Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another Cow Story

  "Anticipation! Anticipation! Anticipation!"  is a word my uncle likes to proclaim, not just once but three times for a lingering effect. When you are a worry wart, anticipation comes naturally as you imagine worse case scenarios and quickly and steadfastly problem solve the problems that hardly occur.

We had a situation this summer that we did not anticipate nor could of; it was just that crazy.

While vacationing with our family and friends in the beautiful north, I was asked how the farm life was holding up. I was eager to share that we had no escaped animals this year, we had everything under control and were enjoying the routine of farm life we had fallen into. We knew what animals and how many animals to buy in the spring and it had become quite manageable.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon and my friend comes running down to the beach. "Kerri, got to call home right away. Your cow is having a baby!"
"Whatttt??"  You see, we have a terrific guy that buys our cows every spring at an auction. He tells us about the cows and we welcome the cows into the field when he delivers them. These are young cows he buys at the auction. Nice and tender.

When we go away to travel or on vacation, a young, responsible guy moves into our home to take care of our animals and house.
We had left for vacation at the beginning of summer, telling him that everything was in good order; in fact easier then the last time when he moved in and had puppies to care for.
Now, on the fourth day of taking care of the animals, our guy noticed a cow laying by the fence looking very uncomfortable. Imagine his surprise when he saw the cow trying to deliver a calf! This is not what we had written down on the instruction sheet!
 He called our phones up north but when he couldn't reach us he called our friends who were vacationing with us. They quickly passed on the news.

So after my friend told me to call home right away, I ran up to our cottage and blurted out the news to Adam.

Adam took this news calmly, always steadfast and unpanicked  Meanwhile I paced as Adam phoned this young man.

I couldn't believe it. I had always wanted a baby calf to be born on our farm but I had to work my way to telling this to Adam and decided that after a normal farming year,(which we had never yet experienced!) it would be a good time.

Our farmer friend was up north with us and told Adam to ask our guy if there was indeed a calf coming out, and to make sure that just part of the cow's female cycle... (who knew?) Adam didn't look too comfortable having this part of the conversation, but it was less intimidating having it over the phone than in person.
Yes, there was no doubt about it. A calf head was sticking out and it looked stuck.
We called a vet who made his way to our home - after hours of course. After a traumatic birth, the calf was born dead and had to be buried.
But the worse part was our mother cow. She was unable to get up and was really struggling probably due to a pinched nerve. The guy who stays at our home and is so responsible, set up a tent shelter for her and placed food and water in front of her.
The next day we called some guys and they took our tractor, made a sling and tried to get the mom cow to stand. Unfortunately it didn't work.
For the guy living at our house it became a busy week trying to feed and nourish the mom cow. My dad spend many hours too, trying to revive this cow and take care of it. By the end of the week, the mom cow was not doing well and had to be put down. What a sad ending.

There was no way to anticipate a week like that; calling people, getting advice, and trying to help take care of things at home from afar. Thankfully there were many people who were willing to help out.
So it may be a long time yet before we purposely buy a pregnant cow!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Puppy Days

Puppies cause an uproar of excitement in our household. The picture of Ty holding our puppy and a chicken won in a newspaper photo contest much to his delight.

 We had 8 labradoodles with a wide range of colours and wavy fur. During the first four weeks they were easy to care for. During the next four weeks, they became alive with cute character.  Even though it was stinky at times, it was fun.
We kept this sweet gal.
Doing school work was a whole lot more pleasant while holding a puppy.
Reading about a pup and his adventures while holding a puppy:)


Monday, June 5, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All About Reading

~reading and holding a puppy...perfect for a boy!~

In September we ventured into unknown territory...homeschooling 2 of our children. ( that explains lack of blog posts!)
We started our first grader on a reading program called "All About Reading". It was just my kind of program telling me what to teach, how to teach it, and when to teach it. The program was just Tyler's kind of program with magnets, flash cards, and the one on one teaching that he needed.

Part of the program involves reading to your child for 20 minutes every day.
This is where our dear aunt Marion comes in. Every Monday afternoon, Tyler skypes with aunt Marion and she reads to him, capturing his attention to past an hour at times.
They have been working through the illustrated children's classic books, already finishing six books. Tyler has a copy of a book and aunt Marion has her own copy. She reads with so much expression, that I sometimes stop what I'm doing and tune in! She takes the time to explain the setting of the story, asks related questions, and answers any questions Tyler may have.
He loves it. I love it.
The scarier the story- the better for Tyler. Animals and adventures are a must.
I learned that Anne of Green Gables does not cut it.
 ACTION all of the way!

It's serious business; fighting, saving, rescuing, and getting out of traps!

