Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday - Day 7 (A Week In Our Life):

Saturday - Day 7 (A Week In Our Life): 

Today will not be our usual Saturday.  Skyler’s birthday party is tonight so I have some preparation in order to get ready for a gaggle of girls to spend the night.

I do my chicken and dog chores today.  Make sure all chics and chickens have fresh food and water.

Bake a double-layer cake (chocolate w/chocolate-chip frosting per Skyler’s request).  The chocolate chips in the frosting don’t make for such good photos…but it should taste good.

Most of the day Skyler and I spend getting ready for her party.  Lots of vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, laundry and just plain general cleaning we haven’t had time to do lately.

Our very last egg hatched and we are going to pick that chick up tomorrow.  That makes 13 chicks out of 15 eggs…quite a good ratio!

Paul went out again this morning to call turkeys…this time for my friend Megan Klauer.  I thought she would have a much better chance of getting a turkey with Paul since he is a turkey calling machine and I have not practiced my calling at all this year.  They had some close calls but unfortunately Megan was not able to fill her tag today.  At least they had a great time!

Skyler had a great time helping me decorate for her party.

I made homemade pizzas for Skyler’s birthday party tonight.

5:00 - All of the girls arrive and the fun begins!  Skyler invited a great group of friends.  I have always liked these girls.  They are fun-loving, free-spirited and respectful girls.

The girls love playing with the chickens and chicks as well as our cats and Shadow.

We all eat supper together.

Skyler then opens her gifts from her friends.

The girls do “Just Dance,”  paint their nails, do makeup, have balloon fights and just generally hang out.  Unfortunately it is too cold and wet to spend too much time outside.

Before leaving for bowling we all have cake and ice cream.

Paul is staying home tonight or else he would have a terrible time waking up for turkey season in the morning.

9:30 until after 1:00 a.m. (I lost track of exactly how late it was when we left)  - we go to “Cosmic Bowling” at the Milan Lanes.

1:30 - I finally get to bed for the night.  I am too old for this late of night with this many pre-teen girls! J

It has been fun documenting another week in our lives.  Tomorrow we have another busy day planned.  Paul is going to call turkeys for Megan one last time.  I have the girls that I need to wake up and get some breakfast into before they leave by about 10:30.  I also have food to cook for a family birthday lunch out at Paul’s sister’s house in Oquawka at noon.

In the near future, we have another family turkey season coming up and I have only 2 more weeks to train for my ½ marathon…

Hope you have enjoyed reading the everyday in’s and out’s of our family once again!

Friday - Day 6 (A Week In Our Life):

Friday - Day 6 (A Week In Our Life): 

6:00 - alarm rings and I am up.  Wake Paul up for the day. 
Make Paul 3 packages of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (he doesn’t like my Old Fashioned Oatmeal) and a glass of Dr. Pepper for his breakfast.  I pull out some leftovers for his lunch and send him off to work with hugs and kisses like usual.
Wake Skyler up for her day.
I get my shower and get ready for the day while running another load of laundry and trying to clean the house a bit.
I eat my oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon/sugar.
Off to school and work again.
Today is Skyler’s spelling bee over in Andalusia…I hope she has fun!
After work I run errands…
*to the party store to buy decorations for Skyler’s party,
*to the bank to cash like a month’s worth of checks,
*to the grocery store to buy some groceries for Skyler’s party in addition to some weekly groceries,
*get gas in my truck.
Once I get home I quickly unload groceries from my truck and put groceries away.
I make breakfast for supper tonight -- French toast tonight - yum.
I clean everything up after supper, wash a load of laundry, do dishes and it is soon time for bed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday - Day 5 (A Week In Our Life):

Thursday - Day 5 (A Week In Our Life): 

