We got to go to our favorite swimming hole yesterday. It’s been awhile. We didn’t get to go at all last year.
It’s just a bend in the river in the middle of someones pasture near the gravel road. The people who own the pasture allow people to come swim, which is incredibly nice of them in today’s sue happy world. It’s only locals which helps. People from the surrounding farms.
It is wide and shallow. Except for the water fall which is deep and rapid. Perfect for the kids to explore and scare us to death. It has moved back a good long ways from where it was last time we were there. Now there is a deep fast channel at the base. I jumped in to join the kids in the fun and never touched bottom. It’s probably incredibly dangerous.
We survived a week of vacation bible school. Last year it was canceled and life was so busy I wondered how we had ever managed to fit it in. This year they had it again and I realized how much easier life had been without. That sounds awful doesn’t it. I agreed to help, with some reservation and reluctance. A few people had declined because of worries about covid. I want my kids to be able to participate so I did it anyway.
One of the themes was God loves a cheerful giver. I was not able to be cheerful about it. There was too much work sitting home undone to worry about. There were times there were two people doing the same job. If I wasn’t needed I would rather be getting my own work done.
The kids had fun though and are learning things far more important than work. That is what is important.
They stood on opposite sides of the stage for the program which made it very difficult to get them both in the video. That and a rath unappealing head that was in the middle and impossible not to capture while trying to video.
For the last couple of weeks The Goblin Child has been meeting a couple of friends after school to practice. They had decided they wanted to do something for the talent show. The parents decided that figuring out what that something should be ahead of time would be a good idea. In the end they developed a simple but fun routine. That one we knew about.
Apparently 8’s class had been working on something too. We had no idea about that one. In fact we almost missed it because I was busy talking to the people who had brought in their trick pony. Thankfully I didn’t stand out there talking for too long!
A couple of weeks ago the kids youngest cousin was up and had her new bike along. The Goblin Child was very upset that a child younger than her knew how to ride a bike and she didn’t. I really thought the bike had training wheels but hadn’t paid much attention and if it got her riding a bike then, whatever.
The next day The Goblin Child decided she was going to ride a bike. So she did. She got on, put her powerful little mind to it, and was riding without help or training wheels.
The bike she was riding was way to small but maybe the low center of gravity helped. We started working on a new bike for her anyway. There was a very nice old bike in one of the sheds. Its fender is decorated with a Chadron bicycle license from 1974, and that’s only the top one. It is mint, except for needing new tires and a chain. Getting those was more than my feeble little mind it capable of so I got frustrated and bought a new bike instead the last time at Walmart. It fit in the trunk of the Buick along with the groceries and a 50 pound bag of calf milk!
She took to the larger bike with hardly any difficulty.
There were only two of the old white face cows left. I watch them carefully every year waiting for heifers. Last year there was one. That was when there were three of the white faces. That one is gone now, old and gaunt she barely managed to raise her last heifer calf. That calf was scrawny but I took a chance and saved her anyway. Genetics are still there even if nutrition wasn’t.
This year I didn’t think the two remaining ones were bred. Until one surprised me with a calf. Then she went down. We tried some doctoring but even if it might have helped she kept stretching her hind legs out behind her as she crawled along on her knees. She wasn’t going to be able to get up.
With the payloader we set out to catch the calf. It was awful. She bellowed and crawled on her front legs as I grabbed the calf and hauled her into the bucket. My heart broke for them both, why couldn’t we wait until she was dead? Why torture the poor girl. The path was already set, the calf caught. No point in arguing for turning the calf loose to try to catch again another time. Not much hope of it being an argument I could win anyway.
On the ride back I sat looking at this darling white face calf. I had watched her since birth, wondering if she would grow out good enough to save. She had so much pink skin. Would she burn too badly? Each eye was graced with a whorl. How could I let her go?
So we ended up with her. I had not wanted to feed any calves this year. We are busy enough without another chore. I want to go see my family. I don’t want to be tied down by yet another job. We have her anyway. Somehow everything is managing to fit in. She was named Rose by one, White Face by the other. Depending on who is feeding her she goes by one or both names. The kids are fighting it but doing a pretty good job of doing the feeding themselves.
