant and fertilize.  They've learned a lot and will continue as we take care of the bushes and keep berries picked off for the first year or so to help strengthen the plant.  Good lessons for them.

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Here's our Diella with worm and hat on backwards.  She loves the outdoors stuff and doesn't worry too much about getting dirty, but she also loves fancy dresses and girly things.  She's pretty fun and a great helper too.

The children did such a great job helping that we decided to take them to DQ for a treat.  Parent bonus at DQ is that they have specials on Sundaes.  If you buy so many it makes them a lot cheaper.  AND since we have soooooo many children we qualified for getting the deal.  Woohoo!!  Thankful for our children who are growing, learning lots of new things that they can use in life, and that they are choosing to be such good helpers to bless their parents.   We are truly blessed!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring has arrived-Time to get busy!

This is a spring edition of our Family Life.  Lots of things put into one blog.  Guess we've been busy since the warm weather has decided to come hang around every now and then. 

Winter was over (the calendar said it was spring), but the cold temps just weren't leaving when we decided to go ahead and purchase some more chicks for laying eggs.  We had them in the basement until, Oh my, the smell was horrible.  So, we moved them to the garage and tried to keep their boxes cleaner until, Oh my, the smell was horrible.  Time for them to go out!!!  We tried to put them in the with our other hens, but they were just too small yet and got beat up pretty bad, so out of the pen they came.  Now what are we going to do because they aren't coming back in my house.  We make a make shift pen for them and Jonathon scrounged around and found the perfect thing to turn into a mini coop for them.  They are still out there, but we found one last night roosted by the regular coop on top of the fence.  Guess we better clip their wings before they move into their new home.  Keeping track of them a little better since we had a visitor the other night.  More on him later.  
 A lovely warm day enjoying the new pen for the chicks.  Saphira just loves them!

 We celebrated Passover with friends and enjoyed wonderful worship and fellowship!

 Saphira enjoys exercising with me.  She sure is cute doing it!

Onto our visitor we had.  The other morning Miranda, Jonathon's sister, came in the house with a rush asking where Jonathon was.  There was a raccoon outside the back door on top of the light.  Was very strange that he chose to hang out there with a dog in the back  yard and it was daylight.  So, all of the males in the house......
 Grabbed their weapons and....  
went hunting.

 Some friends of ours made the choice to put in a pool for summer fun.  The day was picked to work on that project and we headed to their house for a sleepover so we ready the next morning to get to work.  Well, mostly the guys.  :)
 Benaiah loves to help the guys with anything.  But when their is a might machine involved, you can be sure he's there to help.  This Bobcat owner was so kind to let Benaiah take a turn riding it with Jonathon.  And it was the highlight of Benaiah's day.

 His smile says so.

And after the ride, he grabbed a rake and started working again.  Mighty machines just put him in the mood to work hard.  :)

While the guys were working, I had planned on taking the children to a park to take pictures for their invitation for their school program that's coming up.  So, we headed to one of the local parks and grabbed some fun memories and photos.  

This spring has brought super wet ground, especially where we have been wanting to plant blueberry bushes.  One of our dreams is to have a field where people can come pick blueberries.  We'd like them to be organic and enough to be a little business for the children during the summers.  Maybe some day it can be a bigger business that our children and their families can continue running.  Long term goals, but they are fun to think about.  So, as we began planting our 300 blueberry bushes this year, we began to see our dream starting to take shape one bush at a time.  We started the planting off with the children finding a frog.  Well, there goes that help.  No, not really, but it did distract them some.  It was a good distraction though.  Nothing says boy like seeing them chase it across the wet field catch it by it's legs, and then hold it up with the biggest smiles on their faces as they think about how they are going to scare their sisters with it in the coming days.  Boys.

So, there you have it.  The children have also been helping my aunt clean up her yard to earn money for field trips next school year.  They made some flower sales and will be running the Produce Stand this summer too to help with the Field Trip Fund.  Hope you'll come on out and enjoy some of our fresh, organic produce.  One day we'll have blueberries to offer too, but not just yet.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Veggie Tales Fennel Frontier House Party

 Quite some time back, I signed up with House Party to host parties to promote different products.  I never did anything with it until recently when I noticed they were needing hosts for Veggie Tales parties.  I jumped at the chance and wouldn't you know it, was chosen to be a host.  They sent a box full of free goodies for us to share with our friends.  When the box arrived we excitedly opened it to see what all was inside.  We got Veggie character face masks, stickers, coupons, activity sheets, bracelets, and one of their newest movies Veggie Tales the Fennel Frontier.

Since we love hosting parties, we had a lot of things already on hand that we could use for the party, so we really didn't spend much on decorations or fun activities.  We decided since this was a movie viewing party, we'd have a popcorn bar and cheesecake sounded good, so we had that too along with some other snacky things such as grapes, cashews, and some candy.  We used the coloring pages that we could print from House Party to decorate our popcorn boxes and had extra sheets for the children to color.  The masks were so colorful, they really added a great touch to the food table.  When we were done watching the movie and eating, then we passed them out to the children to use in the photo booth.  So much fun!

We also enjoyed helping the children make a spaceship to take home with the Veggie characters on it.  We reinforced the idea of sharing during the activity by sharing our crayons with each other and helping each other out.  An added fun feature to our party was a black light.  It seemed that since this was a space party there should be a black light for the children to enjoy.  They did enjoy dancing under it and seeing how their clothes lit up.  Let's not forget the photo area.  Tried to get all the children in the picture, but there were a lot of them running around here, so I'm pretty sure we didn't get everybody in our group picture.  We sure tried though.  Some of us ladies even got in on the mask/photo fun.  If I would have thought sooner, I would have liked to have taken pics of the families together with the masks.

All in all everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  The movie was a big hit.  It seemed to be geared for both boys and girls this time, which struck it nicely in the boys who thought this was a baby movie.  I don't think anybody left thinking they just attended a baby party.  :)

Looking forward to hosting another party.  It was so much fun to do this one for the children.  I think an adult party is in order.  I've applied for 2 more, so we'll see if I get accepted to do those.  Check out House Party.  There just might be a party you'd like to host.  It's fun, free, and so worth the time of answering survey questions and taking pics to post for others to see how much fun you had.