Saturday, May 28, 2011

Congratulations Stephanie!

The Stetson family now has our very own Livestock Advisor.  As of Wednesday, May 25th, Stephanie is a certified livestock advisor through WSU. 

We Surprised her with a terrible song we wrote to the tune of "happy birthday" and gave her a fancy cupcake.

Good Job Steph!  That was a lot of work and time you put into this!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A few more miles

An obstacle course makes getting our miles in more fun!

You can see kiddos running in the distance over by the lake.

The stomach flu brought us down to just 3 runners today but it was a nice day to be outside.

Elayna wanted me to show you that she found grass "as tall as I am"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jogging to Idaho

Yep!  The Stetson children are jogging to Idaho.  Ok, well they are jogging across the map on our wall to Idaho by adding up all of their exercise each day and turning it into miles.  What is in Idaho you ask?   Triple Play!  And some hiking around our favorite ID State park and relaxing as a family.  Today they got 1.5 miles closer.  Well, give em a break they are just getting started after a long winter of being stuck indoors all day.

It was a great morning for running.  Since mom wasn't quite up for running Anna and mom walked the same route. 

Time to get moving!  We got into some bad habits during all this icky wet weather!

And yes they do get to each count their own miles so if all 3 of them run 1 mile it counts as 3 miles.  Not a bad start this morning kiddos!

Did you know:

  • Over the past two decades, the prevalence of children who are obese has doubled, while the number of adolescents who are obese has tripled.

  • According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey  31.9% of children and adolescents were overweight (BMI at or above the 85th percentile) and 16.3% were obese (BMI at or above 95th percentile).

  • 20% of children get less than 60 minutes a day of physical activity.

  • Friday, May 20, 2011

    A Perfect Day for Swim Lessons

    Anna and Elayna started swim lessons today!  It was Elayna's first time in Swim lessons.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect!  Sorry about the quality of the pictures.  The sun was working against me.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    The Blessing of Service

    Has anyone else ever noticed that when you think you are going to do service for someone in the community that you are the one who comes away feeling blessed?  A special day of blessings with our friends at the retirement home.

    Only these two seemed to understand the rules of this game!

    Lord thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share this time with each other and the residents.  Thank you for reminding us that they have so much wisdom and history to share with us and never let us think we are too busy to take time to come and listen.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011


    Have been meaning to post that we lost one of our sweet baby goats a couple weeks ago to coccidiosis.

    The Children found a peaceful spot in the woods to bury him and they have all been picking flowers and bringing them to his little grave.

    Since we suspect Bandit has the same disease we are working hard to save him.

    He has started eating brush and shrubs and seems to be feeling a bit better since then.  He loves the fresh, young blackberry vines.

    Did you know:

    Coccidiosis is a condition that is caused by a parasitic protozoan and is most often characterized in young kids by an onset of ill health and diarrhea that does not respond to usual treatments. Coccidiosis, often referred to as cocci, is species specific which means each species of animal has its own strain. In severe cases, blood will be observed in the fecal matter. Goats develop an immunity with age

    Credit to for the above definition.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Agatha the Excavator

    My favorite part of owning a little hobby farm is finding creative (cheap) solutions to the challenges that come up.   The challenge facing us this year is that we want to clear another acre of woods down.  We can't afford excavating equiptment but we do have a hungry pig.

     It is unbelievable how destructive she is.  That destructive nature may as well be put to good use.

    We got a solar powered fence charger.  There was some initial cost but it can be used to fence any of our critters in (or out) so it will get lots of use.

    I wanted to get pictures of us setting it up but it was so fast and easy there isn't much to show and we were racing against rain.  I know, shocker.

    Here she is in her new place clearing our first patch for us.  I should have taken a before picture, by the time I got down to take the picture the morning after she had already turned over most of the sod around the edges and trampled about half the vines down.  We hired the right girl for the job! :)

    Clearly this wasn't Agatha's first exposure to electric fence!  She leaves 2 inches or more between herself and the fence at all times.

    Unfortunately the baby goat and the dog had to learn the hard way.

    Did you know:
    Pigs are easy to control with electric fences due to their thin hair and large wet noses.  They learn very quickly and will respect the wire after just one or two lessons.  However, they will sometimes use the fence when they fight by pushing each other into it.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Bee update

    Time to update about the bees!  They are doing great considering the weather we have been having.  It has been so cold and wet.   

    Look how busy they are.  You can see how they are always working.  Either feeding the brood (babies), capping the brood, building the combs, gathering pollen and nectar, making honey for the colony to eat, cleaning the hive, taking out dead bees, guarding the hive from other insects and animals, scouting, and taking care of the queen by feeding her and cleaning her.  Bees do not take sick days, they do not get vacations and they don't have a retirement plan.  Young bees hatch, clean out their hole so the queen can re-use it, then they begin taking care of larva.  The end of their life is spent doing the most risky jobs like going out to gather nectar.  They work until they die and other bees drag their bodies out and drop them down into the grass.  The entire bee life cycle is only about 6 weeks so it is crucial that the brood are cared for and hatch successfully.

    Below is a neat picture even with the shadow partially blocking.  If you look close you can see bees in all stages.  Some larva,  they look like white slimy worms low and to the left of the capped off area.  Some eggs, they are white dots inside the open combs.  And some capped, with pupa in them, those are the closed yellow combs.  You can see some black frame at the bottom, that is what the frame looks like before they build their comb on it.  All the yellow you see is what they have built.  Is it amazing or what? 

    For extra credit can you find the queen below?

    When the frames are packed in tight the way they are suppose to be the bees follow our design for building their comb on each frame.  But if we leave too much space between frames as we did with the frame below they will start building outward.  They also build on top of the frames and attach to the top of the box.  So every time we lift the lid we break their comb they have been working on.  Kind of sad.  You can kind of see this in the very top picture.

    Did you know:  A queen bee can lay up to 3000 eggs a day at her peak?

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Music night!

    Thank you young musicians for sharing your talent with us tonight!

    The whole family came to watch Clara sing, Jacob play Base guitar and Kylie play flute.

    An evening with friends.

    Clara: Top row, third from the left

    Daddy and Elayna enjoying the music.

    Jacob performing as he came in, third in the line.

    The whole first year band. 
    Kylie: Flute, far right. 
     Guitars are standing on the left side.
    Jacob is the guitarist farthest on the right.

     Kylie: Far right.

    Jacob: right in the middle of the picture

    Hungry kids, almost too tired to eat, earned a trip to Denny's on the way home. 

    Good Job this year all of you!  Looking forward to watching you grow in the musical gifts God gave you!