Thursday, April 19, 2012

pretty, happy, funny, real

I am determined to join the {pretty, happy, funny, real} linkup today with the wonderful bloggers at Like Mother Like Daughter.  It's been weeks since I got my act together on a Thursday, so today's pictures will be from the past month or so.  Without further ado:

Easter Sunday!  Pretty girls on a beautiful day.
Another snow scene.  I'm positive I've used pictures of snow as pretty before.  And most people would not think of snow - in April - as pretty.  Nonetheless, this is what we awoke to on Monday or Tuesday of this week.  It was gorgeous.  Oh, and it was gone before noon.  That's just how it happens in these parts during the Spring - rain comes in the form of snow.
Taken through our bedroom window - it would have been better if I'd gone outside, but that would have been cold.

Lately I've been getting our produce from a co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  I think they operate pretty much only in the West, but check their website for more info.  It's a great deal.  I've been so happy with the quality, variety and price.  This was the bounty from a recent Saturday morning pickup.
fresh & yummy fruits and veggies

We have an awesome mechanic.  That in itself is enough to be happy about.  But get this: whenever one of our friends goes to our awesome mechanic, he sends us a thank you gift for the referral.  In the past it's been coffee coupons, but most recently it was cookies and little stampers for the girls.

We bought collars and leashes for the goats.  The girls "walk" them daily!  Goats on leashes qualify as funny, right?
This woodpile is like a jungle gym for goats!

I think we've mentioned here before that Mark travels a fair bit for work.  One of his habits is to pick up a little something for the girls while he's away.  On a recent trip, he brought tea bags home for them.  They were thrilled!  Most people might not be terribly impressed by a tea bag, but these were in the shape of a pyramid and had a fake leaf on the end of the string.  I just love it when they are so happy with the simplest of treats.  A good reminder that something doesn't have to be huge to be a REAL treat.

Sister Joseph Andrew, vocation director for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, was "in the neighborhood" a couple weeks ago.  She talked to a group of girls from our parish about her community and life as a Sister.  It was wonderful.  If you don't know much about this community, look them up!  They're the Sisters who were on Oprah a couple years ago (not that the Oprah show is an endorsement in any way, but their appearance there gave a wide audience an insight into their life and work).  They were founded in 1997 with 4 sisters and have grown to over 100 Sisters.  The average age of the Sisters is 28 and they come from all across this country as well as Canada, Europe and Asia.  Sister Joseph Andrew was so fun and engaging and REAL!  The girls loved her.  I enjoyed her talk so much.  I also enjoyed hearing the questions the girls asked.  I'm thrilled my 12 year old got to meet a REAL Sister and hear about her very REAL life.
Can you find Sister in the back?  We should have put her in the front!
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The goats are here!

The goats have arrived!  You might recall that once we moved to our present home (about 6 months ago) we began making plans for a large garden and some animals.  We got baby chicks immediately and had great success with them right from the start.  Our hens have been healthy, the girls have enjoyed taking care of them, and we now have more eggs than we can eat.  The chicken success made us brave and we decided to tackle a bigger, more complicated animal.  We researched goats and decided on Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.  And - fortunately - we found a breeder relatively close to us.  We visited the baby goats once when they were a few weeks old.  And then, last Saturday, Mark and daughter #1 made the trek back to the goat farm to pick up our "kids".

Unloading the goats.  The girls could hardly wait to see them!
As you can imagine, choosing names for the goats was a hot topic around here.  In my opinion, I had lots of really cool ideas for names (Mark was in agreement on most of my suggestions) but the girls kept shooting me down... Finally, someone had the brilliant idea of naming them for 2 characters from one of our family-favorite classic television shows.

So, we're pleased to introduce "Lucy" and "Ethel".

Ethel is on the left, Lucy is on the right.

We borrowed a large dog crate from some friends and transported them home in the back of Mark's car.  Apparently, we have goats who are very tolerant of car trips - not a single incident on the way home :)

We may have gotten the names wrong... Ethel is the nutcase - always climbing on the girls and generally more mischievous than Lucy.  Isn't that backward?

Mark called when they were 10 minutes away, so I grabbed the camera and took the little girls down to the goat shed and waited for them to arrive.  Such excitement!

Exploring their new pen - they went straight for the feed!

Everything is going well so far.  Lucy and Ethel love to play and have human guests in their pen.  They really are cute and sweet (in a totally goat way).  I'm not a huge animal lover - we don't even have a dog - but I think that them being small really helps.  Smaller always seems to be cuter.

Though this is a cute picture, I was probably saying, "don't put your face on the goat!"

So, the whole point of the goats is milk, but they're not quite ready for that yet.  We've got several months to wait before they are ready for the next step on the road to becoming milk-producers.  For now, they'll be entertainment for the girls - and 2 more mouths to feed.

They love climbing around on these stumps Mark put in the pen.