We got Jon an unusual Father's Day gift.
A goat named "Little Red."
About two weeks ago we had FOUR of our chickens get carried away by some foxes (sob). That only left us with three chickens, and since our coop is fairly large we knew that those ladies would freeze this winter without several more chickens to keep them warm. I finally found a lady in a neighboring town who was selling chickens just about the same age as the ones we lost. When we went to go pick them up we saw that she was also selling some baby goats and lambs.
Oh, man baby goats and lambs are cute.
The kids insisted that Jon would LOVE a goat for Father's Day. It is a running joke in our family that Dad is the "family goat" because he clears the left over food off everyone's plates after dinner. Jon is the opposite of a picky eater, he will eat anything... almost. They also argued that a goat would be a good present because Dad's lawn mower was still broken and the goat could be our lawn mower instead.
Who could argue with that logic? Besides he was really cute.
So, I ended up loading three kids, 6 chickens, and one goat into the suburban. I really should have gotten a picture of it. Rose up front (because she was scared the goat would eat her hair), chickens and Abe in the middle seat, Asher in the back seat, and a little goat head sticking up in the way back.
The idea was to keep the goat in the barn Friday night and then surprise Dad with him on Saturday morning. The kids made Jon promise that he wouldn't go out to the barn that night, which he promised. Yet later that evening he went out to check on the chickens and came back in with a horrified look on his face.
"Heather! I can hear a baby crying in the barn. What is in there? What in the world did you get me?"
He looked so confused and so upset that I felt bad for him. To put him out of his misery we gave him his present early. He was definitely surprised that we had gotten him a goat, and maybe just a bit relieved that it wasn't a baby crying in the barn!
Little Red is the sweetest goat.
Though I am afraid the pasture we put him in is a bit much for just one goat to eat. The grass is so tall that we often can't see him until he gets close to the fence. Turns out that goats aren't much at eating grass, mostly weeds. Maybe we should have gotten some of the baby lambs too!
Hmm.... I'm thinking he needs a friend :)
We had unexpected visitor the other night.
A snapping turtle!
Jon found him crawling through our yard. At first we were totally freaked out. I mean what sort of turtle has a tail like a dinosaur! Really?
A man from our ward, who is "corn-fed" (meaning he grew up in Iowa), was over at our house and he wasn't scared by it at all. He picked the thing up with his bare hands and held it as it snapped and bucked around. Jon tried later to pick it up with gloves on and couldn't even get it off the ground.
It hissed at at us.
Not a nice turtle.
Asher was afraid it was going to eat our chickens, and I could see his point.
The funny part was that he showed up right before the Relief Society ladies showed up in our backyard for an activity. He was the center of attention for awhile because some of the other women (who weren't' from Iowa) hadn't seen one either.
I am pretty sure the "corn fed" Iowans thought we were wacky.
He was pretty incredible, but I am glad he continued on his way... out of our yard!
I discovered a wonderful book. It is called "The Splendor of the Temple: A Pictorial Guide to Herod's Temple and its Ceremonies" by Alec Garrard.
I have always wanted to know more about Herod's Temple. It is the temple that was in Jerusalem when Jesus was alive and so much of Christ's life and ministry centers around it. I had tried to find some good resources online but never found anything reliable. Then I came across an article about Alec Garrard's and knew I had found a jackpot. Garrard has spent that last 30 years making a scale model of Herod's temple and the result is amazing. It fills an entire barn! You can see pictures of it here, or if you click on the "Click to Look Inside" tab in Amazon it will let you read the first few chapters.
The book is filled with pictures of his model and explanations about the different parts of the temple and what went on there. It is incredible to see the temple come alive with his model and figurines. Seeing what the actual temple would have looked like and learning more about how the temple was used by the Jews has really enhanced my understanding of the New Testament, especially the events surrounding Christ's life.
I would highly recommend the book for anyone that wants to deepen their New Testament scripture study!
Rose has a milk allergy, which means that she is allergic to the protein in milk. If she eats or drinks milk it makes her tummy hurt, and if she has too much it makes her throw up. She has done much better the last year or two since we stopped giving her milk, but sometimes it has been really hard on her as well. She seems to feel it the keenest whenever we have ice cream.
Usually when we know we are going to be having ice cream (like for a birthday) we buy her a little pint of Haagen-dazs sorbet, which is one of the only "ice cream" products that doesn't have milk and actually tastes yummy.... really yummy, actually. The only problem has been that I haven't been able to find it (yet) where we live. It is also really expensive.
But I think we might have found an even better alternative. The other night the kids and I were experimenting with making ice cream in a bag. Basically you take a pint bag and add milk, sugar and vanilla, put it inside a gallon bag filled with salt and ice, and shake it for 5 minutes. Voila! Yummy, yummy, ice cream.
I figured we would try the recipe with soy milk just as an experiment. I wasn't really expecting it to work because soy milk doesn't have cream, but it did! The soy milk turned into really wonderful ice cream. In fact, I think everyone liked the soy milk ice cream better than they liked the regular milk ice cream.
Rose was just thrilled!
I thought I would pass along the tip in case anyone else has a little one (or a big one) with a milk allergy.
Though I will warn you. Once your kids know you can make ice cream that easy they will beg you to make it ALL.... THE.... TIME.
Just a warning.
A friend invited us to go to a local farm where they have a "U-pick" strawberry patch. It was the neatest place. They had a big field just bursting with the biggest, juiciest, tastiest strawberries I have ever seen. The kids and I had a lot of fun picking them, and we filled up two flats with strawberries to take home to make into jam!
Though I am afraid that Abe mostly just filled himself up with strawberries.
He really made lots of people smile because he had a steady stream of strawberry juice running down his face and was just COVERED in strawberry goop. They really should have made me weigh him along with the strawberries we picked, because about half of them ended up in his tummy! Still, I suppose they just take it into consideration that when you have little kids picking strawberries, some of them are bound to get snacked on. That is half the fun of it, really.
I was surprised that when we were getting ready to leave a college-aged Chinese girl ran up to me with her camera. "You kids so beautiful!" she smiled at me, "Can I take picture?" It seemed really weird to me that she would want to take our picture, but she was so sweet that I couldn't say no.
I guess that seeing three blonde haired, blue eyed kids, with a big pregnant momma, picking strawberries in an Iowa field must have just seemed like the idyllic "American" moment to her. I really can't blame her. If I was in China and saw three black haired kids, with a big pregnant momma, planting rice in a rice field I'd probably ask her for her picture too. Though it does seem a bit strange to think that we might end up in a scrapbook page somewhere in China.
As she was leaving she thanked me for the picture and then looked at me with a big smile and said, "You just so happy."
And you know what?
She was right.