Monday, February 25, 2013

The End of the Pig Story

With the move coming up, it was time to take the pig to the butcher. We only had one pig left from the original three and it wasn't very big, but we had to get rid of it and we figured we might as well get some ham out of the deal. 

I had to schedule an appointment for the pig and it had to happen when the Badger was not home.  Well, Bean was sure that he and I could handle it.  He had me convinced it was no biggie.  I do think it was a decent plan and if the Badger had been home it would have worked fine. 

The plan was to line the back of my van with a tarp, lure the pig in with some food, and then have plenty of food in there to keep it content during the drive. 

It almost worked! 

Okay, so it made my experienced farming friend laugh her head off.  But really, it almost worked. 

The problem was that the tailgate of my van was just a little bit too high for the pig to want to climb up there.  And the ramp we rigged was a disaster.  And when we tried to just pick up the stupid pig and huck it in we weren't quite fast enough getting the van doors shut.  And then after a bunch of tries the pig wasn't really hungry anymore so food stopped being a motivator. 

It was snowing.  I had the van parked in the pasture with all the little kids in it and Bean and Fish and I were out there in our barn boots chasing the pig through the slushy muddy mess.  We tried pushing it, roping it, riding it, manhandling it...

I am not going to take up pig wrestling anytime soon, I will tell you that. 

After an hour and a half of this, I was exhausted.  The girls were complaining that they were cold, and the baby had woken up and wanted to eat.  I so wanted to give up but I just couldn't.  This pig HAD to get to the butcher THAT DAY, there was no way around it.  

I drove the van back around to the house and let everyone go back inside.  I decided to call my neighbor, who has teenage sons.  Maybe there would be strength in numbers. 

Even better than that, she had a large dog kennel we could use!  Now we just had to get the pig into the kennel, which is low down, and then we could pick it up and move it anywhere we needed to. 

So I'm sitting there formulating this new battle plan and gearing up to go back out there and conquer that horrid swine when Seth and Reuben showed up on my porch. 

"The pig is in the kennel," they said.  "What do you want us to do now?" 

Yeah.  They just walked into my pasture with their kennel, picked up the pig and chucked it in there.  Easy as that.  After I had spend ninety grueling minutes in the snow trying to catch that nasty beast. 

I wanted to kiss them.  (Don't worry, I didn't.) 

The kennel wouldn't fit in the back of my van, so I had to get out the trailer (I dislike driving with the trailer, so I try to avoid it but at this point I didn't mind at all!)  Seth and Reuben helped me with the hitch and finally I was on my way to the butchers, two hours late.  (I had been on the phone with them letting them know what was going on and they were waiting for me.) 

I never thought I would be so glad to take an animal to the butcher.  I was so gleeful about getting rid of that thing!  I can't wait to EAT IT!!!!!  And I am NEVER raising pigs again!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

More Museum Pictures

My other kids were at the museum too, and I also got a lot of awesome pictures of them.  If you are ever in Oklahoma for any reason I highly recommend this museum. 

The Rabbit shopping for produce:

The Rabbit behind the wheel (I was in the back seat saying "are we there yet?")

Fish jumping to catch a train:

The Rabbit in the garden:

More gorilla riders:

There was a black swan on the pond!

Standing Bean and "walking bean:"

All aboard the ship:


Wouldn't you just have LOVED to climb on this when you were a kid?

The water works was the Badger's favorite:

Fish really loved the construction site:

Bean watched the balls go around for ages:

Everyone digging for dinosaur bones:

More plane riders:

It was quite the party!
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Thursday, February 14, 2013


My little Roo Roo turned Seven last week. She had the funnest birthday a little girl could want: we went to the Children's Museum. It was a day I will always treasure. The museum was fantastic and my little girl just glowed as she played and explored. There were so many neat things to see.  The museum was set up like a miniature grown-up world and the kids got to play at being grown-ups. 

Driving a fire engine:

Making giant bubbles (okay, so that's not a grown-up thing, but it should be!)

Grocery shopping:

Flying an airplane:

Digging for dinosaur bones:

Climbing on a gorilla statue in the miniature town:

Learning about pulleys and water works:

Painting a house:

Constructing a building:


Sculpting spinning sand:

Sitting in an actual airplane cockpit:

(And this was my favorite!) Sitting in an actual Model T Ford:

And playing courtroom!  

What a busy, wonderful day!  
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Here We Go Again...

