Friday, March 26, 2010

An Amazing Day

We did it! We successfully created a real live baby chick from an egg. Well, we didn't actually do anything but provide the right atmosphere. Nature did all the work. We started with 11 eggs in the incubator. Even though only 1 hatched, I consider the hatch a success! It was our first time and we learned so much.

Watching, for the first time, a tiny chick peck it's way out of a tiny egg was truly amazing and will be a memory forever etched in our hearts.

Are you ready to meet "Lucky"?

Can you see the tiny crack at the top left of the X?

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She is all dry and fluffy now and happy and warm in her brooder. Now if I can only get the kids to leave her in there long enough to stay warm, we'll be okay!

We're starting 12 more today. Hopefully, we can get her some friends!

I'll post the step by step homemade incubator instructions soon!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Spring!

Last week Spring gave us a little sneak peek at what we've been missing all Winter.  It was beautiful and wonderful!  Unfortunately, when we welcomed the first day of Spring 2010 on Saturday, it looked like this outside:

Last week:


At least we got a little reminder last week of what it feels like to not be freezing all the time.  And I really mean ALL THE TIME, except when I'm standing right next to the wood stove, but I can't really stand next to the wood stove all the time.  I've realized now, living in this old country farm house, how spoiled and out of touch with nature I was in the city.  Sure, it was nice having a house that stayed a constant 70 degrees every day of the year and never having to go outside when it was below freezing.  All in all, I definitely prefer roughing it out here where we have to go outside everyday, even if the wind chill is 20 below, because there are animals out there who depend on us.  I really don't mind heating with wood only.  It promotes togetherness when only one room in the house is warm.  The biggest downside is the freezing cold bathrooms.  When Spring finally feels like Spring, I will definitely enjoy and appreciate every minute of it!

She wasn't impressed with the first day of Spring either.  Poor girl, she was brave enough to try to go outside the coop, but got a surprise when she stepped on the ice/slush/snow!

These were the only ones that braved the elements for a moment this weekend.  They stayed outside a whole 2 minutes trying to figure out where Spring was.

P.S.  We are keeping a close eye on the incubating eggs!  They are supposed to start hatching soon.  I hope I have some good news for my next post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

But What About Socialization...

I'm tired of this argument about homeschooling.  Why do some people, when they hear the word homeschooling, immediately think that all homeschooled children are locked away in some compound, shielded from the world, and will be socially impaired forever because they don't learn how to walk down a hallway with twenty-nine other 6-year-olds learning how to keep their fingers over their mouths.  Sorry, about the ranting run-on sentence, but I couldn't stop.  I sometimes wonder if these brilliant people even know what the word means.

Here's one definition:  Socialization:  The process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it; The act of interacting with others, of being social.

It doesn't say how to be obedient and quiet in a classroom with twenty-nine other 6-year-olds.   It says learning how to live within one's culture, which means everyday life.  My homeschooled children are plunged into everyday life, well nearly everyday.  They accompany me to the grocery store, the feed store, the bank, the doctor, traffic court(well, luckily that one doesn't happen too often, but homeschool moms get tickets too) and everywhere else I go.  They have to interact with all ages and all types of people.  They have their little groups of same age children with their scouts and sports and art classes and music classes, and I could go on and on, but you get the point.

My goal is for them to be just as comfortable talking with 90-year-olds as they are with 9-year-olds.

Anyway, I'll shut up about it and just show you my little unsocialized hermits. Oh, and I am in no way putting down those of you who choose a public school education for your children.  I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home and teach my kids or maybe it's crazy enough to, I'm not sure some days. 

Here's Peyton with her little Daisy Scout friends.  That's her "BFF" Audrey on the left.  Clearly she's miserable and lonely, right?

Cutting out Icelandic snowflakes is serious business.  She had a blast at Girl Scout "World Thinking Day".  She was introduced to many different countries and their cultures(and she didn't even have to step foot in a school).

This is some of her Daisy troop with Abbi, our big Girl Scout helper.  Peyton says Abbi is the nicest teenager she's ever met!

Here she is at her troop meeting.  Poor little unsocialized child.  Her mother should be ashamed.

Reece's Cub Scout troop is working on the coolest project.  They are building Soapbox racers.  How cool is that?  I don't remember ever doing such cool stuff when I was a kid.  I need a thesaurus.  What's another word for cool?

He learned how to use a hand saw and drill.  I was thankful that no power tools were involved.  Next week they get to paint them.  I can't wait to see them race!

I even got to log an hour of math.  It's truly amazing how much learning is done in day-to-day life.

I think they'll be just fine.

Friday, March 12, 2010


We have attempted to build a homemade egg incubator.  I have no idea if it is going to work or not, but I am hopeful.  Actually, after the week I've had,  I'm going to cry if these eggs don't hatch.  Our Rooster, Fred has definitely been doing his job, so I hope we didn't mess it all up.  We are supposed to have baby chicks in 12 days.  I'll keep you posted on the progress and if I'm successful, I'll post a step by step picture tutorial on how we built it.  If I'm not, then we will try again and again and again until we have baby chicks.  Please wish us luck!

