Tuesday, September 10, 2013

our past week

This has been a good, hard, fun, sad and exciting week.
But aren't most???

The chickens are laying more and more eggs, we get about 14-18 per day right now.  They are very small but we are already seeing some bigger ones and even some double yokes!  Aubrey got tired of caring for the chickens, not playing with them but doing the "dirty work" so she sold out to me and now Carter and I are in the egg business together.  We have not started selling yet but I think we are pretty close!

The day before we went camping Rusty rigged this automatic coop door opener up.  It uses 2 5-gallon buckets, a pump and timers.  It is a pulley system that is connected to the door of the coop.  A timer goes off, a pump turns on and the water is pumped from the bucket to another and the cycle repeats in the evening.  As the pump goes on the empties from one bucket to another and the weight pulls the door open or closes it.  We liked it so much that we just keep on using it, it was meant for when we go out of town!

Discovering things that we were once very scared of...

She finally caught the turtle in the pond that we have been watching all summer.

We have had a tons of flies here.  I trapped some between the screen and window and this chicken has been trying to catch them.  These chickens eat flies, butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, worms, small frogs and toads... the benefits of having them are great-- the amount of poop can get annoying BUT they good far outweighs the bad!

Science at its finest.  Andrew is studying plants, Botany.  He made a light hut...

Benjamin and Hope loved our cooler mornings last week.  They spent a lot of time here...

My parents came over for dinner Friday night and Andrew shot a 20-gauge shotgun for the first time.

We had a bonfire and sang and Benjamin told stories, boy he is long winded.

My parents spent the night so some of them could go squirrel hunting.  Carter got his first squirrel.  They went out in teams of 2!

When we came home from camping over Labor Day weekend Bandy, our dog, had gone way downhill.  We thought she wasn't going to make it through the winter about 3 years ago but she proved us wrong.  She has been slow for years now.  She has had arthritis and cataracts and was almost deaf.  Funny thing was that when we moved here to this "farm" she regained life.  She swam in the pond, hiked in the woods with us, and chased us on 4-wheelers.  Bandy has had growing tumors on her body in several places, we never had them tested.  We think that a tumor began affecting her hind legs.  She needing help standing and by Thursday she wasn't walking anymore.  We had to hand feed her and move her throughout the day.  Saturday night we bathed her knowing that her time here was not much longer.  We actually expected her to die during the night but she didn't.  At some point between when Rusty checked on her at about 6:30am and when we were leaving for church at 8:30am she went to a new low, which we didn't know was possible.  She never acted like she was in any pain until that morning.  It was bad, everything was bad.  I refused to leave the house, we couldn't.  Two kids were already in the car for church and two others were not ever here.  We had to put her down immediately.  My dog that Rusty brought home to me just after we were married when she was just 6 weeks old was leaving our lives.  She would have been 15 on September 16th.  She has lived in every house we have, she has experienced each of our kids coming home.  This dog was one of those incredible, kid loving, companion seeking, good ole dogs.  She will be greatly missed.  To my complete surprise the child that will not stop talking about her is Benjamin.  To say he hated her when he first came home would be an understatement.  He was terrified of her.  He has cried each morning and night and continues to talk about her. He is sad she will miss his birthday at the end of the month.

This is after he decided to try and trust her...

He learned to love her and completely trust her.  Before Bandy took a turn for the worse we were already discussing getting another dog or two.  We have been looking at a breed to protect livestock.  Who knows what we will do.  She was so loved.  She will be missed but we truly feel like she was already living on borrowed time.  That doesn't mean we haven't cried (a lot) and won't miss her (a lot) but she did live a good long life.

The next 2 pictures were about a year ago.

We miss her so much!

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