Around the farm

I thought I’d just give a quick update on how things are going around here, since I haven’t really had the time nor the desire to write much, lately…

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Lucy

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Lucy is doing really well and showing a lot of signs of improvement.  At the beginning of this week, she either spent almost 48 hours standing, or at some point she laid down and got back up again.  Then on Thursday she stood up by herself and although she’s needed help to get up each morning since then, it’s obvious to us that she’s getting a lot stronger.  (When this whole thing started, she was only able to stand for 3-4 hours at a time!)  She’s also showing definite signs of getting closer to calving and we’ll all be relieved when that happens.

We’ve been incredibly blessed to once again watch God provide for all of our needs through this, using those around and closest to us to do it.  We’ve had friends and family members picking up supplies for us from all over, helping out financially, and even making meals for our neighbor to thank him for all he’s done for us.  And my neighbor has been incredible throughout this whole thing – he doesn’t even wait for us to call him anymore, he just starts up his tractor in the morning and heads over to pick up our cow.  One of the things that scared me the most about getting a cow was the fact that they’re so large and I knew the potential for something to happen outside of our ability to fix it was great.  But God has put some amazing people in our lives and although there was a limit to how much we could do for her, all of her needs have been provided for.  I’ve never really felt like Lucy was “my” cow, because (beyond the fact that a friend bought her for us,) there are so many people who care about her and share her milk with us.  But now more than ever, she truly belongs to all of our friends and family members… she wouldn’t be alive right now had they not been here to help in all the various ways they have, and that’s a really wonderful feeling.

The goats

During the freeze we lost one of our little goats, China Rose We were bringing her and her sister in each night to keep them out of the worst of the cold and one morning we found her dead in the crate.  We don’t know what happened, but we wonder if she had a preexisting condition due to her small size that made her too weak to handle the cold during the day.  We had also just started weaning her and although she was over three months old at the time, we wonder if she just wasn’t developed enough to handle it.  The other goats are doing well, but little China Rose is greatly missed.

The sheep

We’re pretty positive that both our ewes are pregnant now, and it’s about time to butcher the ram.  Once we have things settled with Lucy we’ll do that and we’re seriously considering replacing him at some point in the future with an Icelandic.  I fell in love with them a while ago (they’re gorgeous!!!) and since we’ll need a ram for future breeding anyway, we’re thinking of getting an Icelandic ram and slowly converting our herd over, as funds permit.  I also have a friend who has some Jacob sheep, so that’s also an option (more about that, later!)

The chickens

I actually forgot to write about the chickens, and then remembered and realized that this would be a perfect time to write a retraction to my erroneous post describing this particular breed of fowl.  If you recall, I wrote glowingly about how they never attack us, and stay off the porch, and find their own food, and lay eggs of pure gold speckled with precious gems.  Ahem.
Well, it seems I may have spoken too soon.  Not only have they all taken up residence on my front porch, but one of the male Penes (whom the kids named “King Rooster”) is no longer with us, due to his penchant for viciously attacking me and the kids, even when we were nowhere near him.  On his last day on earth, he actually followed Shmooey inside the house, attempting to spur him.  We’ve dealt with attacking roosters before, but as we didn’t have any sentimental attachment to King Rooster, we just ate him.

The rest of the chickens are fine and still living on my front porch.

The (human) kids!!!

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The kids are doing GREAT!!!  We recently tried an experiment with them and put up almost all of all the toys around here in hopes that it would encourage them to find their own fun, and also cut down on the amount of clutter.  We also asked our friends and family members to gift the kids with books, tools, craft sets and the like during birthdays, rather than toys, and the results have been wonderful!  They have been building bows, making babydolls from yarn, climbing hay bales (and door frames), and playing outside almost constantly.  Even the baby hasn’t missed toys at all… she spends most of her time dancing around the living room to a nursery rhyme CD Jon’s mom recently got them, or following her big brothers and sisters around the yard.  All of the kids are getting along better and playing with each other a lot more and it’s been amazing!  It’s wonderful to watch kids finding creative things to occupy themselves with!

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Speaking of books, I recently came across a wonderful series of books: Christian Hero’s, Then and Now.  These are incredible biographies about men and women of faith such as Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Amy Carmichael, etc.  The kids love them and from some conversations we’ve had recently, I can tell that they’ve impacted my oldest daughter deeply.  I think it’s so important to introduce kids to real-life heros who can inspire them and model things that seem extraordinary to us, but really shouldn’t be at all (what we call “miracles,” for instance.  I pray that my kids grow up thinking “miracles” are just a normal part of having a relationship with God!)  I’m so glad to have come across this series, and thankful for our family members who gifted many of these books to them!

Jon and I

Needless to say, we’re pretty much exhausted with caring for Lucy, but thankful to be doing it.  We’re both holding up pretty well, all things considered, and Jon has even been making time for hunting, while I’ve been sitting on the couch eating potato chips and chocolate bars (seriously, the skirts in my closet that no longer zip testify to the fact that I’ve gained about 20lbs through all of this!  Anybody want to sign up for a 10k with me?  [Ha!  Who am I kidding?  Anybody want to join me for a fondue party?])

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