Vicky’s First Month

Vicky was born June 2nd, had her tongue tie clipped same day she was born, but it ended up going tight again. Had it clipped again when she was about a month old, made a world of difference with nursing! She was determined to nurse right from the start, but being tongue tied (and lip tied, and having 4 boucal ties) made it a difficult process. We worked long and hard at it and were able to figure the Koala hold was best for working with her ties and still being able to nurse. We did see a lactation consultant when Vicky was 4 days old, and she was thoroughly impressed we were able to nurse at all with all Vicky’s “ties.”

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Funny Fact: First time giving Vicky a binky was our first night with her, and she SCREAMED bloody murder soon as it touched her mouth! Haha!

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When we saw the lactation consultant, just 4 days after Vicky being born, my brother Nathaniel was kind enough to drive me, Vicky and my mom to the appointment. My husband was back at work already. The appointment was about 2 hours, very relaxed and enjoyable. Afterwards we went to Costco to get some food. It was SO hot outside! I was already feeling exhausted and like I just wanted to lay down, but the a/c didn’t work in the car, fortunately Costco’s a/c system worked great that day!

I remember Mom ran ahead to order food, Nathaniel carried the carseat with Vicky in it to the food court, and I trailed behind him. We went through the entrance, then hurriedly passed through the checkout/cashiers section to get to the food court, the cashier lady at the one we passed through commented that I looked like I was in a lot of pain. I quickly replied a “thank you” and a “I’m so tired” and went as quickly as I could to the food court and sat down. Felt so weak, was almost sure I was gonna pass out. I didn’t pass out though, which was nice. We ate some nice Costco Hotdogs, saw our friends the Patees who were finishing up their grocery shopping for the day, and then slowly went back to the car (which Nathaniel was kind enough to pull up to the entrance for us so I wouldn’t have to walk far).

After all that we finally got home, well, to my parents place. We didn’t have a/c at our home, so my parents brought me, Johnny and baby Vicky to their place to stay a while since we were having a major heat wave (upper 90 degrees a day!). Johnny’s sisters April and Katy had come to visit and see the baby. April was living about 4 hours North at this time, but her hubby had a job at the time only 2 hours north, so the trip wasn’t as bad. She was pregnant with their first baby, a boy, and due the in August. I sat and nursed Vicky, then let April hold her for a while before they had to leave.

I remember that was a very long, stressful day, but had a lot of encouragement at the lactation consultant appointment, and got to go to bed again soon after getting back to my folks place, so I felt it was worth it.

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When Vicky was 6 days old I had a chiropractor appointment. We got to introduce Vicky to my chiropractor, Dr. Kathy Thomas on June 8th. I got a light adjustment, since I was still in healing time from giving birth. But it was nice to be adjusted even lightly, and my lower back adjusted real easy this time (it had been locked up for weeks before Vicky was born).

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When Vicky got to be a week old, Johnny decided he really wanted us to go back to our home. Just something nice about being in your own home, surrounded by your own things. So we went back to our place.

That night, Johnny started experiencing some pain in his lower right abdomen. The next day it was a bit worse, the finally Saturday came round (no work), and he was feeling worse. He called up my parents  as one of my younger brothers, Isaac, had had appendicitis just a month or two before this and he knew my mom would be able to tell him for sure if he had appendicitis himself or not. My parents were pretty much convinced it was appendicitis. So they came over, loaded up Johnny to take him to the ER, and left my sister Naomi with me and baby Vicky to help care for us and keep us company.

We watched movies, chatted, made food, ate, played with baby, changed her diapers…. I tried not to worry about my husband, which was not so easy, especially since I was still dealing with postpartum stuff. Dad messaged me on facebook (no cell service at my house), said Johnny did have appencitis and was gonna need surgery. the surgery is pretty simple, just 3 little cuts. But still, the idea of my husband going in for surgery and me NOT being there, was freaky for me!

The hours continued to slowly move along, more movies, more napping, more nursing and diaper changes, more food…. finally got told to pack up a bunch of stuff I would need and Dad would take Vicky, Naomi and I over to their place to stay again since Johnny was gonna be needing atleast a week to recover from surgery.

