Slowly…

 
Sorry not much from us lately.  We’ve been busy around here getting going again for the school year and doing a bunch of fall cleaning before the real cold weather hits.  We have some exciting news to share that will have to wait for now until I have more time.
 
Garrett with a funny potato...
Garrett with a funny potato…

This weekend we harvested half of our potatoes and all of the onions .  They are now safely tucked away for the long upcoming winter.  The weather has been a bit strange here and not at all very fall-like, we have been having very nice warm weather (80’s to 90’s)  with a few cooler days thrown in once in a while and no frost.  That was until this morning when we awoke to a thick coat of frost.   I need to get out and see what is salvageable from the green tomatoes and get them inside and eventually we will have to put  the garden to bed  and start the dreaming/scheming process over again for next spring.  The weather looks very promising for the next week though. 

 Still have a bit of canning to do, we have been saving strawberries for the whole month of September so we want to make some strawberry rhubarb jam.  We also need to make some pumpkin butter and apple butter and I hope to can some black and kidney beans.   We sent the last pig to be processed last week and we should be able to pick it up sometime soon!  Then when the weather gets a bit cooler we have a couple of  sheep that will be headed  to freezer camp and some turkeys that will follow.  Then of course we have hunting right around the corner which  is all Sawyer can even think of!   Lots of stuff to keep us busy.

 

Saturday night I combed Teigen’s hair straight up and he thought it was so funny and wanted me to take a picture of it…

Teigen after a tub...

Teigen after a tub...

 

 

Hope everyone’s enjoying this last day of summer!

Hog Shows, Bomb Threats and a Mess of Confusion…

Once the steer show was finished we arrived home after 10pm, ate supper, got everything ready for the next morning, tucked everyone into bed, talked to an excited Sawyer and finally fell into bed ourselves, it was way past midnight.  Thankfully, Mark ended up taking the older kids back into the fairgrounds by 6:30 am to do another full day of showing hogs while I stayed home and let the very tired little boys get a little extra sleep.  I started thinking that maybe I got the better end of that deal until I had to get the very tired little boys up, dressed, fed and out the door!  By this time I knew it was going to be a very.long.day.!  I apologise to anyone around us these last couple of days, as I am pretty sure that as one little boy would quit crying another would start due to no naps, no shedule, and  very little sleep combined with very long days.  However, we did make it to the hog show to watch Maddie show Sizzle.  She too did a very good job pushing, leading and showing her pig.

Maddie and Sizzle...

Maddie and Sizzle...

 

Showing

 

Sizzle was sort of a naughty little piggy for showmanship and was more interested in fighting with the other pigs!  Maddie still received a blue for her efforts and calm demeanor and was very happy with that.  Then we waited for the market class.  Maddie’s was in the second market class which had just came out and the kids were busy showing their pigs when a sheriff walked up to the announcers stand and asked for everyone’s attention. 

At first I thought maybe they found a lost kid or maybe someone was lost, but…he ended up asking everyone in the barn to calmly stand up and leave the area as they had found a breifcase laying in a suspicious spot and they were considering it a bomb threat!  Oh my!  Now trying to find all 7 kids!

Thankfully Maddie was showing and the majority of the kids were sitting around the arena watching their sister.  I yelled at Mark that I had the little kids and that he needed to grab Maddie out from behind the fencing surrounding the show ring and that we would meet up outside.  Sawyer was not with us, but at a very mature 16, I was not really too concerned at that point about where Sawyer was and knew he would be sensible.  As we headed out the door though I noticed Garrett was not with us.   Panic!  I handed a sleeping Zayne off to Tori and told her to take the rest of the kids with my mom and Mark’s dad to a safe area and that I was going to go find Garrett.  We had a couple of “friends” sitting with us that decided that right then would be a good time for them to get going and came up to tell me good bye.  I said that was great but that Garrett was missing and I would really appreciate their help in finding him.  They told me that they were sure he had to be out there somewhere.and.left.!  What?????  Who leaves in a mass of confusion when a 7 year old kid is missing?  (I am generally pretty laid back but this I just don’t understand.)

At this point I still had not met up with Mark and decided to go back into the building to look for Garrett.  The whole time I am thinking  this can not be for real and then immediately thought but that’s what everyone thinks before something bad happens?  Right?  So as everyone was pouring out of the building I was trying to get back in.  Thankfully everyone stayed calm and collected.  When I got inside, the building was pretty empty and I was told I needed to get out, so back out I went.  At this point I was more worried about the possibility of someone snatching him-which is always one of my big fears at busy crowded spots like that anyway.  You parents out there know what I am talking about and know that feeling in the pit of your stomach if you have ever lost one of your children.  A minute feels like hours.  I walked back and forth through the crowd calling his name and finally found him!  He said when he heard that there was a bomb in the building he just ran out as fast as he could.  Poor kid can you imagine what he was thinking the whole time?

Comotion...

Comotion...

