We managed to get through the Christmas play at church first, and then "the visitor" arrived--uninvited I might add. First it came to see Claire. Her temp reached over 103 and she was miserable. She got sick Tuesday, the 20th, and managed to get better by Christmas Eve. Well, mostly better anyway. Meanwhile, on Wednesday Clark received the same visitor. His temp was around 103 and he stayed in bed without any effort from me. If you know Clark, you know that meant he was ill. Thursday was Roger's turn. His temp soared to nearly 104. By Christmas morning it was only around 100 so he thought he was better. Silly man. But he did manage to go milk Isabella and see the Christmas milk fairies (We don't know who they are either. We think it's something the fever helped him come up with.) He also managed over the next couple of days to go to work at the EDC and move the kids' lockers into their bedrooms. These are heavy items and he was still running a low fever. So, by the end of the day Tuesday he was back in bed. Once I got it through his head he needed to stay in bed, he stayed mostly in bed. But he still got up and was picking up trash in the yard. I had the kids start helping him so he'd get done faster. He went on to work on something else. I was feeling desperate wondering how to keep him rested so he could get better. He already had a pulled achilles tendon in one ankle from his activities of the past few days. But that wasn't slowing him down enough. Thank God this morning Roger woke up with the other ankle sore, too. We can't figure out how he did it, but he managed to sprain his other ankle during the night. So now he can't walk. He's in excruciating pain. He can't walk because both ankles are sore. He can't swallow or talk because his throat hurts so bad. He is finally resting!!
So that means all the work he normally does is falling on us. The kids are sharing chores mostly without complaining. Stephen made dinner last night and skimmed the morning milk's cream and watched the little ones while I helped Faith milk Isabella. Then this morning and evening Faith and Stephen milked. Meanwhile the other kids, mostly Mitchell, are pitching in to do Stephen's and Faith's chores. Grace got a touch of the flu but was only down around 24 hours. Faith seems to get touches of it off and on. It seems to start with fever, aches and pains and then when you think you're about over it, the sore throat hits. Stephen, Sam, Joy, and I all had a slight touch of it, but not enough to even go to bed. Just felt bad for a day or so. So far so good with Mitchell.
The calf has been a bit neglected. Somehow everyone seemed to miss that she needs more than her bottle each day. Mitchell couldn't get her to take her bottle so I went out to try. Several blessings came from that. One was that I got to discover that while Faith and Stephen are milking Isabella, no one is making sure Sarah has water and fresh hay. So that's been taken care of. Another is that when I came in the house I got to witness a beautiful sight. My 13 yr old son, Mitchell, had taken his very upset 3 yr old sister, Joy, in his lap to calm her down and was watching Signing Time (a video series that is just incredible if you have a child who wants to learn to sign. www.signingtime.com) with her. Watching the interaction between them was very cool. Mitchell really does have a soft, loving side even if he doesn't show it often. He was quick to explain that she was crying for me really loudly and he didn't like the noise. The third blessing for me in taking care of Sarah was that I got to enjoy our farm. It's been drudgery for me and my attitude was getting rather sour again. I spend so much time cooking and cleaning and teaching and working inside that I never really get to get out and see our beautiful ranch. Tonight I took Sarah "for a walk" and got to enjoy our land. The sun was setting, the guineas were making their weird noise, the calf was munching grass and it was just quiet and peaceful. I don't get to experience quiet and peaceful very often and it was so much easier to feel God's presence. Just to know He was there, nothing more than that. So now I know that I need to find a way to get out and work with our animals more. I don't know how, but I need to do it.
And more news. The kids all got money from their grandfather for Christmas. They were beginning to make individual plans as to how to spend it. Meanwhile Faith had been trying to figure out how to earn some money because she wanted to raise something so she could earn money from that. She'd about decided on sheep. So now all the kids are pooling their money together to buy sheep. We're waiting until Spring. Meanwhile, we're doing some research on what needs to be done here to prepare for them and what breed to get etc. But it looks like Panivino Ranch is going to have yet another type of animal. I think that's pretty cool and I'm also very proud of my children for making such a decision.