Saturday, March 22, 2014

4 Wheelin' Chick...

I'll bet you didn't know that chicks like to go 4-wheelin'.  I brought a chick inside to cheer Tobers up, who has a fever today.  Whippersnapper set this little cutie chick on their toy 4-wheeler and it promptly fell asleep!  I woke it up when I was taking pictures.

 She is very pretty with her wings feathering out!  She sat there for the longest time.  It was pretty cute, and the boys got a giggle out of it too.:)  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leave it!

Evan's dog, Dolly, is pretty special to us.  In her training as a puppy we taught her the "leave it" command.  Anything she wanted with high value like a dog treat, lunch meat, toy we'd practice telling her "Leave it." and taught her to leave it along until we gave her a command that it was OK to take it.  This has been incredibly valuable as we go about our daily lives, but never more so than now that we have all these chicks everywhere!  

When we first brought home the chicks in the boxes she was keenly interested and excited about them.  So occasionally we'd tell her to "Leave it" and she'd settle right down, still looking intently but obedient to our command.

I am so impressed that Evan has been consistent with her and that she has taken to the training so well.  She is a smart dog and I am so happy we took the time to teach her some of these basic commands because it is sure making our lives much easier during stressful times like getting 200 chicks settled into their coop.

Dolly loves the chicks and wants to play, but is using restraint and watching intently.

Hopefully she continues to be a good girl around the chickens and uses her instincts for good.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The New Brooder...

We needed a larger brooder set-up in order to house the larger number of chicks we have in each batch this year.  We needed a secure, warm area to get the chicks ready for their movable pens which takes about 3 weeks from time of hatch.  So we built this structure to house the chicks and then we built an inner box with legs that houses a heat lamp to warm the chicks.  We also have a creep feeder built into the wall of the brooder that features a gutter for the feeder trough at the bottom, angled 2x6s, and plywood to keep the feed contained. 

The new brooder is on the left, the older chicken coop (with a fresh coat of paint now) is on the right.

 Inside the hover box, there are 2 heat lamps to keep the chicks warm.  The bulbs can be changed out for less wattage for less heat and the legs can be set on top of blocks to reduce temps as well.  

So far so good with this design and arrangement.:)  Chicks seem happy and warm.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Couple Odds and Ends...

We planted our seedlings a few weeks ago, and they are coming up nicely so far!

Sunshine got her closet drape all sewn up.  It looks great, and the fabric was really great to work with too.

We are also working on a mural in the boys room that is a simple silhouette hunting scene.  I will have to show pictures when we get it done.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Layer Chicks...

We haven't had layer chicks in a couple year and I forgot how pretty they are!  Although these gals are more beautiful than most we've ever had even as chicks. 

This is an Ameracauna chick, isn't her coloring neat even as a 2 day old chick?  

She looks like she is even wearing eye make-up.

This is a Golden Comet (red sex-link) chick.

The white/light yellow chick in the picture below is a white leghorn.

We can't wait until we start getting those beautiful farm fresh eggs again!

Remodel Recap...

Well, where to start?  We have been BUSY for the past 6 weeks.  Crazy busy!  We were able to remodel the living/dining areas, small area off the kitchen that is our office, the boys' bedroom, most of the bathroom, and Sierra's room all in the last 6 weeks or so!  All rooms got some minor wall arrangements, new tape and texture, paint, flooring, window blinds and organization.  

My favorite improvement was this wall section getting changed up some.

Before there were two partition walls with openings in them (as you can see in the "before" pic).  The walls weren't large enough to be able to set furniture against them and I didn't care for the openings in the walls.  So we decided to take out the wall section right by the front door (behind the step ladder in the before pic above).  Then we decided to extend the wall in the foreground so we could put furniture against the wall and be able to install the wood stove on the other side of the wall in the future.

The next thing I love is the new flooring throught all the remodeled areas!  Oh it is so nice.  What a huge improvement to the look of the house.  You can see in the picture collage below we put a wood look Allure flooring in the living areas and boys' room.  It is called TrafficMaster Allure in Pacific Pine color.  We really like this flooring, it was so easy to install that the kids and I ended up installing a lot of it.  In the bathroom and kitchen we put in a tile pattern of the same type of flooring.  It is called Traffic Master Allure in Cordoba color.

