Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nonexistent chicks

Another update on the Havo-Bator incubator that we had 42 eggs in.  We now have 29 eggs.  The rest just didn't fertilize.  For obvious reasons, either the rooster was lazy or the hens didn't "take".  Or perhaps the eggs had got chilled, whatever.  Half this incubator was to be our friends chicks, and half ours.  The results aren't near what I was hoping and praying for, but I will keep praying for the rest of the eggs to mature.  I have added 6 little bantam eggs to the incubator and they seem good.

The first batch of chicks will start hatching April 7-8, 2nd batch around April 15-16.  Once we see the results of batch #1, I may start another incubator full for a late hatch in April.

I'll keep you posted.  You should have seen my face as I was cracking open those empty eggs...just hoping that they were empty and that I wasn't cracking open a live one!  Oh if I were to kill a chick!  yuck!  Thankfully, in an awful way, they were all duds!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Farewell Dinner for Little Horse Lodge

When we first moved to BC, I started to work at Little Horse Lodge within 2 days of arriving.  My Mom was working there, but didn't want to work full we split it up and were both happy.  Fast forward a few years and they have now leased out the business to another couple and the previous owners are moving on.  They were a family from Germany with wonderful German cooking skills and I will forever miss the Spaetzle and Rouladen.  Here are a few photos of the February farewell evening.

Elli and her friends sang some golden oldies

A typical view of Katie in the kitchen

Caught ya Dieter!

 Mom, Elli, myself
Myself, Mom and Katie

Around Valentines Day Elli had a little going away party for the previous worker's children.  They ate lots and lots of Spaetzle (noodle) and had ice cream!

This little ones Mom never lets me take her ....  isn't she adorable?

Chicken Eggs Day 11 Update

I tried to get a good photo shoot with our little peeps in the incubator, but they prove to be a little difficult to photograph within the shell!  ha ha.  We went onto YouTube and found some great videos of people testing their eggs for fertility around day 5 and also what the chick embryo looks like around Day 11.
So we took our little eggs into my darkened bedroom, used a flashlight shining out from a cardboard box/tube to focus the light on the egg.
This is day 11, you can see an obvious air sac at the bottom, then a dark circle (eye ball) and then the rest is darkened.  This one was moving around!  The darkened is the little chick.

To the middle right you can see a darkened line, that is actually the beginning of a chick!  Like a human ultrasound, it's a spine.

See the dark blob circle?  That is an eye ball and chick forming around day 8

This is one of the little wee bantam eggs around day 5.  Definite blob,eye, and vessels.
We checked all the eggs that we had started March 17th on March 28th.  We threw away 5 eggs.  2 eggs had not done anything, so infertile.  3 had started, then died.  They had an obvious darkened red ring around the blob...they say that happens sometimes because of the incubator.
We actually saw some chicks moving back and forth inside the eggs!  It was so cool!  I tried to video tape it, but my camera abilities don't do it.  If you stop by I'll try to show you one!  God is so good.

Below is another incubator the gently rotates the eggs back and forth and keeps a pretty even temperature.  We started these eggs on March 23rd, but unfortunately I'm not seeing a lot going on in these eggs yet.  Some seem completely clear, a few shows signs of having a darkened area.  The white bantam eggs in here are showing great stuff!  One egg we had was super large, but only 1 yoke, so we started it and we can see it is fertile and has started to develop.

See the huge egg on the bottom left?  It's working, even though I've put it on the mesh because it wouldn't let the thing rotate!  If this big egg hatches out, we said we're naming it Kris, from a friend's older brother... 
he's a tall one and the girls like to tease.  If it's a hen, maybe it will be Kris-tina or Kris-tie...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Date night at the Office

Yes, we're a little weird.  We dropped our girls off at a local play "Annie" with friends, then we went back to hubby's office to do some phone calls relating to the sale of our house.  We also brought some DVD's along and had a date night!
Whoever said you can't have fun with no money?  A change is as good as a rest.  This was  a first.
Coffee with hot chocolate = Mocha.  Strawbabies and whipcream.

A double digit birthday girl!

I have been neglectful in blogging about our middle child's milestone double digit birthday!  The big 10!  What a blessing she has been to us for 10 whole years!  Her name means friendship, companion and that she is!
 Here they are making cookies to decorate.  Little animal shapes for the tea party.
Ruth's fav animal is the giraffe, so they made a pin the tail on the giraffe.

 We started off in the evening with a pizza meal and her favourite Root Beer.

 Next morning was a dolly tea party

Using licorce as a straw of course...very dainty!

