Thursday, December 30, 2010

60 degree day in winter!

So we had another of those stellar warm winter days. I think we got up to 67 here today! SWEET!! Can you tell I was really excited? They had been calling for this weather so DH took the day off work so we could get the chicken house closer to finished. He got the tin on the roof finished. Then we got two windows installed. We may do more later but two will work great for now. We put one on the East wall and one on the west wall. We will definitely put a South facing window in later (probably Spring). These are the storm windows from our house. We saved them when we replaced our windows this fall.

Now all we have to do is frame in the top of the wall where the roof meets it and it will be ready for winter chickens. This spring we will do the run and pop doors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day!

Christmas was very nice this year. On Christmas Eve, we went to church and Gioia sang in the childrens choir. Later we came home had dinner and watched The Grinch. Christmas Day we opened presents and played all day. It was very relaxing. Here are some highlights.

Dominic loves to dress up and is sometimes sad when his dad won't let him wear a dress to the hardware store. Our solution, a Kilt. He loves it. He really does, he was just making a silly face.

Gioia got this giant dollhouse. It is big enough for Barbies but she doesn't really play with them. It is also big enough for all her stuffed animals which she plays with constantly. It was a hit!

I made several pairs of pants for the kids. Luca and Dominic got matching brown corduroy pants with Owl print cuffs on them. They are adorable.

Dominic also got these Reindeer Flannel pants. I added a red ric rac to the bottom.

Dominics last pair are the frog and lizards print flannel.

Monday, December 27, 2010

1st Reconciliation

A few weeks ago my daughter had her 1st Reconciliation (aka 1st confession). She and her Catholic friends were all so nervous. She even cried one night all worried about it. She felt much better after we talked in depth and I explained that she would not get in trouble, it was just like talking to someone and feeling better afterward. Her wonderful 2nd grade (school of religion) teacher was so great. They did a fabulous job helping the kids understand and be comfortable.

Afterword she said it went great. She said, I know Father gave my sins to God and God throws them in the trashcan. :) I think thats a great analogy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New pictures.

I am lame and my scanner is broken right now. So instead of posting the actual picture I will post the link and everyone can see all the pictures we had taken of the kids.

#10 was the one I ordered, of all three kids.

SORRY. the other link didn't work. Try this one. click on the word


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Crafts

The kids have been doing some really fun Christmas crafts lately. One thing we did was make paper Gingerbread Men. We tried making really cookie ones and it was a miserable flop. So paper ones we are better at. On thing that really impressed me was Dominic got into it and even would trace new men on the paper and bring them to me to cut out. That would be why we have diversity in our Gingerbread Men body types. They turned out cute. I will go ahead and mention that they also have butts drawn on the backs of them. Lets face it when you are 5 and 7 butts are super funny.

This craft was really cute and fun. The Reindeer body is made from tracing your foot. The antlers are made from tracing your hands. We even did finger print eyes and thumb print nose on Dominics deer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Goodbye Oscar.

Last night we lost our old dog. He was the best dog ever. He was almost 11 years old. That is pretty old for a overweight Golden Retriever.

His name was Oscar because I rescued him from a dumpster (oscar the grouch) when he was only only a few weeks old. I bottle fed him and raised him. He was a inside dog for many years. One year DH was working from home and he would take a nap with Oscar every day. One day DH didn't do it and the silly dog was on our bed howling for DH to come up. We affectionately called him Oscar Meier Weiner, The Fat Man and Fatty Maggey. If he wanted you to pet him, he would put his paw on you. Once we took a obedience class and he got certified as a pet therapy dog. It didn't really pan out because he was so big it was hard to bring him in to small nursing home rooms and such.

He was the worlds best dog and will be sadly missed.

I have some really great pictures of him as a baby but my scanner is broken. In fact I can only find a couple pictures on my computer right now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

50 degrees in December!

50 degrees in December is something to celebrate. In honor of this we spent the afternoon outside.

We let the chickens out.

This guy has sure gotten bigger since the summer.

