So far this week...

Got organized for planting the garden; although it's been too wet to plant.
Said goodbye to Fred and Arnold, which added $150 to Emmi's savings envelope.  She wants her very own calf.
Came home from errands to find Hammy at the back door.  He escaped twice more that day.
Sweet Waid picked flowers for me.
Waid build a skeleton man out of zoobs.

Kitchen chaos

When the plumber/gas fitter was here running natural gas lines under the house, he happened to look under the sink, and commented on this:
It's some type of old, very thin copper tubing, that had been run as the dishwasher water line; a flood waiting to happen.
SO after being out of the kitchen (and trying to keep the kids out of the house) on the day that the plumber was here, and installing my new gas stove=), among other things......we were kicked out of the kitchen another day.
I had bought a new sink and faucet, so  it was no big deal to fix the dishwasher hose too, right?  Of course the flooring was laid  <after> the dishwasher was installed, making it really difficult to get out.  Then DH (an electrician) discovered the wiring was all wrong, so that had to be repaired.
On a positive note (I think), it appears that the hardwood floor is under the current flooring, and a couple of layers of other stuff.  So that may be great news in the future.  Right now a kitchen reno is nowhere on my radar (financially or otherwise).  I've lived through one total gut job, and it is not something I want to do again.  I'll be perfectly happy just painting cabinets and getting a new counter top somewhere down the road.
At the end of the day, my wonderful new sink was installed.  It's huge!---or rather the old one was very small and basic.  Look at the dirty dishes=).  That is a 9x13, a 6qt pan, and a large skillet on the bottom.  NONE of which would fit in the old sink.  
Great sink equals happy moma!


William and Moe are friends.

The mini's seem to be afraid of William., Since William and Moe are the new kids on the block, they are often seen together.  There are new goats, but they have their moma.
William's color is changing, he now has more brown.

I can hardly believe Moe was only 5lbs. just about 6 weeks ago.  Now it's getting difficult to pick him up.  
I'll manage though, as long as he will sit in the rocking chair with me.
William is a very sweet boy.  He loves to be rubbed.  He is very gentle,  except when I have a bottle in my hand; then he forgets his manners.
Took about 20 pictures to get these few decent ones =)

A normal day

Avery loving on a chicken.
Isn't she cute.  She helped her daddy outside for a while, and got rained on.
Look what her hair did after getting rained on.  The waves.  There's gotta be something besides Chinese genes in this child.  When we have time, we can do all kinds of hairstyles on her,  Most braids, barrettes, etc., slide right out of Emmi's hair.  Also, Avery's hair is very dark brown, not black.
My baby is growing up; the cow one I mean.  Waid is actually doing some regressing, I don't know why.  Today he came in to use the bathroom and wash his hands.  Over an hour later, it was discovered that he left the faucet on full blast.  Luckily it was discovered before the sink overflowed, water was about an inch from the top.  He's done several things like that lately.
Looks like he may be spending a lot more supervised time with daddy.

New additions

  We bought a purebred Jersey!!  We named her Josie, and she is due to calve any day!
 We started looking around a while back, and learned that (in our area, at least)  dairy cows are hard to come by, and very expensive.  We saved, and saved, and got very discouraged because...they are hard to come by.  DH ran across an old advertisement for some Jerseys, and I called just to see it they had any more.  After looking high and low, a farm that raises Jersey's to sell to big dairies, is only about 15 minutes away.  I guess it's one of those "best kept secret" type things.  The family owns about 600 cows.....around $1 MILLION dollars worth of cows......which totally blows my mind.
Our milk cow Lilly, is only 1/2 Jersey, and gives us 3 gallons of milk a day, so we are excited to see how much milk Josie will give us.  We've also been checking on Artificial Insemination (AI) for Lilly, only to find out that the success rate is only 60-70%, and it cost more than we were originally told.  We are very thankful to have learned that Josie's former owner "rents" his bulls, and they are 100% Jersey from the University of Tennessee.  Of course the success rate is much higher, and it is much less expensive than AI.  We will have to "rent" the bull twice, since the goal is to have milk year-round (the cows do not need to be bred on the same schedule).  We will be able to borrow a neighbor's bull to sire the beef cows, but we want the dairy cows' offspring to be dairy cows.
Emmi informed me that I had not introduced the pigs---so there they are in the picture above.  Pigs and chickens are the only animals without names.  Chickens; because there are too many, and the all look alike.  Pigs: The just are cuddly and loveable, such that the kids want to name them.
Moving right along, 4 more new additions.  New Zealand rabbits.  They arrived just yesterday, so names have not been decided on.
These four girls will be our breeding stock, with the 2 bucks below.  None of us have ever eaten we're not sure how this story will end.  But their babies will be raised as  meat rabbits.  Can any of you share good rabbit recipes with me??

