Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keeping busy keeping chicks

Thank you.

I am truly humbled and grateful. I am blown away by your kind words, prayers and support. I am especially touched by the very personal stories you shared with me. I read each and every comment, through blurry eyes. I am truly blessed by each of you. Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness and sharing. You have made this burden much easier to bear. Thank you.

Now, about those chicks. . . .

I've been keeping very busy these past few weeks. Keeping busy seems to help me emotionally. Plus, these little critters weren't getting any smaller. . . .


We purchased 20 red pullets in mid-March. I am amazed at how quickly these gals grew! We had to build them a safe pen, and pronto. Remember this eye sore?

We decided to use this as a chicken coop for our new little flock. I spoke with the previous owner of our property, and she said this had been a chicken coop before they owned it -- about 30 years ago.

We reused as much of the existing structure and materials as we could, and only purchased what we absolutely had to. We removed the existing steel roof (to reuse). . . .

The rotting wood beams had to go, of course. The remaining beams are cedar, and although very old, they're still very sturdy.

Meanwhile, the gals were growing. . . .

We replaced most of the beams with new lumber, and reused the steel poles and panels. . . .

This was a great family project. . . . I had lots of help.

And the gals kept growing. . . .

Next, we framed out the walls, and attached chicken wire. We reused the door from the infamous aviary.

Finished! The chicks are so happy in their new home. . . .

Well, almost finished. We still need to build a little hen house, or at least some nest boxes, by the end of summer. The pullets won't be laying eggs until around September, so we have a little bit of time until that has to be done. I have to admit I'm pretty proud of this. We've never built so much as a dog house, so this is really exciting for us! I enjoyed working side by side with my family, and I enjoyed being outside in the beautiful weather. All in all, another blessing!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They matter.

For several days now, I've been trying to compose this post in my head. What to say? How to say it? Should I even say anything?

I've decided to write this post for myself. For my friends and family. But most of all, for the reasons that will become evident in a second.

We lost our littlest Monkey two weeks ago. Three weeks ago, I saw her tiny heart beating on the sonogram. Two weeks ago, the heartbeat was no longer there. My own heart broke.

Again.

We had also lost a baby last July, whom we named Justus. At the time, I was so stricken with pain, I told almost no one. In hindsight, that was the exact wrong thing for me to do, especially for my own healing. This is one reason I've decided to write this post.

The second reason is because I want to scream from the rooftops that my babies were here. They did exist. I don't want them to be forgotten, or a rumor, or a ghost of what might have been. These children left a deep and permanent mark upon my heart, and on my life and the lives of my husband and living children. They matter.

In their too-short life times, these tiny children taught me painful, yet valuable, lessons. I was reminded that all of my children are priceless gifts from God, to be valued and nurtured -- and never, ever taken for granted. They are precious.

Time does not belong to me. I cannot take a single second of life for granted. I may never have another chance, another moment, another breath. I must use my gift of time on this earth wisely, and for the glory of God.

That brings me to this. . . . My blog will be neglected. It must be. I have children to love and hug and kiss and nurture. I'm sure you understand.

God bless.