4:00 - Alarm rings for Paul to go turkey hunting…seriously!  I mumble some good lucks and love you and go back to sleep.
5:15 - Skyler’s alarm rings…for the last 2 mornings she has suddenly decided it is exciting to get up early.  I don’t know what is going on!
6:00 - I decided to get up before my alarm rings.
Sky and I get our showers and get ready for school and work while keeping our early morning chatter going like usual.
I make some homemade barbecue sauce (it is supposedly the recipe used at Jim’s Rib Haven) and get our barbecued wild turkey going in the slow cooker for supper tonight.  This is the last of the wild turkey I thawed out…kind of ready for some red meat.
Go let the chickens out and make sure they are all happy and healthy for another day.
Wash another load of laundry.
Cook up some of my homemade oatmeal since my last batch is gone.
Eat my breakfast while typing up the info for this blog.
Off to school and work again.  Another super busy day.
I go out to Subway for a quick and healthy 30 minute lunch with my friend Kris.
Usually I meet my friend Renee for a run after work on Thursdays but we had to cancel since it is “Wax Museum” night up at the school tonight.
Here is a picture I took out of my truck...this is one of the stretches of road I drive on my way home...about 2 miles from our house.
3:45 - Sky and I return home.
We found out one of our other “extra” eggs hatched this morning so Sky and I make a quick run to pick up this poor little thing in hopes we can keep this one alive.

We decide that our mama hen is not dependable so if this little chick is going to make it, it is all up to us.
Paul goes to Boney’s and buys a heat lamp and we contrive a make-shift home for our new little chick.  I had to make some different provisions for our other pile of chicks as well since we are not really set up for separate housing.  I come up with a different watering and food situation for the older chicks and bring my chick feeder and waterer into the garage.
Between getting the chick, setting up for the chick and eating supper (our barbecued wild turkey was awesome) we barely leave the house with enough time to arrive for Skyler’s “Wax Museum” at school.
6:40 - We are on our way to Reynolds Grade School so that Skyler can be Calamity Jane (the person she chose to portray in the “Wax Museum”)

7:00-8:00 - We make our way through the school listening to all of the kids’ presentations.  We have to pay each kid for this opportunity (just call us suckers).  The money they make will be used toward a good cause, surely.  J
We return home at about 8:45.  One of Paul’s buddies comes over for a while and Skyler and I keep working with the chick setup to ensure that the temp is right (but mostly I am making sure that our house won’t burn down). 
I wash hand dishes and get the dishwasher going before bed.
I get up about 5 times during the night to check on the chick (but actually to be sure our house isn’t burning down) so not a very restful sleep.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday - Day 4 (A Week In Our Life):

Wednesday - Day 4 (A Week In Our Life): 

7:25 - Leave for Andalusia.  Today is different because I have to drive Skyler to Andalusia school and drop her off at 7:40 to take the bus to Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf.  She is one of just a handful of kids chosen to participate in a competition at Rivermont.  Because she is participating we have been studying the human body with her.  Schools from all over the area send their brightest students to compete against each other.  It should be a fun day for her.
My roses at my desk.
Today is also different because at work we are having our Administrative Professionals Luncheon at The Outing Club in Davenport.  It is fun to get more than my usual 30 minute lunch to catch up with all my friends at work.  I also got roses from two of my bosses (all of the staff got roses)…really brightens up my desk!
3:00 Paul picks Skyler up from Andalusia since I wasn’t sure I would be able to get off work in time to get there for her. 
Here are some of our chicks.
Unfortunately when Paul and Skyler got home they went to check on our “extra” chick and our mother hen sensed she wasn’t one of her own and we no longer have the “extra” chick that Skyler had kept warm all last afternoon.  Skyler was pretty upset and I feel terrible that I didn’t think of a better way to either incorporate the chick or let it grow up some other way…I guess we learned the hard way on this one.  The rest of her original chicks are still going great and thriving.
I get home at 3:45 and we eat a quick supper.  I unload and load the dishwasher again.  I pay some bills and balance my checkbook.
I fill out my application for Illinois firearm deer season.
5:15 On our way to Reynolds again for Skyler’s softball practice.

