We spent our morning resting and and doing work around the farm...then it was off to the lake. We enjoyed our time together; the only one missing was Randy (we love you). Scott and Charles both went water skiing, dropping one ski then skiing slalom. They both amaze me. Ethan's finger is healing so he drove the boat. We are thankful for the sacrifice of our veterans that we could enjoy such a day and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are currently serving in our military. Charles' first time on the boat.
Scott skiing slalom and looking good. He got right up his first time, then dropped a ski.
Scott skiing slalom.
Scott and Becky.
Charles skiing slalom. He is so athletic and reminds me of Scott when he was young!
Charles skiing and getting some air. You ought to see him ski and the spray he could make!
Ethan at the helm.
We stopped so Charles could do some rock climbing on nearby cliffs.
Today is chicken butchering day...our chickens are 8 weeks old. We've been raising and butchering our chickens for 20 years so we've got the process down. I've blogged the pictures in order so you can see how we do things from start to finish. It really isn't that bad. It's a lot of work but so worth it. The chicken is delicious and we like knowing they are naturally grown with no hormones or antibiotics. By the end of the day we are all tired and we usually don't eat chicken for a week or so! Sure missed you today Randy :)
Here are the chickens in our chicken house, eight weeks old.
Ethan's job was to catch the chickens and take them to the cones.
The chickens are place in the cones upside down and Charles cuts their juggler vein...enough said.
After the chickens are dead they get scalded...that's my job. We keep the water temp around 150 degrees. I dip and swirl the chickens around in the hot water for less than a minute and they are ready for the plucker.
Here is Scott using the plucker. It's a barrel with rubber fingers. The electric motor spins the barrel around and rubs the feathers off.
Here's a close up of the plucker. The chicken is plucked in less than a minute.
The finished chicken.
The next step is a rinse and we cut the feet off.
We put the chickens in an old chest freezer filled with water and ice to get them nice and cold. These chickens have been soaking for over 4 hours and ready for butchering.
Ethan, Scott and Charles at the butchering table. Scott made this table years ago with a funnel in the middle to throw all the guts in. My job was to wash and bag up the chickens and put them in the freezer. I also take care of the gizzards. I slice them and peel the lining away. Sounds gross, but Scott loves fried gizzards.
The finished chicken, ready to be bagged and frozen for a delicious winter dinner.
Took Ethan to the ER today...he accidentally sliced his finger while using an electric hedge trimmer. He was helping some friends in our church trim their hedge line and got his finger in the way. It was a small cut requiring 3 stitches and a lesson learned. He's fine. A super nice PA stitched him up. We got to talking and she mentioned she went to school at BYU. I told her I was from Orem and we talked the whole time. Small world.
Scott asked "Hey, You want to go water skiing?" I answered with hesistation and said I'll go for a boat ride and watch you. It was a beautiful evening, and the water was warm and like glass. Once we were out there I got up my courage and said I'll go first! Now I haven't been water skiing for 20 years (at least) and was wondering If I could even get up. To make a long story short, I got up on the 6th try and was so tickled, because I was actually water skiing again. Yes, this ol' girl still has it. Not bad for the 49 year old birthday girl!
I'm ready to get in...and wondering if I can do this!
Once I was up, it was like getting back on a bicycle...a much older bicycle for sure.
Here I am again, all smiles :)
Scott, at the helm.
Ethan enjoying the boat ride.
Ethan's first time up on skiis. It only took him several tries and he was up.
Tonight was academic awards night for the Cherokee High underclassmen. Ethan was honored in the areas of math and science...he's got a math mind like his Dad and his brothers. We are so proud of his accomplishments.
Randy left for Columbus, Georgia to begin his co-op at Kysor/Warren as a design engineer. What a great opportunity for him. We wish him the best of luck and God's protection while he is there. After a quick prayer together and a goodby visit with our dear neighbors, he was off...We love you Randy. PS. Happy Birthday Scott and Bud♥ Randy checking the oil in his truck.
Today we took the boat out for the first time. We stopped for a picture, loaded the tubes and backed the boat in the water. Scott, Josh, Ethan and I were in the boat while Randy and Preston took care of the boat trailer. That's as far as we got....the motor wouldn't start. Scott cranked and did everything he could. It was a windy day and the boat was drifting all during this time. Josh and Ethan got in the water and kept the boat from hitting the other shore line, eventually swimming and pulling us back to the boat ramp. Needless to say, we all headed home very disappointed. While the battery was charging I made nachos for the men and they watched Disney's Tall Tale. Scott went into town and bought new plugs for the boat and by 8:00pm the motor came to life...it was like music to our ears. The men quickly put pants/jackets on as it was down to 60 degrees and headed out to the lake for a quick spin. They all got back and said "she's smooth!" As I'm blogging they're sitting around the table eating homemade pizza,talking and telling stories... it was still a good day.
Scott, Josh, Preston, Randy and Ethan ready to take the boat out for the first time.
I love spring time in Tennessee with the hills turning beautiful shades of green splattered with red buds and dog woods. This spring was much awaited with our cold, snowy winter. Right now our irises are in bloom. I got my camera out and took several pictures around our yard for you.
Today we transferred our chickens from the brooder to the "chicken house". They're one month old and growing fast. Gone are our beautiful little chicks with their yellow down...now they are white, dirty and poop a lot. They're happy to have the extra room to run around in. They'll stay here for about another 7 weeks or so until butchering time.