Okay, well technically we're not raising crops or livestock for our livelihood (at the moment), but I did do a lot of poop scooping this morning as I cleaned out the chicken coop (you wouldn't believe how much 2 chickens poop), and we do have a fair amount of land (more than we've ever had), and more animals than we've ever had, AND Will's hunting for a tractor....so in my book, it's a farm. :-)
We've been getting settled in (closing date was Oct. 5) and I've been doing my part-time job again (grading SAT essays), so, I'm sorry for the long delay in updating.
I don't think I can begin to convey how good this move has been for my soul. I'm not sure if I could ever get depressed out here. It's quiet, and ever so peaceful. I'm hoping soon to post some pictures of what I wake up to seeing every morning. And the lovely, breathtaking sunsets. Many times a day, I say, "God, You're so good! Thank You for giving us this; we're indeed blessed." I still can't believe it's ours; it truly is a paradise for us. And Ella loves her new house. When we're doing errands around town and she's getting tired, she says, "New house, Mommy. New house." :-)
I love having animals too-every morning Boosie and I walk out and let them all out of their pens and feed them. She's getting less afraid of them everyday and will even walk very close to the dogs and cats now. But no petting...yet. She's still not too sure of the chickens after a pecking incident, and I can't really blame her. Peepers (the other hen's name is Penny)came after Ella when we let them out one morning. Truth be known, Peepers was really mad at Will b/c when he left for work that morning, he let the dogs and cats out but not the chickens. He said they were still in their house, not waiting at the gate, so he figured I could just do it later. Trouble is, Ella and I went out there late that morning, so by that time I guess they were really mad. I opened the gate and Peepers charged Ella and began pecking at her sweater before I could stop her. But considering that traumatic experience, Ella's doing quite well. She still wants to help me feed the chickens their daily dose of bugs (when we dump the pool filter out)and always likes to look at Peepers from the door when she decides to park herself on our steps. And of course, Will said, "Let that chicken try that again (referring to pecking Ella), and we'll have her for supper!"
Usually after feeding the animals in the morning, Ella and I will relax for a few minutes on the hammock and I will just reflect again on God's goodness and love. He knew we needed this-especially me. My soul needed to get out in the country, to have animals to care for, to walk outside my house and not see any neighbors. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to become a hermit, but I do like to enjoy my privacy. There's a time and season for everything. When I'm able, (meaning when and if Ella takes a nap that day), I love going outside on the deck for my quiet time w/God. I seem to be able to hear Him better out here. Perhaps b/c I'm not hearing sirens in the background? Or wondering when the next roach is going to pop out? (Rental house woes!). Or is it just b/c I'm out in His beautiful creation, which is a worshipful experience in itself?
Now for an Ella update. She's talking more now...yay! I can't tell you how good it is to hear her put a couple of words together. I'm still amazed by it and wish I could capture it more on video. How do they know to clam up when you turn that camcorder on? Her only 2 sentences so far have been, "Let's go park" (or "Let's go Mama's"), and "Daddy kill deer." You can imagine how thrilled Will was w/that one! She's doing a lot of 2 word phrases right now, "Yellow ball" (she knows all her colors!), "Lot more," etc. And she says animal names now, instead of just the sound. Except for chicken-she still says, "Bawk, Bawk!" :-) And for the news she's proudest of? She's no longer in her crib-well not technically. We took the railing off her crib, so now it's a day bed. She's doing well in it. We put 2 pillows lengthwise and have her portable mattress below, just in case she falls out. So far, so good.
And this past Saturday, we took Ella to a pumpkin patch. The closest one was an hour and a half away and very commercialized-but Ella enjoyed it. We're looking forward to growing our own pumpkins next year. I would really like for Ella to get to pick a pumpkin and not have them already sitting out on display. Not to mention, it would save us a lot of money (between the hay ride, the corn maze and the pumpkins, it cost $32.) Hopefully, we could sell some of our pumpkins too. And as for the hay ride, we'll just put some hay in a wagon and let Daddy pull her with his tractor. He can stop every so often and let her pick the choicest ones! :-)
Enjoy the pics; hopefully I'll get some of the house up soon.
P.S. And yes, Liz, we DID GO SWIMMING! It was about 78 degrees in the water-not too bad-a few weeks ago. I attempted it since then and only managed to wade. It had dropped to 74. Ella was with me too, and even she thought the last time was a little too cold. She still however insists that we put our feet in at least once a day.