Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holy Night: Christmas Eve 2011

It was a wonderful Christmas Eve, XiXi's first.

The evening started with our traditional big Subway sandwich

And the baking of Christmas cookies for Santa.

Then there came a decree from Cesar Augustus.

And angels made glad tidings to shepherds (and their sheep).

All came to worship the babe in Bethlehem.

Then the girls opened their Christmas Eve jammies....

...followed by the boys.

And it wouldn't be Christmas Eve without the traditional jammie pyramid....

with one extra this year...

...a fairly heavy extra....

.....who we're so thankful is HOME for Christmas!

Merry Christmas From our House to Yours

Monday, December 19, 2011

This is what I'm working with: Rose's Christmas List

Copied word for word
An interesting peek into the unique mind of our entertaining Rose

1. Kits (Hint: I love to smear, powderize, pour, ooze, creamerize, etc. with watery stuff.)
2. Make-up Kit (I can't have my OWN make-up, so I use face molds.)
3. A Chemistry Set (This, I hope, will cover the whole smear, pour......I won't continue.)
4. Art of Calligraphy (I've ALWAYS wanted to use ink and quill!)
5. A Nancy Drew Mystery Computer Game (The one I played was SOO fun!)
6. A Notebook (Going back to my old ways)
7. Barnes and Noble Giftcard (Keep the price low, or I'll never emerge from my books.  Hee Hee)
8. I-Pod (Lucy, do NOT say I won't get one!)
9. Geography Set (Please, I would prefer countries, because I know all my states.)
10. A marker set (to add to my collection)
11. Books (You can never say no to them.)
12. A doll (Cholita, stay back!  You have Rosalie!)
13. Nail polish (Lucy can tell you the colors I like, she knows.)
14. Nice chapstick (You know how my lips get)
15. Bruder's I-Pod (free present, right?)
16. Architeque (sorry, I'm bad at spelling!) set (see me for details)
17. A car (just kidding!)
18. A boxed book series (One I haven't read, please)
19. Mini American Girl Doll (The big ones are too expensive)
20. A happy family.

Dear Mom, Dad, Bruder, Lucy, Cholita, and XiXi,

I know this year people are short on money.  This list was only to give you a wide range of choices.  You know what I like, so don't worry about getting "pacific" (ha ha).  I've never been disappointed.   You guys are very creative.  If we don't have as much money, we can still have a good, happy Christmas.  I just wanted to give you an idea or two (or twenty) so you can feel a bit of direction with your shopping.  But really, I don't care.  You can get me a moldy sock (note the sarcasm.  Bruder, this means you.)  Just don't tell me what you got me (Cholita, this means you),  or say I'll never get it (Lucy), or open another person's gifts (XiXi).

Merry Christmas, Rose

Editor's Note: We are not destitute.  I think possibly we went overboard on the "let's not spend too much on Christmas this year" bit.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And then there were two

Mrs. Howell has joined the laying club!  Cholita is a proud Mama.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Chicken Casa

I realize that I left you hanging with Lyle's work on Chickenville.   Thankfully the hens are not still residing in the front room, or even in the garage.

Back in the Spring, when the goats came home, Lyle was in the beginning stages of enclosing the overhang that had sheltered the horses, and was turning it into separate goat and chicken quarters.

He finished a few months ago, reusing some old windows.  He added the mullions to match the windows on the front of the barn.  The goats have their own little home on the right, which Lyle is bravely cleaning in the photo.  The left side and the whole upper portion is all for the chickens.  (Can you spot Franklin, checking things out?)

To keep the chickens safe from the many critters who frequent our property, Lyle built a run, burying chicken wire several feet into the ground.

The chickens can come and go as they please.  Even on rainy days, they prefer to stay outside, huddled under the hen house.

Lyle and my dad devised this watering system with tubing and PVC.  

I wish I had a better photo of it, but the blue that you see on the left is an adorable bird house that Lyle made which sits over a large water bucket.  From the bucket, you can see the tube which goes down to the chicken run.

Inside, there are 4 nesting boxes which you can access from the outside hatch or by walking into the coop through one of two doors.

We have three chicken breeds in our flock.  There are two Australorps--Ginger and Gabby.  In the light, their black feathers take on a pretty emerald tinge.

Our three Silverlaced Wyandottes, posing here for a group photo, look like they're wearing fancy ball gowns.  They are Annie, Mr. Beefy, and Chicken (XiXi's English wasn't so great 5 months ago when we asked him what he wanted to name his chicken.  "Ummm," he said, "Chicken!")

And last but not least are our two Buff Orpingtons--Clarkson (our only layer) and Cholita's hen Mrs. Howell.  

True, they can be a bit stinky, but being that these are our only pets willing to provide us with breakfast, I think they're keepers.
 It won't be long before we have 49 eggs a week.  
Omelette anyone?
over-easy or scrambled?
cholesterol-lowering medication?