We went out in the woods and cut some wood to fill our pile up before the cold hits tomorrow. The kids had fun.

We also found this small tree has been cut down by a beaver.

Work in Progress.

Every winter I am cooped up inside and get this urge to finish up old projects. So here is a list of what is going on that we are trying to work on finishing.

1. Chocolate Stars quilt - I am 3/4 done with this. Hoping to have it done before the new year.
2. Vintage quilt - This is a quilt top my Great Aunt started. She passed away recently and I am finishing it. The top is done. I need to quilt it now.
3. 2 Pairs pants for the kids for Christmas.
4. Headbands promised to two people. (cut out, almost done)
5. Sort out fabric by color and size so I know what I got.

Non sewing related:
6. Make cedar night stand for hubby side of the bed. (half the wood is bought and cut).
7. Make shelves for kitchen. (wood is already bought).

I also have various projects that I started, didn't get very far and decided I would quit. I would like to go through those and see if I could do something to finish or use it up. I have Major amounts of quilt fabric/scraps and other stuff I need to do some cleaning out.

Things I have gotten done:

1. Photo calendars made for christmas gifts.
2. Christmas cards made and sent out.

And I got a $20 gift card from my Dad and stepmom for Christmas so it will almost buy enough wood to finish the night stand. The wood working is on hold until after Christmas because I think Santa might be bringing me some tools! Yeah!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree is up!

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. DH's brother came to visit and we had the standard Turkey Dinner. Then the kids and I got the tree out. Always a highlight! Yes, the bottom of the tree has very few ornaments on it. That's because I have small children.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The other night Luca had this cute stocking hat on. I took a picture of him and he started posing for me. So i kept snapping pictures. Here are a couple super cute ones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby shower.

My sister had the first of her baby showers recently. I thought I would post a couple cute pictures from that day.

Diaper cake with super cute pink boots.

Rory (with vampire teeth) and Gioia (with Rosa the stuffed guinea pig).

Elaine, Melaine and Jaime

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Max the rodent hunter.

This is our dog Max. He was born in April and we got him in June. He is seven months old. He is a super dog and recently he has been killing our rodents. At first we thought it was the cat bringing the mice up. Then I actually saw Max catch and kill a mouse. Another day I saw him digging in the mole hill and he came up with a mole. So i wasn't shocked to find a mole on our front porch this morning. This dog is earning his keep.

Our deceased critter, the mole.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas deals!

When I was a kid I never had any money. As soon as I had spending money that amounted to anything I would blow it on candy or other junk. I would occasionally save enough to buy books. Books were the only thing I loved equal to candy. This would be why my Mom wisely stuffed away all our birthday and Christmas money into a savings account. We never asked to get that money out ever. At least I don't remember it. We knew it was off limits for frivolous things. I am carrying that tradition on with my own kids.

Anyway, all that to say that in my wiser older days I am now good with money. I am good at saving, but what really makes me excited is getting deals and using coupons. So i thought I would talk about some of the great deals I have gotten lately.

A totally "me" thing I bought recently is a Roomba. A Robotic vacuum that you turn on and it goes back and forth and all over the room to sweep the carpet and hardwoods/tile too! They are awesome. It even goes under my bed in the bedroom. I got it off for half price. It was a refurbished item but it works perfect.

For the kids Christmas, so far I got 3 board games on sale. I got Dominic Hi HO Cherry O game for $1.00 after rebate. I got Gioia Monopoly and Scrabble for $7.00 each after rebate. I ordered the Christmas Calendars for my family and I got Buy One regular price, get all the rest 50% off. Then I used $10 off coupon and got free shipping on top of that. WOO HOO! I got the boys matching Organic Cotton Hoodies and socks for $7.00 each on the Hoodies. I split the shipping with a couple other Moms and only had to pay $5.00 shipping for my order. I also got some other things for gifts for other people.

I have a couple other things on my "to get" list. I am checking out the Black Friday stuff and watching online sales to see what else I can score on.

