Our Chicken Journey: Summer

We are easing into summer. The weather has not been too hot so far and the rain has been consistently falling each week this past month. I haven’t even had to water the garden except to add food because the thunder storms have brought the rains.

The big kids have a few more weeks of school and then we will take on the summer with its pool days, lazy afternoons and chicken keeping. Hopefully before school starts back we will have four egg-laying hens. I can’t wait!

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Right now, their favorite treats are arugula, apples, corn on the cob, and dried meal-worms. I’ve started composting so at least they are “paying” in poop. They are fun to watch and do some pretty funny things when they are frightened.

One thing’s for sure, we have really enjoyed watching them grow.

Our chicken journey: weeks seven & eight 

The weather has been really nice and sunny the past couple of weeks. I’ve enjoyed being outside with the babies. We happened to make an impromptu mosaic patio around our existing fire pit and we got a trampoline 🤗 so things are looking quite exciting in the backyard.

The chickens are doing fine in the coop and we are getting into a little routine with keeping them. They put themselves to roost each night ( which is really neat) and maintaining them is not too much work. I feed and water them daily and clean out the poo almost every other day.

They like to roam around the yard and scratch around under the pine trees. I need to make them a place to take a dust bath.


They are besties! And they are getting more used to life in our backyard! Now to brave the hot NC summer!

Our Chicken Journey : Weeks three & four

We are growing rapidly over here! Lots of feathers and longer beaks! The down side is that the bigger the chicken, the bigger their poos.

They enjoy getting out of their dog crate and roaming around the yard. They typically migrate over to the wooden playground and scratch around in the dirt under there. The kids put them in their run (which is still unfinished) and let them peck around. They just do chicken stuff and are fun to watch. They like being together as a four-pack and when one is separated from the “flock” she calls out in a really loud peep, as if calling to her sister-hens. It’s kinda sweet.

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Ginger Pippen-Sqeak (Pip) thinks she is a princess chicken!

Next on the backyard chicken list is a coop to attach to their run. Still deciding on how to do it…

Our Chicken Journey: Week One

This week on the first day of spring, I took two little boys and a baby to the local farm and garden/tractor supply store. Our mission: to look at baby chicks. It was the glorious first day of spring and I had a hunch we would find some baby animals to “ooh” and “ahh” over. And it’s fun, cheap (cheep!) entertainment for kids. (that and watching construction… and road paving)  Anyway, thirty minutes later we arrived home with a box of baby chickens- three days old- to be exact; freshly hatched peepers!

I had hopes of getting chickens this year, eventually. But I definitely had not planned to get them that day. It just kinda happened. The boys were really excited and I felt excited with them. We are going to DO this!

So thanks to the haul of diapers we get every other month, the chicks would stay in a large amazon box. I purchased all the start-up supplies and set up their little habitat… in our kitchen. And there they live, peeping away, eating, drinking and sleeping (and definitely pooping).

We have chickens ya’ll.

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Meet Becky (black Australorp), Speedy McNugget (golden laced Wyandotte), Rey (Silver Laced Wyandotte), and Pip (Buff Orpington). All sweet little hens who will one day provide us with some sweet little eggs!

For the next two weeks they will be inside. Which means I have two weeks to figure out a plan! They are growing so fast! They are already getting little feathers and look slightly taller than a few days ago.

I’m challenging myself to stay positive throughout this chicken keeping experience. So far, so good! Iv’e read lots of articles with tons of advice and pinned many chicken keeping ideas on pinterest (who knew it was so popular?). But no matter how much I read and hear other’s chicken keeping stories,  I think the best way we will learn about it is to jump right in and do it! Embrace the peeping and the pooping!

So that’s what we are gonna do!

More to come on our backyard chicken keeping journey!

 

Dollar Store DIY- Succulent Wreath

Today I’m going to share with you how to make a very simple succulent wreath. Aside from being so pretty, it only costs a few dollars to make! Now that’s my kind of wreath!

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I’m labeling this a Dollar Store DIY because I found these pretty succulent picks at the Dollar Tree ($1 each – except the smaller ones came three to a stem)!!! Hobby Lobby has a great selection too, but they are NOT $1. You could collect them over a few months and use coupons, though ; )

Don’t get me wrong, I know the time and money it takes to make an elaborate wreath. But this is not that wreath!
Here’s what you will need…

  • Glue gun and glue gun sticks
  • Grapevine wreath (size is up to you)
  • Succulent picks (got mine at the dollar store!)
  • Wire cutters
  • Ribbon or something to hang it with

Step 1

Look at your wreath and figure out the best way it would hang…

Mine was a little fat in one place so I thought it best to put the succulents there.

Step 2

Take the plastic coated wire picks off of your succulents, well most of them. Leave the longer ones. I used my wire cutters but you might be able to pull them off by hand.

Step 3

Position your succulents in a pleasing design. Play around with different layouts until you find one that looks good. I chose to group all of mine in an offset cluster at the bottom of the wreath. The possibilities are endless! Just know that if you decide to make a fully covered wreath, you will need many more succulents and the cost of your wreath will probably quadruple!


