CrazyKids

A Gone-Fish tournament, an addition with a lesson learned, a blind, demolition and finally, a serial biter…

I normally stick to one topic per post.  Today, I have a few topics to cover.  Feel free to jump in at anytime.  I’m starting to get a complex about my low or even non-existent readership.  :0)  Is anyone out there??

Gone-Fish: Willis & I attended an annual youth fishing tournament on Sat.  Last year he walked away with a trophy for largest fish caught.  He has always been a patient and dedicated fisherboy.  For example, the Sunday before we had Pickle & Willis’ ‘friend’ birthday party at the same pond.  Some of the kids choose to fish.  He was constantly whispering “SHSHSHSH, the fish won’t bite because you are all too loud.”  Not bad for a 4-year-old huh?  They never did catch anything.  My hubby saw this as a precursor for the tournament & decided to stay at home to build a mobile deer blind.  *Stay tuned for an update on the blind.* We probably should have followed his advice because we came home empty-handed as far as fish is concerned.  Our Fire Department sponsors the event and every kids leaves with some type of gift.  Even though there weren’t any fish, it was some good bonding time for myself & Mr. Willis who suffers from a severe case of Middlechild Syndrome.

The tournament took place at the this pond.

An Addition: A week & a half ago we found ourselves unable to keep up with egg demand.  Without a product, you can’t make the sale.  So a decision was made to purchase 5 new chickens which should begin laying in 2-4 wks.  This brought our hen total up to 20…For two days.

One of our New Hampshires...a.k.a. Orington?

A day after the chickens arrived I went down early for evening chores. I wanted to see how everyone was adjusting.  My main concern was how the pecking order was coming along…especially since the chickens arrived de-pecked.  Once I finally opened the door to the ‘coop’ side of the shed I saw one of the New Hampshires (who I’m beginning to think are really Opingtons but that’s another story) hanging upside down from the roost.  With our goal of re-using & becoming innovative with what we already have, we’ve always used a piece of fencing for the roast.  My first thought was that she was dead.  I ran to her rescue to find her leg weaved in between the metal wires.  Once I had her up she wasn’t able to stand.  I took her up to the house & got her some water.  Long story short….I didn’t check her over well enough & overlooked several large scratches around her bottom area.  She stayed in the garage for the night & then I moved her outside.  Eventually she was limping around & looking great.  By the afternoon I noticed the flies & gnats which wouldn’t leave her alone.  That’s when I checked her over completely.  I found maggots in the lesions.  Several times I attempted to clean all of them out, sanitize her & cover her with triple antibiotic.  To no avail, I was unable to save her.  Not having a sick or injured chicken before I did the best I could.  I’ve assisted in a prolapse surgery on a cow before, I’ve castrated piglets…but when it comes to chickens I’m pretty green.  For two days we had 20 chickens and now we are down to 19.  Lesson learned…we are re-building the roost.

The blind: My genius hubby is always thinking & creating.  His newest creative idea is to build a mobile deer blind that can be pulled with the 4 wheeler out to the middle of one of our hunting fields.  I can only post one picture…otherwise I’d have to hunt you down & make sure you don’t try & replicate his TM idea.  Just kidding…maybe.

Invention no. 1,230,890...in progress!

The Demolition: It’s been a while since we made any major changes to the Magic FarmHouse.  That changed yesterday.  One of the best advantages to my hubby’s job is ‘dumpster diving.’  Well, not really.  He works on commercial projects which in my opinion are many times unnecessary renovations – but I’m thankful they are renovating to get him busy working!  Last week the job site where he was working was trashing some perfectly nice cabinets and plywood.  He took all of it before they could hit the dumpster.  The cabinets have been a lifesaver in our new smaller storage room/office.  And, the plywood has allowed us to begin gutting & refinishing our downstairs  bedroom (old storage room/office)…

The beginning of our newest demolition!!

My VERY favorite part about gutting a room is finding the magical treasures.  So far, there’s one wall left and we haven’t found anything!  Bummer!

The Seriel Biter:  Finally, my precious little boy who was calm & who loves to cuddle is missing.  Instead I have a little maniac who’s running around trying to bite everyone!  Where did I go wrong??  He is seriously chasing Willis around the rooms with his mouth open wide trying to bite.  This is the first time we’ve encountered this problem…any suggestions??  Oh, wait, I forgot, no one reads my blog!

‘Til tomorrow!    :o)

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Another Wordless Wednesday…


Two out of Three Kids Agree!!

I’m so proud right now!!  For years and years and years I’ve tried growing green beans and peas.   Every year they would undoubtedly fail but try, try again I did!  This year my green beans took off & I have a crop!  At first I thought I’d only get a few and that was enough of a victory for me.  Then they kept on budding and growing.  We picked the first time about two weeks ago and I had enough for one meal.  After eating canned, store bought green beans these were honey to our taste buds.  Even two out of three kids agreed, mom’s beans were much better than those ugly, gross green things she shoves down our throats! Willis has been a picky eater since he was two…the doctor said it’d be a phase he’d grow out of…I guess I forgot to ask when!

