Friday, May 30, 2014

My Mom feeding the hogs in her cute outfit

Look how pretty my mamma dresses to feed the hogs

My beautiful mother

All lined up for photo time - actually they are waiting for their dinner

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moving The Loafing Shed

Last Saturday we moved our loafing shed from the chicken pasture to the horse pasture so that the horses could have some shelter from the elements.  Their pasture has no trees or anything so we wanted to give them something with shade before the heat of the summer comes in full blast - which BTW isn't very hot here compared to AZ weather.  But still hot enough to be uncomfortable with no shade all the time.

First we had to jack the barn up so that we could put some old light poles underneath to use as skids - Dad was able to get the light poles for free.

Back view

Jacking up the light pole so that we can bolt the pole to the barn

grandpa supervising

The light pole skids
Grandpa was pulling it with his little kabota tractor - which looked kind of funny, a little tractor pulling this big old ancient shed :)

But then it got stuck in the driveway

So Daddy had to use the old Ford - and even that only got it a little ways.  We got some thick plastic pipes and jacked up the barn and put the pipes underneath and used them as rollers - like the Egyptians used to.

The rollers


Going up the last little hill to the pasture Daddy had to hook his Ford to the front of grandpa's tractor and they both pulled it up the hill.  And they had to use the rollers on that hill too, or the poles would just dig into the ground.

It was a very exiting day that included Daddy and Grandpa almost being squished by the Ford that doesn't have emergency brakes.  It was pretty scary!

But overall it was a great day!  We got a lot done and the horses are enjoying having their new shelter.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby Bunnies!

We found two little baby bunnies in the back yard - well the dogs found them and we saved them from the dogs.  They were so young their eyes weren't open yet!

So cute!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Doing crafts with the little kids

Mom was doing school and crafts with all the little kids today - it was so cute watching them!  They worked on letter sounds, a drawing style called pointillism, and finger painting.

Isaac, Suzie, Sarah and Hannah (from left to right)

Sarah and Hannah

Suzie and Sara
Suzie's picture
Hannah's picture

Issac's picture

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Little Squanto

We found this Indian costume packed away in the closet - it just barely fits her anymore.  Dressing up isn't Hannah's favorite thing but she really liked this outfit, she wore it for the whole rest of the day.

Caleb used to wear this day after day pretending to be Squanto when he was a toddler. :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ride up Calf Creek

Today me and my friend Tikvah went up Calf Creek on horseback.  It was a lot of fun!  She has a whole bunch of horses in for training so she had 3 along with her.  So, we would go a ways with one and then make a loop and go back to the trailer for another.  Each time we took a different rout.  We were up there for about 2 1/2 hours and did a lot of trotting and loping - it was so awesome!  Cheyenne was pretty tired though.  I went to catch her later to move her to new graze and at first she was like "no way!  you already rode me today" - but she did let me catch her :)

I took this from on top of Cheyenne - that is Tikvah in front of me - we are almost back to the trail head for the second time here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Butcher Day

Last Saturday we butchered a guy's broiler chickens for him.  Since Dad has all the equipment - chicken plucker, scalder, etc. we do a lot of other people's birds for them, too.  The chicken plucker is modeled after 'The Whiz-bang Chicken Plucker' made by Herrick Kimball - who has a great blog on living simply and all sorts of other great things - you can find it by looking for "The Deliberate Agrarian" - anyway our plucker is  made out of an old drier.  The scalder is made from a washer.  My dad made all this because he is really handy and smart:)

Reuben and Caleb
Reuben was the cut-throat man part of the time
Mom, Caleb and Reuben working on gutting at the sinks
Grandpa supervising
After those stages me and grandma wrap them.  We use shrink bags that you zip tie at the top, slit a little hole in the bag and then dunk it in boiling water - it comes out perfectly wrapped, and looks very professional.

