Sunday, November 06, 2011

Eli is growing fast! Here's some pics of him getting into trouble! And here are a few pics of our pumpkin patch train ride!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My first EGG!!!! Woo! It came from one of my Black Sex Link hens... it's so cute and small next to the store bought eggs. The culprit sang her little egg song this morning, too. And she was loud! Hope the neighbors won't mind too much. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So what's new? Well, horseback riding for the kids at Blazing Hope Horse Ranch and they had loads of fun - we'll probably go every week. He takes donations so this is a fantastic and affordable way for the girls to get involved with horses. And they LOVE IT!! Beg me to take them all the time!

McKenna has asked to take her training wheels off and I spent all day pushing her up and down the street. She ALMOST has it. I'm betting Noel will come home soon, push her a little and off she'll go. (And he'll take all the credit, the stinker! LOL)

My chickens are about 2 to 4 weeks away from their first egg. I'm looking in the nest boxes everyday though - the black stars that I have are known for starting as early as 15 weeks, although that's really rare! Mine are 17 weeks today.

Noel received a raise which is fantastic. It's not much but every little bit helps out. I'm proud of him. They pushed to get him some extra money and only a few in his department got a raise, so it shows he's a valuable asset to them. (And to me!)

Enough for now - enjoy the pics!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peaches, blackberries, raspberries!!!

I took McKenna to a u-pick farm and we picked blackberries. I froze most of them for later use in jam or cobblers/pies and we had a great time. She was such a trooper. It was hot, but we weren't out picking for more than an hour. I'm glad I didn't bring the younger ones.

My neighbor also has nectarines ready and we went over today and picked a couple big boxes worth which I'll either can or freeze. Also went to the local produce market and got some nice stuff. I'm enjoying trying to buy local, in-season fruit and veggies, but it can be tough on a budget. At least the peaches and blackberries will last us through the winter!

We'll be starting our homeschool year the first week of September. I'm excited, and this year will be more structured (1st grade) and we'll be doing lots of stuff. Mckenna has PE at the local rec center, piano lessons and riding horses at Blazing Hope ranch. She'll also be working on time, coins, mastering her addition and subtraction which we've already worked on, some science starting with biotopes and history starting with Nomads and Egyptians. And of course lots of reading with her Alphaphonics and readers. Writing and spelling, too. I'm reading the Little House on the Prairie books to them right now, too. We've got safety and values lessons built in as well.

In and of itself is coming up with ways to keep Eli distracted during school and ways Madelaine can feel a part of school, too. I've got my schedule made up for the 1st two months of school and think that's a good way to go. That way if someone gets sick or if McKenna does better than expected in a given subject I don't have to adjust her schedule for a whole semester or year.

Noel will be doing shop-type projects with her starting either this year or next, it depends on what he comes up with. He's been busy with his extra computer jobs for customers and is in the process of building an $1800 computer for someone. His profit is $80. (Personally, I think he needs to charge more but he has lots of work, so I'm not saying anything unless food prices start getting much higher!)

Speaking of food, my garden didn't produce well this year. I think it was a pollination issue. We sprayed our dandelions and of course the bees disappeared. I did get some peas, broccoli, lettuce and carrots. My beans aren't doing well at all - I've gotten maybe 5 off of 60 plants. They look healthy and are blooming but the beans aren't following. My squash would put out 4 inch squashes and then would shrivel at the ends, which could be due to pollination as well as a couple other things. My onions were rather small and the potatoes I haven't dug yet. Tomatoes are doing decently but I think I have leaf curl.... I just planted more peas for a fall crop and the chickens dug up one row. I'll have to put netting around them until they get bigger.

Enough for now. Dinner at our friends Patty and Joes tonight. And it's time for eye drops - my allergies are killing me!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

He's getting so big! I'll be needing to trim his hair soon, too. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eli took his first steps yesterday! All day today he's been walking in short spurts. We are so proud of him!!

