Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 8 of 30 Days of Beauty

-click on picture to enlarge-

Lovely Spring day brought out the birds. Here is one of the Woodpeckers that play in our Willow Trees.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Girls and their new brooder

The babies are 2 weeks old now. It's amazing how much they have changed already! We have noticed that this group of 3 is much more "talkative" than the group of 6 when they were this age! Constant chatterboxes! Aren't they cute?

When we got the first 6 we kept them in a little box until they out grew it, then they took over my master bathroom until they could go outside. I really didn't want to give up my bathroom again, but was going to. We lucked out when our neighbor gave us his old Iguana cage. Now, let me tell you, it wasn't pretty! Talk about dirty! Chris cleaned it out, scrubbed it down with water and bleach, did a coat or two of Kilz and painted it inside and out. It turned out perfect!

Here is the before picture:

Pretty brutal, huh? Now here it is after a good cleaning and paint job!

I love free stuff! The girls are in there now running around, flapping their wings. They couldn't be happier with their new home!


Friday Follow

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Great Sunflower Project

What a neat Science project. I just found this online. We have never done it before, but I read for 2009 they had over 50 thousand people participate! I just read there is over 70,000 already signed up for 2010! This is open to everyone in the US and Canada.

You need to register for an account. You will need to buy Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds. I have seen them all over recently. In fact, I was at Walmart the other day and they were there. Of course we picked up 2 packs of different Sunflower seeds! I ordered mine from the Sunflower Project, they were $3.00.

There are four easy steps to participate:

1.Sign up and plant your sunflower
2.Describe your garden
3.Time how long it takes 5 bees to visit your sunflower plant
4.Enter your data online or send us your form.

The data sheet is online, just fill out and submit. Or they have one you can print out and snail mail.

What a great way for them to collect/gather information on Bees. Bees are so important to our planet. They do so much more than just pollinate flowers and give great honey! Lets help The Sunflower Project and give a few minutes of our time!

So, go check them out at The Great Sunflower Project and get signed up!

I can't wait to get started on this!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family Game Night

Last year we decided to turn the TV off for an hour (or so!) once a week and get together as a family and play a game or two, or three. We usually pick one game and play it however many times it takes to get tired and decide to quit. We have a decent variety of card and board games, and I have even found a couple cute games online to print out and play.

Last week our game of choice was Chutes and Ladders. Maggie likes to get the games set up for us. Here are a few action shots....

We are going to play something new to our family this week. We are going to play Tiddlywinks. Instead of buying the game I went to Walmart and bought some colored buttons. I thought that would be fun to use, and cheaper than buying the actual game. I can remember my dad and I playing our own version of Tiddlywinks with pennies when I was little.

Do you have Family Game Night with your family? What games do you play?

Make sure you head over to The Work of Childhood and link up on MckLinky and see who else is playing games! You never know what new fun game you will find!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leprechaun Trap

It's that time again!! We need to start watching out for that little sneaky Leprechaun to come around! Maggie and I have high hopes that we will catch him this year. We know he is pretty tricky and also very smart. Leprechauns are very careful to not get caught. We thought this trap would be perfect though. Its sparkly, we know Leprechauns like that! I hope we catch him!

You can make one too! Here is how!

  • Oatmeal can
  • Green Felt, Scrap paper, Craft Foam-anything green you want to use.
    --we used 2-12x12 pieces of Light Green Glitter Cardstock from Best Creation Inc. One piece to cover the can, the other for the brim
  • Yellow and Black Construction paper for band and buckle
  • Playdough for Rainbow
  • Cotton Balls for clouds
  • Straws for ladder
  • Gold Coins
  • 3 Green Straws

I covered the can with our green cardstock. Then we cut a trap in the top of the lid. A little square that we covered loosely with a piece of cardstock cut just slightly bigger than the hole. We did not glue or tape it down because this is the trap for the Leprechaun to fall into! I also took the second piece of cardstock and cut out the brim.

