Thursday, 31 March 2016

March

What a busy month!

We have over 30 new calves and 4 sets of twin lambs....

it's been many many nights of 'broken' sleep.

and snow!

The kids had another snow day last Thursday...giving them an extra long Easter weekend!

We sang the Alleluia's and dyed the eggs and ate the chocolate.

and pie.  so much pie.

I put '1 second everyday' app on my phone and this is our March...

video

In other news....Sophie and Lydia bought Jack's very old ipod from him.  They bought him 4 large cartons of chocolate milk in exchange for the ipod.  Fair deal I guess......I didn't even know he loved chocolate milk that much!  They texted me all the time now.  They are in the living room giggling and I'm in the kitchen.  It was nice for a bit....but then I gave them some other people's numbers to text because I really couldn't get my stuff done with all the texting.

And supper is kind of important here.

Lydia has lost both of her front teeth....and some other teeth on the bottom too.  She actually doesn't have very many teeth in her head right now....and her greatest fear is that her teeth will grow in as big as mine.  "They won't be as big as yours....will they?"

My teeth are pretty big....especially in the mouth of a 6 year old.  I'm really not sure what I did with my big teeth when I was her age.

I'm sure it will all work out.

Brenda


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A Lego Friends Cake

I made this cake on the weekend.


It was for a 'Lego Friends' themed party.





They needed some Lego cookies for the guests as well....


Brenda

Monday, 21 March 2016

Spring Calves.

We have lots of new spring calves!


Their mamas were busy eating so we had some snuggle time....


or should I say play time.....Lydia was really wanting to get ahold of that darker brown one....


But it just wanted to run and kick and jump....


Jack was busy putting down some new straw for bedding.




She got it!




And now there's a cat on the scene...



He's just about finished....




Running and playing in the new bedding...


Brenda

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Twins!

The first lambs of the year arrived last weekend.


Twins!


Two girls.


Pure white.


Such sweetness!


Helllooooo!  I'm talking to you!


I think you need a snuggle.


Hold on tight....she loves to jump!






So much love!  So much joy!

Brenda


Thursday, 17 March 2016

St. Patrick's Parade 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The 5th Annual St. Patrick's Parade was held last Friday night in Douglas.

We didn't put a float in this year....I got to watch it for the first time!

There was lots of green...


and lots of animals...


and fun...


and this guy with his old car and huge horse....I think this was my favourite...


and St. Patrick was there to bless us all....


I love our little village.

Brenda

Friday, 11 March 2016

A New Driver and Tapping Trees

I picked Grady up at school yesterday.

We drove into town.

I stopped at the spray car wash and sprayed down the truck...because it was completely caked in mud....and probably illegal to drive.

And we went to the drive test office.

And he went out on his road test.

AND HE PASSED.

He's got his drivers' license!

This is huge news for me.

I don't have to get up at 4am on the weekends and drive him to the milk barn in my pajamas ever again!!

Woot woot!

It's the little things in life that we need to celebrate the most.

Terry and I were tapping some trees this morning.


The sap is running.

We were doing great until we came upon this....


There are 4 people in this house with bigger feet than me...so I get stuck with hand-me-down farm footwear.

I'm not complaining....I've got a really nice pair of steel toe boots that we had bought for Johanna the first year that she was in the show ring.  I think she was 12.....and she grew out of them.  But they fit me perfectly.

But this morning I grabbed a pair of insulated rubbers that should have went to the dump.  They were rather holey and there was no way I was walking through that giant puddle.

So he had to finish up the last few trees without me.

And I have to go shopping.

Brenda

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Farm kids. Stepdancing. Another Rose Cake.

It's Wednesday! 

and it's raining!

and the snow is melting!

and did you know that you can get out of school if you know how to farm or stepdance?

Seriously.

I think they had 6 snow days in the last 3 weeks and now that they are back to school they aren't really back to school.

My three oldest are at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show in Ottawa today.  The high school asked around if any of the kids wanted to go......and of course they filled a bus!

Farm kids.  Getting a day off of school.

Sophie and Lydia were asked to dance at the local tavern yesterday afternoon.  They were picked up at school....taken to the tavern to dance for the crowd....and returned back to the school.  They each came home with a bag of chips and a new Douglas Tavern t-shirt. 

And you'd think that they had been to Disneyland for the day....they were that excited!

