There have been many changes around Crazy Acre Farm recently (what my husband calls our small town homestead)!! First of all, we currently have 40 chickens and ducks in our backyard (at least until it is time to butcher the meat birds) with the addition of a rooster!!
The kids have named him Rocky. Isn’t he cute??? He is a Golden Polish.
A friend of mine hatched a bunch of eggs this year and almost all of them turned out to be roosters! Since you can only have one rooster per so many hens or so much space (without lots of fighting), she had been working on getting rid of them. Unfortunately she was unable to get anyone to take the last two, so she asked if we would like to butcher them for dinner. I told her that would be great, but this little guy was so cute and sweet (he was definitely NOT the dominate rooster) that we decided to keep him!!! David is VERY against having a crowing rooster though (doesn’t want trouble with the neighbors given our already good sized flock) so we have been training him with a homemade anti-crow collar. Rocky is not a big fan of the collar, but he prefers it to becoming soup! We only use it for training purposes, and it seems that he does not crow in the mornings. He only seems to crow when the flock wants more food….which we are ok with!
It is just a piece of 2″ wide industrial strength velcro from the hardware store. It is adhesive so we stuck the hook side and loop side together using the adhesive. Then we just wrap it around his neck. You really don’t have to get it tight. The trick is making sure it is long enough.
This is a shot of David feeding a majority of our flock peas….they LOVE peas!!!!!
And another shot of Rocky
And a shot of Jessica feeding some of our chickens out of her hand!
I also finally got the porch cleaned up!!!!
We’ve also had some changes around the inside of our Farm House due to some behavioral issues. It started with some ungrateful attitudes, so I took all of their toys and locked them in a closet. That ended up working so well, that we stripped their room mostly bare and have had a much better time getting them to sleep! We also took away the tablets for the same reason. They do occasionally get them, but their behavior is better without them. My kids are sensory seekers, but I think even though they seek stimulation, they were getting overstimulated. Then we had an issue with one of the children pooping on the floor and hiding it (yes even kids with Autism that can talk and understand sometimes have pretty big toileting issues)…..sooooo……we ended up putting them in two separate rooms (besides that we have trouble getting them to keep their clothes on in their rooms and with a boy and a girl that just seemed to be asking for trouble). It required an entire weekend of moving furniture around to make it work, and a week or two after that of me find places for everything that used to be in some of those rooms! But it looks GREAT now!!!!
Jessica’s new room!
We kept it rather spartan to make sure she wasn’t too overstimulated but also to make it easier for her to keep it clean. We have had a difficult time getting her to clean her room, and I think she usually is just overwhelmed by all the things that need to be put away.
A view of the whole room. Jessica’s art teacher (we hire a college student to come to the house and teach Jessica art) is helping her paint a garden theme on the walls in her room! (and isn’t the garden outside her room pretty???)
These are two water fairies Jessica drew, and her art teacher painted!
These are some butterflies they had done previously. The two on the right are Jessica’s, and the two on the left are her art teacher’s!
A view of the door going out into the hallway.
I had to put in a picture of the bathroom because if you can see in that cabinet, I have gone to great lengths to have all natural hygiene products!!!
And now we come to John’s room!
I keep a quilt spread out for him to play on as we haven’t been able to remove the polyester carpet in his room yet.
Maybe when he quits drawing on the walls, etc I will decorate his room…
And he has really enjoyed “making food” recently, so we moved the play kitchen into his room with a small table!
With all of these changes, I had to change up the furniture in our room as well, and it does finally look like a room instead of a closet where I would throw everything to keep the kids out of it!
Definitely has an antique feel to it, and I like it!!
And in this shot you can see the large gun cabinet and tv in the mirror…not quite so antique….
In order to avoid throwing stuff back into our room, I cleaned out the laundry room so I would have a space for all of my projects (painting, sewing, etc)….a larger room would have been ideal….but this is all that was left outside of the room and closets that David uses. But, I like it….it’s bright, cheerful, and cozy! :-)
What can I say? I have a gift for maximizing small spaces! :-) I want to hang a finished cross-stitch piece over the thread rack, but that would require me actually finishing it….
I also went to the trouble of installing locking doors on: the pantry, the laundry room, Jessica’s bedroom, the bathroom, David’s office, our bedroom, and our craft/toy closet to keep John OUT!!!! There is also a lock on John’s door so he can be locked in his room in the event that I need to make sure he doesn’t get into anything dangerous. His language seems to be developing very atypical. We are about to get an EEG, IQ test, Hearing evaluation, and a Speech evaluation to try and get to the bottom of it. The problem is that he sounds perfectly normal, but once you really talk to him, he will answer questions very oddly. For example, “John what is your picture of?” “This is how you do it because this is how you do it!” or “John how did you hurt yourself? What did you hurt yourself on?” “I hurt myself because I hurt myself!!” Can’t argue with his logic, but on the whole, it is rather useless. I have recently started teaching him to read again because that is how we taught him to say “I love Mommy.” Funny thing is that he has no problem memorizing new words, but he has had the hardest time with figuring out HOW to read (going from left to right, top to bottom, and understanding that when I point to a word that means I want him to read it, oh and which word am I trying to point at)! Jessica on the other hand is so painstakingly slow that it makes you want to stab yourself in the eye!!!!! It’s not her fault. It is definitely a processing problem because sometimes she will give me a synonym of the word she is reading….so somewhere between taking in what the word is and then trying to communicate that back to me….we get really stalled out!!! It is just going to take LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of practice to build up those neural pathways!!!!!
I made John a new pair of shoes the other day! He calls them his “Jesus Shoes.”
We have lots of big appointments this week and over the next month or so to try and figure out John’s processing issue (or if it is seizures or something else) and all of our autoimmune/food issues. We had been trying to add all foods back in to get a complete list of which foods cause what symptoms and just ignore my arthritis (hoping that it was not food related), but I got to be in so much pain that we had to stop. We got some bloodwork drawn, and all of our numbers were off. Interestingly (although not really surprising to me), I tested as not having a rheumatoid factor but having a high white count, low platelet count, and high Eos, likely indicating some type of allergic reaction. I have been able to verify a few things in the last couple weeks though: 1) I cannot tolerate even minute amounts of gluten or soy 2) Legumes are NOT my friend 3) Sugar does not appear to be my friend 4) John does NOT do well with corn or dairy. Hopefully they will have some new ideas for us because we have tried most diets now, and the only thing that doesn’t leave me in debilitating pain is a diet of rice, soy-free meat, bananas, and one or two veggies.
I could use prayers for peace, patience, wisdom, and guidance….and I think our immunologist could use prayers for wisdom and guidance as well (he’s been such a blessing but I think we have been a bit of a challenge to try and figure out)!
***Oh! And I almost forgot!! By the end of the week, we should have 10 more baby chicks (Cornish Hens)….bringing the total on our property up to 50!!!! Yikes!!!! :-)