Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Boy and His Board

Merry Christmas, Son! I'm writing this here, since I haven't seen much of you since Saturday. I've heard it will rain again soon, and I look forward to it, since it will mean you will be stuck inside again. See you soon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Meme

I was tagged by Ginger for "A Top Three" Meme. Here it goes....

My Top Three:

1. Favorite books: (SO very hard to narrow it down!)

The Bible
The Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind (currently listening to these, in Book 4)

2. Favorite desserts:

The caramel corn my daughter makes
A Big Hunk candy bar (a possible substitute?)
A Reimer's Honey Almond Nougat

3. Favorite ways to spend time:

With my family
At a library book sale
hiking in the mountains

Whom should I tag? I freely tag any who wish to play! Leave a comment and link so I can read your list!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas for the Crew

Clark Chatter

"How do you do Christmas?" is today's topic for the "Big Families and How They Do It" blog round-up.

The Crew keeps is pretty simple. We travel at Thanksgiving and share that day with our closest family. Then, sometime after December 1st, but NEVER before, we begin decorating. A few years ago, we bought a beautiful, high quality, artificial tree for 75% off after Christmas. This has saved us about $50 a year. I much prefer a real one, but trees are SO expensive here! I pull the tree box and the Christmas tubs out of the attic and let the Lambies get to work. I love that they are old enough to decorate! My Honey puts together the tree and they deck it beautifully. We set up our three nativities and the Christmas village.

I bring out the Christmas books and we turn on Christmas music (favorite funny/second favorite/third favorite). The Lambies draw names to exchange a gift with a sibling.

My Honey and I get gifts for the Lambies all year 'round so we don't feel much of a financial pinch in December and we can focus more on the REAL meaning of Christmas. We speak a lot about how the world celebrates and why and why we do it differently. We look for more opportunities to serve. We pray together. We read together. We play together.

I love this time of year!

I make a full Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing and all the fixings...then on Christmas we enjoy leftovers and I don't have to cook! The children exchange their gifts with each other. On Christmas Day, we read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible, pray and then open gifts. The rest of the day is spent playing.

Hope you enjoyed reading of Christmas with the Crew! Make sure to go to Ginger's blog and visit the other participants in the linky.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Crew went to Disneyland!

The Crew at Tom Sawyer's Island in Disneyland

We were so blessed to be able to participate in the Disney "Give a Day, Get a Day" promotion this year. We earned nine free tickets. The Lord provided for the rest of the funds and we were able to go this past week. We booked our hotel through Trips by Manny and were SO happy with it! It was a two bedroom suite with a living room, kitchen and two full bathrooms. We've never been in a hotel so nice. We didn't spend all the much time in the hotel, though.

When we arrived in SoCal, after checking into the hotel, we went toward downtown Disney. We were hungry and needed to eat fast, so we were looking for fast food that wouldn't give us too bad of tummyaches. We found a small burger joint called Al's Big Burger. The portions were HUGE and the food tasted good. No one was ill afterward which is a plus! They even included an ice cream in the very fair cost of the meal. We came back the next day for dinner again.

At Downtown Disney we headed straight for the Lego store. Too bad all three of our cameras were left in the hotel room! I snagged the pic of the giraffe above from the web. My very creative Lambies gathered all the brown Legos from the building areas and made an...a.... *ahem*.... pile to place under the giraffe. You should have seen the faces of the little kids that were planning to run under the giraffe, but noticed the pile. Noses wrinkled. One little kids even said that it smelled by the giraffe! LOL!

We bought two of the Lego games that we had never seen at Target. We were surprised to see that the prices at the Lego store were the same, or even a bit less than we'd seen at Target. They were quite a bit less than the prices on Amazon. We wandered the rest of Downtown Disney, enjoying the sites and smells (oh, the caramel corn!) till late. We watched the fireworks go off over Disneyland, then returned to the hotel. Some Lambies played one of the games with Dad, while some came with me to the hotel's gym. We used treadmills and elipticals, and I also got to visit with another guest that was vacationing from Australia.

We rolled into bed late, late, late, and got up about 6:30. We enjoyed the hotel's complimentary breakfast. It has been decided that we need a hotel quality waffle maker. Off we went to Disney proper. We did have to stand in line to exchange our Give a Day, Get a Day vouchers for actual tickets, but other than that, it was a smooth entry.

We were able to fit in every ride that we wanted to enjoy. Here's an incomplete rundown: Matterhorn was first. The entire Crew enjoyed the ride, with Troubles deciding that rollercoasters were not really his thing this time around. He didn't cry or anything, but he didn't want to go again. After that, I took most of the Lambies to Space Mountain. Poppa took Troubles to Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlasters and Nemo's Submarine ride. We all thought Space Mountain was the BEST! Even Missy enjoyed it.

We went to the left side of Disneyland next and enjoyed Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Troubles thought this one better than the Matterhorn) and Splash Mountain (not Troubles, but the other Lambies went twice, once with Mom, once with Dad). Troubles enjoyed Winnie the Pooh a couple of times along with seeing Pooh, Tiggar and Eeyore characters. He didn't want to sit with them, but he did enjoy seeing them.

We spent a good amount of time playing on Tom Sawyers Island. The treehouse and the caves were so much fun! Good resting time for Momma and Poppa, too.

