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Archive for March, 2009

Thanks for all the comments and congrats on our milestones last week.  Ashley and the baby are headed home today.  I can’t wait to get out there and see them, hopefully soon.  I’ve got much more time this week to spend catching up on laundry, bills, phone calls, and…

research

Research on my current obsession.  I read all your comments on farm animal suggestions.  I appreciate all the stories of your past farm animal experiences.  The uncles and aunts and grandparents who were brave enough to go down the farm road.

I’m afraid the last option “Toss the whole idea out the window and get a pool” won out.  Unfortunately, I was just kidding about that.  That wasn’t actually a real option, although someday it would be fun to have my own pool.  Maybe when we’re living in a warm and tropical climate instead of out on the frozen tundra of  Idaho.  As they say, When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and the Romans here keep farm animals.

So, after much hand-wringing and intense debate visiting the local hatchery, we’ve decided to get:

Chickens!

Why?  Because:

  1. They’re cheap to purchase and to feed
  2. They lay eggs so they contribute
  3. Hens aren’t loud
  4. Their poop is much smaller than any of the other animals in the running
  5. Kids can carry them around
  6. They don’t look at all like their barbeque counterparts so I think I can keep the two separate in my brain
  7. They fertilize the lawn and eat bugs and weed seeds

Now that we’ve made the decision, I need your help. Right around Easter is chick time.  So I have to work quick if we’re gonna be ready when chicks are plentiful.  I’ve located the chicks and the chicken feed.  Now I need the:

COOP!

I’ve spent far too much time scouring the internet for ideas. Here’ what I’ve come up with:

I know what I DON’T want:

tarp-coop

Now, I know chickens can live practically anywhere that’s warm and dry and they don’t care what their coop looks like.  But I DO!  I want something aesthetically pleasing.  Something cute and functional.  Something that says,

“I’m not a farmer, but I think chickens are cute and it would be fun to get some, but only if I can have a cute coop to put them in.”

So, I’ve narrowed down my choices.  I have to give Hubby my final decision this weekend so he can get to work on it ASAP:

car-coop#1      The Car Coop.  Which, honestly isn’t even in the running because I’m not that into cars and we don’t have a spare rear end of a vintage car to work with.  But I thought it was an interesting “theme” idea.

japanese#2    Along with the “theme” idea, how about this Japanese coop?  OK, again, not really in the running.  Although we’re big fans of sushi, we’re not Japanese, we’ve never been to Asia, and our house has not a stitch of Asian flair to it.  A little piece of Japan in Idaho?  I think not.

dog-house#3    Now this is more practical.  It’s made from a pre-fab dog house.  It’s got more of an Idaho feel.  It’s pretty cute, but I’d paint it red.

little-red-coop

#4   Another very practical coop.  Probably the most affordable option.  Not sure it would withstand the gale force winds we’ve had here lately though.

tractor#5   This is what you call a chicken tractor.  It’s mobile so you can move it around the yard and the chickens eat the bugs and weed seeds while fertilizing the lawn.  Ingenious concept.  But I’m looking for a little more color.

mobile-stagecoach#6   Definitely more color.  Again, mobile.  Note the wheels.  Likely to withstand the winds.  I like the red.

white-cop

#7   A cuter version of the chicken tractor.  I like the shingled roof.  The exterior box is where the hens lay the eggs.  Just lift the lid to collect them.

cluckingham-palace#8   Check out this beauty!  Mobile.  Cute. Flower boxes.  Sturdy.  It could pass for a playhouse to the HOA KGB.

large-coop#9   OK, it’s not mobile but it sure is fabulous.  Check out the details.  A kickplate on the door.  An exterior light.  The white trim, which I love. I don’t know.   This might make a better guest house than a chicken coop.

new-england#10   I’m trying really hard to hold back any bias so I can eek an honest opinion out of you, but…BUT…BUTI LOVE THIS ONE!!! It speaks to the New Englander in me.  It’s not red, but it has white clapboard siding and a windowed cupola up top!  What more could I ask for?  But don’t let me sway you in any way…  Give me your honest opinions…

eglu#11   And if all this is just too “country” for you, all you pool voters out there, I offer you the Eglu. It’s the iMac of chicken coops.  It comes to you via UPS with the chickens and the chicken feed all ready to go.  It’s easy to clean and comes in a variety of bright and fun colors.  I was a big fan until I found out I’d have to shell out almost $800 to acquire one.  That’s a lot of eggs and chickens I could buy.  But if cost effectiveness isn’t a priority, have at it!

So, help me decide.

Which one do you like the best?

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Whew!  It’s been quite a week!

