Monday, June 29, 2009

Back to Work: Day 1

Well I did it. I woke up, took a shower, fed the baby and went to work. Dh brought her to visit the skeleton crew at the office - long weekend and all. I sorted through the 1000+ emails, sadly no exaggeration. I discovered that my annual review was scheduled for today. YAY! NOT!! Whatever, I have been fighting with them all year, what's one more day, even if it is the first day back. Not new actually, it's better than the last time when my first meeting was scheduled to chew me out for not getting all the things they wanted done. Even though I had gotten the intermittent FMLA approved my "attendance issues" were used against me, again whatever. He talks about knowing the reasons behind the issue but never mentions it in the printed review, jerk. Unable to find any critical errors from the last year he uses one found while I was out on leave, that affected 1 customer from the entire state of NC. Funny how non-critical that seems, considering how many customers we have there and the fact that the error was not made by me. Can you tell I'm a bit ticked off? You know me so well :)

The rest of the day was wonderful. I bought some tops right after the baby was born that were a size too small, they didn't fit yet but I planned to lose the weight in time for my return to work. This morning I put one on and not only did it fit, but it had room, lots of room even in the arms, YAY!!! I have lost 32 pounds so far and I feel great. I am glad that I have stuck with Weight watchers and hope to be more consistent with my T-Tapp. I am hoping to start walk/running once I am a bit lighter and settle into a routine with work, home and farm.

Thank you all for your encouragement and continued prayers. Did I mention that my boss will be gone all month, it should be a nice transition back into work without the horrible pressure. :)

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Sunday, June 28, 2009


AR had a game yesterday and a double header today since his team made it to the next round (not sure what that's called in baseball). The downside is that it takes 2 hours one way to get there so it's been a long weekend. I stayed home with the others and dh and him went to the game.

I have been taking care of the animals with HG, a great little helper. She is the egg lady and checks several times a day for me. She never tires of it, I think it's because she loves getting to go outside - even if it is hot as heck.

The bulls have found a way to get out, not too sure where yet. IT is strange since they were on lock down and the back barn doors have not been disturbed. I think it may be the garden fence that is getting pushed :( That will need to be fixed this week.

In other news, I saw what I thought was a fox yesterday again, I googled it and it's a coyote :( I am fairly sure that that is what attacked poor Dusty and the 1 half eaten meat bird we found a few weeks ago. Of course I was all the way over by the chicken coop and it was down by the house when I saw it. I had the 2 middle children and got scared that IL might wander outside looking for them. I left the water running and kept them close as we went back to the house. I wish I had had the shotgun with me :( I am worried that the meat birds will not be safe as they free range all day but I am hoping that Sammy will keep them safe.

I asked dh to bring home some ice cream as it was a humid day, though not as hot as it has been. We still have not put on the A/C, I am holding out for as long as possible. We have 4 fans running at full blast all day and when it gets nicer out we open the windows. It has bee ok so far, I was really surprised to see the temp read 104 yesterday, it felt much cooler. Anyway, i was listening to dh with the kids and heard him say, "you're not licking ice cream off your sisters face." I laughed so hard. The toddlers are so funny, I am always surprised with the things they come up with.

Well, I put of the inevitable for as long as I could. Tomorrow is my 1st day back to work. I am thankful that it will only be a 3 day work week and 4 next week. It will give me a chance to ease back into the swing of things and let me keep enjoying the baby for a bit longer. This is dh's last week and we are so excited. Things will be tight but we will be stronger for it. God has always provided and our struggles have brought us closer. Keep us in your prayers as we try to launch this business and get the farm to a sustainable place. The Lord seems to be growing a customer base and I am going to try to keep up with it. :) Praise God for His many blessings.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

mixed flock

We started to buy chickens a few weeks ago and as demand for eggs rose we have added to the flock. For some reason we have lost a few here and there and it is very distressing. Much like calves, the stress of travel and heat can be a big factor to their survival. We have been having 100+ days with high humidity. Last night dh didn't get the new birds locked down and 3 went astray, we haven't found them and as we were putting together a new nesting box I saw a fox scampering away :( Sammy may need some help keeping the meat birds safe, we have a couple sold and are hoping that things will pick up.

