Just a Little How-We’re-Doing Update

I have really got to try to get in the habit of at least a weekly post, don’t you think?  All three of you fabulous readers? 🙂

We have been pretty busy around here, of course.  Because we’re always pretty busy around here.  It occurred to me not long ago that I’m no longer a stay-at-home mom, but a work-at-home mom.  I go-go-go from about 6am to approximately 8:15 at night, when I finally get the last of the children tucked in.  (Yes, that is ALL children, from the four year old right on up through the seventeen year old.  You don’t have to go to sleep, but you can’t stay downstairs with me!)

We harvested a batch of chickens a couple of weeks ago, incorporating some revisions gleaned from our last run.  I’m telling you, you should see these kids process chickens!  They do such a great job, and they’re fast!  We ran through forty birds in an hour and a half, just over two minutes per bird.  We’re short two workers for the cooling/packaging station, so we have to break for that, but it gives the kids a chance to stretch and breathe and get a drink, so it works out okay.  And I have learned to rip off heads with my bare hands, which makes me feel positively primitive, but it’s fast.  We’ll take some pictures on Saturday when run our next batch.  We only have about twenty birds to run ourselves, but we heard a rumor some elderly friends are ready to process theirs, too, so we’ll offer to help.

School is going well, too, mostly.  I think I’m the only one having a hard time.  I need a school project with which to occupy my hands, otherwise, I think I’m going to go insane.  Seven days in, though, and all the kids are still on schedule (a first!) and Tommy pops in most days, but not all.  He found his gold crayon, too.  Did you know ducks are gold?  So are balloons, bunny tails, and eggs.

Delaney and Davey are going hunting next week, a first for both of them.  Delaney shoots a bow, and Davey has a crossbow, so it should be interesting.  A friend has some land nearby they can use, and another feeds his deer all summer so they’re still around come hunting season.  So, if they don’t have any luck at the first place, they have a fall-back.  They’re pretty excited.  Me?  I don’t have any freezer space (four of them, packed to the gills) so am ambivalent.  🙂  I don’t even know where I’m going to put the chickens this weekend.

I’m still pregnant!  That seems to be going just fine.  Sometimes, too, when I lay down at night, I think I can feel the little guy moving.  Could be my imagination, but I like it anyway.  🙂  Thanks for the prayers.

What else?  Oh, yes.  The extension office runs a program called Homemakers, and I fell into the presidency of our particular club.  (There are 8-10 in our county.)  We have a definite cash-flow problem, as we have no income, yet people always want our money.  The $25 bucks the county organization started us off with didn’t last very long.  So.  Every year, the county homemakers hold a holiday bazaar.  Everything must be handmade or homemade, but no canned goods.  Each club can have one booth for free, and this is how most of the clubs make money for the year.  Our problem is that there are only seven women in our fledgling club, and we’re short on crafty and/or baking skills.  I have a few ideas for easy, low-cost projects, but I’m totally open to suggestions.  Those are my qualifications, by the way.  Must be easy.  Must be cheap.  And, preferable, must be desired by folks who attend craft fairs.  🙂  Any ideas? (See pinterest board labeled Bazaar Ideas.)

Okay, I think that’ll do it for today.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

18 Comment

  1. Thanks for the update. That was fun.

    Suggestions for craft items — and these are pretty random, but things that can be made fast. I have no idea if people buy them because I don’t go to craft shows:
    cloth sanitary pads (I told you this was random)
    dog collar covers
    fleece hats and scarves
    Christmas stockings

  2. Christine says:

    I am one of your 3 readers. I have been coming to this bloggy forever. It is one of my favs. Congrats on your pregnancy news. You have beautiful children and I am sure this one will be a cutie also!

  3. I’m one of the three! I’m glad to hear everyone is doing well and that things are moving along. I’m excited to hear how those ducks of yours are going to work out! They seem like a really unusual breed and so practical.

    1. Beckie R. says:

      Wait a second, someone can’t count, because I know that I’m one of the three, and so far, that makes, ummmmmmm, oh! Four! I have no crafty ideas for you that don’t involve cutting paper into shreds or fairies. Sorry 🙁 Keep on writing, we love reading!


  4. I was thinking of making lip balm for Christmas gifts this year. I have been making Peter’s diaper balm and it is quick and easy to do. Maybe you could try that for a craft.

    Still praying for that little one of yours.

    We are a month into school and it seems that the newness has worn off 🙁

    Oh, and I think we have proved you have slightly more than three readers!

  5. KristyB says:

    The children of a friend of mine (6th and 7th graders) have been making and selling Survival Bracelets. I’ve never done it, but it seems like a possibly useful idea. http://www.operationgratitude.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/HowtoMakeaParacordSurvivalBracelet1.pdf

    I’ve also always wanted to make one of these – http://catholicmom.com/2013/01/15/make-a-saint-day-plate/ Maybe you could make dessert plate versions that aren’t necessarily a saint but “It’s my special day!” for birthdays or job-well-done type things. Or you could still throw some saints in there 🙂

    I like the bib/ties here, not so much the pacifiers but I think the “mustache” thing is all the rage right now. http://lorrinteriors.blogspot.com/2011/07/sophisticated-baby.html

    As I’ve been married, I’ve learned I have a hard time buying things that don’t have a utilitarian purpose. So while a lot of decorative stuff catches my eye, I don’t like to fork over the money for it :). Not to say that I don’t do that, but I think hard.

