Tuesday, November 26, 2013


We put up a gate at first for her own safety but as it turns out she's actually quite adept at climbing the stairs.

So we took down the gate and began the "don't go downstairs without mommy" training.  

She's been, resistant.  :)  

Blatantly so at times. 

More deceptive at others.  She thinks if she's low enough to the ground, where the stairs cover her eyes and she can't see me then I can't see her. Not so sweet girl, not so.  
Wish us luck on this venture. 

We Bought A Tractor

Jed spent most of the afternoon Sunday cutting down weeds that were taller than me.  He is one happy man!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Freak Accident

One week ago today, we returned home from the store, Evan jumped out of the van to open the gate to our property and while pushing it open the lock swung around and clocked him in the head.  

At first as I watched the horror unfold I thought my son had simply given himself a nice goose egg until I saw the crimson streak running down his face. 

He took off running to the house while Jed pulled the van into the driveway, I hopped out following Evan, heading to the bathroom to fulfill one of my many rolls as a mom, nurse.  

Grisly.  I cleaned it and tried to bandage it but even a butterfly wouldn't hold it together.  After conferring with Jamie and Joy, I headed off to Centra-Care with my two eldest.  

 We didn't wait as long I expected but every moment was another minute he had to think about the dreaded stitches he though he'd get.  

When the doc said, he'd glue it instead, Evan was delighted!  However I didn't think about the fact that that meant when they washed it and scrubbed the clots away that there wouldn't be any pain relief.  It was brutal but Evan handled it like a champ.  

Afterwards we went out for treats, he requested, candy and a powerade.  

Since We Bought This House

We've had a few snafus and I wanted to be sure to chronicle them so we can have a good laugh... one day.:) 

The pump for our well sprung a leak. A call to a repair man and a few hundred dollars later, we were back in business.  

One of the toilets ran continuously when the power was turned on and also leaked which caused damage to the ceiling below it. 

The microwave has only one button that works, the "add 30 seconds" button which is fortunate.  

The washer and dryer, which are kept right next to our kitchen without a door, were so loud we had to yell to hear each other over them.  We bought front loaders off craigslist but realized that by himself Jed couldn't get the washer up the stairs.  So we had to keep it down in the garage, with the hose in an old trash can so we could do laundry and someone had to babysit it so it wouldn't flood everywhere. 

The faucet on the kitchen sink, had extremely low pressure for some unexplained reason.   

A part to the dish washer fell off during a cycle. Jed was able to repair it until we're ready to buy a new one.  
The garbage disposal began flooding water under the sink, whenever the dishwasher runs.

None of the outdoor electrical sockets work.  

This one has nothing to do with the house just a bonus, I was at Aldi with the kids, one of them left a light on and when we left the van wouldn't start.  I got a jump from a kind stranger which got us home but since my van won't turn over.  

Oh and last but not least, we haven't been able to get the county to set up our trash pick up so we still have to shuttle all our trash to the old house and one of our neighbors stole our garbage can. Brilliant.

Thankfully, Jay and Joe came over to help move in the rest of the big stuff and the washer upstairs.  
We went from this, 

 To this,
They're gloriously quiet and use the tiniest amount of water which is awesome for our septic tank! 
Eventually we're going to move them over to one side and use the rest of the space as a pantry/closet. 

Jed also switched out the faucets on the kitchen sink so now I can fill the teapot in under 15 minutes! Plus he changed the garbage disposal, my van battery and the leaky toilet!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Seth: "Having our own chicks is so much fun!"

Evan: "I know we finally have our very own responsibilities to take care of!" 

Seth: "I like to play with mine."  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meet Our Flock

Our new property isn't fully fenced but about 1 1/2 acres around the house are. Within that are are two dilapidated pens.  One was definitely a chicken run with a few nesting boxes.  The other we're not sure.  
I decided to clear it, so we could use the posts and make a new chicken run in it. 

Under the weeds was a rusty old fence that needs to be removed.  Then we have to put up new fencing and put in a new coop.  We've got a ways to go but its a start. 

For the time being though, we have a brooding box and a run big enough for a few chickens so of course I picked up some chicks!  

These came from a local farm.  The owner said that he hatched eggs from a successful mating of his Araucanas.  He had a ton of chickens, many different breeds of hens and roosters and while he was talking told me that they do sometimes cross breed so who knows!  They do look like the pictures I've seen online though!  These guys are supposed to lay blue or greenish eggs.  Here's hoping!  

I believe this is a rooster.  We named him Crete and he techinically belongs to Ford. The other we named Thera, and she belongs to Kane.  I helped name them and we chose locations we're studying in history.  We learned that the Cretan civilization was destroyed when a volcano on an island 70 miles north, named Thera, erupted, causing a tidal wave and ash to destroy Crete.  Here's hoping that the boys remember something we learned this year! 

After we got Thera and Crete we went to our local feed store to buy food.  We had been to a few different feed stores recently that were all sold out of chicks for the winter so we were surprised to find them there.  

Even though I hadn't planned to buy anymore chickens when the kids were begging for them, I offered to let them buy one themselves.  Evan and Seth were the only ones with enough money so they each picked out their own.  
This is Evan's chick, Wisconsin, he's a Packer's fan, I just barely talked him out of naming her Green Bay.   She's a Rhode Island Red, which might make her given name confusing.    

And this is Peeps, Seth's chick.  She's a Black Sex Link.   It's not the prettiest bird but I've read that they are friendly and are consistent layers! 

The beginning of our flock!  

They're adjusting well.  The boys are learning lots, like that chickens can sort of fly!  So cool!  

