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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
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22nd-Apr-2014 12:46 am - Random C.
M has started reading The Chronicles of Prydain to C. C very excitedly told me the other day how Daddy was reading to him chapter by chapter.

We had asparagus for one of our vegetables for Easter Dinner. C was very happy with this, since his newly discovered love of my asparagus a few months back. When talking about what to make to go with the left over ham the next day, C wistfully commented that it wasn't likely we would be able to have asparagus again. As it turns out, M had bought two bunches at the fresh food market a few days before.

Early in the day (now yesterday, since I'm posting this after midnight), C asked me to help him clear off the kitchen table so we could play a round of Magic. He ended up playing a game with S first, since I had to raid the local grocery store for their 75% off Easter merchandise and chocolate (oh, yeah, and buy milk, and meat, apples, small white beans, and dish washing liquid) before I could play.

C named his green Easter rabbit Rabbit Wabbit. Or Wabbit Rabbit, he said the order wasn't that important. He named his new Webkinz chickadee, Pidgey, because he thought it looked like a pigeon when he first saw it.
20th-Apr-2014 11:12 am - Easter Baskets.
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18th-Apr-2014 11:16 am - Four Week Old Goslings
The goslings are much larger than this now....

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They really like the water bowls we put out for them.

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At this age they had made a full transition to outside during all daylight hours. It was actually a struggle to get them back inside when it was still light out - they didn't want to go. Once it got dark, though, they would race to the gate and call out to tell us the darkness distressed them, and could they please come inside now.
We keep doing stuff - and I'm not too bad when doing the stuff - and then afterwards I feel awful. It took me a week to recover from going to the Renaissance Festival this year. Yesterday we did County Fair. This morning I'm feeling dehydrated and head-achy. I can't imagine how bad someone would feel if they still partied at my age. Not that I partied when I was still young enough to recover from it.

I saw grandparents at the Fair with their cute little grand-babies. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to pull off something like that in 20 years. I'm not even sure we pulled off Fair this year (actually, it was fun while we were there, and the kiddos went on a ton of rides - I just found myself searching out benches a lot).

We started going to our County Fair because of 4-H. Three years ago, H and S submitted photo entries. This meant they got free passes. We had to go see their efforts hanging up at Fair. That is when we discovered (after a bit of sticker shock) that the wrist bands we could buy them would grant all access to the rides for the night. They easily made up the price of the bands five times over. Last night, since they are all bigger (except C was still too short for a few rides) and willing to go on just about every ride there (S was the only one to go on the Evolution, but H went on many more types of scary, going upside down, or spinning wildly about, rides this year), they easily made up the price of the wrist bands ten times over. Buying tickets is not the way to go at our County Fair.
7th-Apr-2014 03:47 pm - Goslings' First Flood Day.
These were taken eight days ago on the first Flood day the goslings were big enough to experience. They didn't seem that interested in the deep water. They would follow a human into it, since their following instincts were still very strong, but they didn't try to swim in it, just walk. The ducks at the same age would have been zipping around swimming, and even diving underwater.

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The goslings, however, given the choice, preferred to stay along the edges, getting a little wet, and drinking from the water, but mostly staying out of it.

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Though some did like to lay in the very shallow bits.

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Since the puppies and Arrow were inside for the sake of the goslings being out, we let the ducks out of the bird yard so they could enjoy the whole yard for flood day.

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Ducks are creatures of habit and routine. Because it had been over a year since it was safe to let them explore during the daytime, H had to help me out by herding the ducks though the gate. While waiting for the ducks to get moving through the gate, I snapped this picture of our one remaining adult goose near his human and duck loves.

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C brought a large chunk of change to Faire, with the intention of spending a lot of it on rides. He managed that pretty well, as well as tipping several performers and two of the guys running one of the rides (the hammock swings he went on five or six times while waiting for M and S to be done watching the joust).

When he was contemplating spending even more money, I told him he had managed to spend over half his money so far, with very few actual things purchased (he bought a cloth fan and a DVD), and asked him what had he actually gotten out of spending all that money. He looked at me, and told me, "fun!".

......... Damn.

Some people do spend their money to gain experiences, rather than stuff. He got me, he did. Stopped that Mommy lecturing in it's tracks.

Perspective shift for me.

C saved up his money for the past few months, brought it to fair with intention, and had a really good time using his money the way he planned to. He was also incredibly generous - tipping every performer he saw, even if he only caught a small part of their act. He even insisted on paying M back a dollar when he didn't have to (I was elsewhere with his money when C wanted to tip someone, so M gave him a dollar for the tip). C also donated to one of the greyhound guilds.

I'm really proud of him. Dave Ramsey talks about helping kids understand 3 things about money - how to work to earn it, to save it, and to spend it wisely. C spent his money differently than I would have, but he did it thoughtfully and with intention, after saving it up for several months. He has lately been very good about feeding the cat, too. Not the most arduous work for his 3 bucks a week, but hey, he's only 8.
29th-Mar-2014 10:47 pm - We Finally Made it to Ren Faire.
I'm fairly exhausted after a day wandering around in the sun in garb. We did lots of things, for tonight I'm just going to make a quick post.

This is H's and S's favorite "ride" at Faire. C liked it better last year. This time when the guy got him bouncing, C started saying, "I don't like this, I don't like this." over and over. He stayed fairly low through his whole time, till the very end when the guy gave him a big bounce. C did not like that either, and told me it was the scariest part.

The girls each went twice, and on the first time they both managed to do flips. On the second go, S managed a flip, but H hit her arm on the elastic on her second bounce and it hurt enough she didn't try anything too fancy.

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27th-Mar-2014 01:00 pm - Drawing by Middle Daughter.
S usually sticks to 3D mediums (photos of some of that sort of thing will be forthcoming, once I sort through the pictures and decide which ones to use), but the other day she spent a very large chunk of her day in her room working on this:

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It's an Umbreon saving an Espeon (evolved forms of Eevee - Pokémon) from falling into a deep pit, by grabbing onto it's tale.

ETA: I probably should have scanned the picture, instead of just taking a photo of it, since the photos came through a little blurry. I was feeling lazy, since the scanner is a little covered up by stuff and the camera was handy.
26th-Mar-2014 02:59 pm - As my middle daughter would say...
"It's not that everything is more expensive, it's that your money is worth less."


I pride myself on being a kick-ass home economist. You know, the sort of Stay At Home Mom, who does her share financially, by keeping costs down.

Today, though, I have come to the depressing conclusion that I just cannot feed my family the way I want to feed my family on the food budget we have been living with for the past several years.

Hubby and I need to have an emergency budget meeting and allocate more money (I'm figuring on an extra 40$ every two weeks) to our food envelope.

25th-Mar-2014 08:56 pm - Weird Duck.
Did I remember to mention that H's Blue Runner Duck, Blue Moon, has decided that the boy goose, Wobbles, is the new love of her life?

She lays down near him and tries to get him to mate with her. She'll lay as flat as possible and hold very still as he tries to figure out how to make that work, seeing as he weighs about 15lbs and she is only about 4lbs. So far he has managed to be very careful, and I've only seen him step on her with one foot.

Proper goose on goose action (before his beloved Speedy was eaten by the neighbor's dogs) usually took place in a pool of water and involved him biting the feathers on the back of Speedy's head (the poor thing always had a bald spot by the end of spring) and climbing completely on her back.

So far, with Blue Moon, whenever Wobbles gets to the trying to find purchase on her feathers with his beak, she gives up on the whole affair and walks off.
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