Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Puppy Mania

Puppies everywhere!

Lots of families and friends have stopped by to play and visit.

 Taking pictures of these guys is about as hard as taking pictures of five squirming boys. They are everywhere and are determined to explore.

                                                             This picture says is all!
We put an add on kijiji in our area and had close to 700 hits. People came to our home from 2-3 hours away looking for a family lab. We couldn't believe it. My email in-box was over flowing with requests for yellow males, yellow female, and chocolate male and females. My brain began to cramp. Very quickly we had most of the puppies sold and now we can just enjoy them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Word & Deed Bike-a-thon

Saturday, June 7 -   Bright and early; eager and energetic, riders joined together ready to bike for a worthy cause. 

A summary of this stupendous day...

  fabulous weather ~   sunny, a slight breeze, just perfect!
numerous ~ 332 riders! 
incredulous ~ the age of the oldest rider....82!
togetherness ~ the atmosphere was one of solidarity
contagious ~  the energy and intensity of the riders
generous ~ $73,000 raised!!!! 
wondrous ~ the landscaping and flower beds of the homes that we biked by
scrumptious ~ the meal waiting for us at the end of the bike-a-thon
A tremendously big thank you to all of the organizers and bikers! Raising this amount of money to assist the AIDS clinic in South Africa is enormous.

*thank you Brianna @ Word & Deed for these pictures

Monday, June 9, 2014

one crazy day

I woke up on the morning "of the crazy day" feeling tired rather than refreshed. A quick second later the memories of the hectic previous evening caused me to grimace. It had been around 9:30pm and the last load of laundry had been put away and it was finally peaceful around here after a busy day. The sudden howl of a coyote that sounded suspiciously close to our home, as in- right beside my door close- jarred me to my senses. 
We had forgotten to put the pigs in their pen for the night. I could still hear the two older boys talking in their bedroom so I told them that the pigs needed to be brought to their pen. Within seconds they were outside, wearing only what boys wear to bed and their rubber boots. The cloud cover was getting thicker and the sky quickly darkened. Finding three dark pigs on a dark evening was going to be a difficult task.
 I managed to find one flashlight and hoped the boys would soon have the three little piggies back in their pen safe and sound. My hoping was all for naught. The piggies were gone. Lost. Ready to be eaten by coyotes. The boys climbed the cow structure and continued to yell "Sausage, Ham, Bacon" thinking that the pigs would surely come running to this. I suggested that they shout "pigs come!" and maybe then they would get a response. Those pigs didn't need reminding about what sure to be their end.
The minutes ticked by and we didn't see or hear any signs of the pigs.
 Every half or minute or so, Liam would check his watch and yell that it was that it was getting later and he could hardly wait to tell his teacher that he was up past 10:04 on a school night.
 Groaning, I knew that I needed to make a decision. Adam was in a consistory meeting and in his seven years of serving I have never called to interrupt him at a meeting. We were now in a full blown emergency. Coyotes howling, pigs on the loose, and Liam yelling the late time made me run for the phone.
 Adam did not answer on the first call. Nor on the third and fourth calls. I was sure that if he knew what was going on at home he would stand and say, "Sorry brothers, I need to go home. Our pigs have escaped" but he did not have his phone on him. Finally the boys heard a little snort and our three little piggies came running from nowhere and headed in single file straight for their pen. We were all relieved and headed off to bed.
Then came my "crazy day"
Our dog was a day overdue with puppies and had managed to make a nest under the furthest corner of our deck, ignoring the fact that we had a new whelping box with blankets and food for her in a cool room of our shop. Now sensing that her time was near, she needed to get out from underneath the deck and deliver her puppies in a clean environment. With much coaxing and prodding, Adam managed to get her out and we reintroduced her to the whelping box. 
Adam was on his way up north to work for a few days and was hesitant to leave us but I assured him that I had everything under control. After all what could be worse than the evening before?
A half hour after Adam left our dog looked like she was in the throws of labour. Soon one puppy was born and shortly after another wet, chocolate coloured puppy made his appearance. I was busy inside the house and would run outside offering the dog cool water to comfort her every half hour. This also was a day that lots of people happened to stop by. One of them was my sister with her little boys. Now her little guy is the same age as Tyler and those two boys ran around outside, playing and laughing together. We thought that it was so cute when they came to us with a little wire basket showing us the eggs they collected. Little did we know that they had disconnected the automatic waterer in the chicken coop and the water hose went shooting up inside of  the chicken coop, causing it to "rain" inside of the coop.
Fast forward to 3:30. I picked up the boys from school to celebrate the arrival of the puppies. By this time nine puppies were born but our dog still looked like she was in distress. I told the boys to leave her alone and we would check on her in a little while. It was around that time that Andrew came running to me shouting, "Emergency! Emergency! Its pouring in the chicken coop! Water is everywhere!" 
I went running to the chicken coop and sure enough, water was spraying through the whole coop. I had no idea what hose went where or how to turn it off. I considered getting an umbrella as I tried to solve the newest problem but that would just be weird holding an umbrella in a chicken coop?!
 I got soaked as I tried to figure out what was going on. Finally I found the right nosel in the midst of the pouring rain and turned it off. It had been "raining" in the coop for 3.5 hours and it was sopping wet. The shavings would need to be wheelbarrowed out and the coop would need to air dry.
After eating a quick supper we were doing dishes and we watched as the pigs crossed right over the electric wire. I couldn't believe what I was seeing as they headed off into the field beside us. (we now know that the grass along the wire cannot get too long or it will shorten)
 At this point my functioning level plummeted and my brain froze. Our dog was still in distress, the pigs were out again, I spent the day keeping up with the two youngest boys on top of doing my daily tasks and I had nothing left.
Like any normal female adult would do, I grabbed the phone and I called my dad. I told him that I needed him to come over asap. Within in seconds both of my parents were over. The pigs were rounded up and placed in their pen, (where I vowed they would remain until Adam came home) and my dad went to check on our dog. After examining her, he told me that a puppy was breech and probably stuck. He took a towel and actually delivered it. The puppy had been stuck for too long and had died. My dad found a spot in the field and buried it for me (and Andrew promptly unburied it the next day). After everything had calmed down, our dog had two more puppies bringing the total to eleven.
That night as I dragged myself into bed I thought that as busy as this hobby farm stuff was, it was well worth it! 

Caleb loves the outdoors.
A common scene - how many boys can you fit in a sand box?!