Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Days...

Have you ever felt like everything hits all at once?
That is the way things have been around these parts lately. But I know it's for a reason, just not for sure what that reason is. I mentioned before that I thought God was trying to teach me patience through the car wreck process. I still feel like it's happening in my life. 

Even though there is lots to do on our homestead, we do find time for FUN!

This week we:

-Swam at Nana & Pappaw Brad's house
- Went to the Ashland Park and Sprinkler Park with our friends Ashley, Jonas, and Jayden
- Went to Beech Fork to play and fish
- Played inside while it rained
- Built a fire, went on lots of walks, and rode bikes.

On our rainy day, we had a "pretend" birthday party for daddy. Karson LOVES birthdays, and we had a cake to make so we pretended it was daddy's birthday party. (even though he wasn't home) We wanted to surprise him with all the fun things we were making when he got home. The boys stayed in their pajamas all day, and we watched movies as well. They love being home!

We have Kevin home with us for 4 days. We sure have missed him! 

We are loving summer days.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Being a mother has...

taught me to be more patient - 
given me a whole new perspective on time - 
let me love a whole lot more - 
given me a heart for teaching my children - 
always been a dream of mine - 
will always be my #1 job - 

left me to be tired, exhausted, and stressed - 
given me strength, when I was weak-
helped me to loose the type A personality - 
taught me that life is not all about comparison - 
helped me lean on God even more - 
allowed me to become a new and better person - 
most most importantly, being a mother has been the BEST blessing
 and most rewarding thing I have ever done in my entire life - 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer is Here!

Summer is officially here on the 21st of June. It is pretty hot and humid here and has been for a while now. I am loving the slower mornings, later nights, swimming, riding, playing, bon fires, and just being together as a family. The boys have been sleeping until 8 or 8:30 every morning and going to bed around 9pm. 

We have been coming in from playing at 8pm getting a bath and watching a movie/show on netflix. They love this routine. Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to. 

These two boys are SOO adventurous. They love anything outdoors. It KILLS me to see kids attached to their iphones, ipads, computers, game systems and staying indoors watching TV. With our times there is the advancement of technology, but too much and all the time can be really harmful. 

The best teacher is the outdoors. Kids really soak up everything they see. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

The boys and I are so lucky to have Kevin in our life. 

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The good and the bad of raising chickens

There is always the good and the bad to everything. That is also true with chickens. I feel like raising chickens is such a good experience for my two boys as well as giving us a product that we would normally buy at the store. Why not grow it ourselves? Chickens are truly easy, if you have the right set up. If not, it can really be a pain and cause you more work. 

1. We always buy our baby chicks in the spring around Easter time. We always buy them from Tractor Supply because we like to give them our money rather than higher chain stores, and they are normally the cheapest. This spring we bought 20 baby chicks. We are a little partial to Rhode Island Reds. That is the breed of chicks that we buy. They do not require a rooster to lay eggs. However, we do have 1 rooster.

2. When you first buy the baby chicks you will need to keep them close to home and inside for about 3 months. Sometimes that is hard, and if you don't have a garage or safe place to keep them, they will die from the cold or from a wild animal. They need a heat lamp for sure! 

Having helpers to build a new chick house is wonderful :) 

3. When the chicks get big enough you can switch them into your "big girls" cage. We normally wait until they are around 4 months old to do this. If you do it too early, the big girls will pick on them and then the pecking order begins and you don't want that. 

4. I think the biggest concern of raising chicks is your cage. Making sure NOTHING can get in. We have honestly had a problem with this. Everytime we think we have the cage fox/raccoon proof, they prove us wrong and they get in somehow. They are SOO good at getting in. Here in West Virginia we have a BIG problem with raccoons. 

Right now, this is our chicken house. Kevin built it, and while it's not the biggest or greatest it works. However, here in the past few months, raccoons have been testing us. It is very disheartening when you find a dead chick or chicken. This is the worst part of raising chickens. 

Having your children learn about raising a farm is one of the good parts of raising chickens. My boys love working and helping. They love getting the eggs. They love checking on our girls, and hearing "big daddy" crow all day. 

Like I said the bad part of having chickens is the wild animals that can get in. A few days ago, I went out after breakfast to gather eggs and feed, and it felt like a chicken massacre. I had 3 dead baby chicks, 1 dead big hen, and 1 big hen hurt very bad. A raccoon had dug under our chicken wire to get to them. I cried and cried like a baby seeing this girl hurt so bad. We have her now in a small tub of hay in our garage and she has been there for 5 days now. Thankfully, I think she will leave. We have been feeding her water in a dropper and even though my husband told me to "get it together" when I was crying, I think he has a sweet spot for our big girls too. 

We set our box trap every night beside our chicken house. We catch critters A LOT! Normally it's raccoons or opossums. They are what makes raising chickens so hard. 

There are good and bad parts of raising chickens, just like raising any other animal, but it is more rewarding than hard. We LOVE our girls. Chickens are one of the farm animals that can be raising in a more "subdivision" type setting if you have a good cage in the back of your yard. 

