Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, Tony was looking out of the window this afternoon and noticed that there were only three chickens pecking around, so he went outside to locate the 4th and discovered Hyacinth was hanging out in the chicken hutch by herself. So, we opened up the side and found eggs! There were 4 in all, and it's been about a week since we've had it open, so we're not sure if she layed them all or if more than one of the chickens is laying, but either way, we have eggs. It was so much fun finding them. I didn't expect the cheeps to start laying until spring, but there you have it. Here are photos:

Hyacinth looking very pleased with herself:

The eggs in the hutch:

After we washed them off:

When I hooked the camera up to upload the photos I took of the eggs I also found this:

It appears that sometime since the last time I looked on the camera there have been chickens in the kitchen. I'll have to ask the kids about that...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Children are Not being nice

We have never done Santa Claus at our house (I have no problems with people who do, we just didn't ever get that started.) My kids know all about Santa, but we don't make believe presents come from Santa, they just come from whoever they're from, mostly mom and dad.

So, up until this year there has never been a "better be good so you can get Christmas presents" thing going around. This year it's all changed because the little girls watched a stupid Christmas show about these weird bug-eyed fairies that work for Santa and go around watching to see who should be on the "naughty" list and who should be on the "nice" list. This has become a constant theme with them, and they have several lists they've been carrying around and working on and using to manipulate each other.

Ellie's list is a bunch of jumbled letters that only she can read, but Sophie's reads "Margaret, Sophie, Ellie, Anna, Penny, Sparkey, Maggie" with a checked box by each one. This is her "nice" list and anytime anyone does something she doesn't like she x's out their check mark. Once she's happy with them again she re-checks the box. The paper is getting crumpled and thin as she removes and reinstates her siblings over and over again. All day long I've been listening to "Margaret is on my naughty list, no presents for her!" and "Anna is so good, see, she's on the nice list" and so on and so forth.

'Tis the Season to tattle, I guess. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Hello everybody!

We haven't been posting much, so here is a little update:
We have been getting some snow, and right now its about 3 inches high. It's cold, so no one has gone outside today with the exception to check on the chickens.
We are all preparing for christmas, and the tree is up (but not all the way decorated). Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jim are planning to come and stay a little while for christmas, so we have been cleaning the house and rearranging the bedrooms to make room. All of us kids will camp out in the play room with our couch and tv, and I think that will be a lot of fun.

The weather is really dreary. It's been snowing on and off today. But really, this time I don't want to play in it. :)

Sophie and Dad were playing Animal Yahtzee, and Sophie got 5 of a kind.
Ellie fell asleep before everyone else did, as usual.
And some other random photos:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicken on the Roof!

I've been wondering if the chickens were able to fly high enough to escape our 6' fence, and I guess we got our answer. Yes, after spending all day yesterday in their hutch hiding from the cold wind and snow, the chickens came out to stretch their wings this morning and Rosalind flew up onto the garage roof. We convinced her to fly back down, but I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. I think we might need to clip their flight feathers to make sure they stay put.

Here they are checking out the wood pile

And Margaret loving on Daisy

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shoe Update and Pest Control

We have a problem with shoes, mostly stemming from the fact that the three littles won't keep their shoes on when we go out. This is actually how we lost one of Anna's boots at church a few weeks ago. So, yesterday we were at church and sitting in the pew where we normally sit and Sophia had her shoes off as usual, and one of them got kicked under the pew. She got down and climbed under the pew to retrieve it and found a little pink furry boot under there with her shoe. It was patiently waiting there for the past few weeks for one of the girls to climb under there and find it, I guess. I'm pretty happy that Anna has both of her boots now!

Margaret found a rather big spider in the kitchen this morning and it wasn't anything poisonous (if it had been we would have just squashed it) so we did the usual and caught it in a jar to take it outside. Margaret took the jar out to the breezeway, where the chickens like to hang out on cold days (you can see it coming, I know) and she released the spider, which scuttled away into the midst of the chickens where it was instantly gobbled up by Celia. It was pretty funny. Chickens really are great pest control.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Busy, Busy

Well, in spite of a scary tire blow-out on the interstate on our way home, we are safely back in Wichita and the Christmas season is now in full swing. For us that means not so much shopping and decorating (well, a little bit of decorating) but rehearsals and dress rehearsals and performances and caroling until we're all ready to collapse. Between Margaret's "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" play and the actual Christmas pageant that the girls are doing at church and the homeschool group and a few office parties thrown in for good measure we will be going non stop for the next two weeks. At least we now have new tires to get around on!

