Project 365, Days 257-263

Day 257, August 4, 2013: The tomatoes are ripening very quickly now. Yea!!


Day 258: Our dragon for the VBS skits. It needs to be painted yet, but it’s almost ready


Day 259: Greg’s chickens are all washed and ready for the fair


Day 260: Greg won Poultry Showmanship, again 🙂


Day 261: Janelle and Blizzard were almost unbeatable at the dog show. Blizzard was reserve grand champion.


Day 262: The finished dragon head.


Day 263: Princesses in pajamas. Final practice for the VBS skits


Project 365, Days 221-231

June 28


Day 221, June 28: The area in front of our house, after all the rain made the weeds grow and before I got to work on it.

June 29


Day 222: And..after I worked on it. Still needs some work and more color, but it’s better than the weeds

June 30


Day 223: Another storm is on the way. When will all the rain end?


July 1

Day 224: Bryce is relaxing during VBS skit practice


July 2

Day 225: Janelle’s working on her ceramics projects for 4-H


July 3


Day 226: Dinner was salmon, grapes and lettuce straight from the garden


July 4Day 227: What happens when I take care of Greg’s chickens? I smash my leg into a hidden piece of machinery and take a chunk out of my leg. Right after this, I slipped and fell in a bunch of mud. Not my favorite job.


July 5


Day 228: Greg’s chickens have been laying lots of eggs lately. Time to get these washed and put away.

July 6


Day 229: We had a bonfire with Alita and her girls. We haven’t had very many this year. It’s been too wet


July 7


Day 230: Greg’s souvenir from his mission trip to Costa Rica.


July 9


Day 231: I started a new workout program today. 25 minutes of cardio with no breaks. 265 calories burned.

Project 365, Days 329-350

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Day 329, October 13: Today, there were hundreds of birds in our trees in the front of the house.
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Day 330: My weight loss goal is getting closer
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Day 331: Biology class. Today we’re experimenting on the effects of cold on muscles
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Day 332: Another game with Eric as goalie
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Day 333, Oct 17, 11 months done: My newest workout DVDs
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Day 334: Today’s soccer game was very cold and wet. It rained most of the game. This was my view of the field from under my umbrella.
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Day 335: Beautiful fall colors
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Day 336: The colors were better in person than in the photo, but this street is lined with beautiful fall colored trees
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Day 337: Showing off leaf collections in Biology class
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Day 338: We’re at the end of the soccer season. This was a cold, foggy game. By the end of the game, it was hard to tell the red team from the orange team.
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Day 339: Our last photo of Jet. We gave him to a new family today because he is starting to wander too much and the hunters across the road aren’t appreciating all his visits to their hunting grounds.
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Day 340: It’s hard to tell from this picture, but Janelle braided Blizzard’s tail
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Day 341: This year we had an abundance of boxelder bugs crawling all over the house
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Day 342: Greg’s new chicken
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Day 343: We got together at Grandma’s house and had birthday cake for both birthday “girls”
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Day 344: Kaiser wants to come in the house, or at least get a treat
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Day 345: The freestall barn
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Day 346: This arrived on a big truck today. What’s it going to be? Stay tuned to find out
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Day 347: Blizzard dressed up as a cow for Halloween this year. (Like he had a choice)
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Day 348: Greg’s part in the homeschool play is the role of a Danish fisherman. He doesn’t look Danish, so the director asked if he’d be willing to color his hair for the part. It took 4 applications of bleach, one of a blonde dye and 2 days to get the desired results.
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Day 349: Now Buddy wants to come in
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Day 350: Greg’s new look

Project 365, Days 115-127

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Day 115, March 12: This is what my laptop screen now looks like. Somehow it was closed while the mouse was on the keyboard and now the screen is all cracked. At least I can access everything by hooking it up to our desktop computer.
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Day 116: I was in another swap on the Homeschool Lounge. This was an apron swap and this is the apron I got from my partner.
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Day 117: Spring housecleaning project #1: The Laundry room. It could also be called the junk room since it accumulates almost everything we have no other place for.
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Day 118: The countdown to opening night has begun. 15 days and counting
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Day 119: We found another use for some of our chicken cages. We now have 1 in the garage to keep all our barn boots in. This was, Kaiser can’t get at them to use them as chew toys.
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Day 120, March 17, end of month #4: Greg got a few new chickens today. This one is a Russian Orloff. I call him Boris.
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Day 121: Janelle’s new buuny, a Dutch named KitKat
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Day 122: Yes, that is green grass growing and it’s only mid-March. The weather has been beautiful this week!
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Day 123: Still counting down to opening night: 10 day to go
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Day 124: Look at that temperature, and it’s only March 21.
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Day 125: Blizzard is being a little bit naughty!
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Day 126: This is what happens when a 17-year-old boy has 2 hours of rugby practice in the rain and mud–a dirty tub. It was a lot dirtier than this photo makes it look.
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Day 127: 7 hours of practice today for Nunsense Jamboree. The set is looking great.

