May 21, 2012

Business is Booming

 We have officially begun our egg business!!!  We are currently collecting about 2 dozen a day and we have sold out the past 3 weeks!  It is so rewarding to finally see our hard work come to fruition.    Most of our birds have been enjoying life at the farm since January.  They are living the high life in their 1600 ft. chicken pen.
Once we move to the farm, we will be able to let them roam the grassy area behind the pen. For now, though, they seem perfectly happy where they are.
Most of our chickens are Black Australorps  and Rhode Island Reds.  They are super gentle, people friendly, and consistent (daily) layers.  We still have some of the original chickens at our house.  They will be moving to the farm, soon, though.  Maybe one day we'll be able to join them. ;)

Now that we are selling eggs, I have had several people ask me about farm raised chickens and fresh eggs.  Ever worry if you might find a baby chick when you crack open an egg?  I'll share how you can be sure that won't ever happen again.  Come back for Chickens 101.

Wrapping Up May

 This is what Superman looks like when he comes to the farm.  My sweet boy still loves capes and swords.  I'm treasuring every moment because in a blink he will be moving on to big boy interests.  Right now, I'll savor the hero on the 4wheeler.

 My kids surprised me with breakfast in bed.  It was post-Mother's Day because "Sunday mornings are crazy."  My coffee was the perfect blend of creamer/coffee and I love that they even topped the homemade waffle with fresh berries.  I am so blessed to be these kiddos' mom!

 Even though we still have a few more days of school, summer has officially begun around here.  Mimi and Papa's pool produces mile wide smiles.

We enjoyed watching our first tractor parade this weekend.  I could have taken home several of those cute old farmers.  Wrinkly skin, straw hats, and wide grins get me every time.  :)

Our weekend was a flurry of cookouts, time with friends, and house showings.
We're still waiting for that buyer who will love our home as much as we have.
Happy Monday!!

May 14, 2012

Thank You

Last week I was reminded of the power of words.
By you.
I began the week at a very low place.  It's been a tough 6 months and I faltered under the weight of it all.  Yes, having the party get rained out was a jagged little pill to swallow, but it was really just the breaking point for my heart.  It was risky to peel away the curtain of my heart and show the pain, but you, my dear friends, showered me with healing words.
Thank you for being willing to say, "it's going to be okay."  Your generous, thoughtful words were such a comfort to me.  I was blessed beyond measure by you.  Not only did you leave sweet comments, but I received emails, and even 2 surprise visits from friends.
Thank you for not ignoring my need for an extra (even virtual) hug.  We all hit low places along the walk of life and you were there for me.  I am so blessed to have such caring friends.
Thank you!!


May 9, 2012

Easy Lemonade Cake

1 (3 oz) pkg. lemon Jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1 box yellow or lemon cake mix
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 frozen lemonade concentrate
powdered sugar**

Mix boiling water and jello until dissolved. Set aside.
In mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, and oil.  Gradually add in jello mixture.

Grease and flour* bunt pan.  Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
While cake is still hot, combine powdered sugar** and thawed lemonade concentrate with a whisk.  Poke holes into top of cake and pour half of the lemonade mixture over cake.
Let cool.
Remove cake from pan and serve with 1 tsp. of remaining icing drizzled over each slice.

*I use 1 Tbs of the dry cake mix so there are no ugly white flour  chunks stuck to the bottom of my cake.
**The more powdered sugar you use, the less tart the icing will be.  I used about 3Tbs of powdered sugar and it was very tart (but that's how we like it).

I'm linking up with Richella today!


May 7, 2012

When It Rains, It Pours

 To say it has been a challenging 5 days would be an understatement.

Last Thursday and Friday my kids had their end of grade testing.  As a homeschool mom, I think this is the most nerve racking time of the year.  After all, it is really a test to see if I did my job.  The kids did great, but it was still an anxious 2 days.
In the midst of that, we were preparing for our first official party at the new farm.  We worked our tails off sprucing things up and getting ready for 70 people to arrive on Saturday.  On top of those two stressors, we had 3 showings.  Um.  Yeah.  The week we went to the mountains I left my house pristine, awaiting showings.  Not. a single one.  Some kind of crazy.

Since this was a family event, we wanted to have fun stuff available for all ages.  Corn hole, whiffle ball, and fishing to name a few.  My sweet man even planned a hayride for the kids (of all ages). 

The weatherman was calling for 90+ degrees that day, so we modified a Pinterest idea:
 The party start time was 4pm.  Up until 3:50pm the sun was shining.  At 3:51 the clouds rolled in like angry fists ready for a fight.

They won.

 We watched our friends pull into the driveway and then drive away.  With each leaving car, my heart broke a little more.  All that planning.  All that hard work.  All of those hot dog buns sitting in the back of my car!  Four families stayed and made the most of it.  Somehow we squeezed under two tents to eat (standing up).  The kids thought jumping on the trampoline in the rain was awesome, so it wasn't a total loss.

By the time we pulled into our garage (soaking wet) and unloaded all the party stuff we had hauled out to the farm, my emotions were shot.

To be completely honest, I really didn't want to go to church on Sunday.  I was still an emotional train wreck.  I made it through most of the service but couldn't seem to get a grip during Sunday school.  At first I was totally embarrassed, but then I remembered that Christians often try to wear the mask of "everything's fine with me."   I gave up trying to fake it.  I was emotionally and physically worn out.

Sunday evening my husband suggested that I go pick up Chinese takeout for the family.  He knows I need some alone time.  I decided to stop at a cupcake store to drown my sorrows for a treat and as I approached the door the owner stepped out and said, "we're sold out."
Of course you are.

As today dawned I decided it had to get better.
I was wrong.
One of my daughter's ducks died during the night.
She and I cried together.
Out of 10 ducklings, she is down to one thanks to a nasty-mean-awful muskrat that thinks he owns our pond.  We've moved the lone duck back to our house and she's sharing the pen with our chickens.
To get my daughter's mind off the ducks, we took a morning field trip to get a bagel and visit the library.  On the way home we got a call.
We have another showing tonight.
Looks like I'll be loading the party cups/napkins/tablecloths/candles etc...  back into my car and we'll be eating hot dog buns for dinner.

May 2, 2012

1 Minute Crock Pot Chicken Sandwiches

My sweet friend Emily requested some easy, inexpensive recipes that we use on a regular basis.  This one's for you, Em.
1 bottle of bbq sauce (my family prefers the Jack Daniels, I prefer Georges NC style)
4 frozen boneless chicken breasts*
Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
(1 minute indicates how much labor is involved, not cooking time)
Shred in sauce with a fork and knife.

Serve on buns with a side salad or chips or baked fingernails.  Whatever floats your boat. ;)
It doesn't get much easier than that!
*The chicken seems to multiply when you shred it.  I usually use 4 chicken breasts to serve 5 hearty eaters.

I'm joining this linky party!