About Us.

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Essex, United Kingdom
We are a home educating family and we live in Essex. We took our six year old daughter (now 10) out of school September 2005. Our son is 4 years old and will also not being going to school at any point!! This blog was originally started to talk about what we do as a home ed family but over time it has just turned into a general blog which includes our pets, our family and our everyday lives. I guess our home education journey is just us living our lives anyway. If you have any questions or comments please email me at xscrunchee@aol.com

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Digital cameras!!!

I wanted to put some more photo's on here of the kids and then hens but my digital camera goes through batteries like nothing on earth!
We need to get some re-chargables but even then I am going to have to swap them every 15 minutes-it's a joke.
I took a little film of the kids and hens in the garden, the film was about 2-3 minutes long and I took some pics (maybe 5 or so) and they wiped out 2 new Duracell AA batteries which means I can't even put my pics on the computer untill I get new batteries as the camera still needs battery power to load things onto the PC.
Working out more expensive than paying for a camera film to be developed!!
I'm going to email Vivitar and complain.

Anyway, enough of my grumbling ;-)
The Essex girls are great. They have got fantastic little personalities and have become a great addition to the madhouse.
They go crazy for sweetcorn and will peck at anything yellow in the hope that it might be sweetcorn, they love mashed up cooked potatoe skins, cheese, mushrooms, spring greens, lettuce, cuecumber, grapes, long spaghetti (it's so funny watching them eat it!!),
corn on the cob, white cabbage, worms, slugs, woodlice and one of their new favs is MAGGOTS!!! Ria goes mad for them. We got half a pint for them yesterday and I would say that they love them as much as sweetcorn!! lol
Liam loves the hens and has taken on the important job of 'poo spotter'! He walks about and when he spots a poo he gets the scooper so that I can clean it up!! lol
Emmie, as usual is brilliant!! She watches the girls if I am busy, chats with them, looks up their Eglu at night, checks for eggs (Of which we have none yet) and generally takes proper care of them in any way she can.

Emmie's uncle Gareth is thinking about getting some hermit crabs and has told Emmie that she can have one of her own in his tank.
She has read up on them, knows how to sex them, knows what they eat, knows what sounds they make and lots of other crabby bits of information.
Emmie is wanting to decorate a shell for her crab using a kits which you can get from Pets At Home. I think Gareth wanted them to have a natural look but Em is dreaming of pink gems and pretty patterns! LOL

The weather has been awful recently, we have only had one dry day since getting the hens last Tuesday. Yesterday was nice so I am hoping we have another sunny day today. Fingers crossed eh? lol

By the way, the cats and hens get on fine.
The cats are in fact terrified of the hens and pretty much stay out of their way. If one of the cats gets a little too close, the hens will make a noise and the cat legs it!! LOL
Marleen (the dog) has not been allowed to get too close to the girls but did get down the garden yesterday when the hens were in their run. Marleen was slightly excited and done several laps around the outside of the run with me running behind her like an idiot.
I know the run is fox proof but I somehow doubt very much that it is Staffordshire bull terrier proof (is anything??), so I was slightly worried-managed to catch up with the dog and take her back in the house!
A little while later, Liam let the dog out again and I shouted (quite loud!!) and Marleen immediately stopped, layed down and just stared into the run. The chickens did flap about a bit but at least I contolled the situation this time rather than just chasing the dog around and around!! lol
I think I am going to start taking Marleen to see the hens everyday but have her on her lead. I know that I will never be able to let the girls out of their run while Marleen is out but I would like her to learn to ignore them when they are in their run-it's no good for my heart watching my dog charging towards my hens not knowing if she is going to rip the run apart and eat them!!!

After just writing about the dog seeing the hens I realised that it may sound like I haven't let my dog out since getting the girls. We actually have a concrete yard which is fenced off from the grass-this is where Marleen goes. She can't get into the garden where the hens are as there is a gate which is 'normally' shut.
Just wanted to clarify before people started thinking that my poor dog had been trapped in the house for over a week!! LOL

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Essex girl update.

They are getting on really well.
On Thursday we let them out of their run to free-range around the garden.
They are so funny. Rose helps with any digging that you do, Ria moans if you touch her and Bobbie is just chilled.
I had a little bit of a tiff with Rose though, she was trying to eat a piece of plastic and I was trying to get it off of her. She was making funny noises, grabbing it and trying to run. I was making a grab for it everytime she dropped it but she was faster than me!! lol
While this was happening, Ria decided to knock over a pot with an ornamental grass in it and start scratching it everywhere. In the end I had to get their sweetcorn and they all came running giving me a chance to grab the piece of plastic and move the pot of grass! It was so funny! :-D

Ria and Rose are getting on much better now too. Still have their scraps but nothing too serious, thank God!
So far we have spent all day every day out in the garden. When the hens were in the run and it rained, me and the kids would take shelter in the playhouse. Now the hens come out of the run and if it rains, they all pile in the playhouse with us!! Yesterday there was Emmie, Liam, Nadine, Mum, me and 3 hens all sitting in the playhouse waiting for the rain to stop. It's hysterical how they all come running in and get themselves all comfy!! Bobbie and Ria even decided that my Mums legs made a good place to roost!! LOL LOL

