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!
And here we are at the end of August again! I’ve been spending my spare time packing. I hope to do everything we can do without for a week or two in the kitchen, today. Gayle has next week off work, and we plan to load all we can into the container, then get that moved. He and the boys will also move the outside stuff, including firewood, and then next Saturday we hope to move the last of our things and the animals. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what goes into the container and what doesn’t—what can we live without for a week or two, in case the container doesn’t get moved on schedule? It’s an interesting exercise. At this point, I’m thinking we need to keep out mattresses (but bed frames can go in), table, benches and chairs, clothing (and dressers), some food, and just basic dishes for cooking and eating. We can sit on the floor in the living room for a little while, although I do want to keep my rocker/recliner: I need a comfortable place to sit down once in awhile! Busy week ahead. Anyway, here are this month’s pictures that I haven’t already shared.
One Sunday afternoon, we went to the waterfall north of Kaikoura to see the baby seals. We were almost too late; most had already gone out to sea. There were seven, though, and a couple were really putting on a show just upstream from the beach. They are so graceful in the water!
After watching the seals for a bit, we walked across the road to the beach and watched the big waves. It was high tide, and the waves were really crashing up and over a large rock right below us. Two boys had fun running out onto that rock between waves, then dashing back to safety. The cliff in the picture above was across the road, over the path back to the waterfall.
One of our boys is getting some practice fabricating. He cut apart a broken sack bearer, then welded it back together to make this small one for his little brothers.
We have three teenagers now! We had an informal birthday party for the birthday boy, and he requested this game.
We’ve had a bad flu go through the house this week. The youngest got it first, and was down two days. Several days later I got it and was in bed for three days. Two other boys got it right after I did, and they were down for two days each. A few days later, three more got it; one was down only a day, but the other two for two days. This morning, everyone is feeling better! We’re praying that Gayle and Esther don’t get it. The downside of homeschooling (from a child’s perspective) is that sick days don’t mean days off school! Teacher Mom insists that they do at least a little! This boy did extra, though; he completed three lessons yesterday while he was down sick!
This little boy loves his books! One of his most common sayings right now is, “Can’t read it!” as he presents you with a book he wants to hear. The boy who made the sack bearer also made this cradle by cutting apart a big plastic drum and putting wooden ends on. In my opinion, it’s too tipsy for the new baby, which is who he intended it for, but the first day this little boy loved it as a place to sit and read.
Esther wrote this blog post yesterday. I loved the pictures so much that I asked her if I could share it here. She obliged—and even put it up here for me so I wouldn’t have to figure out how! Enjoy.
Today is a beautiful spring day. There are hardly clouds in the sky, and the sky is deep blue. My brothers are soaking up the sunshine, and getting some fun projects done before we move.
When they were working outside my window, I decided to take a quick break from school and get some pictures of them.
One was working on his crossbow (formerly a combined rubber band/arrow gun) made out of popsicle sticks, bike brake wire, and I don’t know what.
Another helped with the project, and the last one worked on stripping more bike brake wire to fix the brakes on his bike (at least, I think that’s what he was doing).
The last boy tried to scare me with an arrow and rubber band from the former rubber band/arrow gun, but I just took pictures of him. 🙂
And, realizing that wasn’t working, he picked up his bike and tried to get me to take a picture of his muddy bike tire (it didn’t work; I got a picture of his face instead).
Breathing the fresh spring air and looking forward to summer,
P.S. We are planning, Lord willing, to move next week. This week, Mom was planning to get a good amount of packing done, but Sunday she came down with the flu along with one of my brothers. Then, another one came down with it the next day. Mom is finally doing well today, it’s taken a good three days for her to get over it. Praise the Lord, none of the rest of us have gotten it, and we’re praying we won’t! God is good.
Our little fellow is feeling much better. He woke me up, crying, at 2:00 this morning, and when I asked what he needed, he said, “Food!” I fed him a bowl of yogurt, and he was fine. He woke up at the normal time, smiling, running around thrilled to feel good again. After eating breakfast, he found a bowl full of soaked beans I was planning to can (bottle) today, and filled all the jars for me, then started finding lids for them. He’s had a few spells of not feeling happy today, but overall he’s done great.
