I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Saturday, April 10, 2010

what came first? the chicken or the dyed egg?

Hope you had a Great Easter!! We did.

I decided, like I do every year to let the kids dye eggs. I had no more than got the viniger in the second cup with the color tabs and hear the boys laughing. I turn around and there is Bow, with red lips.. spitting... He had decided to 'taste' it. THEN before I could put water in the first 3 cups, Bow spilled the first one. Green. ALL over everything.

But we got the 36 eggs done. and Bow only spilled 3 cups of color.

I have been trying to get back to church for a while now, Sundays are just such a hard day on us if thats the day BR takes off. We just have so much to do. But with him taking off during the week now we are able to squeeze a few hours out on Sunday and this one happened to be Easter. Come to find out our church was having a dinner, egg hunt and fun day. The congregation was asked to bring candy filled eggs and desserts or chips, the church was providing hotdogs or hamburgers. So, I found out Saturday afternoon about it. And I cant go somewhere and bring all my kids and not contribute, so I decided to make a cake. I didnt have any of the stuff I use normally, so I had to impervise. I knew what I wanted, and managed to get a presentable facsimile.

Two things that to me scream Jesus and my love for him are the old rugged cross and dogwoods. So I used both in my cake.

The bottom tier is white cake with buttercream frosting, the top teir or cross is white cake with handpainted fondant. As are the dogwood flowers.

Sunday morning the heathens got their baskets.

When we got there I took the cake to the ladies who were getting the cooking started. They loved the cake and asked if they could auction it off. I didnt know there was an auction, so I said it was given to the church, to do as they wished. They decided to auction it.

Church was wonderful, so many souls were given to the Lord, and the love was beautiful. The food was good enough to eat, and the kids had so many eggs to hunt that they couldnt carry their baskets! The auction was going great, it was for relay for life, and there was some good money being raised. Then it came time for my cake. The lady who was labeling everything didnt know who I was so the auctioneer asked who made it.
Well, my eldest, who never misses an oppertunity to speak; spoke.

"who?" said the auctioneer
"Michelle Byerly" said big mouth
"well Michelle Byerly, can you tell us whats in it?"
so I started talking, from the back, where I was hiding. But he couldnt hear me, so Brett took over.
I guess the auctioneer was impressed with him, so he told him to auction it off. Brett was so proud!

The man who bought it in turn gave it back to the kids. That was mighty nice of him. Un-needed, BUT nice. LOL

Once we left there I called my sisterin law and mother in law and told them we were on our way. So they got the Easter Bunny to get busy. When we drove up they and my brother in law were there. The kids were almost too tired to hunt them. Seriously. I am VERy lucky that my brother in law and sister in law were there to follow the Easter Bunny around, because they could remember where those eggs were. Where as when it was my mother in laws turn to follow, she failed to remember.. So, the kids gave up after about 33 of the 50 plus eggs were found. (we had some plastic eggs too). Then it turned into an Easter egg hunt for the adults.

We also had two new chicks hatch out that day!!

BR was off on Wend. and told me to get the stuff ready, we were going fishing. OH JOY. We let Rayley skip school too, since she only sees her dad for about 3 hours a week on his one day off.. She is in bed when he comes home all the rest of the time.
Dont get me wrong, I love the serenity of fishing. The quietness, the peacefulness, the fun competition that BR and I have with it. We have spent many an hour fishing together. I dont mind the dirt, the smell, (well except stink bait... ), the worms, can bait my own hook, unhook my own fish, and undo most of my own tangles. Till BR decides he can do it better and takes it away. But fishing with kids is... differnt.
Especially four of them..

BR had one thing he had to do before we got started, he had to tote some dirt for my great uncle. So the kids and I drove to the pond and sat around. Finally, when I knew that BR was close to being done, I told them to unload the chairs, poles, and tackle box.

Kids being kids they just couldnt resist wetting the hook, so Brett threw his over the dock railing. That is when I knew the day had just went to hell. because he had no sooner than dropped that hook in, then he had a bite.
I kid you not. there was NO bait on it. NOTHING. just a hook!

I knew then and there that I was NOT going to let them start before I had another able bodied adult beside me.

When he got there, I did Bow's first, and the kid has never seen a fishing pole before today. But he took to it like..well, a fish to water. It didnt take him 2 seconds to start screaming "got un" and he was right! I didnt even have Rayley's hook baited yet..

Now Rayley had decided she was NOT going to use a worm. She will play with worms, but she wasnt gonna squeeze ones guts out she said. OH WE could bait it with a worm, but she wasnt.

