Tomorrow we are leaving for New Jersey to spend Christmas with our relatives. We will be leaving Thursday morning after loading up the car and taking Neo to the kennel and will be returning Tuesday. We are taking Lily to New Jersey with us and my Aunt is bringing her dog whose name is Lily also. My aunt is also bringing her Wii and we are bringing our Xbox so we are going to have some competitions at setting new records. This year when we went to the beach she brought the Wii and we were trying to break each others records. All three of us kids have finished our speeches for speech class. So on the three to four hour drive to New Jersey we are going to start memorizing our speeches.
The Thursday before this past one (the 10th I think) Peanut our gerbil died. We have had her for about three years. Anna buried her somewhere in the woods. Now we only have one gerbil left. But I am pretty sure we are not going to get another one because we have 46 chicken and ducks to take care of.
This Friday, the same day it started snowing we lost two of our younger chicks. One was a chick that our hen hatched and the other was a Welsummer rooster.She was a Speckled Sussex (brown with speckles) mixed with a Buff Orpington (golden).
The rooster on the right with the smaller comb is the one who was eaten. But since we had 10 roosters which is way too many for us we were going to eat him anyway.
After dark dad and Anna went to lock up the coop when they discovered that two of the chickens were missing. After looking around for a while our dog Neo found the carcasses. The heads were missing on both of them and some of the guts were eaten on one. We think either a raccoon or a possum got both of them. But next time if I see something is eating our flock then I shall proceed to shoot it with my air rifles.
This past Friday (the 18th) we went and saw Avatar in the theater. The reason we went is because dad got free movie tickets from his work place. So Dad, Anna, and I went and saw the new movie Avatar (Thomas did not feel like going). We chose to watch it in 3D which was pretty cool. The movie itself was pretty good and the graphics were absolutely stunning. It took a while for me to realize that everything except for the human parts was done on a computer. After the movie we brought home some pizza. But at about four or five o'clock it started to snow. And it kept on snowing all day Saturday also. The snow built up to about a foot high everywhere: on the deck, on the cars, on the coop, and even in the woods it was a foot high. It built up so much on the coop sombody would have to go out there every couple of hours to knock off the snow because we were afraid that the coop roof would collapse since it is only made of PVC pipe.
Lily had to "swim" in the snow.
The snow was up to your knees and was very tiring to walk in.
Sadly the snow was too powdery to make snowmen or have snowball fights :( . But my dad and I still were able to have a snowball fight, but technically it was a shovel fight. We were shoveling the steps when we started heaving shovel fulls of snow at each other :p .
A lot of things have happened in the past couple months and we've been pretty busy so I am trying to put everything in a nutshell in this post. Every Tuesday I have science class. The teacher used to teach physics but now he is teaching me and two other kids science. He give us quite a bit of homework on top of my regular schoolwork so that keeps me busy. Another thing that keeps all three of us kids busy is debate/speech class. We posted about it last year when Thomas was doing it but now Anna is also doing it. This year's topic is on water pollution. I shall once again try to "summarize" debate the best I can. In debate there are two teams: an Affirmative and a Negative. The Affirmative team basically tries convince the judge that the status quo(way things are now) needs to be changed. And the Negative team tries to convince the judge that the status quo does not need to be changed. There are many more details but this is basically what debate is.
I am not in the same class as Anna and Thomas. I am in the junior varsity class with kids twelve years of age and under. The junior varsity class does not debate. Instead I am participating in Impromptu and apologetic speeches. Impromptu is basically a improvised speech where you get a quote or topic, two minutes to organize your thoughts, and five minutes to give your speech. Apologetics is a speech defending the christian faith.It is almost the complete opposite from Impromptu time-wise. It is a prepared speech instead of an improvised one. There are four or five different topics to chose from. I chose "what makes Christianity different from other religions". The whole speech can be eight minutes long. After I finish writing my speech I then have to memorize all of it(yikes! 8-O). I almost forgot to say this but Anna and Thomas' class does all of the other events too. So as you can see we have a lot of stuff to do.
Alright now I shall try and catch you up on the happenings at Lockwood Woods. First off the same week we got our stumps removed mom had her birthday and we got a wood burning stove. Now I could tell you all about mom's birthday but this post is called "Summary" so I am just going to "summarize" it. We went out to eat, opened presents, and ate cake and ice cream (yum yum). Now a wood burning stove has always been on our to do list so we finally got it. And it is wonderful we are enjoying heating our home without having to use our expensive propane. Okay moving along. I do not know if I am going in order but we planted grass in our clearing now that we got the stumps out. BeforeAfter
We found this praying mantis on our door one day. For the past two or three years we have hatched praying mantis egg sacs. We would buy two or three egg sacs off of Ebay (go figure) each containing hundreds of babies. We would release them outside hoping that they would grow up and eat all the pesky bugs that munched on our garden. We would keep ten or so for ourselves inside. But this year we didn't want to have to take care of them so we just put the egg sacs outside and hoped for the best. So I guess this proves that they hatched. The above picture is an adult Asian mantis. ---
On November 7 we went hiking on the Appalachian trail with our friends the Middletons from church. I will post pictures from our trip some other time but for now here is one picture of a waterfall.(click on so it will "blow up") ---
On November 13 Thomas turned 18! He was just recovering from being sick though. That day we had debate and speech class. So after debate we ate dinner at Chipotle. They have really big buritos that are as my uncle put it "like eating footballs". We were starving after eating a light lunch so we were able to scarf down the whole thing. After dinner we went home and opened presents, we did not however eat cake right away after eating those big burritos.
The ducks and chickens are doing fine. The chickens are slowing down a little bit in production since it is getting cold. We only get nine or ten chicken eggs per day. But the ducks are still going strong at five or six a day. A chicken egg on the left and a duck egg on the right(notice the huge difference).
We sell our eggs at dad's work place and Lavender Fields Farm. We are just keeping up with the demand between dad's work and Lavender Fields. Here are the Welsummers and the Americana getting bigger.Here are the Light Brahmas. They are going to be bigger then all the others in our menagerie of chickens.
One day Thomas came into the house with a turtle that he had found somewhere in the yard. After showing everybody he put it back outside.
For Thanksgiving we just stayed home. We cooked a turkey, made mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. After we gorged ourselves we laid back and watched the Dallas Cowboys play. ---
On December 1st Dad had his birthday. For dinner he chose the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops. It was really neat because as you were eating you could watch fish swimming around. The food was pretty good, we ordered calamari(squid) as an appetizer and dad got some Alligator that we all tried. It was good except that it was really spicy. After dinner we did the usual cake, ice cream, and presents.
A couple of weeks ago we bought a buggy. We saw one for sale one day driving to church. So on the way back we stopped by and the nice lady told us about it and let Dad drive it while I sat in the passenger seat. Long story short, we have a buggy and we love driving it on our dirt road and drive way. Now instead of riding my bike I can just take the buggy. It's top speed is 38 mph.
A couple of weeks ago we got some two or three inches of snow that lasted two days. But yesterday(18th) we got a foot of snow! I will get some pictures later.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.