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Thursday, January 12, 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017
If there is one thing we learn in life is that in general, only one person can be the boss. When you have more than one boss, often chaos and confusion occur. The same is true in the chicken world. Recently I had to once again say a sad goodbye to some roosters that I raised and of course became attached to.
Cedric is my top dog rooster. He is now about 3 years old and has ruled the roost most of that time. He is such a good rooster. He has always been mostly respectful to the ladies (not too crazy at breeding time) and has definitely done his job in watching over them. He is so kind and funny when he finds them tidbits of food and calls them over. He always alerts them to any danger in the area even though they are pretty well protected in a fenced and covered run area (we have LOTS of predators including neighborhood dogs that would be more than happy to snack on them).
Cedric has fathered several wonderful sons. Georgie was our first last year and all went very well. Georgie just recently turned 1 year old this past fall and him and his dad did just fine over the flock that has increased in size from the original 10 to 31 at one time. We are currently at 26 that include 2 roosters and 24 laying hens. This past spring we hatched out 6 more eggs (another broody hen) and ended up with 4 hens and 2 roosters. I was ecstatic to finally hatch some hens. One of the roosters, Scooter, is my special needs rooster as he is kinda slow and blind. He is definitley Cedrics son as he is a full blooded barred rock like his dad (I had two other barred rock hens at the time). The second rooster I am pretty sure was Georgie's son (based on coloring), which would make him Cedric's grandson. Enter Sweet Pea. I loved that rooster. Raised him and handled him a LOT. He was very sweet and fun to be around.
Needless to say I was nervous with so many roosters. I knew it was a waiting game to see how things would pan out. In hind sight. I wish I would have just kept the peace and found a home for my precious Sweet Pea and probably just processed Scooter since he is blind. It would be cruel to send Scooter anywhere as he is already bullied to some degree in our flock and to put him in strange surroundings would be certain death. Evidently I waited to long. Things were going SO well! Everyone was getting along and doing just great. The problem is that since we are not able to free range (allow the chickens to just run freely on the property), the confines of a fenced in pen area will eventually become a territorial haven. Roosters mature. Hormones rage. They can get pretty feisty and decide to not get along so well when each one wants to be top dog and be in charge of all the hens all by themselves. Everyone seemed to respect Cedric and all was well.
Until the day that I believe Sweet Pea decided to exercise some authority. It began with Georgie getting beat up pretty bad and having some pretty horrid head and comb injuries. He began to recover and then poof! Cedric was attacked and left a bloody mess. I personally witnessed his grandson run after him after he was already down and beaten and hiding and try to finish him off. I was devastated to say the least. I was so glad I was there when it happened to save Cedric. I broke up the fight and reprimanded Sweet Pea. Doctored Cedric up and put him in the nursery to heal.
After that incident I knew Sweet Pea must go. I cried. I was sad. I love that rooster!! But Cedric is what was best for the flock. If they free ranged and I needed a rooster to keep my hens alive, Sweet Pea would be the way to go, but that is not what my flock needs in our current situation. We were not willing to lose Cedric. Hoping things would settle down, I released Cedric to take the flock back over only to find out that Georgie now realized he could fight too. He nearly took his father out since he was already injured so badly. It was a sad sight. To see my top rooster bow down in fear to anything that moved. Not a safe bet for the flock, but again, they are not free ranged. I found very good homes with friends of mine for both Sweet Pea and Georgie. I last heard that Sweet Pea had taken over his new barnyard and actually risen above the top rooster there. The last word was that all was well and he was very happy and everyone was living peaceably (they free range).
Fast forward to now. Cedric has almost fully recovered and is slowly gaining his confidence again. How sweet it was to hear him crow again. It was so sad when he wouldn't crow at all for almost an entire week! He was very defeated and would even hide from us when we would enter the run. I hope he rises up and raises some more handsome boys. I will know to not go above two roosters for our particular situation and as long as Cedric is around. The sad truth is that Scooter will be processed in the spring since he has begun to harrass the hens too much as he is reaching maturity. Most of our chickens are our pets, but decisions have to be made. We have processed roosters before and I'm sure there will be more in the future. I am trying really hard to compile a list of which hens need to go this spring too. Farming is not for the weak but it is an interesting journey. I have learned a lot and have so much more to learn.
Point of the story? It's best to serve just one master. Order can be restored and chaos can be defeated.
