Chicken Boy

Ryan and Juliana went with Amber a few weeks ago and got a whole mess of checks. Ryan likes to check them every day to make sure they’re OK and bond with them.

He finds worms and feeds them to the chickens, and carries the chickens around so they can be used to him. This is his favorite. Her name is Peggy.

Body by Ryan

Source: Body by Ryan

I am pressing this post by my daughter Melissa Cochran, an artist who delights in painting funny impressions of some of the characters my kids have created in our wacky goofy family fun.  Click on the source link above to see the painting evolve and check out the video at the bottom of her blog post to see a hilariously funny family video my kids made one year, highlighting an abusive exercise instructor!  Horrible!!

The Hay Got Wet!


This morning when I came out to feed the horses I noticed the hay was wet. Yesterday it rained all day, and the water seeped through the unprotected boards that are the walls of the barn. That is bad. Nobody wants wet moldy hay!

As you can see in this photo, the walls are not complete, and there is no protective siding yet to keep the hay dry.

Breeze through area with hay and saddle areas along the left wall.

When I woke I noticed that the day had dawned glorious and sunny, though the weather report said rain. I seized the day. The sunshine meant we could work in dry conditions as we put siding up on the barn. The siding will keep the inside walls dry which in turn will keep the hay dry, and the tack, and everything else. I’m so delighted with the beautiful weather today.

The siding we are using was donated by a man in Washington.  I am using cement based siding on the lower rows, and wood pressed siding on the upper rows.


Juliana brushing Bae in the area soon to be stalls.

Ryan on the Dingo (or) Playing in Poo

I rented the Toro Dingo yesterday to make post holes with the auger and to widen the little road going into our backyard with a little front loader. As I was working I realized, “Hey, this would be a fun thing for Ryan to learn how to do.” So I called him out.

While on the dingo, Ryan took out an old stump for me and consolidated the manure pile. Who said work can’t be fun? I love tools!

Getting the Teenagers Involved in the Barn Building

My daughter Juliana’s friends came to help build the barn!  These are friends from her homeschool group.  They donated their time as a service project.  I am so grateful for their help.  They each came for several days and helped for many hours!  What a great learning project for them and a great help to me!!  Thanks Ephraim, Isaiah, and Stephen!

Building a Barn With Kids

From playing in the texture of the hardened cement,

To driving the screws after the board is set in place,

To filling in the gap’s above the cement, 

Kids can feel, and be, useful on a project like this.

My daughter Melanie and her husband Kevin set all the vertical post in place for me because I wasn’t physically able to do it. Then I offered to watch her kids, knowing that they would help me do the walls whenever I had a little energy to work on it!

We work for a little bit then they get 30 minutes video game time before the next small job.  When there 30 minutes is up, of playing time, they can do something else or come ask for another job so they can earn more time. This seems to work very well for everyone.  They like to stay at grandmas house because they get to play, and having them stay with me is easier because they help me work. Of course I just love hanging out with them anyway!

This reminds me of when my children were young. They were always helping me with projects. They learned a lot that way too.

My Amazing Crew of Young Men!

 Digging out a bush is hard work! With my health so poor that exertion makes me winded and my heart race, having a crew of young men is an amazing thing.
When my two young grandchildren begged to stay with me for a couple days, I warned them I would put them to work. They eagerly agreed so today we are creating a space for the next vegetable herb garden.

I am very proud of them. I give them breaks every hour to play games for 30 minutes, and then we get back to work. We will have ice cream treats when we’re finished.

Update: after trying to pull the stump out with the truck, and having the rope break, my grandson put his back against the wall and pushed with his feet and knocked the stump loose. It was only a matter of minutes until they had pulled it completely out.