Monday, September 12, 2016

Pure Genius

Whomever invented the built in belt for kids is pure genius. If you don't know what I'm talking about there's this little adjustable elastic strip inside kid's pants. Near the snap of the pants, there's two plastic buttons and the button holes are on the elastic. That way you can cinch the pants tighter around the waist if they are too gappy or let out the elastic to make them bigger as they grow. To which I ask....why the heck aren't these an option for adults?!? I could soo use some adjustable jeans right now. I'm not quite able to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants but if I try to go a size larger they gap and fall off my hips. I need the in-between size :(

Anyhow, new things are happening here at the homestead. For one we are about to butcher our beloved turkeys for the freezer. It's gonna be hard as I've really taken a deep liking to turkeys. They are amazingly gentle and soothing to the spirit. They coo and chitter like nothing I've heard before. It's a sweet sound that I've really enjoyed hearing around here. Also, I made a fantastic discovery the other day! People have been asking me how I'm getting such a great turnout with my garden with all the deer and bunnies around. I have no idea I said, they are just leaving my garden alone for some reason. I thought maybe it was the scent of the pup in the area but just the other day I found out the truth. Attack turkeys. Believe it. My three turkeys flanked four deer and chased them round and round the garden. I swear I almost saw the three girls giving tactical signals to each other to ambush the poor deer. The deer finally gave up and fled the scene. It was HILARIOUS. Those turkeys were not having some schmucks come in and steel the bounty that they themselves weren't privy too. Love those turkeys. So yeah, that butchering is going to be difficult emotionally. However, it needs to be done because they are now 22 weeks old and the breed we got (Big Breasted Bronze) is a commercial breed and has the great potential of having their legs break if they get too heavy. That is not humane....and we treat our animals humanely here. So butchering it will be. Next season we will, however, be getting some heritage breeds which we can keep more as pest annihilators/deer attackers as well as meat birds.

Secondly, we are budgeting my friends. Bu-dget-ing! Cowboy and I had been talking about setting up a budget for years, but I admit I just didn't know where to start and it terrified me. I have always been very good with finances and staying out of debt etc. But with R-bear's birth, me out on maternity leave leaving us with a "light" paycheck, and then in the midst of things the truck needed $3k of work done on it emergently....things got over our heads very quickly. It was not a good feeling at all.
We are big Dave Ramsey fans and found his budgeting app "EveryDollar". We downloaded it onto the computer and to each of our phones. Game on.
We are only on month two of budgeting but so far it feels incredibly empowering and has definitely pointed us in a very positive direction with our money. Every dollar has an assignment and there's no room for frivolous spending. We are still learning the ins and outs of the app and finding a few quirks to budgeting (like how do you save for bills that are bi-monthly, annual, or due every couple years) but so far the app is working nicely for us. I will have to report more once we get more months under our belt.

Kiddo update: L-bug is freaking hilarious. Cowboy and I are going to set up a notebook to start documenting some of the things she says because I know if we let it go we will forget it and a lot of these things just cannot be forgotten! She calls a hamburger a "hanga'burger" no matter how many times we correct her she just cannot alter it. It's adorable. We got her a toddler set of silverware to transition her to big utensils. It's her first time with a knife and she keeps calling it her "life". She becomes so emotional when it falls off the table and whines oh-so dramatically, "My life is on the floor! I neeeeed my life!" Sorry honey I sometimes feel that way too....
We got a magnetic responsibility board that we hang in the kitchen. Every time she does a task she gets a magnetic sticker. She is now amazing at picking up her toys, putting her clothes in her hamper, brushing her teeth, and helping set the table and clear her own plate. She'll also help feed Kaos and she is learning to dress herself. What's funny is how unmotivated she is to get the stickers after two weeks of using the chart. She just likes to help and I'm not discouraging it!!! I figure the boards (I got two- at a yard sale) will become more handy and motivating once R-bear is able to "compete" with her and maybe I will up the ante from stickers to a slight monetary reward due at the end of the week to whomever's chart is filled in most.

She still amazes me every single day. We've been working on counting, letters, and shapes lately. She'll get the shapes and counting right 75-85% of the time but although she can say the alphabet pretty well she hasn't been able to point out the actual letters when asked (except "O"). Today she was sitting on her potty and reading her letter book. All of a sudden she points at a letter and says "R mama!" Then she picks out "S, T, & U" perfectly! Hot Damn! Just out of the blue. She even says, "U like Umbrella". It is just awesome to see her brain work. One day it feels like we are just learning something and the next day she just blurts it all out. She picked out a trapezoid on her kindle game today without a second blink. I didn't even cheat and help her. It was fantastic and my heart swelled with pride. I think this homeschooling journey will work out just fine.

R-bear is getting so big and so little boyish. He totally skipped his 6 month phase and went from 3-6 month outfits to 9 month outfits and now is fitting into some 12 month outfits (a little baggy). He is only 4.5 months old!!!!  He is 90% for his height....yes Daddy is tall and I suspect both kids will tower over Mama. R-bear is so mellow and a super happy kid. My pediatrician said with two mellow chill kids I need to stop while I'm ahead.

Kaos is still very chaotic but improving little by little. He lost all his puppy teeth and with the collar of wisdom is starting to behave more like a dog and less puppy. He is also starting to alert bark at people at the door and strange noises out on the property at night. His growl and bark is fierce and deep. He is going to be an amazing protector. His drive is extremely high, much higher than Argos who was a great protector but a little lazy on his commands. Kaos never does anything half-assed. It is always full throttle and although it can be a little annoying to have such a high energy eager pup it is also refreshing to have a dog that desperately wants to act and react.

Other than that, we are starting to prepare to winterize our three bee hives, cross fingers that they make it to next year and give us that liquid gold! We have three sets of different aged baby chickens: three babies running with the big girls, five babies nestled in the other coop with mama hen, and four babies downstairs in the brooder box without a mama hen. Next year we should be swimming in eggs! We are researching the potential to add either pigs or a milking cow to our homestead in the near future (after winter) and possibly a barn cat or two. Unfortunately the mice are plentiful here and we are in need of some predators.  It truly is a farm here and I count my blessings every single morning I step out to do farm chores. Thankfully, L-bug is starting to at least try her best to help out with the chores and is dropping a lot less eggs lately!

Off to can two huge boxes of fresh juicy Palisade peaches!  I am torn between jam, sliced, pie filling, peach mostarda, or peach butter. Maybe I'll do a bit of each....