I feel awful about her being alone. We are all supposed to be taking the time to hang out and pet her. The goats stayed up with her for a little while. They weren’t happy about it and Rose was scared of them. It wasn’t a great arrangement. Then they left. It didn’t seem worth bringing them back.
The Goblin Child has been wanting to show a bottle calf at fair. I’m trying to figure out how to do 4h. Rose is slowly being halter trained.
While we play with her or take turns feeding. The kids like to climb the small A frame calf hut. It has been named Mount Everest and they happily scale it.
We’ll see how Rose grows out. We have had bottle calves that were able to make heifers before. She is growing beautifully and may be able to stick around. If so she is The Goblin Child’s. We get a brand registered and she can start her own little herd.
The Goblin Child is in HAL this year. HAL is short for high ability learners. This is the first year kids are eligible, in second grade that is. They look at test scores and I don’t know what else. There are two other kids from her class, both great kids and good friends of hers, and there are three fifth grade kids. They stay after school on Tuesdays and do fun science projects and other fun things. She seems to be really enjoying it. Even if it didn’t start until the year was almost over because of covid. At least they got a short time and hopefully will get to do it next year too.
Her goal is to have 8 in there next year with her because the boy from her class has an older sister in fifth grade who is in there. She works hard towards that goal prodding him with it as she tries to make him learn to read. It does seem to help. Especially since ‘the field trip’.
Because it’s a small group they got to have a field trip period and choose something really fun for what they did.
One of the after school projects was researching available options, what they offered, when they would be open, how much it cost. They settled on Rushmore cave, suggested by the teacher. I have my suspicions that it was her plan all along but she wanted to make a project out of it. There is the cave, and all kinds of rides to go with it.
We volunteered to go along. I researched it too and found that adults were needed for the younger kids to go on the rides. The teacher preferred that we didn’t so we took 8 and headed up to the hills separately to do our own fun stuff. We went to Spearfish the back way and had a beautiful drive through the hills in the fog and even some snow. Played for awhile. Then headed to the cave to pick up the Goblin Child and enjoy the rides ourselves for a bit.
We got there just in time to be begged to get a ticket and take The Goblin Child on the ride that needed an adult along 🙄 It was fun. 8 got to enjoy the rides for long enough then we ate at Hu Hots. Then finally drag ourselves home, exhausted.
Now she has decided we’re going back for her birthday. With all the cousins. I’m not sure we are quite willing to pay for all of that. We’ll have to see what we can do.
Gymnastics is going good. I don’t know what else to say. It uses up lots of energy and the kids are doing good. Mostly they like to run around and play. 8 bounces all over the place. Not usually doing what he’s supposed to. Usually causing trouble. He’s so cute doing it though. If we lived inn town I’d have him signed up for the ninja classes they offer.
The Goblin Child does a great job but it’s hard to compare. She’s the oldest one in the class. She wishes there were other girls her age and I do too. To push her to try harder if nothing else. I wish I knew the names of what she’s working on so she could look back and compare in a year or two, or twenty.
At eight The Goblin Child is old enough to participate in the horse activities in 4H. Of course I want her to. Not sure if she’s as excited as I am. She is willing though.
One thing that really bugs me about it though is that part of their curriculum teaches that you should ALWAYS approach, lead, mount from the left side. I wish that at the very least they could say for showing purposes you have to do these things from the left. At most if the importance of being able to do all these things from both sides could be mentioned it would be great.
That isn’t the point though, although it does factor in here.
The benefits of the program far out weight the little faults I like to pick at.
She has been working hard to get the horses haltered by herself. She is already very comfortable with leading and handling from the ground. I was getting something else done after she had haltered Lady and told them, both children, to go see if they could lead Lady through the hoop.
There was no ‘see’ about it. By the time I caught up with them they had already made laps through it. Through the hoop they had thrown their coats over to add to the difficulty.
I think they’re almost ready for this part of the test at least. Except for the little thing about leading from the right instead of the left. Such a silly little thing. Inconsequential but so important. Surely she can lead from the left for that one little thing.