Goat's milk!!!

YAY!!  Not a lot, but YAY!!

The kids (Hers-not mine) will be weaned in 2 weeks and then we should get at least a quart a day.  
Milly didn't get to practice ahead of time like Lilly the cow did.  We didn't have everything ready until 2 weeks AFTER the babies were born.  She squatted a lot the 1st day, DH and I were holding her back legs up.  Day two she only squatted a little.
Milly was not supposed to be pregnant when we got her in December.....apparently she was.
DH was able to make an even trade: his Mini Cooper for an Accord.  He loved the mini, BUT there is only one dealer (and service center) in the state.  Lesson learned.  For routine maintenance DH had to take it back to the dealer.  That has been two times since we moved.  We used to live about 20 minutes from the dealer, now it is over an hour and a half.  Taking a car in for service is a pain anyway, much less driving 3 hours round trip to do so.    This is still the case with my van, which only Mercedes will service, but I don't have many options, since our needs are more specific for the van.

Everybody wants in on the feeding time action

"At three weeks old, maybe we should try some of this food!"
"We've been munching on grass, maybe this stuff is good too."
"That lady is now locking us in a stall at night without moma....we should fill up on this stuff."
"I wonder why that lady takes moma to that other building in the mornings now?"

"Gobble up before lights out!"

Let there be light

DH is off for 3 weeks!!!!  The "to do" list is long, but it is great to see progress.
The 8 stall barn went from 3 lights, to 12!!!  I am so thankful DH has the ability to do electrical wiring.
It is still getting dark before we finish bottle feeding William.  In the winter I will be especially grateful, as we had to deal with flashlights and dim lighting last winter.
William is probably around 200lbs., hard to believe he is only two months old.  A sweet boy, when he's not trying to get milk.  We have about 2 more months of bottle feeding to do.
Jake went back to Pensacola.  He is a supervisor of 120 workers at AB*ka.  He just moved to a new apartment and is thrilled to have a washer and dryer there!  And he brought us a crazy/interesting trivia fact this visit.....PCC served over 1 milliion pounds of chicken tenders last year.  And since employees get free lunch in the campus cafeteria, he ate his fair share of those chicken tenders=).


The buff Orpington chicks we got last October are laying eggs---9-10 a day!!
The pasture with goats, mini-donk, mini-horses, William the calf, and Moe the lamb is being re-done.  The wood fence, though it looks good, is falling apart, and has many rotten posts.  It is certainly not goat proof.  The goats have been going wherever the please, but that has to change, since it is time to plant a garden.
This cutie pie, Moe, has to learn how to stay in the pasture with the big boys, and eat more grass. He has skipped his lunchtime bottle for 3 days now, and has been in the pasture most of the time.  The new fence will keep him in too.  DH and I got the metal posts and fencing up last week.

Jake was home from Pensacola, so we put him to work (and his neck got sunburned).  Kristen was here also, she knocked down all the wooden cross pieces, and Jake hauled them to a burn pile.  Jake also did alot of weedeating, and cleaning of fence rows all over the property.  He was a huge help.

Odds and ends

Liily is feeling much better.
Waid can count to 100!  For the longest time, he was stuck at 14.
He has learned to read this year, and is finally moving into the K5 books, instead of repeat, repeat, repeating pre-school work.
He can sound things out, and tries to spell them on his own.  Below, he wrote Lilly, Billy, Delilah, Milly, and Jennifer.
In the country,  you never know what will be brought home by the dogs.  Not even sure what this is.
Miss Muffet enjoying her "dream home", made for by Emmi and Avery.

The simple love of a child.

So innocent.  Loving, and wanting nothing in return.   Lilly is our dairy cow, who is sick.
Emmi made this get well card for her.  We think Lilly has pneumonia.  The vet was out of town, but we were able to get 2 injections for her.  I'm thankful (again) for all the equipment on this farm, even if it is rarely used.
Without the squeeze chute, we would have never succeeded at giving Lilly the shots.  The vet is coming out tomorrow.
The card reads "Lilly, Please get well.  I love you.  I like your milk.  I like the name Lilly May Hoover.  Lilly, it's such a pretty name.  Love, Emmi"  Of course this card will be laminated and put on the milking parlor wall.  Lilly seemed to have really studied the drawing=)
Meanwhile, the kids are full of energy, and finally able to get it out.  The spent over an hour yesterday having races in the yard.  Above is the Mr. Waternoose (Monsters, Inc) walk....or crab walk.  And below, they are doing a wheel barrel race.
We are so happy that spring is here!!