Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family!  We have been having a very nice day despite the fact that Joe is still not feeling the greatest and even Cora threw up under the tree this morning.  Santa probably should have left a quarantine sign on our door while he was here!

James opening his stocking this morning… he was interested for awhile but then I had to help him get the rest out! He got some snacks, a tiny bit of candy, a pair of pants, some creepy crawly bugs and snakes, some little books and toys etc. and some dry erase markers for his easel.

20141225_081350Here are a bunch from opening gifts! We all got lots of fun stuff from each other and both of our families! Even the cats got some treats and Cora got several tennis balls.


We all got matching shirts from my family and James was helping Joe check his out.  He was showing us his ‘cheese’ face.

20141225_090217 20141225_090243 20141225_104256 20141225_09241120141225_100746James sampling a chocolate truffle.  He approved.

20141225_095856 20141225_093543 20141225_093049 20141225_092518 20141225_09044120141225_09313120141225_105811James and I after breakfast but before his nap.  He was getting tired and grouchy.  We did have bacon and hashbrowns for breakfast but I didn’t make everything I was planning on since Joe wasn’t feeling too good.


Joe got some beef jerky in his stocking and had a piece before we went upstairs to take a family nap. When James and I came downstairs afterwards this is what we found.  Cora, with her face stuffed into a beef jerky bag….she ate the entire bag except for the piece or two Joe had.  Very lucky dog. Also, luckily, she did not eat the moisture packet inside!

20141225_13505420141225_172934And an interesting evening family selfie! James did not want to sit still and Cora wanted to get in on the photo! So here we go! Merry Christmas!

Now this afternoon we’ve just been hanging out, playing with new toys and checking out presents.  I bought the first Harry Potter on Amazon (I do have it on DVD but I can’t figure out how to play it on the T.V.) so we’ve been watching that.  James, Cora and I also went outside for awhile this afternoon and had some lunch while Joe was still sleeping upstairs and now tonight instead of having a roast chicken and full supper we’re just going to have macaroni and cheese (homemade) and chicken noodle soup for supper. Tomorrow we have a date for the car in Marquette for it’s 10,000 mile check up.

I did not mention on yesterdays post but we butchered our chickens two days ago (the 23rd) so we are now chickenless.  It was very sad, it made me cry but they stopped laying eggs awhile ago for the most part, we’ve gotten maybe 5 or 6 in the past two months but they cost almost $100 a month to maintain so it was time to get rid of them.  Plus our coop has been totally overrun by mice and needs a major overhaul so if we get more chickens we will start fresh in the spring.  I would like to, but only maybe 6 or so instead of the 21-80 we’ve had in the past! James really liked the chickens, it would be a fun learning experience for him and I liked having them and the fresh eggs too.  So we’ll see. Definitely do not enjoy the butchering part though so that might mean we don’t get anymore!


James and the Chickens

James LOVES chickens! Actually, he loves all animals (maybe a little too much sometimes), but he gets excited when we go outside and see chickens.  He doesn’t get to walk on his own in the chicken coop yet, it will be a really long time before that happens, but he goes out with me in his Tula carrier or he can stand by the fence and check them out.

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These are from our garden cleanup day.  James got to run around in the grass and dig up dirt and explore concrete and go wherever he wanted near me while I was picking tomatoes.  He got muddy and dirty and had a very good conversation with several chickens while we were outside.  Here’s hoping there are some relatively dry days this week where we can head outside again!

Happy Birthday House!

It’s 5 years in our house today!  Here are my older house posts if anybody wants them. I might have repeated a lot in them, I’m not sure… I didn’t go back and fully read them myself yet!

Happy Birthday House Year 1

Happy Birthday House Year 2

Happy Birthday House Year 3

Happy Birthday House Year 4 – the poor house didn’t get a post last year, sorry House!


This year we’ve definitely done a number on her.  We ripped down some walls and decided the house is probably over the age we originally thought.  We still currently have log walls open in our living room!


We brought this handsome face home with us…

WP_001962The baby not the cat… the cat was an original that moved in with us!

We also got a new roof and thanks to the worst winter ever the front half of our pole building collapsed!


All in all I think this year comes out even on good things versus bad things we’ve done to the house but we’ve working on it! We’ve had new roofs and septic tanks, buildings falling down and buildings taken down, a well filled in, gardens planted, late night fires outside, hundreds of walks, tons of good food, and lots of good memories!  Our house has also been home to a whole ton of living things…some invited and others just showed up!

When we moved in we had two people, one dog, one cat and a hermit crab.  Over the years the house has played host to 3 people (plus guests), 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 birds, 2 rabbits, a hermit crab, almost 100 chickens at one time or another – some babies in batches and some adults who needed a bit of extra love, one vacationing dog, one stray dog that needed a ride home, some baby bunnies whose mom was missing, a few mice, some spiders (including a gigantic one Joe caught last night in the basement… I didn’t see it but from the sounds of it we should probably just move…), several house plants – some of whom never made it out alive, one stray cat that now lives with our neighbors, several barn cats, and at least one barn raccoon.  Oh and one injured bat!