Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Surprise #2! by, Emily :)

Well, as you all know Jane surprised us with twins last month. Frosty and Snowflake are doing great, and they're getting really big! I have spent a lot of time with them, so they are very tame and friendly. So cute!

Well, we all figured we would be in for more "surprises" this winter, so I was checking the ewes regularly, as we didn't want any "lambcicles". :) Sue's udder was getting fuller and fuller by the day and she was showing other signs of being close. I began checking every couple hours as her udder continued to "grow".

Last Saturday (the 16th) me and Dad went out at around 10:30pm to check on her. She was acting very strangely. She stood silently in the corner of her pen to which we had moved her with her head lowered. It was really weird!

The next morning Dad woke me up to milk with "Sue's sides are sunk in and I think the babies are moving into the birth canal." Sunken sides are another sign of babies on the way! I didn't have any trouble getting up that morning! :) Getting the milk pail and soapy water, I headed out to the barn. Sue's sides were very sunk in. I quickly milked Millie and Belle, took care of the other animals, then stood quietly watching Sue.

After seeing two fairly big contractions, I was convinced that today was the day! :) I drove quickly up the house, and asked Dad, "Can you strain the milk for me? Sue's having contractions!" He said he would, so I grabbed Mom's cell phone and headed back out. It was Sunday morning, so the rest of the family went to Church and I stayed home to sheep-sit, as well as be Sue's midwife. :)

For two hours Sue labored without anything "coming out" except a little fluid. Finally a water bag came out, but it was still about a half hour before I even saw the hooves of baby #1. It was about 10:30am. Sue was having a lot of trouble and just couldn't seem to get out the head. Finally she did, but then there was a head literally hanging out the back of her for about ten minutes. By this time I was thoroughly worried, and convinced that the baby was going to suffocate. Well, just then Mom came walking in. She had come home to check on me, because they couldn't get a hold of me on her phone...there wasn't any signal. No matter how hard Sue pushed, she just couldn't get it out. Mom instructed me to gently pull when Sue had a contraction. Taking a deep breath, I pushed up my sleeves and grabbed the lambs head. Sue pushed, and I pulled gently. The baby came out more, then in one more push and pull, it was out! Whew!

Mom then left to go back to church, while I took care of the first lamb, which turned out to be a girl. She was so cute! Well, in about a half hour, Sue successfully pushed out baby #2. Another girl. This one was quite a bit bigger, but she had no problem getting it out. I weighed them both, and the first one was eight pounds and the second was eleven!!! Big baby!

I named the first one Snowball, and the second Snowhite. :) They're doing great, and are SOOO cute! And Dad informed me that I am now a qualified midwife. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful Mom! We are all so grateful for you! You are the best Mom in the whole world! (Sorry everyone...it's true!) We love you so much!

Happy Birthday and many more!!!
Your Family

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's time to send out our family picture(s) and letter for the new year. This year we sent out a picture with the address to our blog, which will include the letter. Emily wrote the letter again this year.

Happy New Year and God bless!

The Housman Family

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our family and friends! We hope this letter finds you all well. Well, here is the latest update on the Housman Family.

Dad turned 39 in May, but continues to look 20! He enjoyed the eleven-day missions trip to Mexico with Brandon in January. Working is probably his favorite thing to do, which he was able to enjoy pretty much all summer. :) Butchering chickens, turkeys, sheep, a pig, and deer kept him busy, along with taking care of our many gardens, participating in parades, and continuing to be on contract at Wells Fargo. Dad also enjoys politics, and is the chair of the Meeker County Republicans. Our family is so blessed to have a hard working,Godly Dad!

Mom had a busy summer, to say the least. In March, she, along with the rest of us, helped our then-100-year-old friend Myrtle move from Litchfield to Dassel. In September, Myrtle turned 101! She is an amazing lady, and our family has loved getting to know her. It has been very nice having her close! Mom and I enjoyed lambing season in April. We had lots of fun getting up every hour or so to check on the ewes, and were able to watch a lot of births. We had around 18 lambs this spring. Baking bread, pies, foccocia bread, and more, Mom sold a lot of stuff at our Farmer's Market this summer, which kept her very busy! Mom especially enjoys being a mom, cooking, studying health and nutrition, living in the country, and all that goes with it! In January Mom had a birthday (age unknown). :) She also enjoyed hunting this November, and shot a button buck. We're all so grateful for Mom...she's the best!