The Badger has a new job.  It is in a town in the mountains out west.  We're really looking forward to living there and enjoying the scenery.  It's going to be lots of fun.

But it's very painful to leave.  And it's scary right now, with so many details not yet in place.  Plus, we have to move the first part of March and that's way too soon.  The next few weeks are going to be absolutely brutal. 

I may not blog much! 

But once we get there, you know I'll be back on here.  Blogging is my sanity. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Owl Shirt!

One of the cutest things Peanut says these days is "Owl shirt!" 

Junior got the board book Owl Babies for Christmas and as he is too young to appreciate it Peanut has been appreciating it for him.  It is her favorite book and that is why she loves her owl shirt so much. 

I love her wild morning zoo hair and her silly faces! 
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Here's Junior in my favorite swaddle wrap.  It has bears and turtles and hedgehogs and frogs and trees on it.  I love woodsy things.  And I love how he looks like a little caterpillar.  He's already almost outgrown it... sigh.

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Things to Love

The funny thing about leaving someplace is that you start to think of all the reasons why you love it and don't want to leave. 

Oklahoma really is a nifty place.  Especially this time of year... everyone else is shivering in the snow and we're enjoying 60 degree days.  Now, if this whole relocation thing had come up in July I might be a little more anxious to make tracks.  I am not fond of Oklahoma summers.  But there are many things in Oklahoma I am fond of...

Braum's.  I think Braum's needs to be at the top of my list.  They have stores all over Oklahoma and the surrounding area that sell excellent hamburgers and amazing ice cream.  All their beef is local and hormone free.  I shall miss Braum's, especially their holiday ice cream flavors. 

Along those same lines, Freddy's Frozen Custard.  I don't eat there often because it's so dang bad for you, but... WOW.

Blue Bell ice cream is another regional specialty sold in local grocery stores.  Their "Homemade Vanilla" tastes like homemade vanilla.  It's the best thing for pie a la mode.

What am I doing?  I am supposed to be on a diet.  It's actually going quite well so far, but I need to stop talking about ice cream.

 Oklahoma is quite possibly the best place to homeschool in the nation in terms of legalities.  It is the only state with an actual provision for homeschooling in the state constitution.  Cool, huh?  Plus, you don't even have to register or test or anything. 

Boy, are we ever going to miss our co-op!  So sad to have to leave it right after we found it.

I love our drive to co-op every week through fields and trees.   I love the oak trees in Oklahoma. 

I love the wildlife: possums, coyotes, armadillos...  and most especially the birds.  I love the scissor-tail flycatcher, the spectacular state bird of Oklahoma. 

I love the history of Oklahoma: wild west at its best!  Cowboys and Indians, pioneers in wagons, the land rush, sheriffs and outlaws... exciting stuff.  I love the cowboy culture that still prevails to this day.  Oklahoma has even got me listening to country music. 

I love the down-home, salt-of-the-earth, gun-totin' people here. 

I even love the thunderstorms. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Clouds are Gathering

Clouds are gath'ring
Turning grey
A thunderstorm is on its way
And soon there will be lightning
And even if it gets a little frightning

Hold on
The storm won't last forever
Hold on
And when it seems the sun will never shine
If you last a little longer
The storm will pass
And you'll be stronger

Hard things happen in our lives
Things that take us by surprise
Will we be all right?  We wonder
So when your troubles come like rolling thunder

Hold on
The storm won't last forever
Hold on
And when it seems the sun will never shine
If you last a little longer
The storm will pass
And you'll be stronger

(Stronger, a song by Steven Kapp Perry, from the album We Are Amazing, which is a huge favorite around here.)

We've had some clouds on our horizon for awhile and they are growing darker and closer. 

It started last fall when the Badger's work announced that it was moving his base of operations to another town about three hours away from here.  This was very unexpected: we never imagined they would do such a thing. 

The move was supposed to take place before the end of 2012, but thankfully it was delayed for a time.  That was an answer to prayer with the baby being born and everything.  I couldn't face the situation at that point and I didn't have to. 

However, now we are facing it.  The Badger no longer has a job in this area (though he does still have a job and we are thankful for that.)  If we move we will lose thousands of dollars, which we don't have.  But we're stuck, we kind of have to move.  He tried finding other jobs in this area and nothing panned out. 