To make the band and buckle, we just cut out the pieces from construction paper and glued them on. I decided last minute to add some glitter for the buckle. You can never have too much sparkly when making a Leprechaun Trap!

We picked out our playdough colors for the rainbow. Took small amounts and rolled them into "snakes". Once we got them all rolled out I slightly smooshed them together. Then I glued them to a piece of construction paper to make it sturdy enough to stand up on it's own. Once we were done with our rainbow I glued on our clouds and placed our gold coins right by the trap door.

The ladder is easy but takes the most time because it needs to dry. If we make this again I will make the ladder first so it will be dry by the time we are done putting the trap together. We used 2 straws for the sides and cut up the third for the steps. We glued the steps on to the two other pieces.

Maggie and I really think we might actually catch a leprechaun this year! Are you making a trap for your house? How are you making yours?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog Changes......

If you are a regular here you will notice that my blog is a bit out of sorts and some info is missing. I got a wild hair this morning to change the look of my blog and to make a long story short it got all messed up! I tried to work quick to fix things before Maggie got up but didn't make it. Now she is up and we have some things to do. So please bare with me and the mess I have created!!

Also, if anyone has any links to cute free templates please let me know. I'm looking for something that is simple but cute and light, easy on the eyes. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010


I got my first award! I got my first award! LOL Thank you to Johanna at Jo's Health Corner for blessing me with such a sweet award. :)

The rules to keep this award going are:

1.Thank the person that gave you the award.

2.Pass this award on to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered
and whom you think are fantastic!

3.Contact the Bloggers you pick to let them know they've won

4.State 7 Things about yourself!

I have found some awesome blogs lately and i'm excited to share them with you! Here they are, in no particular order! :)

**5 Orange Potatoes
Skip To My Lou
Silly Eagle Books
**Playful Learning
**Pink and Green Mama
Gypsy Forest
down in the meadow
Blog, She Wrote
It's Almost Naptime
Homegrown Families
Sweet Simple Inspiration
Living and Learning
Our Suburban Homestead
**Journey Into Unschooling
A Country Mom

Please, never-mind the asterisks, they are there as a reminder for me. I have not yet been able to contact these people...can't find email addresses for them. So I need to find a way to contact them. Even if I can't I really wanted to share their blogs with you. I have been enjoying them tremendously!

OK, now for the 7 things:

1. I must have coffee first thing in the morning. Or else.

2. I have a major, major bird phobia. Which makes having 9 chickens really funny. For some reason I am not afraid of the girls.

3. I am short. I can wear cropped pants for full length pants.

4. I was blessed with the curse that our mothers give us when we are growing know the one "I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up."

5. I am counting the days until Spring finally gets here.

6. I secretly like the color pink.

7. I hate crumbs on the kitchen counter. Almost as much as the toilet paper roll being turned the wrong way.

Friday Follows!

It's Friday again! Join me on the Friday Follow!

Friday Follow

MckLinky Blog Hop

The Trendy Treehouse

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dishwasher Soap Recipe

I don't know about you guys but I really, really, really do not like doing dishes. I'm sure it all stems from having to do it as I was growing up. The dreaded chore. I would rather clean my toilet than have to wash a load of dishes by hand. In fact, more often than not I will load the dishes in the dishwasher and leave any pots or pans for Chris to do. And, he does them. Willingly, without complaint. Kind of like having to fold his own socks, but that's a different story for a different post!

