Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I have been thinking a lot about changes lately. When you have many little children around and you are busy with the daily task of raising them you only get glimpses and flashes of change. You seldom get to sit and truly contemplate the big picture of change that is life. When your children are grown and they begin to leave home in droves is when you really begin to see the changes that have come and are coming into your life and theirs. That is when you can begin to appreciate what they are becoming.

Here is my son Matthew. He is also my youngest. I am told by some that he is spoiled and that is because he is the youngest. Maybe it is true and maybe it isn't. I defy anyone who is told they can no longer have anymore children when they are 30 (when they are fully expecting to have a great many more) to not spoil the youngest. But that is neither here nor there to this contemplation. In the past 4 months many changes have come to all of our lives. In the last month I am proud to say that Matthew has stepped up to the plate and is becoming truly a loving and serving human being. One that Our Lord and Our Lady can be proud to call their own. He is kind, considerate, and thoughtful. He is generous both with himself and his posessions. He has spent the last month taking care of both his sister and me without being asked and helping out in the house and around the farm without being asked. He has truly been tireless. Not perfect by any means but he has the makings of a very good man.

On a different note, we went out this morning and found to our surprise that one other sow had started having her piglets. She had 8 in all with no fuss or trouble whatsoever. Later in the afternoon the other sow, Dora proceeded to have hers. She ended up with 11. She had a great deal of trouble and we have had to farm hers out to the two other mothers. We will see in the morning is she will be more accepting of her babies when she has rested some.
It looks like the clematis vine has come back as beautiful as ever. It is loaded with buds and will be quite beautiful when it flowers.
Even the cheap one in the corner that I bought at P&C last summer is back bigger than ever and loaded with buds.
Mary-Kate has finches everyday at her feeder. This one was playing hide and seek with the camera. It didn't seem at all afraid of me.
Matthew hard at work moving rakes. They had to change a flat tire tonight. They have a lot of hay down and need to get the round baler fixed tonight so they can bale tomorrow.
Lupus posed for her picture after her day of playing "nurse dog" to the piglets all day. She did a good job of watching over the piglets that the sow rejected. She has taken to following me all over the place. Then in the evening she has her rounds of visits that she has to make before she can retire for the night. She is a very sociable dog.
Many many changes happening around here. I would gladly take them all back in diapers. But I guess in God's plan this is what needs to be now. Now is the time for me to watch this part of life unfold.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

What a wonderful day we had. We started the day out by going to Mass all together. With everyone growing up and going every which way and having to do things in every different direction that is getting more and more difficult. After Mass we had lunch together. Nothing special but we chatted and joked and just had a good time being together. What a treasure for a mother. Then Doug went to milk, Jason went to Holy Hour, and Matthew, Mary-Kate and I went to May Devotions in Verona.

After devotions we got together again to check the sow and her piglets and to feed the animals, clean out their pens and to capture the new piglets and treat them. When new piglets, shortly after they are born need to have their wolf teeth cut so that they don't have tusks when they grow up and they don't irritate the mom when they nurse. They also need to have shots of iron and antibiotics. Finally we cut their navels and dock the tails on the male piglets. Then we put them back in the pen with the mom and give her a big shot of antibiotics because I had to examine her while she was delivering and because she had one stillborn piglet. Now they are all settled and happy for the night. While we were working with the pigs everyone was laughing and chatting and joking around. It was truly a great day to be together.

After chores jason and I made dinner and now we are relaxing and getting ready for bed and everyone is happy and relaxed. (especially mom)

Thank you to God for a wonderful day.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Miracle of Life

Mary-Kate and I went out the the barn to check the pigs today and were met with a wonderful surprise. One of my pregnant sows, Daisy, had started to have her piglets. Here is Mary-Kate wiping off one and helping it find it's way to the food. No matter how many times I witness this little miracle happening I am still in awe at the wonder of God's plan.The piglet that Mary-Kate is helping came backward and needed a little more help from us than the others did. She had to clear its nose and mouth of mucus and membrane and then she had to rub it and stimulate it until it got moving on its own. Then just point them in the right direction and they will find the food all on their own.
Here they are all lined up nursing. Piled up on top of each other. We got a nice mix of spotted and plain ones too. I love to watch them tumbling around and wrestling with each other just like a bunch of little kids.
This is the one that came backward. She was having no trouble so I got to watch for a change. It took only three pushes and out the piglet came. Then Mary-Kate took over and got the baby breathing and walking and ready to eat on its own. I guess they aren't going to need me in the pig pen much longer.

