Early October pictures

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One of the smallest praying mantises I’ve ever seen (that’s Esther’s hand). It was incredibly hard to get the picture because the camera didn’t want to focus there, and it kept moving (jumped onto the lens once!).

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And this is something I was glad to have not known about until I found the pictures on the memory card later! This is my daredevil second boy, way up high in a gum tree. He hauled the ladder up after him to bridge the gap between branches. He did make it back down safely!

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The second and fourth boys have been diligently working at lining their sleepout walls with cardboard, and then painting it.

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This little boy (our youngest) is so cute! I love the way he walks so purposefully across the yard. His favorite place in the kitchen is up on the countertop, where he can see what’s going on.

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One evening our silly boys had a contest to see who could put the most different items on their bread. It started when one put plum jam, grapefruit marmalade, and pumpkin butter on his bread, in separate stripes—that one was actually sensible, in Mom’s opinion. This boy, #2, was the ultimate winner (in his opinion)—he found 15 things to put on his bread! Yes, I made him eat it.

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Ryan Craig, from Twizel, is walking the length of New Zealand for the fourth time pulling a cross, carrying the message of forgiveness. He stayed with us for a night, and our boys really enjoyed him. To learn more about him, visit https://www.facebook.com/RyanCraigsWalk2014/timeline

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Last Sunday on our way home from church we stopped for a little while along the coast, which we haven’t done in a long time. The boys sure enjoyed climbing around on the rocks! Top picture is our 4th boy; next is the 5th. Beyond them was a huge flock of birds on the water. Next picture is the 4th, then 3rd, then 2nd boy. The next two include our oldest and 5th boys with us.

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A beautiful spiderweb I noticed while milking one morning.

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The calf we were given a few weeks ago. She was born in the yards where Gayle works, just before her mother was butchered. She was initially given to a friend of ours who works there also, who got her started eating but then decided she couldn’t afford to keep her cattle and gave her to us! This calf is very healthy and frisky, and absolutely loves her foster “mother”—our first boy!

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We got our potatoes planted last week, and then I assigned the boys to mulch them with a bale of straw we had. They did a great job!

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Birthday Party!

We had a birthday party a couple of weeks ago for two of the boys—the third and fifth boys, whose birthdays are just a week apart the end of September and beginning of October. It had to be postponed for several days from the original date selected, because the older boy was sick, and only one friend ended up being able to come. That was disappointing, but we made the best of it. The weather was horrid—cold, rainy and windy, so they had to play in the house. They played Elephant Stop for awhile. In that game, one person is blindfolded, and counts to, maybe, 30, while everyone else moves around. Then, the blindfolded person calls out, “Elephant Stop!” and the others must stop wherever they are. They are allowed to move any part of their body besides their feet. Some boys climbed up on the bunkbeds!

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After that game, we moved out to the garage to  break a pinata that the older birthday boy made. It was supposed to look like a sheep. It was great fun, as usual, to watch the participants trying to break the swinging pinata!

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September Pictures

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Esther took these pictures around her little house soon after we moved. The chickens were left here when the owners moved out; they’ve now been locked up. Our cat, Ginger, loves her house. He has a comfortable bed on the front porch!

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The littlest boy loves the little picnic table close to the kitchen door! He wants to take his lunch out there to eat it, and sometimes asks to take his breakfast out. The other boys sometimes join him. Apparently, this time, the youngest had gone elsewhere, because the ones in the picture are the second and fifth boys.

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I’m horrible about getting before-and-after photos, but we put two shelves up in the kitchen to make more space. Our second boy bought himself a cordless drill, and was thrilled to use it to put up the shelves. That’s the fourth boy helping him.

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Time to work up the garden—but the tiller (rotary hoe here) broke. They’re busy fixing it. That’s the first, fourth, and second boys.

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The youngest is enjoying this swing, and his big brother likes to swing him!

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Moving

I know this is rather overdue—but here are a few pictures we got of the moving process.

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The first thing we did was to pack as much household stuff as possible into the shipping container. My husband is the world’s most efficient packer, and he taught his boys some of his tricks. We fit approximately 6 tons into that 20-foot container!