5:30-7:20  Skyler and Paul have softball practice while I run 8 miles.  In the middle of my run I take a call from Aunt Jessi who is planning a birthday get together for Skyler, Papa and Uncle Dan this coming Sunday.

While running tonight I get chased by another dog!!  It turns out to be a nice dog but that instant of seeing a huge dog coming right for you can’t quite be described as anything but FREAKING scary!
After running I take some pictures of the girls on Skyler’s team and of Skyler practicing pitching.
7:45 - We arrive home and I help Skyler with some of her homework.  I go shut down the chicken coop for the night and get fresh food and water to all.  We all try to relax a bit and get ready for bed.  Paul is getting up at 4:00 to call in more turkeys for another buddy…so morning will come all too quickly.

Tuesday - Day 3 (A Week In Our Life):

Tuesday - Day 3 (A Week In Our Life): 

4:00-The alarm rings (yuk) because Paul is going to call turkeys for another one of his buddies.  I know my tendency that if I get too awake I will never fall back asleep so I wake up just long enough to tell him goodbye and then I go back to sleep.

6:00-Now my alarm rings and I am up.  I go let my chickens out for the day and start getting ready for work.  I throw another load of laundry from the washer to the dryer and from the dryer to the bin to fold. 

I eat my breakfast: oatmeal w/blueberries and cinnamon/sugar and milk.

7:00-Wake Skyler up for her day. 

We practice more of her spelling words. 

Skyler was one of the top 6 in her school spelling bee so today Skyler and 5 other classmates are going to Andalusia to compete against them.  I know she will do great!

8:15 - I am off to work again.  It was another super busy day at work.

At lunch I ate my rice cakes with natural peanut butter -- something I regularly eat for lunch and something for which I am regularly razzed about because it is such boring food…that’s alright. J

3:45 - Sky and I both arrive home.

Skyler had the day of the spelling bee wrong…it is actually Friday -- darn it (however, she pretends it was today and says she won…which I, of course, believe…and then she laughs cuz I am so gullible)
We got a call that one of out extra eggs hatched!  As soon as Paul gets home we go to pick up our newest little chick.  When we place her under our hen who is raising our entire batch of chicks, she notices this new little one and immediately begins to PECK HER TO DEATH!  So we try to keep the chick warm until the chickens all head to bed -- I got a picture of Skyler sitting by this poor chick in the warm mulch (Skyler is complaining she is too warm, hence the look of her in this picture).  We finally snuck the chick under our chicken once she was settled in for the night and she didn’t seem to notice.  We will have to see if this poor little thing is still alive in the morning.

Skyler sitting beside our new little chick

This little thing is sleeping on the warm mulch next to Skyler
Paul works on turkey fans, I hoe up the rest of my garden and plant all of my corn.  We all play dodge ball in the back yard -- my goodness I live with a relentless pile of people!!  I do some vacuuming and fold 2 more loads of laundry.

Paul and I take an evening walk while Skyler cleans her room -- what a beautiful night.

I study bones, muscles and digestive tract with Skyler some more for her competition at Rivermont tomorrow.

Put Skyler to bed with our regular prayers, hugs and kisses.

I read a few pages of “Run Like a Mother” until I fall asleep.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday - Day 2 (A Week In Our Life):

Monday - Day 2 (A Week In Our Life): 
Today it is back to school and work for all of us. 

6:00 I am up and start getting ready.  Wake Paul up.
Get Paul some breakfast (toast, some leftover sausage and Dr. Pepper)
Make Paul’s lunch (sandwich, grapes, banana and pretzels).
6:30 Paul is out the door for work.
Waking Skyler (this is a chore in itself…the girl hates mornings)
I get my shower, eat breakfast (Old Fashioned Oatmeal cooked on the stove with blueberries and cinnamon & sugar) and drink my green tea.
Braid Skyler’s hair.
Listening to Dwyer & Michaels while we get ready (those guys crack us up)
I pull some of our turkey meat out of a brine I put it in and get it ready for supper tonight.
7:30 - Skyler’s bus comes and she is off to school.
Get dishwasher loaded and start the wash.
Pack my lunch (sandwich, grapes, and granola bar) and snack (apple) for the day.
Get ready for work.
8:15 I am out the door headed to work.

