random notes and chit chat from the insanity of our life

Peek into our life and see how crazy it can get with 6 kids, homeschooling, sewing, and now farming. We're in our first year on the land, and entertaining the world with what we don't know. By the grace of God, we're learning, day by day, so pull up a chair and laugh with us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome to a crazy day out

Well, I suppose I should start by saying that this really isn't THAT out of the ordinary for us.  I mean...you can't be crazy only AT the farm, right?  And taking 10 kids to the movies and such...something has to go "wrong", right, lol?  So, that said...
It started out as a normal Wednesday.  Tired, but normal.  It's been awful stinkin' hot, and no one slept well last night, and it seemed several people ended up in MY room...in my bed, to be precise, then on the floor when I got tired of snuggling, lol.  So, I was tired.  But it was Wednesday, and this week, Wednesday was movie and park day!
So we had breakfast, did chores, rush rush rush.  Packed a lunch of random stuff tossed in the cooler, because I had forgotten to plan anything for today again.  Lots of water bottles, all reusable and filled from our tap, a big ice dohickey...you know, normal stuff.  Got out just in time, as always. 
Arrive at the theater, and start unloading, and lo and behold, Tony has NO SHOES!  He had them ON when he walked out the door.  Megan checked.  But nothing now.  "Tony, where ARE your shoes?"  "I took them off at home."  Groan.  Will they let us in with him shoeless?  Almost left, thinking, surely they won't, but decided to risk it.  Megan carried Tony, Mariahs friend B carried Jack, and we got in line.  "Tickets for 10 to Kung Fu Panda 2, please".  And in we went.  No problem!  WOOHOO!
Movie was great.  I'm really glad we were informed that Rango had bad language in it, as that was our original plan, and I'd have been terribly upset by that.  So KFP2 was a great choice, and all enjoyed it.  Then, off to a special stop.  Today, you see, was 7/11.  Yes, it's a tradition in our house.  We LOVE free Slurpee day.  Love Love LOVE!  So we stopped at a 7/11 on our way to the park.  Free slurpees for all the kids, and a slightly larger and slightly less free one for me.  Yum.  Cold and refreshing and delicious. 
Met with Bs mom at the park, to visit and play and trade back.  Lucky to snag one of the precious shade spots at this park.  Sadly, a lot of the newer parks don't have much shade, so I had a large golfing umbrella with us, in case.  I don't like baby Jack in the sun yet.  But we got shade, and we enjoyed our random lunch of cheese, crackers, tortilla chips, hard boiled eggs and water, lol.  Yum.  And our visit with our good friends.  Always nice to have time to chit chat.
Then the REAL fun began, lol.  We were off to the library (hoping to pass another 7-11 on our way, but no such luck).  Following the GPS directions, we headed out....down this road, turn on this one, up and onto the freeway...tra la la....  Now onto this other freeway...up and over the flyway onto the 2nd freeway and BAM, the traffic stops.  No big deal, except that the weather is well over 100, and as we are inching along, the van begins to warm up....the gauge begins to climb higher...and higher...and I begin to worry.  And pray.  And worry some more.
Luckily, we made it to the offramp, and then got to take a scenic tour through downtown Sacramento.  See, the GPS wanted me to get back on the freeway, and was kind of...obsessive about it, lol.  "In 200 feet, take onramp"  NO.  "Turn left (to the onramp)".  NO.  Finally figured out how to get where we were going without her help, and had a nice leisurely drive to the library, lol.  Got to drive past Sutters Fort (really need to go there).  Got to drive over the beautiful, cool looking river.  And in the end, got where we were going. 
Library books (30 or so), and then home.  Didn't have time to start a "real" dinner, so we had eggs, toast, hash browns and watermelon.  And chores, baths and bed.
So, that's a crazy day OFF the farm, but not too out of the ordinary for us.  Lots of blessings, and lots of fun, and we survived to do it again next week.  YAY!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Feelin' hot, hot, hot!!!

