Friday, June 27, 2014

Bring on the Babies!

Of course in between all our farm duties we still have shows to sell at and prims to make...Don has been working hard to make some things for me because I rarely get anything made with 2 babies and the farm to care for. I try and keep the house picked up so no one else has to do to much. Doing that with a baby and a toddler running around is time consuming. I guess the baby doesn't RUN does he, ha ha! In case you didn't know the reason I have been nowhere to be found for a little over 2 years is I was having those babies. I don't do well when I am pregnant. So I spent the majority of the last 2 years on bed rest or in the hospital! On 12-26-2012 I had my 5th baby and 4th boy. He is my only child out of six not named after a relative. We decided on a good Scottish name for him, and then thought...well Thane is a bit odd we better use it in the middle. Well then what do you know, I went in to labor the day after Christmas, so baby Nikolas Thane he became!

Now as many of you know my next oldest child is Thomas and he is about to turn 9...well we didn't want Nikolas to be a spoiled bratty semi only child so we decided we should have one more. But we knew it had better be quick. I was pushing the too old age bracket pretty quickly. So when Niko was about 8 months old we got pregnant again. WOW, having two babies that close together was much more than I bargained for...Being 36 and pregnant with a toddler was too much. Thankfully I have wonderful kids and a husband who were a ton of help during that time. So on April 26th, 2014 I went in and we had baby number six, boy number five. We named him Theodore Donald Albert-Francisco after three great grandfathers. The odds are in Emily's favor I suppose to be the only girl.

Now just so you know something about my other babies...My first and only girl just turned 16. Emily Elizabeth-Ann was such a wonderful blessing to us. Imagine being the only girl with 5 brothers! Poor thing! I named her after Lizzie of course. Next in line is my Jimmy, James Robert. He was until Nikolas my only dark headed baby. We named him after my grandfather who died while I was pregnant with him and his daddy. Followed by Mickey Mouse (don't tell him I posted that) His real name is Michael Marion, and is named after his father's daddy. Last but not least is the one I thought would always be my baby, Thomas Daniel. He also is named after family, my great-grandfather and his uncle.
So there you have it....and no I am not at 6 kids an counting. Teddy will be the last. As many of you know I have terrible fibromyalgia and Lupus. So there will be no more babies for me, and anyhow I do so enjoy the six blessings I have!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Downside of Downsizing...

Well I had planned this sweet post about how much we love having our chickens...and telling you all about the different kinds we have and what benefit's each have shown. So yesterday I took some lovely photos of all the hens, babies (well teenagers really) and roosters...I spent time petting our Barred Rocks. They are some of my favorites. They are not skittish and will come right up to you. They are a pretty black and white. Two days ago we let out some of our Barred Rocks out to free range. It was so fun, they follow me around begging for food while I am by the coop, they tend to stay close to the coop so far. They will eat right out of your hand. I had let four total out and they seemed pretty darn happy about it.
So after playing with the Barred Rocks, I went to take photos of our Jungle Red "teenagers" for you. They have been free ranging for about 2 weeks now. They are a great bird to free range. They are very skittish and run from anything so they are not as easy for predators to catch. (Or the neighbors dog as it may be) It was super hard to get them, because every time I would get close, off they would run. For awhile they were doing the little "chicken dance" as I call it. Trying to figure out who's the boss. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen. But they were behind some tall grass and no good photo's were coming from there. I finally got a few by part of the garden.
So off I went to the house, pleased with how things were going with the chickens that had been let loose. This morning I got up...happy to go see my chicken's. I can not explain to you how wonderful they are. Like any pet they make you so happy, and better these provide you with food. It's one of the best parts of my day, especially seeing the Jungle Red's running all over the property. They stay closer to the house so I watch them roam around and dance all day long. I think for myself that there is nothing like seeing them. It just makes you happy.
We have 9 Jungle Red teens...but this morning I only saw 7 roaming. That's not abnormal for them, to go off in little groups and socialize so I really didn't think anything of it. We were headed into town so I didn't pay as much attention to them as I normally do in the morning. I didn't even take Nikolas because I knew he would slow me down. Trying to get an 18 month old to hurry is well I think you know! I made my way across the field to the coop and didn't see my friendly Barred Rocks...I thought hmmmm, maybe they wandered off to the grown over area behind the coop. That's where I would go at night if I were out. Well as soon as I got to the fence I knew I was wrong...two of them were back over the fence. They are big enough to fly over, and there were little black and white feathers EVERYWHERE! I ran into the coop, but no chickens. They were gone. I cried a bit, and figured a vulture had got them. It's a risk with free ranging. They are friendly and curious birds. I fed the rest of the chickens as normal and left the two in the coop. I figured they had a scare, but as you can see still are curious! (The funny one is a White Crested Black Polish Hen)
Well after we got home from town, we saw a note on the door. It was the neighbor...apparently she found a dead chicken, our dead chicken. Her beagle had run loose last night. I went through the yard to find the "teens" and check their water...and no chickens...I looked all over and finally saw three hiding in an overgrown area they use as their safe spot. I had to chase them out to count. That's it...THREE....I was so upset. Ma went over to the neighbor and apparently she had found a little one dead, not the big Barred Rocks. She had no idea that the dog attacked so many. Don found four more hiding little chickens thankfully...but we still lost 5 chickens. Just like that we lost two hen's and three roosters. Needless to say I had myself a little cry...I know it's how it is...the food chain, and cycle of life and all that, but man...those were my chickens!
As a side thought which I will talk about more later....we have a rather LARGE Rooster (He's called a Jersey Giant)that will solve some of these problems...He is just a baby now but when he grows he will scare off predators...More about him later!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A New Life at the Farm....

Wow so much has happened since I started this we start something new. We just moved to Missouri...the middle of nowhere! Or like I love to say...the middle of nowhere in the middle of nowhere! Lizzie and Phil bought a few acres right off State Route 17 in Eunice, MO and so there we are. You can't miss us, it still looks like us. Wagons, and signs, barrels and Prims..I never thought we'd be in feels ages away from Ohio....but really reminds me of my time in Ky when I was first married. I do hope the kids will love it as much as we do. They will be home soon, always is tough when they are away. But they love their time in Kentucky...and I don't blame them. I've always missed it. Funny how you long for something you didn't want any part of at the time you were there! Anyhow expect a ton of posts from me on farming, homesteading, living off the land..I just can't wait to share. We are learning so much! To start you off here is Nikolas...he is off to feed his chicken! What a sweet thing to love to go give something nourishment everyday!