3:45 - Sky and I both arrive home.
I immediately start cooking supper.  We are having turkey on the grill tonight (wild turkey of course).  I also pull together a wild turkey casserole for tomorrow night's supper and put it in the slow cooker so that our supper for tomorrow is already made.
Unload dishwasher.
Eat supper and clean up.
6:15 we are out the door and headed to Reynolds for one of Skyler’s 2 weekly softball practices there.
We practice Skyler’s words for her upcoming spelling bee on the way to practice.
6:30-8:00 I run 8 miles around the town of Reynolds while Skyler (and Paul, since he is one of the coaches) practice for her softball games.
8:25 we are home and I go close up the chickens for the night, give them fresh food and water, Paul makes an adjustment on the coop to make it a bit more “coon proof,” fold 2 loads of laundry while we watch the last part of The Voice.  I wash all of my pans from supper.  Showers and we get ready for bed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday - Day 1 (A Week In Our Life):

Sunday - Day 1 (A Week In Our Life): 

This is a fun challenge put on by Ali Edwards (which I have done 2 or 3 times before) where I record my daily, sometimes mundane, activities for one week preferably with photos.  I love the challenge as it encourages me to take more pictures throughout my day and it forces me to put to paper diary of sorts that we can look back on. 
4:30 a.m.  Wake up worried about my chickens (we had some sort of animal trying to dig under their fence last night…and I set the live trap last night hoping to catch the culprit before he can eat my flock -- I say “he“ because no “she“ would do such a scandalous act).  So since I was awake I decided to go out and check the trap and my chickens.  Nothing bothered the trap or the chickens - whew.  But I was surprised to hear my rooster crowing at 4:30 in the morning!!  Seriously?  There was not a stitch of light in the sky.  I think my hens must hate him!

4:45 I head back to bed to try to sleep a bit longer…but can’t fall back to sleep. 

5:30 I finally just get up instead of laying awake in bed.  I am careful not to wake Skyler (although I don’t think a freight train would wake her) who decided to have a girls sleepover with me last night.  Paul stayed in a buddy’s cabin last night as he was going to call turkeys for him this morning.  The fun thing about that is that Sky and I got a “mom/daughter” night last night.  We turned in pretty early due to waking up at 4:00 for turkey hunting that morning but until then we just had a relaxing night hanging out. 
So this morning I spent time:

*typing up our turkey stories from yesterday and got this “Week In my Life” bloggin’ started.  Since I know time will be short I have actually typed in what I already know we have scheduled for each day to make it easier to fill in.
*Go out and let my chickens out for the day.

Here is Popeye crowing this morning.
*Do chicken chores (fresh food/water).  My chicks are only 6 days old today.  Their mother hen  is actually one of the chicks I hatched out this past summer, so pretty neat to see the circle of life as far as chickens are concerned.  I have 3 more eggs that Skyler put in the nest 5 days after my hen started sitting on her eggs.  So once she was done incubating her eggs, we brought those eggs to a friends incubater to finish “cooking” for about a week.  Those eggs should begin hatching possibly as early as today.
*Cook up my oatmeal for the week (I make a huge batch of Old Fashioned Oats and refrigerate so I can quickly warm it up during the week).  It is my very cheap, very healthy breakfast.
*Eat breakfast (cooked oatmeal with blueberries, honey and milk).
*Get some laundry goin’.
*Wake Skyler up and get her a bowl of cereal.
8:00 Hike w/my friend Ali for 1.5 hours.  Ali and I have a standing Sunday morning date of hiking through her property for about an hour or more.  We are pretty dedicated about meeting each other no matter the weather.  Skyler and Fran choose to hang out at the house while Ali and I sweated it out.  So fun to get exercise while also catching up with a great friend (Paul calls it layering when you are able to kill 2 birds with one stone).
When we get home, Sky and I go and play with the chicks.  I also start planting my tomato plants.