So things I save on regularly is I do the Frontier brand coop and I plan to start the Azure Standard group soon too. It saves tons on the food I already buy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My big guy is feeling much better.

I just wanted to update on here about a success we have had. I know I had talked to many of you about Dominic not sleeping well and waking up crying 3-4 nights a week.

Background: He sees an ENT for his hole in his ear drum. We monitor it every 6 months and he has seen her other times for drainage and infection. We are unsure why he gets more drainage. He also makes a funny noise in his throat. We ruled out tonsils and adenoids. We also had him food intolerance tested with a Naturopath.

So we were trying all kinds of things, but he is 5 and still waking up crying and not consolable.

Anyway, after finally talking again with the Nurse Practitioner at the ENT she suggested we "try" Prevacid or something to rule out Reflux. We did that and did a 14 day treatment, then I stopped because it didn't seem any better. BUT he did have poison Ivy on his poor face during that time. So now the poison ivy is gone and we stopped the Prevacid.

It has been 2 weeks and he has slept through the night, no crying or anything every single night. Very Happy Shocked Very Happy I am so happy!!!

The general consensus is that he must have had something going on that the Prevacid helped heal. Time will tell if this sticks. We also notice him doing the throat noise thing less to none at all. It is also helping his daytime meltdowns and other things. One huge improvement is that he can now take a nap and wake up and be pleasant. Before he would wake up and be a raging bear! I guess he is getting better sleep at all times of the day.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

My sisters Maternity pictures.

I took some great pictures of my sister and her husband this weekend. They are both very photogenic so I can only take partial credit. I think they turned out very nice for a quick 15 minute photo shoot.

Halloween Weekend

Halloween weekend we got out to Trick or Treat. Luca decided he didn't like the Giraffe outfit so he went as a Scarecrow. He was the cutest little thing out there. He wouldn't let go off his candy until he was at the next house. Then he would put it in the bag and say to the person, "Trick, Treat, Halloween!"
We also got more work done on the Perreca Deluxe Chicken House. We got the 2nd coat of paint done and the human door installed. We also got about 1/2 the inside walls painted.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New chicken house progress.

We have been working on building a permanent big chicken coop. We are building it extra big to encompass future growth and also those times when we have a batch of meat chickens. Right now we only have 7 chickens so people may think we are kind of crazy. However, i already know it is better to go too big than to try to talk a husband into building on. HA HA! So this weekend it is really coming together. 12 x 12 building, 8 feet tall.

Studs for the walls up and part of the floor down. We are putting the floor down after the walls are up. This is for easy replacement of the floor if it gets really poopy or nasty after a year or two.
The walls are going up!

First coat of Barn Red paint. The weather TOTALLY cooperated with us. It was 70 today! October 30th! I couldn't believe it. So we were painting it as fast as we could get it up. It still needs front human door, chicken doors cut out, windows and roof. But I think we have a stellar start. The human door and roof are getting put on and started tomorrow.

I had a couple helpers. Luca.
Gioia. She painted up about 4 feet. As high as she could reach. So basically she did half of each wall, first coat for me. It really did help!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Fun!

We attending a Halloween Pumpkin Carving party today at our friends house. My kids are Luca as the dog on the end, Gioia as the hot pink Unicorn in the middle and Dominic as the Fireman on the right.

Here are the Jack O Lanterns we carved.

Here are some fabric pumpkins Gioia and I made tonight. We are going to send this batch to my Grandma who has a birthday Sunday on Halloween. I think she will really like them. She collects all things Halloween. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

New fireplace!

We finally got a big project done around here. We got our fireplace insert installed and operational. We got this from some friends. We removed the 80's style gold brass trim, spray painted it black and dropped a chimney liner in. Actually, WE didn't do most of it. We hired a chimney guy. It was only a 200 dollar difference than ordering the parts ourselves. It was a hard job. It took professionals 4 hours to do the liner and get the insert to fit. A week before DH had to cut two rows of bricks out to get the insert to fit.

