January 26, 2008

Our Day with the Sheep

Another pioneer activity... a field trip to some sheep! We spent quite a bit of time learning about sheep and their importance to pioneer families. We rowed the book Warm as Wool. This was one of my favorite Five in a Row books so far, I believe. Several months ago when I checked out all of the Five in a Row books to read through, it was one of my favorites.

I have a friend who has done a lot with animals and now works at a vet's office, so she set us up with an up close and personal field trip to see some sheep. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but it turned out one of the most hands on field trips we've had yet! And when we got there, we were surprised to see chickens and pigs as well!

A senior in high school, Thomas, was our host. He got into sheep breeding and showing through 4-H, and it has made him quite a bit of money! (It's paying his way through college & vet school and has provided him a very nice truck!) Who knew?? He has about 50 sheep, 30 chickens, 2 pigs and sheepdogs. I decided this is the way to keep your high school boys out of trouble. He can't possibly have any free time! (He goes to public school, so this is not part of his schooling.) Thomas breeds sheep, sells them for slaughter, shows sheep and pigs, raises chickens, breeds sheepdogs for sale, travels to other farms to shear sheep (he can shear 25 in a day). He says in the summer he works 18 hours a day.

The ewes just hanging out.

This is one seriously bad hair day, but I'm sure she was a lot warmer than any of the rest of us!

One of the rams. One interesting point Thomas made... He said, "If you have good rams, you have good lambs. The ewes don't matter nearly as much." Not to be self-depreciating, but it goes along with the Lord's metaphor quite well. And I think we've all seen very clearly that a Godly, strong, man of integrity will make a huge difference in a child's life.

Two little lambs who certainly deserve a good ram in their life.

The newest baby on the farm with his momma.

Mattie thoroughly enjoying Sampson. She would have stayed there all day!

All the kids getting their hands on the black sheep Thomas had. Thomas also showed us how he sheared the sheep, invited us back to watch him shear in the spring, and let us have some handfuls of wool to bring home!

Mattie loving the pigs. Thomas informed us (not thinking about the 5 year olds in our crew) that these pigs had a short life ahead of them. They were to be killed the following week. Apparently in Tennessee, you have to kill a pig within one week of showing it. Where's Charlotte when we need her?? (Well, she's dead, I know, but how about Joy or Aurania??)

Here's the famous rooster that apparently models for all the kitchen decor.

That seems to be one big rooster!

Our happy girl! Lots of pics of her this time, I know, but she loves animals!! And, hey, she's cute!

And Jacob in his 100% wool sweater. Thankfully it was cold enough to wear it this day; he was insistent!

1 comment:

Kjirstin C said...

That looks like a very fun day!! Maybe she'll be a farm girl like her Aunt Kjirstin ;) Can't wait to see you guys!