Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring is in the Air

It is already April, and somehow, life has just sailed by and I haven't updated in what feels like an eon. Spring is in full swing again, it's warming up and flowers are popping up everywhere.

Noah and I have flown across the world and seen some of the most amazing places on Earth. We had an unbelievable experience and I hope to post an review of the week we spent in Israel. I hope that this is the first of many adventures in Noah's life. I hope that the reality of how truly small our little corner of life is and how amazing, and huge, and wonderful the possibilities of seeing more of our wonderful world can be has been fully engrained in his young life.

We got home just after Christmas and as usual life has been moving along at full speed with little time to stop and take a breath.

Nathan is now 18 and on his last few months of high school. In February he was awarded the honor of Eagle Scout and we are truly proud of his accomplishments in that regard. We look forward to see what he will do moving forward.

Benjamin turned 5 in January, and is growing like a bad weed. He is starting his Pre-School/Kindergarten work and learning his letters and numbers and how to tie his shoes and using his ninja skills.

We still have the chickens and a goat. We are also trying to raise rabbits for meat, and the kids have decided that they want to learn tanning and use the rabbit pelts. I am assuming that the process will be long and arduous and probably will become another project for Matt and I, but I really like the idea of using all of the rabbit, being respectful of it's life and not wasting any part of it.

So the reason for this post was mostly to update on that process and progress. It has been a rough start, and our first experience lead to quite a few fall and winter births and a lot of deaths because of cold, wet baby bunnies and inexperienced moms and inexperienced "farmers"; we lost most of the young rabbits before they got to an age that they could be used for meat.

This past year we had several times that neighborhood dogs attacked and killed most of our population of rabbits and there again we never were able to grow any out to an age of harvesting meat.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we(Matt, because I was busy making cakes for Cub Scouts) harvested 5 of our youngest rabbits that survived from last year. There were just to many young males and they were terrorizing the females that we had left. So now we have three females and two males.

Today we discovered that our little grey female gave birth to five beautiful healthy, active little bundles of joy, and over the next couple of weeks we will have two more bunny nursery boxes to set up, so we should be up to our ears with bunnies again soon.

We also have two dozen eggs incubating that will be hatching on the 18th of April. We will have baby farm animals coming out of our ears before too long...

We have also collected a turtle that was buried in the nest in our back yard that it was hatching from, and today while walking the new puppy(yes, we have a new puppy also...her name is Sadie and she is such a cutie) Noah found a new turtle trying to cross the street. It is about the size of a quarter and is so very tiny compared to the one we found last month. So now we have two red-eared sliders to entertain us. They are very entertaining they have such great personalities.

So...Spring is definitely in the air...

How is your Spring shaping up?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Trip Fund Raiser with Noah

This December Noah and I will be going to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and hopefully other places in the area. We are going to meet friends and will be staying there for about ten days. Noah recently came to me and offered to help with funds for the trip so that we would be able to go on some of the many tours that are available in the area. This amazing opportunity is a trip of a lifetime for us and we are hoping to see as much of the exciting history especially the rich Christian/Judeo/Muslim history that the area is steeped in.
These are some types of bookmarks we will have available. We are using leather thread, glass and metal beads. Many of the beads we are using are going to be recycled from old costume jewelry and being repurposed into something new which makes many of the items truly unique. The leather items like the feathers, leaves, and flowers are hand cut, shaped and dyed by us. 

 Over the next couple of months we are making small gift items out of our leather, and adding in items like bookmarks and wine glass markers that will be made with glass beads, leather string, small handmade leather decorative pieces and charms. We are hopefully going to have items available at several local stores. The items would make great hostess gifts, teachers gifts, and small happies like stocking stuffers and secret pal gifts. We will also still have some soap, and other leather goods available. 
 These are some of the Wine Glass Markers that we are making with some of the smaller left over pieces of leather thread. Each one is unique and different. We will have these, the bookmarks, and other leather items at the Art Vending Machine located at the Powerhouse, and they will be available when we are at markets and by contacting us directly. 

We will also be attending local markets when able. A list of stores and markets will be created soon. 

Thank you for your consideration
Noah Zerangue
Michelle Zerangue

I will update and post other crafts on my Facebook  page and our Family Page @handmadeandhomegrown

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Story of Four Perfect Pebbles/Marion Blumenthal Lazan

This week we had the honor of meeting Mrs. Marion Blumenthal Lazan and her husband Mr.  Nathaniel Lazan. Mrs. Lazan is a Holocaust survivor who tells her amazing story. It is a hard story to hear, imagine, or even understand, but amazing in that she has been through one of the most horrific historical events ever and has come through with such unbelievable love and devotion to humankind. She spoke this week to many people in the community and many, many groups of school children telling her story so that it can be shared and the relaying the importance of it being remembered so that it does not ever get repeated.

Ms. Lazan spoke at the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the UM campus this week and we thought this would be something that would be great for our children(the older ones) to experience, and I really wanted to hear her story because I have always found that the people who have been through these situations have been so courageous in their experience, but also in their ability to share what they have had to endure in hopes that maybe our future will take what they have to say and turn it into an opportunity for positive growth. Her story was truly heartbreaking, what she, her family, and millions of others had to endure was truly beyond understanding. The images that she had to deal with daily for those years at that age most of us will never have to face. Several of my children are at the ages that she talked about during her days in captivity, and travel, and escape, an finally freedom. We have a 4 year old, 7 year old, 9 year old, 11 year old and a 17 year old. The idea of having to survive through that at those ages(at any age) is truly overwhelming.

The best part of the whole story was the four pebbles...it is truly a perfect description of a child's way of processing hope, courage and survival in the darkest of days. I encourage everyone to read this book definitely, but if you have the opportunity to see Mrs. Lazan speak and to meet her in person please take that opportunity. She is a beautiful person, an amazing soul,  and a true treasure in this world. I hope that hearing her and meeting her has made a lasting impact on my children because she has made a lasting impact on me.

We bought several copies of the book  and asked Mrs. Lazan to autograph them for each of the children so that they have a copy to remember the day they met her and also in hopes that it will be a treasure for their future to read, remember and pass along as their families may grow in the future.