Saturday, April 27, 2013

At Least the Chickens Will Sleep Well...

Spring has sprung on the farm.  The plum tree was in full blossom a couple of weeks ago.  
So pretty...

But unfortunately surrounded by this chaos...

Let's back up the train a little bit here.  The last time I posted we were still "pre-dig".  I took a few "before" pictures of the farm before everything was in upheaval.  This is the house from the front.  The house will essentially be doubled in size with the addition on the right.

Here's the side view of the house (left side of photo faces the street) and the future site of the addition.

And the back view pre-dig.

Same view after the digging has begun.  Of course the warm, dry spell we had been having came to an abrupt end when the digging began and torrential rains ensued... resulting in piles and piles of mud.  I snagged these pictures several days later when the sun decided to reappear.

With our access to the back porch completely obliterated, we are now using the front entrance.  For about a week the kids and I had to put on boots just to make it to our van, where we kept our "good shoes."  This gravel path that Erik's dad put down helped a lot, and the sunny weather this past week has also dried things up significantly since I took this photo.

So, essentially there is not much more progress to report at this time.  There are so many other steps involved before the actual building can begin - things like soil testing (which we passed apparently), digging for new water pipes around the property and generally waiting for things to dry up.  Erik is super busy at his "real" job and plans to devote some time to the house in a week or two.  Hopefully there will be some further progress to report soon!

(Grandpa & Silas hard at work...)

Meanwhile, the chickens will be living it up in their brand new home...

Construction on the chicken coop is nearly complete.  A friend at church joked that if Erik was building it, they'd probably have crown moulding and everything.  Well, almost.  This little house has water hook-up, electricity, insulation and even pot-lights on each side of the front door.  Erik just needs to finish it off with some cedar siding.  Very soon it will be ready to house some real live poultry.

And, hopefully, happy chickens will produce delicious farm-fresh eggs!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Spring Break on the Farm

Two weeks of spring break felt like an overwhelming amount of time to kill with all 3 kids but it managed to fly by.  We didn't end up accomplishing everything on our spring break to-do list.  Ah well.  Summer's just around the corner.  At least it felt that way over the Easter weekend when the temperature hit 20-something...

The first week of spring break was still a bit cool and wet.  In fact one afternoon we even saw some snow coming down for a few brief minutes.  But despite the weather there was still plenty to keep us busy.  One cannot forget the episode of Patches and the new baby calf that provided some excitement.  After Cow #1 delivered, we knew that Cow #2 (Daisy) was not far behind.  Erik and I felt determined that we were going to witness the next calf birth so I was watching her like a hawk.  On Silas' birthday I could tell she was acting a bit different and after dinner she was in obvious labour.  We spent the evening outside sharing a set of binoculars but wouldn't you know she went into the far corner of the pasture and waited right until the point that it got too dark for us to see anything.  Really, who can blame the poor girl, but still we were disappointed to miss the actual event.

Since the first calf was named Bambi, we decided it was fitting to name the second calf (a male) Thumper.  Bambi and Thumper have been fast friends.  (Meanwhile Patches has been sequestered to a separate pasture).

(Cow #3 {Brownie} is not due for her calf until the fall but the kids are already brainstorming more Bambi-like names for him or her.)

Over the long weekend Erik and his dad started work on the next farm venture - a chicken coop.

The kids enjoyed the sunshine and the chance to don their tool belts and "help Daddy work".

Daddy's trailer is always full of fun tools to try...

After the forming was done it was time for the concrete.  The boys were filthy but Erik said Micah was actually super helpful - a future Alderidge Construction employee in the making we think...

Not sure when this coop will house actual chickens but I'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on the egg-production venture.

And, speaking of eggs...

The warmest and sunniest day had to be Easter Sunday.  What a perfect afternoon for an Easter Egg hunt.

Ahhh, Mom - it's too bright!

Little Miss Organized made sure everyone had equal amount of eggs.

There has been much too much chocolate and sugar consumed in this household as of late and it's time for this preggo Mama to go into a bit of detox mode.  (If only it wasn't for this baby girl making me SOOO hungry... All. The. Time.)

And now some exciting stuff starts to happen here on the farm.  The plans for expanding the current house to meet the needs of Erik's parents and our own growing family are finally getting underway.  There has already been some demolition happening around here.  When I got home this afternoon I no longer had any railings on my deck - slightly dangerous but I'm definitely not missing my concrete block railings (which matched the pattern of the blocks on the bottom right).

The view from the house is much more unobstructed and I can start to envision a much nicer looking deck in our future...

The rest of the current house will stay as is and we will be building an addition out to the west side (to the left of the house on the first deck picture).  Once the addition is complete, Erik's parents will move into the new part and our family will take over both floors of the current house.  We're looking forward to having another bedroom, another bathroom and another living room to spread ourselves out a bit.

The real digging starts tomorrow so stay tuned!