Easter Vacation, part II

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As I stated earlier, my sister lives in central Virginia on a small farm where they raise beef cattle and have chickens and a milk cow that they get to use for themselves when it’s not nursing calves and two horses and several cats and four dogs.

The kids were, of course, in heaven.

But my daughter in particular found her calling as a farm girl. She’s evidently a country girl at heart, since she jumped right into the muck and manure without a second thought. Every waking moment was spent outside making friends with livestock and jumping around in hay bales. She fell in love with a cat named Maple (who admittedly was quite sweet) and begged to be able to take her home, and had a favorite calf named Mr. White. Here are some pictures of her exploits.

Emily and cousin Serena with Maple in the first picture. Emily was carrying that cat around with her pretty much everywhere she went.

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Mr. White the calf. Just don’t think too much about his future.

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Flossie the milk cow. Apparently, there were day old kittens in the little white shed behind her, and Emily wanted me to jump in there with her (in my flip flops) to see them. I declined.
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Emily was telling me all the names of the chickens. Don’t ask me to remember them.
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Both the kids had fun in what they called the “hay hut,” but especially Emily.
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So, what was Daniel doing all this time Emily was living out her destiny as little miss farm girl? Well - he was mostly playing Legos, actually. Most of my pictures of him involve him playing Legos with various people. He is absolutely OBSESSED with Legos!! He had one Lego truck and he took it apart and put it together in different ways over and over and over again. I’m convinced he’s going to be an engineer or something when he grows up. I find it amusing that the girl was the one enamored with the farm while the boy wanted to stay inside with his Legos, but there you have it. He did do SOME other things, though!

Daniel playing Legos with Tommy, Abby, and Bethany
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Meredith shot some hoops with Daniel before the Easter hunt.
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Being that it was Easter break, we of course did Easter-y stuff too. I’d prepared an Easter hunt for my two and Helen’s youngest two - the kind where they get a clue which leads them to another clue etc. and they collect goodies along the way. They had a blast. Meredith and Bethany helped set it up. I don’t have too many good pictures of the actual hunt, since they were all running around like crazy in different directions, but there are some good ones of the kids outside waiting for it to start!

Daniel, Abby, Emily, and Serena
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And on Friday the kids decorated Easter eggs.
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The finished product for my kids. Daniel called his “sunset eggs” (on the left), which I thought was imaginative.
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One of the nice things about visiting Virginia in April is the spring flowers. The Redbud trees were in bloom, and so were the Virginia Bluebells. On Thursday we went out to the creekbed to see the bluebells, and the girls came back with armloads of them.
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Daniel was more interested in this neat fallen tree, and the fact that the water sounded “like fire” to him. He comes out with some surprising artistic metaphors every once in a while!

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We took a trip into Appomattox on Friday because Michelle had an orthodontist appointment, and we waited for her in a great little coffeehouse/bookstore called Baine’s. There was free WiFi there, which pleased Tim greatly, and I found cheap copies of “Moll Flanders” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” which pleased ME greatly! We didn’t get to visit Appomattox Court House (where the civil war was ended, for those non-history literate among you) because we didn’t have enough time, so hopefully we can do that on a future visit.

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Tommy was Daniel’s buddy the entire visit!

Then we went home and made pizza and watched Horton Hears a Who, and Emily cried and cried because “Abby and Serena are like my sisters!” When she forms an attachment she does it throughly! They wanted to sleep together, but it didn’t really work out - but I got some cute pictures out of it!

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Here’s a picture of my niece Michelle in the Swiss outfit she made herself in honor of her trip to Switzerland last year. I think that if she had a couple stieins in her hands she’dIMG_2421 also look like a good German serving wench!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the entire Hertzler family together, and now I’m kicking myself! We had the perfect opportunity when we were leaving on Saturday morning too. Sigh. oh well.

We left Saturday midday and arrived at my mother’s house at around 7. We were utterly exhausted. My mother washed my daughter’s hair in the sink (which brought back some memories of my own) to get the barn smell out before Easter Sunday, and then in the morning we woke up and got ready to leave at 8:30 to be at church in Lancaster with Tim’s parents by 9:30. We were trying to hit everyone on this trip, I guess. And then - finally - we got home at around 4 on Sunday, and it’s SO GOOD to be home!

But I think that if Emily has anything to say about it, it won’t be TOO long before we make the trip down there again.

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Easter Morning
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