Step 5

Now get your trusty hot glue gun ( or the one you borrowed from your mother-in-law and never returned 😬…thanks g-mama!) and glue those succulents into place! I started in the middle and worked my way out, putting glue directly on the grapevine wreath.

Step 6

Decide where you want to hang your beautiful succulent wreath!

This beautiful wreath could end up costing you only a few dollars!

Here’s my cost breakdown:

  • grapevine wreath- $4.99 (used 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby) so it was $3.00
  • I purchased my succulents from Dollar Tree- so each one was $1.00 – so $12.00 (some came attached in a three part stem)
  • everything else I had on hand – glue gun, glue sticks, hanging ribbon

I hope this inspires you to create a fun DIY succulent wreath and maybe spend an afternoon crafting something pretty for yourself or someone you love!

More Dollar Store DIY goodness to come!

Happy Houseplants

I have started a collection of houseplants as of late. I don’t know what has caused this current obsession but I think it’s OK, don’t you? As long as I don’t neglect my chores and children, I think the collection of living plants in the house will benefit us all, especially me : ) A bit of green here and there won’t hurt. And hopefully I will remember to water them.

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I especially love it when Aldi has houseplants for sale. They sell-out in hurry though, so I grab them when I see them. And Home Depot had a nice section of houseplants and succulents, I couldn’t decide which ones to get. The hot-pink cactus is the next one, I think.

I can remember my grandma’s collection of houseplants. She had a variety of them all placed in the same sunny window on an old buffet beside the piano. I remember her showing us how to use the aloe to help heal a burn. It was so slimy! Then we’d secretly break off tips of it just to see the stuff again.

My other grandparents had ginormous plants in wheeled wooden boxes in their basement. It reminded me of the jungle. But we all thought the boogie man would get us. Kinda scary, but mostly fun.

So maybe that’s why I’ve come to like them so much lately, they remind me of my childhood. And they make it look cheery. And kinda sophisticated? And clean. (oh wait, I did the cleaning)

I put them in all the living spaces and bathrooms. So I will be sure to see them (and check their need for water). The ones I have will hopefully stay hardy and survive even if I neglect them now and then. Sorry in advance, houseplants!

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I will probably move them around often, as I tend to do with lots of things in the house. The plant hanging in the living room started out in the kitchen hanging over the sink but it grew too long for the space. Plus I found a sweet little macrame hanger to use to hang it from the ceiling some day. For now it hangs from the curtain rod because I’m lazy : )

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I put one in the bathroom where there is absolutely no sunlight so hopefully it will live.

 

Behind the potty is a good spot for one that grows long.

 

On winter days when I feel like I didn’t even take a breath outdoors, it’s refreshing to see some green in the house. They really do make it happier in here!

 

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And just to make me laugh later on…as I wrote words in this post last night while the house was quiet, I heard the strange sounds of a beeping, dying microwave! It kinda freaked me out, and I didn’t want to walk in the kitchen to see if there was a boogie man trying to re-heat his supper. There wasn’t. It was just the dying 14 year old microwave I’ve had since the college days.

I put some aloe on the microwave but I don’t think it’s gonna heal this one!

 

Put a plant near your work station and it will make you want to get your work done faster so you can go outside!

And the laundry room is the best place for a houseplant because laundry is my least favorite chore. I am so bad at it. I wash it pretty well… it gets dried…eventually, but then it usually sits in the dryer until the next load comes… then it gets smooshed into a basket and maybe two days later I’ll fold it? Or we’ll wear it again. All wrinkly.

I blame my mother… And the fact that we hardly had any houseplants ; )

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So I am a houseplant addict. There are worse things. Like my new fascination with mismatched dining chairs.

I think I’ll go have a juice-box…which reminds me, I need to go water all these dang houseplants!

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What kind of plants make you happy?

And if you see any good deals on a microwave, please let me know!

PS: if anyone is interested in succulents, here is a little DIY  (faux) succulent wreath!

 

The Playing Days

While they ran around the yard, I grabbed my camera to hopefully capture a few candid moments of their happy playing. The simple game was to slide down one at a time and run into the person in front. A burst of laughter each time the next one came down and rammed the other. It was such simple fun. I love it when they get static hair. I just sat there and watched them keep going, one after the other, up the ladder, down the slide, bumping into a brother or sister and just cracking up! It made me happy to see them playing together in harmony if at least for a little while. It will be good for them to see and remember the carefree days when they played together and made up silly games.

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A side note, just so I will remember… this day was good… even though one kid has croup, one missed school because of fever and I probably got 3 hours of sleep that night before, it was still good. And did I mention I love slide static hair?

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I’m so thankful to God that I have these babies. I struggle most days to try and make life fun for them. Usually I feel that my time is pulled so thin across all of my duties as a wife and mom that I end up like that duck in Sandra Boynton’s Happy Hippo Angry Duck book. They remind me daily that it’s OK to be silly; it’s a requirement even!

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And can we just talk about this kid’s sweater for a second? Baby model! He is really into making his own clothing choices these days. But babies and sweaters…and that stare though…it’ll burn a hole through you!

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Can we say stair steps?

 

On your mark … get set …… Go-fer! Ghost! Goat!

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Go!

On to the next thing!