31 May 2011

Memorial Recap

First things first:the turtle came back and he was curious about the chickens. He tried to get into their run...Grass is greener?

Nothing Here But Us Chickens

Emi and I were able to hit up a few of the local garage sales and snagged a few good deals:
  • We got David a metal toolbox for $2. He's informed me that he wants to paint it blue! That's my boy! We want to pick up real tools for him to add to his toolbox over the years...no more stinkin' plastic tools!

  • I got a baby aqua trench coat for $1! The trench coat matches a cool dress I got from Athleta a few years ago... don'tcha think? Not a clear or good picture, but you get the idea. Now I just need some cute shoes...

  • Emi bought a mini Christmas tree (the perfect size for our unmatched earring project) for 25 cents!

  • And I got a replacement picnic blanket for $1. (I left my cool maroon/star zip up blanket at the soccer fields a couple of seasons ago) (no picture yet as I've already washed it and thrown it in the back of the Disco)
I updated (finally!) my high school alumni website with a few items that were pending. And I also back posted some blog entries from 2005-2007 that were stored in the confines of my CoffeeCup blogging software. Along those lines I found some old lake party pictures and ski trip photos (Keystone 2007) that were embedded into web pages on my site and posted them to my flickr. Lots of sorting and publishing but I wanted to do that for completeness.

We opened up the pool this weekend and hosted a Memorial Day gathering for family and friends. It was a nice, relaxing day full of swimming and cheese balls!


Aubrey and Cheddar

Sleeping David

Almost Ready

Breezy Above Water

The Juggler


Also, Too Cute

25 May 2011

Aftermath and Prayers

Last night was a scary night of heavy rains, high winds, hail and TORNADOES whipping through our area. We were safe watching the footage on the computers when the satellite would go out (from the basement at times). And the Little Ones got to see Mommy's mini-trampoline for the first time. A friend and her daughter waited out the the storms with us. We watched as the rain fell from the sky and later some golfball sized hail came down. The sirens went off a few times but we didn't really feel afraid. We watched as the news crews showed the tornadoes pulverizing homes and cars and flinging debris all over in neighboring cities. Later the sun came out and the chickens came out to stretch their wings and life was good again....for us.

For many Oklahomans there was much loss. Today I am haunted with the thoughts of what the Hamil family in Piedmont must be going through. A pregnant momma got into the tub with her 3 children and tried to protect them from harm. [Their daddy was out of town.] Her toddler son died in the tornado and she and her 5 year old daughter were hospitalized in critical condition. Their 3 year old son Ryan has not been found yet.

Scott found this page of a book in our back yard (along with pieces of insulation from a wrecked home) tonight. I am not sure which book the page came from it's from a children's book and it saddens me to think that this book and that boy were ripped away so violently last night. I pray to God to help the rescue team find Ryan alive and deliver him safely to his mom and his family so the healing can begin.

21 May 2011

We had a few visitors this morning:

Morning Bee



And we got a LOT done in the yard. The chickens were finally let out of their coop once we got their run mostly covered in chicken wire. We are using a greenhouse frame under one of our pecan trees for their run and the girls seemed to really like their new digs:

East of the Chicken House

The Little Ones with the Hens

The Chicken Whisperer

We also weeded the garden, partially cleared the back drive and started the forsythia hedge in the front yard.

BEFORE (notice the turtle?)



Forsythia Hedge (in progress)

I have been wanting to create a hedge to block noise and I really wanted a YELLOW hedge this Spring. The forsythia that we have were transplants put haphazardly in the front yard some time back. I dug up the odd one out to plant in a row with the crazy wild one in the corner and found a couple of offshoots with roots (good fortune) to go on either side. I've read that you can create a hedge with forsythia just by taking some of the long branches and clipping them into the ground beside the mother plant. After the new plant roots you keep repeat this process and grow a thick hedge.

Sideways View of the Forsythia Hedge (in progress)

With a little luck (and fertilizer) I can get the Japanese Barberry to grow together and the forsythia to grow together so I can have a red border and a yellow (then green) border in my natural courtyard.

