Spring Break on the Farm

We took our yearly trip to visit my sister Helen and family in Virginia, and, as usual, Emily was in her element. Literally the SECOND we pulled up, she was out the door and running around with her two cousins who are her age as though not a day had passed since we were there last.

Daniel, of course, was more interested in staying inside and putting puzzles together, though he did spend a good amount of time outside. One day he helped Uncle Tom get a lame calf out of the woods. He trampled through tons of manure to do it. In his good school shoes. I kind of wished he’d stuck to his puzzles.

Before we left, Emily begged me to take pictures of her with various of the animals there, and between shots I heard her moan to herself, “I wish I lived here.” We’ve got to find that girl a 4H program or something.

Of course, there had to be many pictures taken of cats.
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Then there was Pippin, the tiny little chicken who lays the tiny little eggs.

Her favorite of the dogs, Prince.

And the horse Arwen and Donkey Dan. Tim spent a fairly long time trying to get a recording of Donkey Dan’s bray so that he could make it his ring tone, but Donkey Dan is pretty stubborn and only brays when he feels like it. It’s a magnificent bray, though. Made us laugh every time.

(Edit: Tim did manage to record him once, but didn’t think he could export it. Being the tech guru that he is, however, he found a way, so here for your enjoyment is Donkey Dan at his finest. Can you imagine hearing this several times a day? How annoying that could be? It was awesome. Click on “Donkey.”)

The university in Farmville hosted an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, so we did that before we started home. There really wasn’t much hunting involved, though. It was more like an Easter egg “pick up off the ground.” Daniel, for some reason, was totally ignoring all the ones on the ground and just kept running around like a crazy person, and then we realized he was trying to find only the tricky ones, like the ones up the trees. I suppose he felt it wasn’t challenging enough. That’s really not that surprising, though, knowing him.



Emily had no such snobbish compulsions and got an obscene number of eggs. I forced her to share with her brother.

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Cousin Serena, who is exactly one month younger than Emily, found the “Golden Egg,” which was worth a prize. The prize was a stuffed rabbit that made noises when you pushed the belly, and Serena was pretty excited about it.


Emily’s big highlight of the event was the baby ducks and chicks that were there and which were, incidentally, going home with my sister’s family. Emily was immensely jealous and kept begging me with big eyes to take home “just ONE chick?” What are we going to do with a chick in a twin in Morrisville? So the answer was no. Her cousin Abby consoled her by saying she’d get one for Emily for her birthday in July. We’ll see about that. She did at least get to hold a duckling, assisted by cousin Michelle.



When it came time to go, Emily “almost cried THREE TIMES,” according to her. It was very sad. Those three cousins have the best relationship with each other. Daniel gets thrown in there too sometimes, but is usually content to be on the outside. I asked if he wanted to be in the picture and he said, “No thanks.”


The trauma was compounded after we left when she realized she’d left Pippin’s eggs, which she’d dyed, behind, but we were an hour out and weren’t about to turn back. MY trauma was compounded when I realized we’d left her clarinet behind. She had it because we left straight from school on Wednesday, and so now it has to be sent, but it won’t be here in time for tomorrow’s lesson. Emily seemed more concerned about the eggs.

She did manage to pull herself together enough to take a fairly decent Easter picture with Daniel, though.

Although not enough to keep her from pretending to do the “pee pee dance” when I tried to take one of her by herself.
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These pictures were taken at Tim’s parents’ place in Lancaster, to which we traveled after going to the early service at church. After getting home late Saturday from a day of traveling from Virginia. So now we’re dubbing today, the day after Easter, “Recuperation Monday” and are vowing to not do a single thing today and not feel guilty about it. Family fun takes its toll, after all. But it’s worth it.