Spring Chicks!

I am thankful this cold weather is on its way out. I enjoy winter, but by the end, I am ready to move on. Moving to the farm has been a huge life changer for us. These first few years will be full of trial and error until we get a system down. Taking care of a horse, donkey, and chickens buried by huge snow drifts is not fun.. But, we signed up for this, we will learn from it, and find smarter ways to deal with the weather next year. The “challenge” aspect of living here is kinda fun. You have to be resourceful, and figure it out as you go. 🙂

A few weeks ago I picked up 16 baby chicks from a feed store in the next town over. I picked up all egg laying hens. I got Buff Orpingtons (brown eggs), Cuckoo Marans (dark brown eggs), and Ameraucanas (blue green eggs).  The plan is to get enough eggs for our family, some local family, friends, and some to sell. Having different breeds of chickens means different beautifully colored eggs.

This is a neat image I saw on pinterest that shows different egg colors from different chicken breeds.

This is a neat image I saw on pinterest that shows different egg colors from different chicken breeds.

A week later I picked up some more fun animals:  2 bronze turkeys, 2 peaking ducks, a few polish chickens, wyandotts, and silkie bantams. They are sooo sweet! We now have 30 chickens total!

All snuggled up!

All snuggled up!

 

The girls love on all these girls every day! :)

The girls love on all these girls every day! 🙂

 

This polish chick already has a pom-pom head thing going on!

This polish chick already has a pom-pom head thing going on!

 

Fulton does not know what to think about these little guys.

Fulton does not know what to think about these little guys.

These ladies grow fast!! We kept them inside for the first week, then Dave built them a bigger box out in the barn with a heat light. They will stay there for the next 5 weeks.

Here's a pretty ameraucana.

Here’s a pretty ameraucana.

Gianna with the baby ducks.

Gianna with the baby ducks.

One of our buffs atending "perch school", as the girls call it, in the new coop. :)

One of our buffs atending “perch school”, as the girls call it, in the new coop. 🙂

Now we need to get a larger coop ready to fit all these new chickens!

Thanks for reading!

-ash

Blizzard!! 15″inches!!

We woke up to strong winds and lots of snow Sunday morning. We messed with it a bit Sunday, but the wind was so bad that whatever we worked on was quickly covered back up. I couldn’t pick up Gianna because the roads were to bad we didn’t want to risk it. Her dad just moved, so now he’s 1.5 hours away. That’s a lot of driving in a blizzard. 🙁

We kept Bear and Willy (our horse and donkey) locked in the barn. Our chickens were locked in the coop too. I could not find our barn cat in the morning. He has a nice set up in the barn but last night he decided to sleep under my little house.. So, Sunday morning I had to dig through a 2ft drift to get to the opening to get him out! Ha! So weird! I am glad he is ok!

Snowshoes for everyone!

Snowshoes for everyone!

Charlie is safe and back in the barn.

Charlie is safe and back in the barn.

 

Dave snowblowed Sunday night and I did it again Monday morning. The tarp blew off the coop and our poor chickens got a ton of snow in the lower part of the coop. We are going to need to beef up the coop in the spring..

Sunday morning

Sunday morning

Sunday evening

Sunday evening

Sunday morning

Sunday morning

Monday morning

Monday morning

 

Pepper wants it to be spring

Pepper wants it to be spring

I like winter. We have a lot of fun in the snow. The kids had a snow day from school Monday and played for hours while I snowblowed.

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Plowing Monday morning. I didn't even hit ground on the first pass.. Lol! It looks really pretty though.

Plowing Monday morning. I didn’t even hit ground on the first pass.. Lol! It looks really pretty though.

 

I am excited for spring more than ever this year! I can’t wait to pick up some fuzzy baby chicks and ducks, start seeds for the garden, maybe build a green house!! I am sooo excited!!

I hope you are having fun in the snow!

Ashley

Getting ready for the blizzard!!

Soo they are predicting 8″ – 10″ inches of snow and strong winds tonight in S.E. Wisconsin. So far this winter we have not had a lot of snow. The other farms around here put up some pretty hard core snow fences in the fall… We put up a couple. I’m pretty sure they are in the wrong spot… Ha! You have to have them 5feet from the road, on the side the wind comes from, so the snow rolls over them and creates the drift. We have all had the snow fence debate about where the best place is to put them many times. The best way to figure it out is to go through your first winter on a farm and you will learn real quick where to put it up next year. 😉

living in a normal neighborhood all my life, I have never had to deal with huge snow drifts. Now that we live in the middle of a corn field, 5inches of snow can blow into a 5ft drift in the center of your driveway!! Shit gets real out here!! Oh, and in between our barn, shop, and little house a swirling snow tornado forms and creates a mound of snow in the middle. Yay.

