Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

First Babies

Alhamdulillah, we bred Popsicle, our LaMancha cross, with Noodle, a magnificent Alpine from up the hill, and Sundew, one of our little Nubians, with our Nubian buck, but we did not breed Primrose.

Weeellll…we thought we hadn’t bred Primrose. Apparently, Primrose had other ideas, mash’Allaah.

So, to our credit, we did notice that she was getting fatter and fatter. Keep in mind that Primrose, another LaMancha, had lost her girlish figure with her first babies, a couple of years ago. She is, well, sort of wide and barrel-shaped to begin with. That being said, she was definitely wider and more barrel-shaped.

But we didn’t breed her, so she must not be pregnant, right? Right?

A few days ago Nusaybah noticed that Rosie’s udder was filling up with milk. Being the brilliant goat raisers that we are (sigh) we did, finally, admit that she was pregnant. How pregnant, we weren’t sure, but I knew from my experience nursing eight babies (human, of course), that when the milk comes in, the  babies can’t be far behind.

We just didn’t realize how NOT far behind they were.

The next morning, January 25th, Mu’aadh and Maryam came in and said that Rosie wouldn’t go on the goat walk with them, and that she was acting a bit odd. Nusaybah went out to feed the goats, and a few minutes later, Mu’aadh and Maryam came dashing in to where I was getting ready to teach class online (a class that was, ultimately, cancelled) and Mu’aadh yelled,

“Primrose is LAYING A BABY!!!”

Well. I sprang into action, grabbing my scarf with one hand and the phone with the other. I called my friend and goat mentor, Alice, and relayed the fact to her. She asked if we’d be alright, and I said, “I HOPE SO, INSH’ALLAAH” in a probably not super calm tone of voice, and dashed out.

Our new goat shed, for the does
Our new goat shed, for the does

Baby number one was attempting to make an appearance with what looked like a large helmet of water on its head.

I called Alice, got her machine, and said something lost to memory, and then looked again. Baby number one was all the way out, and Rosie was licking her off. I called Alice again. We danced happily around, the children all yelling “ALHAMDULILLAH!!” Alice joined in as well, from Texas, I’m sure.

Then she dropped the bomb.

“Primrose has always had two babies, so another one will probably come in a half an hour or so.”


I cancelled class, and we all stood out in the goat shed watching Primrose (who was very calm and quiet and dignified) lick and butt her kid, knocking her down every time she tried to get up on her shaky little legs.  A large sack filled with fluid hung from her bottom. I was thankful the children didn’t ask TOO many questions, just the basics.

I stood in front of the fire, warming up my freezing hands.

No baby.

I sent messages to everyone I could think of, telling them what was going on.

No baby.

I told jokes and imparted wise advice to my children. Really.

No baby.

Kristin dropped off her (human!) baby for babysitting and we chatted a bit.

No baby.


Finally, after about an hour, a little head appeared, in a little sack as well. Rosie was in an odd place, with her bottom up against the shed wall. It looked like the baby couldn’t get out, because of the wall being there. I had my hand on Rosie’s side, talking to her. She was calm except for, of course, when a contraction came and she would try, unsuccessfully, to push her kid out.

After quite awhile of this, with all of the children looking at me in that way that children do when they truly expect that you can and should do something to change whatever is happening for the better, I decided I would try to give Primrose just a little help. I gently put my hands around the kid’s little head and shoulder area, and, when Rosie contracted again, sort of gently pulled and slid the baby away from the shed wall.

Woooooosh. Like that, she was out. Primrose started licking her right away, and within a couple of minutes, the kid was trying to get up.

Again the goat shed rang with “ALHAMDULILLAH” ‘s and great jumping and joyfulness and gratitude commenced.

The first little ones born on Wide Earth, and truly, all praise is due to Allaah alone!

We are thinking of flower names for the doelings. Any suggestions?


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  1. Maashaa Allah, we love the moderate seasons, so autumn always brings smiles of appreciation. Yes, it is funny to hear people refer to “quality time,” but it is, I believe, the result of everyone being wrapped up in their own business and making it exclusively theirs. We, too, are together throughout our days, from eating meals and homeschooling, to doing laundry and Islamic studies. All the while, the children are learning from examples, have an open channel to ask questions and explore topics as they come up, and are course corrected immediately when the need arises. Every outing or special event/activity involves the whole family, so their relationship with their father is extremely strong and his role as the guardian and head of the household is firmly established. It is a sad day when he cannot, for some reason, eat dinner with us.

    Autumn is rather different here in Madinah, as there is no change in the daily sunshine but simply a slight drop in temperature that makes the morning and evening air pleasant. Opposite to conventional planting, this is the time when we can plant seeds and have some hope of them growing during the milder weather – in effect, like late spring/early summer.

    The girls loved reading the poems, maashaa Allah! BarakAllahufeekunna!

    1. Yes, Mai, you are so right. The interaction between myself and my children is vastly different from what I see from most of the people around me. It seems as though so often children seem to think their parents are boring or backward or don’t understand them, and that’s just ridiculous, mash’Allaah. The core and foundation of society is the individual, and then the family. I don’t agree with the “we’re all best friends” model of parenting either- there has to be a balance and an understanding of roles, responsibilities, and rights, mash’Allaah.
      Fall is my favorite season, alhamdulillah, especially because of my difficulty with the heat and sun of summer, mash’Allaah. It always makes my childhood feel more immediate, and I realize that much of who I was then, I am still now, and the flow continues, alhamdulillah.
      Have your girls write some, insh’Allaah, and share them back with us!

