Oi. It's been a while. This pregnancy thing takes a lot more out of me than I realized it would. I had grand ideas that I would be the WonderWoman of pregnant women. Yeah. And while I've managed to keep doing quite a bit, it's a lot slower, a lot less thorough, and, well, a lot less than whatever I was used to 7 months ago! So, I apologize for letting my blog take a backseat. There have been a ton of things I've wanted to post about: from my Christmas projects to the bread I've been making almost every week.

I'll just give you an update of sorts and end it with a very loose goal to blog at least once a week... because I love blogging and really hate being a slacker.

I'm now at 31 weeks. Little Joshua Colt will be here in a short nine weeks and every time that thought crosses my mind I scream and jump up and down on the inside and wish he was here right now. Waiting for Colt to get here has been one of the few things that have brought joy here to the homestead lately...

Three weeks ago our Hank went missing. Remember Hank? The demise to all our chickens. The tormentor of our rabbits. The very BEST dog at being very BAD. We went to church on a Wednesday night, came home an hour later, and he was no where to be found. We looked and looked and called and called. Thursday, same thing. Friday, it was cold and rainy and I was making my last turn on my drive home, just a mile and a half away from our house... Out of the corner of my eye I saw that peppery little body lying all alone in the ditch. I knew instantly. I pulled over and sat with him in the rain, petting his head and rubbing his back. He was already gone, but being able to give him a few last moments of love from me made me feel better. I called Mister and told him I had found Hank and if he would come and get him and bring him home. It was our first loss of a pet together. It was rough. We have missed Hank terribly. We're happy and thankful for Jessie Belle, but there was something about Hank that just stole every little bit of my heart... even as bad as he was and as many times as I threatened him with a new family! Heehee!

The day we lost Hank we also got new baby chicks in the mail... they were all dead when we opened the box.

I know, horrible. It gets better.

Last Friday I came home and checked on the goats, Loretta and Lynn. Much to my complete surprise, there was another goat in the pasture! We had no idea Loretta was pregnant. As a matter of fact, from our calculations IF she had been on the schedule WE thought, it would put her at kidding in January. Not the middle of February! Even more exciting about this new kid was that it was a GIRL! We named her Dolly and had a ton of fun taking pictures and watching her chase her mama around and make those tiny bleating noises that sounded like a toy. Well, I woke on Saturday night to her screaming. I went outside around 3 in the morning to check on her. She was warm and looked fine, but I noticed Loretta wasn't letting her nurse and she could barely stand up. I knew she might not make it through the night. As soon as it was light I went to check on her again. I guess some things are just too frail that even their mothers know and distance themselves and wait for the inevitable. Dolly, the cutest goat I've ever seen in my life, didn't make it.

Needless to say, it's been a rough few weeks here on the homestead. Yet, somehow, I can't help but think that this will be a wonderful year. It may have started off with a wave of loss and sadness, but I believe it can only get better and that this too shall pass. Everything so far has taught us valuable lessons in how to better care for our animals and land. Every mistake we make or unfortunate event that happens doesn't go wasted. We take it, we learn from it, and we pledge to do better. I have big hopes for us this year and I know the LORD is with me!