Friday, November 22, 2013

Step 2: A Cozy Coop Run

Like it or not -NOT- winter is moving in.

In fact it made it's first hello with a few inches of snow a couple weeks ago.  

In mid October the garden looked like this! Can you believe it? -sigh-


With the expectation of that first snowfall on it's way we needed to get to work on the next step of coop winterization. 

Winterization? I'm pretty sure that's a real word! -hmmm-

With prep for keeping the chickens' water source from freezing completed last month, we now needed to protect the coop run from wind and snow.

I purchased a few clear, plastic shower liners from Target for only $2.50 each, 

then the Husband, with heavy duty stapler in hand, and with the help of his lovely assistant, (that would be me!) set to work wrapping the coop run, leaving the upper foot open for air flow! Air flow is good! A chickens gotta breath ya know!

It's surprising how comfortable the temperature remains in the coop run now that it's all wrapped up. It's actually kind of cozy! And now the snow can't pile up where the chickens want to play!

It's so cozy in fact that the girls are hesitant to head into the garden now that the days are getting brisk.

When I took some apple slices to them, Penny was the only one who would ventured out to the garden into the light dusting of snow that lay on the ground.

The rest of the girls just stared at me from the open door. I know they were thinking...just toss the rest of those slices in here already. No amount of coaxing or cooing could convince them to join me in the open garden. -wimps!-

While the coop isn't quite as cozy as this...

I think it's going to keep our fine feathered friends pretty comfortable this winter.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gifts I Received

Yesterday was my birthday. I'm now 43 years old. -uff da-

I'd been working on a birthday rhyme to share with you. I do love a good rhyme ya know! I thought I'd write one about enjoying a birthday Starbuck's mocha.

Maybe I'd include a line or two, maybe three, about the increasing number of my gray hairs -BAH!- as well as my disbelief that the Husband and I are now parents of teenagers. What?? 

Okay so it's only one teenager and one almost teenager, but still. It happened so fast!

But I changed my mind.

Last year was a hard one. It brought a wide variety of struggles. It brought suffering, grief, and sorrow. There were strained relationships, financial setbacks, and loved ones in need. There were things hoped for that turned to disappointment. There was uncertainty and heartache. It was one big, never-ending storm!

Kind of a downer birthday blog isn't it?

My purpose in sharing this with you is to say - in the midst of the storm, it can be easy to allow the storm to become the focus. I don't want the storm to be my focus! 

In the midst of the storm, I see that the Lord has blessed me with many gifts. I want those gifts to be my focus and those gifts are what I decided I'd like to share with you on this my 43rd -uff da- birthday.

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Jeremiah 31:13b For I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.

I shed plenty of tears last year, I've no doubt I will shed plenty more, but God covers them with joy and laughter. Though my sorrow isn't gone, it is often close to the surface, but God has caused the root of my joy to grow deep in Him. 

God gave me joy!

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped! Therefore my heart greatly rejoices! And with my song I will praise Him!

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

Here I just need to give a WHOOP WHOOP!!

Though last year was very difficult, the Lord gave strength where I did not possess it on my own. He gave me peace that He remains in control! He gave me peace to surrender all to Him.

God gave me strength!

Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

God gave me peace!

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The Lord gave me guidance through scripture. He covered me in truth. His word was a comfort.

God gave me truth!

Galatians 6:2a Bear one another's burdens.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him.

Though I believe the verse in Galatians wasn't exactly speaking to bearing with one another's heartache, it definitely applies. God surrounded me with loved ones who supported, encouraged, helped to carry the burden of my heartache, and loved with great compassion.

God surrounded me with His children, who loved with His unfailing love!

Philippians 4:19-20 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever! Amen.

There were disappointments last year, and there were setbacks, God always provided for my needs!

God met my needs!

The storm may rage, it cannot diminish the good gifts God has given!

How could I but thank Him and rejoice for a year in which He did so much that is good?

It was indeed a very good birthday!


Friday, November 15, 2013

All in a Crafternoon

See what I did there with the title of this blog post??

Crafternoon! Get it? Craft and afternoon?? afternoon of crafting.

Clever, yes? Or was that just me?


Thanksgiving is drawing near and I'm so excited. I love this time of year!

And what better way to get things started than by spending an afternoon crafting a Thanksgiving banner?

A few supplies...burlap, a few yards of bias tape, some fabric paint, letter stencils, and a few willing helpers!

I love my willing helpers!! They're the best part of a crafternoon!

We cut 11 triangles out of the burlap.

Cutting burlap = huge mess! Just sayin'.

With our fabric paint, we stenciled the letters for the words GIVE THANKS onto the burlap triangles. 

Now you may be wondering why, when the words give thanks have only 10 letters, we cut out 11 triangles. We wanted a blank triangle to separate our words. 10 letters + one blank = 11 triangles. Sorry, just wanted to show off my crazy math skills there. 

Eh hem...

Stenciling with fabric paint = much less mess!! Contained mess actually, and very fun for craft helpers! 

Once our stenciled letters were dry, a quick zigzag stitch to attach the triangles of burlap to a bias tape of a matching color and done! 

It's looking a lot like Thanksgiving! I can almost smell the turkey and apple pie! Woohoo!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Please Hit the Brakes

My baby.

My eldest.

My Miss Sofi Bug.

She thinks she's old enough to start driving! 

That can't be. Just the other day...

Nope! She can't possibly be old enough to drive!!

The state of Minnesota disagreed with me. Totally unfair!

I mean...YAY!!! 

Yep, my girl has her driver's permit!

Miss Sofia and her bestie, Emily. Love these girls!!
She's very excited. 

I'm still in shock! But how could I be anything but excited for her?!

The Husband and I have been taking her out to practice her driving skills.

Like any of us when we started driving...the skills need some work.

We've agreed that things will go along very nicely as long as we do our best to "not stress her out" and she does her best to avoid slamming too hard on the breaks! -Yikes-

We've also discovered that as long as we all have a good sense of humor about it, we'll do alright.

But really, could we just hit the breaks on the growing up so fast thing? Where is the pause button?? A short game delay? Anything? -sigh-