Brandon turned seventeen in October. He enjoys working in his shop, eating, playing guitar, riding four wheeler, playing soccer, and ice skating, to name a few. This year he started his own small engine repair business called "Brandon's Small Engine Shop". He has been very busy fixing things for people, including chainsaws, mowers, and a lot of other things! His nickname is the 'Absent-minded Mechanic'... from the movie "The Absent-Minded Professor". :) This year he also continued his "Big Tom Turkeys" business and butchered his 80+ turkeys in October. Participating in some parades for Meeker Country Republicans this summer was another thing Brandon really enjoyed. (Not really.) He was honored to be Thomas Jefferson, and was decked out with the whole costume...wig, nickers, and all! :) In November Brandon shot a nice doe, and he thoroughly enjoyed eating the deer jerky he made! ;)

I (Emily) turned thirteen in June. I enjoy hunting, cooking, baking, hockey, soccer, and piano, to name a few. The highlight of my year was defiantly deer hunting in November. I shot my first deer, an eight-point buck, on Opener Morning ten minutes after season opened, which was a very exciting experience! Hunting is for sure my favorite thing to do! :) I also enjoyed baking for our Farmer's Market this year. In March our goat, Milly, had twins (Claire and Carl), then in June our other goat, Belle had twins also, so we are now in the milking business full time. I have become our main milker...which I do enjoy...sometimes. :) Mom and I also did a LOT of canning, blanching, and freezing this summer with some help from everyone else, and put away a lot of food, which was great. It was a lot of work, but just as much fun! And I learned a lot!

Ben had his tenth birthday on October 28th. He is all boy, and enjoys riding his four wheeler,hockey, soccer, building all sorts of things (from tractors to barns) in his shop, and playing indian, army, or cowboy with Jonny. With his good sense of humor, Ben keeps us laughing! He got to go deer hunting for the first time this November. Although he didn't get a deer, he had a good time. One of Ben's highlights of 2009 was climbing to the top of the 100+ foot fire tower at Breezy Point.

Jonny turned eight in October. He is getting big fast! Jonny enjoys riding four wheeler, building things in his shop, hockey, soccer, and playing with Ben. Going on a Thanksgiving vacation to Breezy Point Resort was the highlight of Jonny's year. He especially enjoyed going to the indoor pool and sliding down the water slide. We also went camping for his and Brandon's birthdays in October, which was a lot of fun, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Jonny is a mini-Mike. :) He loves to work with Dad and is a hard worker! Skating is another thing Jonny likes to do. He is getting really good at it, and at playing hockey, he gets a lot of practice! Last February our family did a lot of skating, and enjoyed having families over to play hockey.

The biggest thing for our family this year was the start of "Friday on the Farm", which is a Farmer's Market we held at our house every Friday, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. It was a LOT of work, but it went very well! We had a lot of repeating customers, and many people came each week from the sign we put out on the road. We sold baked goods, garden produce, chicken, turkey, and lamb. As I mentioned before, Mom and I baked lots of stuff. Mom mainly focused on bread, which included whole wheat bread, french bread, fococcia bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread, and more. She also made rolls, pesto, jelly and sold a variety of herbs. I baked cinnamon rolls, scones, rolls, rhubarb bars, and pies. Along with that I made jelly and lemon curd. Jonny was able to sell carrots that he planted and raised, as well as some nice wooden butter knives. Brandon sold his turkeys and was able to give people his business cards. Weeding the garden was something everybody helped with, but Ben was the expert weeder, and did a lot of it, which helped us grow lots of veggies. Everyone helped with picking, although Dad was the main picker for the Market. We started Friday on the Farm in May, and ended mid-November.

We are so grateful for all the ways the Lord has blessed us this year. For our Farmer's Market being successful, and for all the customers that came and bought food. We are grateful for good health, good friends, and the many opportunities to enjoy fellowship with others over the summer.

May God bless you and your family in 2010!