Friday, November 23, 2012

Broiler Processing Day

Looking at this collage, I'm glad we chose to take a picture of our broilers each Thursday for their whole (short!) lives.  They really do grow. so. fast.
 Processing day went very smooth, and it was actually fun!  Thanks to some generous friends at Bethel Trails Farm, we borrowed some equipment that made the whole process go faster.  The most time consuming part is the plucking.  The "Featherman" takes care of all of it in 25-30 seconds!!  It saved us a ton of time.  We ended up doing all our birds, from start to finish, in 4 hours.  Everyone took a turn on each part of the process, from the kill cone all the way to converting ounces to a decimal scale for pricing and packaging. 
We had some fresh chicken for our Thanksgiving feast!  So glad we got to share some with our friends the Schaafs!!
 my little helper :D
Ben was a trooper on processing was also his 9th birthday!!

 His very own Bowie knife!
Yes, that's right friends, when you live the rural life, you get a new knife for your birthday :)

Now, on to the next project for our farm...
                                                                       ...the Eggmobile!

The boys were challenged to come up with a model.  I think they're all great and very detailed!  We'll have to come up with a combination of all three!
Whew! What a busy couple of days!!  Hope you all had a fun Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast with Friends

We are part of a great church and today was their annual Thanksgiving Feast for the homeschoolers.  What fun!
 My pilgrims & indians
 having fun with friends

 On the way we spotted this Vietnam Memorial with a tank and helicopter that were actually used in that war!
 The boys couldn't get enough of it!  
 I can't help but fast forward 10 years in my mind when I look at a picture like this.  What an honor it would be to have a son (or two, or three) that would be willing to serve his God and country in such a sacrificial way.  It starts now, when they're only 6, 8 & 10...teaching them to defend women and children, to live a life of service to others, to boldly accept one's duty as a man, and to have a heart of gratefulness for this country we live in.  Wow, what a responsibility I have as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to cultivate such a spirit in them...thank you God for such a wonderful opportunity!

Thursday's Broiler Biography

It's just about time....

We have decided to wait until Wednesday to process our broilers.  They will be exactly 9 weeks old that day.  It'll be chicken on our Thanksgiving table this year!!
Took some pictures with Ellie to give a visual of how HUGE these birds have gotten in just 58 days!  

Ellie's not quite sure...
 ...well I'll give it a try...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Little Helper's Apron

Yesterday while Ellie was napping and big kids were doing independent school work Gracyn and I got to work on an apron for her! 
 She loves to assist in the kitchen.  Her joyful spirit makes it so enjoyable.  If there is a plus to not having a dishwasher, this would be why...I get to spend one-on-one time with this adorable girl every day at the sink! 
 The best thing about this apron (besides how cute it looks on her) is it costed next to nothing to make!  The flower pattern is a vintage bed sheet we got for 2 quarters, and the polkadot is an old dress of big sister Caitlin's that we salvaged from a box in the closet!
 But here is my favorite part about this can be used for harvest days!  Or daily egg collecting!  
 Or in Graycie's case, walking around the yard with a hen!
 Now I just need to make one for my other girls and myself!! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday's Broiler Biography

These birds only have one week left!  Next Saturday, November 17th is processing day.  This poor guy is a bit on the dirty side because of the rain and cold the last few days.

It will be an adventurous day!  We are as ready as we can be with butchering and packaging supplies...hopefully we'll have good weather since it will all be done outdoors.  If you want to try your hand at it, come on down to the farm next Saturday!!  No, truly, I realize butchering and processing chickens is not for everyone...thank you Shannon for pointing that out to me!  But if you live locally and plan on purchasing from Kornerstone Farms in the near future you're welcome to come pick 'em up as early as Sunday afternoon after church!  Can't get any FRESHER than that my friends!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Frost!!

Our 3 barred rock roosters start around 5am with their the sun was rising I did my best to capture them.
Letting the chickens out of their coop and feeding them a bit of feed is usually Christian's job, but this morning Graycie followed me outside after eating her eggs and wanted to help.
Here is our chick, Summer, who was born on the first day of summer...still doesn't leave her mother's side!  She is laying eggs for us now.
Morning grooming routine
I have an affection for these blue glass jars...always have.  Don't they look beautiful with frost all over them?!  We keep these outside on the table to light at night when we eat dinner and this is what we woke to.

 Look at that frost on the table glittering!!  Ben noticed it right away when he was walking around with me...we were trying to capture every moment of the early sun and the frost still all around us.
What a glorious morning.  I LOVE taking the time with the kids to start our day looking for all the beautiful God-given gifts all around us.  He truly is an amazing God!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cait's Cozy Corner

If I may take a moment to be brag as a mom...

Caitlin's talents at the sewing machine are sparkling these days!!  She has taken old wool sweaters and t-shrits to make these cute, fun cup cozies!  Aren't they adorable?!  Great Christmas gift idea and super affordable :)  

Check out her website HERE

 I use mine everyday ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Life on the Farm

November 1, between the hours of 6pm and 8pm my beagle Nia birthed her first litter of 7 puppies!  Caitlin and I were her helpers and the rest of the family got to watch thru a bedroom window so as not to disturb Nia.  What an incredible experience watching the miracle of birth...even from a dog!  How can anyone deny there is a God?!  One true, living God who creates everything.  I am very thankful that my dad and mama have given us kids the chance to experience the joys, pains and responsibilities that go with owning animals.  I think it's great practice for having a family of my own one day.  Although having several siblings is most definitely the best practice for that!!

We are all trying to convince our parents to let us keep one of the puppies.  They are all so cute and will be hard to let go of!  If you live in the area and want a puppy, maybe to give as a Christmas gift, they will be ready in about a month!!  We will also have our meat birds ready in a few weeks!  You can pick  up some dinner when you come get a puppy :)