Packed up the pump I was renting from the lactation consultant, milk bags, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, clothes for me, Johnny and baby Vicky… pillows…

Finally, Johnny went in for surgery about 10pm (after having left the house for the ER at 11am). Dad came and got me and baby, we went to the hospital first, so we could be there when Johnny came out of surgery. He was wheeled into his hospital room in one of their nice big beds on wheels. He was so pale and still. Of course it was mostly from being put under for the surgery, but it was still kinda freaky seeing my husband in a hospital bed so pale and still. He started to come to, and was able to complain about pain, and tell me he was happy I was there. We didn’t stay long because Vicky started to get fussy (talk about way past her bedtime (Almost MIDNIGHT!).

Gave Johnny a very careful hug, and a kiss goodnight. Then we went to my parents place to stay the night.

Next morning I was eager to get back to the hospital to see Johnny. I was cautioned about taking baby just because there are a lot of “super bugs” and virus’s babies can get at hospitals, but I knew she couldn’t stay home without me, and I really wanted to go with them to bring Johnny back. So we laid down some rules for baby’s protection, I wasn’t gonna touch anything at the hospital so I could handle baby when she needed me, so mom and dad were gonna have to open doors and operate elevators and all that.

At the hospital, Johnny was looking MUCH better! He’d already been up and walked around a bit and used the bathroom, so he just needed to fill out the paperwork to be released! He had his color back, he was able to really look a person in the eye again, he seemed happy.

I remember at one point, he asked me to come closer to him, and he said,
“Sarah, I got to ride in a wheel chair yesterday!”

Haha! His dream come true!

We got Johnny back to my parents place and into bed to rest a bit. We stayed there another week, while Johnny and I both worked up building up our strength again. Then we went back to our own lovely home.


Vicky was a very good sleeper and nurser, she already had a smile, which revealed some adorable dimples (one in each cheek!), and just melted hearts!

Here are a few cuties from some photo sessions we did:

And Johnny with her at a couple weeks old, we went to Lewisville park that day to meet up with Rehoboth, it was such a nice day and they had several people getting baptized that day, so Lewisville park was a great spot! And Vicky LOVED getting to see all the Grandmas and Grandpas!

A couple favorites from Vicky’s 2 week photoshoot:

When Vicky was about 5 weeks old, Johnny had a day he forgot his lunch on his way out for work. It was such a nice day we decided to meet during his lunch hour and have us a little picnic! I pushed Vicky around the park at Horseshoe Lake in her stroller while we waited. After a while we picked out a good spot to set up, Vicky played on her blanky while I set upour picnic; then she settled down for a small nap, while Johnny and I ate.

 

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The Last Months, and Maternity Photos

During the month of May and most of June, I felt HUGE and tired and sore, and my back hurt real bad most of the time. I had been going to Zumba class in La Center every week faithfully during this pregnancy, though I was tempted many a time to skip or even quit. I had several weeks that I would take my exercising ball to the class with me, I would just bounce in the back corner of the room and do the hand motions of the class.

By mid-June, I had already set up the dresser and changing table in the “nursery,” and finished putting away all the adorable newborn and size 0-3 month clothes we’d gotten for baby Victoria from my parents and the baby shower.

We’d set up and checked the birthing tub for leaks and had the “birthing kit” delivered and ready as well.

Last week of June, I had a sudden energy surge! Woke up one morning, my back didn’t hurt, I felt positive and strong, and like I wanted to work hard at something. Next day, Tuesday, was Zumba class, I actually got to stand up and do the full class, sitting out only 3 dances! It was great, I felt great!

Next day, Wednesday, I went with my friend Tiffany to see my Midwife for ou scheduled prenatal visit. The said baby felt great, was head down, had her back facing out (Yay! No back labor!), and both mine and babies heart rates were spot on. When they first tried to feel my baby to figure out where baby was, and they had to wait a few minutes due to a Braxton Hick contraction that was going on at that moment.