19 May 2011

Flew the Coop

Our chicks have morphed into hens and while we have them outside now (Hallelujah!), they are not quite settled into their permanent home. They have been in their coop for a few days now (Hallelujah!) which is just to the West of the vegetable garden. Originally we were going to fence off an area to the West of the swing set (which is North of the veggie garden) and build their run in front of the ginormous Cottonwood tree. But once we actually got the chickens and completed the coop, that area didn't seem ideal because it was further away from our house and the ground slopes a little....plus there would be a LOT of work making that area secure from raccoons and possums.

So, we decided to put the coop in a "plant bed" which I've been really just using as a compost area/garlic garden (I am hoping to harvest some garlic SOON!). We painstakingly moved the heavy henhouse to this area and called it good before we put the teenage chicks inside. We discussed how much safer the new location will be due to the concrete borders and proximity to a power source and then we brainstormed for a design on the actual run. The chicks needed to stay inside the coop for a few days to learn that this is their new home (not the sun room!). That was Friday night.

Sunday afternoon after a design still wasn't coming to us easily, we decided to pull out a Green House that the Best Neighbors Ever gave us before they broke our hearts and moved Far, Far Away. ;.( I thought it would be really cool if we could utilize the chicken's warmth in the winter to grow plants and use the plants to help with oxygen and feeding of the chickens (and us). Scott had partially put together the greenhouse on Monday and it looked like it would fit perfectly over the coop. We talked about just sticking the frame in the bed over the coop where it is now and placing chicken wire around the frame instead of the plastic that came with the house. Tuesday after we moved it to the bed, it didn't quite look right because the odd shape of the borders. We looked around for options and decided to head Easterly and put the greenhouse partially under a pecan tree, in an area that isn't used much and has more weeds than grass growing anyway.

So now we have a plan and the materials to execute so stay tuned for updates and pics ...

17 May 2011

Feeling Nosty

Recently on FaceBook there's been a flurry of activity in the Lovelight Bakery and Sandwich Factory discussion group. The Lovelight was a wonderful health food restaurant on campus corner that I used to frequent while in college. Most of the discussion comes from people who used to work there but there are also pictures from a wedding held locally at the Duck Pond and lots of old news ads and RECIPES!! I am hoping that they work together to create a LoveLight cookbook but meanwhile I am gleaning some really tasty recipes from the discussions: Red Beans and Rice, Hungarian Mushroom Soup (NO SOUP for YOU!) and Walnut Chews!

I made the mushroom soup for my family on Sunday and it was just as good as I remember! Yum! I was going to make the Walnut Chews (and I will soon!) but I got distracted by a Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bar recipe I found at Pioneer Woman.  Those were sooooo goooood and we had to take the remaining bars in to work to keep us from eating them all. 

I didn't get any pictures of the food but we had a fabulous time with the family eating lunch and hanging out having a lazy Sunday afternoon in the back yard...

I See You!Baby GirlNot Quite the Bean

03 May 2011

Good Times

Wow! What a weekend...we didn't get a lot of yardwork done (as planned) but we had some quality time with friends and family. Saturday we drove to Boley for a BBQ with the Little Ones' birth father, Papa Dave and his wife, Shawna. That was such a nice visit; a very relaxing time.

Breezy Working the Bubbles

The kids were all well behaved and Shawna was prepared with buckets and bubbles for the kids (I love that she and Papa Dave include all 3 children) and a bird feeder craft.

Making Bird Feeders

After lunch we took a walk down the road and saw a newborn foal. On the way back to the house we saw 3 pretty horses hanging out together. They all looked alike, rust colored with a little white on their faces but one of the horses had BLUE eyes. It was beautiful to see and also a little weird.

Three Amigos

Baby's Got Blue Eyes

We had a great visit and we were so very proud of the way the kids behaved and how much fun the kids had just exploring and getting hugs and loving from their God created family...

Sunday we had a nice relaxing day of laundry, listening to the rain, baking cookies and having some much needed down time as a family...


Monday was a great day because one of the Best Neighbors Ever was in town for a visit. The Little Ones got to meet Pete finally and we got to spend a few hours visiting. We are hoping to see him and his family later on this year for a longer visit. Even though he wasn't here long, the kiddos seemed to take to him...

Mr. Tickle

More pics/vids of the Tickle Torture.