Archive | June 2012

It’s The Simple Things That Make Me Happy!

Besides taking care of my MIL, we have been having an enjoyable summer vacation.  We have been spending lots of time outside!

A learned to climb a tree. She is sitting on the branch. Her first tree climb and she is so proud! She is all bruised up, but she doesn’t care.  Sorry it is blurry.  My 7-year-old snapped the picture.

A advanced to being able to stand on the same branch that she was sitting on in the previous picture.   She is so proud!

The three youngest having fun on the swing set.

3 crazy kids on the swings.

My muscle girl.

My muscle boy.

Who can be the craziest?  And how many days until vacation.

Balancing with one hand and one foot on the swing.

I can do whatever my big brothers can do!

Crazy, Crazy Couple Of Weeks

The kids got out of school for the year on June 1, just 3 short weeks ago.  It feels like a couple of months ago because there has been so much going on around here.

My MIL had knee surgery scheduled for June 6.  She is 82 and had a total knee done about 7 years ago.  She slipped getting out the bath tub and tweaked her knee.  We took her to the doctor who said that the pad in there was dislodged and would have to be re-glued (best case scenario) or the total knee would have to be replaced (worst case scenario).

On June 6 I got up at 4:15 a.m., picked her up at 5:00 a.m., and got her to the hospital at 5:45 a.m. for her 7:45 a.m. surgery.  No problems.  They get her I.V. in, no problems.  The nurse comes in to make sure she hasn’t had any aspirin products for the past 10 days.  Problem.  She has been taking Aleve, for some lung inflammation.  She didn’t realize that was on the “banned” list.

We wait for the surgeon to come in to talk about our options.  Basically, he says it is up to us.  It won’t bother the surgery, because she would have a tourniquet on during the procedure, but the after surgery complications could make recovery take longer.  We opt to wait and do the surgery the next week.  Both my MIL and I agreed that she didn’t need any problems with recovery.  She is 82.

Fast forward a week.  She had the pad glued in as planned.  She stays in the hospital for 3 days.  She is up and moving.  She can use the bathroom on her own.  I think everything is getting better.  My older boys have been rotating being up at their house (next door) during the day and spending the nights, just to make sure there are no problems getting to the bathroom, getting out of her chair etc.

After being home 48 hours, my SIL calls me and tells me that my MIL can’t move.  Her knee had been killing her all night, she couldn’t get out of the chair because she couldn’t put any weight on the leg or foot and that she had my FIL get a roaster pan for her to use as a bedpan because she couldn’t get out of the chair.  They got in touch with the doctor first thing in the morning and he told her to come in to have him look at it.  He tried to manipulate it and could tell that the glue job didn’t work.  They admitted her back to the hospital right then and scheduled her for a re-do total knee the next day.

She had that done and now seems to be on the mend.  She has been somewhat difficult during this process.  She forgets that she is 82 and thinks that she can take care of herself.  We have kind-of forced her to go to my SIL’s house for a week as we will be on vacation.  She wanted to stay home and take care of herself and my FIL who has dementia.  Don’t think so.  I had to threaten to cancel our vacation, which I would do in a heartbeat, if we had no options to keep them well taken care of, but my SIL is a nurse practitioner who is more than qualified to take care of them.  My MIL is so sweet at times  and does not want us to cancel, so she agreed to go with my SIL for a week until we get back.

It has been a trying time, but hopefully this will be the end of the saga.  Here’s to a full recovery for my MIL.  She’s the best MIL you could have.  She would do anything for me or our family.  We are blessed to have her.

MIL recovering after the first surgery.

Having Fun At 4H

It was a nice Sunday afternoon.  What better way to spend it than by shooting at 4H.  We made an afternoon of it.  The younger kids had a blast while the older ones were in their meeting.  There were only a few regular members there because of a mix-up on the calendar.  It turned into a fun afternoon.

Nothing like Icees along with some candy from the fruit farm store!

Also in the background S has the remnants of a Happy Meal that he earned from finding the iPad that was lost for over a week.

Summer fun!  I love her bruises and dirty knees.  That is the sign of a good start to summer vacation!

S giving archery a try! My husband is with him showing him how to use correct form. My husband is an advisor.

A trying her hand at archery as well.

T at work with the shotgun advisors.

Ready to give it a try. He was using a 20 gauge shotgun.  He shot almost a full box of 20 and he said he hit about 10!  Awesome job!

S giving shotgun a try. He used the 20 gauge as well. He didn’t hit any clay targets, but he said he was close.

A was too small for the shotgun, so she gave archery another try.