After that we all met back up and still had not seen Sawyer and decided to go find him-at this point momma bird was wanting all the chicks back in the nest! ;0)  IYKWIM?  So Mark and I walked all around the building, which is not small, asking all of his friends if they had seen him.  No such luck.  What in the world?    We knew he would probably guess something was up if he walked back to an empty barn and were not too worried about him being in the building.  So after going all the way around the building and not finding Sawyer and checking on the other kids I went to where all the food stands were and found him with a big ole burger.  He didn’t even know what was going on!

Once they deemed the briefcase safe (it only had a fairbook in it)  Maddie was able to finish up her market class.  At this point I was juggling a cranky Zayne boy and Mark was dealing with a cranky Teigen  we and we were not able to devote even part of our attention on Maddie.  After I kinda had Zayne settled I looked out in the ring and could only see Sizzle with no Maddie.  “Where in the world did she go?”  I pointed Sizzle out to Mark and asked him, then the judge started calling her number, 95?  95?  95?  “Where is she?”  I think I was about ready to have a nervous breakdown!  I looked up at my mom when she yelled at me and she pointed toward a corner with a whole bunch of pigs in it and yelled and said she was on the ground.  Mark dropped Teigen and we both ran over there.  Poor Maddie was standing there bawling and one of the ring helpers was talking to her.  He sort of turned her around and pointed out her pig to her and she hobbled over and finished the class.  One of the other ring helpers told me she ended up getting stuck between three pigs fighting and the fence, was then knocked down and was trampled up on.   She ended up with a big purple bruise on her hip and was pretty scratched up down her leg.  She ended up receiving a blue ribbon, which at that point she didn’t even care about!  Earlier she had been giving some thought to maybe doing a lamb next year, I think this event helped settle that decision!  Today she is still pretty sore but she’s such a trooper and did such a good job yesterday even with all the comotion!

 

Moving Sizzle...

Moving Sizzle...

 

Showing Sizzle...

Showing Sizzle...

Today we are all wore out physically and I am wore out emotionally as well,  I think we are all glad that fair is about done for the year!  Especiallly me!  I am so proud of how well my kids did and how they handled themselves.  I thought it was really neat that the judge commented aloud how he appreciated how calm  and relaxed of showmen the kids were.  Today we have a bunch of laundry to get caught up in and need to get ready for Family Camp this weekend, which ought to be a wonderful time of fellowship.  Just what is needed after this long, drawn out week.  Sawyer and Tori are also going to be on separate pig wrestling teams tomorrow, which ought to be lots of fun for the kids to participate in as well as watch.

Getting Ready…

Today we spent the day getting ready.  It’s the day where you hurry up and wait.  This was Zayne before lunch today…

Tired and cranky little boys...

Tired and cranky little boys...

Other than tired kids though the day went pretty well.  They started with lamb weigh-ins  at 8 am, moved to hogs and finished with steers at sometime past 5 pm.   Maddie’s pig weighed in at 240 and had a loin of 7.72 square inches!  Tori’s lamb weighed in at 129lbs. and Sawyer’s steer was 1149lbs. In between the kids cleaned pens, fed animals and had some fun.  They also groomed their animals and Tori and Sawyer each had to learn how to get their animals ready for the show tomorrow.
Maddie's pig being weighed in...

Maddie's pig being weighed in...

Scrubbing her pig...

Scrubbing her pig...

Tori washing her lamb...

Tori washing her lamb...

Hanging out with her lamb...

Hanging out with her lamb...

Slick shearing....

Slick shearing....

Sawyer waiting his turn at the scale...

Sawyer waiting his turn at the scale...

Sawyer's friend showing him how to fit his steer...

Sawyer's friend showing him how to fit his steer...

Pretty serious business above! ;0)
A little shave...

A little shave...

Tori and Romeo

Tori and Romeo

All ready to go tomorrow…
Royal all ready!

Royal all ready!

Well everyone is very tired tonight and a little nervous/anxious for tomorrow!
We’ll be there bright and early!

4H Project Tour…

On Tuesday we all filed into our van and headed east of the valley to our first stop on our groups 4H project tour.  Once there a small portable scale was unloaded and people got busy trying to convince an ornery pig to jump into this scale.  Once that was accomplished and a weight was determined we talked about what should happen to finish the animal in the next 50 days to get it to it’s ideal weight of 240 to 260lbs.  Then we all jumped back into our cars and drove off to the next house to weigh the next animal.  This is how the evening went and we all had a most enjoyable time.  It was really neat to see how everyone’s projects where going and finishing out and I think the kids even learned quite a bit!  We seen quite a few lambs, a couple pigs and only two steers.  We even had a nice break for some treats half way through.

A pretty canola field that we passed by...

A pretty canola field that we passed by...

Mark was even able to show me a few of the fields he is helping  manage, like the above canola field.