Kellogg is no longer the alpha rooster and has been less of an issue since his demotion. He seems to have taken on the role of sentry and guards the perimeter, crowing back and forth to update the status. it's a bit sad but the 2 new roosters are not aggressive to people and we prefer it that way. The ladies are adjusting to each other, now that there is a new nesting box I am hoping that they will be able to spread out more. The coop will need to be expanded, we are only 1/4 of the way to where I hope to be as far as the number of layers (23, soon to be 26). For now we will continue to build our customer base.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Potty Training Update

So far so good. With the exception of the occasional accident the toddlers are doing wonderfully. I have re situated the potty chair to the tiled hallway as they spend a lot of time in the room next to it. I am hoping that this will decrease the number of accidents from once a day to maybe just once a week. I think of this as the transitional phase. :) We have finally convinced SL to wear his underwear, that was a huge accomplishment as he either a) wanted to wear the prettier girl ones or b) insisted that the fruit of the loom logo needed to be on the front. He is now over the novelty of the thing and doesn't much care what the underwear looks like, lol.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Potty Training

I have refused to buy anymore pull-ups. Frankly I think they are just encouraging the children to stay in diapers. I began this 2 days ago and SL was thereby forced to go to bed in big boy underwear as IL had gotten the last one. Turns out the boy could do it all along :) Last night he found another pull-up (not sure where) and I suggested that we save it for tomorrow, he agreed and put it on my desk and went to bed. By George I think he's got it!!! He stayed dry and clean, without a single accident today and has gone to bed. We may finally be at the end of the potty training road with him and pulling up the rear, but very close behind, IL is doing a great job of going potty all day long. Most nights she remains dry so tonight she will join the ranks of the diaper less, I am hoping that she will be successful. :)

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Monday, June 22, 2009

It's not you, it's me

Usually when people say that it means it's totally you but not today. Lately I have been depressed as the 1st day of work looms. Actually it was supposed to be today, but I couldn't do it. My mind said I should but everything else in me said HECK NO!! There seems to be a notion that going back to work after the first baby is the hardest and that it gets easier. I'm here to tell you that that is not exactly true. My oldest and I were together for most of his first year until I started college, he is a very social child and so there was never any issues leaving him with a sitter or at a day care, he actually enjoyed it. This was a real relief to me and I was comfortable by the time my daughter came along. She had her brother and they were great. My second daughter spent most of her first year in her daddy's arms, a real challenge when he started working let me tell ya. I was going to school and we lived around the corner so my time away from her was limited. By the time I started working I was a bit more comfortable since my hubby had her. She was not the kind to stay with a sitter or go to a daycare without issue. I was home once more and finishing college with #4 and graduated when he was 18 months, leaving home started to become difficult. They were growing up so fast and I didn't want to miss it. #5 came along and I cried and cried as I headed back to work, it wasn't the kids that cost too much it was the debt that we had that made staying home seem impossible. Things got easier as she really loved being home with her daddy but looked forward to me coming home. She would take my shoes and purse at the door and walk me in, lol. I missed them dearly when I was at work, I cried at my desk as I knew that my working was necessary. They are getting so big and there is so much I miss. Now we have 6 and once again the time is here and I don't want to go, I don't want to miss a moment. I want to hold my babies and laugh at the little things that they do and the crazy things they say. So today I have delayed the inevitable and for one more week I will live, drinking in all the sites and sounds that I will come to miss and capture what I can with my camera. For one more week I can hope that it can be forever this way.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Hens are funny

I was so amused when we brought home our new rooster, Kellogg. He is huge and oh so pretty, he is a Dark Brahma.

The minute we opened his cage and he strutted up to the coop the hens took notice. This pretty boy really got their attention. From the Orpingtons to the leghorn and the Rhode Island reds, all the ladies perked up and started primping. Dust baths were quickly had and a quick ruffle of the feathers to try to get his attention. The Buffs being the shyer set eventually congregated in a corner like a bunch of middle school girls. The reds were not so shy and quickly flocked to his side.

As he strutted through the coop and surveyed the new digs the hens followed him around. When he walked outside around the little bush paradise they followed. The ladies are very pleased. The leghorn girls are feisty though, on the walk back to the front of the coop he and one of the leghorns got into it. She is just a little bitty thing compared to him but she was not backing down. lol. They finally just went they separate ways.

The hens don't stray too far from the coop and come home before dark, usually, but Kellogg was not done surveying the property and refused to be penned up until he was ready. After all there is another community of chickens he was yet to impress with his good looks and charm :) The meat birds however were not impressed and took no notice of the stud in their presence. They are cow people and spend their days playing with the pigs, cows and dogs. They feast on all kinds of fun things, and find treats even in the burn pile. They truly are hogs with feathers, but I like em that way. The prissy layers are shy to try new foods, the meat birds figure why not. They can clean a watermelon better than anyone, I'm hoping that they are planting the seeds in the process, lol. On a side note, looks like we will have lots of pumpkins this year. Last years pumpkin deal are mysteriously growing in the old pig pen, lol.

All in all I really am enjoying the chickens and am happy to report that we have a standing order for 66 eggs a week so far :) I am hoping to have an order for another 24 when I go back to work on Monday. Eggs won't make you rich but they will help cover the cost of feeding and keeping the birds.