When we returned to the main areas, we grabbed a fastpass for Indiana Jones and went back to Space Mountain. We watched the Captain EO Tribute then did the rollercoaster. Troubles and Poppa went on Buzz again, then they took the train ride around the park. While Poppa took most of the Lambies on Indiana Jones, Troubles and I explored Tarzan's Treehouse. What a workout! We went up and around s.e.v.e.n. times.

We walked through Main Street and enjoyed the snowfall. We left during the fireworks, by popular demand. The Lambies said they'd seen them y'day at Downtown Disney, so they wanted to go. Getting out was a bear, even though we left at the beginning of the rush. Next time I think we'll stay for an hour after the fireworks and see if it's better. ;)

I'm so thankful for the time we got to spend making memories and enjoying each other. Thanks again, Manny, for the great rooms, and to Mr. Disney for making his dream come true and creating all the jobs and opportunities for the families of America.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Little Angel of the Day: Olga


This is Olga. Doesn't she have the sweetest little smile? She is facing imminent disaster, though. She is almost to the age when she must leave her orphanage and be placed in a mental asylum. The children often do not live long after being transferred. It's a horrible system. The only hope of escape is foreign adoption.

Lily's momma, Patti, has been struck with Olga. She would love to adopt her herself, but doesn't meet the requirements. The Lord inspired her, though. Through a give-away, she is raising money to get Olga adopted. In just a week, she has raised over $5000 to help a qualified family adopt Olga. Are you that family? Could you welcome Olga and her beautiful, innocent heart into your family? If not, can you come alongside Patti and hundreds of others to help get this child of God to her forever family before it is too late? You may win an I-Touch or another gift, but that is hardly the point. You can help this little child of God in a very real way. What a privilege!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just For Fun

I read this list over at Rural Revolution. F.u.n.n.y!

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

24. The first testicular guard, the "cup," was used in hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big Families & How They Do It: Birthdays

Birthdays are a big deal around here. And they come often. Monthly, in fact. With the exception of May, we have a birthday or two every month from January to August. We started off having a party for each child for each birthday, like most other families. However, as our family grew, the number of parties became burdensome; to us and our friends! Who wants to throw or attend a party each and nearly every single month for eight months?

We began having simple, family only parties on each child's birthday. No pressure, no huge undertaking, just fun little parties. One year, each child got a fun little scavenger hunt that led to their gift. We also did a BIG 'once a year' party to invite friends. Then we began to decline presents from friends at the party, as we neither needed or really wanted any more stuff. The kids chose an organization to donate cash gifts to instead, and themed the party around that. We had a VOM "Balloons to North Korea" benefit party and one for God's Littlest Angels Orphanage in Haiti. These types of parties were a blessing to all involved and to others as well!

One year we took our friends to Pump It Up, an indoor bouncy-house gymnasium. We allowed gifts this time, asking in the announcement that they stay to the chosen theme of Legos. By offering a gift theme, we were able to avoid toys that would not fit well in our family and instead, we were able to build a well-loved collection that is used all the time.

One year, the children decided that they would like a cash present. Since they generally don't get a lot of cash, we went with it. Each child got cash along with a small gift and was able to save or spend it as they wished (with guidance, of course).

More recently, we simply have family parties for the birthday child on their day. I am entertaining the idea of another big party, as it's been a couple of years since our last one. I like changing it up and doing something different each year. I'll be entering into talks with the Lambies to get their ideas. Since birthday season is January through August, so we've not a whole lot of time until the first one.

What are your birthday celebrations like? Please share! Then click the button below to go to Clark Chatter and see the linky for other birthday party related posts.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

OCC Portrait

We had a family picture taken for Operation Christmas Child today at church. We're packing a couple of boxes and sending them on their way, along with a note and a picture. Have you plans to participate in OCC? It's a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving by actually giving!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Helpful Kitchen Charts

I often joke that my brain is full of holes; that I forget anything not written down somewhere. It's not really a joke. I remember important things like my Lambies' names, but little things can escape me if I'm not careful.

Like what temperature means chicken is done? What kind of salad green is in season this month? How many cups of grain do I need to grind to make X amount of flour? How do I use this gadget again? Where's the spare battery for the digital thermometer?

Well, for easy reference, I thought to make copies of some kitchen charts I liked and/or needed and I taped them inside my cupboards. I refer to them often and freed up brain space at the same time!

When the cupboards are closed, there's no cluttery mess yet I have the info I need at a moments notice. It works for me!

ETA: You can click the pictures for a bigger view. I tried to get clear enough pics so you could read the charts. Hopefully they'll be helpful info for someone on them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Autumn!

We are in full swing with autumn activities. Watching and cheering for our favorite football teams, making lots and lots of applesauce and apple jams, butters and jellies, beginning the seasonal canning of beans, soups and stews, waiting anxiously for the leaves to finally turn and fall, so they can be played in...

We are done with our first term of school. We're going to be on 'vacation' for a week or two, meaning that one big job around the house gets done each day, then everyone has free time. The main jobs on the docket: The Great Clothes Swap, featuring a thinning of clothes this year, Cleaning Bedrooms to the Edges and Corners, including closets and under the beds, a thinning and organizing of the library, including pictures when done, shampooing of the carpets of the living room and family room and a scrubbing and bleaching of kitchen counter grout. I'd sure like concrete counter tops! The Lambies are hoping for a fresh coat of paint on their bedroom walls. We will see. That seems to be a job that needs more time than we will have.

