Saturday, October 31, 2009


Curious George and sidekick The Man in the Yellow Hat.

Dan had to dress up for work on Friday so I decided to make two costumes that went together. We didn't officially trick-or-treat, but we did make a few stops on Friday night to show off the costumes to some neighbors and family.

I actually had a lot of fun making these. I thought about them a lot throughout the week, but didn't take action until Thursday night. We took a trip to the thrift store and Wal-mart and got all the supplies. I dyed the pants and tie fabric yellow, the shirt was already that color. We also spray painted the hat yellow. For the monkey suit I found brown leggings and a shirt with brown sleeves and bought brown fleece for the hoodie. I didn't have a pattern, but used one of Rebecca's hooded sweat shirts and a guide. I actually surprised myself at how well it turned out.

Lots of fun for all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Fun

Here are just a few pictures from the last week. I love FALL!We had fun in the leaves when it was beautiful weather outside. And when it is rainy, we stayed in and made pancakes and popcorn.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This past weekend we celebrated our birthdays a little early. Last year Dan planned a surprise over night trip for our birthdays and this year he planned another outing. We took a ride on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. I'll have to agree with Rachel that the train is the way to travel, but only if it includes a fine dinning experience.

We had a great time. Here are a few pictures.The train has two dining cars and we rode in the Los Angeles, which was the nicer of the two, we thought.
We dined on shrimp cocktails, salad, rolls, pork tenderloin with steamed veggies, and cheesecake for dessert. It was "BYOB" which we did not do, but our table mates were generous and shared their wine with us.
The tracks over the Des Moines River.
There were great fall colors to see, but the back platform was crowded when we went over the High bridge and I couldn't get a very good picture. We don't know that couple.
The tracks at night. The trip was about 2 hours long and we traveled about 10 miles per hour. It was very relaxing and I would recommend it to anyone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Home

Congrats to Andy and Carol for closing on their first home today! Rebecca talks about it all the time, "Andycarolhome" (all one word). Thankfully yours is a lot nicer than the one we built. We pray your new home will be filled with love and laughter for many years to come.

Coincidently, 5 years ago today, Dan and I closed on our first home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken #3

Dan wanted me to "help" with the butchering of chicken #3 but I refused. Rebecca on the other hand did watch. While they were in the garage doing the deal I kept hearing Rebecca say, "Owy chicken, owy." Later that day Rebecca said something about chickens and eggs and I reminded her that the chicken was all gone and she pointed to the hatchet that was still by the sink and said sadly, "Yeah, owy chicken."

We all enjoyed the chickens this summer, alive and dead.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The chicken massacre

This post is graphic enough I care not to show pictures but the story is the conclusion to raising chickens this summer.

Last night as I/we normally do after getting home from work I went to the garage and got a scoop of chicken feed to feed our three chickens. From a distance away I saw the massacre. A dead chewed up chicken lying in the middle of our chicken coop. The chicken wire had been torn off and feathers were everywhere. I looked around and the second and third chicken was missing. Where did they go? I concluded the guilty party(ies) had killed one and taken the other two for a later meal.

Then out of the corner of my eye I see the two hens alive and well strolling around our yard. I realized that while the intruder was busy killing the first hen the other two escaped the scene.

What shall I do now? Cut our losses and butcher the two quickly before the offender returns? Sarah and I were ready to end their lives soon anyway as freezing weather was coming and we don't have adequate shelter. Or do I repair the cage and put the two alive ones back in?

I began to repair the cage and one of the hens came to me and wanted back in the cage to get some food. I decided to hope for the best so I let her in and shut the door. The other was more reluctant. A few staples here and there and I had the cage all fixed up. Before on occasion the chickens have gotten out during feeding and after darkness they are easier to catch. Using this thought I decided to wait until dark to catch the one outside the cage and hope the intruder would leave us alone until Sat. when I could commit time to skinning them. Though I didn't think the cage was varmint proof I was surprised after all summer with no disturbances that now, during the last week before we planned to slaughter them, that we would have wild animal issues.

Darkness had finally come and I asked Sarah to go out and get the lone ranger hen and put her in the cage. She reluctantly accepted. After going outside she discovers that the crime scene was a crime scene yet again. Hen #2 had been killed and upon a thorough sweep of the yard hen #3 was missing. Was she also caught and taken away. We don't know yet. The cage had been torn into again. I feel horrible for not protecting them but next summer the cage will be reinforced. Where is hen #3? I suspect that she is either gone or she was hiding underneath or up in the evergreen trees in our yard. I will look again tonight.
Part 2 - The chicken massacre continued...

When daylight returned chicken #3 was found alive a well. We got her back in the cage and moved the cage to the garage.

Here are a few pictures (upon request). View at your own discretion.

All that is left of chicken #2.
The lone ranger, who actually has a bloody wound on her back.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting out the Door

For all you working moms, you know what I'm talking about - trying to get out the door each morning on time is like a 3 ringed circus! And I only have one kid! Here's a picture of Rebecca when we FINALLY got in the car this morning. She doesn't always eat breakfast at our house in the morning, but this morning she need a "bar," she and her green blankie are nearly inseparable, she need her glasses because I had mine on, and at the last minute she decided she needed to bring "moo" along, whom she tried to feed her bar to as we drove - what a sticky mess.