Oh and another thing, the little weirdos sleep in clusters, even on warm and humid nights. Why must everyone sleep in that corner? A few are smart enough to sleep on the other perches but there is a big group that insists on sleeping in the corner on the shelf. They all only lay in one spot and fight to get in there. There is one hen who got all broody last night thanks to this issue, her brain was tricked, she saw 7 eggs and figured it was time to hatch some babies. Poor girl. Well, it's almost time to check for eggs ;)

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Scortched Earth & God's Grace *Pics*

Dh went to secure the back barn doors when he noticed some smoke in our east pasture next to the house. It was a strange place to see smoke as we don't do anything on that side yet. But there it was huge flames engulfing the weeds and as he dove in circles trying desperately to knock them down and put them out, he noticed that the fire had spread further back towards the pole barn. Realising he could not do it alone, he called 911.

While all this commotion was going on I was sitting peacefully in my room posting pics and checking email. I was completely oblivious to the whole situation, I didn't even smell any smoke. The children ran into my room and announced that the fire department was here and I immediately got up. Then they told me that they had already put out the fire, I was a bit more frantic now as I was not aware of any fire. They took me to the window and I could see the trucks right next to my room still spraying water, though there was no more flames.

I thank God for his protection and mercy. Pics to follow.

And of course with all the smoke dh never saw the mud and now the car is stuck, UGH!!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

I found something worse than flies

Well, I didn't think it was possible but there is something worse than flies . . . mosquitoes!!! The little bloodsuckers are vicious. We picked up a few more layers today and sadly we lost 2 and the rooster thanks to the 100+ degree temperature :( Now we have 17 layers and 3 soon to be layers. But I digress, the mosquitoes attacked us all and then followed us to the house. They were hell-bent on taking a bite of my baby girl and I was not about to let that happen. The children and I mounted an offensive position and proceeded to seek out and destroy any and all mosquito intruders. I am pleased to say that the baby has escaped without a single bite. But to make sure there is not a next time we will begin working on areas with standing water tomorrow. The war has begun!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moving in faith

For the past few months we have been praying about a business opportunity that presented itself. We have recently been working on the business plan and have since opted against borrowing money to get it started. We will try to go into this debt free, but we were not sure where we would find the money. We prayed about that last night and this morning the answer was there. We were so thrilled.

I was chatting with a friend about some recent articles I had felt led to read and they all had to do with sleep or the lack of it. I began to realise that my hubby has been going without for far too long and I had been seeing the effects for sometime. I was conflicted as I didn't know what I was to do with this information, I describe it as the feeling you get when something is on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite get it out. I knew it was there but what was it I was it.

Figuring that it would eventually come to me I put it aside and began working on the money. I called the company and was not very pleased with what they had to say, the options were very clear; either dh quits his job and we get the money or we could lie and they will give us less than half. Well, my God doesn't operate in lies so dh is putting in his notice tonight. Oh and as I thought about it further I realised that it was the answer I was trying to figure out with the sleep too. I serve a funny God :)

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Bling :)

I received this award from Theresa and I am honored to have the opportunity to get to know her again, even if it is via blog :)

This award is given to the writers of blogs that “are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

I would like to pass this award on to Tracy, hsmominmo, Amy, Kansasmom, Katidids, Annette, Mother hen, lambechops.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The squatter and the chicken chaser

Last night my younger daughter went to help dh get some laundry done when she noticed a squatter sleeping in the laundry room. He'd wandered in and had taken up semi-residence without us noticing. She immediately alerted dh, but having said goodbye to Dusty just an hour before he decided to let the squatter stay the night. After all, dh and AR had already penned up all the other chickens for the night.

This morning my youngest son woke up bright and early and proceeded to round up said chicken and get him out of the house. He was totally excited by the chase and they ran through the living room, squatter had ventured out this morning, and around the kitchen. When he finally got him to the little hallway, I reminded him that he needed to open the door to let the chicken out, the door and screen flew open and out went the chicken. Ah the joys of farm life :)

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

A wonderful evening, turns gray

Dh and the children sat outside watching the turtle that he rescued from the middle of the road. It's funny how fascinating it is to just sit there and wait patiently for the turtle's head to emerge and take a nibble at what ever morsle of food it finds appealing. Earlier HG also found a frog that she named 'Joe' but has since set him free.

Finally bored with their new turtle friend, the children wandered over to the stock trailer, aka their clubhouse. They were surprised to find a very mangled Dusty, barely breathing and already being attacked by flies :( DH brought them in and got the shot gun, HG looked at him and asked why he was getting the gun. We looked at eachother and debated quickly on who should give her this talk. We did it together, she was a bit shocked but took it in stride.

Goodbye Dusty, we love and miss you. :(

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