Matt 6:24 (Luke 16:13)
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. NKJV
Many blessings to all of you in the new year.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The holiday season is in full swing. Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is upon us. There have been lots of happenings around here! We celebrated Thanksgiving and a partial early Christmas in Vancouver, WA with my Dad and family. We were able to see my older brother and his family for the first time in about 7 years! That was TOO long!! We are gearing up now for Christmas at home with the kids and extended family. I will be glad to have things slow down a little and slip back into more of a routine. Homeschooling has been haphazard which will cause us to have less "days off" over the holiday in total.
Exciting things are happening too! Seeing my family all together was great. While we were gone I found out that I did get picked to be on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I am finding it challenging to get this blog and my schedule going again. Pray for me as I press through. I am so happy and excited for the opportunity. This also means that you need to stay tuned in for future reviews on homeschool curriculum and resources. We also finally signed adoption papers on the sweet baby girl that we have fostered for the past 3 1/2 years. There is still more red tape to get through, but we are gettting closer! Updates on that saga to follow.
I will keep this short as just a touch base post. I must settle down to get focused on future blog posts and challenge myself to get connected on the social media platforms again. I am committting to posting at least 3 times weekly to keep things flowing. I am also looking forward to linking up with other bloggers. I so enjoyed that before and met some really fantastic ladies who shared like minded thinking.
Praying that you are blessed during this season and that peace and joy surround you and your families.
Many Blessings to you,
Thursday, November 24, 2016
So here it is, my first review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew! You can find them at www.SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com. This is a sample run but I am so excited to be considered. I received a publication from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for no charge for my honest review of the product. I chose A Path Among Ancient Rocks: Everyday Easels Book 1. It is a 5 to 10-day unit study using art to cover the subjects of art, bible, history, geography, english, math, science, physical education and health, home economics, and archaeology. Whew, that's a mouthful! How awesome is that, to have fun learning about art while covering those subjects! It was a perfect fit for my 12 year old, 7th grade son who tends to thrive on curriculum like this. You can find similar studies like this one and many other homeschool curriculum, supplements and "all things homeschool" at their online shop at http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/shop/.
The first study in the book was a 10-day unit study titled A Path Among Ancient Rocks about a painting by Theodore Rousseau. There was a direct link to the artwork in the pdf file I downloaded. You cover 8 different subjects (art, bible, history and geography, english, math, science, physical education and health, and home economics) on days 1 through 8 and then have a notebooking activity on day 9 and an age appropriate art activity for day 10. I love how the art activities are broken down by age. The three age categories include Grades K-2, Grades 3-6 and Grades 7-12. I felt that the questions in each subject were interesting and challenging enough for my 7th grader. He really enjoys this type of study. The work is not too intense and it allows enough variety and the ability to customize it for your needs.
The second study was about Acropolis of Ancient Greece. It is a 5-day unit study teaching about the Acropolis while covering the subjects of art, archaeology/science, geography, history, and then an age appropriate art activity on day 5. The art activities really engage the student to dig deeper into the subject. The type of activity depends on the age group of the student. Sometimes it has more of an art element to it and sometimes it is more investigative and creative for the students to answer and complete certain tasks.
The third and final study in this book was about the Designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany. It covers the subjects of art, science, english, history, and another age appropriate art activity. The art activity included an experiment that was very enjoyable. I really like the links included in each of these studies. It allows the student to explore other art works and dig deeper into the subject matter.
This entire book is a wonderful Charlotte Mason type resource and the diversity of the book kept the subject matter very interesting. My son was able to complete the lesson without too much trouble (he really doesn't like to write) and it kept his interest in the subject matter. We learned a lot together as we explored the included links in each of the studies. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you like Charlotte Mason curriculum. The amount of information learned in the studies is wonderful. The active links in the pdf file really help to engage the student and allow for much deeper learning of the subjects.
I will end this review with a wish of Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be blessed and please feel free to comment or ask any questions. It was a joy to be considered for this opportunity.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
So here I am again. Back at it. I have so wanted to start this blog back up again and just kept having convenient excuses as to why I was just "too busy." Well, no more. The dream will not die and I am looking forward to connecting with everyone again. There is so much to catch up on. It has been at least 5 years since I was active! Where does the time go? "Sweet Pea" is now 12 almost 13 and he would NOT appreciate his nickname at this point so we will refer to him as he is, Sam :)
I chose the picture of the chick above because it is what I am most about these days. I AM that CRAZY CHICKEN LADY. LOL. We still foster, I still homeschool, we still have a dream of being homesteaders and we are getting ready to adopt one of our foster children. Fostering has kept me more that busy with lots of happiness and heartache along the way. Our soon to be daughter has been with us since she was 8 months old and she just recently turned 4. She is a spitfire and keeps us all on our toes. The chick pictured above was our first actual hatch. One of our hens became broody (the desire to sit and hatch an egg) last fall and was able to hatch out one egg. The other hens destroyed the other eggs and 2 just didn't hatch. The chick ended up being a rooster and I named him Georgie (he was Georgia until I could no longer deny she was a he). We still have him along with his father, brother and now son! His brother and son were hatched this spring along with 4 other pullets by another hen that decided to go broody. I'll save the updates on all the chickens in another post.