On Friday, little Pudder and I headed out to the 93 degree/113 heat index weather and picked again – before you judge, at the time I had no idea it was really that hot.  I’m starting to wonder if my iron counts are depleting again or maybe the Magic FarmHouse has given me a delightful power to endure heat.   Pudder didn’t seem to mind and wasn’t hurt in anyway and the little trip to the garden resulted in some cherished memories.

It was a rewarding experience as we began to pick.  The moments quickly turned entertaining as Pudder, asserted himself and decided he would be mama’s helper.  I was picking beans from one side of the row and he started picking leaves.  To change position and reach beans on each side, I straddled the row.  All of a sudden I was stopped in my path as he ran in front of me, lifted his leg and attempted to walk with the row between his legs.  The plants are about half his height so this was amusing to say the least.

Noticing the process wasn’t very effective I began picking the beans and making him a pile next to the row – my subtle way of giving him something to do.  To my surprise he left his position which looked similar to a cowboy riding an over-sized bull and began picking up the beans, taking them to the bucket and dumping them in.  Score!!

These are fun times!  We finished the row and took our loot inside.  I’m estimating a total of 3 quarts give or take a few.  I LOVE to eat raw green beans…I know I’m a weirdo!  It’s times like this that I should be called a Backwards Mama! LOL!

It’s sad to see how fast the summer is coming to an end.  Even so, I love this time of year.  It’s a time when you can harvest the seeds you’ve sowed and worked so hard to nurture throughout the spring and summer.  Or, fall, I just planted my pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers about two weeks ago but that’s another story for another day.

Now, where did my salsa recipe go??  The tomatoes are going to be next….


Wordless Wednesday

Here’s how it works….I give you a photo, you give leave me a caption in comments.  Have fun!!


Reality Strikes

For the benefit of my kids I try to keep track of the day and date.  Usually the day of the week more than the date.  The weekend is when Daddy is home so the days of the week are important.

Today reality hit like a lightening bolt.  This is the last week at home with my kids before school starts.  My mom called and asked if they could spend the night during the week before school starts.  I said “Sure!”  And, as any mom would, I brought out my calendar that I briefly look at once or twice a week (sorry FlyLady!)  That’s when it hit.  We leave for State Fair a week from tomorrow.  It’s our annual workcation at the Illinois State Fair where we show our beautiful Jerseys! The choices for a sleepover with Grandma were bleak but we’ve managed to set a date.

And, now I’m sitting here in shock, reviewing all of the goals I had set for our summer.  Where did the time go?  I wanted to paint the shed, finish painting the porch, paint the bathroom, sand and paint our welcome fence, sanding and re-staining a new/re-used dining room table, sew curtains for the kitchen, canning, taking the kids to the pool on a regular basis – I BOMBED on that one.

I managed to get the kids to swim lessons every morning for two weeks, we took a day trip to the St. Louis Zoo, Pickle went to Cub Scout camp & several weeks of baseball, Willis went to VBS.  But none of my other goals were accomplished.  I wonder why??  Oh, that’s right, I have three kids who are boys and Mount Washmore waiting at the steps of my mudroom.  That’s Life!

I need to plan something special for this week…off to look for ideas.

Happy Tuesday!


Our First Heat Related Fatality

Like much of the country, we’ve been under a heat advisory off and on for several weeks.  Yesterday, the heat index topped out at 108.    Around noon I drove the mower down to the sheds to check on water levels.  The chickens are panting and walking around with their wings open but everyone was alive and well.  I went around the fence checking for weeds that might be grounding out the electric fence.  I stopped once and pulled a few then headed to the house.  Just in that short amount of time, without any physical exertion, my clothes could have be wrung out and the sweat poured into a tall glass.

When I went down in the evening I started as usual by first feeding the steers their milk buckets.  While they slurp their supper I walk fast to get their feed ready.  As I started to get the feed out I noticed one of the chickens laying in front of the nesting boxes. When it’s hot they tend to dig themselves a little hole in the ground and sit with their breasts in the dirt in an effort to to cool off – although in front of the boxes was an unusual place.  Without a clear view I was uncertain of what was going on and had a bad feeling about things.  At that point, with all the milk devoured,  the calves were attacking me.  I got them under control so I could enter the chicken side of the shed.  Instead of laying breast down the chicken was on it’s side and dead.  I picked it up and managed to get myself out of the pen before being mugged.  It was one of my hubby’s grandma’s birds so it was probably fairly old.  I’m just glad it wasn’t a young one!

I brought it out of the shed and started to walk out of the pen when Willis saw it.  Here was the conversation…

Willis: What are you doing with that chicken mom?

Me: Well, honey, it died so I need to get it out of the shed.

Willis exclaims with joy:  Oh, good, can we eat it now??

Such a sensitive child…NOT.

Try to stay cool where ever you all are located & drink plenty of water!


Wordless Wednesdays

I’m going to try and start a few theme days…starting today, Wednesdays are Wordless Wednesdays.  I’ll post a picture.  Be creative and think of a title, then leave as a comment.


Country Kids + Duct Tape = Redneck Water Slide

It’s been so hot and humid around here staying cool has been difficult to say the least.  Our electric bill jumped substantially last month so we’ve increased the thermostat to 82.  The slip ‘n slide was helpful but the kids kept begging for a pool.  During last week’s shopping trip I gave in and purchased a blow-up alligator shaped pool.