Friday, August 05, 2011

It's time for some updated pics of the kids. Mom and Dad were here for a week and it was WONDERFUL having them here. I wish they lived closer. Mom helped me make a dress for Madelaine and we worked on a quilt top, as well.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

So our new coop is finished! Here are some pics: I am just so thrilled! Noel did a fantastic job and I sat out in a chair next to the coop watching them for a good hour before bedtime. They hadn't been in the actual coop yet so when night fell they were looking for higher ground and kept jumping on the ladder but didn't go in so we had to chase them down and shut them in the coop for the night. We may have to do that for a couple of nights until they get the idea. They won't go out to free range until they are bigger and know where they are supposed to go to sleep at night!
The girls have been in there feeding grass to them and last night after they were in bed I went out and raked poop into a pile and scooped it out. It may sound ludicrous but I want to be able to walk in there without getting really nasty and since we only have three of them it shouldn't be bad. Didn't take me long. I did realize that Noel will need to put a latch on the inside of the run door because it kept swinging out on me when I was in there trying to do things. And a way to lift the end of the ladder and hook it up off the ground while I rake in there at night would be awesome, too.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Noel worked hard to get our chicken coop up last weekend. It's not finished but here's a pic of it's current state. It still needs a roof, a ladder and the hardware cloth as well as windows. I'm betting he'll be able to finish it up this next weekend! We are really excited to get this project finished. The girls picked out a light blue paint for my coop and I'll be finishing it with white trim.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Here's pictures of the kids painting. Eli had to get in on the action, too. McKenna really wanted to paint with an easel and palette, so we created some for them. This was taken right before Eli got smeared in the face with Madelaines green paint!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I had put together a temporary outdoor enclosure for our chickies and Noel is going to make it sturdier for me with some hardware cloth. It'll be easier to move if he puts wheels on it, too. Eli had to get in some Daddy time. He's quite the little helper! This was right before I wisked him up to bed.

These are my growing girls - Casey in the front in the Ameracauna and the two black ones are the Black Star or Black Sex-link chickens. They had just finished eating some meal worms that we gave them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here's updated pics of our fluffy butts! They are a week old now and already in larger quarters. And a quick pick of Eli as he was charging toward me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Here they are! McKenna named them all. The Ameracauna (striped one) is Casey, the black one with the white spot under her eye is Sarah and the other black one is Ally.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Well, I'm all set up for my new chicks! I have my brooder ready and have done my homework, so I'm hoping all will go well. We'll most likely be getting the chicks tomorrow. I'll be picking them up at a local hatchery - and I'll probably get two black sex-link and an ameracauna. I know the girls will enjoy the blue/green eggs. Here's my set-up ready to go. The big waterer is too big for chicks, I think - so we picked up a rodent-style hang down waterer as I've heard chicks will drink from those. I'll post chicky pictures tomorrow, too! The girls are so excited!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Spring is here and we are having fun flying kites and digging in the dirt and just getting out into the fresh air. Here are a few pics. The dress on McKenna is my first attempt at making clothing. There are glaring errors, but I'll spare you the close-ups! Second photo is my garden so far. Peas, broccoli, marigolds and the tops of the onions are up, but the radishes, carrots, lettuce and spinach has been eluding me. Potatoes are in another row and haven't broken through to the surface yet.

Noel passed his hunting class and now also has a concealed carry permit. He wears an ankle holster. I've already got a paid class waiting for me for concealed carry, I just have to sign up. I can't see any situation where I'd really need to be toting a gun along with me though. I need a lot more practice on the handguns, too.

One more month until I get my chicks! I'll be posting a lot more then. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eli can pull himself up into a standing position now. He's been doing that for the past few days now. Such the little man! He's also got quite the attitude. Madelaine might come and take something away from him and he now screeches when that happens. I'm trying to train her to give him another toy in place of the one she wants to take - or to not let her take the toy. It's a trying time right now. I'm glad that spring is here, though. I've got my plants all ready to be potted up and some are ready to go in the garden even though I'm not ready yet! I can kick the kids outside to play so that I can decompress a little. I'm anxious to get my chickens, but of course we still haven't built a coop. *Sigh*
McKenna is doing well with homeschool. She is reading better every day and she's started piano lessons. Madelaine wants to do piano lessons too, and tries to monopolize the piano at practice time. LOL
Here's some pics:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just a quick post - don't know if I mentioned it, but Eli started to crawl hands and knees a week ago or so - so that makes it crawling in his 7th month. I'd have to go back to see when the girls started crawling. He likes to nurse to sleep and that's something that's different with him. The girls I would put down and they'd go to sleep fairly well (after some adjustment with McKenna). With each child, I've evolved more towards the natural attachment parenting style. I like it. Eli's in his crib next to my bed with the rail down so when he wakes at night he just crawls right over to me and starts nursing. Then when he's done I roll him back over into the crib and back to sleep he goes. Pretty nice!