For more information on raising chickens I have found a great blog to follow:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taking a stroll through the country...

We take a lot of walks here. It's not like the walks we used to take at our last home in a subdivision. It's way better! We do live on a gravel road, so that means no riding bikes down the road or being able to pull the wagon easily, but we love it and would not trade our gravel road for any other place. 
(My boys do get to ride bikes at my parent's house just over the hill because they have a lot of concrete)

I had my camera with me yesterday as I was pulling the boys on a morning walk. I thought I would take some pictures of our views as we stroll through our property. 

Walking down our gravel road. So pretty with all of the green trees!

A look at our garden. It is doing so much better than last year. Our new area is working out really well. 

Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkins are growing so fast! My dream is to have a pumpkin farm someday where people can come out and pick their own pumpkins on our land. 

There is always some kind of work going on. Kevin and my dad had just finished cutting a tree down. It was dead, and I was afraid the dead limbs would fall on the boys when we were down with the chickens so down it went. It's always a fun thing to watch!

This gate leads into another piece of property. There is a small cabin/house out there. 

We always check on our girls first thing in the morning. 

Feeding time! (I will be posting about our chickens here soon)

After living here for 2 years now, we are finally getting good grass. We have figured out that we have to keep the lawn mower blade REALLY high or it will kill it so fast. That means we have to mow about every 4 days. We have a lot of weed eating areas, which is very time consuming, but so worth it. 

Out back of our house we have lots of creek to play in. The boys love it!

We love the country! It is the best place to raise a family. Or so we think. 
We are hardly EVER inside unless someone is sick, or tired. I mentioned before that we had our cable TV turned off and I do not miss it much at all. Kevin on the other hand, is missing it bad. I think it's mainly the sportscenter that he misses. We have Netflix and the boys watch about 1 hour of TV per day, and really don't complain at all. They would rather be hiking, walking, playing outside.  

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the country. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rainy Days

Thankfully, this is the last day of "little accident boy" with his cast. I'm telling you, he can get hurt in a matter of minutes, and he is never too scared to do anything!

We've had a relaxing weekend. We are still waiting on our van. It has been a long process and I think God is trying to teach me patience. Something that I NEED to have. I won't get into the whole story, but basically the seller had his title far away and we are waiting for it to arrive. So, needless to say the boys and I have been home more than normal. 

Karson has been playing with cars and trucks more. Something neither of my boys really did much of. But here lately they have been into playing with all of their tractors and bulldozers. Karson even taped the wheels because he had been in a car wreck. 

These boys are best friends. 

They are together....all day long! Except for naptime. 

I am so thankful to be home with them. 

I am soooo thankful it is summer and there is no more early mornings of preschool. 

Sometimes rainy days inside are GOOD!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Another week has past and we are all looking forward to a better weekend than last. We have been knee deep in the van buyin, and sick catchin days. 

We finally found a van to replace our last van that was totalled last month in a car wreck. Thankfully finding and negotiating was the easy part. Getting everything else together has been the slow part. Hopefully by next week we will have our new "to us" van. 2007 Honda Odyssey. We are really looking forward to some new features that our last van did not have. Including all leather, power opening doors, and the DVD system for the boys. 

It is a true blessing that we found this van. It meets all of our needs. 

After a totally healthy home all winter, we all came down with the head cold/sinus infection/bronchitis. It has been ZERO fun! Add in the fact that we've had no car for a few days and it's just down right BLAH! 

After getting some medicine, I am starting to feel MUCH better and now the boys are just left with coughs. 

Having us all healthy is such a blessing that we take for granted! 

We have two doctors appointments tomorrow. One is Kipton being able to get his cast taken off. Praise the lord! We are so thankful this time has come. I am praying the the bones are healed and we will get the cast taken off. 

Karson also has his 4 year old check up. 

It is a HUGE blessing to have healthy insurance for these doctors appointments. I know MANY people that do not. I take many things for granted. 

*After praying for 5 months for Kevin's job to pick up, we got good news today. The Lord is seeing us through this hard economy, and work is picking back up and Kevin is so thankful. The boys and I have honestly said a prayer each and every night for this. Thanking Jesus for all of his blessings tonight* 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Days of Kipton with a cast....

Well, we have 1 more week with this nice NEON green cast. I will be so thankful to see that cast go, and see his arm again. I will say, he has not complained 1 single time. It has shocked me to say the least. 

I mean....what broken arm are you even talking about MOM?

We have been staying busy outside. The boys liked the baby pool this time, but now they are over it. They are wanting to actually SWIM. 

Kipton is the most thoughtful child, as is Karson. He was pouring water on my feet because he said "Mommy are you getting hot? Let me cool you down"

Watching him work so hard to get the water in the bucket and carry it to me with a broken arm was just too sweet. He is always thinking of me. 

Taking a minute to relax, drink some warm milk (per request), and watch a "little show" 

You have taken the broken arm like a champ! Mommy is so thankful to have a boy as sweet as you.
I am also even more thankful to have two healthy boys, who just have to deal with little broken bones and not any serious health issues. We are so blessed to have you and your brother.