Here's a little co-sleeping funny before I go:
Tony woke up from a trying night's sleep yesterday and told me he's decided that our two youngest children should be re-named Scylla and Charybdis after the mythical monsters. Anna, the all-night nursling as Charybdis of course, and Eleanor, who has her own bed but always wakes up sometime after midnight to climb into our bed and kick and poke Tony for the rest of the night, as Scylla. The more I think about it the more fitting it seems!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Update: Happy Thanksgiving!

So, we are spending the week down here at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Oklahoma. Everyone is swarming into the kitchen, following their noses (the house smells great!), but we can't it eat it yet! It's a nice break from daily life back home, and the country is so peaceful, no police sirens and all that.

Everyone is swarming into the kitchen, following their noses (the house smells great!), but we just can't it eat it yet! We are having fun though, riding tractors and chasing the cats. I would post pictures, but I can't get the camera to connect to their computer. :(

Anyway, we hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Comings and Goings

I went to a yarn store today that I've been meaning to check out for some time. It's a lovely store, and I was particularly happy to find it because the last time I went to a lovely yarn store I was unable to look at anything. (I'm speaking of a store in Lawrence that was so kid-unfriendly that I would get fed up with the salespeople following me and the girls around and saying "Don't touch that, please don't let them touch that" and leave before I really got a chance to look around.) This lovely store actually had a little room with toys for the girls to play with and they were politely amused when I laid the sleeping baby down on the floor and left her there to look around. I bought some yarn to make some leg warmies for the girls, and I'm planning on going back soon and often.

We went out again in the afternoon to take Margaret to play practice, and in the hustle to get everyone to the car we could not find Anna's single pair of shoes that fit her. (We used to have two pairs that fit her, but she lost one of her boots at church last week, so that pair became a single.) I was exasperated and decided then and there to get her some new shoes. So, I went, unaided, to Target with the three little girls and tried to shop for shoes. It was a bit like trying to herd the chickens around the backyard. I managed to get them all to the shoe area, but Anna simply refused to try on any shoes. I was desperate, so I bought a pair of size fives and I'm happy to report that when we got them home she consented to wear them and they fit.

By the time we needed to go and pick up Margaret I was pretty sick of getting everyone in and out of the van, so I decided to park along the street and just wait for her to come out. I actually saw her peek out of the building a few times, look right past us, and go back in, but I was so weary that I just waited for her and she found us in the end. I spent the time looking longingly at the other moms with kids that get into the car and buckle themselves in and wishing for the return of those times when simply going somewhere wasn't so much work.

Here is my start on Anna's leg warmies.

In the end, a pretty good, typically exhausting day. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Overheard Conversation

Ellie: Sophie, can you give me the red crayon?

Sophie: You have to say the magic word.

Ellie: What's the magic word?

Sophie: Guess.

Ellie: Lily cupcake?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Laundry Challenges

I'm in need of some comic relief today, so here it is. This is a bit of photographic evidence of what I'm up against as I battle the mountains of laundry our family produces.

The story goes, I carried a load of darks in the laundry basket to the laundry room and left it there to do something else. When I came back 10 minutes later to put the clothes in the washer, they were gone.

Here is where I found them:

Here is where I found the empty basket:

Here is the culprit posing for me when she noticed I was taking pictures:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Update

Ill. Most of us are, anyway. It started with Sophia and has worked it's way through Eleanor and Anna and as of this morning, me.

The cough and runny nose did not keep the middle girls down, though. Yesterday afternoon in fact they strapped on parachutes (that is, pillows tied to their backs with scarves) and literally screaming all of the way down they jumped from a plane (the sofa) and landed face down in the middle of nowhere (the living room floor). It was so much fun that they did this about 12 times.

I've prompted Margaret to give an update to her play try-outs but since she hasn't I'll just say she got a part that isn't big, but I'm sure she's going to have a lot of fun with it anyway.

To get inspired for the Christmas shopping season, we watched a documentary called What Would Jesus Buy?
The Jacobs family review of it is that it was quite funny in places, a bit depressing in others, gives a lot to think about, and is (for those wondering) not necessarily coming from a Christian viewpoint. Having a simple and traditional Christmas shouldn't seem like such a challenge, but we need inspiration at times to ignore the pressure around us to buy, and just stay home and bake cookies.