So, Noel took a Concealed Carry class and got his permit this morning at the DMV - I'll be taking a class, too. Although I really can't see myself toting a gun around in my purse! It would feel strange. I do want to learn to shoot better though. We went out to the gun range and I shot his 9 millimeter and the .38 pistol his dad sent up and I feel that I did pretty well. I scored a bullseye with the 9 mm. We also shot a compound bow that he bought off of Craigslist. That will take some getting used to and is definitely easier to shoot in Oblivion (computer game) than in real life!

We're headed to AZ in the next couple of days to see his Dad and we'll head to Phoenix one of those days to spend a night with my parents. Dad's going in for more surgery tomorrow, but it'll be minor compared to what he just went through on his heart! Noel wants to drive through the night so we make good time. I can understand that with 3 kids. Eli likes to sleep on his tummy though, so we'll see how he does long-term in the car.

I just sent in an application to the city for an Agricultural pet permit for chickens. Having talked to my neighbors and having reviewed our association covenants, I know that it should be granted. Our lot is large enough for the required distance between coop and property lines/neighbors houses. I guess the only reason it might be turned down is if a neighbor changes their mind. It sounds like it'll take a month or so to find out. Then I'm planning to get chicks early June, which gives Noel until mid-July to get the coop built. I'm very excited, but not having the permit yet means I can't jump for joy yet. ;)

Other than that, nothing too new. Kids drive me nuts sometimes, but little breaks away from them now and then always transform me into a better mom. I guess that's true for most people. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that jazz! Sometimes it's just a hot bath while Noel watches them, or a quick trip to the library by myself.

Speaking of the library, I'm reading Anne McCaffreys Pern series. I read one of the books as a kid and was hooked. I'm planning to go through all of them and will probably pick up the next installment at the library tomorrow.

Enough for now - love to everyone!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

So, what's new in our life? Hmm... just sold our sofa set. I wanted something easier to clean and more durable, so we found a leather sofa on Craigslist for cheap. It's in nice shape, too!

Noel's getting his hunting license and is taking tests and will take another field test in a few weeks. I expect him to come home with an elk or moose his first time out! LOL I'm hoping whoever he teams up with will have some good experience and can help him get something. He just needs a hunting outfit and some other accessories.

We're looking into getting Lasik eye surgery for me. We're hoping for something under $4000. as we have plans for the rest of our tax return. We want to spruce up our backyard. Get the side yard graveled and expand the garden area. I want to have raised beds so I can put in blueberries and move my raspberries to a better bed. I've already started seeds indoors. Broccoli, tomatoes and swiss chard. Also have some marigolds coming up. That should be fun as I've never started annuals before.

We're also looking into getting concealed carry permits for our weapons. Here in Idaho we have "open carry" which means we can wear a gun in a holster on our hip right out there for everyone to see, but honestly peoples reactions would be a bit of a bother so getting the concealed permit would work out better, I believe.

McKenna's doing great with her school. She's doing better with reading everyday and her printing and copy work is improving. We're looking at doing piano lessons and we'll be getting together with a couple other homeschooling families and doing a trip to the Birds of Prey Center in Boise. They have a tour and show and tell with a peregrine falcon and a scavenger hunt, too. It sounds like it'll be a blast for them.

Noel and I are also stocking up on food, water, water purifiers, seeds and other necessities in case our dear dollar dies. Dear ole "Dad" at the federal reserve doesn't have a clue. I won't get started. Needless to say, we're investing in silver, commodities and oil for starters.