  6. holy smokes, I’m number 6! and you blog more often than I. Did I mention I moved my blog?

    bazaar ideas: in a jar, but not “canned” are ready-to-make soup or ready-to-make quick bread or ready-to-make cookies (just add wet ingredients). Pretty ribbon on it and it can be given as a gift to teachers or coaches (that’s the marketing line). I also saw PIES made in a small mason jar…maybe even cakes. One big serving to go. But it won’t keep for days, needs to be eaten.

    Christmas ornaments are popular. I would try to come up with something Americana-like which would be popular with military wives. Or Kentucky-themed: state flower, state bird? Or Christian (Keep Christ in Christmas). You could decoupage thin pieces of wood. Decoupage is easy, you just have to have an eye for what would look pretty. Oh, you could decoupage store-bought plain balls. I’ve seen them for sale cheap.

  7. Lots of great ideas! Thank you, ladies, all SEVEN of you! 🙂 I’ll bring these ideas up to the club and see what they think. (I’m not hopeful. I have a feeling they are going to want to skip the bazaar altogether, but we’ll see.)

    With so many talkative teens around the house and so many visitors coming and going and so much real-life stuff to do, I never actually get around to blogging anymore, though I wish I did. I want to. When I started blogging, I was a stay-at-home Catholic homeschooling mom, married to a soldier, and that was me. Now, I run a farm, a fledgling business… Is it funny to say that I worry I’m no longer interesting to you? I’ve learned so much about the quirks of raising chickens for the table, and feeding rabbits, and maintaining pastures, not to mention making sour cream and ten-thousand ways to cook an old hen. You, you seven+ readers matter to me. I don’t want to bore you with the details of what turns out to be a very challenging life.

    On the other hand, I have learned so many things that nobody could tell me about, because the information died with their grandmothers. That’s worth something, worth talking about, and I know when I can’t figure out an issue, I go for other people who might have solved the problem by their own trial and error.

    Anyway, true story: I used to call myself a soldier’s wife, but, as I said, times have changed. One afternoon, a fellow was over chatting with Davey and referred to me as the farmer’s wife. “I’m not the farmer’s wife,” I said, “I’m the farmer. He’s the farmer’s husband!” Which kind of threw Davey for a minute, but he has developed an appreciation for it.

    So what do you think: Farm stories? Fewer farm stories? Because I’m totally taking pictures of chicken processing this weekend. It’s gory, but to me, it’s a work of art. 🙂

    1. I come here to see what’s going on in the world of Jennie Cooper. Farm stories, pregnancy worries, whatever. If you post photos of dead chickens, I will not be offended, but I won’t loiter. If I stopped by your house on chicken slaughter day, I’d see if you needed me to rotate your laundry or start dinner or something else, someplace else. 🙂

    2. I’ve been reading for years, back when you were…. I think an Army of 7? And i LOVE the farm stuff 🙂 love it! keep it comin!

  8. Oh, I love the farm stories. And if I ever do get one of my own, I’ll know one great resource!

  9. I think your farm life is very interesting! I get inspired by many of the things I read on the couple of blogs I follow– I like cooking and life skills stories. And crafty DIY stuff.

  10. I have a great, easy idea that will sell like hotcakes, because it doesn’t matter where you do this. Everyone either wants to use them for themselves or they want to give them…. Corner bookmarks! I just made a bunch of autumn themed ones (in fact you can find the printouts in my store and use your super coupon to get them!!), but they are a great hand out for Halloween, you can make them for Christmas or winter themed or birthday themed or anything you want!

    Best part is, they should cost you just over a penny each to make, they are fast to do, they come out very pretty, and you can pop 4 of them into a baggie, clip a label over the top, and sell the bags for $1 each, making a very nice profit! Cool, huh?

    Anytime these have been at a fair, (i have never sold them myself this way) the folks doing the selling run out long before the fair is done. 🙂 You could actually JUST do these in all different themes (email me… I’ll hook you up with all the printing files you need. I’ll even print for you, if you’d like!) and fill your table up with them. Put a book or two in the middle of the table to demonstrate how to use them and you’re all set.

    And please don’t stop blogging about farming! I LOVE to read about everything you guys do. Even the tiny little details. And yes. I really do want to see how you manage a chicken slaughtering day. Gory and all. Maybe I’ll have a better idea if it’s really something we can handle! lol

  11. We’re up to NINE! And I’ll stop worrying about overdoing the farm stuff. Thank you, ladies. Sandie, I saw an origami pattern for corner bookmarks. People really like those? They looked easy, too easy. 🙂

    1. You would be amazed! Especially if you go the origami route and use really cute scrapbook papers to do them! They make such a great small gift for stockings etc… 🙂

    2. KristyB says:

      My oldest son just made himself a corner bookmark. It was cute and really easy. Hopefully it’ll help him keep up with it. He’s got an origami paper book he used a few sheets from.

  12. Here’s a couple of things I’d pinned to try making for my nephews:

    Stuffed denim whales(I bet you could make these our of old jeans and shirts) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/105975397454820535

    Felt hot air ballons: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/105975397454632886/

  13. I’m 11! I am a total city girl and love your farm stories.

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