Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Luring You Back With a Give-Away!

I'm back! I can't believe I've only blogged 2 times in the past 2 months. And I can't believe that every day there are people out there checking in to see if I've updated. Thank you. You guys sure know how to make a girl feel good.

I got myself in way over my head the past couple of months, thinking I could be Super Woman and do it all. Lots got done. But lots didn't get done, too. Last week was the worst of it and I had 3 nights where I only got 3 hours of sleep. Saturday we rolled in from Caelan's race at 2:30 AM and by the time everyone showered and had a snack, my head hit the pillow at 4:00 AM. I couldn't make myself get up for church. Jesus may not have minded if I took a nap during the service because I know He knew how exhausted I was. I think everyone else might have raised an eyebrow so I thought it best that we stay home. I slept until 11 AM which I never do. It felt very weird to wake up and start fixing lunch.

I'm not completely caught up but I hope to turn in my last Fiskars project for the month this evening so that pressure will be off. Lots of great stuff and I can't wait to share it! I made my first full-size quilt and thinking I could go from start to finish in 3 weeks is how I ended up in the predicament I was in last week. My family is sick of looking at that quilt!

So, a few things we've been up to since I last blogged.

canning tomatoes
Too much of this. I know I sound ungrateful for the harvest but I'm really not. This just isn't fun to me. Rewarding, yes. Fun, no.

black eyed peas in garden
Now this crop, it is fun. Next to bell peppers, I love my black-eyed peas more than anything else we grow.

harvested black eyed peas
I suppose I should disclose that I don't have to shell them. Caelan does that. He's always enjoyed it so he shells them all while he watches TV. I still have to blanch them and freeze them but that takes a LOT less time and work than canning tomatoes.

Karen Taylor, you might want to stop reading right here. If you don't, remember I warned you!

butchered chickens
I put every bit of this in my freezer. I didn't have time to make and can my chicken stock so I froze the backs and wings to do that later when the weather gets cooler.

I know some of you are wondering about the source of all this chicken. If you don't believe in the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny, you're likely to also realize that chicken doesn't really come from the grocery store. They're just your middle man. Well, our middle man is Estes Hatchery.

cornish cross 2010
This is what they look like 8 weeks after we bring them home. I'll spare you photos of the steps between the last 2 photos!

cornish cross 2010 2
I'm pretty sure this one was on to me.

cornish cross 2010 3
I think our laying hens must have taunted him (her?) with stories the impending carnage. Most people think chickens are sweet animals. The truth is, chickens are ruthless. Our laying hens stand and watch, eating the feathers of the recently deceased. I'm very cautious when I go into the chicken coop alone at night. I've looked into the eyes of more than one chicken and seen the blackness of their souls.

dune buggy
If I didn't scare you away sharing the last activity we've been up to, this one might seal the deal. We've inadvertently built a race track in our front yard.

dune buggy 2
It's all for this one.

My father-in-law brought this dune buggy over a couple of weeks ago and Will wants to ride it all the time. So does Caelan. And as you can see, Shawn's kind of fond of our new race track, too.

I can't leave today without sharing a couple of links to new(ish) projects I have up on the Fiskars website.

I'm doing a series of projects and articles on redecorating Will's bedroom.

lego box cover side before
One of my priorities was doing something about this. This drives me crazy. One of the containers is broken (but I refuse to replace it since he broke it an hour after we brought it home), the handles are different colors, and the mish-mash of colors inside the boxes is unsightly.

lego box cover side
So I made this. He fought me on the idea because it meant another step at clean up time. He's been using it for a week and I haven't heard a single complaint about it.

lego box cover back
I made the back like this so it would be really easy for him to use.

You can find more photos and basic instructions for making a toy box cover on the Fiskars website.

back pack finished
I'll close today with a link to this drawstring backpack I made.

back pack finished 2
You can remove the straps and carry it as a traditional book bag. It's also reversible! There are a lot of step-by-step photos included in the instructions and it's delightfully easy to make. Will loves it. He wanted to keep it but it doesn't really fit his personality so I'm making him one in a camouflage material he picked out. That leaves me with the need to find a new home for this one! If you want it, leave a comment and I'll pick a name at random on Friday.