Here are a few pics and then I'm going back to bed.

A beautiful pink unicorn, part of a series of animal drawings Sophia did this week, based on this book.

Our chickens have been spending the chilly days pecking about the leaf-scattered backyard and digging up what remains of the garden. Margaret's favorite afternoon past-time is going outside to chase the chickens around. They are surprisingly fast, and outrageously funny to watch!

Edited to Add:
I almost forgot, I actually gave myself my first black eye this week! In a surprising feat of clumsiness, as I was sweeping around the table and leaned over to quickly rescue a teacup that Anna was about to grab, I stuck the end of the broom handle in my eye. It really hurts, and it's pretty embarrassing, and I can't wait for it to go away. I'll skip the photo. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008


This child is a bit scary. Here's evidence I found under the table this afternoon:

I wasn't sure at first whether it was Sophie or Ellie who drew it, but Ellie took credit and explained to me that this is Hello Kitty and her little sister, who turned into a mermaid, and also happens to be bleeding. She wouldn't say why the little sister was bleeding, she just is and you can tell by the red dots where the blood is. Hmmm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Update

So Wednesday, I (Margaret) auditioned for the play Best Christmas Pageant Ever at our local children's theatre. I was invited to the callbacks earlier tonight. I still don't know what part I will get, but I have that wish (that all kids get) to have the BIG part.

Sophie and Ellie are rejoicing in the large amount of toy catalogs arriving in the mail for the holiday season. They have cut out hundreds of the little pictures of toys out of the catalogs and have been playing with them for hours at the table. As usual, Anna climbs onto the table and tries to play too, making them scream as she crumples the cutouts up.

Right now, everyone is exhausted. Mom has been breaking up fights, and Dad has been juggling family life, work, and church. Sophie and Ellie are throwing fits randomly. Now Dad is reading to them 'The poetical works of Spenser'. I think they are asleep. Anna is sobbing because Mom set her down to do the dishes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bedtime Checklist

1. Dishes washed...check.

2. Baby removed from kitchen sink, dried off and diapered...check.

3. Eleanor's teeth brushed 4 times (one for each year)...check.

4. Eleanor's toothpaste-covered dress in the laundry, exchanged for pajamas...check.

5. Sophia in bed with Lile on her pillow and throw-up bowl handy (just in case)...check.

6. Sparkey located under sofa and returned to his cage for the night...check.

7. Mom and Dad ready to collapse...pending.

Goodnight all.

*edited to add: Sophia isn't really sick, sometimes she just needs a little extra tlc at bedtime ;)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baby dance

The following was captured a few nights ago in the kitchen...Anna was being crazy cute while Margaret was playing music on the computer, Sophie was cheering her on, and Ellie was ready for bed:

More Fall Fun

Well, the rest of the leaves fell yesterday, so the girls got busy raking this morning:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Update

My cleaning efforts have been hampered lately by Eleanor's paper dolls.

She makes dozens of them each day

And leaves them all over the house

They are really cute, though.

We had several nights below freezing this week so I've been cleaning up and mulching over the garden for the season. Today we cut down the cannas that grow next to our patio, which means that the chickens will have to find a new favorite hiding place until next summer.

We have about as many leaves on the ground as there are on the trees now.

Maggie isn't doing too well, but for now we're just waiting to see what happens with her. I believe we will have to put her to sleep soon, and it looks like I will have to take her. I'm not looking forward to it, but I suppose when the time comes we'll just do what needs to be done.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall fun

This evening, we donned tutus and leotards,

and crepe paper hats (note the buzzy bee airborne in the background),

and Margaret dressed herself up a bit like a scarecrow,

and then we proceeded to the church,

where Anna wore her crepe flower hat for a few minutes,

and we decorated some pumpkins,

had some snacks,

and a couple of hot dogs,

and did some bobbing for apples and ring toss and such.

And a good time was had by all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Update

Currently, Sophia and Eleanor are busily making pictures and doing worksheets at the crafting table while Anna is hanging out under the table trying to steal their papers and causing Sophia to shriek at regular intervals.

Last night the towel-clad littles, fresh from the bath, came to visit me in the kitchen while I was making dinner

Earlier this week Anna fed the chickens some leftover stir-fry,

Eleanor came outside to let me know that she was NOT happy (I can't remember why)

and the chickens considered coming inside to explore the kitchen, but decided at the last minute to run away instead.