Harley and Katelyn have wanted to show lambs in 4-H as long as Emma has been showing them, but we have always told them no. We haven’t wanted to be “tied-down” to taking care of animals in the summer, plus we don’t have anywhere to keep them. I didn’t mind the idea, but Aaron was adamant that we were not going to have animals beyond the dog we already have. I’m not sure what changed his mind, but Aaron started to consider that it might be an okay thing for them to try out. This summer, we’re not going anywhere. We are staying here to work on landscaping, paint the exterior of the house, and work on other projects. We decided it was the perfect year to give lambs a trial run. The girls will learn responsibility, and they will have a project that provides some fiscal and emotional rewards. We also decided to not tell them right away.
This year, all four girls are spending Easter at their other parents’ home, so we celebrated a day early. With lambs, you need to have a “back up” animal in case something happens to one of the lambs, so we will have to have three lambs. Our gift to Harley, Katelyn, and Reagan (even though she’s too young for 4-H), were these stuffed lambs with sheep halters. The ribbons say “4-H Market Lamb” and have Harley & Katelyn’s name on theirs. Reagan’s says “4-H Market Lamb Helper” with her name on it (hers is the one with the black face).
We led the girls out to the kitchen with their eyes closed, and this is the series of reactions they had. The faces went from “Oh, how cute!”, to “Are you serious?”, to “AWESOME!” It was so neat to see their excitement grow as the realization of what it all meant sunk in. They are all thrilled, and they can’t wait until the time comes when they actually get to go pick out their lambs. They are excited that Emma is going to be around to help them and to teach them the ropes.
Emma’s easter gift wasn’t quite as exciting, but she loved it nonetheless – athletic shorts and tank tops. I think she had more fun helping us surprise the girls, and she really didn’t care whether or not there was a gift for her.