Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Latest Adventure......

Earlier this winter I had the notion that I wanted to maybe start up my own bee hive. In my mind, the plan was to do my homework over the next year then get my supplies ordered by next Spring. One thing about beekeeping is it can be very pricey to start this hobby. In my research I found it's not uncommon to have 1,000-$1,200 in starting up your hive. (These estimations are based on starting two hives, which is recommended). Just when I thought I had this whole thing planned out.......I got the mail from my mailbox. In this batch of mail, I happened to find out their is a beekeeping school only 30 minutes from me being offered in early March. Well that got me thinking, "Maybe I could just go to the school and get a jump start on that homework I was wanting to do." This Bee School even provided some tools, books, hive start, ect...bonus right? After considering it a bit more, running all this by the Hubby, we decided that is would be great to take the school and be prepared for the next year. That very night, my Craigslist stalking  Husband was cruising one of his favorite sites.......HE SAW IT!!

Hive boxes that were only $5!! They also included the frames (which had never been used yet!!) So I know could score hives for only $20, plus a little elbow grease to clean, repaint, and then the upper frames (supers) need some new foundations on their frames. Well as this to say, my start up fee for beekeeping just dropped DRASTICALLY! A new hive for one batch of bees can run from $150-$300 new, and since they recommend two hives that's $300-$600 you have just in hives (without the bees!) Now I have enough boxes for 4 hives and it only cost me $ that get's me excited! Then we also discovered some local we can buy the actual bees from for $70 instead of $100...yet another savings! That allowed us to save $60 just in bees. (I'm starting 2 hives this year.)
All this so say, that even though I was thinking this whole project would begin next year, the Lord had different plans in mind. I'm okay with that, His timing is always better than mine. I can say one thing with great confidence...I WILL NOT BE BORED WHEN SPRING DECIDES TO ARRIVE!
I think these beautiful boots might look a little different when March & April roll around!

I'm linking to HOMESTEAD sure to go visit other homestead bloggers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Baby Chicks.....

 At our Tuesday Homeschool Coop Classes, the science class has been getting to watch some eggs hatch into chicks. They have had such fun watching the process, but by far they seemed to enjoy holding the chicks and watching them. Of course that meant these chicks needed a home after all the fun. Well I was offered them and it ended up no one else wanted  them. So now we have added 7 more chicks to our collection. I am very excited because we do not have either breed I inherited! We have 5 Barred Rocks, and 2 Leghorns. Do you want to take a peek and see what those furry little darling look like?
This first picture shows how they felt after being held by little people ALL DAY LONG!!!
 I think I can relate to how they feel after Tuesday classes....I know they look dead...but they are not
 Here they are getting a little drink before they crashed again
Another shot (because I just can't help it!) all cuddled up

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Country Kids Just Wanna Have Fun!

The kids found a new past time last Friday afternoon. Climbing on a fallen tree, then using it as a human catapult. In case your curious this is how it works:
 First you pull down the limb for your little brother to climb on
 If that doesn't work, try this method
 Once he is on, pull back the branch counting to 3...then he's catapulted into the air & loving it all
 Everyone took turns...this went on for at least a constant 30 minutes
Little Miss decided this activity was best to watch from another branch & not to participate
 A GREAT time had by all....soaking up the sun...flying through air...WIN! WIN!
My cute crew

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy B-day Caleb!

Today marks my 9th year as a full time stay at home mama! I can't even hardly wrap my brain around the whole idea of it, but it's true. Caleb Curtis, who's nickname is Cubbie, was born on a very wintery storm kind of day...lots of ice and snow. Which meant that our visitors were very few! Caleb is so sweet and compassionate yet I would venture to say he's my orneriest one of the lot. We love his adventurous spirit, although sometime I just hold my breath and pray for the best.

Happy 9th B-day BIG MAN!
 This past Saturday he had a few friends over to help him celebrate!

Monday, February 20, 2012


There is something very wonderful about Tulips! When I see them I immediately smile...then I think SPRING!!!! I made a stop at Kroger this last week and couldn't resist the urge to pass by them without grabbing my a little bouquet.

(Not only are they gorgeous, but they were inexpensive. 20 tulips for $7.99!
My lovely bouquet..promising that Spring is not far off!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Garden Learning