What's been keeping you busy?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wascally Wabbit!

Troubles decided he wanted to pretend to be a rabbit this afternoon. He drew, colored and cut out wabbit ears, whiskers and a cute nose/mouth combo. He put the ears on with his sister's headband and taped the whiskers and nose to his face. He hopped about for a half an hour or so before he tired of his game.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


One of today's to-do's was to organize the show closet. Here are all the shoes that were in there paired up and ready to be sorted. in a large family!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Garden

Fall was in the air, the last few weeks. Not so much this week, I have to say! I planted peas, three types of lettuce, and spinach two weeks ago. I have been seeing pea-sprouting goodness the last few days! The lettuce should peek up soon.

Aren't they cute?

These are "Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas". I bought them from Azure Standard.

The package claims that they date back to before 1773. They are 24"-30" high and produce beautiful purple blossoms. They then turn into pale green pods that are stringless and fiber-free. NO STAKING REQUIRED! Plant 1" apart. They are ready to harvest in 59-65 days.

Don't they sound like the best? However, I did find this post about them...

Our tomatoes are going strong still, too.

We've got plenty of 'maters still, which is so nice for salads. We have 100's of green ones ripening, too. They make me happy!

I will be planting more lettuce and spinach, and maybe some radishes and green beans in the next few days. I am looking forward to freshly harvested greens again soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TOH Score!

Look at what I found on Saturday! I went to the twice annual Friends of the Library sale in the next town over. Besides 87 childrens books, I found these. Taste of Home is the one magazine I had a subscription to and enjoyed. I have since let it go, but have kept all the issues. Now I have these! They are annual compilations of the magazines. At just $1 each, how could I pass them up? I am looking forward to a relaxing afternoon of browsing, menu planning and football. I am so excited for some new ideas!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fall Birthdays: Part One

My dear GirlofGod recently celebrated her 13th birthday! On the thirteenth birthday, in addition to hosting a sleepover, the birthday child gets to have a date with Dad and Mom. She chose to go miniature golfing and go cart driving. Isn't she beautiful?!

She golfs and drives pretty well, too. I was blessed to be able to play the role of passenger in the car. I was only a little white-knuckled.

This is my favorite picture of the day!

Happy birthday, Dear One!

Monday, September 6, 2010

BYC Update

This is the image that was used on the front page of our local newspaper.

Well, it's been a long, exciting few weeks. I have been researching, calling, speaking; we have appeared on local TV news and we've had two newspaper articles done, all about the issue of backyard chickens. My hens are still at my friends house. Several are still friendly-ish, some are stand-offish and one seems to have disappeared.

Tomorrow at 7 PM is the next city council meeting. Lots of folks will be there, all wearing yellow to support BYC, and several are going to speak. If you are a local reader, please consider yourself invited! I have also invited the TV station to come to the meeting. Please be praying for a good outcome and calm nerves!

ETA: Big Poultry wrote a letter pleading with the city not to allow backyard chickens. The council suddenly went from supportive and friendly to "NO!". I wonder what money changed hands or what threats were made behind the scenes?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Green Smoothie Face

Who can resist a green smoothie?

Not this Little Man!

Strawberry-Sbanana-Spinach-Spirulina-Smoothie to be exact.

They are simply the best!

According to this Troublemaker.


1 cup raw goat milk yogurt
1 cup raw milk
1 tsp spirulina powder
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup honey
big 'ol handful of spinach (about 2-3 cups)
1 ripe to overripe banana
water and ice

Blend and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sequoias in August, Part Two

After getting our fill of the cave, we walked up the river for a short while. We came to the swimming hole, but there were other people there, so we just waded around for a while. It's almost as much fun as swimming!

Vic really was enjoying himself, despite his glum appearance in this picture. He didn't wade, but perched himself up on this boulder to take in the scenery and breathe the fresh air.

The younger Lambies made all sorts of castles out of the rich, silty mud in the river.

What a man! Thanks, Honey, for taking us to the forest! I sure do like it up there with everyone!

And, oh!, the BBQ dinner really tasted good after all that climbing around! I'm sure glad God turned it into a salad on the way down. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Sequoias in August, Part One

We went to the Sequoias for a daytrip last weekend. That's one of the best ways I can think of spending a day! We began the day in "our" cave. The water is pretty low this time of year, so we could get WAY in and explore places we can't other times of the year. We spied a young, 2 ft. long rattlesnake as we approached. He slithered off under a rock. I tried to get a picture of him, but he eluded my lens. We showed the Lambies his hiding place; some saw his tail before he pulled it in all the way. That area was off limits, just in case he decided to come out and play rather than hide away.

Fourteen year old EmBlem in the main cave. That 'roof rock' is indescribably enormous. Inside the cave are several boulders that were shattered when the big one came down. It's really incredible!

Jack, Polly, Trixie and Missy all enjoying the coolness of the cave.

Jack REALLY enjoying the coolness of the cave!

Troubles and Missy showing off Troubles' brand new backpack. He carried his own water, snacks and flashlight, as did all the other Lambies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dulaman and The Voice

We just love listening to this group. They are just about the ONLY female group I like. Usually I find womens' voices grating, unless mellowed by a man's. Isn't it strange that I like these high-pitched tones?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Meme

Ginger tagged me for this fun, little meme. Play along, if you'd like!