We've also got a little bit of Spring growing in the house.

I've been horribly unsuccessful at gardening in the past, but I'm going to get it right this year!  I just know it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Today we saw the first:

Didn't even know we had flowers!  What a nice surprise.

We also saw the first:

and the first:

Unfortunately we saw the first:

I was so happy to see the first green stuff growing!

The sky was a beautiful blue!

Hi Star!  I love you too, but you're a little close.  Can you please back up a tad?  I'm trying to show people the sky.

That's a little better, but can you take one more step back for me?  Thanks girl.

Perfect!  I think the blue sky has put a smile on her face.

We started out doing school outside, but the beautiful day got too distracting.


turned into this:

It's been months since we've seen temps in the 70's, how could I say no?  I love homeschooling!

What I Did Today by Reece Chiasson

Buddy and I went outside hunting.  I was running back and forth trying to catch him.  I soon got tired so I stopped for a minute.  He ran down to the pond.  I went after him and stumbled on a few rocks. He got in front of me.

I saw a brier patch.  I must have looked in a snake hole that I thought was a rabbit home.  I looked in it and then I heard a hiss from above the hole.  I saw a snake sitting there curled up!!!  Then I backed up slowly and looked up and saw Buddy on a rabbit's tail.  I saw Peyton running towards the snake and she stepped on it's tail!!  She was very lucky it did not bite her.

She ran over to me not knowing what was going on.  We walked back to the house and saw Mom standing by the porch.  We told her about the snake.  Mom went to grab her camera and we went back to find the snake.  Once we found it, she took a picture of it.

We went back inside to look up the snake to see what kind it was.  We found out that it was an Eastern Garter Snake.  Next time, I will be more careful.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

and then there were none...

Dear Icicle, Lulu, Breez, Casper, and Darlin Jr.,

I'm so sorry we weren't able to care for you like your momma would have.  We loved your momma, and we wish she didn't have to leave you.  We did our very best trying to feed you, take care of you, and love you.  I wish you could have talked to us and told us what you needed, because we would have done anything to help you survive.  I hope you are with your momma now, and she's taking good care of you.  Soon, she'll teach you how to hunt for mice and lick your paws and nap in the sunshine.

Sweet dreams, little ones.

Love Always,
The Chiasson family

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Surprise visitor and a Beautiful Day of Sunshine

Why do most of my mornings start out with one kid or the other running in the house screaming?  This time, I was relaxing in the bathtub yesterday when Reece barges in nearly hyperventilating.  He was so shaken, the only words he managed to get out were "huge", "fuzzy", "grey", and "in the nest box".  We raced outside after I put on my bathrobe and grabbed a baseball bat on the way out.

He showed me which nest box it was in, and I cautiously opened it, not really knowing what to expect.  I mean, what could be huge, grey, fuzzy and in the nest box?

This is what we saw:

 Wait a minute!  What are you doing in the nest box???!!!  And how'd you get in there????!!!

He didn't really like getting poked with the baseball bat.  Can you see the tiny, sharp razor like teeth?

I finally poked him enough with the bat to make him want to leave the box.

He then got on top of the nest boxes and just sat there.  I don't know if he was terrified or just stubborn.  We tried everything, from poking him some more to throwing balls at him.

I kept missing him, so my son says, "Move mom, I'M the baseball player."  We even rolled a basketball at him.  That just made him climb up the wall.

That's when we saw that he had a hurt foot.  I wondered if he tussled with my chickens?

He finally got down, but still wouldn't leave the coop.  I then had to call out the "big dogs", literally.  I really wish I could have taken pictures of what happened next, but everyone was too busy screaming.  I let our big dog Buddy into the coop to try and chase it out.  It worked.  Buddy even proudly had his jaws clamped around it for a moment until one kid started screaming, "NO BUDDY!!!".  He let go, thinking he'd done something wrong, and then our little dog Otto went over for a sniff.  That really got the kids to screaming.  I guess they thought the little guy was going to get eaten by the opossum or something.

After all the commotion, we successfully got the opossum out of the coop.  He ran straight under it, and that's where he stayed all day.  You can't ask for a more exciting day on the farm!

I've got to write about today also!  It was the most beautiful day we've had since moving out here.  Warm sunshine and a cool breeze, just perfect.  We stayed outside all day.  We even tried to go fishing.

The kids worked really hard.  They went all around the property finding all kinds of scrap metal to recycle.


My girl, always having to look cute, even when working.

Look at that pile of junk.  Daddy is not going to like where they put it!

This was right after she proudly said, "Look Mom!  I'm really dirty!"

I got to play with my girls.

We even ate lunch outside.  The cats wouldn't stop jumping on the table trying to steal our food, so we had to let the patrol dogs out.  The cats left us alone.

And that was our beautiful Springlike day on the farm.  It doesn't get much better than that, well the only thing that would have made it better is if Daddy was home too!