 We started our Garden Unit study over a week ago, and we have been loving it! This is the first time I have done a unit study of any kind. I think it helps that it's a subject I'm already passionate about.
 So far we've learned about:
types of gardens
cold garden plants
warm garden plants
what three nutrients our plants need to grow
what makes good soil
how a plant grows and get it's energy
how to choose a garden spot
how to prepare the soil
which  plants grow in a mound, bush, climb, or grow in row form
picked our plants to grow in the veggie garden
made pictures of what our garden will look like
learned about the life cycle of butterflies
host plants
nectar plants
what a butterfly needs to survive
planned our butterfly garden
ordered seeds for our flowers
and I'm positive there is more, but those are the ones I can rattle off the top of my head.
We have been tracking our progress of what to plant at what soil temperature. 
 I have a log sheet of what seeds I ordered with the pictures and information about each plant. 
I have a log sheet of garden expenses, just to keep track for fun.
 I think keeping record of what we order will also help us to know where we can reorder next year if we like the result, what variety we planted, how much seed we ordered. I don't know about you but each year I think I will remember and each year I'm clueless and can't remember any of it!
Then I'm keeping all the info in our folder...all the info in one place is always a good idea!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Fever....postponed

We have experienced just a mild winter here in our parts that we even a few days that made it seem like spring was just around the corner. Well we knew it was to good to be true and turn warm in February but we had fun soaking up all the sun and warmer temperatures for the day!

 Caleb flying high!
 Zach wearing that ugly hat (that they say is SUPER warm) from when Justin was a kid.
 Caleb is FULL spring training mode...going down the zip line one handed.
 When asked "Why?" he said because I'm holding my gun with the other hand like a solider does. 
(This came after watching a documentary on Netflix about Army Saper's.)
 Zach is trying to work up the courage to go, it didn't happen. I was ready just in case he did!
 Julia posing like she was going...she's not ready quit yet though....
 Well it's cold we'll just keep hanging out inside reading books, getting all of schooling done so that when Spring REALLY decides to come in all its glory we will be READY!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Easy & Fast Pancakes from Scratch

One of the favorite around here at breakfast time is pancakes. Blueberry, chocolate chip, banana, no matter what variety I'm serving up they consume them at a very fast rate! (Which I'm sure is nothing they will be able to consume as teenagers!) I love the convenience of buying the pre-mix pancake mix at Aldi's. I also have found a super simple recipe that allows me whip up pancakes almost as fast as "Just Add Water". Seriously it's that easy and super cheap to make from stratch. This version I'm giving you is a double batch. I haven't acutally counted the number of pancakes I get (because even if I did everyone is  a different size) but it makes enough to feed 6 at breakfast with maybe 1 or 2 left over.

Pancake Mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP of baking powder
2 pinches of salt
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 TBSP melted butter
I add in 2 tsp of cinnamon & ginger just for fun

If you want the "just add water" feel to it you can always make up a few dry mixes and store them and just add the few wet ingredients when you want to make them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tracking Food Production for 2012

I don't know about you, but my brain has been non-stop buzzing about all the excitement of Spring being right around the corner! I have successfully ordered all my seeds for our Butterfly Garden. I have ordered all our Veggie Garden seeds, except for the corn, bean, potatoes we plan to buy in bulk. I will also have to purchase the tomatoes, onions, and green pepper plants when spring planting time is here.

With all of this seed ordering and garden organization is going on, I had another thought. I want to be able to track our "Food Production" this year. I have seen it on other blogs...but it's usually right in the middle of harvest season that I remember it. (Here is your reminder!) So this year I am going to keep a log here on my blog of our food production. I think it will be a great way of keeping track of what veggies and fruits did well, and which ones did not. I'm excited about making a remarkably large garden this year and sharing the fun with the kids along the way. If your thinking of tracking you Homestead's Food Production now might be a good time to start! Whether your garden is small or an acre in size I think it's helpful to know what amount of food your producing. If nothing else it would be fun to know!
If you are reading this post in FB or on some sort of Reader you can go directly to my blog and check out the simple "List" I made along the left side of my page. For Blogger, I simply went into Add a Gadget, then clicked on List, Simply make your list to your liking and hit save. You can go back into this list and "Edit" each time you need to update each item.
 This week I linked to Homestead Barn Hop!

Monday, February 6, 2012

2011 CHRISTMAS Memories!

 I know...I know...It's February, but I've finally got the pictures from Christmas that Hubby had stored on his phone. I'm warning you that there are MANY "captured moments" to follow!

 I was REALLY THRILLED with the number of Christmas card we got this year!
 All the Christmas loot.....
 We always start by reading the Christmas story. Lance started reading....
  Caleb finished up.
 The kids bought gifts for each other this year. They all got to spend $1 on each person. They had such fun shopping for each other! Not nearly as much as they had getting the gifts from each other! 
 Many hugs followed as they thanked each other for their thoughtfulness.....this is a tradition we will be doing again and again for many years to come!
 Now that Zach is reading he got his first Bible this year! It even has his name stamped on it!
 Julia's bitty baby, Sarah, had a good Christmas! She got many new items to wear and play with!
 My Hubby wrote me a sweet note explaining my gift to me.
 So many great gifts, lots of fabulous food, and family time....
What more could you ask for? A few more pictures.....okay since you asked!

Wow, I'm not sure about you, but I feel such a relief now that we are all caught up again :)

Design by Amanda @ BloggerBuster