So the other day it was chilly outside but not really cold enough for the furnace. DH decided to fire this baby up. We had it up to 78 in the house (and probably 80 or so in the living room) with just a small fire. NICE! So I really think this can provided the majority of our heat this winter. I am super stoked about it.

In other news: I had a lasik like procedure done on my eyes. It was a rough recovery involving my mom having to come stay with us. Actually she stayed an initial 2 days and then came back to my rescue for 3 more days. THANKS AGAIN MOM! :) Stuff like this is much harder with a house full of little kids. You can't just go lay down and sleep it off all day. Anyway, my vision is continuing to improve and I think I will enjoy it a lot once everything is good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Eggs.

Sunday I went out to gather eggs and there on the floor of the coop was the cutest little brown egg. In the box was a large light brown egg belonging to our hen Cinnamon. I was so excited to see the little egg. It was the first of my black sex-linked girls. The black girls looks exactly alike so we call them the twins. Later in the day I got a large brown egg know to be from our hen Ginger. Yesterdays count 3 eggs. WOO HOO!

The great thing about only having 4 female birds is that it is pretty easy to figure out who laid what with little effort. So today I go out in the early afternoon and check. TWO little eggs on the floor. WOO HOO! That means both of The Twins are laying! Later Cinnamon blessed us with her egg. Ginger skipped today but that is fine.

It takes chickens around 25-26 hours to make an egg. So that means most hens will not lay every day. For example Ginger is our best layer. She lays about 5-6 eggs a week. She will lay for about 3 days, each time later in the day by a few hours. Then skip the 4th day and start over in the morning on the 5th day. Chickens also do not lay eggs after dark. So if they haven't laid by evening then they usually wait until morning. Pretty interesting huh? Cinnamon will do the same, but sometimes skip after 2 days. Stress will also interrupt the laying cycle. Things like extreme heat, cold or wet, even moving to a new coop or home can be stress for them. For the most part they are pretty easy to care for an I am excited to be getting more eggs now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kids Picnic Table

This week I made the kids a picnic table out of recycled pallets. We picked up lots of pallets for free and they are nice pallets. So I made this picnic table for the kids. The top is a whole pallet about 40x30 (roughly). Then for the benches I cut a same size pallet in half. Each half was enough to make one side of the bench. I did have to buy one 2x4 for the legs. So cost was about 3 dollars. I painted it with our giant 5 gallon bucket of barn red paint. I plan to make a grown up size table some time but its on hold for now.

Monday, September 20, 2010


This last week we had a huge change at our house. I decided it was time to wean Luca. We have nursed for an amazing two years and I have enjoyed all of it. I really feel that we mamas know when it is right for us to wean our babies. Some kids may need to nurse longer than others. Nursing is a two way relationship involving two people. I was really feeling it was time for many reasons.

All that said, it was hard. It was much harder than with my other two. One reason was that Luca was still nursing at night, which was one reason I was ready to do this. I wanted sleep! :) About day 2 and 3 I had a major hormone shift. I was very sad, emotional and feeling really not myself. Of course it took several days for my boobs to get the message as well. Then finally by the fourth day I was feeling much better and so was Luca. He finally slept all night and has every night since. He wakes sometimes early in the morning and I snuggle him back to sleep.

Friday night I went to a Moms Night Out at a friends house. It was much needed after our tough week. My husband was able to put him to bed and he stayed asleep, not waking up and crying for me. I know that makes my husband much more able to help with Luca now.

We had a good run and it is very bittersweet. We are moving on with a new phase in our life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cedar Nightstand

We had a Woodworking Moms Night In at my friends house a few weeks ago. I finally got it sanded and finished. I just finished it with a Satin clear coat. I think it looks great. I am excited to make a second one for DH's side of the bed. It will replace the wooden TV trays that I have been using for 10 years. HA HA!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Luca!!

Last week this guy had a birthday! He is so sweet. We celebrated by getting ice cream at Braum's. It was amazing! I had Blackberry Almond, Luca had Rocky Road, D had Pistachio Almond and Gioia had Cookie Dough. Massimo had some of everyone's. HA HA!