I then had chiropractor appointment, which went well (though she still couldn’t loosen up my lower back). Then Tiffany and I went grocery shopping at Winco and Costco, and filled up on gas. Once we returned to my place, I said good-bye to Tiffany as she drove off in her van, and then warmed up some dinner.

After Johnny got home, and we ate dinner, we got changed into some nicer clothes. My friend Renae came out to our house and took some lovely “Maternity” themed photos for us. The photos came out SO nice, I’ll share a few of my favorites. You can see more of Renae’s work at http://www.synappedphoto.com/

 

New Zealand Trip Day 15

Day #15: NZ Date: 2nd of March, Wednesday; US Date: March 1st, Tuesday.

Got up at 7:30am, made some scrambled eggs for breakfast, then in no time we were out the door! Ok, we needed to wait for Papa Keith to finish giving the boys instructions for the day and stuff.

Anyways, we met up with Papa Keith down at the logging yard (within view and walking distance of the house). He had a load of logs he needed to transport to a mill in Taurangi. We hopped in and headed out. the semi truck looked small from the outside, but was sure HUGE when you got inside it! And the logs on the trailer were enormous!

We got to Raetihi and filled up on gas and used the restroom (its quite a climb getting in and out of a semi at 5 1/2 months pregnant, let me tell you!), Keith wrote the stop for gas in the log book, and we headed out again. At the gas station, we also got these “candies,” basically looks like an egg, but is a thin layer of chocolate, and then a layer of sugar under that, then on the inside is a small container with a surprise toy! Johnny got one that had a small Koala in it, and I got one that had pieces you put together to make a fun ball.

We got Taurangi about 11:30am. They got the wood unloaded, Papa Keith filled out his log book and his billing information, then we started driving again.

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We drove to Whanganui (wung-guh-new-ee), stopped at the park they have. Its got a nice green area with large red cedar trees. Last year they’d had a HUGE flood from the Whanganui River, here’s a photo of the guys showing where the water level was on this tree (Johnny is 6 feet tall):

To the left of where this photo was taken, is a large sand bank that had been constructed to block an unusually high water level, but the water had gone up and over flooded up to just below the window sills of most the houses along the main street.

We continued on to a kids park/playground. They said it’d been there for years, and they used to bring Johnny and all the kids there when they were little.

After the park, we got some lunch at a local cafe, then headed homeward.

We stopped and looked at the Single Tree Hill and Raukawa Falls (Raw-Cow-Uh), which was stunning!

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_MG_2344 1 copyWe got home about 3:30pm, Keith’s horse seemed very happy he’d made it home.

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New Zealand Trip Day 13

Day #13: NZ Date: 29th of February, Monday; US Date: February 28th, Sunday.

Lazy day, mostly worked on the blog and just relaxed around the house. The sun set behind the mountain, but over amongst the trees where I couldn’t get a great photo. But Papa Keith noticed it changed colors of the sky looking the opposite direction and I could get a more dramatic kind of photos through the back trees.

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Papa Keith had a friend over that evening after dinner. Can’t remember his name at the moment. His friend had brought over a few new songs to teach Keith on the guitar. It was fun listening to them talk and sing and correct one anothers counting.

Johnny started to play guitar a bit on his own, and Papa Keith’s friend was quite impressed, especially since Johnny had practically taught himself to play using YouTube as a guide.

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We hung out for a while, kept talking about watching a movie, but everyone was really tired and thought just going to bed was a better idea as time wore on. So we went with that, and went to sleep.

New Zealand Trip Day 12

Day #12: NZ Date: 28th of February, Sunday; US Date: February 27th, Saturday.

We went to church with the family again today, this time their were more people. The congregation was still quite small and consisted mainly of Donaldson’s and Donaldson relations. Got to meet Johnny’s great-uncle David, and his cousins Ben and Ben’s wife, Amy. All very nice, very friendly people.

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Uncle Dave said he had a lake-house out by Taupo (Taw-poe) that we could use for a night or two if we wanted. And Ben offered to let us stay a night with him and his wife in their 4 bedroom house in Hamilton, since we’d expressed a desire to go see “Hobbiton” which is up by them, and would be 3 hour+ trip if we just went straight there from our current residence.