Our little sickie is still under the weather. He’s spent all day laying on the couch or his sister’s bed, resting. This afternoon, though, he has eaten a fair amount, and this evening he sat up for awhile! We’re taking turns holding him and entertaining him, which he loves. Good thing there are a lot of us! This picture shows what is happening right now. One thing special about this picture is that the big brother who is reading to him is severely dyslexic and it has taken years for him to be able to read well enough to do this! He is reading slowly but quite well.
We don’t often have anybody sick around here, but the youngest was out-of-sorts this morning, and then started feeling hot. By lunch time he was obviously sick, with probably an ear ache and fever, and he’s been laying around all afternoon—not like him at all. Poor fellow. I’m afraid it’s a nasty flu that’s been going around, which we were exposed to three times last week. I’ve gotten to cuddle him more than usual!
Cats, as you know, like their comfort. This one found a sunny window out of reach of the chickens where he could keep warm one afternoon.
This is a model heart, made of homemade graham crackers, marshmallows, and icing. It is supposed to represent the circulation of deoxygenated blood into the heart and out to the lungs; then oxygenated blood into the heart and back out to the body. Of course the most fun part was eating it. Looks like the little brother in the background is afraid he won’t get a taste!
Who can say no to that little face asking sweetly, “Pwum?” Of course, he got one!
We may have the most beautiful drive to church in the world, but it is also dangerous. We’ve had two vivid illustrations of that in the past three weeks. Today, we saw this on the way to and from church:
The pictures aren’t very good, because I snapped them quickly as we drove by. It looked as though the truck hit the rock cliff on the other side of the highway, and rolled. The tractor and trailer ended up unhooked, and facing each other, both quite a mess. It’s hard to imagine anyone getting out of that truck without serious injuries. The only news article I could find about it, however, didn’t have any real information except that it happened late last night and one person was thought to be injured; the highway was closed for a few hours.
Three weeks ago, on the same route but several miles farther south, there was a horrific accident, also a truck. The truckie had apparently crossed the highway and crashed through a guardrail, plunging 45 meters (150 feet) down a very steep cliff into a deep ravine, and taking 35 tons of soil with it. The terrain was so rugged that rescue workers could not reach the site on foot but had to be lowered in a cage from a crane. They had to pull the truck and two trailers up with a crane, also, and it took three days to locate the truckie’s body. Very sobering reminders that God has our lives in His hand.
We were given a new baby yesterday: this little orphaned lamb. He’s about four days old right now, and got a good start from his mother before she was put down because she was old and sick. Our two littlest, especially, are in love with him. I’ve taught the four-year-old how to mix the milk powder for the lamb’s bottle, and the two of them are taking charge (under supervision) of feeding him.
As I promised last week, here are a few pictures from the next house we’ll be moving to. This is the front of the house, towards the road. The light isn’t the greatest here, because this side faces east and we were there late in the afternoon.
The door to the left goes into a bedroom, which will be our spare bedroom/schoolroom/library. Next is the door opening into the hallway, and then our bedroom. The third bedroom is just down the hallway from our room, on the same side of the house. The schoolroom will be cold in winter, but nicely cool in summer.
This house was the first maternity house in Cheviot. It was purchased for that purpose sometime soon after being built, in the few years just before 1915. A woman named Mary Davidson was the local midwife, although she never had any formal training. She ran the maternity home from when she bought the house, just before 1915, until about 1930. She never lost a mother or baby! At that time, the house only consisted of the three current bedrooms and the living room. The living room was apparently the kitchen, with a coal range where there is now a logburner. The room we’ll use as a schoolroom was apparently the parlor. They would put mothers in there when both bedrooms were occupied (of course, back then, women usually stayed in bed for two weeks, if I understand right). All the water they needed was heated on the coal range, and to have enough they put it in a “copper”—a metal cylinder—in a corner of the wide hallway, camouflaged with a large wicker basket. When a baby was expected, the home was kept in readiness night and day. The story I read said that was not hard during the day, but nighttime was much harder—that was when the store of hot water in the copper came in handy! The hardest thing for mothers was to get to the maternity home, as the only transportation then was horse and buggy, and it’s not exactly smooth terrain here! I found this history quite fascinating.
Esther is planning to make this sleepout into her bedroom. She’s quite excited about making it attractive inside, and having her own space. It was originally a railway hut, and the present owners of the house moved it here.
When we move, we’ll work on getting more pictures of the place. It’s not as beautiful a location as the one we’re in right now, but it will work for us for a couple of years.