Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The last couple weeks have gone by quickly.  With nothing big on the schedule it left room for a lot of whatever we felt like doing. 
Montana family was in town, they hadn't come in the summer for a couple years, so it was fun to do campfires and outdoorsy things with them again. 

The animals are a handful right now.  Chickens, turkeys, and bunnies everywhere.  A couple more weeks and it's time to butcher the chickens.  

The turkeys are growing, but still looking very much like the chickens

Our new batch of bunnies.  Finally have a litter that didn't die.  We've been having issues with the mommas this summer, not caring for them.  

I love this picture of Clay with our Amish neighbors. He likes to chat with them :)

Our popcorn is so tall this year!  The boys each have a little patch. 

I spotted our first watermelon, i haven't ever grown watermelon before but i had room where the spinach and cabbage were and wanted to give it a try.  Can't wait to see what happens, i hear it's a hard thing to grow. 

We have some barn construction going on right now.  It will look a lot different, more open and new concrete flooring.  We want to put in a couple stalls for any new animals we might get down the road.  
Before pic:

Taking out some beams and the feeding troughs.  Also digging out the concrete for a new concrete floor

We took the boys to the Buck over the weekend to see the monster trucks.  They put on a great show.  I wanted to go last year and it didn't work out.  They bring in monster trucks twice a year at the Buck.  

A lot of star wars talk was coming out of their mouths

Sunday after church we had some families over for a slip and slide.  It was so hot that day, the kids loved it.  

Rod wasn't impressed with the yard afterward :)  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

honey project

Yesterday was the day....the day i disturbed tens of thousands of bees and took their hard earned honey frames from them.  You can imagine their fury.  They were flying at me, beating off my suit so hard it sounded like rain drops against a windshield.  I had multiple layers on so i wouldn't get stung through the suit and i didn't.  It took 1.5 hours just to go through the boxes of frames and pull the ones out that were fully capped (when they are capped that means the bees made the honey the right consistency and it's ready to harvest.  Harvesting uncapped honey could mold).   Then i had to brush the bees off the frames and quickly put it in our cooler and shut the lid so the bees wouldn't follow it in.  I got 15 frames to extract.  I was a sweaty mess till the end of this all.

The capping is just wax that they make

Then in the evening, after picking up the extractor and setting up the kitchen, we harvested.  It was so fun!  I used a hot knife to cut the capping off and then we put the frames into the extractor.  It holds 9 frames, someone then turns it and it spins the honey out of the cells.  It was a family affair.

Aunt Mary has never seen or done anything like this in her almost 90 years of life.  

The honey falls to the bottom and comes out of a nozzle for easy bottling

I cheated and looked online at how much honey 15 frames makes so i knew we'd get around 4 gallons, and that's what we did.  Pretty much exactly 4 gallons.  I'm so grateful for a strong hive that survived the winter and has done their job so well.  I feel so blessed.  We'll extract again in September.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I was looking forward to Sunday for many days.  A day to myself!  Rod took the 3 older boys to ride some mini bike trails a couple hours away.  And my mom kept Clay for an overnight.  I was so excited for this day, that the night before i didn't get to sleep until after 2:00!  

Even though i didn't relax per say, i was able to do things on my own timetable, without interruption and that in itself is peaceful and relaxing for me.   

I housecleaned the toy room, picked green beans, finished Clay's photobook, went grocery shopping, and cleaned out bunny cages.  It was glorious.  

The mini bikers had a great time.  It rained a lot the day before, so there were some puddles, but i think that was the attraction.  

My mom took Clay to a traveling zoo at a nearby store, i love these pictures of Clay on a camel.  And i'm a little jealous, i want to sit on a camel!

Now everyone is back home again and i have a boy clinging on me as we speak.  Back to reality!