After church was a small potluck, very small, probably the smallest I’ve ever been to. But it was nice, lots of food, and everybody talked to each other. Older people took time to speak with younger people, and younger people weren’t put off by talking with older people. Everyone was equal and everyone was contented.

After church, and everyone had left, we went back to the house. Daniel and Sarah had beat us there and were skyping with Sarah’s family, so I got to steal their baby for a little bit (oh boy, do those babies smell good!). I walked around with him and snuggled him till he fell asleep. Then we laid him down on sister Katy’s bed for a nap.

Niece Kelly is so cute! She and our niece Lizzy went out to jump on the trampoline, and Kelly was like, “Can you come and watch me!?” So cute!

Note: I would LOVE to share some of the many photos I’ve taken of Daniel and Sarah’s precious children, but they have asked that no photos be shared online. Just their families preference. And I respect that.

Anyways, Johnny said he wanted to drive out to Whanganui (wung-ga-new-ee) so we could do a little shopping. So we headed out. On the drive we saw a single tree atop a small hill, it really stood out, there was a small waterfall, but couldn’t get much of a view, and we saw lots of sheep and cattle and wild goats.

It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive. And when we got there, it reminded me very much of Old Town Vancouver, WA, where my Dad works. Lots of very old buildings in some areas, and then cross a street and there’s quite modern looking buildings in that section, and there were a couple nice little parks as well. But still, only have 2 way roads, 1 lane for each direction. No One Way roads and no sections of 2 or 3 lanes going in 1 direction.

We went to Trafalgar Square, which is supposed to be their big mall. Most the stores were closed ’cause it was Sunday. But one store called “the Warehouse” was open, and that was where Johnny wanted to go. We got Johnny a new sim card for his phone, and some socks and things; we finally found a cute little fluffy toy Kiwi bird for baby Vicky (a definite goal to get one for her this trip); and I got a very cute (and comfy) nightgown.

We then went to small pond/park. It had a large lake, with trails along the waters edge. And ducks, lots and lots of ducks, as well as a white goose, 2 white swans and multiple black swans. The ducks were super friendly, would walk right up to you to ask for food. The swans were this way too!

There were a couple green houses called the “Winter Gardens,” they were very warm and humid, but had lots of lovely plants and flowers!

And they had a large “Birdcage” like what we used to have at our local zoo for housing the parakeets. They had lots of dove’s and parrots and cockatiels and even a few pheasants. It was closed by the time we got there though, so we could only look through the cage, not enter it.

After that we drove out to the beach. The sun was just getting ready to set, so we looked around for some shells, I even found a piece of Jade (green stone) and Johnny found a Sharks tooth! Gonna turn his tooth into a necklace for him when we get home.

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We got to have a few pictures taken down on the beach, and then watched the sun finish setting. We then started the drive back to town, stopped by Domino’s Pizza place and got some pizza. Man! Their pizza’s are small, no wonder New Zealanders are all so skinny, any american food places give super small portions there! Pizza had good flavor though, and helped prevent us from feeling starved by the time we got home.

Back home we showed some of the treasure’s we had found on the beach, and some of the photos we had gotten as well. Then straight off to bed as it was nearly 10pm when we finally got back.

New Zealand Trip Day 11

Day #11: NZ Date: 27th of February, Saturday; US Date: February 26th, Friday.

Brother Daniel came by lastnight and invited us to go with him and his wife, Sarah, to see the Sheepdog competitions today. We heartily accepted.

This morning we were up and ready to go, and had piled into Daniel & Sarah’s van with the kids at 10am. We drove out to the first set up sheep dog challenges.

