Christmas was wonderful! The kids were so happy, and surprised, to find their goats, and a dog that they didn't expect, in the pen on Christmas morning!
Our plan changed about two weeks before Christmas when we found a group of five pygmy goats (two of them could be pregnant!) and a male Great Pyrenees for a good price on craigslist, but we didn't tell the kids! The family we bought the group from were having a tough time feeding them so we had to get them right away and keep them hidden for 10 days!!! Do you know how hard it is to hide five goats and a dog from these three kids that practically live outside?? It was pretty tricky. Luckily we built our goat pen down the hill past the chicken pen, so it's not visible from the house at all, and our neighbors have goats too so we wouldn't have to explain any noises either.....Ben and I came up with all kinds of creative excuses as to why we were disappearing for 45 minutes a couple of times everyday to feed the animals, and for why they couldn't go down to the chicken pen.....it was a long and busy 10 days! (Now ya see why I didn't have much time to write! Ben and I were secretly farming in our spare time! LOL!)
On Christmas morning we let the kids open their other gifts and then Ben suggested that we go down to the goat pen to make sure everything was in order before the goats came. You should have seen their little faces when all of those goats and the dog ran to the fence to greet them! Molly was just beside herself!
I have a couple of short videos of Christmas morning just after we came down from the house that are pretty cute. The first one was just after we had come into the gate and the kids were trying to be sort of quiet and still to see if the goats would come up to them. At first I wasn't going to upload this one because it was sort of boring but then I watched it again and kinda cracked up because of something I said to Molly, so I decided to share it anyhow. Maybe you will see the humor in it too, if nothing else you may get a kick out of my accent which seems extra thick when I have a cold. Enjoy.
This video was cute too, the kids were so excited. Molly asked Ben if the boy goat was the one with the mohawk.
And so another season of our lives has begun, we are adjusting to having more (and different) animals on our little farm and learning a new rhythm that keeps us all happy.....The kids are loving every minute of it! Molly has especially taken to our new rhythm, feeding time is her favorite.
Our mornings are especially different these days, the kids have a lot more morning chores to do now than they used to. After we get up they get a load of wood into the house while I tend to the dying fire, and then Maddie and I start on breakfast while Molly and Tim get all of the animals fed. You know it's funny... my kids haven't always been big breakfast eaters, but now! It takes them around 30-45 minutes to do their morning chores and when they sit down to eat breakfast after all that, they are as hungry as three little hostages!
It may take us a few more days to get our schedule worked out just right but we may as well not get too used to it, because soon we may have baby goats to take care of.....and then there will be the twice a day milking...
Molly has been studying up on how to be a goat midwife and how to milk goats. She is so excited! One night we stayed up until two in the morning watching You Tube videos about milking goats and she was pleasantly surprised to find that children are among the best goat milkers because of the size of their hands. Getting goats that may have babies soon was one of the best parts for Molly!
(Note the perfectly coordinated outfit)
Maddie is still a little unsure about all of this. She loves the goats, but from a distance, she would rather just watch than be right in the middle of them like Tim and Molly. She only wants to pet them when she is holding mama's hand right now, but I'm sure she will warm up to them soon. She absolutely adores Ralph (the dog) even though he is twice her size (but just a baby at 10 months old), she says that he "tects" (protects) her. It's so cute the way they have bonded with Ralph so quickly.
Tim Loves the hard work like daddy does, if Ben is on the tractor or working outside you can bet Tim is one step behind him with his little work gloves on! He likes to fill the feeder with hay and carry the heavy stuff for the girls when it's feeding time. He also likes this awesome climbing tree in the goat pen! When we cleared this piece of land off about a year ago Ben left this funky tree standing for that very reason.
So there is our Christmas story! I'm sure this won't be the last story you have to see from the Caffee Farm though, no-sir-re, I'm sure there will be enough of those to fill a book by the end of 2010!