1. What do you normally smell like? plain old me. I don't wear any scents.

2. How far away do you live from your parents? about 16 hours

3. Are you happy with your job? Extraordinarily happy

4. What did you get in the mail today? A statement, a security key and a piece of junk mail

5. How do you like your steak cooked? grilled by my husband

6. What do you usually order at Taco Bell? I don't eat at Taco Bell

7. Have you ever sat all the way through Gone With the Wind? No, but I have read it. It's good!

8. Have you ever been to Mt Rushmore? No

9. Where is your favorite place (that you have actually been to)? The beautiful Sequoia mountians

10. What is your favorite candle scent? I don't burn any candles.

11. Have you ever smoked cigarettes? Sadly, yes, but the Lord set me free over twenty years ago!

12. Have you ever been to NYC or LA? I've been to Disneyland once.

13. Are you currently planning a trip? Yes, a day trip or two into the cooler weather.

14. Do you prefer to pack your own groceries? I don't know. The Lambies always pack them.

15. What is your favorite snack? Crunch and Munch

I tag Mother Of Blessings, EmBlem, Girl of God and Trixie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Meeting

So, a fuller story for those who are following my chicken drama. On Friday I was visited by code enforcement officers, telling me that chickens are against code in our city. They gave me a notice that I had 72 hours to move them out of city limits. We complied, but Monday, I was on the phone. I called each of our towns five city councilmen, who were listed on the city's website. I was given the numbers from a clerk who answered at the city's number. I was able to share our story with each of them in a very laidback manner and ask for help and counsel. All were supportive and some were even surprised that they were excluded by our city codes. I was asked to speak at the next council meeting....the next evening.

With little time to prepare, I went to Backyard Chickens and some other sites for help. BYC has an excellent forum, including a place to discuss City Codes and Ordinances and How to Change Them. So much great information gathered in one place!! I read and read and read and read. I PM'ed and e-mailed and consulted. I cut and pasted and wrote. Finally I had a speech that I could say in three minutes.

We went to the brand new library and city council chambers at about 6:15. We browsed around in the children's room and visited with Miss Heidi, the Children's Librarian. At 6:50, we entered the chambers. I filled out my yellow Citizen's Request card that signaled my intention to speak and gave it to the clerk. The names of the council members were in front of their seats, and I realized that I, thinking he was one of the councilmen, had also called and spoken directly to the mayor of our city the day before.

The meeting was called to order at 7 PM and everyone stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. After that, a prayer was offered, using the name of Jesus Christ and asking His blessing over our city and for wisdom for the men and women making decisions. How wonderfully surprising!

Then then Mayor got down to business and called ME! FIRST! Oh, my heart began beating SO fast! I walked to the front and began. There was a timer counting down with accompanying green, yellow and red lights. I heard my voice reading the speech and sounding too shaky. My legs even began trembling! I concluded in the right amount of time and thanked the council for considering our request. I returned to my seat and felt my face flush! I had to fold my papers and fan myself for a few minutes.

Then there was some discussion between the councilmen. All seemed to be in favor of allowing hens in the city limits. One councilman said he thought it was a great thing in this economy, backyard victory gardens and all that offered the idea that since they already specifically allow 2 cats and 3 dogs, perhaps they could change the code to read 5 "animal units". They thanked us for coming and promised to continue working toward a code change.

We listened to the rest of the meeting, some of which was interesting, some of which didn't make much sense to me. Troubles feel asleep on Daddy's lap. The meeting wrapped up just after 8 PM. We stood, stretched and began shaking hands with folks that came up to us. The Mayor and the Vice Mayor came over and greeted us. The Vice Mayor asked for some additional information. A woman from one of our local newspapers asked me to send her the text of my speech and took our names and number for a story.

I apologized to the Lambies for not having more sympathy for them when they did their homeschool presentations. I participated in plays and speech tournaments throughout high school, but don't remember ever feeling nervous like I did before the council! We took the kids out for a treat afterward, to celebrate stepping out of our comfort zone.

I have the additional information ready and am awaiting an appointment to speak with the Vice Mayor and/or the City Manager this week. The next city council meeting is on Aug. 31 Sept. 7th. It could be that we get a decision then! I'll keep you updated.

Text of my Speech

Here's the speech I prepared for the city council meeting. I will blog more about the meeting in a little while. I edited where needed to keep my anonymity.

Honorable Councilmen,

I am here to ask for changes to the City of *****’s Allowable Animal Code. According to the code enforcement officers I have spoken with, by not mentioning any animal by name except cats and dogs, it PROHIBITS all animals, even guppies, parakeets, hamsters, hens and any other common pet. I am asking for a phrase to be added to the code allowing hens in the backyards of the urban areas in the City.

In the last few years, as the Green Living lifestyle has gained popularity, cities and towns all over America have been relaxing their chicken laws. Heritage breed chickens are calm, docile and affectionate pets. Kept as pets, and cleaned regularly, backyard chickens don't smell. They make much less noise than many dogs. They do not damage fences or escape and bite neighbors.

I believe that any health risk posed by allowing backyard chickens is minimal and can be controlled by good husbandry. This means that their housing, feed, water and manure are maintained regularly. The improper keeping of dogs and cats can be a much greater risk to public health than the keeping of chickens. Dogs and cats are both prime vectors for rabies, and cat poop often contains a disease that can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies, yet they are allowable animals.

