Dreary, Rainy Monday

What a sad day Monday was.  Dave stayed home because we both had doctor appointment…our colds were just not going away.  When I got back from dropping Noah at pre-school, Dave met me with bad news.  He’d found Abigail’s single lamb strangled in a rope hay feeder.  He was a week old.  We both felt so guilty.  It was my brilliant idea to make the feeder and re-use baling twine; and we had turned off the baby monitor in the barn since we weren’t expecting any more ewes to go into labor. 

Later, at the doctor’s, we learned we both have sinus infections and I have bronchitus.  At least we’re now on antibiotics and getting better.  🙂 

I worked that night.  Dave called me around 8pm because Noah got sick.  He continued to get sick every hour until 4:30am.  Poor kid!  Every time he got up again I had just fallen asleep.

What a dreary, depressing Monday.  I’m glad Tuesday brought a sunny day.

You know it’s spring when…

…you hear spring peepers at night.

…dandelions start blooming.

…you see the 1st eastern phoebe of the season.

…you have to weave around the toads in the driveway when you come home on a rainy night.

…the maple trees have beautiful red flowers.

…the pastures look green.

…lambs are bouncing around the field.

…groundhogs are emerging from hibernation.

Nothing Dramatic

Hannah woke up at 6 this morning… the 1st time since we changed the clocks that she hasn’t slept in.  I got up with her but I really wanted to go out to the barn.  I heard lambs baa-ing over the baby monitor and wanted to see what was happening out there.  I didn’t want to bring Hannah out in pj’s so I waited till Grandma woke up.  Abigail and her lamb were fine, Rosy and her twins were fine.I put Annie in her lambing stall yesterday because I thought she looked ready to go and, sure enough, she  had twin lambs cuddled up to her.  They were mostly dry so I gave all 3 moms some hay and went in the house for breakfast.  I weighed and checked them out afterwards.  The ewe lamb was 9.75 lbs and the ram lamb was 11 lbs.  We already have more ewe lambs than we did last year!

Annie and Twin Lambs

The Lord Will Provide (a lambing story)

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives….that God will provide all we need.  He tells about the birds of the sky.  They don’t plant or harvest, or have barns or storehouses to put away food for winter, yet they have enough food to last until spring.  He also tells us about the lilies of the field.  They can’t work or spin fiber, but God has clothed them in beauty.

In conclusion of this parable, Jesus asks us this: if God care for the birds of the sky and the grass of the field, doesn’t He care for us even more?  “Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt 6:26)

I can’t tell you how much I worry.  Especially this time of year when we’re expecting lambs.  I constantly think about the “What if’s”.  But the Lord will provide.  This is such a certainty that one of the names of the Lord is “The LORD Will Provide”, Jehovah-jireh.  And every time He is faithful, I am in awe.

Yesterday our ewe, Rosy, lambed.  I took Hannah and Noah outside after lunch to tidy-up a bit for the field-trip this afternoon.  We were also waiting for our friends to come over.  I let the girls out of the barn to eat some of the nice green grass that’s now growing.  The new little lamb even came outside for the first time…that’s always a joy to see!

When Jen arrived with her daughters Rosy went into the barn and laid in the stall.  Very unusual – Rosy loves to eat.   Jen and I talked while the kids played together, but I kept an eye on Rosy.  After a little while she began labor and we got her into a lambing stall.  We watched her and soon it was apparent that she needed assistance.  The lambs head was emerging, but no feet were in sight.  I checked things out and found another head and feet but couldn’t find the feet from the 1st lamb.  And I couldn’t push the lamb back in far enough to find them.  In my mind I was flipping through all the birthing diagrams and instructions I’ve studied, but was still perplexed.  I called and left a voicemail for out vet to “Please call ASAP and talk me through this!”

When he called back I had found the legs and was attaching my lambing cord…or trying, at least.  The lamb kept pulling her feet out of my hands!  We delivered her fine and let Rosy clean her up while we waited for #2.  Soon all 4 children were gathered around Jen and were watching with amazement.

The 2nd lamb was delivered quickly but it was much smaller.  It was very still and its nose was cool.  I cleared the nose and rubbed its chest, then tried “swinging” it to clear its lungs.  Still nothing so I tried mouth-to-mouth.  Nothing.  I wrapped him in a towel and moved him aside so Rosy could keep cleaning her little girl.

While we were watching the little lamb try to stand Genna said, “I think she’s having another lamb!”  I told her it was probably just the afterbirth, but when Rosy laid down and started pushing again we all looked at each other!  She was having another lamb!  This one was a normal presentation (head and 2 feet).  Rosy was obviously tired so I helped the lamb out.  This ram lamb was huge!  I wiped his nose and brought him around so Rosy could clean him.

Rosy with twin lambs

The ewe lamb weighed 9.75 lbs, the ram lamb weighed 12.5 lbs and the stillborn lamb weighed 5.5 lbs.

I am so thankful that Jen was here to watch over the kids while I helped Rosy deliver her lambs.  And I’m thankful that Rosy went into labor when I was home.

The Lord will provide.