Only in Douglas.

oh yeah....and Sophie had a curling trip today and Jack goes skiing on Friday.  There doesn't seem to be much 'school' going on.

Anyways...it's March and the calendar is filled with a lot of this....




We haven't even managed to get the trees tapped.

and there are lots of new calves that I need to go and visit.

and I made another rose cake.


Brenda


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The New Family 1000 Families Project

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by the writers from The New Family.  They are doing a project on 1000 families...telling stories of 1000 different ways of being a family.

They wanted to include us in their project! 

Our post went up yesterday on their site.  You can see it here.

This is what I wrote about our family....


Terry and I have been married for 18 years. Our passion is farming. We work hard and dream big.

We started off with some beef cattle on a 100 acre farm. We now own three farms, work a 100 cow­-calf operation and have a flock of 30 sheep. This didn’t come easily. It was only recently that Terry came home to farm full time. He worked in the construction industry for years. When we were first married I only saw him on the weekends. He was away working and I was at home with the babies and cows. He soon was able to work jobs closer to home. There were night shifts, hay to cut, chores to do, and more babies (we have five children). I sometimes thought that we were crazy as we continued to put so much into farming despite the low cattle prices. We survived the BSE crisis (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, otherwise known as “mad cow disease”) while so many others didn’t.

We farmed on and luckily it turned out that our children loved farming as much as we did! We soon had another family—our 4­-H family.

The motto of 4­-H is “Learn to do by Doing”. It’s a non-profit that focusses on youth leadership, with it’s roots in agriculture. It allows youth to discover and do new things in a safe, inclusive and fun environment. The programs they offer are quite diverse, ranging from livestock clubs to cooking to sports to woodworking.

The kids didn’t want to just join the beef club in the 4­-H program–they joined every club they could, including the sheep and chicken clubs. The next thing I knew our farm had expanded to include not only laying hens but odd, beautiful breeds of hens and a sheep named Rosie. I was learning right along with the kids and we soon had an incubator in the living room, a baby lamb in the barn and many, many roosters.

This 4-­H family shares our same passion for farming and community betterment. We all support each other and share the stories of chasing cows, finding the best cookie recipe and dealing with messy mudrooms—the kind that don’t just have mud in them! We have watched our children compete at the fairs, with all the disappointments and achievements that entails. We love that we have our 4­-H community to celebrate life with us.

The 4-­H program also encourages our children to become good community members. I believe that it is because of 4-­H that we live in such a strong, vibrant, rural community. The tiny village of Douglas, Ontario and the people that surround this area are considered family. We look out for each other, encourage each other, and are always quick to lend a hand to those in need.

Celebrating brings us together and so we do a lot of it! We close down the highway and host two annual parades. Our own little family has been entering floats in both parades for the last four years. The Santa Claus Parade brings the community together for Christmas, and the parade in March celebrates St. Patrick. We have a fierce Irish heritage that we are so very proud of here. The Ottawa Valley is known for its fiddling and stepdancing. I’ve seen kids practising their stepdancing on the curling rinks, out in the ball field during a game or while waiting in line. Our three girls are stepdancers and Johanna also plays the fiddle.

The Douglas tavern hosts an annual “Kids Day” on a Sunday afternoon in March. I’ve seen up to sixty kids take to the stage to fiddle, stepdance or sing traditional Irish tunes. It is a beautiful sight that brings our community family together.

We also belong to an active, faithful parish family. Our beloved church is sustained by the
farming community. We are blessed to have a church with crying babies, active toddlers and even teenagers. While being a Catholic may be frowned upon in other places, our parish continues to thrive. It is with this family that we celebrate life through the sacraments and the Eucharist.

Our family may live in a rural area and it may look as though we are only surrounded by
fields—and we are! But we are also surrounded by a generous, loving, supportive community of
family.


Brenda


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Another Snowday

They got their snowday!

There was lots of snow blowing and bucket scraping and shovelling.

video

The girls played outside quite a bit today....even though the wind was really cold! 


At one point I sort of panicked.  Lydia had gone out by herself and I figured she was behind some snowbank somewhere....probably building a fort.  But then I couldn't find her!  I sent out a text to Terry and the older ones and Grady immediately responded with "She's with me".  She had jumped in the tractor with him and was feeding the cows!




This cow always seems to be watching me.....


We have quite a lot of snow!....it's right up to the top of the fence!


I love the snow but I also love this...


Brenda