Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finally an Update

I'm finally slowing down, only to find that summer is coming to a close. I can't believe May and June have come and gone and we're already half way through July. By this time next month, I'll be teaching 10th grade biology! I've been working frantically on my lesson plans for the upcoming year, as well as finding decent room decor. I found a neat teacher's store in Boise, but they cater mostly to elementary school teachers. I found a series of "body systems" posters (i.e. digestive system, circulatory system, etc.) that will do great at covering my bare walls, but other than that...I'm still looking. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know! Oh...and I'll post the before and after photos of my classroom in a week or two - when we get back from vacation and I've had a chance to finish up some projects.

My husband and I have been going full bore, even on weekends. Fourth of July weekend consisted of weed-eating, mowing, watering, digging and filling holes for trees, building a large raised flower bed, painting the rest of the chicken coop and putting on smaller chicken wire (...I couldn't believe how soon our coop had become the "community" hot spot for wild birds needing an easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner!...). 

Here's the finished chicken coop. We painted it barn red and a yellow-cream color and I just love how it turned out! The paint makes the coop not only look more pleasing to the eye, but also protects the wood from rain and other elements of the weather.

Here's the planter that we (i.e. mostly Aaron) built. It's not perfect, but we did what we could using spare wood around the place. Eventually I would like to paint it and add a few more flowering plants. The irises are a nice touch though...don't you think?!

I also wanted to update you on our growing yard, garden, and chickens. The grass we planted a few months ago is coming in nicely ( least I think so...although there are plenty of weeds too), especially since we can't fertilize (due to the free-ranging chickens). We also got to harvest the first plants from our garden - peas and radishes. I forgot to take a picture of the apologies...but they are deliciously crisp and zesty with flavor! And the sweet. Just a taste makes me want to fork a whole bowl-full down. Yum.

Here's the garden/yard before we planted:

 And here's the garden/yard after several months:

 And here's our first pick of the peas! I've been so excited to harvest them. They are definitely one of my favorite garden vegetables!

Here are the pumpkins! They have grown so fast....they are 3 times as tall now (and this photo is only a week or two old).

And the beans...

And the onions...

And the one tomato plant that survived (despite the chickens' grazing and pecking and the wind's howling)...

As for the chicks, they are all doing great and growing like weeds. Assimilation of the two younger chicks was a bit rough, but they seem to be handling it ok. I think it's hilarious how differing their personalities are. Bobba is definitely at the top of the pecking order, but she still has a soft spot for the younger chicks. Gweny is a bit spoiled and is always following one of the other chicks in an effort to find where food might be lurking. She tends to follow Izzy alot, who is our bug catcher and adventurer. And finally there's Elwood (or Ellie as I like to call her). She's crazy. Period. She talks to herself (even if the others are quiet). She also squawks and makes a huge ruckus if birds fly overhead. She would rather break a wing, run into the fence, or loose both feet than let anyone touch, pet, or carry her. In essence, she's our own "chicken little" who always thinks the sky is falling. Its quite comical really. :)

 Here are the chicks! Look at the cute fluffy babies... (Bobba - left, Gweny - right)

 Here they are a bit older... (Gweny - left, Bobba - right)

And here they are full grown... (Gweny in first photo, Bobba in second)

And here are Izzy (left) and Elwood (right). Sorry I don't have "time lapse" photos of them too...

I also have a few cards to show off. It's been a while since I've sat and scrapped, but I never got around to posting these. So I hope you enjoy.

Well that's all for now. Thanks for looking.

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