Tuesday, July 26, 2016

We Bought a Farm: Abigail's Getaway Weekend (And a new ram)

For Abigail's birthday, she wanted to go swim at a hotel pool. So we had planned a night just an hour from our house. But about that time, we got word of a ram we wanted to buy that was about 3.5 hours away from our house. So we cancelled the first hotel and booked one near where the ram lived. The six of us headed out on Sunday morning for our adventure.

My friend Claire had told us about the Virginia Safari Park, and we decided to surprise the kids and stop there on the way to the hotel. It was great fun! You drive through slowly and can feed the animals as you go. We all loved it!

After that, it was off to our hotel to SWIM!

I've started realizing that the only way to get my kiddos to do a semi-nice pose is to promise them an opportunity ...

to do a silly pose afterwards.

John captioned this photo on Facebook: "Spent the night at a "hotel with a pool" to celebrate my daughter's fifth birthday. It had a connected indoor and outdoor pool, so we spent the morning running secret missions from one side to the other trying to retrieve stolen items from the bad guys while avoiding the robot dogs with laser guns on their collars. It was touch and go at times, but I'm glad to report we all made it out alive... but I may or may not have died two or three times."

We are now too big of a family to get one hotel room. We often try to find hotels with suites, but in this area, I couldn't find one. So we got a hotel with connecting rooms. JB and I cannot fit in hotel beds together so we knew it would be me in a bed in one room with two kiddos and JB in a bed in the other room with two kiddos. We played paper, scissors, rocks to see who got the "easy" kids (i.e., the boys). JB got them. Of course. This was the first time Hannah has ever slept in a big girl bed (other than naps) and the first time she has slept with Abigail. I really need to just move her out of her crib because she climbs out of it like crazy, but I just haven't gotten around to it. It was immediately evident that this was way too close together ....

.... so I switched to the sideways trick and a pillow in the middle, and they were out in a second. (The boys always did this as we travelled around the world. But they are now too big to do it anymore!)

We woke up on Monday morning, had breakfast at the hotel, swam some more, and then headed down the road to pick up our new ram whom we have tentatively named ADMIRAL CAPPUCCINO KITSTEINER. He is tan and a BIG boy. He is in a separate paddock from the women and at the same time, we removed our five baby boy ram lambs from their moms yesterday, and they joined ADMIRAL in their new paddock. 

It is sad to pull the boys off their moms, but we know it has to be done. Our tentative plan is to process four of these boys for meat shortly before they turn one. The biggest one will stick around. We will use him to be the ram of ADMIRAL'S offspring the following year. 

One quick funny story. Catching five rams in the middle of 22 sheep is no small task. JB used his shepherd staff (which is a truly GREAT tool) and between the two of us, we snagged four relatively easily. But the fifth proved quite cunning. But at last, JB had him cornered, and we were sure he would get him. As JB used his ninja moves and his staff and went for the grab, that little guy jumped OVER JB's HEAD!!!!! It was a sight to see, and I only wish I could have recorded it. Hooved him right in the head too. Two more tries, and we had him, but it was quite an impressive jump!

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