Wednesday, April 27, 2011


jesse's mom turned 60 on Good Friday this year. jesse's brother and sisters planned a surprise dinner party for her and we made a secret trip to pittsburgh for Easter weekend to join in (and add to) the surprise. she thought she was having dinner out with her husband. they walked into the restaurant and there we all were, her 2 sons, 2 daughters, 2 daughters-in-law, and 3 grandkids. her reaction was priceless!

it took 6 of us to light her 60 candles. :)

happy 60th mom, karen, gammie!

we spent the rest of the weekend with family.

playing with cousin Easton.

hanging out with grandma.

Easter at josh and heidi's.

bubbles with cousin Jezze.

highlight of the trip for jacob, a john deere on a big rig trailer on I-70. :)

and on his farm he had some chickens, e i e i o

it's been an interesting couple of weeks for us, taking on our new role as chicken owners. it was something i've been wanting to do for a while, just never thought i could convince jesse to take the plunge. we visited our friends who recently bought chickens, we saw how simple it was to care for them, and less than a week later we had 6 little chickies of our own. and now we're washing our hands like crazy and anxiously waiting to see if we have hens or roosters.

the chicks at 1 week old

we've been shocked by how fast they grow. we got them at 1 week old, and after the 1st 4 days they had already doubled in size. we went out of town for Easter weekend, and another 4 days later they have doubled again. i guess it helps that all they do all day long is eat eat eat.

the chicks at 2 1/2 weeks old

a week after we got the chicks, we were in PA for Easter weekend. driving back to pittsburgh after spending Easter sunday in clarion, we spot a baby duck in the middle of the 2-lane country highway. we saw him and said to each other "oh how sad... that baby duck was so pathetic and little, looking for his mommy and now he's probably going to get hit by a car." (i know, i know. we have this new sympathy for feathered friends now that we are chicken farmers) :) so we turned the car around, going to rescue the duck if he hadn't already been hit. jesse found him off on the side of the road, alive and well. he chirped in a box the rest of the drive to pittsburgh. jesse's sister is a vet tech at the pittsburgh aviary, so she checked the ducky over, got us some duck food, and advised us on what to do with the little guy. so yes, he journeyed back to kentucky in our car and now he's in his new home, with us. :)

meet Lucky the duck.

jacob made Lucky a sign for his temporary dwelling.

and while we're on the subjuct of farm animals... last week i was able to get kate's hair into her first piggy tails. it was a happy day for me! and for her too, i suppose! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

this and that

just a pile of thoughts. a little bit of this and a little bit of that...

  • this morning i woke up to find that the dishwashing fairy had indeed not made a stop in my kitchen. i might have cried a little, maybe.
  • we're riding in the car today and jacob says "mom, that lady in that car had a stick in her mouth. (i'm thinking, where is he going with this?) and there was smoke coming out of it." ahhhhh! so i dove into my cigarette lecture. maybe a little too straightforward for an almost-4-year-old, but i wanted him to get the point.
  • jackson (our dog, 6 year old german shorthair pointer) had surgery 2 weeks ago. he had a torn cruciate ligament and torn meniscus in one of his hind legs. at the same time, we had the doc surgically remove 4 fatty tumors on his belly and thighs that had grown to be a little too large for our liking. he's healing well! he was putting weight on his leg just 5 or 6 days after surgery. he had his staples removed today and the doc was pleased with his progress. he's still pretty sore, and it's going to be a good 2 months before he will be allowed to run again. i sure hope he forgives us.
  • last week our car was in the shop for some new rear breaks. (it seems like we've purchased new breaks every year since we have lived in kentucky. is it us, or is it the roads?) while our car was in the shop, we told the kids our car was busted and it had to be fixed. now that it is fixed, kate reminds me daily that "our car's not busted anymore, mommy!"
  • tonight i baked some of my tried and true oatmeal wheat bread. yum! warm out of the oven with some butter on it....double yum! this kids enjoyed a slice before bed :) here's the recipe: 1/2 cup wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup old fashioned oats, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp salt. combine ingredients in a large bowl. add 2 cups bowling water. stir well, let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. in another bowl, combine 1 pkg of yeast (i use 2 1/2 tsp), with 1/2 cup warm water and a pinch of sugar. let set for 5 minutes until frothy. combine the yeast mixture with the oatmeal mixture and 1 cup white flour. mix well. gradually add 3 more cups of flour. turn onto floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, adding 1 more cup of flour as needed. cover with a little bit of oil and set in a covered bowl to rise for 1 hour. punch down and split dough in half. arrange in 2 greased loaf pans. cover and let rise for 30 minutes. bake at 325-350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. (this can also be made into dinner rolls, which would only bake for 12-15 minutes)
  • update on my creamer post: i have not had a drop of non-dairy creamer since the day i found out you can make bombs out of the stuff. i can't believe i consumed so much of it before finding out! i've just been using good ol' fashioned creamer. ya know...half and half. i tried the homemade vanilla caramel recipe for a couple weeks, but something about it just wasn't right. it got weird whenever i added it to the hot coffee, like clumpy kinda. eww. i've also been using blue agave syrup as my sweetener. thanks to my sister for introducing me.
  • speaking of coffee... yum!
  • we had a taste of summer this weekend as temperatures were above 80 degrees. it was wonderful. we soaked up some vitamin D and got some yard work done.
  • here's a shocker: i've been running. ok, maybe jogging is a better term to use. and ok, i've only gone twice. but you've got to start somewhere, right? i used to hate running. strongly dislike. in high school i was on the track team, just for one year, and that was all i needed to know i wasn't a runner. but i've been on the treadmill, just doing a walking/jogging combo during the last 3 months. and i guess that was enough to talk myself into going for a jog 2 weeks ago. and i ran for 25 minutes. i was shocked. i tried it again this weekend, and it happened again, 25 minutes. and i didn't hate it! now i just need to find the time do go more than 1 time a week. :)