Daddy wakes up to smell the tea!  Friend is acting scared of weird man.

Younger sister is modelling the oreo crumb teeth look and a lady bug treat from the birthday party they just got home from!

Opening her gift from her friend.

Josephina got a new bonnet and blanket.

My big surprise that took forever to do as I was trying to be "sneaky".  Ever try to be sneaky when you are homeschooling your children?  I managed to sew her a dress.  It's a little bit big, but she's wearing it!
The dress!

Lots of dress up, lots of dancing, lots of giggling.

The older brother popped by, ate some cake and then got roped into "pin the tail on the giraffe"  

Gregg and I were wondering about this game...when the key on the string end up at you (like musical chairs), you have to remove one item on your person.  So they ended up with a bunch of clothes and misc. in the middle.  I had to tell myself that this was not strip poker and it was a kids game!  ha ha

We surprised her that night with a few Playmobil sets we had got for 1/2 price at a local shop, Fascination Street in 100 Mile House, BC.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

UPdate on little peeps..the eggs that is!

I "candled" all the 34 eggs in the round incubator last night.  They all have weird masses in them.  A few seem maybe just blobs, but others have vessels and spots, so I'm hoping they are developing.  Today is day 8.  I candled a regular egg to see the difference, so I'm praying they are going good.

We've started one more incubator on March 23rd with 40 eggs plus 7 little bantem eggs.  I will post some pictures when I can and edit this entry.  Maybe I'll even learn how to add a video when they start hatching!

I'm glad not all of you find this boring!  Just knowing that you are interested, I will keep updated.  I took some photos in the dark of me peaking inside, but they just look like a glowing egg!  haha.

Until later,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jewish traditional feasts and celebrations

Walk with Y'shua through the Jewish Year
This is a great 1st resource if you'd like a brief introduction into the Jewish feasts, history and celebration.  We do these with our girls and it brings an appreciation and depth to the Bible stories because we can understand more of the traditions and customs. 

It gives good suggestions for crafts, foods, celebrations all
geared towards children.
We have just passed "Purim" ~ celebrating Queen Esther and the rescue of the Jews from Haman's plot to destroy them all.  We personally read the story of Esther to our girls from "Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories".  It is really good and we have been working our way through the whole Bible that way.
The next celebration is Passover (Easter is the "pagan" celebration name, but for ease of conversations, we will refer to it as either Easter or Passover so as not to confuse others).  Passover celebrates how the angel of death passed over the Israelites and then Pharoah let the people go!  Jesus celebrated Passover (Lord's Supper) with his disciples and then Jesus became the lamb that was slain for the sins of us all. For the Jews, they searched for the "afikomen" instead of eggs...we have celebrated a traditional "seder" meal with a Rabbi and it has forever changed my view point on communion, etc.  The children often search for little gold wrapped coins.  You can easily search "Passover" on the internet and find some great activities that you could add to your own special gatherings in April!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Incubating chicken eggs

As you may know, our daughter Kate has a laying hen operation of 25 brown ISO sex-link 1 rooster, Cornpops.  We have been wanting to try our hand at incubating some eggs and pray for a good outcome of some fluffy little chicks.
We saved eggs for a few days, making sure they didn't get chilled and picking only the nicest, cleanest eggs we had.  We did not wash them, as that could remove their natural protection.   Nana read that the rounder eggs are hens, the pointy ones are roosters.  We had a hard time telling, so maybe they will all be roosters and end up in the roasting pan! 
Here the girls are marking a "X" and "O" on opposite sides for ease of turning.

Empty incubator borrowed from a friend.  The little 60 w.chandelier bulb is attached to a sensor and if it gets too hot, the light dims or goes off for awhile.  There is also a little fan below and a little trough for some water to keep the humidity around 50% for the first while.  The little dividers keep eggs separated and then I just turn the whole base a little and they rotate.  We bought a thermometer with an added humidity check.  We check to make sure an X is up 1 night, then O the next.

Adding eggs to the incubator.  I had plugged the incubator in for a day as trial beforehand, but it took me 3 more days to get the heat even.  I thought I may have cooked the poor the little eggs the first day, but being at 100-101 for a few hours didn't seem to
affect them.

We started March 17, 2011 and as of March 22nd, I tested 3 eggs by shining a flashlight under them in a dark room....they have something floating around in them!  A little black spot, then a tail (spine?) and some stringy looking things. 
We are praying the bother is worth it in the end~  What a great homeschool project! 
Hubby made a little enclosure for the little chicks to keep warm in and we will take some photos of that later and keep you updated.