We tried to choose flooring that would hide dirt and dog hair well and we set actual dirt, mud and dog hair on all the samples and these two were the best. 

We have a lot of finishing touches to do, especially trim work, but we are holding off on that stage until we have the shop done enough to be able to finish the woodwork out of the weather.  So for now, it is totally comfortable and we are enjoying the upgrades.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't Know When to Quit...

The remodel has expanded, and expanded some more.  Maybe it was the progress in the bathroom that inspired us.  Seeing those new walls all nicely painted and the new flooring so nice and new.  We expanded the remodel efforts to Sunshine's room a week or two ago.  Mind you, the bathroom still is not finished, it is 2/3 functioning though.  The tub/shower and toilet are functional, but the countertop is still not done and therefore the sink is not functional.  We will get there, but first we decided to expand the remodel to not only Sunshine's room but the hall that connects the bathroom and her room.  Then we figured why stop there?  Within the next 2 days we were starting in on the living room.  Then we realized it made more sense to keep going into the original dining area while we were at it.  Then since that area connects into the kitchen we will have some blending to do into the already remodeled kitchen as well.  Which means we will have to repaint the kitchen since the feathering out of the joint compound and texturing to blend the transition will require some paint touch ups.

We've possibly  bit off more than we can chew. Ha Ha   Well maybe not, we are gnawing and chewing as fast as we can.  It is coming along really quickly thanks to a VERY motivated and energized Mr Wonderful! He is on a mission and working late into the night several nights already. Thankfully his work schedule has been fairly light lately so he is able to put some more focus into the remodel than he'd have normally been able to.

We are currently on the 2nd coat of mud (joint compound) on the walls.  It feels great to be this far and I can't wait until the end result.

We extended one wall out to give us more options in arranging furniture in the living area, on the backside of the new wall we want to install a new woodstove at some point down the road.  We took out a short wall that had openings in it that we didn't care for.

BEFORE:  The wall behind Tobers got tore out back to the door.  The wall Tobers is working on got extended a couple feet and the opening was filled in.  You can see the "lovely" two tone paneling and painted wallpaper covered sheetrock board walls.

DURING (sneak peek):  You can see the short wall section by the door is now gone, and the other wall is longer and the opening is filled in now!  Woodstove will go behind this wall, so the wood mess isn't facing the living room area.  The sheetrock is up but we hadn't started the joint compound quite yet.  We added bullnose corners for something different.

While we were doing the remodel we realized we are going to need to replace the flooring in both the living area and kitchen.  The living room carpet is very cheap (short fibers and light colored and shows every stain).  The kitchen floor is sort of a disaster because the old old floor is showing in areas where we had to move base cabinets to make the kitchen larger in that remodel project.  So we have some rugs carefully placed to cover those bad spots, they catch all kinds of crud in those areas where the flooring gaps so it really needs replaced.  We were making due and being patient while we saved up the funds to replace it.  We decided to go ahead and get it done sooner than later after we finish redoing the walls.  We had the time and we couldn't work on much else with the cold weather and snow we've been having.  We filed our taxes and know what our refund will be when it arrives.  So as soon as that is in we can order our flooring.

I will keep you posted and hopefully we will have some final after pictures to share soon.

Tomorrow is Spud Man's 13th birthday!  I can't believe we will have two teenagers now.  Looking forward to many good times ahead and fun adventures as these kiddos grow into adults.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tree Fort...

The tree fort has really taken shape this week!  The boys have been working really hard on it and it is quite impressive.  They have to give a big shout out to their Uncle Ray for bringing them supplies the other day.  The really brought their progress into high gear after they got materials.

They are having a great time up there even though the temps have been pretty cold these past couple weeks.  To be honest I haven't been up there yet, but Mr Wonderful tells me it is already full of all kinds of stuff.  I wonder if it looks anything like their bedrooms.  Surely not.

Whippersnapper has a BB gun up there.  Notice the window boxes!  That will look really cute with flowers this spring.

They still have the railing to finish and a few finishing touches, but it is pretty functional already.  They are really excited that they got this far too.

So there is the latest from the tree fort.  Maybe next time I will get brave and go take pictures inside of it too.