Wednesday, 25 March 2009

spring chicks and smiles

Happy spring!
Each morning when the sun peeps through the curtains I actually feel happy to be getting up, those dreary dull winter mornings where snuggling in bed is the only option have given way to a warm sunny feeling where clean sheets drying on the line and daffodils dancing in the breeze come to mind. For mothers day I got these beautiful daffodils that now grace the mantelpiece making me smile each time I look at them, not just because I love daffs but because my boys faces when giving them to me along with handmade cards and a cuppa in bed spring to mind as well. I finished another embroidery and framed this one, this is also on the mantle and if I ever get turn into a thread girl I shall live in this little cottage with my hen and lots of flowers!
The material used for the house is from Japan and I love it!

Oh my how fast do chicks grow?
ours are now a week and 2 days old, they have grown so much, they have wings, each chick has various size wings and one has a tail feather coming which looks really funny, they try and fly every time we open the lid on the box and are really strong pushing with their legs when you pick them up, each chick has its own personality too.
There is a dominant one who is the biggest called Frank (even though we think its a girl), Frank chirps the loudest and flaps a lot. Then there is Mash the middle one who's wings are not quite as big as Franks but tries to escape at every opportunity, likes to rip off the paper towels that line the box and run around with a bit in her beak so the others chase her!
and last the smallest fluffy one I called Katy Perry, she is adorable and if you pick her up and whisper shhh shhh near her head she falls asleep. When we take her out of the box to hold her Frank and Mash go mad chirping really loudly.
We think its great fun having the chicks and a real learning curve for all of us not just the boys.
They don't half poop a lot though, we seem to clean out the bedding twice a day and they just keep on pooping, it brings the reality of intensely reared chickens and the amount of crap they stand in home, thank god we changed to eating free range/free to roam chickens.

since this pic was taken 2 days ago the wings are much bigger!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Spring in my step

Wow! is it march already, I always mean to write more on my blog and think often of doing it but then something else comes up, here's just a few things that have happened since my last post....

Making boxes inspired by American artist and sculptor Joseph Cornell, We learnt about surrealism and the artists and movement. Cornell's most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects, so the boys had a root around and these are what they came up with. The bottom one tells the story of a man being attacked by a bear, the bear is hiding behind the tinfoil curtain!

Next we had some sad news, our oldest ratty Rexy got very ill and died, we stayed up till gone 3am nursing him but in the end it was no use, he's now in ratty heaven.

Where one life ends another begins, so we was pleased to find a load of frog spawn in the pond, since taking this picture Im sure they have doubled in size!

We had a lovely days bike ride on a warm day - the first I hope of many!, We went to woodland gardens and saw loads of birds, beautiful coloured crocus' and this years first bluebells (for us anyway) it made me realise just how I love the spring.

I came up with a great idea, my youngest is very picky with food and he takes one look at something and goes bleugh! then with the tip of his tongue licks a tiny amount and straight away says "I dont like it". It pees me right off especially if Ive been in the kitchen ages cooking, so the idea is we make our own cookery book, the kids take photos, draw the ingredients and get involed chopping and cooking, we eat it and if its good it goes into a binder. So we made butternut squash coconut curry taken from the use it all cookbook

you need,
1 butternut squash, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 sweet potato, coconut milk, 1 chilli, onion, 1/2 tsp ginger, juice of a lime, 1/2 tsp tumeric, 30ml oil. You can add lemongrass too but I couldn't find any. In the photo there is a swede but I didn't use it as there was loads, enough for 5 generous helpings.
1. Put onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli, tumeric, salt, lime juice and oil in a blender and whizz it up until its smooth (ours still had chunky onion in but we like it like that)
2. Peel the butternut squash, chop off both ends and then peel - this is tedious! chop in half and remove all seeds- kids loved this bit as there are tons, we kept ours to dry out and plant in the veg patch.
3. Peel sweet potato, chop both into cubes
4.Put the paste into a wok and fry for a couple of mins, add veg and stir to coat them in paste
5.Add coconut milk (marks and spencer do a great one 89p) mix well
6.Cook gently uncovered for 15-20 mins until veg is tender, keep stirring now and then to stop it sticking. Add a bit of water if juice is running out before veg are cooked, ours took about half hour but I cut the veg into big cubes.
7.Serve with rice and nann breads, I used home made flat bread.
Guess what it went down a treat but the little one still didn't eat it all!!

Chick, chick chick chicken lay a little egg for me.....
look what we brought home from our home school group meeting! These are one day old and boy do they make a noise! cheep cheep really loudly, once we sorted out they home though they settled down, I am so pleased Im mummy hen!!