1st challenge was for “Eye Dogs.” Most the eye dogs were small, and black & white, most were short haired, but a few were long haired. The Dog would walk to the middle of a circle with his “Shepherd.” The Shepherd would then use calls and or whistles to direct his dog to go up a very large hill, at the top of the hair were 2 sheep waiting. The Dog had to find the sheep and bring them down the hill in as straight a line as possible, and into the circle where the shepherd was, and with 14 minutes. Some shepherds got frustrated with their dogs, thank goodness they had a rule that if you swore at your dog you’d be disqualified. Others were very calm with their dogs. You could tell what dogs were fairly new at their job, and what was had a lot of training and experience. The latter group of dogs could do their job well and only require a series of Whistles for instructions.

the 2nd challenge, was for “Hunt Away Dogs.” These dogs were bigger, and looked like a sort of German Shepherd cross with their markings, lots of brown and most having a “black blanket” on their back. These dogs would start with the shepherd, again. But this time, the dogs would start at the bottom of another hill with 3 sheep. Their job was to drive the sheep UP and OVER the hill away from the shepherd, and again they had certain points that the sheep had to go between (like a goal), and the objective is to get the job done as quickly and in as straight a line as possible.

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the 3rd challenge, there was another hill, with a series of flags. the flags were yellow, and they formed 2 rows going up the hill. The dogs had to keep their sheep between the flags.

The 4th and final challenge, the dog would again run up to the top of a hill, find his 3 sheep, and guide them down to the flat bottom-land, but then he had to continue guiding them through 2 rows of flags, and then through a set of fences (symbolic of a walkway or a small bridge). Then he had to try and drive them into a very small pen at the end of the course. Few dogs were able to accomplish this last task, the sheep would rather go around and around and around, than go in to the pen.

After watching a few dogs with each course, we loaded up into the van again and headed out. We stopped by a local “Fish & Chips” shop, got a big box of hot dogs, fish, joe-joe’s and fries. We then went to Daniel and Sarah’s home and sat down to lunch. The “Hot Dogs” are basically a corn dog that’s been “breaded” with the fish batter. The fish is really good, and again baked in fish batter. And the fries and joe-joe’s go great with it all! And Tomato Sauce.

We hung out and just chatted with Daniel & Sarah, and all the little kids of course. Daniel and Johnny talked about going hunting, but Daniel either couldn’t get a hold of the guys he liked to hunt on the property of, or the guy had plans that day and didn’t want them using his land that particular day. Hopefully they can go out hunting next weekend.

When we got back to the Donaldson house, I went for a short walk down to the mailbox and back. On the way back, I realized Kenny’s mini fox terrier, Wallego, had been following me. He looked so cute, and soon as he realized I had spotted him, he ducked under the fence. I coaxed him back out onto the driveway and once I put his little mind at ease that he was not in trouble for following, I got a few cute photos of his adorable face. Here’s one:

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The Sunset tonight was stunning! Very red over the mountain.

 

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New Zealand Trip Day 10

Day #10: NZ Date: 26th of February, Friday; US Date: February 25th, Thursday.

Johnny’s Dad, Papa Keith, wanted to take us out for lunch. So brother Kenny gave us a ride out to Waiouru to the Takeaway restaurant there and we met up with Papa Keith. Johnny and I had minced cheese pies, which was a first for me, and they were really good! Basically a hand pie with cheese and ground beef inside, goes great with a little ketchup.

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Note: In New Zealand, they don’t have Ketchup, but they do sell Tomato Sauce, which is practically the same thing.

Papa Keith got a HUMONGOUS fish sandwich. It must’ve been about 6 inches tall and 4-5 inches across! it had 2 pieces of fish and the lettuce section looked like a huge salad all on its own! He took off one of the pieces of fish and split it up for me and Johnny, it was really good fish.

After lunch, Papa Keith had to get back to work. The weather was nice a crisp and the clouds were almost non-existent, so brother Kenny recommended walking up Mt Ruapehu. We drove out to Ruapehu, drove up most the mountain, then parked at the little ski resort there (which is closed right now since its summer here in New Zealand). We were then able to get out and do a little walking, though the air was already so thin and the mountain quite steep in areas, and lots of loose rocks, so we didn’t walk far up. Just walked high enough to get some great views.

 

Kenny had text brother Joey that we were going to the mountain, so Joey rode out to meet us on his motorbike. While Kenny and Joey had walked off in 1 direction, Joey had set down his bike helmet. Johnny saw it and picked it up and wanted to hide it somewhere. The silly boy. He hid it under a small ledge of rock, near the path. But Joey ended up seeing it when he came round to meet us (he had walked a loop so he came up behind us), haha!