Looks like my next step is to review and update the formatting of this blog. I'm sure there are plenty of dead links and just general clean up. I also plan to add another page called "Lessons from the Coop." My hopes on that page is for encouragement and funny stories from the coop. Chickens can be a lively and entertaining group if you have never had the pleasure to meet any or have them. I am also going to apply to be a Crew Member for The Old Schoolhouse and hope that I will have the privilege to review products for them and post what we think and learn about those products. I will be applying for that this evening so please wish me luck!
Blessings to all,
|Homestead Dad and Sweet Pea|
Wow. Where does the time go? I really was going to just shut this blog down since I no longer seemed to have the time to work on it. But, it was something I so wanted to do for myself. I wanted to share and connect with other moms. I have learned so much from so many of my other blogging friends. I have been able to supplement my homeschool curriculum with so many awesome resources. I now have some who ask me where to connect with some of these great resources.
I have decided now is a great time to start back up. It's back to school time, even though I tend to school my little guy year round. We did take off a little more time off than I had planned this summer, so I am anxious to get going again strong and finish getting us caught up. Be watching for lots of future updates on here. I hope to really grow the area of suggested homeschool sites and resources to check out. I will even be doing a give away very soon!
For those of you that faithfully followed and supported me before, we are still fostering. It has been an interesting roller coaster and I still don't have great faith in the system, but we are in this for the kids. We had a 5 year old that was able to transition back home last year. We soon got a 2 year old girl last fall that is still with us. We had a newborn for a short time, but then were not able to keep him. We were all very sad to have to let him go. Sweet pea still talks about him all the time. Of course the 2 year old was happier because she got to be the baby again! She is quite a handful and we are so very attached. In all the transitions, we also made the decision to change agencies and we are much happier with that decision.
How was your summer? Are you ready to begin the new school year? Would love to hear any suggestions or new stuff you plan on accomplishing this school year.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Ezek 47:12 NKJV
12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."
Well, at this point in time, the garden is sort of a failure. Do you like my beautiful luscious weeds? Somewhere in the middle of the mass of the picture on the right is my asparagus that went to fern again. This was supposed to be the first year I could harvest some, and I failed to get out and harvest it! The storms and rain/floods that we had kept me out of garden and then things just got busy.
I did finally go buy some plants a few weeks ago, but have only got a few tomato plants and cukes in. Have got to get the rest in this week. Very late garden, but still hoping for a harvest in fall. Even failed to keep up with the strawberries this year. Harvested some, but let too many go to waste. How sad and wasteful, not to mention that we would have been blessed with the extra goodies this winter.
Some was laziness, but most was due to our situation with the foster children. I always have so many appointments (sometimes 3 in one day!!) to go to and between work and homeschool and trying to keep everyone safe, a lot of things just didn’t get done. I was able to harvest some strawberries and enjoy a yummy homemade strawberry shortcake cake.
I hope to have some success pictures next week of a nicely groomed garden. Homestead Dad has been working hard cutting down the weeds, tilling them under and has constructed 4’ X 4’ boxes for me. We are going to try raised bed in boxes this year for some things. We were very successful with the raised beds in the ground, but hard to maintain the weeds. The tomatoes and cukes are still going into the ground where we have the fencing up for them. I hope to get the peppers into one of the beds and not sure what else at this point (that bushy green thing below is the horseradish I got from a friend last year that we can start to harvest next year).
Really disappointed in what hasn’t been done, but I’m not giving up! I will press on and we will at least have some yummy salsa in the fall!! Gotta have that salsa! I make it really hot for Jearl and then some nice mild with tang for me and everyone else. I do get lots of compliments so I think the recipe I use is a really good one. I do can it because I like to have it ready to go year round.
Failure? No, just delayed and not as good as it could have been. We have been redeemed by our Lord and Savior, we are not failures!
How’s your garden growing? Trying any new techniques or plants?