Monday, November 16, 2015

I Didn't Want Chickens, I Just Wanted Their Eggs

_MG_0447.jpgAfter a lovely time in South Dakota we returned home and it was time to get to work unpacking and learning all about our new surroundings. Did I mention that when we bought our house it also came with about 40-50 chickens? I still don't really know how many chickens we actually have.
_MG_0427.jpgIf you know me then you've probably heard that I've wanted chickens for a long time, but our previous home didn't have the space and our HOA didn't permit it. Well, I've finally got my chickens, but did I ever mention that I know nothing about chickens or really any pet or animal for that matter? What have I gotten myself into? I even mentioned to my husband that I really didn't want chickens, but I just wanted their eggs. He had a good laugh while I began researching chickens like crazy by checking books out at the library, and Google has been a great help too. _MG_0432.jpgWe not only have hens, but we have a few roosters too! What do you do with roosters? The previous owner, whom we still speak to often, told us to leave eggs in the nesting boxes and we'll have baby chicks in 21 days. What? We've contemplated getting rid of them. That was until a very large bird swooped down and tried to attack our chickens. The rooster, that the children name Saruman, fought the bird off. He has since been renamed Gandalf, for protecting his flock. We're keeping the roosters for now. _MG_0465.jpgThe previous owner let the chickens out all over the property, so we've done the same thing with a little hesitation. How do we get them all back into the coop at night? We don't. We've learned that they just know where to go when it starts to get dark outside. We don't have to do anything. The roosters pretty much herd their hens back to the coop, which the children have recently named The Shire.
_MG_0450.jpgWe have a large open field in the back of our house with a massive wall that still needs to be finished. When we moved in the weeds were waist high and now we've been told that we need to get some goats to keep the weeds down. What? I don't even know what I'm doing with chickens. That little green mower works just fine in the field, don't you think? If anyone out there is looking to do a little labor putting up a stone wall let me know. We have all the materials and I'll feed you!
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We were told that our recently inherited flock of chickens were pretty old. Not all of the chickens are even laying eggs anymore. The previous owner suggested that we grow our flock by, guess what? Yeah, these kids talked me into buying baby chicks when we returned home from South Dakota. AHH!!
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I have to admit that they're pretty darn cute and they're growing on me, but I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  We'll see how many make it through the winter. Stick around for more to come on our little urban farm?


Monday, November 9, 2015

Swanhorst Reunion

UntitledBecause one reunion just isn't enough we also attended the Swanhorst Family reunion the day after the Melius Family reunion. Yikes! The Swanhorst reunion was a little bigger. Three Meliuses married three Swanhorsts, so you still had a ton of Meliuses there, but also from Denver, we have more cousins that aren't Meliuses, but they're Swanhorsts. Can this be anymore confusing  because I really don't even know what I'm writing.
UntitledWe hung out in Aberdeen, SD for the day and visited Storybook Land where I'm sure it was over 90 degrees outside with 90% humidity. Seriously. Storybook Land is an adorable little park filled with storybook characters.
UntitledWe met the three little pigs,
Untitledwent down the old lady's shoe slide, Untitledfound Cinderella's carriage,  UntitledUncle Conrad treated the children to rides on the carousel,
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Then we found the Wizard of Oz characters and followed the yellow brick road.UntitledThe scarecrow showed us the way to go where we found Untitledthe wicked witch's castle, Untitled
the cowardly lion,UntitledGlinda, the good witch,
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and of course, we found Dorothy and Toto! UntitledAfter all that walking we headed back to the park to chat,  Untitledand swim in the lake.
UntitledA long day in Aberdeen called for beer and wine to unwind after a long day. Thanks to David and Laura for hosting us. We had so much fun with you guys! To see some more awesomeness from our South Dakota trip check out this link.



Friday, October 30, 2015

Melius Reunion

We're hitting the road! #SDorBust #10HoursInTheCar #ReunionWeekend #Rumchata

My crew returned home from the Catechism retreat pretty much just to do laundry and pack again. We hit the road early Friday morning and drove all day to South Dakota. (Playaways are the best thing ever invented for road trips.)
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We arrived just in time for pre-4th of July festivities at Kyle and Lisa's house.


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There were plenty of cousins everywhere--1st cousins, 2nd cousins, you name it, and they were there. 
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Basketball, bike riding, and front porch performances kept us entertained that evening.
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Fireworks were lit as the sun went down. 
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The next morning, the 4th of July, we were up early to participate in the local parade. 

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We missed out on decorating the float, but I think sitting on it was more fun, plus we'll take the credit for getting 1st place. ;)


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Being a float in the middle of the parade allowed us to enjoy watching the end of the parade too! Super Mario and Luigi made an appearance and gave the kids candy.

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Anna was checking out the candy scene and even got a flag and frisbee!

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Temperatures were rising as the day went on. Can you tell?
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Here's the famous family photo!
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After the photo it was time to find some food, AC, and family with which to hang out and visit.


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The children had fun cooling off on slip n' slides, pools, and 

jumpy castles.

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Here's an all boys table because who wants to sit with a bunch of girls, right?

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Reminiscing over old photos always brings back some pretty hilarious memories.  Uncle Conrad had 5 Meliuses in his class that weren't siblings. #SmallTownProblems. Grandpa Claire used get out of the shower and check his rain gauge wearing just a towel around his waist. Yes, there really is a photo of that.
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You can't sit around too long when there's Corn Hole to play.

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Here's a cousin photo! Who's missing? Here's to 2020. Be there or be square, but cousins we'll see you in 2017, right? Florida?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Confirmation

UntitledAfter two grueling years of studying the Bible and the Catechism, Rachel was confirmed at the end of June.
UntitledShe and four other confirmands read the Bible and took part in the Catechism memory program. In order to be confirmed, depending on their age, they must complete the program to a certain level.UntitledThey listened intently to the sermon. If you'd like to hear it you can listen here, too! UntitledNow it's confirmation time! UntitledAfter they were confirmed these confirmands received communion for the first time alongside their classmates. Untitled

UntitledI'm so proud of the kids. They worked hard and their minds were definitely like sponges. 
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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Right after church they took off for the mountains and the annual Catechism Retreat! So much for moving and unpacking. There's no rest for the wicked. We moved, and three days later the older children were off to camp. They had a blast only to return for one day to do laundry. Then we left again.