One beautiful newborn piglet. When all was said and done Daisy had 9 piglets. It's hard to believe that these tiny little cuties will grow so big so fast. Their mom is only one year old after all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

So Much Happening On the Farm

Jason and Doug "wrestling" calves so that they can be tagged for identification later on. We turn this job into a family thing. Doug and Jason do the "dirty" work. Ian does the paper work while Mary-Kate and I watch and cheer them on. Matthew feeds and waters the animals after they are done.
It's hard to believe that my "little" boy Jason is strong enough to subdue a 120 pound calf with ease. I'm sure other mothers sometimes look at their children and see them not as they are at present but as they were when they were just little people. I very frequently look at Jason and see him holding my hand and looking up at me and smiling his mischievious (sp?) smile.
Whenever something was lost around here, if Jason was asked where it was he would smile and shrug and say "I don't know, somewhere." It would drive everyone crazy, but he was the cutest thing we couldn't get mad at him. I can still hear him say it now whenever something is lost around here. Only now he usually knows where to find the lost item.
Makes you want to think twice about getting anything pierced. Now they are all tagged and we know who is who and who came from whom.
Matthew doesn't like having his picture taken especially when he is doing his chores. He works so hard though. I am very proud of all that he does. He has really matured since the fire. Now that his brothers work off farm he is "in charge" most of the time. He does all his chores and more without complaining. We have been learning about being a servant with special emphasis on offering up our sufferings and little inconveniences. I think that he has truly taken the lessons to heart.
Even taking care of my pigs these last few days since I hurt my foot has been done without comment or complaint. He didn't even have to be asked. I hope that it heals before they farrow so that he doesn't have to add that to his list of responsibilities.
Wednesday I was taking the round bale spike off of the backhoe bucket. When I got the chain over the top of the bucket and turned around to start the tractor to take the spike off, it fell off onto my right foot. Nothing is broken but it sure hurts and it is swollen and black and blue. Doug and Jason figure the only reason that it fell off was that it either got put on wrong the last time or that I knocked it loose when I was in beside the large and small spikes. Either way it fell off when it shouldn't and now my foot is hurt and I am on crutches. The Dr. at the ER can't believe that it isn't broken. The x-ray tech thought I had dropped a bale hook on it and couldn't believe that I had done that much damage with a little bale hook. We had to explain to her what a round bale spike looks like.
I think I am rambling and that is bad. Until we meet again.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

No Longer Men In The Making

Ian, Ryan, and Adam. Looking back over the past years and looking at this picture it is amazing how my boys have become men. Each one has his own unique talents and gifts that God has given him to bring to the world and to each person that he meets. That is something that we know each day as mothers but it becomes much more obvious to me as they get older and they are out in the world. The stories that they tell of people that they meet and how they influence their fellow soldiers and sailors is incredible.
We recently went to Norfolk to see Adam's ship dock. After speaking with other sailors that he works with and their wives and girlfriends and hearing the regard that they have for my son I am proud of the man that he is becoming. The same feeling comes over me when I read the comments that are posted on Ryans website. He does a beautiful job of defending the faith and showing his love for God and his fellow man on his weblog. His influence is beautiful. Closer to home, listening to the people around here vie for Ian to come to work for them and to have Ian around because he is so responsible and to great to have around is pleasing to a parent. The man that he works for is already giving him so much responsibility after only one week on the job.
The future is bright for my other three. Jason seems to be in demand already. The neighbors call for Matthew to have him do little jobs because he is so pleasant and cheerful to have around. Mary-Kate is so patient. She is recovering from back surgery and nary a complaint out of her.
In times of doubt and depression one only needs to look at ones children and their success and it will lift you up. Not to wallow in pride but to keep from falling into the pit.

Well Here We Are

New to blogging and this is very difficult. But is somehow seems necessary. I seems a good way to heal from some very difficult happenings in the life of this family and a great place to store the history of the everyday happenings when I just don't seem to get to it anymore. So here we are:

Laying in front with the big smile on his face is my 15-year-old, Matthew. Of course beside him is my precious daughter Mary-Katherine. She is 17. On my left is my 19-year-old, Jason. Behind me is my 22-year-old Ryan. He is a sergeant in the Army. Next to Ryan is my 20-year-old Adam, who is in the Navy. Next to Adam is my oldest, Ian, 23 years-old, who just got out of the Army with the rank of Specialist. And last but certainly not least is my beloved husband of very nearly 24 years, Douglas. Together we try to farm and raise our children. We also have a saint in heaven. Our daughter Rebekah would have been 14 this coming June 10.

This portrait was taken this past September after the funeral of my husbands father. The boys were all able to come home. Assuming that we would not be able to be all together again anytime too soon we went to have our family portrait taken. As you can see from the picture we had a good time. everyone was very silly and it made a time that could have been very melancholy into a very good time.