Say Hello to the Little Ladies!

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Well, we finally did it! After dreaming about it for 8 years since moving to the country, we finally have our own chickens! We purchased these sweet baby girls at a local feed store last Friday. We have 8 chicks – 2 each of 4 different breeds – Ameraucanas, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Reds, and Wyandottes.

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Right now the chicks are living in our master bathroom in a large plastic tub (the only place we can keep them safe from our 3 curious cats). They have to stay warm, so we have a heat lamp on them constantly at one end of the box. Their food and water is at the other end. They spend all of their time eating, drinking, sleeping a little, and making a mess.

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Some of them have a new form of entertainment – trying to fly out of the box! Last night we added a piece of mesh screening to the top of the box and so their fun has been thwarted a little bit. Soon we will be transitioning the girls to our old rabbit hutch, outside in the chicken pen. I am so looking forward to the days when I can sit on the front porch and watch the little ladies pecking around the yard – not to mention the lovely fresh eggs we will enjoy each day!

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P.S. I’m sorry for the tiny pictures! I’m experimenting with posting from my iPad, and still figuring out how everything works! I think I know what to do now with the pics, so they should be back to normal in the next post.

Have a wonderful evening!

Blessings,
Nancy

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Anna’s Ballet Recital

Anna’s first year of ballet lessons culminated a week or so ago in an end of the year ballet recital. It was quite a busy day for us. The day of the recital was also our oldest son, Robert’s 26th birthday, so we started the day by meeting him for pizza at lunchtime. After lunch, we hurried back home with just enough time to dress Anna in her recital dress, put her hair up in a braided bun, and run out the door to her dress rehearsal. Sarah went along with us. We arrived in time for dress rehearsal, and then spent the next few hours enjoying watching all of the different classes practice and admiring their beautiful costumes.

At the end of dress rehearsal, Anna changed back into street clothes and the two girls and I walked down the small town main street to a nearby restaurant. We had such a good time just spending “girl time” and enjoying a delicious and filling Mexican dinner. Soon enough it was time to head back down the street and get Anna dressed up again and ready for the performance. As we waited for curtain time, we were joined by the rest of the family, as well as Anna’s aunt and uncle, who also happen to live just down the street from where we were.

The recital went very well and Anna danced beautifully, as did all of the other dancers. Jeff presented Anna a lovely pink bouquet of flowers at the end and she was all smiles. All of the girls in Anna’s class danced with their baby dolls, so that is why she is holding “Ramona” in this picture.

Soon it was time to leave and we all went down the street again – this time to the old bank building – aka my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s home – for cake and ice cream and a nice visit. Anna kept her costume on the rest of the evening and all the way home. I think she would have slept in it if I would have allowed it!

We arrived home late and tired, but it was a lovely day that I know Anna will always remember.

Blessings,
Nancy

Sarah’s Cooking Night

Sarah decided last week that she wanted to cook one of the meals for dinner this week. She had seen a recipe for chicken fingers on a Bisquick box and this inspired her to want to cook a whole meal, something that she had never done before. She has made a number of desserts for the family over the past few years, but never anything as ambitious as a complete meal. So, on Tuesday, I made sure we had all of the ingredients she needed and joined her in the kitchen to supervise, teach a bit, and help her out. The menu she planned consisted of ~

    Ultimate Chicken Fingers
    Homemade Mashed Potatoes
    Green Beans
    Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

Here are some pictures of her time in the kitchen ~

She started by making dessert – Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies. She has made these before, so she didn’t really need my help with this part. She gave the younger kids a spoonful of dough before she baked them.

Next she began work on her mashed potatoes. She used this recipe and learned how to wash, peel, cut and cook the potatoes. Her arms were a bit tired after scrubbing and peeling 5 lbs. of potatoes by herself!

While the potatoes cooked, she started her chicken fingers. As I mentioned before, this recipe was on the back of the Bisquick box. She had to triple the recipe for our family, so she got a little practical Math practice along the way. It was her first time to handle raw chicken, but she decided that it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. I gave her lessons on why it’s important to wash it well, and then she trimmed it up and sliced it for fingers.

Her potatoes were ready to mash before she got her chicken breaded, so she put the chicken on hold and finished up the potatoes – I told her that timing was one of the hardest parts of cooking.

With the potatoes all mashed and covered to keep warm, she went back to the chicken, which she found to be messy job!

While the chicken cooked, Sarah heated up the green beans (canned) on the stove. Finally, everything was ready, and we sat down to a delicious meal!

This chicken was so wonderful – it had parmesan cheese and garlic salt in the coating, which gave it a scrumptious flavor. I will post the recipe as soon as possible (if you can’t wait, go out and buy a box of Bisquick – it should be right there on the back of the box) –

Homemade Mashed Potatoes – she did an excellent job on these – they were smooth and creamy –

A great dinner –

and a delicious dessert to finish it up –

See you again soon!

Blessings,
Nancy

Laura’s First Job!

Yesterday was Laura’s first day on her first job! She is following two of her brothers by joining the Chick-Fil-A ranks. We are very pleased with this, because it is a great place to work – wonderful atmosphere and people. Of course, this means that Mom and Dad will be back in the chauffeur seat again, as Laura will need rides back and forth (we had a temporary vacation from this when Matthew bought his car), but she already has her sights set on a little black VW bug, so maybe it won’t be for too long!

She enjoyed her first day – all 3 hours of it – but that’s good – the first day is always the hardest, and now she’s looking forward to going back again and feels much more comfortable. And while Laura was experiencing her first 3 hours at work, the rest of us spent some time at the ice rink with a very special celebrity guest – can you say “Olympic gold medal winner”???? Pictures coming soon!

Have a nice day!

Blessings,
Nancy