When me and grandma were setting up the wrapping area she asked for mom's "opinion" and mom said "only if I can have it back when you're done, because I use it ALL the time", and Dad said "that's for sure":)

The finished and frozen product
Butchering chickens isn't my favorite thing - but it feels good to put food in your freezer that you raised yourself.  You know that it ate good food, lived a happy life and fulfilled it's God given purpose.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Last Of This Year's Lambs

Around the end of April, Loki (not from the movie Thor :) ) gave birth to a single ram.  This is the first single birth we had had so far - all the rest have had twins and triplets!  He was pretty small for a single birth and she didn't look at all like she was about to give birth - we were starting to doubt weather or not she was pregnant.  But he is doing great now and stays glued to him mamma's side all day.

Then Tomorrow (not as in tomorrow the day - that is the ewe's name) gave birth to another single ram lamb on May 3rd.  That is the last of the lambs we will have this year - we do have one more ewe, but she was too fat to get pregnant this year.  We will be breeding them again in the fall for more spring babies!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our Piglets

Yesterday we got our piglets.  They are smaller than our friend's piglets and aren't quite getting along yet.  We tried to put them together today and there was a couple fights but nothing very bad - we just don't want to leave them alone yet.  We sprayed them with a water and vanilla extract mixture so that they smelled the same and that seemed to help a little bit.

Ours are Large Black crossed with Red Waddle, the black and white spotted one and the all black one - the others are our friend's.  Ours are about a month younger, plus the heritage breeds are slower growing.

It was a pretty hectic day yesterday.  We had a bunch of errands in town, then we picked up the pigs, moved electric fencing, moved the sheep and horses to different paddocks, cleaned the house back up for our company, had to go to a pet sitting job, a guy dropped off a batch of broilers that we butchered today, and then our company showed up!  I helped them get their camper organized a little bit and make beds and such.  They are such a cool family - we are going to have a fun couple weeks together!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spring Choir Concert

Last Friday and Saturday night we had our choir concert.  It was at a local church nearby.  I got to have a starbucks coffee while we were in the big city and I could barely go to sleep Friday night!  We have been practicing these songs this whole semester.  We sang:
1.  Crown Him King Of Kings
2.  Almighty King
3.  Sing A Song For Unsung Heroes
4.  The Easter Song
5.  Day Of Resurrection
6.  O Bone Jesu
7.  Kyrie
8.  Wade In De Water

We had to dress up in black and white - Caleb was joking about wearing white pants and a black shirt and being mismatched from everyone else. :)  It was roasting hot up on the stage and I was nervous about all those people seeing me mess up or something - but other than that it was pretty good.  I forgot some of the words to 'Day Of Resurrection' and that was embarrassing!  I just had to do a good job on the parts that I did remember to make up for it. :)  We will also be doing the Christmas choir concert - the practice for that starts in the fall.

Concert choir photos:

I am 4th from the left in the back row - Caleb is 3rd from the left in the front row

Kid's choir photos:

All choir photos:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Piglets Visiting!

A family of 11 from church is going to be staying with us for 3 weeks.  Today they brought over their four little 4-H piglets that they just got.  There are 3 black and pink ones and 1 red and pink one - they are so cute (well, as cute as swine get).  But still, pigs are not my favorite animal - they are worth raising for the bacon, pork chops and gravy though! :)

We are also going to be getting 2 piglets for ourselves on Friday.  One is black and pink spotted and the other is all black.  We are going to be keeping them all together.  Once they all get bigger we will put them down in the draw were all the cattails are so they can root around there.  But they are too small and susceptible to predators now.  I guess pigs love to eat cattails - and we have an overabundance of them - so we will see how they like them. :)  I will post some pics of our piglets when we get them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Behind The Scenes

Here is a link to some behind the scenes stuff from 'The Code Of The Strain Express':

Hope you enjoy!

Also here are some more great photos:

Tikvah and Mini in the lead

I love this one! :)

"Put your hands up!"
The Strains surprised all the cast by ordering everyone a personalized coffee cup with pictures of scenes they were in!  We were thinking that we should get them a present for letting us play in their movie!

The Strain family is asking for like a $10 donation in exchange for a copy of the movie, so that they can make a trip to Israel this summer - if you are interested in helping them out please leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.