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We headed towards home again, Kenny decided to drive us over to a small park in Raetihi. Just your usual kids park, he saw this turtle toy thing and wanted to ride on it. Then, of course, Johnny wanted to ride it, haha!

The boys then ran over to a very large tree on the back of the park premises. Its a eucalyptus tree, or “Gum Tree” they usually call it. The bark peels off on its own, and the core of the tree is very smooth to touch, and the grain is very straight. Due to the grain being straight, Johnny says it makes great fire wood as its very easy to cut and has a nice smell went burnt.

We then headed home (again). Very tired and worn out from walking on the mountain.

 

New Zealand Trip Day 9

Day #9: NZ Date: 25th of February, Thursday; US Date: February 24th, Wednesday.

I hadn’t had a day out with just my lady-in-laws yet, and Johnny hadn’t really had any time out with just his brothers. So, we decided to let Johnny go out hunting with the guys, and us girls would go to Taihape (Tie-Happy).

Let me say now, New Zealand really doesn’t have any BIG cities. Even there bigger towns (they’d call cities) are more rural and usually have 1 main street and a cross street or two, and then mostly consist of houses or older buildings that aren’t in a lot of use at present.

But, the small towns are charming. They usually have a small grocer, a gas station, a church/chapel, and most seem to have at least 1 old theater (though both the ones I’ve seen have been closed down, so sad).

We arrived in Taihape, and Katy & Jenny went over to McDonalds while Nana Deb and I went across the street to the subway (had roast beef this time, yum!). We girls met up with our food in front of the old library (which is lovely and in full operation) to eat our food.

After eating, we went to the bank, then off to a few shops. The shops we browsed were very cute and homey. The first was a quilting/sewing shop, I purchased a couple really pretty pieces of fabric (vintagey with pink roses on it) and some pink wool yarn (NZ made!).

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We then went to the local thrift store, called “Caught Short.” I found a little pink sweater and a pink plaid summer dress for baby Vicky, a gift for my sister Naomi, and some more wool yarn I can use.

Then we browsed a cute baby shop, can’t recall the exact name, but it was super cute! So many adorable baby outfits. The lady there had a small basket out with baby headbands, and said she didn’t like any of them, so I could take 1 if I wanted, so nice! I got a cute little red headband with fabric flowers and a sparkly button in the middle.

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Last place we visited was called “Wild Roses,” and it was just exactly the kind of shop my Mom and I could spend hours in! Lots of shabby chic items, little birdies, tea sets, vintage toys and candies… I did get my Mom a little something while there.

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We then headed towards home, but HAD to stop at the towns icon, the “Gumboot” for a few photos:


Back at home, I helped Nana Deb peel and cut potatoes to go with dinner, then everybody split up to their own places to relax till the guys got back from their thing. I worked more on photos, of course.

The boys got back safely, didn’t shoot anything on there hunt, but they did see a couple deer, and a faun. And on their way back, Johnny spotted a young hedgehog along the road, so they turned back and grabbed him up to prevent him getting smushed by another vehicle. They brought him back to the house, we got to take turns holding him and we tried feeding him, but he was too scared to eat.

Brother Thomas came by and mentioned a lady near where he works that raises hedgehogs. Like, she take sin small ones, fattens them up and raises them, then lets them go when they’re of better size to survive on their own. So we sent this little cutey to this nice lady to brighten her day (as she didn’t have any hedgehogs to spoil just then) and to give this little fella a good start.

Brother Daniel and his wife and family came over, apparently on most Thursday evenings they all get together and have a “Sing-Song.” They use a couple of teh hymnals from their church and just have a night of singing and praising the Lord. It was really nice, got to hear some good oldies that I had grown up with, as well as some oldies that I had never heard before. And Papa Keith made up a few songs for the little kids who kept requesting songs, which was real fun.

I think Baby Vicky really likes the old hymns, felt like she was dancing inside me while we sang, and boy was she kicking hard! Haha!