I’ve been away from the blog because we’ve had a lot going on.  Here’s an extensive recap:

Last week my foreigner husband concluded the extensive process of becoming legal.  After almost 25 years living in the United States, he finally decided to become a U.S. citizen.  It has taken almost a year of paper work and interviewing to get to the final swearing-in ceremony.  But he made it, and passed the final interview.  I went with him to record history.swearing-in-group

Can you spot the only Austrian in the group?

ralfhand-raise

Two things stood out to me when I was watching the whole procedure.  The first was when the Master of ceremonies, a career government guy, was asked if certain seats were being saved for the translators.  To which he replied:

Translators? Ma’am, this is for your U.S. Citizenship.  There will be no translators at this ceremony.guy

The other was when this guy, the second-in-command Master of Ceremonies began his patriotic speech with this:

I love this country.  You wanna know why I love this country so much?  Because we don’t take no crap from nobody!flag

We’re coming to America,

We’re coming to America,

TODAY!

Congratulations Hubby!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Later that day, for Erik’s birthday, we trekked over to the Discovery Center of Idaho and played with lots of science.

will-spark

mirrors

maddy-rabbit

jack-wind-tunnel

groceries

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My sister Jennifer, and her family came out for the weekend to celebrate Erik’s 8th birthday and baptism with us.

It was the perfect way to end our 11 days of Spring Break.

Guess where I took them?

Yep, the same theater.  We caught the premiere of Monsters vs. Aliens for $2.50 a piece!

movies2will-ella

Both of my sisters are fans of Bakerella.  Do you know her?  She makes incredible desserts, one of which is the cake pop.  After a morning of sweating to The 30 Day Shred followed by the Bar Method, we felt we’d earned a treat so we tried our hand at making cake pops.  Needless to say, they were a little trickier than they sounded and we ended up with 12 finished pops and 2 trays full of cake balls on sticks.  I think I’ll leave the cake pops up to Bakerella from now on.

popscupcake-pops

I’m kind of a little bit obsessed with chicken coops right now.  More about that in my next post.  So I took Jennifer to the hatchery down the road to check out their selection of farm fowl.  They were completely sold out of chicks but they did have these ducks.

Isn’t this little one adorable?

ducks

No, we didn’t make any purchases. It’s all part of my research.  Soon enough.  Soon enough…

The kids had the best time hanging out with their cousins.

pianokids

We can’t wait to see them again in 2 weeks!

**************************************************

Yesterday was Erik’s baptism.  He looked so handsome in his new suit and tie.  His dad baptised and confirmed him. There was such a strong Spirit during the baptism as well as the confirmation.  These little kids are so sweet and innocent.  The Spirit just emmanates from them.  It was a wonderful day that we won’t soon forget.

erikdad-sonfamily

Per Eriks request, after his baptism we all went to IHOP for a dinner of french toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages, omelettes, and fried shrimp.  YUM!  We were stuffed and happy.

Better break out those work-out DVDS again tomorrow.

cousinskids-ihoplaughjen-jeffstraws

*  * * * * * * * ** * ** * ** * * * ** * *

And in the midst of all the weekend activities, our little sister Ashley gave birth to her first baby.  After a slow and unprogressive day of laboring, she ended up having a c-section.  But he’s here and he’s absolutely adorable.

Welcome to the world Hudson

hudson-056

Born March 27 11:57 pm

9 lb. 4 oz.   20 inches

luengo-fam

Congratulations Ashley & Nick

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on him!  There’s nothing like a new baby.

* * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * *

So, that was last week in a nutshell.  It was jam packed with excitement.  We had a great time with my family and missed my mom who was out helping with the new baby. We made lots of memories and shared some milestones.  Here’s to back to school and a less eventful week.

Happy Monday!!!

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Scrub the toilet…


Match the socks…


Alphabetize the pantry…


Have her teeth pulled…


are all things this girl would rather do than READ!

That is…until our TWILIGHT party when she saw the movie for the first time.

For the past three days READING is the only thing she HAS done.

maddy-reading-1She’s on the third book.

That’s 1,300 pages read in three days!!!

maddy-reading

An entire Spring Break spent reading?  I would have NEVER guessed it was possible.

Thank you Stephenie Meyer!

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Eight is Great!

maddy-erikmaddy-jack-erikteethyellowcream-sweater1denim-shirtkindergarten8th-birthday

Eight reasons we love this kid:

  1. He spends most of his free time playing with his little brother (even after Will knocked out his tooth on Saturday right before our Twilight party).
  2. He compliments often and notices when people need a lift.
  3. He loves the library and will spend hours reading (even the dictionary).
  4. He loved homeschooling and hopes we would do it again someday.
  5. He thanks me for dinner even if he hates what I make.
  6. He has a fun sense of humor and shares many inside jokes with his brothers (even if most of them involve bodily functions).
  7. He’s curious about nutrition and reads the labels on all containers.
  8. He’s a loyal friend and will stick up for the underdog (and doesn’t realize that sometimes that’s him).