We have discovered that the girls LOVE tinned sweetcorn so much that if you throw some into their run, you have no probs getting them to go back in.
They also quite enjoy slugs, worms, ants, flies, any bug/grub they can find, grapes, cheese, spring greens, tomatoes, oregano, ornamental grass (which they are not supposed to like) and other bits and bobs.
Got some more pics here of the girls in the playhouse and their first couple of times out of their run :-)
Today I want to let the girls out with the cats. Only going to have one cat at a time out with them and see how it goes. Everyone says that hens hold their own with cats and will 'see them off'-let's hope so!!! Bit worried but I'll let you know how it goes.
The kids are enjoying the hens so much and it gives us all an excuse to be out in the fresh air every day. Better than sitting indoors playing on the Nintendo DS eh Em? lol







Thursday, 10 May 2007

The Essex girls are here!

Sorry I haven't been keeping everyone up to date but I've been very busy chicken watching!! lol

The girls arrived as planned on Tuesday and they are LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!
We was supposed to be getting 2 Gingernut rangers and a Miss Pepperpot but due to Omlet running out of the Gingernuts, they bought 1 Gingernut and 2 Miss Pepperpots.
I am in love, honestly. They all look so different to eachother and guess what? They really do have completely different personalities. lol  (Really Pat) ;-)

We had a bit of settling trouble at first because Ria kept pecking and chasing poor Rose, but thankfully that all seems to be calming down now.
The girls put themselves to bed at night when it starts getting dark, they all trundle off into the Eglu. Usually Rose is first to bed, closely followed by Bobbie and then Ria makes her way in a bit later. (Dirty stop out) lol

They have had us in stiches with their antics, they are always up to something and Rose keeps making a dash for the run door. (I think she's already planned out what plants she's going to destroy when she is let out!)
They all seem to be settled now which is great and the kids absolutely love them. Liam calls them his pigeons!! LOL
Anyway, I'm going back out to watch them for a bit. I've added a few pics to you can put faces to the names.

Ria looking gorgeous. (Nads hen)


Bobbie girl-Liam's pigeon!!

Rose venturing out. (Emmie's hen)


Liam in the run. Emmie loves Rose's frilly knickers! lol


Em trying to give Ria a fuss.


Close up of Emmie and Rose.



Monday, 7 May 2007

One more day to go!!

Well, the hens will be arriving tomorrow!! Yay!!

They already have names-Emmie's hen is Rose, Nadine's hen is Ria and Liam's hen is Bobbie.
So, we are all ready and only have to wait one more day.
The kids are excited but I'm thinking that I'm even more excited than them. hehehe

Yesterday our cat Suggs, caught and killed a starling :-(
He was at the back door with it hanging out of his mouth. I managed to get it off of him and I placed a flower pot over it just in case it was playing dead and needed a little time to recover.
Next thing I knew was Suggs was batting the flower pot around on the path trying to get the starling back out!! I then put my laundry basket over the top of the flower pot so it had double protection. I could already see at this point that the little bird was not recovering as it's foot was poking out from under the pot and there was no movement, but being ever hopefull I thought I would give it more time.
I was just about to go indoors when I saw Suggs shoving the laundry basket about and sticking his paws through the side of it so that he could wack the flowerpot. By this time I was getting a bit sick of him being so persisitent so I decided to get the kids slide and put that ontop of the laundry basket. Huh-that'd stop him!!! Or maybe not! I was in the kitchen a few minutes later and saw something black and hairy inside the laundry basket. Yep-it was that damn cat. He had pushed the slide and somehow got under the laundry basket, lifted the flowerpot and was happily munching on the dead bird! Yummy!!
We got it off of him once again and this time there was no question whether it was dead or not! It had to go into the bin :-(
An hour or so later I looked out and saw Suggs eating something awful looking. This time he had stolen some raw chicken breast from somewhere!! lol
We don't know if he took someone's uncooked dinner or stole it from a bin but we had to take it away from him anyway-just in case some idiot had poisoned the meat and left it out on purpose. You can never tell around here!
Anyway, he had already eaten his breakfast but was obviously in a hunting mood and after loosing his tasty starling snack decided to hunt down something else.
Cats-what a nightmare!!!!! That poor starling, I know cats do this but it never gets any nicer! I have tried so many things to stop him. One summer he had two very loud bells on his collar but that didn't stop him neither!


Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Chooks are coming next Tuesday!!!!!! :-D

The hens will be with us next Tuesday 8th May!!! Cannot wait!

Getting some trellis today to make sure there are no little gaps which they will squeeze through like behind the shed. (Thanks for thinking of it Mum)! lol
Ended up chatting to the Omlet man and he advised getting all three hens from Omlet so there is no fighting or scrapping. He is thinking that it wouldn't be nice to see because we haven't had chickens before so it might be best to start off with hens that all know eachother. So now Emmie and Nadine will have a Gingernut ranger each and little Liam will have the Pepperpot.
We have been told that Em won't get mixed up between the two gingers as they look slightly different and have very different personalities to eachother.

Roll on next Tuesday!!!!!!!! Yippeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! LOL
(I know I'm a sad cow but I don't care) !!!!! LOL ;-)


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