Our annual chicken and rabbit buying trip

Today was the Small Animal Swap in Fond du Lac. It’s an annual event for us to find animals for 4-H projects. Greg, Janelle and I get up early to arrive at the fairgrounds by 7:00 (OK, a little bit later than that today). The expo building at the fairgrounds is full of people with small animals to sell. There are mainly many types of birds and rabbits, but you can also find dogs, goats and more. Quite often, it’s an all-morning excursion for us. This year, Greg and Janelle had an idea of what they were looking for before we even left home. Boy, that made the trip easier. We were in and out in less than 90 minutes today. Here’s what we bought today:

These 3 birds are all Appenzellar Spitzhaubens, one of Greg’s favorite breeds. He bought 2 hens and a rooster.
These 2 are Bantam Modern game birds. They are full grown, even though the hen (on the left) is not much bigger than a pigeon.
And this pair are Ameraucanas. The hens lay colored eggs–green and blue. They are sometimes called “Easter Egg chickens”
This is the breed that Janelle has been looking for. She was so happy to find them today. They are English Angoras.
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This big girl is a Silver Fox. She’s blue in color, which is more rare than black. Janelle really wants to raise blues, so finding a doe was great. She already has a blue buck, so now we’re ready for some serious breeding.
Of course, adding new animals meant lots of work getting housing ready for them. Thanks to Greg’s barbershop friend, Tony, we were well stocked with cages for his birds.
We’re using the blue barrels as shelter for the birds at night and in rain/snow. The cages have enough room in them so the birds can fly and have perches built in.
Next week is one more swap and one more chance to find more birds. You can never have too many birds, right?

Project 365, Days 295-298

Day 295, Sept 10: It was Janelle’s turn to participate in a swap with the Homeschool Lounge. Her partner sent her all this stuff–lots of girly things 🙂
Day 296: Kaiser, doing what he loves best–napping. Well, maybe what he loves 2nd. I think eating is his favorite.
Day 297: Our eggs are hatching. So far, only 2 baby chicks. Maybe some more will hatch, maybe not. With our incubator’s wide temperature range during this hatch, it’s hard to predict how many will hatch.
Day 298: That’s not fog in the distance. It’s smoke. The huge fire in Northern Minnesota is causing our air to be smokey. All day, we could smell the smoke and everywhere we looked, we could see it. It cleared up as the day went on, but since the fire is still burning, there might be more days of smoke.

Project 365, Days 243-253

Day 243, July 20: It’s the first day of the county fair, and it’s HOT!! 99 degrees in the shade. We spent the day bringing chickens and rabbits to the fair and then trying to keep them cool.
Day 244: Rabbit judging day! Janelle’s rabbits ended up with 2 white ribbons, 2 red and 2 blue. The highlight of the day was her winning Jr Showmanship for the second year in a row.
Day 245: Poultry judging day. Greg’s chickens ended up with 8 blue ribbons, 1 red, and 1 best of class trophy. Not to be outdone by his little sister, he won Sr Showmanship.
Day 246: In the middle of the running around for the fair, our next batch of baby chicks arrived. These little guys are eggs layers and show birds.
Day 247: Clean up day at the fair. All the animals are on their way home and now the barn needs to be cleaned up.
Day 248: Our large puppy likes to sleep under this little table. I’m not sure how he fits, and I know he won’t fit much longer. He likes it because there is an air conditioning vent under there, so he stays nice and cool.
Day 249: Two of our new baby chicks. I’m not sure what breeds they are, but I think the one on the left is a Spitzhauben. The other one is an egg layer of  some sort.
Day 250: A naughty little puppy. This is why I never have any flowers in front of my house. I have 3 dogs that love to do this.
Day 251: At the rabbit meeting, Janelle demonstrated how to do showmanship.
Day 252: Janelle is practicing her cake decorating skills. There are a lot of projects to finish before the Alto Fair, and cake decorating is one of them.
Day 253: Ceramics is another project that needs to be completed. Greg is finishing his vase, using a technique called Raku. After putting glaze on his vase, it’s put in a kiln and heated to 1850 degrees. Then the red hot vase is taken out of the kiln and put in a small garbage can filled with newspaper. The newspaper catches on fire, the lid is put on and once it’s cool, the project is done. Until you take your project out of the can, you don’t know what it’s going to look like.