My husband hunts deer. He is a bowhunter, which means he spends a lot of time sitting up in a tree watching deer. He loves observing deer and the other animals he sees while sitting in a tree for hours and hours (this year he saw a bobcat twice). Eventually, he does kill a deer. This year he killed two. Our freezer is fully stocked with venison to last for the next year. This is great, because venison is much healthier to eat than beef. It's leaner and you never have to worry about hormones or antibiotics or anything else weird and gross like that. Some people prefer to get their meat at the grocery store, where they never have to think about how it got there. I prefer venison. I know where it came from, have a good general idea of what it ate, and know how and by whom (my husband and brother in law) it was butchered and processed and packaged.
All this is leading up to the point that we got home last night after spending a week and a half at the Farm while my husband hunted. And also to give the warning that there are photos near the end of this post of some dead deer. The photos also have my handsome husband and adorable older daughter in them, but if you don't like photos of dead deer, you may not want to read this entire post. I'll give a warning right before those photos come up, so you can feel safe reading through the first part of this lovely post if you like.
Since we were at the Farm, Miss and Lass got to see their cousins and spend time doing fun things like going on treasure hunts. We went on an especially fun one yesterday. Because the water is so low, we went to the beach, where there was lots of room to walk around and find treasures.
Miss got to see the work of some beavers.
And my husband found the coolest and biggest caterpillar I have ever seen.
The kids also found a partial skeleton of what was probably a raccoon.
It's so fun to just go outside and turn a walk around the beach or the woods into an adventure. Anything Miss picked up, from a hickory nut, to a shell, to a pine cone could be called "treasure" and she was all into it. Treasure hunts are one of my favorite things about being at the Farm.
The girls had lots of other fun times playing with their cousins over the past weekend too. Dress up was a favorite.
Prior to this weekend when all the aunts and uncles and cousins came down, we were just all hanging out together with my mother and father in law. As I mentioned, my husband spend a lot of time in a tree, but we had lots of fun with him when he came in. We indulged in some special treats, like ice cream, since we were on vacation.
My girls like ice cream.
And we spent a lot of time just playing. Miss had fun with this guitar one afternoon. She has really been into singing lately, often making up her own songs. The other day she started strumming the guitar and singing a song that went something like, "Mommy and Lass and Daddy and Miiiiissss. You're so cuuuute and so adoooorable."
I would tell her what a beautiful song it was and how wonderful her singing is, and then she would stand up and strike a proud pose next to the guitar, come over to me and tell me, "I love you Mommy," and then do it all again. I don't know how many times she repeated this, but it was a lot and I loved it. It was cuuute. And adoooorable.
Okay, here's your WARNING: Dead deer photos follow.
Lass lost interest much more quickly, but of course had fun being outside anyway.
I'm proud of my husband. He's an ethical hunter and doesn't kill more than what we will eat. He practices shooting his bow a great deal beforehand so he will make a clean shot when the time comes. He spends hours and hours observing the deer and learning about them, and passes this information on to his family members, including his nephews who also enjoy hunting. He spent a morning hunting with one nephew and helping him shoot a deer himself. And even though it's a little rough to be away from home with my girls for almost two weeks, I feel fortunate that we are able to go with him when he hunts. And it is completely worth it to know that he had such a great week outside doing something he really enjoys. He is an amazing father and husband, and he deserves that.
Of course, it's fabulous to be home. And you'd better believe I'm going to milk my "sacrifices" of the past week and a half to get myself a nice massage :)