Adding to the Zoo!

Earlier this week, we took a drive, horse trailer in tow, to a local dairy to pick up a few new friends! Here they are waiting to be taken out of the trailer when we got home:

Lauren welcoming Amos into his new pen....She isn't quite as brave as Emma, but she was willing to pet his head before fleeing! :-) Amos was a bit less steady on his feet and the first night we fed them, he kept falling over and Jake would have to pick him back up (for some reason, he wasn't quite as amused as I was by the whole scene - which lasted about 45 minutes).....

Here is Emma and Nehemiah. (Like the names? We're doing OT for Bible right now....Jake calls them "Esther and Lamentations"....he's a real comedian) Nehemiah was much more coordinated than Amos (Amos has since caught up) and spent much of the first evening running and jumping around the pen. There isn't much cuter than watching a day old calf run and jump!
This is the first time we've had bull calves and they are much different than our heifers! The last 2 heifers we had were orphans from the sale yard and I don't know if it is the difference between beef vs milk or heifer vs bull, but these 2 are much more aggressive! They're 5 days old and I'm already feeding them through the fence because they have taken to butting their heads into me and running over the top of me while I try to feed them (This scene Jake finds much more amusing!). I was still teaching the heifers how to eat while I held them on my lap at this stage. That's ok....it's still fun to hear them bawling for milk when I walk outside and feeling their little sand paper tongues while they search for the bottle in my hand.
P.S. Did you know you can buy powdered bovine colostrum in a bag?
P.P.S. Did you know that when you call a feed store and ask for bovine colostrum you should ask to speak to someone other than the 17 year old boy that answers? I really should not have had to have that conversation!


A Guide to Healthy Living

My two monkeys each ate a clementine, a banana and two bowls of blueberries and blackberries for lunch! We love the day after a trip to Costco!!

But, lest you be too amazed at my mothering skills.....directly after lunch they went to play the Wii. Who was it that said the Wii is better than most video games because at least it gets the kids up and moving? Oh yah, I think that was me.....

...before I witnessed my youngest's ability to bowl from this position on the couch! Now that's skill! :-)


What 2009 will bring....

I don't do the whole "New Year's Resolution" thing.....but I think its great to have things to look forward to accomplishing. So this is just a list of fun, new things I'm excited about trying in 2009:

1. Learn to sew. Ok, this has been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. When I was little, my grandma always made me dresses and matching ones for my doll....even my Barbi! How in the heck did she make tiny clothes for a Barbi?! Anyway, now my MIL does this very thing for my girls. Sooooo, starting next Tuesday afternoon, Emma and I are enrolled in a sewing class....thanks to my fabulously great MIL! Emma is thrilled, but I think my overwhelming excitement is starting to annoy her! :-)

2. Run/walk/crawl a 5K. This is something that I've always wanted to do and my dear friend, Sunny "persuaded" me to do it with her. I will say, I have always been dumbfounded by and somewhat envious of people who run marathons (yes, I know a 5K is not a marathon!). I don't see a marathon in my future, but I have always wanted to be a "runner." However, this means I actually have to start running now (as my ever-supportive husband keeps badgering, I mean reminding me of!).

3. Participate in the Volkslauf. This kinda goes with #2 and frankly, if #2 doesn't work out, there is no way this will ever happen! Sunny also volunteered me to be in this and I'm pretty excited/terrified! Aforementioned husband is oh so excited about this and promises to be there, camera in hand, cell phone w/ 911 on speed dial at the ready! :-) I think he might be mocking me.....

4. Attend a women's retreat! This isn't really a "goal"or resolution, but something I am excited about anyway! I have never been on a women's retreat, ever! In fact, the last retreat I was on was a IV leader's retreat in college! I'm so excited that Melanie and Kati have invited me to go and I am so looking forward to it!!


Aha, now I get it!

Now I understand why all of those "experts" say that teaching our kids the alphabet song does more harm than good! Because when you are pointing to the letters in the phonics book and you get to "L" they say, "ELEMENNO".....in fact, I distinctly remember all of us parents being chastised by Emma's kindergarten teacher about that very thing! "If you are going to sing the song, make sure you ENUNCIATE each letter!!" (At the time, I think she was being a little crazy! :-)) Also, when you get to the end of the alphabet and you point to "Z", they say, "and". You know, "x, y, and z".....

So here is my helpful hint of the day: enunciate and leave out "and"

Also, I think this Alpha-Phonics book is brilliant (thanks Kourtni!!)! And you can't beat the price! We're talking under $20 and less than 168 pages (which includes several pages of teacher instruction and a lesson plan to go with each of the 128 lessons). Beats a 50 pound box of Hooked on Phonics that costs $200! It is very basic.....letters and words on a page.....I love simplicity (and I hate big cumbersome books full of pictures of apples and bees!) Most importantly, Lauren loves it (at least so far!).....she didn't want to stop today, but I could tell her brain was getting tired and she needed a break, but she's waiting for dad to get home so she can show him how she can "read" (that is, correctly identify the upper and lower-case A, B and C). lol!


Our first days of "school"....

Well, we finished our second official day of home education (like how after 2 days I'm already one of those annoying people who has omitted "school" from my vocabulary? I kid....kind of) and we're all still alive to tell about it! Actually, it has gone amazingly well and I am at total peace with our decision! Emma seems to be really enjoying herself and is commenting on all of the perks. It didn't hurt that she went to CBS with me this morning and made a few new friends and then when we picked up sister from pre-k she was able to spend some time with her old friends. Her former teacher (I love saying that!) kept telling the other kids, "You still have 3 more hours of school, but Emma is already done for the day!" Then all the kids moan and groan and say that they're going to ask their parents to home school them! ha! I already had one mother give me a bad time (jokingly) because her son came home pleading with her to let him be homeschooled because Emma "gets to!!!" I love it!
And I got a really cool book from the library today called "Backyard Science" that we're going to experiment with tomorrow and I think I'll start phonics with Lauren who has been begging to read for the last several months! A dear friend suggested "Alpha Phonics" which I also got from the library today....it looks pretty simple & that's coming from someone who is an avid reader and pretty good speller but cannot begin to comprehend the phonics that I'm supposed to be teaching Emma. What in the heck is a "special sound"!?! Looks like mom will be getting a crash course in the phonics department as well! :-)


I can't believe it....

....I think I am a video-game widow! My parents bought us a Wii this year for Christmas and my husband hasn't been heard of since! Knowing how opposed to all things technological Jake is, my mom and brother thought that if they gave him "Cabella's Big Game Hunter" to go with the system, he would be ok with us having one.....well, it worked. As I type this he is in Zambia hunting water buck (huh?) and is slated to take out a trophy lion next. I know there are many of you out there whose husbands regularly play video games. I have heard you complain.....I have also secretly laughed inside, thinking, "Oh, that will never be me! Jake hates video games. Heck, he hates being inside, claims to not believe in the Internet and would gladly ditch our TV entirely except to watch the occasional PBS documentary!" Oh how God loves to make a liar out of me! :-) Leave it to a hunting video game to finally bring my husband into the 21st century! The girls and I did manage to play some of the sports yesterday.....Lauren is quite the bowler.....seriously!


....our bathroom is FINALLY done!! Woo hoo!! I have many before and after pictures to post soon (I know you are on the edge of your seats!)! It will have to wait a bit longer though because I'm busy taking showers in my new shower.....Jake has had to limit me to twice a day....seriously!

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