Things are up in the air right now as to what we will do.  The Badger has a job interview this week that looks promising... in a state a long way from here.  We are facing a complete change in our lifestyle... yet again!

How many times have we done this now?  But the stakes are so much higher this time.  We have six children.  And a little farm.  It's difficult to relocate with all of that, and financially we stand to lose tremendously, which means we're probably not getting back on another piece of land anytime soon.  We are going to have to say goodbye to so many good things that we've had here for the last three years.

It kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

But I have faith.  I have seen so much evidence that God is with us and I know He won't let us down now.  However this all plays out, we will be okay.  And I'd rather go thousands of dollars into debt and move into a tiny house somewhere than several other major trials I can think of.  At least I will have my family with me and that's all I really need.

That reminds me of something Roo said to me the other day.  She had crawled into bed next to me first thing in the morning and she said, "Mom, there is only one thing I want in life and I already have it."  I asked what it was, and she replied, "A nice family."  Then she continued, "That's all I wanted, that's what I told Jesus when I was up in heaven before I came here."

Yes, we have a nice family.  And storms sometimes hit nice families.  But we will huddle together, and we will be stronger. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baby Products I Love

When I was pregnant with Bean we had no money and I mean NONE.  I would sometimes look at the ads for perfectly coordinated and beautifully decorated baby nurseries and feel a little sad.  My midwife gave me some good advice: she said you can get by without spending money for baby things with hand-me-downs or just living without, but there are two things that she would recommend shelling out for: a good car seat and a good childbirth class.   We followed her advice.  We were able to get a brand new infant car seat for only five dollars due to a closeout sale combined with a rebate from our car insurance.  We sacrificed a lot to pay for a Bradley class, but it was very worth it.  And that’s pretty much all we bought for Baby, at least for many months.  Everything else we were given or borrowed: swing, bouncy seat, clothes, blankets, changing table, crib, high chair, rocking chair, bath tub… we were so blessed.  We didn’t have a beautiful and coordinated nursery and he didn’t wear clothes from Baby Gap, but I learned that the baby doesn’t care: he’ll just throw up on everything anyway.  And I learned that there were a lot of things that really weren’t that important. 

Now, after six babies and a zillion moves where I’ve had to downsize again and again, I know that there are a lot of things I could live without if I had to.  I don’t need a crib, and I could live without having both a swing and a bouncy seat.  I could even make do without a baby bathtub and a changing table.  You use what you have.  But here are three baby accessories that I really love and that I would acquire first if I was starting from scratch: 

3.  My boppy pillow.  I’ve had one since Bean (gift!) and not only is it comfortable for nursing but it makes a great place for the baby to just hang out.  It’s particularly good with your first baby when you’re trying to figure out nursing, but I’m on baby number six and I’m still using mine a lot.  I don’t use it every time I nurse, but there are times when it really comes in handy.  It’s not essential, but it’s a luxury I enjoy.  Here's me in 2001 with baby Bean and my first Boppy. 

2.  Swaddle wraps.  The kind that Velcro around the baby.  My sister sent me one when I had the Rabbit and I LOVE it.  Now I have several.  When my babies are tiny, they love to be swaddled at bedtime.  A regular blanket just doesn’t hold: they squirm out of it.  But the Velcro keeps them snug.  They sleep so much better.  Plus, they look like cute little caterpillars. Can you believe this is the Rabbit?  She looks so calm in this picture!

1.  My Hug-a-Bub wrap.  To me, this is an ESSENTIAL piece of baby gear.  I bought it when I had Fish because I heard it was by far the most comfortable way to wear your baby and my back and shoulders ached from trying to wear Bean in a sling.  At the time you could only get them from Australia and I paid a small fortune for it, which was a huge sacrifice on our lean budget.  I found it to be absolutely everything it claimed to be and I totally adored it.  I also found it to be nothing more than a big long piece of fabric with a decorative pocket sewn on.  Since then, I have made several for friends and family for a fraction of the cost I paid.  I get compliments on it everywhere I go: how content the baby looks and how they wished they’d had something like that “back when they were having babies.”  It’s so ironic: women have been tying their babies onto themselves with strips of fabric for thousands of years and we’re only now clueing into it.  Here's me in 2003 with baby Fish:

It’s amazing how baby trends have changed just in the last 12 years.  With each baby there’s something new to try or the old has been redesigned slightly.  Maybe my next new baby favorite hasn’t even been invented yet!