Friday, March 29, 2013

Kids and Chicks

I've been amazed at my almost 5-year-old's quiet and gentle spirit with our new chicks. Quiet and gentle are definitely not the two adjectives anyone would use for my oldest. She's great and loud, busy and all over the place. A transformation has occurred, though, with our new additions. She woke up early to hold hers, tells her little sister to be more quiet, and has had great respect for them. All the things we were hoping for with adding chickens to our family mix.

Here's a couple pictures of her with our chicks:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Our Chicks Settling In

We picked up our new (about 5-6 week old) chicks this afternoon. I'm kind of a (read complete) control freak but I promised myself that any chick (that were female) that my children chose would be the one that they got. It's really an eye opening experience to see how ingrained their personalities are, even at 2 1/2 and 5.

My oldest went for the underdog--a Bantam hen that was at least one quarter smaller than any of the other chicks--but louder than all of them combined. After we ran around the yard after her we finally had her settled into my hands and it was time to help my younger daughter find her chick. She loved looking at them, but wasn't super psyched about getting near them and let us show her a couple of the more mellow hens. She picked a beautiful, quiet Easter Egger.

During the hour ride home we heard the Bantam squawking the entire time, with a chirp or two from our Easter Egger. Just like my girls, usually. It was amazing to watch both of them with the chicks. Oldest held hers carefully and was in awe of its aliveness. Little one...well she looked--she didn't want to touch--but she looked at her hen and could already feel the pride of ownership.

Here's a quick pick at our two chicks:

Chicks for My Chicks

As a mom, I am constantly wanting to do more, be better and help with everything. Those are some of the biggest plate balancing acts in my life right now. How do I work (more than full time), volunteer (because I'm passionate about community development and it energizes me) and still have time to be a great mom and wife? I ask this almost every day and for the last six months or so, I've been working at adding in things that I feel are necessary and will make a lasting impact in the long run.

One major area I chose to focus on was health. I'm an emotional eater--and I have A LOT of emotions. Bummer. I'm also socked with some pretty short and squat genes--put that together with some pretty big family tragedies in the last few years and I added on way too much weight. As I've been trying to help myself become healthier and happier, I also wanted to make sure that I imparted that knowledge to my kids before they were too old. One way we do this is by trying to locally source our veggies almost exclusively and fruit and meat when we can. That doesn't mean I don't break down and buy tomatoes at BJ's...because I do. I love Caprese salads and couldn't live without them. But, as much as we can we try to eat from local farmers markets and our own little garden.

Over the last few months, I've also been thinking a lot about meat...and eggs. I'm trying to help us eat less meat--I just don't feel our world is all that sustainable with so many major meat eaters (this hearkens back to my years of vegetarianism and a great book called Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster). I want to teach my children where food comes from and help them to make choices that will positively effect our world when it's possible.

So, we decided to get chicks. Easter Eggers to start. We'll pick up two this evening and maybe add two to four more of different varieties over the next few months. Last night, my girls and I made the brooder for our chicks. It was lots of fun and I was able to explain more about chicks, food and keeping them safe and happy. I can't wait for tonight!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I'm Writing

I love to read blogs. I'm addicted to the little glimpses I receive into the lives of people all over the English speaking world...I'd read other languages too if I could ever get my elementary French up to speed!

So, after an incredibly busy few weeks, I was reflecting on my way to work about all of the things my family is doing right now. My husband and I are dreamers. He has those huge pipe dreams about fancy cars, houses and some serious electronics. I'm kind of more cerebral in the whole "world peace," "heaven on earth," stamping out injustice side. Together, we work. Our kids are starting to dream with us and I love to watch their personalities grow into these hybrids of me and Joe and their own experiences. I realized, we are doing some pretty exciting, on a mellow scale, things ourselves and I'd like to be a fly on our wall sometimes.

So, here begins my glimpse into our lives....