Week Ending 4-16-23 Projects galore, Kaitlyn’s birthday, first eggs hatched!

by Marcie
family of 6 kids eat cheese sandwiches at a picnic table in their front yard.

This was a great week! We had beautiful spring weather so we took off school and worked and played outside all day every day. In the evenings we read and played games. Kaitlyn celebrated her 13th birthday and our very first chicks hatched!

Lots of outside time!

The whole week was sunny, cloudless skies, temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, and no humidity. It was wonderful! We did a lot of yard work projects. I made a list of projects to do in the month of April and we got 28 out of 44 projects done! Only 16 more and we have 2 weeks of April left. I’ll certainly be adding more though, because I love to work outside and get things done. It feels so good. And this is the best time of year to do them.

family of 6 kids eat cheese sandwiches at a picnic table in their front yard.
Eating dinner outside

Getting projects done

Every morning after breakfast and chores the kids played while I worked on my blog. We ate lunch outside from 11-12 and then 12-1 was our work time. That was when I released the younger kids at least, but I was always having a great time so I continued to finish or find more projects to do. Makenna and Samuel were my best helpers and often stayed with me for another hour or two. After dinner we’d all run out to play and I’d find a few more simple projects to do. Makenna and Tilly often helped me so we accomplished more than I thought we would this week.

Here are some things we did:

We cut, hauled, and stacked wood.
Thomas built another garden box.
We weeded the other 9 garden boxes, hauled composted dirt to them, and planted lots of seeds.
Flowers were planted in the flower pots.
We worked on Blueberry Hill, cutting brambles and trees out of the blueberry bushes.
I put up a new trellis for the blackberries and Thomas and I fixed the grape posts and trellises that were broken.
We did little things like fix the porch steps, cleaned gutters and sticks from the roof, picked up sticks in the yard, and mowed. A retired neighbor came and fixed a pipe to the garden hose in the back yard.

It was such a productive week!

piles of wood scattered around the wood shed.
Our wood pile is usually stacked neat and tidy but I loved seeing it a mess because it reminded me of the large piles of wood my brother split. There were piles all over the yard, all different kinds from different trees, waiting for us girls to stack it. I loved seeing different kinds in my own wood shed, waiting to be stacked.
piles of wood scattered around the wood shed
5 year old gets ready to plant begonias
Talea planting the begonias as one of her outside jobs she chose to do.
begonias in a flower pot just barely planted


Tuesday I cut down a dead tree and then burned the branches. It left a perfect smoldering fire for foil dinners so I quickly got everything ready and we had a wonderful dinner outside by the campfire. Afterwards we roasted marshmallows of course.

family with 6 kids eating foil dinners at a picnic table in spring.
The view from the campfire looking up at the house.
5 year old girl sits on a log and roasts a marshmallow
7 year old boy roasts a marshmallow at a campfire in an open field
two sisters sit on a log eating their s'mores.
two kids roast marshmallows with rocks propping up their sticks
Talea and Samuel invented “rock holders” to roast their marshmallows for them.
5 year old girl props her stick up with a rock to roast her marshmallow
girl wanders through an open field on her property in early spring
I loved seeing Makenna walk through this pasture singing with her dolls while we were cleaning up.
7 year old boy rides a hoverboard through an open field in early spring
Then Andy came down on the hoverboard. I love this pasture but I need animals on it to keep it down or hire someone to mow it with a tractor. Otherwise it won’t look this good next year. It will get overgrown real quick this summer. Any ideas of what I should do?


This week we planted potatoes, a few more strawberries, basil, rosemary, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. We mulched the peas and hauled new dirt to a few other boxes in need. I hope each year I can make our garden a little better than last year.

I love this picture of Samuel telling Andy he thinks their weed pile is the biggest of anyone’s.

Thomas making another raised garden bed. Now I have to weed the area we’re putting it in and haul dirt. Makenna wants it for her watermelon seeds.

teen boy holds his garden box up around him like a picture frame
Thomas finishes a garden box just the size I need. As he was carrying it back to the garden area, he made it look like a picture frame around him so I had to take a picture.