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The two little boys couldn’t do much to help, but they oversaw the operation! Our truck, and a friend’s trailer, were used to ferry things from the house to the container, which was out by the road.

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Firewood had to be moved, too—that was taken directly to the new house, after the container was full.

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The company we hired to move the container made a mistake and sent too small a truck the first time. It couldn’t lift the container.

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A few days later, we got them to send out their big truck, and that one had no trouble moving the container. The man tried to turn around, but the road was too narrow, and he had to back all the way out to the end of the road (about 360 meters).

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Because we loaded everything we could do without for a week into the container, we sat on the floor a lot that last week. The boys laid on their tummies for bedtime prayers; this is Daddy blessing them.

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I spent a lot of time the last week cleaning. The little boys helped me wash the kitchen fridge! And that is all the pictures we got of our last week in the Fosters Road house, and of the move!

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Hard-Working Boys!

After Gayle got home this afternoon, he suggested that the oldest boy start mowing lawn. He also told me he wanted to clean his truck. The next thing I knew, when I looked outside, this is what I saw!

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Three boys mowing lawn (one mower no longer has the self-propelled feature, so two boys push it)….

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This boy was weed-whacking….

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And these two were vacuuming! I love it when they are all working like this. Big sister is at work, too, cleaning at the place her daddy works. I need to get busy now; I’m the only lazy one at the moment! Time to fix supper.

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Some Views of Our New House

My 8-year-old went around taking pictures the other day of this new place, so I can share with you some of the grounds. I haven’t taken any inside yet, so you’ll have to wait till another time to see that.

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Esther’s sleepout—the gray-green bush beside her porch is wormwood.

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The creek in front of the house (there is also one at the back of the property).

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The garage, by the house. I have the freezers in the right-hand side, and behind that is a stage with some built-in shelving, plus shelves we put in, where all our jars of food are.

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The daffodils are in full bloom right now on the east side of the creek.

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The container/sleepout, and fertilizer for the garden.

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The lemon tree, in a sunny, sheltered corner of the house.

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The sand box, under the water tank—the littlest boy’s favorite place!

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Another sleepout, inside and out.

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Some of the piles of junk! After the ground dries out, they are planning to clean up. The last picture is a World War II crane. The owner here is a trucker/mechanic/antique car collector.

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The creek at the back of the 5 acres, with a couple of cabbage trees.

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The bridge over the back creek!

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A pukeko nest the boys found.

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Our two ram lambs.

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I took these pictures during school the other morning—this is the view from the school room!

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Monday evening, Gayle brought a surprise home from work—a ewe lamb! She was not impressed at being taken away from her mother and tied up. She has since decided, however, that our oldest boy is her mother and will follow him everywhere. He led her into the kitchen a couple nights ago. She promptly squatted and left behind a puddle! He got to clean it up.

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Miracle

Yes, we have a house chick. This little fellow is a miracle. About a month or six weeks ago, one of our hens started hatching the eggs we had put under her. Six of the eleven hatched on Wednesday, and we brought them in the house for a couple of days, then put them out with another batch, of a dozen chicks, that were just a couple days older. She was still sitting on the remaining eggs, so we let her. The next day, another egg had a hole in it. On Friday morning, the chick was still in the egg, still peeping, and had its head sticking out. We could tell that the egg was stuck to the chick, dried on. I knew you are not supposed to help a chick out of the egg, as they need the struggle to be strong enough to survive, but we also knew this one would not live without help. My chicken-lover, our second boy, gently picked the shell off, to give the chick the only chance it would have. Once out of the shell, the chick flopped around on its back, from side to side of the plastic tub it was in with several others, crying piteously when they stepped on it. We put all the ones that were strong enough out with a mother hen that evening, and the next morning this little one was on his feet! He surprised all of us by that. He was still bumping into the sides of the tub, and couldn’t get one eye open, but within a couple more days was acting much more normal, eating and drinking. All the others have moved on, but this one doesn’t fit in with any flock we have. He now lives in a bucket, with a lid on at night because he won’t stay in. During the day, we put him outside in the grass and he scratches around like any other chicken. This afternoon, it was chilly outside, and he came to the door and seemed to want in. Someone opened the door and he hopped right on in and walked around, totally at home!

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