And at last our dogs have something to herd, much to the chicks chagrin. :)

I can't wait to start getting some eggs!  Just a few months to go! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Bird in the Hand is Worth... a Hot Fudge Sundae!

Our new house has screened balconies on both the front and the back.  The front balcony doesn't have an opening in it but the back opens into a large screened enclosure with three doors and one roof panel that is ripped open.  

Jed left for a business trip a couple days after we moved in.  I opened the door to the back of the house to let a breeze in and sat down to read the book I downloaded, Ender's Game (Excellent book by the way!).

  All of a sudden I had a friend sitting right next to me on the couch, a small brown bird.  I got up, grabbed my phone to take a picture because I knew Jed wouldn't believe it!  The craziest things happen to me when he's not around!  

After a few minutes the bird tried to fly out the front window and door.  Without thinking about it I opened the front door and let the bird "out".  Closed the door and went about my morning.  It took me a good hour to realize that the bird was trapped! 

I called the boys from outside and showed them, we tried to catch it to let it out but it was too fast!  Giving up for the day, I threw some bread crumbs out there and closed the door.  I planned to go to the store and get a net the next day.  

Evan didn't give up though, he was out there until dark.    

The next morning we got up and right after breakfast Evan went out, once again, to capture the bird. It had calmed a little but not much, I began to get the kids ready to head into town.  

Then I heard shrieking, Seth lead the way yelling, "Evan caught it!"  Evan was grinning while gently clasping his hands around the bird.  

I took pictures, we discussed why we couldn't keep it as a pet and finally let it go but for reals this time.  

 I still cant believe he caught it with his bare hands!  

As his reward for his diligence we all went to McDonald's for ice cream! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

We've Moved!

My husband and I have always wanted to live out in the country with a bit of land but we always felt stuck here in the burbs due to job location and finances. 

This summer, many doors opened and we were able to consider our dream!  

We started house hunting but there were very few options in our price range. We found a piece of property we were tempt by, it was beautiful, and secluded.  Everything was perfect except the house itself, a 3 bedroom manufactured home. 

I am not comfortable living in a manufactured home in a state that's plagued with both hurricanes and tornadoes, I prefer sturdier block homes.   And while I know that it wouldn't be impossible to fit our family into a small, 3 bedroom, it would have been difficult for us.  

(Now we live on a dirt/sand road!)

We continued to search. 

A few weeks in a house went on the market.  It was in an area that we weren't crazy about and the layout of the house was a disaster however it was livable, on a nice sized piece of property and had a decent price tag.  

(Home, sweet home)
We hemmed and hawed but in the end put an offer on it!  They accepted.  

Then started the roller coaster ride.  We had to have special inspections because of our septic system and well.  The lender we used wasn't use to lending to country folks so they asked us to jump through a lot of hoops to prove their investment wasn't a bad one.  When we finally got a closing date, Jed was sent on a last minute business trip on that exact day. 

 It was surreal when the actual closing day came since I hadn't allowed myself, up until that point, to believe we were moving! 

(Closing location, across the inter coastal from the space center)

And now we're here!  There's so much to do!  There's a lot that has to be done before I can dive into what I really want to do!  Hahaha! 

  Hopefully some of our future projects will provide blogging fodder!  

Our pond as the sunsets. 

The kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and one of the living areas is on the second story.  One day if we get a chance we'd like to move everything but the bedrooms downstairs. 

I do like this view from the living room though! 

Most of the property is over grown but all the more fun to explore! 

This is why we bought rubber boats instead of cowboy boats, Florida is one giant swamp! 

The dogs are beyond happy! 

Our first dinner at the house, on the back porch.  

The kids are so excited to fish!  And since we don't back up to the St. John's river anymore, no gators! 

Another gorgeous sunset!

We have so many trees, including varying sized pines!  This will be our first Christmas with a real tree! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Six days later and I'm finally posting about Halloween.  It's been busy since then and I haven't really been on my blogging game lately.  Oops.  At least I'm posting right?!!  

We had the extended family over for dinner and trick or treating.  Tracy and Coty brought Oakley for his first Halloween! 

Oakley was a giraffe and Isla even though we didn't have any other Pooh characters in our bunch, went as the pot of honey.  I refused to spend good money on a costume she would most likely hate wearing.  That costume by the way is for a 6 month old and while it was a little small, it still worked!  

I went to Goodwill a few days before Halloween and found several costumes for $3 each.  I bought all of them, and let the boys all pick out who they wanted to be.  I even bought a Mario costume expecting them to all fight over who would wear it but no one chose it!  

We lost Luigi's hat the day before trick or treating which was a bummer because Ford is the perfect Luigi! 

Don't ya think?!  This picture was taken days before said hat was lost. 

I didn't get any pictures of trick or treating.  It was hot, the babies were melting down, the mosquitoes were exceptionally thick this year and it was just plain hectic trying to keep track of all of the boys!  

Halloween Highlights: 

Leading up to the big day the boys begged to wear their costumes.  Often our school days looked like this: 

 During trick or treating Kane had vision issues while wearing his Ironman mask so at one point while Coty was pulling Oakley in the wagon, Kane ran toward a house and plowed, full speed, into the wagon, jolting it onto two wheels briefly but thankfully not flipping it.  Poor Oakley was uninjured yet traumatized so they headed back to the house to hang out.  

Isla was a delight.  She isn't known for her outgoing nature so when she was talking to people, letting others hold her and even being silly, we were all stunned.  Happy day! 

The next day, we started packing to move.  What?!  Have I not mentioned that we're moving?  Well, as I type this I'm sitting in our new house!