Eli calls, so that's it for now.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Today we went to the Homeschool Legislative Day at the State Capital building. We were able to meet other homeschooled kids who were there to show off their accomplishments. There were musicians, a congressional award winner, exhibits ranging from an example of a daily school schedule to one on a prehistoric lake that use to cover much of Idaho. McKenna was able to see a mammoth tooth! Here are some pics from our day. The flash wasn't working, so most of them are a little blurry. You can also see more pics at:!/sarita.noel?sk=photos under "Homeschool Legislative Day" - what an exciting day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Did a little chemistry in the kitchen with the kids today. They loved the volcano. This video was our 3rd go-round.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Korean Kimchi (sauerkraut) that I made up today. The jar on top is to hold the veggies below the brine. It'll sit on my counter for a week and then we'll see what it tastes like. I'm new to fermenting things, so this will get tested out by me before the kids try it. Although, they may not like it. It'll be spicy! There's carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, radishes, bok choi, and spicy red peppers in there. I also have Kombucha, a fermented iced tea drink going and am trying my hand at regular sauerkraut as well. Might be too cold for the kombucha - but we'll see. I'll keep everyone posted!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just got back from Arizona. Was there since last Wednesday. My Dad was going in for heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and I wanted to see him beforehand. The surgery was considered high risk, especially due to his age - 80 next year. He got to see Eli which was great - I had to leave Noel and the girls at home in Idaho. I stayed with Mom and got to see Sherri.
We saw dad into the hospital and then we all stayed in the waiting room for it to be over. The surgery took about 5 hours all told. 2 hours just to get him open and on the bypass machine, and another 3 for the operation. He's lucky he didn't end up needing the other bypass or valve replacement that they had talked about.
He came out of the surgery and we got to see him before heading home. He was on the ventilator right after and was sleeping so we couldn't talk to him. The next morning we found that he was awake but wasn't speaking - just saying "Mm-hm" if you asked him anything. He also couldn't move his eyes past mid-line to the left. Let's just say it was pretty scary. Stoke was foremost in our minds, but the doctors felt sure it was just a drug interaction with the anesthesia. (He was on lots of meds prior to surgery). The 2nd day he would say a couple words or a short phrase here and there but couldn't hold a conversation. He'd act like he was about to answer you or say something and then he would just trail off and look at the tv or something. He could read though - I was helping feed him at one point and he said "Stryker" and I looked around and saw that it was the name of the over-the-bed table they have. We were really scared because he was having trouble with certain words, it seemed. He wouldn't say our names. That was bothering my sister in particular. When you asked who we were he would look at you like he was thinking 'of course I know who you are!' but it wasn't until the 3rd day that he finally could say, 'that's my daughter' or 'that's Sherri', etc... But by then we knew it was a drug interaction for sure - they had done CT's of his head - and we knew he was going to be okay.

So, he has to do his physical therapy and as long as he keeps up with it, he should regain his health and energy within 4 to 6 weeks. It'll be a long haul though. Mom's going to have to help him with a lap belt, which goes around him and just gives her some leverage in case he falls. He has to hold a pillow to his chest - in lieu of a cast - for support.

So, big relief. Other than that, I had a good time with Mom and Sherri and getting to see my brother, sister-in-law and their kids. We put puzzles together and played a dice game called "Zilch". The TV wasn't on once which was pure bliss for me. The only TV I saw was when dad was watching it on day 2 post-op and it was all about the congresswoman and several other people plus a child who were shot in the head by some wacko. Evidently happened at a Safeway where there was a rally or get-together or some such thing. Pretty awful.

That's it for now. More later!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Yikes! It's not even 8:30 yet in the morning and I'm exhausted! We were jolted awake this morning because a line on our toilet busted. I've never seen my husband move so fast! He turned off the water and wiped up the water on the floor and we were just getting settled back to sleep when the smoke detectors went off. Now we're up and he's getting the girls out of bed and I grab Eli - the whole time thinking, "I don't smell smoke"... until he goes downstairs and finds that water has leaked through the ceiling into the wiring of the alarm system, causing it to go off.

So there we all are, trying to get settled back into bed (this all happened between 5:30 and 6am) and I know we're not going to get back to sleep. Eli does, of course, but he seems to be hard-wired that way! So, by 7am we're all up and getting breakfast. So I get to start my day off with dripping towels and one non-functioning toilet and a 6-year-old who's confused about why water makes fire alarms go off. More explanations in order. *Sigh* Anyone want to come over and take charge of the rest of my day? LOL