Each morning following chores, we try to empty, clean out and refill the pool early.  If we get it done early the water is usually a great temp by the afternoon.  One thing that always stays cool is the well water!  Well, on this particular day we didn’t get out early enough for the water to warm up.

Born creative and ‘redneckish’, the kid’s created a way to stay cool without submerging themselves in the cold pool.  What’s the next best thing to a cold pool?  Creating a Water Slide by duct taping the hose to the swing set slide, of course!

What will they think of next?  Maybe I should start a list uses for duct tape?!?


New-Found Confidence Through Cub Scouting

Before embarking on a new activity, as a parent I always ask myself, “What is my purpose or goal for enlisting our child in the activity?”  Last fall Cub Scouting became an option for Pickle.  And we asked the question.  What do we want Pickle to gain from Cub Scouting?  Of course, we want all of our boys to be successful, caring individuals who have self-worth.  Over and above this we want them to have a trait neither my hubby or I feel we had…Confidence.

Fast forward 9 months…Last week, Cub Scout Camp 2010  (Click here to read more about our Cub Scouting journey.)

As leaders, two of us took Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.   Others filled in during Tues. and Fri. as they could. There were 21 boys. Ten from our Pack and 11 from another who couldn’t have cared less who we were or that they should even attempt to respect us.

***VERY IMPORTANT TIP & NOTE TO SELF: Avoid walking on Mon. if at all possible.***

I’m a little dizzy from Mon. & reeling from all of the Mack trucks that ran over

Pickel Shooting Archery

me.   (SIDENOTE:  Two years ago I thought I’d try substitute teaching.  Due to a breast-feeding schedule – God’s way of saving me some embarrassment – I was never able to go in but my husband always said they’d eat me alive if I did.)  As of last Monday, he was officially 100% correct!

If I’m still dizzy now, 8 days later, imagine how I felt last Tue.  Well, let’s not.   I spoke with the mom who went on Tues. and learned that the boys all got into trouble during archery and air gun rifle.  This pushed me over the edge and somehow on Wed. morning I emerged as Hilter.  We had a fantastic time in the sports station as each Scout would go through an obstacle course.  Then it was archery time.  Prior to leaving the Sports area I attempted to line the boys up single file.  This

Here is is shooting in the airgun range. He had all week to shoot a total of 35 pts. & receive his badge. On the first day, he shot 47 pts.

bombed like a flying bird pooping through the air.  It also charged my temper.  As I arrived at the archery area I went to the head instructor and told him we are implementing a ‘zero tolerance rule,’ – listen, be quiet and sit patiently or you’ll sit out for the rest of the day.  The younger boys ‘got it,’ except for the ADA child.  The older boys looked at me like ‘whatever lady! We are in charge here!’  Even so, they did well through archery.  Then came airgun – the rule was re-explained but this time they tested it & two boys ended up sitting out.

There was an indifference…do we like her or do we respect her??  As the day went on I tried to bond with a couple of the boys signing songs like “I don’t know what you’ve been told, but Girl Scout cookies taste like mold!” and helping them bait their hooks at fishing.  On Thurs., I worked to build more rapport.  They became more attentive to the rules which led to more fun.  At the end of the day, as we were marching in the single file row I failed to create on Mon., I mentioned to a couple of the boys that I wouldn’t be there on Fri…to my surprise they were disappointed.  On Fri., watergun day, I went to pick Pickle up.  One of the older boys was trying to shoot a boy who was standing in front of me.  The boy in front moved and I became the hit target.  The look on his face was something I’ve dreamed of seeing on my own boys’ face.  His face went from smiling to scared and he quickly apologized, stumbling over his own words.  I said it was alright and we hi-fived.  It was a new-found confidence that Cub Scouting gave an unintended person…ME!


Boys and mud

These are two words that go hand in hand around The Magic FarmHouse.  If there’s mud, my boys will find it.  Especially Willis.  When he was just about two we caught him preparing to eat an earthworm.  Ick!  Although he didn’t try to eat a worm, the other day he did find some mud.  It started out as a trip to the shed to show the new calf to their cousins.

Down to the shed...

Here’s a pic of the new calf.  He looks really cute but don’t let that fool you.  Although he is a bucket calf and has been weaned from the bottle, he has a strong desire to suck (not unusual).  Entering the pen without jeans is not recommended. The boys have started calling him Coo-Coo Brains.

Willis and "Coo-Coo brains"

Anyway, after introducing Coo-Coo Brains the boys wanted to chase the ducks up to the pool for a little swim.  This is where the mud comes into today’s story.  We got the ducks to the pool and Willis I guess became bored and decided to entertain himself.

Camo, Mac and BB going for a swim.

Camo, Mac and BB going for a swim.

Caught! Mud handed!

This was only the beginning and due to a commitment to my baby I was unable to catch anymore shots of the Mud Fest.   I was able to snap a portion of the cleanup.

Redneck washing machine...

Redneck washing machine.

All clean?!

Clothes off at the door boy!