Saturday, December 17, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs!

 Remember these guys I told you about a few months ago?? Well, they are all grown up into big girls now!  We are happy to announce that the dogs are being remarkably good with their new free range friends and nearly all are still accounted for!!  You might also recall that we carefully studied the requirements and worked really hard to get a nesting box all ready for them so they had a nice quiet place to lay eggs...
Who wouldn't want to start laying eggs in this beauty?!?!?!  But chickens are apparently independent thinkers... who knew??  Here's where this guy comes into the picture...

They found one of these to make their own nest and lay their eggs!  If you aren't familiar with these, they are protein tubs that you put out for cattle.  The empty ones can be used for all sorts of jobs around the farm.  We happen to be using a couple out by the chicken pen to hold some extra grass hay to bed the rabbits.  You guessed it... that is where Miss Hen decided she would start laying her eggs.  Once she did, the others followed suit and now that seems to be the nest of choice.  So when the book said they need a nice, quiet, private, dark place to lay their eggs... it was lying.  When the book said it didn't have to be anything fancy... it was right on!

For the record, this isn't my picture.  We only get one or two eggs a day so far but we have great expectations for more!!

And my friend Lyndi was right about the math lessons... so far we have gathered 6 eggs.  Nate has broken 2 of them.  How many have we gotten to eat?  Ally says 4.  Isn't she smart?? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Tree Countdown Project...

There are so many fun projects out there for the holidays that I wanted to try a few with the kids this year.  First up was this fun Christmas Tree Countdown project.  I found the templates on another blog and cut 24 trees from some Christmas themed scrapbook paper I already had.  Sometimes we get so busy in December that we forget how much fun there is in the sheer anticipation of the holidays for kids.  This project makes us stop and appreciate each day and gives the kids something to look forward to!! 
I spent a couple of evenings tracing and cutting out the trees.  Nate was home sick this week so he helped me hot glue the trees together.  He also picked out all the numbers and labeled the trees 1 thru 25.

When we had them all numbered, we I secretly added a couple of small candy treats inside each tree along with a note of a fun activity or project for us to do that day.  Some are as simple as having a special treat with supper, calling a friend, reading about the birth of Jesus, or watching a fun movie.  Others are projects like doing a Christmas craft, baking something yummy for our friends & neighbors, or playing a board game with the whole family. 

 Stay posted for pictures of all the fun activities.  The most important part of the project is that it sets aside a little fun family time each day to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A time for work, a time for play...

When you wake up to a view like this, you know it's gonna be a good day!  After we got the cattle taken care, it was time to play.  We went sledding, made a snow man, jumped in the piles of snow, and just had a lot of fun!  I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves!!!
Lexi and Trapper had a ball sledding and playing with the kids!!

My snow angels...

Bad photography or blizzard conditions??

Of course you have to end a day of snow play with a nice mug of hot chocolate and extra marshmallows!!
And just think... we get to do it all again tomorrow!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

When it snows on a farm...

When I woke up yesterday morning, this was the view out my window.   You can imagine the excitement of the kids when they woke up.  I don't recall ever having this much snow at once since I've lived in Nebraska.  Unfortunately, when you live on a farm, snow means as much work as it does play.  Luckily we did a little of both but our first priority is always the livestock.  Hubby was at work taking care of the cattle there so I was on my own to check our cows and make sure they had water. 

 I chose to sport the always fashionable Carhart line of apparel accessorized with my favorite Muck boots.  I thought of my dad when I was getting ready... he always used to tell me "This isn't a fashion show so just get out there!"  I eventually came back to the house for my ski goggles because it was snowing so hard that I couldn't see anything!

The cows were actually pretty content when I found them.  We are blessed with amazing wind breaks all throughout the property so they found a nice tree line to hide behind out of the wind.  The temperatures were comfortable if you stayed out of the wind.

Luckily the 4-wheeler has 4 wheel drive so we were able to get back and forth to the water tank to get it filled.  The kids came with me on my 2nd trip to shut off the hyrdrant. 

Did you know beef cows drink up to 20 gallons of water a day?  A dairy cow can drink 30 to 50 gallons of water each day due to higher milk production.  That's a lot of water!!

Even though it was pretty frigid outside, Lexi couldn't resis taking a quick swim in the tank.  I think she knows her swimming days are pretty much over til next spring!