Our house was the last one on the stop and of course the first thing our kids had to show everyone were the baby goats that got lots of oohs and aahs!  Then the weighing started…

Sawyer and Maddie trying to push her hogs up into the scale...

Sawyer and Maddie trying to push her hogs up into the scale...

Maddie’s pigs were none to cooperative and didn’t like being told where to go and let us know by their extremely loud squeals.

Oops! He decided that the scale was not the place for him...

Oops! He decided that the scale was not the place for him...

After a bit of convincing and help from one of the dads both pigs where weighed…

Mr Krantz determining the weight...

Mr Krantz determining the weight...

Porkers weighed 210 and Sizzle weighed 190!  The fair is in 5 weeks and the bottom of the weight scale is 210! So the piggies will be put on a bit of a diet.  ;0)
Tori and Romeo waiting their turn...

Tori and Romeo waiting their turn...

Romeo didn’t give Tori any trouble what so ever and went into the scale lickety-split…
Romeo being weighed...

Romeo being weighed...

Romeo weighed in at about 90lbs, a bit light.  The bottom of the weight requirements is 110 lbs with the ideal weight being about 135 lbs and generally they gain about a 1/2 lb per day.  So Romeo will be boosted up in his feed regiment.
Sawyer’s steer was guesstimated to weigh about 1100 lbs and should put on another 100 lbs before fair time putting him at the ideal weight for steers.  We all had such a good time and are getting excited and a bit nervous for fair as this will be the first time a steer or a sheep have been shown by any of our kids.  But I know they will do just fine…
It’s hard to believe that fair time is only a month and half away!  It seems like once the fair is here, in no time does the cool days of fall show up…time just keeps ticking on by.

Wet and Cold…

It has been a long day today.  Sawyer and I have been outside all today with a ewe that lambed today and doctoring another lamb that was born yesterday that has scours.  To top things off it has been really cold and blowy sitting up in the barn all day long.  The ewe is a first time mom and had a lovely black grey ewe lamb, she wasn’t too sure she was quite ready to become a mom and sorta snuffed the baby to begin with.  She lambed right in the middle of the breeze way of the barn where it was…very breezy and cold.  I wanted to move baby and mom to a lambing jug and out of the cold, but I didn’t want to scare mom off.  So we just stood and watched mom decide whether or not she was going to accept her new addition.  She just stood there for the longest time dazed and just staring at her lamb as it crawled toward her, she finally decided to take a little lick and then another and another.  Finally she decided that licking this little thing might be ok.  After it looked like she was going to accept the little lady we moved her to the jug where she finished cleaning and drying her off.  She even let her nurse eventually and both are now doing quite well.

Kolfinna's black grey ewe lamb...

Kolfinna's black grey ewe lamb, Bliss...

Yesterday after we came back from church we checked the ewes and found two mamma’s laying down laboring and one little baby running around.  Sawyer’s ewe lamb Astrid lambed and had a handsome spotted black ram.  He weighed in at 8lbs 12 oz.
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The other ewe Dyr also lambed, but her first presented hind legs first so we ended up pulling her.  She required a quick swing and some brisk rubbing and came to life fairly easy.  She is an adorable moorit grey spotted ewe weighing in 6lbs 5oz.  A while later she lambed again (with most of the kids watching of course) to a stillborn  black badgerface ram.  It’s always so not fun to hear your kids plead to a dead lamb to live.  The fragility of life  is one of those things that kids learn early when they own animals. 
Dyr's ewe lamb, a moorit grey spotted ewe.

Dyr's ewe lamb, a moorit grey spotted ewe.

The pigs burrowing down into the straw trying to warm up...

The pigs burrowing down into the straw trying to warm up...

Leeks in the garden with snow...

Leeks in the garden with snow...

Chicken tracks in the snow...

Chicken tracks in the snow...

Strawberries with snow...

Strawberries with snow...

Do you smell what I smell?

I hope not, it’s good thing they haven’t invented a device that lets you smell through your computers yet!  But I suppose it is that time of year again.  Last night Maddie and her daddy got to go pick out fair pigs…
Here is the pair of barrows...

Here is the pair of barrows...

They each weigh around 60 lbs and will grow to the market of weight of between 220-280lbs, all in 4 months time!  Maddie will show the better of the two hogs and sell it at the market sale at the fair.  The other will…well let’s just say he’ll take up residence in our freezer.
What do the other animals think….
What are these things?

What *are* these things?

Aside from their awesome meat, pigs are great little tillers of the land. They push up the dirt in search of little tidbits and gems to eat, leaving behind a well plowed path.  Our plan is to let them into the lambing jugs after the sheep are done lambing and let them clean that up and then let them clean all the bedding out of the barn that has accumulated through out the winter.  When they are finished in there we will then composting the rest for our garden.
What is that smell?

What *is* that smell?

They really aren’t that bad…right now…the poor neighbors, hopefully the breeze will blow away from their house!
They're even sorta cute...right now anyway.

They're even sorta cute...right now anyway.