Sweet Tea & Busy Bees Collage

Sweet Tea & Busy Bees Collage

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baby it's cold outside!

Is anyone else cold? The polar vortex seems to have the whole country under a cold hold. Last time I checked I lived in the south so it shouldn't be 30 degrees in November. I do however know some animals who are not cold... the alpacas. The boys are enjoying this polar vortex that has taken over the country. Here's a peek of what is going on in the alpaca pasture...

Lately I have found the alpacas dotted across their pasture laying just like Raoul soaking up the sun. Their coats are getting long as they prepare for winter so they are not the least bit cold.Perfect for soaking up some rays in the middle of the day.

If they aren't laying in the sun they are searching for freshly fallen leaves. They are so cute hunting around for their favorite treat!

All of the boys seem happy and relaxed which makes me happy and relaxed. Wishing you a happy fall hummm from the alpacas. Did I mention they hum? I suppose that is for another post.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Operation pet the pigs

Well the pigs have now called Yankee Belle farm their home for 2 months and have settled in quite nicely. I often catch Monty walking over to the pig pen to check things out, I think they are beginning to understand each other. There is only one problem. We CAN NOT touch the pigs. Don't get me wrong, the pigs aren't mean, they just don't do touch. So I have decided to instate operation pet the pigs! Get excited people, this is an official mission. You may be wondering how I am going to do this, I have decided that food and proximity are the two key components to an official pig mission such as this one.

" You are going to do what?"
So I took my chair, book, and pig treats into the pen and planned to stay a while.

"Treats for me?!"
I started by throwing Cheerios to the guys to let them know I came in peace. After they ate some of the treats, I started throwing them closer and closer.

Nicholas even came over to see what was going on at one point.

" Can I play too?"
Sherman ended up almost eating Cheerios out of my hand. He wouldn't quite take it from my hand but he did eat the ones on the ground right next to my fingers.

" Yum!"
I consider operation part one a partial success. Hopefully lots of yummy treats will lead to some pig petting soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's Fall Y'all! Fall on the farm

Alright y'all it's been a long time since I wrote a post, I wish I had a good excuse but I don't. Sorry! The weather has cooled down and the leaves have started to change since the last time we talked. Let me just tell you that I LOVE FALL! I love everything about it. Sweaters, cider, crisp breezes in the morning, you name it, I love it. Well come to find out the animals love fall too! I spent some time today just walking around watching all the animals enjoy the cooler fall weather.

Alpacas + Fall = bliss

Just layin' around
The alpacas especially love the fall. The low hum from their fan has finally turned off and they can rest a little cooler each day. They have been spending lots of time around their area basking in the warm sun.
The cooler weather also means that the boys are getting extra fluffy! Their fleece is growing thick to get them ready for winter. They look much different than they did when they came to us in April. I just want to squeeze them!

Oink, Oink, Yawn...

I have learned that pigs get cold easily. At night I find our piggys snuggled in their little hut. They burrow themselves in hay. Burrowing to the point that one day I thought they escaped because they were hiding so well. Melvin and Sherman can be found lazing the fall days rooting around in the cool dirt and laying in the sun.

I caught Melvin mid- yawn just after his 6th nap of the day. The pigs love fall too.

Cluck, peck, scratch

I have happy hens on the farm right now. They are loving scratching through the fallen leaves and finding hidden bugs everywhere.
The ladies on a lovely fall day.

I could watch the animals all day. I am so glad they love the fall as much as I do.
I promised Raoul I would put his close-up on the blog. :)

This post is linked to:
Down Home Blog Hop   From The Farm Blog Hop

Old Fashioned Friday

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Letter detective: On a hunt to learn

School is back in full swing by now for everyone I am sure. Being a former teacher I love back to school time. I still want to go into Walmart and buy school supplies in bulk. With back to school comes back to homework and studying. I wanted to share an activity I did with "Batman" that could be adapted to study just about anything.

Although "Batman" doesn't have any homework from preschool we are still working on letter identification and sounds. I made him an official letter detective and off we went to hunt letters! We have a letter tree in the playroom where we put the letters that we have learned to make them visible.

I told "Batman" that the letters had escaped and we had to go and track all of them down. This helped him review letters that he knew and I also added a few new ones.

Let the letter hunt begin!

He found H outside on the porch. He used his spy phone to call H and ask it what sound it made. We took H and put it in a bag so that we could return it to the letter tree in the playroom.

We continues our hunt...
Those letters were really hiding!
Nicholas was excited to learn about the letter A for alpaca!
P for pig!