There are two areas of caution in keeping hens to avoid nuisance complaints from neighbors. The most salient of these concerns is the possession of roosters which should be prohibited due to inevitable noise complaints. Also, roosters are often bred and raised for fighting. This is cruel and should be explicitly disallowed in the city code. Those who would participate in cock fighting aren’t likely to obey rules, regardless. Codes that forbid hens for pets to prevent cock fighting only hurt those who wish to obey the law while enjoying their pets.

The second area of concern is manure management. Flies and odor are already common enough. Hens do not contribute to this problem. The manure that a hen deposits on the ground doesn’t smell, it quickly dries, is broken up and disappears into the soil, nourishing it and improving the soils condition. Any manure collected in the coop is easily composted and is valuable for use in home gardens.

As a family and school project, we raised ten chicks. They were but day old when we got them. The children learned so much during that time! Most know each hen by name.

The children helped in all aspects of caring for them, including the carpentry and construction of the coop, cleaning, feeding, watering and taming the hens. They finally reached the laying age of 5-6 months and began producing eggs. In the five weeks that they laid for us, we collected 74 eggs. The children kept track of who was laying and how often. They could usually tell who laid which egg just by the color or time it was laid.

In the time we enjoyed our hens, we noticed a decrease in the number of flies in our home. This is explained by the hens themselves. We observed them eating flies, ants and other insects on many occasions. They also feasted on slugs and snails and we actually looked forward to finding inchworms and tomato hornworms in our garden; the hens loved them dearly. All our produce scraps went to the hens rather than into the trash. Our already small amount of weekly garbage was reduced even more. They are very much missed in our backyard.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these changes to our city’s animal regulations. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Mommaofmany (phone number)

California Chicken Laws

In case someone else needs to benefit from the research I have been gathering, here is a list of different codes and laws regarding backyard chickens in California. I put *'s by the ones I like the best and hope to get our ordinance worded in a similar fashion.

California Chicken Laws:

Albany, CA. Allows residents to keep up to 6 hens (no roosters) in their backyard with a permit.

American Canyon, CA. Must keep your chicken coop in the back yard, and 50 ft. away from other houses or dwellings where people reside.

Anaheim, CA. * I found two different versions of code for this city. One: any number of hens allowed with a permit. Two: can keep 3 chickens on a 5,000 sq.ft. lot, 6 chickens on a 10,000 sq.ft. lot.

*Bakersfield, CA. Municipal code 6.08.010: Any chickens must be "kept securely enclosed in a yard or pen at all times."

*Belmont, CA: Up to 20 hens (no roosters over 4 months old) confined in a clean coop.

*Berkely, CA. Chickens must be kept penned and 30 ft. away from any bedrooms.

Campbell, CA. Not more than six animals in all, including hares, rabbits, guinea pigs, feline, bovine, sheep, goat, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, doves, pigeons, game birds, or other fowl or any combination thereof.

Chula Vista, CA: Up to 12 chickens are permitted on a minimum of 7,000 square feet of land, up to 25, on land where one family occupies one home. An enclosure is required, but must be no closer than 50 feet from neighboring homes.

Davis, CA. A total of not more than six chicken hens and you have to keep them penned no less than 40 ft. from neighboring houses.

Del Mar, CA: No ordinance regarding raising chickens. City officials refer to county codes, if necessary.

Downey, CA. Up to five chickens allowed per lot.

El Cajon, CA. Allows up to 24 adult poultry on lots over 20,000 sq ft in residential zones.

*Encinitas, CA: Up to 10 chickens are permitted in all residential areas. More allowed on larger lots. Coops must be no closer than 35 feet of neighboring homes.

Folsom, CA. Not more than any combination of two chickens, ducks, pigeons and rabbits shall be kept within any zoning district of the city other than agricultural or agricultural combining districts; and said animals shall be kept or maintained at least twenty feet from any property line.

Imperial Beach, CA. The municipal code says no, but a feed store estimates around 500 chickens are kept as pets.

Irvine, CA. Two chickens max. allowed, kept in a sanitary, odor free enclosure. No roosters are allowed.

Lemon Grove, CA: Up to three chickens are permitted, in enclosures, in certain residential areas. One chicken per 1,000 square feet, up to 25 are permitted in other residential areas. Coops must be no closer than 20 feet from neighboring homes.

Lakewood, CA. It appears Lakewood says residents can have up to 5 female fowl.

La Puente, CA. Up to 20 chickens allowed for each ten thousand sq. feet of lot area in residential zones.

Lafayette, CA. Residents can keep approximately 4 chickens.

Long Beach CA. The law is 1 chicken with a 20 feet setback restriction. Twenty chickens are allowed with a 50 feet setback restriction from single and two-family dwellings, and a 100 feet setback restriction from hotels or multiple (3+) family dwellings. This is virtually impossible in a city like Long Beach.

*Los Angeles, CA. Number of chickens you can keep is unlimited. Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner's residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling.

Los Altos, CA. 1 hen per 1,000 square feet of lot space. No restrictions on coop location. No roosters.

Mission Viejo, CA. You are allowed up to two chickens, and roosters are not allowed. But city code 9.59.115-1 says no chickens allowed.

Mountain View, CA. Up to 4 hens without a permit. Keep 25 ft. from residences. Within 25 ft. is o.k. with written consent from residences. No roosters.