All of this is a learning experience for us. I Love it! We signed up for this. 🙂

Today we did some prep for the blizzard. I cleaned out and filled all the animal waterers. I put a tarp over the door to the chicken coop. We also made a run to get bedding for the animals.

30 bags of bedding, yay!

30 bags of bedding, yay!

Happy chickens before the storm.

Happy chickens before the storm.

Dave’s grandpa headed home today before the storm. He usually stays the weekend. Gianna is at her dad’s this weekend.. I am worried about picking her up tomorrow if it ends up being as bad as they are saying.

We will see what happens tonight. 🙂

 

Ashley

 

Baking a Valentine’s Day cake with Morgan.

Ever since I had kids, I have really liked Valentine’s Day. Before I had kids, I swear I was jinxed… I always got the flu on Valentine’s Day. It was almost funny because I could depend on a 101+ fever on February 14th 🙁 ugh!  I know a lot of people call it a made up Hallmark holiday and dread it. People vent on Facebook non-stop about it every year…ha! I don’t care. I have two sweet little lovey-dovey girls, a holiday that celebrates being sweet and loving to each other sounds great to me.

The house looked too plain after we took the Christmas decorations down. We decorated the house with Valentine’s Day stuff the first week of January. Ever since we have been baking themed treats and snacks.

Gianna is at her dad’s this weekend, Dave and his grandpa are working in the garage. Morgan decided we “needed” to bake a cake today. How could I say no? 😉

We did a basic yellow cake recipe (with a dash of sprinkles added to the batter like confetti, of course) and a butter cream frosting.

We saw a cute birthday cake on pinterest that used a number cookie cutter to make a number made out of sprinkles on the cake. It was really cute! We used that idea but used a heart cookie cutter for the guide. It was nice and simple. Morgan really likes to help. She really helps too. I give her her jobs to do, she can use the mixer, measure, crack eggs and decorate. She likes to be fully involved in every step when I cook and bake. She teaches me patience, for sure… Lol! But I am glad she likes to be so involved!

Here are some pictures.

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She was a happy kiddo. We had some strawberry ice cream with our cake too. We had a perfect Saturday afternoon. 🙂

I hope you did too!

Ashley

Rest in peace

Last night, Dave got a phone call that there had been a casualty of a soldier from the area, and someone needed to go notify the family.

We were joking around before the call: we were watching Modern Family, I was pinteresting ideas for the scout Valentine’s Day party, Dave was trying to get me to give him a foot massage, again, and being silly. When he answered the phone he was smiling, quickly, the conversation went right to business mode. I knew something was wrong when he said to get the Chaplain before going to the house.

After the call, Dave was quiet and just went on his phone.. I think he trys to shield me from these things. I asked what was going on and he told me.

At that exact moment, while I sat on the couch, Dave’s lieutenant was getting dressed in his dress uniform and preparing himself to go knock on a door and deliver the worst news a military family can hear. I prayed. I prayed for the man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. I prayed for the family to have strength and comfort and support from family and friends. I prayed for the lieutenant and Chaplian delivering the news that they would be able to find the right words.

I was surprised to hear what solider was going. I thought of him as a joker/funny type. Dave corrected me and said no, he wanted this job, he trained for this job, he is incredibly patriotic and wants to do everything he can to serve his country. Being a casualty notification officer has to be the hardest thing to do in the military.

I have met the Chaplain a couple times. She’s a very kind woman. She is the type of person where you walk away from a conversation with her and you feel calm and better than you did before. Dave thinks really highly of her. I am thankful she was there with the lieutenant when they went to the house.

Their job is to go to the family’s home, give them the notification, keep professional, and stay as long as they are needed.

I have been thinking about that family all day. I just can’t imagine. Last night they were probably watching some tv show, playing on their phones, and then they get a knock on the door that completely changed their life.

The reason I am sharing this is because before Dave and I got together I didn’t know much about the military. Learning about what goes on makes me more thankful for what I have. We would not have the freedom that we have without the men and women in our military fighting for it. I am beyond thankful for all of them.

Rest in peace