I know you all will love this as much as I do! As I’ve said before, my oldest has quite the heart for animals. She loves them, and they love her. This shows in how they run to her, trust her, and will do things for her that they most certainly wouldn’t do for anyone else. Case in point: Hannah conducted a photo shoot with our little chicks. Complete with backdrops and props. She is so inventive! As she showed me her pictures this morning, I just had to smile. Who thinks of these things? Anyway, here are some of my favorites from her shoot. Enjoy!
I never thought I’d ever be a chicken lady, but here I am. I LOVE my chickens! They are so much fun! They’re also quite a handful, and I seriously can’t wait until they’re out of the brooder in the garage, and out in the coop in the yard. Recently, the chicks have taken to roosting on top of my water feeders, causing poop to go into their water supply and then ultimately tipping over the water feeder itself and saturating their bedding. I then end up having to clean out their brooder sooner than I would have liked. Everyone else loves brooder cleaning, because they all get to take the chicks out into the yard to play while I scoop out the stinky woodchips and scrub out the box. This time, however my mini-me decided she’d stay and help me clean out the box. She made my heart happy.
My oldest, she’s the chicken whisperer. Recently she’s decided to train the older three chickens to be able to do obstacle courses. I’m pretty sure I have a video of her first attempt. I’ll post it later after I get her permission. Anyway, she typically will take responsibility of the chicks while I clean out the brooder. Today we got all the girls out into our old baby gate/pen to spend some time in the grass. My oldest, being the sweet girl she is, made sure there was plenty to keep the girls occupied. A mirror for the Buff Orpingtons (they LOVE to stare at themselves in the mirror), a big rock for the Wyandottes, a piece of wood to perch on for the Barred Rocks and food and water for everyone. I think she also included an umbrella for some added shade should the need arise. She really is very thoughtful.
They’re growing so fast, it’s hard to believe they’re only 4 weeks old. They’ve gone from little puff balls to almost being fully feathered. Can’t wait until they’re old enough to start earning their keep around here and giving us some eggs!!
Life is busy. I know I am not alone in this– it is what it is. It’s normal. But every once in a while something happens to make me stop and evaluate our norm and realize how busy (and blessed) we truly are. Let me tell you about my day so far.
First off, let me preface this by saying I (and most of my family) am currently sick. The chest cold has come to our home and hit us hard. In the last week I have bought more Kleenex, Boogie Wipes, Robitussin, Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl than I’d care to admit. That stuff isn’t cheap when you’re medicating 6 people! I have our diffuser running 24/7, and vitamin C runneth over. Does this change my day to day life? Not in the least. I wish it would slow my kids down a bit, but no chance of that.
So, I wake up in the morning with a soon-to-be 2 year old draped across my head. This is how she likes to say good morning to me. I think she figures if she tries to suffocate me I’ll be less likely to stay in bed and will immediately get up and tend to her every need. This method works exceptionally well when I can hear her trying to catch the snot dripping off her face before it hits mine. Ah, the joys of motherhood. So we’re up! Breakfast is usually what’s on everyones mind, but before we feed ourselves we have animals to tend to. The chickens are pretty vocal in the morning as they wait for my oldest to head out and let them out of their coop. She’s the chicken whisperer, that one.
Next is the chicks that are still in the brooder in our garage. Our current problem there is that they’ve taken a liking to roosting on top of their water dishes. Not only does this lead to pooping in their water, but it also ends with the chickens tipping their water over and leaving us with a mess to clean up. I’m currently brainstorming a solution to this current issue. I’ll let you know what I figure out.
Then there’s the cat, Rolo. Rolo adopted us a few months ago. She just kinda showed up and never left. She lives outside on our front porch and we now are able to pet her and every once in a while even hold her. I wasn’t sure she’d hang around, but she seems to like it here. Rolo gets fed in the morning as well, but we have to be careful when we feed her. You see, our free range chickens like Rolo’s food and Rolo is afraid of our chickens. So we have to shoo the chickens away long enough for Rolo to have a fighting chance at eating. After ensuring all have been fed, we come in and feed ourselves.
After breakfast, its time for school. Currently 2 out of my 4 are being homeschooled, but that is to change next year. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what that will look like. Today is a catch up day. Catch up on math, reading and finally a paper that needs to be completed about Queen Elizabeth II. (fun fact: did you know she is the only female member of royalty to have served in the military?) We also have guests from out of town at our home at the moment so a plan to Chik-Fil-A is in the works for those of us who aren’t affected by the plague.
I’ll spare you the details of my oldest dragging her math lesson out to the point of me seriously just wanting to do it for her; or her brother who decided today would be a good day to forget all that he has learned about letters and reading this year. His blank stares can be quite convincing, but this Momma is not easily fooled. It’s hard to maintain a sense of normalcy when you have family and guests to distract you.
With school completed it was time to head out to Chik-Fil-A for a late lunch and some play time in their play place. Get the wiggles out! Perfect idea! Except when we get to our favorite restaurant, we find the play place closed for cleaning. What could have been a minor inconvenience quickly turns into its a disaster. My kiddos ate their lunch and patiently and waited for the closed sign in the play place to come down, as the staff said it should only be another 10 minutes or so. Truly their patience was inspiring! Then (bells ring, lights flash) here comes the wonderful employee who, with a wonderful smile takes down the closed sign!! Hip hip hooray!!! My kids run in and quickly get to playing. Enter employee number two, who also has a smile on her face. But this, my friends, was a different kind of smile. This was the “why do I have to be the one to tell these kids to get out?” kind of smile. And that’s just what she did. A mistake was made, the cleaning not complete, and would we mind stepping out while they finished cleaning the playplace. My children froze and stared at me with emploring eyes. All except my youngest, who simply melted down and started screaming.
Plan B: lets go to the park! This seemed agreeable to everyone (except me, if I’m honest. I know it was my idea, but my cold medicine was running out and I was tired. What was supposed to be a “let me sit here and veg while you play in the playplace” has turned into a “let me push you on the swing in the heat while I set the timer for when we can go home. One hour and counting.”) so off we go to play. The hour completed, the kids and I were ready to head home. By the time we get there, my youngest has fallen asleep in the car. I send everyone else into the house and sit in my air conditioned van while my little one sleeps. I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at this as you read it. ‘Just take her in the house’ you say. Impossible, I tell you. Believe me, I have tried. Doesn’t work. So I sit. I don’t mind. It gives me a few minutes of peace in the middle of my day.
Once we head in, its time to start thinking about dinner. As I mentioned we have family visiting and so tonight, they are preparing the meal. A wonderful treat for me! We eat dinner, take care of the animals and tuck them in for the night. We get ourselves ready for bed, watch a short movie, read a book and head to bed. A busy, normal day.
So what, my dear friends, is the point of all this? Simply this. I. Am. Blessed. By the home we live in, the animals we care for, and the family we are. Sick or no, I am blessed to be living this mad, crazy, busy life. I have my moments, there are times when I wish we could slow down and just be. But I know that these moments are all too fleeting. Sooner than I’d like to think, this house will not be filled with the screams of laughter of my little ones, but the pleas of teenagers wanting to use the car for one thing or another. Then college, and then more quiet than I’d like to think about. I will take my busy day and do my best to love and live the moment I am in. Adventures abound! I’ll be ready for them!! Just as soon as I take my next round of cold medicine….