*Oakland, CA. Keep chicken enclosed, & 20 ft. from any dwelling, church or school.

Oceanside, CA: Up to six chickens are permitted in residential areas, but they must be 35 feet from neighboring houses.

Petaluma, CA. Up to twenty animals of mixed combination. Chickens must be kept five feet from a neighbor’s fence or property line, and they must be kept 20 ft. from neighboring dwellings.

Poway, CA. If your property is at least a 6,000 sq.ft. lot, you can keep up to six hens. Must keep chickens 35 feet from neighbors. Don’t have your chicken house in any of the set-backs.

Redwood City, CA. Maximum of 3 chickens permitted; roosters were recently outlawed.

Roseville, CA. Maximum 10 chickens kept 20 ft. from any property line &/or building. They don't delineate hens or roosters.

Santa Rosa, CA. Livestock is not permitted here, unless your area is zoned *rural.* May have 25 chickens per 20,000 square feet. No chickens in residential areas zoned R1, R2 or PRC. People keep chickens in this town; just that it is technically illegal to do so.

Sacramento, CA. Except for a few areas specifically spelled out in code, keeping chickens is not allowed in Sacramento.

Sacramento County, CA. As long as your yard is 10,000 square feet or more, you can keep chickens.

San Carlos, CA. Can keep a total number of four (4) poultry.

San Jose, CA. 1-4 chickens must be kept 15 feet from neighboring structures. 4-6 chickens must be kept 20 feet away. A permit is required if you keep more than 6 chickens. In any area zoned *residential,* only hens are permitted; no roosters.

San Diego, CA. Currently undergoing debates in the city council, trying to get chickens to be legal in this city.

San Francisco, CA. Up to four chickens allowed. Up to four small animals total. Keep 20 feet from doors or windows in a coop or enclosure of approved type.

San Jose, CA: Up to 6 chickens at least 20 ft. from residences. Up to 4 chickens 15 ft. away from residences. 0 less than 15 ft. No roosters.

San Leandro, CA. No livestock of any kind shall be keep within the
city limits. But people are currently and actively working on a civic project to get the law reworded to allow chickens and bee-keeping, so hop on board with them.

San Mateo, CA. Keeping chickens requires a permit here. Up to 10 hens per household. Chickens must be kept in an appropriate pen/coop.

Temple City, CA. Basically it allows two hens per property, but no roosters.

*Vallejo, CA. You are allowed to keep up to 25 chickens if they are kept 15 ft. from neighboring dwellings. Roosters are allowed but subject to noise nuisance violations.

*Woodland, CA. It is OK to keep up to 6 hens provided they are kept over 40 ft. from neighboring residences.

Vista, CA: Two chickens are permitted in certain single-family residential areas, and up to 25 in other areas.

Sources: (also summarizes laws in other states) I found a similar list in the forum at that had a few cities that were not in the first so I added them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's Over.....For Now

What a bad couple of days it's been. :sigh: My neighbors complained to the city about our pet hens. These are the bad neighbors to the west. The ones that cause me to have to call my Lambies inside at times, so they won't get a contact high. I have called the police on them before for the pot smoke haze that descends on us. They must have dragged themselves outside. They called code enforcement.

I had searched our city codes carefully for chicken laws. There are none. I had called the city for verbal permission. I obtained it. The code officer said I must have called the county rather then the city. He explained the code is "in the negative". Here it is, in total:

§ 6.16.015 Allowable animals.

The keeping of animals at each residence/ dwelling within the city limits shall not exceed two cats and three dogs over ten weeks of age.

(Ord. 08-02, passed 2-19-2008)

So every hamster, parakeet, lizard, turtle, goldfish and hen in our town is illegal, according to him. :sigh: What kind of America is this?? My idiot neighbors can have a dog that yips at me the whole time I am out in my own backyard and there's nothing they can do about it....because a dog is an allowable animal. My quiet little, productive hens are illegal. AARGH!

I will be going to the city council and asking for a line to be added to the code allowing backyard chickens. I am not all that hopeful that it will go well, but all you can do is ask, right? My hens are at my friend Tammy's house, with her flock. We will get our eggs from her. They will be fine, but I miss them and the Lambies are so sad. I am unbelievably frustrated. Pray for me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good News Club

I blogged a few weeks ago about the Good News Club that my 11 and under set attended this summer. I have finally uploaded the pictures that I took. Most have other children in them, so I won't post them here. I didn't think to ask their parents for permission!

One day Troubles was asked to assist in the Memory Verse portion of the lesson. He still talks about being chosen and how he knew the verse already because it was *his* verse from school. He's memorizing The Romans Road and this is the third step.

I am so grateful that my friend Jenni hosted The Good News Club. My Lambies got so much out of it.

The Great Bella

We recently had a Great Dane named Bella visit us. She loved sitting on the couch!
She made all the Lambies laugh when she sat like this. Some of them even rode on her!

Thanks, K. Family, for coming over for dinner and fellowship!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The ABC's of My Computer

Here's a fun little meme from my friend MotherHen. Post your favorite links that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
B -
C -
D -
I -
J -
L -
O -
Q - nothing for this one (the easiest way I have found to earn real money doing nothing!) (food preservation site)
X – nothing for this letter, either
Z - not surprisingly, nothing for 'z'.
Please leave a note and a link if you play along!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Physician's Warranty of Vaccine Safety

Wouldn't it be interesting to take a copy of this to your pediatrician and see if they would sign it?