  2. Bismillaahi ar Rahmaani Ar Raheem
    Assalaamu alaikoum wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuh
    Jazakallahu khayran for sharing your precious ‘quality time’ and work. Since I started ‘Guide at the Crossroads’ I find you a most inspiring family Allahummah barik may Allaah bless you and give you even more ameen. Reading you is like going back on track, like returning to a world of common sense and peace….alhamdulillaah. My summer has been filled with a mixture of feelings here in Tunisia and I will leave all of them behind during this season, just as the falling leaves… (sorry I am not a poetic person at all, just trying lol)
    I keep thinking of ‘it is not about quantity , it is about quality’. Having quality time with my daughters, especially with my eldest, is one of the things that keeps me ‘alive’. I love doing scrap books with her. We did one about our time here in Tunisia because I wanted her to practice her ‘describing events’ skills. However, I ‘ve realised that it is not only that, it is also a way to keep our quality time alive, a book to help us remember all what we did together, our experiences, meeting with different people, our bonding …
    Alhamdulillah, it is Allaah who makes all this possible, our creator, our protector
    Keep sharing please and take lots of care, may Allaah be with you always ameen

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
      Alhamdulillah, Ameen to you du’a. Yes, the time spent with the children is rejuvenating, isn’t it? It is truly a treasure, and it is sad that so many people don’t recognize it and squander it like it was nothing. Scrapbooking is something we have thought about doing! After reading how you look at it and what it means to you, I think, insh’Allaah, we will have to see what we can do to try it. We will have to get creative to do it without the pictures, but I think, alhamdulilah, we are up to the task, insh’Allaah!
      BarakAllaahufeekee, and I look forward to “seeing” you in class, insh’Allaah.

    2. wa feeki barak Allaah, may Allaah bless you in everything you do ameeen. I find scrapbooking very flexible and versatile. I even use my daughter’s scrap books as a way of giving dawah to people. For example, my Yasmeen loves showing her ‘Aquida Scrap book to everyone : family members, guests, neighbours… I don’t use unlawful pictures alhamdulillaah , just drawings, hadith and ayas from the Qur’an written in bold on colorful paper and pasted on the scrapbook, hands shapes,finger prints,pictures of other work she has done, trea leaves…You can also involve another people. For example, we were doing the pillars of Islaam and for the First Pillar, Shahadatain, we asked our neighbours to fingerprint their index finger while saying the shahada in the scrapbook and in the Tunisia’ scrapbook the neighbours drawed their houses on it. I also want her Quran teacher to write a nasiha for Yasmin in there…I love involving other people on them… May Allaah bless you ,fi amanillaah

      1. This sounds like a lot of fun, mash’Allaah, a lot to think about! I think we will have to put our heads together here and see what we can come up with. I am thinking, too, that the high school Islamic Studies class I teach might enjoy doing something with this…hmmmm….

  3. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

    May Allah bless you. I am not married yet, nor do I have any children…but I loved, loved their poetry, Allaahumma baarik. It was inspiring to see what the proper cultivation can produce.

    May Allah reward you, and protect them all from evil. x

  4. Allahumma barik Aameen, it was beautiful to read those poems and even more beautiful that they were written by children of such a tender age may Allaah increase them in khayr. Allahuma Aameen. I don’t have children but in sha Allaah if Allaah blesses me with them I’d love to educate and nurture them at home. I cannot tell you Akhwaati how the schools these days and respectively both western and eastern have an effect on the minds of young children. What I was able to understand from reading the poems wasn’t just that the children have their own thoughts and opinions about things but they are able to distinctly express and illustrate them (very eloquently at that). Allahuma Baarik again. This I truly believe stems from the personal interest you have taken in their lives and cultivating them. In the west we find parents often shouting at their children and the relationship is for each child to go to their room with these unknown gadgets, very individualistic and very dangerous in my opinion. Parents often don’t know their child and this is where the problem stems from, it is sad. It is almost inescapable in the West with the rush of daily life taking off and the dunya becoming the primary goal of most people’s lives. I ask Allaah to protect all of us from chasing the dunya. Aameen

    It is my dear sister truly inspiring to read this it shows me, it can exist in this world. You can make your home your sanctuary and build its foundations on the Quran and Sunnah and with such a foundation what a strong home can one achieve.

    AhsaanAllahu alaykum wa BarakaAllahu feeki

    1. Alhamdulillah, BarakAllaahufeekee for your thoughtful response. I have been deeply troubled by much of what you mentioned. Parents are poisoning their children, drop by drop, and are oblivious or simply don’t care that they are doing so. Mash’Allaah, people have said to us more than once that our children are “different” from other children, as if they just popped out that way. They ignore the work that goes into raising the children, which is, to be honest, incredibly beautiful, actually fun, and often difficult. Insh’Allaah I will be teaching a parenting class soon, and I ask that Allaah makes my intention pure and put His blessing in the endeavor, as the success is only through Allaah.

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