10:30 - Paul is home!  He did get two birds called in for his buddy, but his friend missed L 

I cook up some breakfast sausage (venison, of course) and toast for Paul for a late breakfast.
We mow our Milan yards (I push mow while he trims for about 1.5 hours)
Once we get home we relax for a bit.

I finish planting more tomato plants and some herbs and water the whole lot.

Play with the chicks some more.

I help Skyler fill out her College for Kids application which we are mailing in on Tuesday.

I cook a quick supper, Venison burgers tonight.
6:45 - My friend Megan Klauer came over for a 6 ½ mile run.  I am so excited that she has taken up the sport of running!  We have a great time running together and are training for a variety of races this year (Megan will be running her first ½ marathon in the end of September -- I know she’ll do great -- she’s a natural!!)  The races I plan to run this year include:

Quad City Classic (13.1 miles - ½ marathon on Mother‘s Day)
Race 4 the Cure (3.1 miles - 5k)
Firecracker Run (6.2 miles - 10k on 4th of July)
Bix (7 miles)
“Mud”venture (a 5k run through the mud (w/obstacles?) just as the name implies)
Quad City Marathon (13.1 miles - ½ marathon)
Governer’s Run (another fun run with mud, creeks, rope swings, etc…this one is in November  however and although super fun has the potential for some VERY cold creek crossings: 4+ miles)
After running with Megan, Paul Sky and I play a couple of card games and just hang out as a family before getting ready for bed.  We all turn in a bit early to try to make up for our early mornings lately.

3 Turkeys in One Morning

Turkeys All Around

Saturday was the first day of the 2nd Season for turkeys here in Illinois and all three of us had tags to fill for the season.  With lots of good scouting on Paul’s part and great calling abilities, all of us were able to fill our tags that first morning.  Skyler had her tag filled by 9:15 with a great shot from the blind (which I got on video).  It was fun to use our new LCD hen decoy.  Every turkey that saw it came RIGHT up to her -- hens and toms alike.  After Skyler’s successful hunt, Paul and I decided to go to another farm and see what we could find.  After some searching we heard 2 gobblers respond to Paul’s calls on another ridge.  We rushed to set up on the same ridge as they were on and got into position just before they came out to see us.  Unfortunately, where I was sitting did not offer me a lot of clear shots and it was a painful and long wait for both of us before I got a clear shot on my bird (both of us were in odd positions trying to hold our guns in a shooting position for what seemed like an eternity).  I finally found an opening, shot my bird and then Paul shot his bird for our first husband/wife “double” -- shooting two birds in one set….woo hoo!  The turkeys’ meat is now in our fridge and freezer…soon to be in our bellies  J.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Turkey #1 - Skyler's Youth Season

We had a wonderful Easter weekend chasin' turkeys!  Skyler had great success bagging this 25# bird w/10 inch beard and 1-1/8" spurs...quite a large bird for those not familiar with wild turkey sizing.  We all went out in the bright moonlight of the early morning on Saturday morning and hunted from the blind positioned near many birds that Paul had meticulously scoped out in recent weeks.  However, unfortunately the only birds who would come close were 5 jakes that were acting as a gang literally chasing other toms out of the area...(We finally stuck our faces and hands out of the blind and scared that gang of birds away hoping the big toms would return - but they didn't) 

We all quickly got restless waiting in the blind and decided to hoof it for a while.  So after much hiking and sweating (and a long story that I don't have time to type) we got set up on a bird, Paul did a few calls and when this tom was 32 yards away Skyler pulled the trigger and he was down.  I will say that we may have to reteach Skyler her left and right...but that is a whole 'nother story  ;)
Congrats Skyler -- and Paul, great job callin' him in!!