Once we found all of our letters we headed back inside to put the letters back on our tree and told them not to run away again.

I hope you can go on your own hunt for letters, sight words, math problems, vocabulary words or what ever your little one is learning. Have fun learning!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

When the people are away the pigs will play.

Going out to do morning farm chores is one of my favorite things to do. I love greeting the animals in the morning and getting everyone what they need for the day. Well.... we got a surprise when we went out to the pig pen today.

Yep, they started breakfast without us. I assume Melvin was the strength behind this operation but I wouldn't be surprised if Sherman was the idea man here. I suppose we should have figured that this may be a possibility if we stored their feed inside their pen. We just thought that the metal can with a 50 lb bag of feed in it would keep them out, I guess we were wrong.

"Hurry, they see us!"
Well Melvin and Sherman I guess we learned our lesson and moved the food container. Mischief managed.

Love at lunch: My take on lunch notes.

Before I packed "Batman's" first lunch for lunch bunch day at school tomorrow I decided to hop on the computer to see if I could find any cute lunch notes to include. As I was scrolling through countless super cute notes that I could print out it dawned on me that I was getting lunch notes before lunch notes were a thing. 

My mom would include a special I love you note every so often in my lunch. I don't know the story behind how it started but the message is a picture rather than words. I have to assume this is because she started giving me these notes before I could even read just like I am doing for "Batman." I never really stopped to think about how special those notes were until today in the midst of my internet lunch note search. This got me thinking, would I remember those notes so well if it was just a cute printed off picture? I don't know. 
A recent I love you note from my mom, just like when I was little

This special note appeared in my lunch when I was little but followed me through my life as a sign of encouragement. On my birthdays she would scroll Happy Birthday in lipstick across my mirror and then sign it with her signature I love you. When I went to college she would send care packages and include her special I love you. Even now when she sends something in the mail for me or the kids I can expect to see that special I love you. 

There is something about someone's handwriting that is magical. It almost makes you feel like they are there with you. Try looking at a loved one's card they have signed or a note they have written. I bet you will feel something in your heart when you do. 

So tomorrow in "Batman's" lunch I am not going to print off the cute Yoda note that I had originally thought about. I am going to write him an I love you note picture style. I hope this note can some day become as special to him as it is to me. 

"Batman's" first I love you lunch note

Friday, September 5, 2014

A change of the guard: There's a new rooster in town

Frodo Baggins was my first rooster. I love him. A lot. He is the scrappiest looking silkie I have ever seen which naturally makes him adorable.
Frodo has been in charge for a quite a while and his reign over the flock is finally over.

Meet Mrs. Frizzle. The new rooster in charge.

Yes I did say MRS. Frizzle. We named him before we figured out he was a boy and it kind of stuck. Anyway... He is small but he packs a lot of punch. He is the head rooster now. I am not sure how the dynamics of a chicken flock work but every now and again a new rooster heads to the top. The ladies accept that he is now in charge and listen to his special signals but all of the hens still love their Frodo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The piggies settle into the farm.

Pigsy Hollow

Melvin and Sherman have already started to settle in and get comfortable at the farm. We spent all of the day after we got the boys building their new pig pen, Pigsy Hollow. One of the first things we added was a pig pool. Pig fact: pigs can't sweat so they need cool water or mud to roll in.
One hoof at a time
"Come on in, the water's great!"
Melvin seems very happy about his pig pool. Sherman however hasn't been able to get in the pool because Melvin has been hogging the pool, pun intended!

Piggy snack time!
In order to get our piggies comfortable with us we have been offering them pig safe snacks. So far we know they love cucumbers and popcorn. These pigs can put down some popcorn!

"Popcorn, where have you been all my life?"
"Thanks for the popcorn, I love my new people!"

Friday, August 29, 2014

With an oink oink here: New pigs on the farm.

Everyday on the farm is exciting in some way but when new animals arrive it is exciting in a special way. Everyone is alert. Chickens crowed around the fence, and the alpacas stand on high alert to find out what's up. 

Please let me introduce you to the latest members on the farm. Drum roll please......
"Where are we?" " I don't know, looks like a nice place."
Please meet Sherman (small black pig) and Melvin (big pig with spots). These two cuddly little oinkers are potbelly pigs that moved to the Yankee Belle Farm today. 

This seems pretty cozy

They even got a comfy ride in the new minivan. 

Melvin settled in with a little rooting and a nice nap. 

" Just a little deeper."

Sherman stuck with rooting for quite a while. 

