Sunday, September 3, 2017

Pet shows and pet sorrows

Some kids on the farm where we buy our milk wanted to have a little pet show. We brought one of our youngest bunnies and a duckling to show. 

  Our home hatched duckling is bigger than his mama now and seems to be still growing!

Another first in our pet/farm journey as a family. First time we had to decide to put one to sleep. Theodore, our super friendly and much loved kitty, got a blood clot in his lower back.  We knew that he had a mild heart murmur when we adopted him, but apparently it had gotten worse even just in the year since his last check-up.  I found him laying in the barn on Sunday night meowing loudly. He couldn't move his back legs much and was kind of dragging them. We took him to the vet on Monday. She said that he had a "very poor prognosis" and they could try to do something, but even with the best care he would likely continue to deteriorate.
 Here are some very sad kids trying to say "good-bye".
We went out before they put him to sleep.  We had a little funeral out behind the barn. Not even two years here yet and there are already 3 pet graves. Hard lessons, but important ones as they give us an opportunity to talk about what happens after death and how valuable all life is to our Heavenly Father.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Beautiful Things: Creations from the garden and my pottery class

Sometimes dinner is so pretty I just have to take a picture!  All from our garden - purple potatoes, carrots, and fennel.
 These figs were from our friend JD's garden. I made a fig and cream galette recipe that I have been wanting to try. So delicious! I can't wait for my fig tree to get big enough to produce like this.
 And my latest series of pottery...  My teacher says that this set is excellent, "like you just woke up one day and said 'Now I am a potter.'" Yay!  I do think it is my favorite work so far.  I have tried several different styles over the last 2 years and now I think I found my style.
 It is natural grey clay painted with white clay slip and then sgraffito designs drawn in. The sgraffito was really fun. Just like doodling.

 I  finally realised (duh) that I like the more natural look of transparent and clear glazes.

Family Fun:Our Local Beach

Some friends invited us to a lovely man-made beach at one of our state parks. It's only about 40 minutes away. And it was only 3$ for all of us since kids are free. We had a blast!

 This is where I had to put away my camera and run out into the water for awhile. Little sister L is fearless in the water. She got right in and proceeded toward the first set of buoys like it was no big deal... I was not sure how deep it was out there and had to quickly run out to rescue her. She was not able to touch at the buoys, but she kept swimming/floating out to play with the big kids. And she never wanted to get out of the water! The other kids played in the sand, but she just wanted to swim... I wonder where she gets that from?!

  I made all three younger kiddos wear their swimmies since it was just me watching them.  Brother M swims pretty well, but I like no-risk swimming better.

Eclipse Watchers

We did not drive to a total eclipse area, but invested in the special glasses.  We had a lecture about not looking at the sun. Hubby made each child look down to put their glasses on and look down to take them off, so that they would not forget and take them off while looking at the sun. 
 Their reactions were each the same. It's totally dark black with the glasses on. Hubby would say "okay turn toward the sun" and then as soon as they saw it, "Oh!"  or "Wow!"


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Family Fun: Pop-up Pond

It was raining buckets on Tuesday.  Clay soil, saturated water levels, a couple low spots that all the water tends to flow into, and a very rainy year, all worked together made a pop-up pond in the back yard. 
 First the kids and I played in it. The turkeys tried to follow us, as usual, but they did not understand the appeal.

 Then after about an hour, the ducks and geese finally realized that it was a magical kingdom for them to play in.

It was mostly gone by the time hubby came home from work and all gone by Wednesday. I guess we know where to put a water feature if we ever decide that we want one.

Family Fun: County Fair

Our first county fair in the new county (we did not go last summer).
 We let the kids each pick 2 rides, since it is very pricey.

 There were also lots of great free farm games, like playing in the feed corn.

 And of course lots of farm animals! This is a beautiful grand prize winning Nigerian Dwarf goat -- the kind that I hope to have some day. I bet her kids are expensive, but I intend to ask the owner about it next year.
 We watched some sheep shearing.
 Checked out the rabbit competition to see whether we want to enter some bunnies next year.
  We admired the unique varieties of poultry and the prize winners.  Our friends that split the turkey poults with us entered their turkeys. They only got third and fourth places. Okay, well good to know.

 Practicing milking

 Bee keepers