**P.S. to Jennifer. I've been wondering how your quilt is coming along but I can't find a link or email address to you to find out. Let me know how you're doing!
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Tiffany Sherman said...

Love seeing what you've been up to! The backpack is delightful!

Anonymous said...

So happy you are back! My little guy would love this to take his toys and books to Grandma's everyday while i'm at work!
-Dena Gresh

Amy said...

Seeing your vegetable pictures makes me wish we lived out where we could have a garden! I'm not too sure about the chickens though. :) I love the toy cover idea and that is a cool backpack!

Cindy d said...

I LOVE the toy cover idea. Off to the Fiskars site to check it out.

kiki comin said...

gosh, i wish we lived somewhere where ANYTHING grew. loving that backpack too. i have 2 boys that would fill it up in a heartbeat!

Dina said...

Beautiful bag!

Mama to Jayden said...

I love that backpack!!

Pam said...

Welcome back I've missed seeing what you are up to! Do you know I have no idea what a blackeyed pea is?

Jennifer said...

Yes, I'm one of your devoted followers who checks most days, and it's great to see you back. Your life is SO different to mine, and I think that's why I like coming to visit. I've emailed you about the progress of the quilt: have acquired the resources but not yet started. Thanks for asking!

annemk said...

your backpack is adorable!
my husbands family used to raise chickens, your stories sound like the way he discribes "chicken behavior"...
i guess i can believe him now. lol!

Lexi said...

Yea! You're here!
I'm not gona lie..one of the first times I went to my (then) boyfriend's house we were eating chicken and dumplings. At the end of the meal someone said how good Barnameous tasted.
Umm Who? I asked.
They all started laughing. Apparently the joke was on me because the rooster had flogged my boyfriend's mom one too many times..and I just ate him for sunday lunch.
Now that I married the that boy whenever we have dumplings at my in-laws I always look for the chicken package from the store :)
And your backpack is fabulous! I have 2 boys myself (almost 5 and 2.5) and was thinking we could use a bag to carry our library books to and from in :) Thanks for the chance!

taniawillis said...

wow. maybe i need to take 2 months off blogging----does that kind of break always come with your kind of productivity!

seriously. you rock with the greatness kendra!

that photo of the canned tomates reminds me of my grandma. i practically grew up on her farm and spent many days canning tomatoes with her. she turned 80 the second week of july. :)

your chicken story reminds me of a story Ryan Detzel (www.thisisreverb.com) posted on his blog of the process you've left out here. the photograph was fabulous. i'll have to track down the link to it for you.

i'm loving the bag too! i would look swell on my shoulder coming to and fro from the gym. :)

Liz in MO said...

Oh my goodness, I'm glad you are back! I've been so tempted to call you with some PSE questions! Also, I got some chicks for mother's day from the boys, 2 of the buff hens were crowing the other day, hummmmmm. . . I don't butcher and they really need a good home. Coming to Bolivar on Friday, sure wish I knew where you lived and I would dump them at your house. We get dogs dumped on us all the time, but I think it might be the first time someone has dumped roosters. . . wouldn't rooster and noodles be awfully delish for Sunday dinner at the McCracken's house!!!!

City Mouse said...

Oooooh I LOVE that bag!! I'm not big on purses and I would totally wear that backpack around town running errands!

Farmers 8 Daughters said...

Finding this post late, as I myself have been canning and freezing as of late too and don't get a chance to check your blog everyday :-)

I didn't know you processed your own meat birds. I helped do mine a few months ago, but they were raised at a friends and I had to pay for them :-( I'm not quite ready to do it all on my own yet (my husband is NOT into the raising or killing of our own food).

Other than making roman shades for my kitchen last fall, I haven't sewn anything creative in almost 2 years. I miss it, but just another thing I don't have time for right now.

Thanks for catching us up on what you've been up to. Get some sleep :-)

BossyMommy said...

How have I not know the fabulousness that is the Kendra blog before now? <>? Now that's just priceless. I think I might love you.

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