Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Flannery's birthday

Finally!  Flannery's birthday post!  We had an wonderful birthday bash for her.  Unfortunately as we were leaving my stomach felt unsettled.  I thought it was the cake that Isabella made, as she decided to put some whipping cream in the frosting.  Ever since we got the Norovirus a few weeks ago my stomach has been reacting to eggs and milk.  However the following morning a few other kids were complaining of being sick to their stomachs.  Hmmm.  And then the following two nights I was up in the middle of the night with sick children...the dreaded tummy bug!!!  So this post kept getting pushed off.  I had tried to correct a few pictures in PE as the white balance was off.  Flannery loves this one setting on my camera, but when you take pictures in the dimmed light...well everything is yellow.  Something is messed up with my PE because it wouldn't let me edit the white balance!  So below you will see a lot of yellow pictures.  And like the recent few posts I've had, Flannery has taken most of the pictures. 

The birthday girl!  She was to BIG 10 this year.  Double digits.  A big deal around here :-)

This year she asked for a birthday party with friends.  She has never had one with friends before so we said, 'yes'.  With being so ill for so many weeks that left little time for making things up ahead of time.  I wanted to try to stick with our budget so we had to get creative with what we had on hand.  We opted to make our first batch of soap, crochet some wash cloths, put together some note pads and package it all in some cute handmade bags.  This was all done the night before and the morning of the party!  Above is the beeswax we used in our soap.

The handy dandy stick blender.  This made the soap trace in about two minutes time!

  The scale we used to do Jed's weigh in's has found a new use :-)  Soap making ingredients need to be measured by weight (with the exception of the water/milk).

This step I messed up on.  The beeswax was the only solid fat in the recipe I was using.   I melted the wax on the stove and when I poured it into the other oils it instantly solidified. I thought that the heat of the crockpot would have remelted it.  I was wrong.  After giving it ample time to melt I had to take it out along with some of the liquid oils to remelt the wax.

Flannery helped me with everything except the steps that included working with lye.  Here she is filling the molds with the soap.

Our soap came out very rustic looking :-)  All those lumps and bumps were in the finished product.  But hey, soap will still work no matter what shape it is in.

The following morning we pulled the soap out of the molds, just waiting to wipe off the extra oil (used to make sure it didn't stick to the mold.

All cut into bars and ready to be packaged.

These are the bags we made to put the soap, wash cloth and paper pad into.  I thought they came our very cute.

We put the recipients name on the draw string with beads.

Just a neat picture by Flannery.

 Isabella made the cakes, and Flannery got to  help decorate them.  The frosting is melting a bit as it is made with a ton of butter.  The party was also located at an indoor pool, so it was a bit on the warm side.

Jonah was waiting ever so patiently to cut into the cake.  We let them have a juice 'box' thingie.  My kids were goo goo over them :-)  Sugar is so very addictive!! We have other pictures of the party but none with just my kiddos.  I try not to post anyone else's family if I haven't asked permission. 

We all had a wonderful time.  We were all wiped out afterwards!  I am sure a lot of that was due to us having the beginnings of the illness in us (without our knowing).  We are starting to feel better today.  I plan on going around spraying everything with thieves oil.  I think part of the problem was that I was so worn out from being up all night with sick kiddos that I wasn't on top of wiping everything down like I needed to be.  We shall see.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Truck Fiasco

Before I get to the truck fiasco I thought I would write about the progress we are making in our garden areas.  Mostly because I started to upload the pictures in the wrong order :-)

Isabella is our go to hard worker.  She and I were clearing the jungle we call the back yard.  Yesterday,  while I was out front working, Isabella said she wanted to continue in the back.  I didn't think she was actually going to do the above!  This is just a small little thing above, but she ended up cutting down two of our smaller trees!  By herself.  They were only about 4 inches or so in diameter.  A lot of progress has been made by her alone!

See these?  This is what we have been up against in the back yard.  Like I said the other day, the picture that Flannery took was of the easy stuff we were digging up.

 Doesn't she look like she is having fun?  Actually my girls much prefer to work outside than inside!

 Saoirse did a wonderful job of hauling off the stuff we chopped down.

The goats did their best to help :-)  You see all that brush in the foreground?  That's the stuff we were up against. 

 How does one get any work done with little boys who want to run off?  With a port-a-crib!  Life saver I tell ya.

 Flannery requested that I take a picture of her shoveling.  She was helping to keep the dirt coming so my newspapers wouldn't fly away. 

I'm standing over at the dirt pile, and from there you can see how the boys are doing.  You can ever so slightly see the newspapers off to the left.  Our front yard slopes down, away from the house.  

 This dirt pile has been a blessing in so many ways.  Not only for the dirt itself, but it keeps the older two boys occupied!

 This is something that Isabella found when she was clearing the back yard.  Anyone know what it is?  We find the strangest things around here!

 More dirt fun.  Too  much dirt fun actually...

This little hand is responsible for losing this....

The boys decided it would be fun to hide their petshops in the dirt.  Um, yeah....now they don't know where they are!!  We found three of them today.  I'm not sure how many are still left.  

The found petshops needed a bath :-) 

 Oh, look, more things found!

 This picture is too funny!  Flannery took all the pictures in this post, but two.

 She was trying to get a picture of the frog in mid jump.  She came close.

 My work in progress.  The row is over 36 feet long!  Today I got far enough to make it past the smaller trees, so the current rows are probably 48 or so feet long.  This is where the fruit trees will go.

A free tip....don't let your newspapers sit out and get wet....it makes it a LOT harder and more time consuming to work with them.  Ask me how I know.  I am sure this could have been done in half the time.  I almost thought of scraping the wet papers and starting with fresh ones, but that seemed like a waste.  I am happy to say that we only have about 20 newspapers left!!!  I'm definitely going to have to make a run for more.  As of last night, we now have two loads of mulch on top of some of the papers.  Many more loads will be needed to cover it to the depth we need it at.

 Jed, climbing the 'mountain'.  We've had lots of baths going on around here.  But dirt is good, right?

 Ok.  On to the truck fiasco.  A few days ago Jeremiah brought back a load of mulch while it was dark out.  The destination for that particular load was in front of the goat barn.  I had explained that it was like quick sand back there.  Jeremiah thought I was only talking about the area right in front of the goat barn.  He found out the hard way that the whole middle area was like quick sand as well.

 It was forcasted to rain the following day.  We tried to get it out that night, but it was stuck tight!  The under belly of his truck was resting on the ground.

 After asking our church group if anyone had any chain, we had to go out and buy some. One end secured here...

 ...the other to my van.  Now, I know our van has some V-8 engine or such, but I really, really didn't think we were going to get it out of there.  At least not without a lot of effort.  I was wrong.  Jeremiah told me to go really slow.  I can't believe how easily the van pulled it out!

 You can see the tire coming up.

 Now it's out, and I just had to pull it to the gate.

 From my view I could see we were making a big mess of the yard!  Not that it isn't a mess normally.

 Yay!  It's free!

That's a whole lot o mud.  It was easy to pull out, but now Jeremiah's truck is kind of shaking when he is driving.  There wasn't much to do about that.  There was no way for anyone to get behind his truck to pull it out as they would have sunk as well.

That's a day in the life of us :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Moira's New Look

Today was a big day for Moira. I think the pictures below will explain it all, being that a picture is worth one thousand words :-)

This is how Moira looked at 9:30 this morning.

This is how Moira looked at around 11:30 this morning.

I'll write more about it, plus some pictures of our gardening work, and of our truck fiasco. 
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