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Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Kids on the Block

Kidding season is in full-swing. There are now nine babies romping about the pasture and four more nannies still to deliver. This little black and white doeling is the favorite so far based on coloring. She has a twin brother who is white with light brown spots, but he isn't nearly as unique and beautiful.
This little girl already knows she is pretty. She has changed so much since the day she was born. Her twin sister has a white star on her forehead and a brown tail.
This little doeling was the first to arrive. She has a very regal posture, it's almost as if she "wants" to be a show goat.
This year's herd is all thanks to this guy. Lance. He was our next door neighbor and was very dismayed when he learned we were moving. He offered to care for Tatum's goats for a year while we searched for a home and property. He didn't want her to lose what she had worked for. What a nice guy!
Lance grew up in the cattle business and takes this goat business very seriously. He checks them often, sometimes in the middle of the night. We are very grateful.

Friday, March 27, 2009

See ya!

Keeli is off on her first trip away from home alone. Such a tender age, 4YO, and OBVIOUSLY heart broken at the thought of leaving her mom and dad for a whole 5 days. Her emotions were out of control when we sent her away with Nana and Papa in the dark of night.

She went to visit Uncle Hobo and Auntie Hami (known to others as Uncle Bobo and Auntie Tami) all the way away in Boise, Idaho for spring break. She's reportedly having a great time. Her cousin Madison is showering her with the princess-like attention Keeli believes she deserves. They have done their hair, painted their nails and read lots of stories to each other. Keeli has also taught her cousin Charlie the importance of taking his baby doll everywhere.

Apparently Uncle Hobo and Auntie Hami were alarmed at the amount of groceries she can pack away into her tiny self each day. Why do you think we sent her away for a week? The grocery bill is finally under control at this house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

Tatum's goats began kidding season in fine style. Three little doelings arrived Sunday afternoon, right on time for the first week of spring.

These two little doelings are twins, born to Tatum's biggest and oldest nanny, who has the endearing name, Big Mama. They are fantastically healthy and have wonderful color markings for their breed (boer). They also seem fond of their little friend Todd the Rabbit.
There is one more little doeling to show off. Her mama is a first-time mama and was learning some "parenting skills" at the scheduled photo shoot time. They were secluded together for the nanny to allow the new baby to nurse.
Thanks Sue for the photos and Lance for caring for the herd all winter. The goats still live "back in the 'hood" as Sue likes to joke while we are in the city. We are searching for a new hobby farm style property so our kids can be reunited with the herd. We certainly miss having them to entertain us, keep us busy and cause occassional frustrations in our daily lives.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mobius fun

The kids' favorite weekend stop of late is the local children's museum, Mobius. They spend hours running around, experiencing all the interactive displays, painting, getting wet up to their armpits, playing in the sand/mud. Who would guess they were learning something?

The new displays are all sports related. Last week Tatum had tryouts for little league fast-pitch softball, so the "how fast is your pitch" display really caught her attention.

Most of her throws were over 30 mph. Rikard tried really hard, but couldn't get above 28 mph. Dad threw this fastball, the kids were amazed. There wasn't much room for an adult to throw the ball, Rick thinks he could have done a little better.

This machine allowed you to control the direction of the tennis racquet and then fire a tennis ball at it. There are old-fashioned silver desk bells on the plexiglass in front of their faces. The goals was to hit one of these. Rikard did pretty well.
This activity was supposed to teach you all about angles. The marks on the floor help you bounce the ball at certain angles to try and hit the target. Keeli didn't like the bouncing part, but liked the ball to go in the taget and down the return chute.
There are two standard displays the kids enjoy. This one teaches them about currents, water flow, waves and dams. The girls are at the top end of this "river" and use the blue and yellow cards to redirect the current. The kids have boats and other floating items to test their dams and the currents. They would stay at this station all day. That water is cold!
After our museum experience Rick let us ride the escalators all the way to the top of the mall for an ice cream treat at Ben and Jerry's.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Country drive

The local area is almost all new to us, so we've taken to the roads on the weekends to see all there is to see. This was the third bald eagle we saw Sunday. This one flew away from its lunch on the side of the road as we approached.The other two eagles were chasing smaller birds from what appeared to be their nesting area along the stream. We also saw lots of deer, three racoons and signs of elk.
There appears to be an abandoned rail line along the side of this stream used for hiking and mountain biking. Looks like a good place to spend our weekends this spring and summer - once the snow is gone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow plower

Winter is apparently back. Sunday we woke up to about 2 new inches of the fluffy stuff and Rikard promptly put on his snow gear and headed out to clear the neighborhood.
We thought he would stop at the sidewalk, which he shoveled quite nicely. But he decided that since the city's snow plows hadn't found their way to our street by 10 a.m. he would take care of it himself. He was done in time for lunch. Now if he could just find a way to get paid for his endeavors.Using his shovel he cleared the street from side to side, back and forth, the length of four lots. He made sure to scoop the snow onto the existing berms so that it wasn't in anyone's way. What a thoughtful and industrious little guy.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

House hunting, deer spotting

We are searching for that perfect house that will be our next home. We are looking at houses that are in the process of foreclosure, the buyers are a bit more competitive and the houses go quickly. We have patience on our side. Today while we viewed another house (that has potential written all over it and a river running next to it) we met the neighbors.They were a bit stand-off-ish and weren't very chatty at all. In fact they were downright anti-social at times. Nothing like our previous neighbors. They were fun to watch roam through the pasture and watch us. Tatum and Rikard really like watching them. Keeli calls them reindeer and asks when Santa is going to come get them. She doesn't like them at all.
So, when this one dashed past us, she screamed like never before!

Down the road there were some other neighbors to meet. These guys were having lunch when we drove by. Apparently they are Highland cattle, also known as Kyloe.