Thursday, April 9, 2015

pig problems - can they get homesick?!

"Peppa" arrived last week - well sort of. We have seen very little of Peppa. The pig's previous owner called herself the pig's grandmother and actually kissed it as Adam loaded the pig into the cage for the ride to our home. Upon arrival to its new surroundings the pig promptly ran into the electric fence and went ballistic. Eventually the pig discovered the pig shelter and buried itself under the straw. The next day we set out food and could hear some sort of whimpering/breathing coming from the lump of straw. The following day the food still sat there, untouched. This repeated the next day. Concerned I looked at the big lump of straw where the pig had buried itself and felt a lump creep up into my throat. This pig is homesick I thought. I know exactly how that pig feels because I had the same home-sick struggles while growing up:lack of appetite, listlessness, and you just feel like staying bed all day. I recognized all of the symptoms.
 We tried luring the pig out of the big lump of straw with some chocolate cake, but to no avail. Finally I took a shovel and started to gently poke around the straw. I nicked the pig and he jumped straight up with all four paws off of the ground. He let out a loud high-pitched squeal. My squeal was louder. My heart has never thumped so hard or irregular before.
I am not sure how long a pig can survive without eating but thankfully it has slowly started to meander its way out of the shelter to eat. This has been good timing because I was beginning to wonder if we needed to hook some sort of IV or feeding tube to it.
Peppa the pig would of been much better off if it had other pig company but that is another problem. There are no berkshire or tamworth piglets to buy in our area. Actually the whole province has a shortage of piglets. Apparently the winter was so harsh that the male pigs did not show any interest in the female pigs therefore lack of spring piglets.

The lump of straw we looked at for days before Peppa made a cautious appearance.

Peppa the Pig 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

road trip

During the spring break we drove down through Kentucky, spent some time in Tennessee, rested in Florida for a week, whirled through Savannah, spent two days in Hilton Head, S.C. and made it safely home with stories to share and memories to treasure.

Rock City filled with cliffs, overhangs, a swinging bridge, huge rock formations, and trails through rocks was a highlight for our family. The boys love geography and the theory is you can view seven different states from the look out point.

We slept in a tiny cabin on raccoon mountain close to Rock City. The next morning we walked up the hill and prepared to go exploring through a cave! Now this is not something that has ever been on my bucket list; caving has never even crossed my mind but am I ever thankful that Adam suggested this great adventure.

Tennessee boast of over 14,000 caves in its rugged state. Our family took the family-friendly tour through Raccoon Mountain Cave. As we entered the damp, underground cave, the beauty of the cave was startling. The tour guide gave us an excellent tour. We marveled how God has designed and sustains the whole underground world! Caving, otherwise known as spelunking, is something I would do again w.k. (without kids - or at least a two year old)!

Sitting on top of the cave.

We rented a home in Orlando, Florida and besides swimming in the back yard pool we did a lot of biking. Disney has a bike path through it's Camp Wilderness that you can go in for free. We love biking - this is something the whole family can do regardless of age, it burns boys exuberant amount of energy, and it is a way of exploring through different places. Knowing that there would be some heavy duty biking on our trip, I committed myself to getting into some sort of shape before we left. I could picture these boys taking off on their bikes and me straggling way behind. My exercise payed off because I kept up with the rest of the family just fine...until we got to the hills. At one point I was working my way up a hill and focused my moaning and groaning on getting up that hill. The seven year old went whizzing past me and on hearing my intense breathing yelled, "Are you embarrassed mom?!" Yes, Yes, I am!

We saw a deer and a wild turkey during one bike ride.

In Florida we also went to 2 natural springs. This is another highlight for all of us. The first spring, Ichetucknee Spring allowed us to take a 2 hour tube ride through the most gorgeous nature. Turtles sat on logs as we floated by and white, graceful cranes swooped around us. Trees covered with moss surrounded the river. This was a wonderful experience, enjoying God's creativity! (the next three pictures are taken from the Internet)

We also visited Wekikwa Park. We had a picnic lunch at this park and played in the water. You could see where the natural spring bubbled up and filled the reservoir. During the month of March, most parks have cheaper rates so it would only cost our family $5.00-6.00 to enter the park.

We spent an afternoon touring through beautiful Savannah. We have learned the best way to tour through old cities is to go on some sort of tour. This time we took a trolley bus tour. Their system worked well with giving a professional tour for 90 minutes and then dropping you off at your desired location. You can then get picked up and dropped off through different parts of the city for the rest of the day.

And now for something we will never forget: I dressed everyone in bright yellow for easy spotting but unfortunately wearing yellow attracted a lot of attention from other tourists. In a city filled with older people and not too many younger children, this resulted numerous comments. "Are all these boys yours? Any twins? Where's the girls? Are you going to keep on trying for a girl?" The comments were endless and repetitive, but Caleb who is smack-middle of the terrible twos did not help us fade into the background.
At one point he did not want to get into his stroller and had his mind set on walking in the middle of the road. Adam grabbed him and I held the stroller still so Adam could get him into the stroller. When Caleb heard Adam say, "No, you may not walk on the road" he decided to throw the most tumultuous temper tantrum ever. All at once his legs started kicking, his arms were flailing through the air, his upper back went completely rigid, so stiff in fact, you could not bend him to sit in the stroller, and to top it off he was screaming. While Adam and I were dodging his swinging limbs we tried to buckle up this feisty two year old in his stroller. The other four boys, dressed in bright yellow stood by us watching this public scene. And then to top it off, a trolley bus pulled up along the street across from us. The driver, who probably never had kids, then parked the bus. The tourists on the trolley leaned out of their windows and started taking pictures of our family, all dressed in bright yellow, with lots boys, and one going absolutely crazy. This is for real. The tour guide took his microphone and broadcasted loud enough for everyone on the street to hear, "Is he for sale?" At that moment the two year old was for free.

After Savannah we spent the weekend in Hilton Head before heading home. Again we explored the island on our bikes, and hit the beach for an afternoon.


The boys bought two of these alligator heads for souvenirs. Kind of a weird thing to claim at the border!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

april fools flop

The boys woke up on high alert this morning. Today was their mother's favourite day; a day not only allowing practical jokes but one that even encouraged well- thought out pranks.
They carefully poured their cereal, took extra caution when they brushed their teeth, and convinced themselves that mine and Adam's conversations were codes for a hilarious joke.
Instead of a prank I planned a "April Fools Dinner."
I wrapped 5 presents and hid them. Before dinner the boys had to find the presents and whatever they opened up is what they would have to eat their spaghetti with during dinner time. I had salad tongs, serving forks, and a big scoop wrapped up -  great challenges for eating spaghetti. We had fun green juice, twisty straws, and sunglasses to add to the celebration.

At about 8.5 minutes into dinner I apologized to Adam and promised never to do this again. Suppers are a normal messy occurrence with these boys but this was plain disastrous. Noodles and sauce covered their faces, twisted between their fingers, and landed up in large piles beside their dinner plates.
During our after supper prayer I felt a glob of wet, soggy noodles slide into my hair. Caleb was sitting on my lap and flung a fork full of noodles backwards. What didn't land on his head, flopped on mine!