Monday, March 18, 2013

School Carnival!

This is our 3rd year going. We have learned to stay in the small kids area. The main gym has games for the older kids and some for younger kids, but it is more sensory stimulation than Clark can handle. Also it is very busy and hard to keep track of my brood plus not lose The Elder.

Pork in the bounce house

We spent about half an hour in this room. The boys really like to bounce.

Colonel Sanders and Daddy (The Elder). The Colonel had no interested* in bounding in the house or picking out eggs, ducks, and so on.

The duck game

The boys playing a toss game

Tyke went back to play ducks.

Clark tossing

Aunt Julie helping supervise the tossing

Cake walk! We always play this a few times. Every year we have always brought home a cake without playing more than 3 times. One year we brought home 3 cakes. Then again, we also have 3 kids and 2 adults playing.

Julie making sure Tyke stays on his number

The Elder takes up the rear.

Pork's number won a cake! So the Elder took Pork to pick one.

Pork's favorite color right now is pink. So we all knew he would pick a pink cake.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Adventures in pretzel making

Here is the recipe I used. Please note it was tweaked a little ad I baked them.

2 1/2 teaspoons (or one packet) yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons butter (yes, we cook with real butter)
1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons baking soda per 5 cups of water

Salt or garlic salt for the top.

Mix first 2 items. Let it sit for 10-15 min. Mix the next 3 items. Then add both of the flours.

You will have some flour left in the bowl. Kneed this into the dough.  Kneed the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth.

Grease a bowl and put the dough in the bowl to rise until it doubles in size. Punch it down and then separate it into 12 pieces and roll out and shape your pretzels. Let these rise on a greased pan until doubled in size.

Fill a pot with water. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons baking soda per 5 cups of water. Heat the pot to just before boiling. Drop the pretzels into the pot and let them cook for a minute on each side. Briefly put them on paper towel, and then onto a greased pan.

Heat your oven to 450* and bake for 5ish minutes until the tops are golden brown or the color desired.

Here is my dough waiting to be kneaded with the remaining flour from the bowl. 

My table. Getting ready to cut the dough after it has risen. I use a pizza cutter.

Waiting to be cut.

My imperfect dough pieces. How do you make a pretzel?  I was asked this by my friend as she watched me. So I thought I would post it.

Make your snake.

Make a heart.

Pull one side down and smash it a little to make it stick

Pull the other side down and smash it a little.

Covered them in plastic and letting them rise.

Doubled in size!

Oops! This is boiling a little to much!

Sitting on a piece of paper towel. Do not let them sit to long or they will stick!

This is what it is suppose to look like. I smushed several of the pretzels so I could use them for lunch bread.

The original recipe said to bake them at 375* for 5-7 minutes. These were done, but not very brown. Plus they stuck to the greased pan.

These came out a little better when I set the temp higher. They are still not quite like the mall ones or the frozen ones you can buy, but they did taste pretty good!

Chick update #2

I am having an issue getting my pretzel post to post. Hmm...

Anyway, We got up to 20 chicks and one had to be an assisted hatch. Sadly we lost the assisted hatch chick  this morning.

The others seem to be doing well. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Chick update

Yes, this IS a redneck brooder. I just want to get that cleared up right now. Do I feel bad? No. What is it sitting on? Umm... The guinea pig cage. *gasps* If the top can hold a 32lb minion (no guinea pigs were inside) then I am sure it can handle this. This will be here until the chicks are older and get moved into a larger, less redneck, brooder.

The Colonel thought she would push her chair up to it and look at the "bok bok" as she calls them.

Like Tyke's outfit? He picked it out himself!

Pork sitting with his chick

Then there is Clark. Clark likes the chicks a lot, although he does not want to hold them. Kinda like out guinea pigs, he loves them but does not want to hold them. The only way you can get him to hold many animals is to put them on something else.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chicks day 2

Last night we ended up 10 chicks that has hatched and 3 more that had poked a hole in their eggs. I do have to say that I do not think one of the ones from last night will make it. Its yolk sac was not fully absorbed into its abdomen. Time will tell though.

This morning I discovered 8 more chicks in the incubator. I do have to say that they are noisy little boogers. Before I decide to hatch some quail, I need to find a new safe location for the incubator  By my bed is just not working.

This afternoon I have noticed one more chick and 2 more eggs with holes in them. So we will wait till this evening. I have to admit that I do not think we will have many more eggs hatch if any more do. We are on day 21 now. They say to go to day 24 or 25. We had several high temp. spikes during several phases of incubation. If the 2 more in there hatch, we will have a 50% hatch rate. I don't think that is to bad for my first time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chicks update and pics The Colonel took

Some how The Colonel got a hold of my camera. *sighs* Here are her photos. Ahh yes, the living room ceiling.

And it looks like she tried to take a picture of herself... Not bad for a 15 month old.

These would be her feet.

And now on to the chicks! Since some of the other eggs have piped holes in them, I cannot open the incubator. I need to keep the humidity up. Have no fear, the chicks in there will be fine for up to 48 hours. Although I have no intention of leaving them there that long.

All the pictures were taken through the top viewing spots on the incubator. So far we have 5 chicks.

The line in this one (above) is the heating tube.


Last night I heard little peeps coming form the incubator that sits next to my bed. We are on day 19 of a 21 day hatch. I have to admit I do not know how many will hatch. Several times my incubator went a little wacky and temps were up to 105* and almost 106*. One time it was during the day and may have been that high for up to 8 hours.

I have an automatic egg turner. The eggs were in it until I heard the peeps and remembered that they needed to be taken out. Oops!  I think there are 5 or 6 eggs with little holes packed out. I know it can still take several days for them to hatch. Plus some of the others may hatch as well. I was told to give them up to 24 or 25 days. Last night 3 of the eggs were peeping.

This is what greeted me this morning. This little one is the only one peeping now. So I am a little worried about the others, but I know that losses can happen even after they peck their holes. I am on a really good chicken forum (Backyard Chickens) so I am getting good advise. I guess we will just wait and see......

Here is my little one!!!!!