This summer has been a busy one and I have so many pictures and fun things to update, but I though that I'd share our biggest blessing of the summer today...Molly.
For those of you who may not know the background story of Molly...here's the SHORT version:
Our back yard garden was huge. It was lush and beautiful a few years ago and we loved growing things in the backyard. However, the trees on our property, although beautiful, provide way too much shade for a veggie garden needing 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. I was getting frustrated with yellow leaves and fungus due to lack of sunlight. What to do with such a large space (we are blessed to own two lots in the suburbs) where I can't grow anything. After moving our large garden turned small to the front yard (more of a hobby garden now), we wondered what to do with the space. I know that some people love goats, but to me they're like toddlers on steroids and I dislike their milk. A Jersey cow's sweet milk is the only thing our family will drink.
We had just learned that some of our best friends were taking over a dairy farm in Myakka City, Florida and we so blessed to get to know the owners and the beautiful animals on their farm...Jersey cows! My mind was churning, but would it work? A cow in the city and would my husband approve? I prayed. Well, my husband thought it would be neat, so after asking the previous owners of the farm if we could purchase a calf from them, Molly shortly came home to live with us. We bottle fed her and loved having her here. However, a cranky neighbor called on her and 4 months after bringing her here, our good friends at Jersey Acres said they'd keep her until we figured out what to do with the situation.
(This is the short version, I promise.)
She remained down at their farm for a little over a year and grew to be full size. We would often go down to visit. I missed her so much, like someone taking away your dog. I was devastated.
We put her up for sale thinking that we'd use the money towards our property and our friends said they'd get us another cow when the time was right. No one bought her though and after a few months, I thought about trying again. Doing it the right way.
My intelligent husband (who I think could've made an amazing lawyer) read the city codes and we thought outside of the box. Way outside. We found a way around the city codes, was blessed to have our neighbors comply and brought her home a few weeks later. I still drop my jaw every time I go out to see her, thinking it's not real. The Lord worked out every detail of this situation to the "T". A cow in the city...right! Totally the Lord. Our neighbors love her and now that she's legally living here, no one can take her away.
The first few days have been interesting as we're adjusting to feeding her and caring for her. She goes through a bale of hay each week and she gets 2 scoops of sweet feed (aka: "cow crack") due to our lack of grass for her. We've taken her out front for some grazing and we have a barley fodder system going for her. This first week, she's been mooing quite a bit as she's not used to being alone, but each day shows progress. She's like a big puppy, craving love and attention and with five little ones, she's always receiving it from someone.
The kids have been such a big help with feeding her, watering her and yes, even picking up after her. I ordered 1,000 red wiggler worms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm yesterday and praying they get here SOON! Her manure is piling up (no pun intended!) quickly and within two weeks, the worms will break it down into a beautiful, odorless peat moss perfect for our veggie garden.
"Common' worms. Can't wait til you get here!"
The biggest blessing I can share though is the fact that Molly has definitely brought some attention to our happy home. Local public schooled children stopping by on their way home from school and curious to hear mooing coming from our backyard. Molly has provided an opportunity for our family to be salt and light, sharing the good news of Jesus and His beautiful creation with the unsaved. I love to see my kids planting seeds into the lives of others.
Last night, Rob and I thought about taking a blow torch and etching one of my favorite Bible verses into her wooden fence...Romans 1:20
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that MEN ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE."
I look forward to sharing more of our "Molly adventures" with you all as time passes. Our sweet girl lost her first calf months ago, but is now due 2 days before Valentine's Day with her second. We're looking forward to meeting her calf. A little heifer would be lovely, but we shall see.