Really?!?  All I wanted was a nice picture of three brothers who “look like” they like each other and get along!  I guess I’ll have to try for another day!

This entry was posted on June 12, 2012, in J, M, R. 1 Comment

Update On Our Broiler Chicks

Our broiler chickens.

Another picture of them.

Our broiler chicks have become…chickens.  They are getting to be huge.  We are having a much better experience with them this (our second year) time.  Last year about  half died.  I am not sure why.  It was a cold and very rainy spring.  I also put them out in the field and out of the brooding area 10 days like a book I had read said I could.  I didn’t have any experience, so I had to trust somebody.  Anyway with all of the rain and cooler temperatures, the chickens didn’t do well.   Every time we went out to care for them it seemed that something was wrong.  Their legs were giving out on them which would lead to death in a few hours or we would go out and another one would be dead.  It was awful.  We only were able to keep 13 out of 25 alive until butchering day.  After the trauma of this it took a couple of weeks to try our first chicken.  Once I tasted how soft and tender they were I knew I wanted to try again.

This year we ordered another 25 roosters, just like last year.  So far, only one died, it was about 2 days old.  I don’t know what happened, but it must have been weak from the start.  I  changed many things this year from last year.  Experience is a very good teacher.  This year I kept the chicks under the brooder lights for 3 and a half weeks as compared to the week and a half that the book suggested.  I did this just to let them have time to get stronger and not have to face the elements so early in their lives.  Second, there hasn’t been near the rain as there was last year.  I didn’t have any control over that.  Third, I gave them the vitamin stress pack electrolytes with each watering until it was all used up.  Last year I just used it here and there whenever I thought of it.

This year has been a much better experience.  I am hopeful to do it again next year.  I am excited to get all of those chickens in the freezer.  It is so nice to always  have meat that you raised, and know what it has been fed, how they were taken care of, available for the coming year.  We will have a freezer full in less than a week!  Yahoo!

4H Guest Speaker-Cool Critters

A holding a Bearded Dragon.  That girl isn’t afraid of much!

M with the Bearded Dragon on his shoulder. Is that a partial smile? I can’t believe it!

J with a small snake.  I can’t remember what kind it was.

Wow, this is kind of cool!

A with a snake crawling all over her. This can’t be my daughter. I would never do that!

M with the snake.

J picking up a 120 pound tortoise. He was having a little trouble at first.

Now I have it under control. Man is this thing heavy!

Our 4H group had a guest speaker at a recent meeting.  They have had this guy come before, but each time it is amazing.  He brings different animals in, so each experience is the same, but different if you know what I mean.  He always lets the kids be hands-on, which I love, because there is so much out there that they aren’t allowed to touch.  I am amazed how my daughter A isn’t afraid to do anything.  I don’t ever remember being that brave.  J my oldest was amazed that the Cool Critters guy said “yes” to picking up that tortoise.  Cool.

I love being in this 4H group!  The kids have learned so much about the projects that they do, but also the field trips and guest speakers make it a great learning experience.

Update On The Garden

M watering our new “dirt”. We are adding a 4′ x 12′ box for all of our climbing vegetables.

Here are a few Sunflowers that A planted from seed.

Tomatoes that I purchased from a local nursery. They have a lot of blooms. We have a few tiny tomatoes that have started.

Cauliflower. My first time trying this vegetable.

Purple cabbage. My first time with this veggie too.

Broccoli. First time with this too.

Green, yellow, and orange peppers.

Cayenne peppers for my older boys.

Some Big Jim hot peppers for the older boys. This is my first time with these peppers too.

Red peppers. I am going to put onions in the rest of this box.

Cauliflower and Purple cabbage.

Our garden is looking really good so far this year.  I’m not sure why.  It may be because we purchased all of the plants from the local nursery, and they are big and healthy looking, it may be our dirt, or it may be that the kids are pretty interested in their garden boxes and have been weeding and watering them for a weekly treat of an Icee from our local Speedway.  They love those drinks, and I love to see the garden boxes weeded.  Win, win!

We added chicken manure that we had saved and aged from last year.  I have also been adding rabbit manure as we get it from our pet rabbit. I read that it doesn’t need to be aged, it can be put straight in the garden boxes.  Also, I read somewhere that ash from a burned fire is good for the garden.  We live in the woods, so we have several fires a month and the ash builds up quickly.  I have the kids spread a shovel full of ash on the boxes occasionally.

So far everything is looking good.  I have a question, has anyone grown broccoli or cauliflower before?  Is there anything special we  must do?  Thanks for your help!