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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Goats and more dogs and snakes and guinea pigs ... oh my!

This past Thursday morning, a blue mini van drove into our yard.  The back hatch was open and what a sight to see.  Inside the back was a wire pet kennel with 3 kids (baby) goats and standing next to it were 2 nanny (mama) goats.  In the middle seat of the mini van were two more kids.  Human kids!  ;)  Some of the L family's goats had arrived!  (I get so tickled imagining Mrs. L stopped at a traffic light and the driver of the car behind her staring in amazement goats staring back at him - from a mini van!)  Goat and supplies were unloaded.  Then later that night, this was repeated as 2 more kids and another nanny goat arrived.  Along with 2 BIG dogs!  (Great Pyranees)

The next morning we received milking lessons and further instructions.  Tabby and Frank both practiced milking the goats.  Tabby seems to have a natural knack for it.  Frank said he had milked cows some, when he was young.  I watched, wearing Solomon in my baby carrier, jotting down notes.

We have 2 goats to milk and 1 kid is fed by bottle because his mama is unable to produce milk.  Tabby, Hunter, and I love feeding Pip his bottle!

I need to get some pictures of Tabby milking the goats.  The nanny goats are named:  Krista, Nausette (sp?), and Topaz.  Kids are:  Pip, Daisy, Buck, Clove, and Nutmeg.  Here are some random goat shots:

Here are the dogs, named East and West:

Tabby is enjoying milking the goats, though her hands are still getting used to it.  She brings me the milk and I strain it and refrigerate it to bottle feed to Pip later.  There are two goats that needs a little doctoring and I found I really enjoy putting medicine on them.  Frank has thankfully been off work this week, so he's been helping with everything too.  But since he typically works long days, the daily goat care will be up to Tabby and I.  I am so thankful that Tabby is such a huge help and seems to be thriving under having all these animals to take care of.

Our chicks are really growing.  The dogs did well with them last week until yesterday evening, when Lucia killed one of our favorites - Houdini.  (The L family decided not to bring their 30+ chickens here, because of Lucia.)  Here are some pictures of our chicks - Tabby took the first picture, of her favorites - the silkies:

Some friends at church today said that one of their chicks has turned out to be a rooster.  They can't keep it since they're in a residential area.  So tomorrow they are giving it to us.  Our chicks are younger so we don't know if we have a rooster yet.

As if we don't have enough animals now, last week Tabby bought a guinea pig from someone off Craig's List.  She named it Bazil, after a monk in a Veritas Press history course she loved:

Then today, some friends gave her an extra guinea pig they had.  So she added Justinian the Great.  Bazil was very happy to have a friend.  (I don't have a picture of him yet.)  Tabby's room is like a mini-zoo.  She has the 2 guinea pigs, 2 gerbils, 1 betta fish, and a little turtle that Frank rescued.

Finally, much to our horror, last Sunday while Hunter was in the sandbox, Frank uncovered a copperhead under one of the railroad ties surrounding the sandbox.  Gasp!  Scream!  (I still feel like that.)  He grabbed Hunter and put him up on the deck.  Then he and Tabby got shovels and with her as backup, Frank quickly killed the copperhead.  It was a young one.  I grabbed our snake identification book so we could verify that's what it was.  Yep.  A young copperhead.  (AGH!!!)  I am thankful they don't seem to be aggressive and will continue to ask God to protect all of us from snakes.  YUCK!

This evening as I was chasing a chicken that had gotten over the fence, I said to Frank "I never imagined I would be doing this!"  He teased me something about Metallica, the heavy metal band I used to be obsessed with.  I sure have changed a lot since my early 20s!  I caught the chicken and said it was amazing all the things God has taught me in life.  So many things in just the past few days. 

Not only does God teach us things, but we do more than we think is possible.  Several years ago I had no idea I would have had a baby girl with Trisomy 18 and learned as much medical stuff with her as I did.  And then to survive burying her at 17 months.  And really - just so many things God has brought me through - too many to mention in this already too long post.  I have no idea what is coming next.

I only know that I could not do it without Him.

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