Tag Archives: alpaca

Hide and “goat” Seek

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There is a reason why baby goats are called “kids.” The similarity between a 3 week old goat and a three-year-old child are uncanny. Both are fearless, playful, and busy…Oh so busy! These characteristics carry into adulthood (At least with goats) but they really shine when they are young. Baby goats are also born with hidden springs in their feet. Much like a 3-year-old child’s philosophy of “why walk when you can run,”

a baby goat asks, “why run when you can bounce?!”

Everything around them becomes something to leap off of…

rocks, fallen branches, tipped over buckets, other animals!

Teddy loves to take advantage of sleeping animals in the field and while they peacefully doze he will leap onto their back and then fly off the other side. Needless to say he is quickly losing popularity with this little stunt that he finds so funny. The other goats and the pig quickly chase him off when he starts using them as playground equipment. The only one who endures it is our male alpaca, Blizzard. He lays there patiently as Teddy uses him as a launching pad. As a result Teddy spends much of his day following Blizzard around.

Blizzard also has fallen into the role of protector to this little orphan goat. When Ellie snuck into the pen yesterday to play with Teddy, Blizzard flipped out, chasing Ellie away.

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The boys have come up with their own game to entertain Teddy:

“Hide and ‘goat’ Seek”

The rules are simple.

While Teddy is distracted (and he is often distracted) they hide behind one of the large rocks in the field and then call his name. He then scans the field looking for them. When he thinks he knows where they are he races over to the rock, jumps on it, and peeks behind to see if he is right. Yesterday it kept Teddy and the boys entertained for quite a while. 🙂

First he counts while the boys hide.

First he counts while the boys hide.

Then he tries to figure out where they are hiding...

Then he tries to figure out where they are hiding…

So close! Keep looking!

So close! Keep looking!

Sometimes he gets distracted by all the fun rocks to jump off.

Sometimes he gets distracted by all the fun rocks to jump off.

But soon he finds them and then the chase begins…

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Life is good when you’re a KID!

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Farm Livin’ is the Life for Me

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 I feel abundantly blessed to live in the country, own land, have animals and a garden.

I am grateful for the chance Toby and I have to raise kids that get dirty, who have chores, who have learned to cut hay and milk goats, kids that eat tomatoes right off the vine, and chase fireflies on warm summer nights.

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There are lessons learned here on this patch of land.

Lessons like Patience:

Where better to learn patience than on a farm. Before you get what you want, the chores must be done.

Lessons in Reaping and Sowing:

Where better to learn where your food comes from. Firsthand you raise, and sweat, and labor over the plants that will become the food you eat.

Lessons in Hard work:

Where better to learn the lesson of hard work. There are jobs to be done and animals to care for, and whining and complaining won’t help to get the job done. Work strengthens bodies, strengthens souls, and strengthens families.

Lessons in Faith:

Where better to learn those lessons of faith than the time spent on your knees praying for an injured goat or a sick dog.

Lessons in Priorities:

Where better to learn how to prioritize then when your days are filled with so many obligations. You have to learn what is truly  important. Fill you days with learning, and prayer, hard work, and service, making time to play and enjoy the folks you are walking this dirt road with.

And Lessons of Life:

Where better to witness God’s hand and the miracles of life than on a farm. From an early age children witness the miracles of life through the cycle of birth and death. They feel the deep emotions of joy upon a baby animal’s arrival, and mourn the loss of a beloved four-legged friend with its passing.

It is a lifestyle that I never expected to be mine, but feel so blessed to live..

There is no place I’d rather raise my little brood than on Patchwork Farm.

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On Mother’s Day we spent the afternoon outside enjoying our little slice of heaven.

It was a perfect day and an ideal time to get some updated photos of the critters who call our barnyard: HOME.

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We hope they bring a smile to your face and a little bit of joy to your heart.

For they certainly bring joy to ours!

Teddy receiving his afternoon bottle.

Teddy receiving his afternoon bottle.

Gus, our Guinea fowl, making his presence known in the farm yard.

Blizzard, our alpaca.

Blizzard, our alpaca.

We have some new batches of bunnies that have been born over the last month. There have been three litters born, all about two weeks apart in age. When they are fully grown, the kids will take them to auction to sell. In the meantime we have loved having some new, adorable additions!

Our youngest batch. There are seven in the litter.

Our youngest batch. There are seven in the litter.

Tyler calls them

Tyler calls them “baby hippos” when they are this size. 🙂

Our next litter has four babies. They are about two weeks older and three of them are a beautiful black color.

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The oldest litter just has one baby, an albino bunny that is two weeks older than the middle batch.

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Harley D. Hog is another character that roams the farmyard. Up until a few years ago he lived inside the house, sleeping on Tyler’s bed and using a litter box. When we added the puppies he quickly decided that he would rather hang out with the chickens and goats than be pounced on by energetic dogs. He now comes and goes, with most of his time being spent in the barn.

He is full of personality and always good for a laugh.