Physician’s Warranty of Vaccine Safety

I (Physician’s name, degree)___________________
______, _____ am a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of ________________ . My State license number is _______________ , and my DEA number is _______________. My medical specialty is ________________________
I have a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits of all the medications that I prescribe for or administer to my patients. In the case of (Patient’s name) ___________________________ ,
age _________ , whom I have examined, I find that certain risk factors exist that justify the recommended vaccinations. The following is a list of said risk factors and the vaccinations that will protect against them:
Risk Factor Vaccination
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
_____________________________________________________ _______________________________
I am aware that vaccines typically contain many of the following fillers:
• aluminum hydroxide
• aluminum phosphate
• ammonium sulfate
• amphotericin B
• animal tissues: pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain,
• dog kidney, monkey kidney,
• chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg
• calf (bovine) serum
• betapropiolactone
• fetal bovine serum
• formaldehyde
• formalin
• gelatin
• glycerol
• human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue)
• hydrolized gelatin
• mercury thimerosol (thimerosal, Merthiolate®)
• monosodium glutamate (MSG)
• neomycin
• neomycin sulfate
• phenol red indicator
• phenoxyethanol (antifreeze)
• potassium diphosphate
• potassium monophosphate
• polymyxin B
• polysorbate 20
• polysorbate 80
• porcine (pig) pancreatic hydrolysate of casein
• residual MRC5 proteins
• sorbitol
• tri(n)butylphosphate,
• VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells, and
• washed sheep red blood,,
and, hereby, warrant that these ingredients are safe for injection into the body of my patient. I have researched reports to the contrary, such as reports that mercury thimerosal causes severe neurological and immunological damage, and find that they are not credible.
I am aware that some vaccines have been found to have been contaminated with Simian Virus 40 (SV 40) and that SV 40 is causally linked by some researchers to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and mesotheliomas in humans as well as in experimental animals. I hereby warrant that the vaccines I employ in my practice do not contain SV 40 or any other live viruses. (Alternately, I hereby warrant that said SV-40 virus or other viruses pose no substantive risk to my patient.)
I hereby warrant that the vaccines I am recommending for the care of (Patient’s name) _______________ _______________________ do not contain any tissue from aborted human babies (also known as “fetuses” or Human Diploid Tissue).
In order to protect my patient’s well being, I have taken the following steps to guarantee that the vaccines I will use will contain no damaging contaminants.
STEPS TAKEN: ____________________________________________________________________

I have personally investigated the reports made to the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) and state that it is my professional opinion that the vaccines I am recommending are safe for administration to a child under the age of 5 years.
The bases for my opinion are itemized on Exhibit A , attached hereto, – “Physician’s Bases for Professional Opinion of Vaccine Safety.” (Please itemize each recommended vaccine separately along with the bases for arriving at the conclusion that the vaccine is safe for administration to a child under the age of 5 years.)
The professional journal articles I have relied upon in the issuance of this Physician’s Warranty of Vaccine Safety are itemized on Exhibit B , attached hereto, – “Scientific Articles in Support of Physician’s Warranty of Vaccine Safety.”
The professional journal articles that I have read which contain opinions adverse to my opinion are itemized on Exhibit C , attached hereto, – “Scientific Articles Contrary to Physician’s Opinion of Vaccine Safety.”
The reasons for my determining that the articles in Exhibit C were invalid are delineated in Attachment D , attached hereto, – “Physician’s Reasons for Determining the Invalidity of Adverse Scientific Opinions.”
Hepatitis B
I understand that 60% of patients who are vaccinated for Hepatitis B will lose detectable antibodies to Hepatitis B within 12 years.
I understand that in 1996 only 54 cases of Hepatitis B were reported to the CDC in the 0-1 year age group.
I understand that in the VAERS, there were 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0-1 year age group, with 47 deaths reported.
I understand that 50% of patients who contract Hepatitis B develop no symptoms after exposure.
I understand that 30% will develop only flu-like symptoms and will have lifetime immunity.
I understand that 20% will develop the symptoms of the disease, but that 95% will fully recover and have lifetime immunity.
I understand that 5% of the patients who are exposed to Hepatitis B will become chronic carriers of the disease.
I understand that 75% of the chronic carriers will live with an asymptomatic infection and that only 25% of the chronic carriers will develop chronic liver disease or liver cancer, 10-30 years after the acute infection.
The following scientific studies have been performed to demonstrate the safety of the Hepatitis B vaccine in children under the age of 5 years.

In addition to the recommended vaccinations as protections against the above cited risk factors, I have recommended other non-vaccine measures to protect the health of my patient and have enumerated said non-vaccine measures on Exhibit D , attached hereto, “Non-vaccine Measures to Protect Against Risk Factors.”
I am issuing this Physician’s Warranty of Vaccine Safety in my professional capacity as the attending physician to (Patient’s name) ________________________________. Regardless of the legal entity under which I normally practice medicine, I am issuing this statement in both my business and individual capacities and hereby waive any statutory, Common Law, Constitutional, UCC, international treaty, and any other legal immunities from liability lawsuits in the instant case.
I issue this document of my own free will after consultation with competent legal counsel whose name is _____________________________, an attorney admitted to the Bar in the State of __________________

__________________________________ (Name of Attending Physician)

__________________________________ L.S. (Signature of Attending Physician)

Signed on this _______ day of ______________ A.D. ________

Witness: ___________________________________ Date: ________________________

Notary Public: ______________________________ Date: ________________________

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Vax or Not To Vax?