Well, lately here on the Crazy Farm, it's been hot.  VERY hot, since we don't have air conditioner.  Yes, I know, we're probably the only people in the free world without it.  Yes, I have heard all about it.  Anyhow...we haven't any air conditioning.  Well, correction, we have a window one in the master bedroom, but we almost never use it, so.that doesn't count.
So, in the interest of self preservation and not boiling in my own sweat, I'm playing a game called "summer cooking".  I played it last year, but not as well.  It involves cooking as much as possible either on the grill, in the slow cooker, in the nesco, or in the morning so it's cool by the time things start to heat up.
Yesterday, Monday, was the beginning of this session of the game (the weather was nice and cool before that, in the low 90s, lol).  So yesterday, I pulled out the slow cooker and the nesco.  Made granola in the nesco, and then baked cupcakes from scratch in it  Turned out very good, didn't even frost them!  Spaghetti sauce in the crockpot, then all I had to do at dinner time was boil some pasta (not too bad, since I just bring the water to a boil, stick the pasta in, stir, and turn off the heat).
Todays round went just as well.  Baked ziti in the crockpot, made early in the day, stuck in the fridge, then plugged in about an hour before dinner time.  (I have 2 crockpots, btw).  Also made 2 batches of chocolate pudding.  One with Lactaid for Megan and I, the other regular milk.  The regular milk one, I froze in popsicle molds for the kids for snack, which went over well, of course.  And a batch of chocolate syrup to round things off, since we were all out.  Oh, and a batch of krispie treats in the afternoon, in the microwave.
Tomorrow is movie day, so I'm hoping I get my wits about me quickly in the morning.  If so, I'll put a batch of King Ranch Casserole in the crockpot to sit in the fridge till late afternoon.  Otherwise...not sure.  Maybe some chicken and potatoes?  I guess we'll see, lol. 
Btw,for anyone interested, the granola, pudding and chocolate syrup recipes all come from the Hillbilly Housewife website.  I'm a HUGE fan!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bye bye, Bobs.

so, yesterday was a big day here on the Crazy Farm.  Butchering day.  17 Cornish cross chickens to get butchered (the kids called them the Bobs, don't know why).  Last year, I did 6, and did them 2 a day over 3 days.  This time...I was doing them all at once. 
Started out slowly, because I didn't realize how long it would take to get the water hot.  Had borrowed a propane burner from a friend.  Next time, I'll start the water before breakfast, and be ready to go much earlier.  But yesterday, we didn't get started butchering till after almost noon.  The above pic is the chickens in their "tractor" (mobile chicken coop), awaiting their fate. 
I won't show pics of the butchering process (didn't take any, even), but if you want to see how it's done, there are plenty of blogs online.  I like the one Howling Duck Ranch has, with step by step instructions.  Helpful.  http://howlingduckranch.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/butchering-chickens/
And some of my help wasn't.  DH was having a bad day, wasn't able to help.  DD1(16) was to watch the little kids, because she can't handle butchering, and DD2(12) to be my big helper, with DD3(8) and DS1(6) assisting.  Turned out that DS1 got bored after 2 chickens, and DD2 was moody and cranky, so DD1 volunteered to try to help and switched with DD2.  I'm INCREDIBLY proud of DD1, because I know how hard that was for her, but she wanted it done in one day, so she could attend youth group today (and she is there now, mind you).  It's a real sign of maturity, IMO, to be able to do things you really don't WANT to do, or don't LIKE to do, just because it needs to be done.
So, 7 hours later, we had this.......
5 whole chickens (wrapped in unscented garbage bags, yes, because they didn't FIT in the ziplocs!), 12 cut into parts.  They'll age till tonight or tomorrow, then into the freezer with them.  And a bucket with some giblets to give to a friend who wanted them.  7 hours from first kill to cleaned up and showered.  Not too bad, IMO!  DD3 was our "clean person", for getting drinks, holding the bags and putting them in the gridge, weighing and writing... 
And weights, while I'm thinking of it. 
Largest whole chicken was 112oz, or 7lbs, cleaned and bagged (all weights are cleaned and bagged).  Smallest was 70oz.
Largest bag of parts (bone in breasts and leg quarters) was 77oz.  Smallest bag of parts (boneless breasts and bone in leg quarters) was 36oz.  Not too shabby. 
I think it's time to order more.  But I think I'll schedule a day to go to the processor, lol, since I plan to order 50 next.  I'm tired just THINKING about that!