Happy Birthday sweet Emma girl! 

It's hard to believe you are three years old.  You spent all of yesterday enjoying your last day of being two.  You kept saying things like "This is my last nap when I'm two."  "This is my last dinner when I'm two."  "This is my last bath when I'm two."  Cutie.
 You are so full of joy and energy.  You feel your emotions strongly.  You are stubborn and independent and sweet and cuddly.  You enjoy the smallest moments, exclaiming "This is SO awesome" in your bright, cheery voice.  You can also throw the tantrum of all tantrums. 

You are so verbal.  You start talking the moment you wake up and don't stop until you fall asleep.  You have a huge vocabulary and usually talk with your hands flailing wildly and a huge array of expressions.  You talk in complete sentences, ask lots of questions, and make up stories and songs.  You love to sing and dance and have some serious moves. 

We can count on you to eat most anything.  You love to help cook in the kitchen and we make a great mess every time.  You stir, pour, select the eggs, and measure the ingredients. 

You have a wonderful imagination and are often playing with your baby or cooking if you are playing by yourself.  When you play with Mason it's usually hunting, camping, moving, offices, or having a picnic.  I'm pretty sure you have no clue what princesses or fairies are all about. 

You amaze us with all you are learned this year. You can zip your jacket and put your own mittens on.  You can write a handful of letters and recognize your name and other words that have an 'E' or 'M'.  You can count to 20 consistently and often times even higher.  You love to help around the house, especially if it involves going outside to help daddy.  You unload the dishwasher, set the table, and put clothes away. 
You are our little entertainer, but only when we're home.  You are shy and clingy around other people and new places.  You can brighten any room with your funny antics, once you warm up.

We love you.  You add such joy and blessings to our family. 



spring break

We're enjoying the tail end of spring break over here.  Our week has been filled with all sorts of good things.  Like having time to make doughnuts for breakfast. 

A little spring cleaning has been done...checking things off the list.  But mostly reading books, building tents, playing cars, dressing up dolls, and taping papers up in our "offices." 

I've bitten off quite a few knitting and sewing projects and am probably staying up too late. But, that's what spring break is for I suppose. 


minus a flock of chickens and one dog...

We've had our fair share of animal troubles this last week. It started when Daisy injured her leg.  She wouldn't put any weight on it and most likely sprained it.  A little aspirin and hotdogs and she's doing much better.  But, last week she spent most of the time inside, resting it up.  I don't know if this left Indie bored outside by herself or what, but she got herself into some trouble.  At least we think we did, we still don't have all the details. 

Last Tuesday when Ryan got home Indie was out of her pen and all our chickens were missing.  The entire flock.  Then he found two huddled under our woodpile where Indie was trying to get to them.  It was our rooster and one hen.  Ryan put Indie back into her pen and tried to get the chickens out.  They wouldn't budge.  I don't blame them.  Then he walked the entire property, drove around and tried to find the rest of the missing chickens.  It was really weird because there wasn't even really any signs of them.  No feathers, no blood on Indie, nothing.  Not even a lot of tracks in the mud and snow to give us a clue.  

About then the kids and I pulled up.  Mason went and got his binoculars and helped daddy.  Then it started to snow and the sun was beginning to set.  We figured they were gone for good.  We finally dug out the rooster and the hen.  Two other hens came straggling back from who knows where.  And then we found one dead chicken in the dog pen.  So, we tucked our three hens and rooster into the coop and waited for morning.  

Nothing new in the morning.  Later that day Indie got out again and our rooster went missing.  Never saw a sign of him again.  We talked to our neighbor and she said that three of her chickens were attacked that same day.  We've never had predator problems in the past, but it's looking like maybe hawks.  We've seen some coyotes around, but there were no tracks.  And we're still not sure what role Indie played.  But, this is her third attack of the chickens so we decided it was time to find her another home.  We delivered her to a nice family over the weekend. 

The kids were a little sad at first. But, after we assured them that they didn't have any chickens and that they weren't planning on getting any chickens they were happier about bringing her to her new home.  Every once in a while they talk about Indie and how she's at a new home.  Plus, yesterday I overheard them playing.  They had made a tent and they were hunting hawks and keeping them away from the chicken coop.  

So, we're left with sweet Daisy dog and three hens.  It sure is quiet around here.  And we're missing our fresh eggs like nothing else. 

The kids were sorting out treats for Daisy from their kitchen.

We're trying to figure out how to replace our layers.  The timing is not exactly great.  If we ordered new chicks they would come about the time the baby is due.  Their requirement of constant care doesn't mix well with spending a few days in the hospital over an hour away. Our best bet is to probably buy some hens from someone that are older and already laying.  Decisions.  We'll have to decide soon because I'm not excited about running into town today to buy eggs from the grocery store. 



Today we celebrated Ducky's birthday.  In case you're wondering who Ducky is, he's one of Mason's stuffed animals.  You see, Mason got a calendar around Christmas time.  We went through it and put in all our family member's birthdays.  A few weeks later, Mason grabbed a pencil and wrote in all his stuffed animal's birthdays as well.  So, Ducky's birthday is March 18th.  Mason decided that we should celebrate tonight since he had Awana's on Tuesday.  So, him and Emma set up the party with all his friends.  Then we made pudding for dessert.  We sang, Mason did a few magic tricks, and everyone had a good time. 

This isn't the first party for his stuffed animals.  About a month ago I came home from school and Mason told me that he and Emma and Grammie had celebrated Pup-pup's birthday.  Grammie made cookies and they celebrated all day long.  After I had been home for about an hour Mason came up to me with a huge grin on his face.  "We tricked Grammie!" he announced triumphantly, "Pup-pup's birthday isn't until June!"  Then he ran off laughing.  Sure enough, after a careful check of the calendar, Pup-pup is written in his cute handwriting right there close to his.  So, now we check the official stuffed animal birthday calendar.

PS...as I'm writing this, Mason comes out of his bedroom with Pup-pup (his smallest animal that is always getting lost) and says, "Pup-pup missed all the birthday fun.  He was under my pillow!"  Then the big tears start to slip down his face.  So, I show Pup-pup the above photos and we sing to Ducky one more time and all is well.   



We've been drifting back and forth between snow and sunshine this last week.  Which of course leads to a whole lot of mud!  It gives me a good reason not to mop my floors...you know they just won't stay clean.  Last weekend we got hammered.  The kids loved playing in it and helping daddy plow out. 

This weekend is shaping up to have a little more sunshine.  We went for a walk early this morning while all the mud was still frozen.  Love the weekends!