So, I got to bait her hook too, till I dug through the tackle box and found some fake hot pink maggots. She LOVED those, and started baiting her own hook. Now the first fish she caught, like 45 seconds after we got there, I took off, but with everyone catching them so quick, and having to even help the boys out at times because of the way the fish were taking the hook, I finally told her that if she was going to fish, she was gonna do it all. So she decided to learn to get it off the hook her self..

Bow wouldnt touch one to save his life. he kept saying 'bite me' thinking it would bite him. It was just little perch, although some were real good frying size.

We put the first 30 or 45 minutes 'handsized' catch's on the stringer to just take a picture of. And threw back 30 that were smaller. Then we quit keeping them. we told the kids that they were all too small and threw back the strung ones too. manyof them were great eating size, but we just honestly didnt want to clean them.

We did this for about 4 hours. Just constant, bait, hook, reel. The boys and even Rayley for the most part were self sufficiant, exept for all the trees, and each other that they kept hooking.

I even stopped baiting Bow's line to try and save myself the headache. But Bretts first fish was not a fluke. They would still bite the empty hook. LOL

Finally it was time to go home. I started gathering everything up and the kids helped.

***Now, as I am writing this blog I said to myself "self, where in the HELL is the camera?- you cant blog about this with out pictures-" and self said "why sweetie, I dont have a clue. Wonder where you put it?" actually, self was NOT that nice.. But this blog is family friendly....

So Me and Self started looking.. we couldnt find it.. We looked in the truck, in the armsof the chairs, in the house.... finally I told self that she needed to go back to the pond and look. cause I'm pretty sure the moron left it on the tire of BR's tractor when we were getting ready to go.. You know, to keep it out of little dirty grubby hands??..... yep..
Well, Self refused to go. So I did. Down the highway, down the lane past my garden, through the hay pasture, past the blueberry patch, into the woods and to the serene little hole where the pond is on my aunt and uncles land...

and guess what I found?? I can tell you this, I could just kick myself...

If you dont know, on Wend night, it rained over an inch and a half. and BR's tractor tires are HUGE.

Amazingly, it survived.. and it will still take a picture.. I dont know if the pictures will ever be good, or right, but it will work...

****** Confession over. back to your regularly scheduled program. which is NOT supposed to make ME look like an idiot. *************

Thursday my grandfather and his wife had offered to come over and help us process the 20 broilers we had left.

when I got Bertha Sue and the boys up that morning, her to go to school and them to feed, she was NOT going. I told her she had to. If she didnt she wouldnt be able to go to the zoo next week. That the truency officer would call the cops on me and I'd have to homeschool her too.

So she started to sulk. AND cry. and beller. When I asked why she said "I'm not gonna learn how to kill a chicken- then I'm gonna grow up and be useless!! Its not fair!!"

I assured her that there would be plenty of time for her to learn. But she wasnt convinced.

I honestly have never butchered a chicken before. Deer, squirrel, Rabbit, coon, snake, fish, all of that I can do- I was sick when our family helped my cousin do his. and although we knew the general way to do it. I did want guidence. AND I wanted my birds to still be whole, like you buy at the store, not cut from sternum to pelvis.

And wanted to know how to kill them by watching, not just being told. So he showed the boys how to wring their necks, we dipped them in hot water, plucked, and seared off the hairs and feathers, then we gutted them and put them on ice. It was really not hard work. And the boys really did work. I was proud of them. In the next day or two we will get together again and my grandfather is going to show me the best way to actually cut up a chicken. I get mystery peices.

But in the end, we got over 100 lbs of chicken. each bird weighed anywhere from 5 to 6 pounds after butchering. Thats not bad.

Poor Bertha Sue came home right as the last bird was being cleaned out. She missed all the 'learning and fun' as she called it. BUT, she did promptly offer up a solution. She wanted to kill her daddys big rooster. When I told her she could, if she could catch him and then we'd show her how. She counter offered with getting her BB gun and taking care of it. But she wasnt getting close enough to lay hands on him till he was dead as a doorknob. I declined the OH so tempting offer. One day he will be in the stew pot though, cause that is one mean clump of feathers.

Bow is still taking care of his ducks, EVERY day he tells me he needs to feed them. And I actually had to start buying him green beans to feed them with. At first the kids all claimed a duck. But I think they have pretty much decided they just all belong to Bow. Of course they might be the only thing on the place, save the dogs that are safe from us. NOONE I know eats duck. Its ALL dark meat, and quite greasy.. I've heard that wild duck is good, the breast, cooked on a pit. But I aint willin to chance it. Hunting duck is expensive.

Of course, when the kids asked me the other day if we were gonna start raising ducks and butchering them, and I told them no- that the ducks, horses and dogs are about all that was safe around here- one of them, little miss darling to be specific said "well, I aint too sure about the dog part" .....