Happy 8th Birthday Erik!!!

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A Twilight Weekend

How to Host a spontaneous Twilight DVD Release Party

  • Talk to your party-loving sister on Friday and find out she’s having a Twilight party.

  • Decide you really want to go to hers but since she lives 5 hours away and you are the only member of the Primary Presidency in town this weekend and can’t miss church on Sunday, decide to host your own party.

  • Call her several times while at Walmart to get details on what she’s doing so you can copy her.

  • Have your kids invite some friends.

  • Invite some of your own friends.

  • Instead of heading to Walmart at midnight on Friday to buy the DVD, sleep in and head to Target the next morning.

  • Be glad you made that decision after hearing about the cat fights that broke out over the DVD shortage at Walmart.

  • Make some cupcakes.

  • Pop some popcorn.

  • Decorate the house in red, black, and white.  Don’t forget the apples!

  • Enjoy an evening with vampires and friends!

posterchalkboardcupcakestablered-velvetrosetreatsjackmaddypost-movie

What did you do this weekend?

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Three Minutes…

I’ve had my eye on MamaKat’s blog for some time now.

Every week she  lists a few writing prompts.  You pick one, write about it and post it on your blog on Thursdays.  I usually decline the assignment.  It feels too much like homework. There are some things I miss about school but homework is not one of them.  But I’m thinking it might be a good way to exercise my writing muscles.  So I’m giving it a shot.  We’ll see how long it lasts.

The prompt I chose was:

2)  List 10 things you can do in 3 minutes.

Easy enough.

  1. Wake up
  2. Peek at the clock
  3. Turn off the alarm before it buzzes
  4. Close my eyes
  5. Think, “I should really get up and exercise.  But it’s so cold out and I’m so tired. Maybe I can fit it in during the day.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.”
  6. Then think,” No, if I don’t do it this morning, I won’t do it at all.”
  7. Peek at the clock again.
  8. Close my eyes.
  9. Literally feel the guilt creep in
  10. Go back to sleep

Update on my new Bar Method workout routine coming soon.

Happy Thursday!!!

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Vintage Girls’ Night Out: Do’s and Don’ts

3-girls1

When your new friends ask you and your daughter out for a Girls’ Night Out to the movies:

Don’t: Forget to pop the kettle corn before you leave because you know how outrageously expensive theater popcorn is.

1573139382_07c0ae83cf_m

Do: Become giddy with joy because you haven’t been invited out with “just the girls” since you moved there.

When you find out you’ll be going to the 1918 movie theater in the small town where your friend grew up:

Don’t: Even try to image what this place will be like because you, suburban girl, have  never experienced anything like it.

Do: Bring your camera along.  There are bound to be plenty of photos ops for the blog.

When you arrive in town and offer to share your kettle corn with the others and they politely decline with the intention of buying their own bags:

Don’t: Take it personally.

Do: Think they’ve lost their minds! and have forgotten that theater popcorn costs an arm and a leg.  Aren’t we supposed to be pinching pennies here, Ladies?

When you walk across the street to the theater:

Don’t: Miss it.  And don’t mention that the only sign is written on an erasable white board.

now-showing

Do: Keep it to yourself that the doors remind you of a saloon.

entrance

As you step inside to the ticket counter:

Don’t: Ask the ticket girl twice if she’s sure the pricing on the sign is correct.

pricing

Do: Put your $20 away.  The cost for the two of you is a mere 5 bucks.

When you accidentally glance at the concession stand prices:

Don’t: Stand there with your mouth open.

pricing-concesions

Do: Non-challantly stuff your kettle corn further into your bag and splurge on two candies and a drink for $3.50.

After finding your seats:

Don’t: Look for the handy dandy cup holders.  These are vintage, velvet-covered 1970-something theater seats.

seats

Do:  Remember to use your camera.

theater

Right before the movie rolls:

Don’t: Be surprised when the owner walks to the front and welcomes everyone, reminds you to turn off your cell phones, and then checks the thermostat before turning down the lights.

Do: Settle in and and enjoy the only warm theater you can ever remember sitting in.

anne-hathaway

At the end of the movie:

Don’t: Forget to take some pictures of the authentic Frontier decor, rusty saws and all.

saw

Do: Take the  friendly owner up on his offer of  a private tour of the building, including the original stage behind the screen, the dressing rooms and boiler rooms in the basement, and the balcony and reel room upstairs. (Even if it seems there is not a more perfect location for shooting  a grisly slasher flick)

stagelightsgirls1

At the end of the evening:

Don’t: Let your friend take you home without a quick hometown tour of this itty-bitty frontier town.

The High School

The High School

Do:  Thank your friends for an amazingly vintage night out on an historical Idaho town!

Happy Wednesday!

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