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He loves a good belly rub!

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Our newest addition is Teddy, our two week old baby goat. He is good for our mental health. You just can’t be down when you have this little man bouncing around. 🙂

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 “Life is good when the barn is where your happiest memories have been made.”

Everyday Moments

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“Moments are the Molecules that make up Eternity.” -Neal A. Maxwell

Often my blog posts revolve around a trip, an experience, or an event. I find myself waiting until something “big enough” happens to justify a blog post when in reality the majority of our days are full of beautifully ordinary moments. Here is a compilation of some of our everyday moments…

The moments that make up our life.

Our bunnies have done it again. No matter how many lectures we give, or how much time we invest in separating the boy bunnies from the girl bunnies we continue to get baby bunnies. 🙂 Not that it is a bad thing. The kids like taking care of the babies and they like the money they can make at auction when they sell the grown babies. The dead of winter just isn’t the most ideal time to have new babies…but ideal or not, they are here!

And the kids are loving them. 🙂

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Hide and go seek has been the game of the month at our house. It is one of the few games Tyler and Ozzie can play well together with little fighting. I suspect it may be so successful due to the large amount of time the spend APART from each other while playing the game. One hides, one seeks…the amount of face to face time is minimal.

Tyler prides himself on being the best hider in the family…often to his own detriment. We have had more that one experience of seeking out a hiding Tyler, calling for help because he hid so well, in such a tight spot, that he found himself STUCK! I have been part of more than one search and rescue mission this past week.

Here he is getting into position…

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This week Tyler lost another tooth. Loose teeth don’t last long at our house. As soon as it begins to wiggle the boys are on a mission to get it out. Tyler spent all day yanking and pulling in an effort to get it out and under his pillow before bed. His hard work paid off and he was eager to see what the tooth fairy would bring.

Bedtime came and Tyler decided to write a letter to Florence, our tooth fairy. He had questions he wanted answered  so he wrote a note and left it under the pillow with his tooth. As I tucked him in, he informed me that Florence would answer his questions with a pink pen. I asked how he knew that. He informed me that pink was our tooth fairy’s favorite color. Preparing him for the possibility of disappointment, I told him that maybe she just carried a blue or black pen. “No,” he responded, as he patted my hand reassuringly, “She uses only pink pens.”

(Any guess what I spent my evening doing?)

Well, what do you know…Tyler was right. She came, she wrote, and it was a pink pen! She also left him her usual dollar coin. 🙂

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At the beginning of January, Grace and Molly came to me looking for ideas. They had decided that together they were going to set a personal goal of performing a service project for others each month in the New Year. We sat down and made a list of possible service projects. From there they narrowed down their list and made a plan for the year. They decided February’s service project would be free babysitting. They made these fliers to hand out at church on Sunday. They were thrilled to receive multiple calls this week from couples wanting to take advantage of their service.

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This past Thursday was date night. Every Thursday night is my grocery shopping night. A few years ago, in an effort to make grocery shopping something more enjoyable, Toby and I turned it into date night. We would grocery shop, run errands and then go out to dinner and enjoy one on one time without kiddos. When Tyler moved in we could no longer go out with Grace babysitting, so for a while I just shopped on my own, until God put an idea on my heart… Rather than waste that time performing the mundane task of grocery shopping  on my own I realized that time could be utilized for bonding one on one with the kids. Since then Thursday night has evolved into date night with the kids. Every five weeks they get to go grocery shopping with me. They are a big help and they enjoy the benefits of getting to pick the cereals, fruits, and snacks for the week. Afterward they get dinner out. They get to pick the restaurant. The only rule is that they must pick a place where we can both eat for a combined total of $10.00. Last week was Ozzie’s week and he chose to take advantage of Pizza Hut’s dinner box deal for $10.00. What a deal!

We have found Aldi (where we grocery shop) and most restaurants are dead on Thursday night. This was true for Pizza Hut. We were the only ones dining. Ozzie and I played a game as we waited. He could ask me anything about my childhood he wanted to know and then I would take a turn asking him about his past. It was a chance to let him open up about his past and share his memories in a non threatening way. It was also a special way to bond…

Hopefully we will eventually reach the point with the boys that Gracie can babysit and Toby and I can reclaim our date night. But for now this is a pretty good Plan B. 🙂

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On Friday night Rusty and Toby  joined the boy scouts for a winter campout and fun winter activities with other scout troops in the area. The low temp  for the night was 4 degrees…Brrrrr!

But even with the cold temperatures Rusty had a great time!

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The weekend is only half done. Tonight I sit at home with the two little boys, nursing my sore hip that I somehow threw out of whack, while Toby takes the big kids to an ice skating activity with church. Tomorrow is another full day with church and Super Bowl party with friends,

all while we brace for the possibility of 6-8 more inches of snow.

Some days it feels as though time is passing so quickly

as one moment rolls into the next…

but I am grateful for each moment, whether thrilling or mundane…

for these moments truly are what make up our Eternity.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home