Beautiful spring around the farm

scene out the kitchen window of spring trees and dogwoods
View of the dogwood and barn from the kitchen window.
dogwood tree blossoming in front of a barn
looking up through a flowering dogwood tree to a deep blue sky
Looking up into the dogwood and deep blue sky.
white dogwood petal
Dogwood blossom
up close of an apple blossom
Apple blossom. I hope we get some apples this year! Last year the squirrels got them before they were ripe.
beautiful country yard scene: dogwood, grape vines, green grass
young pullet on top of a log with flowers
chicken in her nesting box
3 eggs in a nesting box
beautiful rooster walking on the grass

Artist Talea

5 year old paints on a prestamped canvas.
Talea can sit and do art all day.
5 year old girl paints on a prestamped canvas.
girl shows the camera her painting and a candy bar she left on her moms pillow for a surprise.
She left this picture and a piece of candy on my pillow as a surprise.

Kaitlyn’s a teenager!

Kaitlyn celebrated her golden birthday this year. She turned 13 on the 13th. She couldn’t think of anything to do even when I suggested going to a state park because the weather was beautiful. Or a movie day, game day, reading party, campfire, etc. She didn’t plan anything. That was fortuitious because in the morning the first little chick hatched! So we sat by the incubator all day watching the others hatch. If she planned something we wouldn’t have wanted to leave the house and would have had to cancel. She’d been incubating the eggs for 3 weeks and expected them on Easter but they waited until her birthday instead!

13 year old opens presents with her siblings surrounding her
She opened her presents in the morning. I got her a 6×6 Rubix cube and Makenna got her a niffler stuffed animal.
13 year old excited about opening a 6x6 rubix cube

Kaitlyn didn’t know what kind of cake to have so she just put candles in ice cream and had ice cream sundaes instead. Everyone put Easter candy on their ice cream and I made some chocolate sauce. She got to talk to her 4 older siblings whom she adores. She watched a movie with Thomas in the afternoon. When all the kids were in bed she and I played Racko together. She said she had a great day!

Chicks hatch on Kaitlyn’s birthday!

All day we came in and out of the house and Kait’s bedroom (really Kylie, Madalyn and Alexis’s bedroom) looking to see if the chicks were hatching. When one was we crowded around and watched it. It was so neat!
Still wet and flopping around.
Drying off
3 kids write music on computers while waiting by an incubator for chicks to hatch.
These three hung out by the incubator, writing music on devices while watching the chicks hatch. Unfortunately only two did. We waited until Sunday but no more hatched. We opened them and they looked fully formed, not sure why they couldn’t hatch. We never opened the incubator or anything and never heard any pips from them.
two sisters open eggs to find dead chicks
a stillborn chick
The two chicks that hatched. They’re adorable and doing well.

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Brady and Paige April 17, 2023 - 8:25 pm

Those chicks are so cute! It is neat to see your property in Spring. You really got a lot done this week!
What do you put in your compost and how do you manage it?
We are growing potatoes this year for the first time. Do you fertilize potatoes?

Marcie April 18, 2023 - 10:07 am

We put food, weeds, and grass clippings in our compost pile. We have a black bin but every day a raccoon would take off the lid and eat the food. It was fairly small anyway, so we gave up on that. But that would be a good idea for you. We just have a corner behind the garden we dump all the weeds and food and grass. It’s probably 10’x5′. We have a lot of weeds! I dug under it and there is some great soil there! So I dug several wheelbarrows full and put it on our garden beds. It was either that or get dirt out of the woods. Our beds were looking low on dirt and I refused to buy it when we have acres of it. Now that we have chickens we haven’t put any food in the compost pile so I’m not sure how it’ll look next year. We also have a huge mulch pile that was here when we moved in. The bottom of it is all dirt now, so I’ve used some of that too. I haven’t fertilized any of my food. I haven’t wanted to buy fertilizer. I just put seeds in the ground and see what happens. Every year I want to do better and learn more about a crop though. First it’s been blueberries and blackberries b/c they’re my favorite. I’ve heard you can put Epsom salts in the holes as you plant potatoes and also boil eggshells and spray the water on plants. Let me know how it goes!

Paula April 17, 2023 - 8:49 pm

I love all of this! A beautiful life together being recorded for all of you.

Marcie April 18, 2023 - 9:52 am

Thank you, Paula!


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