We are so excited to have our new pig friends here and can't wait to see what sort of pig adventures Sherman and Melvin will have together. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Batman's" Bible Box

You might remember back around Easter I posted our resurrection eggs that we were using to learn about the true meaning of Easter. Well, these eggs were still being used after Easter had come and gone. " Batman" and "Strawberry Shortcake" LOVED the eggs. I took the Easter themed trinkets out of the eggs and put in other things that would tie into some of my favorite bible stories. So we continued to go on egg hunts everyday and do our devotion based on our eggs. Eventually I felt like the eggs needed to go and we needed a more permanent solution to continue this new tradition that we started. This is where our prayer box came from. "Batman" sometimes calls it his Bible box because we always read a Bible story after we open the box. No matter what the name of the box, it is an awesome way to fit in a devotion with little ones.

Decorating materials such as:
A small wooden box
A favorite bible verse to include on the inside
We spent time decorating our box and "Batman" put his finishing touches on his box.
Each morning I put something into the box that ties into a Bible story. I hide the box so "Batman and Strawberry Shortcake" can find the box like we are still hunting for eggs ( they love this part ). After "Batman" finds the box we all read our story together.
I hope this can give some inspiration on how to fit in a small devotion with your little one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Attention Moms: Use that Mommy intuition!

I recently had a head on encounter with good old mom intuition. That little feeling way down deep that creeps up when for no distinct reason you, the mom, sense something is wrong. This mom intuition lead my little man to get his first pair of glasses.

He never not even once told me that he couldn't see. He didn't give me any indication that he couldn't see. He watched T.V. just fine, played the ipad, played sports no problem. The one thing he didn't want to do was anything with paper and pencil. He doesn't like to color, he will not write, he has trouble cutting, he even has trouble tracing letters. At first glance lots of people and even I thought he might have trouble with his fine motor skills. Luckily I have an Occupational Therapist for an Aunt who said his fine motor skills were great. Hmmm now what!? He even passed the eye exam they give at the pediatrician's office at their 4 year old visit. This is where the mom intuition comes in.  

I decided that I would take him in for an eye exam before he started preschool just to make sure everything was a-OK, I thought something might be off with his vision. It's a good thing I took him in because he left with a whopping prescription for a 4 year old. My little man is extremely farsighted. No wonder he didn't want to color, write, trace, or cut... he couldn't see any of it! Now he is happy to look just like Dad and see everything through new eyes.
I wrote this post to let all of you moms out there know that your mom intuition, gut feeling, or whatever else you call it means something. Just because your doctor tells you something is fine or you don't see the "right" signs for a problem don't ignore your instinct. Thankfully "Batman's" eyesight was a very fixable problem with an easy solution. Give yourself a pat on the back moms, we have pretty important jobs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

We're feeling hot hot hot!

Summer is in full swing here at Yankee Belle Farm and it is HOT. Humans and animals alike are trying to spend the day keeping cool.

On a hot day you can find the alpacas getting their tan on in the sun. It seems silly that these furry guys wouldn't lay in the sun when it's hot, but they do! They kind of look dead when they lay like this but have no fear they are just soaking up the sun.

If the are not soaking up the sun they are waiting to be sprayed off with a cool hose.

Pacas enjoying the cool water
The ducks of the farm like to spend their time in the water when they are hot. They like it when I fill up a tub with fresh cold water for them.
3 ducks in one bin

Chickens on the farm can be found trying to drink out of the duck's water bin or dust bathing on a hot day. Chickens roll around in the dirt to keep themselves cool and clean.
Elvira pecking at the door on a hot day, maybe she wants lemonade!
Everyone gathering around the bin for a cool drink of water
Just trying to stay cool
Last but not least you can find us humans of the farm sipping on a cool drink or trying to stay cool in the pool. Sometimes the chickens even sneak inside the fence for the pool. Luckily they haven't tried to take a dip yet.

Strawberry Shortcake is ready for the pool!

Batman is part fish I think
Well whether it's animal or human we spend our summer days staying cool and having fun. What do you do to beat the heat?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Little Monty turns 2!!!

We had our first alpaca birthday on the farm today, Monty turned 2! Naturally we had to celebrate in full Yankee Belle Farm style so we celebrated with Monty throughout the day.
The guys came right over to the fence in the morning ready to start the day of celebrating Monty.

I even got a few birthday kisses from the birthday paca. He had a great day with some extra grain and fresh leaves. Oh and of course the people celebrated too....

Special cupcakes for the paca's people.
Batman wanted to admire the cupcake before he ate it.
Strawberry Shortcake didn't waste any time diving in.

Happy Birthday Little Monty!