And there are times aunt Marion will make a visit and the reading
is that much better!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Fools Delicacies

This rather mean idea came to me a week before April Fools. We were visiting a reptile zoo and the presenter fed the lizards and snakes some cool looking worms. The blue slithery wormy thing reminded me of the candy worms kids love so much.
A week later I was at Pet Smart buying five of these live worms for my April Fools joke.
Snack was served on April Fools afternoon. On the menu, candy worms placed carefully in a bowl....along with a real worm.

 It was a difficult task trying to take pictures of this great April Fools joke, making sure the boys didn't actually eat the worm and the other candy worms that the worm may have touched.
Whaaat is that?!!

"You are a bad mom!"

The worms have been kept alive, and I am watching my back!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Touring the World (in our immaginations!)

In the past I wrote about our Country Dinners. In our imagination we arrive to the country we picked out and learn about it by making maps and flags and filling a jar up with interesting facts that we take turns reading. We listen to their cultural music, decorate, and eat a meal from that country.
We are in our third winter of having these monthly dinners and it continues to be a success; an evening that kids and adults enjoy.
We got smart. All of the kiddos are on one side of the table watching a tour show on the wall from the country we are visiting so that the adults can eat with a little bit of peace!
Liam is ready to serve us the escargot from France...
And we did it! We were brave and ate the slimy, runny snail. We didn't think to explain the process to our youngest and he stuck the whole shell in his mouth and started crunching! yuck!
None of this would happen without my talented sister-in-law. She makes up the menus and creates eye pleasing and delicious food for everyone to enjoy. And to top it off, she cooks everything from scratch!
For the decorations we think of someone we know from that country and borrow some items they have.
We will even call someone who has been to that country to visit and see if they brought back any souvenirs . (Thanks Christine for going to Australia for us!)
On the menu for Australia....Crocodile, Kangaroo, and Ostrich meat!!
Yesirree, we all had a helping of these interesting meats!
We even had a kangaroo join us for dinner to help remind us what we were eating!
After our Australian meal, we took turns playing the Didgeridoo.
Visiting Greece.
Thailand's Spring Rolls and Sauces.
Eating sushi was an interesting experience when visiting Japan but the dessert turned out to be a big hit.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Touring Adventures in ODYSSEY

Going back many months...When we planned the big road trip out west, we knew we had to somehow tour through Colorado and stop in at Focus on the Family Headquarters. How many miles have we spent in the van, listening to Adventures in Odyssey? I don't know- a lot. I also know that it has broken up fights of boys clobbering each other in the back seat of the van and there is a silence and stillness that Adam and I treasure as soon as the familiar Adventure in Odyssey tune starts up.

We almost didn't make it to Focus on the Family with Andrew's accident. We had planned to tour Focus on Monday afternoon and catch the plane ride home on Tuesday morning. On Monday morning, the nurses said Andrew would be discharged from the hospital but we needed a Dr's signature first. The neuro surgeon who had been taking care of Andrew was called into emergency surgery and so we sat and waited. By lunch time our chance of being discharged on time to make it to the Focus on the Family Headquarters before they closed was very slim. Andrew started crying and so did I. This was a huge disappointment. We prayed about it together and then the nurse walked in with the papers. What relief and thankfulness!
At Whits' End we ordered the WADFAMCHOCSOD, tasting better than how they describe it!
We toured through the Town of Odyssey, taking a ride in the Imagination Station.
We hit the Focus on the Family Bookstore where I could of camped for the night.
And then the best thing happened. The staff at Focus, after hearing about Andrew's accident, arranged for us to have a special tour with the producer of Adventures in Odyssey, Nathan Hoobler.
We were led to the back of the building into a medium sized room. Here is where they would make all of the sound effects for each episode of Adventures in Odyssey. The flooring in the room was made up of patches of hardwood, carpet, gravel, brick, and dirt. There was an assortment of squeaky chairs and doors. Nathan spent an hour of his time showing us the different items they use to make the sound effects. Even a simple bag of corn starch was used to make the sound of someone walking on packed snow. It was captivating!
Shake the metal cart and it become the Imagination Station! Behind Tyler are the characters' different shoes. Who do you think wears the cowboy boots?
The small spot of counter where Liam is, makes all of the noise for the café.
Nathan is holding Mr. Whittaker's shoes.

A better glimpse of the "Imagination Station."
A close up of Mr. Whittaker's shoes.
Nathan Hoobler sent us home with a big, thick book of behind the scenes of Odyssey, and many CDs to listen to.
Touring through the Focus on the Family building, spending time at Whit's End, and having this special tour was a huge highlight for our family. We didn't see as much of Colorado as we would of liked to, but we were thankful for this time and very thankful that we had our family all back together again. We were ready to head home.