Corned Beef and Cupcakes

We had a St. Patty’s Day dinner tonight since I have to work on Wednesday and Dave’s parents were here today.  I made corned beef for the 1st time…I never knew it was so easy to cook!  I didn’t make cabbage (it probably wouldn’t go over well with the picky eaters) but I made roasted potatoes, “Aunt Jack Carrots” (glazed carrots with butter and brown sugar that my sister makes) and asparagus to go with it.  Nice spring veggies!

Anyway while the corned beef was cooking Noah spied the cupcakes I had bought for dessert.  I told him they were our dessert and the green “jimmies” on them were for St. Patty’s Day.  OK – he went back to playing. 

Later, after Dave brought him and Hannah out to the barn to show Pop-Pop how big the ducklings were getting, Noah showed Daddy the cupcakes.  Dave acted surprised and asked him what they were for.  He proudly said, “For Aunt Patti’s Day!”  I hope my Aunt Patti smiles at that!  🙂

Whew!

Last night Dave couldn’t sleep because of his cold so he went in the living room and watched some tv.  Well, at 12:45am he woke me up because one of the ewes went into labor and he could hear her pushing over the baby monitor we keep in the barn.

We got out to the barn pretty quick with my lambing box and discovered it was Abigail who was in labor.  We moved her into a smaller lambing stall (or jug) and persuaded Rosy and Annie to return to their “ladies in waiting” stall.  We got some things together and sat by the straw bales to wait.  Midnight and Tiger were very happy that we finally decided to come join them in sleeping in the barn.  🙂  Not much happened so we decided to go back to sleep for 30-45 minutes and do another check.

At 2:15am, I mean 3:15 daylight savings time, we went out again because we still heard pushing.  I checked and only saw 1 hoof….not good.  I felt around and found the other foot quickly.  It was bent at the “ankle” and corrected easily, but the emerging legs didn’t look like front legs.  I felt around again and found a tail….not good.

The next time Abigail laid down to push, Dave knelt down and held her for me.  I attached my lambing cord to the lamb’s legs and, with each contraction, pulled.  Poor Abigail was a trooper through the delivery.  Dave said she chewed on his jacket when she was pushing.  We had to get that baby out quickly so that it didn’t start to breathe while still in the birth canal.  Pneumonia can develop when fluid gets in the lungs.

We got the lamb out – a ram – and cleared its nose…after a little chest rub he started breathing and shaking his head.  What a big boy!  After mama cleaned him off and he stood up I weighed him… 12lbs!  No wonder he didn’t have a twin!

I finally got back to bed at 4:15 daylight saving time.  What a night to be out in the lambing barn!  And I had to teach Sunday school this morning, too!  Whew!

Noah & Hannah with Abigail and ram lamb

It’s Almost Spring!

This past week has been so nice! We’ve been outside so much because the weather has been sunny and warm. The only snow still on the ground is in the heavily shaded areas.

Last week I made farmer’s cheese with cow milk since we were hosting a small family get-together. I made 2 different kinds: herb cheese – with garlic, tarragon and salt; and sweet cheese – with sugar, chopped raisins and dried cranberries, and drizzled with honey. I liked the sweet one better, but everyone said they were both good. I just think the herb cheese needed more herbs. We really enjoyed having our family visit on Saturday. My sister and her family came over from New Jersey and my aunts, uncle and cousin from Long Island drove down with my aunt from Nevada. Another of my uncles drove up from the Baltimore area. It was such a nice and relaxing day. Noah and Hannah, especially, enjoyed the company.

Aunt Laureen with Noah & Hannah

 We strolled around the farm in muck boots (mostly borrowed and not the right size) and enjoyed the sun on our skin. We checked out the animals and watched birds soar overhead. My Uncle Frank loves nature and does a lot of birding. He gave Noah a picture of 4 young raccoons that he took while hiking in NY. Noah was so happy and has displayed his picture proudly on his dresser. We’ll get a frame for it and hang it up this weekend.   Hannah loved playing with her cousins, Summer and Cole.  They’re only 5 months younger than her so they have lots of fun together.  Noah loves his cousins, too.  He likes being the big boy and taking care of his  younger cousins. 

On Sunday Noah decided to go sledding in the little bit of snow left on our front hill.  Hannah even hopped on the sled with Dave for her 1st time sledding.  All the other snow was just too much for her and she didn’t have too much fun.  After about 5 minutes outside after we got that blizzard she turned to me and said, “Mommy, inside!”   

Sledding with Daddy

After our sledding fun we wandered around, then spent some time with the baby ducks.  They’re getting big, but they still don’t have any adult feathers.  It’s funny because by 2 or 3 days baby chicks are already getting some adult feathers.  

Holding the Ducklings

 

This week Hannah, Noah and I have had colds but it’s been so warm that we’ve gone outside for walks.  Aurie came over with Sophie and Isabelle on Tuesday and it was just a house full of runny noses!  But everyone had a fun day… that’s all that counts! 

We’re still waiting for our lambs to come.  We have 3 girls due any day and they’re huge.  I’ll post pictures of the lambs when they’re born…hopefully soon! 

Our VERY Pregnant Sheep