I have read so many homesteading blogs lately about people going back to hand washing their dishes. I put some thought into it, but there is just no way I can do it. This is the one thing I will draw a line! I love my dishwasher. It treats me well. I will use it! We are friends, forever.
I haven't ever taken note on how much dishwasher soap we use. I do about a load a day, so it can't be too much. But I do hate buying it. I knew in the back of my mind that there had to be a "homemade" way to supply my dishwasher with what it needs to clean my dishes for me. I searched the internet and found this recipe. I gave it a whirl last night and it worked perfectly. No water spots, no left over food. Clean, shiny dishes! So I thought I would pass it on to those of you who don't already make your own. Its way simpler to make your own than run to the market and buy a bottle of it when you run out! I made a small container of it to see how it worked. I plan on making a bigger amount so I don't have to worry about it for a long time!
So are you ready for the secret recipe? It's about as easy as they come!
Equal parts of Baking Soda and Borax. 2 Tablespoons per load.
Told ya! Easy, peasy! Seriously! Who needs to buy store bought soap when this is not only good to clean your dishes but cheap too! If you are like me you probably already had these things in your house.
Now, there is one more thing to add to this recipe. White Vinegar. This is what helps with the spots. Either put it in your little reservoir if you have one, or add it during your rinse cycle. I even read where someone just added it to the bottom of her dishwasher before starting it.
Do you make your own dishwasher soap? What is your favorite homemade, cleaning-house, can't live without recipe?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

S'mores on a Stick!

I travel the 'net and look at so many blogs that I don't remember where I saw these S'mores, so I am sorry for not giving proper credit. If you have them on your blog please email me or comment on this post and let me know. I will know what blog it is as soon as I see the pictures!

I don't know about you, but I *love* s'mores! And, apparently Maggie is like her mama because she loved these! Super easy, super fun and a great treat at the end. We made enough to share with our neighbors.

First thing you want to do is put your large marshmallows on either a popsicle stick, wooden skewer or lollipop stick.

Then, get out a cooking sheet or wire rack with was or parchment paper on it. After that I took some graham crackers, put them in a small baggie and rolled over them with a rolling pin until I broke them up really, really small. I then put them in a small bowl.

Now melt some chocolate. I used Nestle's mini chocolate chips, put them in a metal bowl and melted them over some hot water in a pot.

Now you are ready for the fun part!

Take your marshmallow on a stick and dip it in the melted chocolate. Then swirl it around in your graham crackers.

After that you can lay them on your wax/parchment paper to dry, or stick them in a jar, glass or something else to prop them up.

Once all the work is done, you get a reward!

This was fun. Maggie had a blast. While we were making these we thought of other things you could roll onto the chocolate. Sprinkles, colored sugar crystals, nuts. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Days 4,5,6 & 7 of 30 Days of Beauty

I have fallen behind on the 30 Days of Beauty Challenge. It's been a bit busy around here. But I'm making up some time with this post! Enjoy!

Friday Night Treats

I have been wanting to make homemade pretzels for what seems like forever now! So when I got a magazine in the mail on Thursday and it had a recipe with an amazing picture I knew I HAD to make them!
I made 8 of them. I was very pleased with how easy they were to make. I sat down with a glass of milk, a warm pretzel and a good book. It was a good night!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentines Day in Our Home

Some women get bouquets of beautiful roses. Some women get sparkling jewelry. Some women get exotic trips, teddy bears or candy.

I am not like those women listed above. I get things like this:

I wouldn't have it any other way!

Now we are the proud parents to 9 chicken beauties!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count


Get out your binoculars, a chair, pencil and paper! February 12-15th is The Great Backyard Bird Count!
This is super easy and super fun!
Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day.

2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you're likely to see in your area in February. You could take note of the highest number of each species you see on this checklist.

3. When you're finished, enter your results through HERE. You'll see a button marked "Enter Your Checklists!" on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count. It will remain active until the deadline for data submission on March 1st.

There are some great tips and resources found on The Great Backyard Bird Count site. Make sure you check it out!

We are going to participate, are you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Amish White Bread

I have been looking for a good white bread recipe. I finally found this one at All Recipes. I am really pleased with it. I think the only change I will make when I try a second loaf (maybe tomorrow!) will be to cover it and let it sit an hour on the second rise rather than the 30 min recommended. I think this will be a good bread to make lunch sandwiches for Chris to take with him to work!

Here is the recipe, it's easy and simple!
2 cups warm water (110
degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

If you make it, I hope you enjoy it like we are! Nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread in your house. OK, well, maybe the taste of that fresh baked bread with melted butter on it!


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