I found this online. What a great list of resources! I have not looked through them all, so I can't vouch for them, but it is a great compilation to help anyone who is researching the important question of "To Vax or Not To Vax". Do you have any favorite vaccine info sites to share? If so, please leave a link in the comments.

Childhood Shots
Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute

Additional Recommended links:
Autism Research Institute
World Association Vaccine Education
Justice Awareness Basic Support
Asthma Directory
Your one-stop destination for anything you can think about asthma. This Asthma Directory is designed to help its users find the asthma information, source, companies, products and services.
• "Dispelling Vaccination Myths"
By Alan Phillips. The best introduction to the subject we have yet encountered.
• National Vaccine Information Center
A non-profit organization with vast amounts of data on vaccine adverse reactions.
• Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
A federal government agency. Know the procedures.
• National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Another fed program. Know what to do in case of a reaction.
• Centers for Disease Control
A government agency monitoring disease and influencing vaccine policy.
• Vaccine Information and Awareness (VIA)
Great legal resources, links and exemption information.
• Book Links - Where To Begin Your Research
New Atlantean Press and carry many books on vaccination.
• "Stealth Virus" Research
Dr. W. John Martin's and colleagues' research on this and other elusive viruses.
• "Five Baffling Vaccination Facts"
By Lisa K. Jillani, P.A.V.E. founder. Why does this practice continue?
• Medical Journal Articles on Vaccine Adverse Events
A collection of articles published in major medical journals.
• Sample Vaccine Info Letters
How to inform the media, health professionals and schools about vaccine issues.

For Additional Support or Prayer
Congressman Dave Weldon on Autism
(scroll page to find information)

Table of Vaccines and Mercury Content

Disease Mortality Rates

Vaccine Resource Guide

Trends in Deaths Caused by Infectious Diseases

Condensed list of safety and sterile violations by the FDA against Merck

Meningococcal C vaccination

Immunization Legislation in Individual States

Costs to Your State of Adding Vaccine Requirements

Monkeypox (smallpox by another name?) in the Congo

Polio vaccine genocide in Uganda

NVIC Special Report on Smallpox

List of medical journal articles on vaccine adverse events

Asthma and Allergies vs. Vaccines

U.S. House Hearing on Autism vs. Vaccines

Mutation of Vaccine Preventable Diseases-Measles

Long Term Dangers-Infants of Measles Vaccinated Mothers

Mutation of Vaccine Preventable Diseases-Pertussis

Medical Association's Opinion on Mandated Vaccines

General Vaccine Risks

NVIC Page on Chronic Illness and Vaccines

Hep B Vaccine link to Diabetes

Important information for those injured by Hep B Vaccine

Increased Parental Concerns about Vaccines

A. A. Jillani's letter on Measles in British Medical Journal

Searchable Database of Vaccine Lots

Congressional Hearings Transcripts

Smallpox Vaccine Insert - Dryvax

FluMist Vaccine Insert

Vaccines and Genetic Mutation

Shaken Baby Syndrome Legal Defense

Vaccination Site in Spanish

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Good News Club

We are busy attending The Good News Club this week. I brought my camera the first day, but forgot to use it. I forgot to bring it the next morning. I finally remembered to bring AND use it, so tomorrow I hope to get post some pictures.

The Good News Club is a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship. I remember attending during grade school when I was a little girl. Once a week, several children, including myself, would bring a sack lunch, get aboard a little bus and travel a few blocks away to a little Baptist church. We enjoyed our lunch while hearing the Gospel preached. We sang songs and competed in Bible memory competitions. I don't remember anything more specific, but I do know the Word doesn't go out void. It was a good use of our time and I am thankful that our school participated.

Thanks, Jenni, for hosting this special little Club!

Trouble, Missy and Jack have learned the little songs quite quickly. I can hear them singing throughout the day. The learned:

One, two, three, Jesus loves me. One, two, Jesus loves you. Three, four, He loves you more than you've ever been loved before. Five, six, seven, we're going to heav'n. Eight, nine, a mansion is mine. Nine, ten, it's time to end; but instead we'll sing it again.


Good news to all the world! Good news to all who hear! Good news to everyone- Lets tell the message loud and clear! Believe that Jesus died, and that He rose again. He wants to live in you and be your Savior and your friend!

He'll help us do what's right, and learn of things above. Let's sing and share and have some fun and do it all in love! He'll show us how to grow, and ways that we can serve. We want to know His perfect plan by following His word!


What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh! Precious is the flow that keeps me white as snow;
No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Big Luau

My daughter is about to celebrate her thirteenth birthday. She has chosen to have a Luau!

Here are the recipes I might be using:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It's finally happened! One of these lovely ladies made themselves worthwhile!

Was it you?

Or you?

Whoever it was, I am happy!

Here's the first ever egg produced by the Crew's chickens! Here's the $600 egg (on the left):

Cute little thing, isn't it! I love its dark reddish brown color. I hope they stay that dark! It weighed in at one and a quarter ounces and measured about an inch and a half long. It's in the fridge now, waiting for Poppa to come home and admire it. He worked hard last spring for this moment!