Sunday, April 13, 2014

The results are in! SPRING FAIR



The day started out clear and beautiful but COLD.


The boys had Second Saturday breakfast at our church so Cyan and I went out to breakfast and then picked them up to head to the fair.  I thought we would bolt to the Creative Kids section to see which ribbons the kids got, but instead, we wandered all over the place.  I think I was way more ready to see them than the kids were!




When we finally got to their section, we were amazed to find that Cyan had gotten a Grand Champion ribbon for her impressive two layer cake!  I love that they saw her hard work and honored it.  It makes me feel wonderful as a mom to watch her get so invested and then have that rewarded.


Logan also got a ribbon.  His first year in the fair!


  After that we went and saw the baby animals and got an elephant ear to split.  It was a wonderful day!


On our way out, this wonderful Celtic band came marching by to send us off.  What a fun day!



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jr Prom


Alex’s first prom.  He and his girlfriend, Amy, had a wonderful time!    




  They looked so great together.  :)



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New bitties on the farm!

Guess what?


Chicken butt!

We got three new hens last week and they are settling in nicely. 


Meet Olive (top), Popcorn (bt rt), and Caramel (bt left).  Olive is Caramel and Popcorn’s mom.  Olive is 3 and the other two are on their second year.  Still wonderful layers!  We got an egg the first day!

At first we had two obvious flocks.  The three new ones and our older hens both banded together and wherever they collided (such as in the dusting bath space, or wanting the same tender worm) there was pecking and squawking and chasing.  But now, they are all together and very little pecking happens at all. 

_MG_5833    IMG_9960

We got rid of our beautiful rooster at the same time.  He was just too loud for our closer neighbors and honestly, for us!  We don’t have enough space for a crowing roo.  He also didn’t have enough large hens for his liking.  He was taking all the feathers off my smaller hens backs with his ‘attentions’ which really can’t continue into the sunny weather or I’d end up with a tiny, sunburnt hen!  He got to go to a farm that has 14 hens who needed protecting.  It was the perfect compromise!  He was happier and so were we.

Each of the new hens lay light blue/green eggs.  We now have 4 green/blue egg layers, and 3 brown egg layers, one white and one very dark brown. 


All cleaned and put away.  Aren't they beautiful??


They all lay almost every day, even my 4 year old hens!  In fact, this is going to turn into an important PSA - hens lay eggs for years!  So many people think that hens stop producing after 2 years old.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  My hens are between 1 and 4 years old and the most consistent layer is my Plymouth Rock hen (who is also the alpha hen) who lays every single day except the 2 months she is molting all year long for the past 4 years.  With spring weather (like right now) we get an egg from every one of them every day or so…. which means 7-8 eggs, at least, every single day!  Perfect for a large family who likes eggs.  Alex can eat 4 a day all on his own.

The new hens even made it into my nature notebook. 


Our whole flock enjoying some scraps together:


We do love our hens!


Happy Farming!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Writing in my nature notebook

Spring is my favorite time to nature journal.  So many things feel new and bright and beautiful I want to collect them all.  Usually, during art time, I would read aloud to the kids and they would do their art.  As the time went on though, I started really wanting to participate with the art side and not just the literature side.  So we listened to Swallows and Amazons on audio and I joined in!  We have continued through the entire Swallows and Amazons series, and we are now on to Anne of Green Gables, enjoying great literature and art at the same time!


I started with little sketches as I watched out the window and listened to the story.


Quickly it evolved into whole pages being dedicated to a moment where I was watching birds chase each other around our flowering cherry tree. 


I even felt inspired to write a little poetry… although simple, it caught the way I felt at the moment.


Writing in my journal helps inspire my kids art as well, and Cyan has started her own journal:


Watching how the practice helps her improve is my favorite part!

March 2013:


March 2014:


Do you ever nature journal?  What inspires you to do art?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Fair!

Each year there is a fair in the fall for those of us that want to show off our harvest wares.  I haven’t ever entered but I do often go to volunteer with my various tree and gardening groups.  This year I may actually put in a few things in the canning division.  I think my lavender blueberry jam is worth a ribbon!

In the Spring there is a fair just for those under aged farm kids.  There are contests for those between ages 6-11 and ages 12-16.  I have one kiddo in each of those groups and they love participating in the fair.  This year, they decided to stick to the baking section. 

Cyan had big dreams.  She LOVES Cakeboss and the new “Next Great Baker” show.  She is always inspired to create huge sugary concoctions after a marathon of either of these.  This year, for the fair, she wanted to make a beautiful layer cake ala Cakeboss.  She spent a whole week practicing her icing technique and learning to do lettering with frosting (which is actually really hard!).  Her hard work paid off though.  She ended up with a beautiful cake to enter in the fair!


Logan’s fair entry was for the 6-11 section.  In this section they have a few more ‘rules’ than in the older kids.  The kids all have a common recipe but they are graded on accuracy, execution and form.  In this years case, it is was “Turtle Bread”!  Logan mixed, formed, let rise, and baked this bread with very little help from me aside from lots of reading and mixing when it was still messy.  I liked that he was able to participate without the confusion of so many other steps (like choosing his own recipe).  I am including this years recipe below so if you want to, you can make your own Turtle Bread! 


This recipe is directly from the Puyallup Spring Fair website:

Turtle Bread


2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon white sugar

1/2 cup water

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 raisins

1 package dry active yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

shorting as needed (I used parchment paper)



  1. Measure flour.  Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with dry yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Heat water, milk, and butter to 125* to 130*; stir into yeast-flour mixture.
  3. Stir in egg.  Stir in enough of remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  4. Sprinkle a surface lightly with flour.  Turn dough onto surface and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 5 minutes.  Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening.
  6. Shape a 2-inch piece of dough into a ball for the head.  Shape four walnut sized pieces of dough into balls for feet.  Shape one walnut sized piece of dough into a tail.  Shape remaining dough into a ball for the body; place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly.  Attach head, feet and tail by placing one end of each under the edge of the body to secure.  Press two raisins into the head for eyes.  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 400*.
  8. Make crisscross cuts in the body 1/4 inch deep, to look like a turtles shell.  Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
  9. Immediately remove from cookie sheet with a spatula.  Let cool on a wire rack. 

Yields one turtle bread.



My kids all ready for the fair!  I am SO proud of my kids this year.  They both worked really really hard and both of them learned quite a bit from their chosen entry.  We dropped them off yesterday and we will see how they did next weekend. 

Mostly though, we just do it because it’s FUN!


Friday, April 4, 2014

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}


{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

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