HOMESCHOOL, HENS, AND BABY PROOFING OUR HOUSE

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I’ve always greatly admired people who can take anything life throws at them. I never thought I was one of those people, but God has gently reshaped my life over the past years while carrying us through incredibly deep valleys, increasing our strength and resilience, building faith-muscles which I often don’t recognize until later.

I recognized them this week.

But before explaining how it all converged, let’s start with baby chicks! Because not much is cuter than tiny little chirping balls of fluff! Except maybe Gabe holding tiny little chirping balls of fluff 🙂

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Those of you following our Instagram stories have already met our baby chicks!! As I mentioned in one of the posts, our recent trip to Texas rekindled Gabe’s love for animals, bringing back memories of last year, helping uncle Dirk feed the cattle, donkeys, goats, and Louise, the ostrich. Although we denied Gabe’s request for a kitten, we found ourselves saying yes to chickens! Two of our new little flock members joined our family this week, and we’ll be adding one more soon!

Meet Moonwatcher and Kinkajou.

Moonwatcher is a Silver Laced Wyandotte who will grow up to have an intricate, lace-like pattern on her (hopefully HER!) wings, that resembles tiny moons. Gabe named her after a dragon character from the book series Wings of Fire.

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Kinkajou is named after another dragon in the book, a Rainwing dragon who has the ability to change colors. Kinkajou is an Easter Egger chicken, which is not actually a specific breed, but a cross between either an Araucana or an Ameraucana and another breed. They are called Easter Eggers because they lay blue, green or sometimes pinkish eggs. Gabe’s decision to name her after a dragon who changes colors is very fitting!

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Our third hen, who we’ll meet next week, is a Buff Orpington. The boys already voted down my suggestion to name her Peanut Butter in hopes that she’d start laying Reece’s peanut butter eggs 🙂

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Behind the scenes, we have been preparing to become foster parents. We put everything on hold last year as God called us to host a high school exchange student for the year. I say ‘WE’ put everything on hold, but of course, it was God who called us to wait, by answering our Anything Prayer. Recently, I quietly, yet fervently, prayed again, “God, we will do anything,” and sort of softly mentioned to Mike later that I recommitted to trusting God with this promise again.

It’s funny how seemingly unrelated things often converge under God’s control, weaving themselves into something much more beautiful than we could ever imagine once surrendered into our Savior’s hands.

So last week, with the chicken coop search underway and the preparation of our home for the foster care licensing walk-through, I decided to spend some time at school with Gabe, observing his classroom and getting a better feel for the ups and downs in his day. Fourth grade has been challenging for many reasons. Based on my classroom observations, my past teaching experience, and prayer, we knew God was telling us to pull Gabe out of the school environment for now and to do it now. We had already begun to search out new options for next year, but God made it clear we couldn’t wait. He filled us with a peaceful urgency that said, “trust me, this is right.” We know His voice, that same voice who carried us through all the previous valleys and mountains, so we obeyed.

We kicked off the weekend with three trips to libraries, a visit to Home Depot and many cups of coffee. We spent most of Saturday morning turning an extra bedroom into a classroom, then for the rest of the day, I made lesson plans while Mike worked on baby-proofing the house for Monday’s licensing walk-through. On Sunday, we came across a used chicken coop for sale that fit our size needs and cost half of what we had budgeted for a coop. We really didn’t have time to go pick it up, but knew to save that much money was a blessing and a good decision. A few hours later, we brought the coop home and went back to work on the house projects.

Sunday evening, Mike and I fell into bed past midnight, after putting the finishing touches on baby gates, modifications to our stair railings, cabinet locks, and all other things baby-proofing. I was exhausted but looking forward to starting our first day of homeschool in a few short hours. And that’s when I remembered that our walk-through appointment was scheduled for 8:30 am, instead of in the evening when we thought it was. Unlike my public school teaching days, there are no substitute teachers for homeschool!

Who would have guessed a few years ago that we’d find ourselves suddenly homeschooling in the middle of the school years with only a few days to prepare, and expecting baby chicks that same week, and delaying the first day of homeschool by a couple of hours because we double booked it with our foster care home walk-through!!

This is the stuff faith is made of!

This is what happens when we pray, “God, we will do anything.”

And we wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything else in the world. Thank you, Jesus.

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The first week of homeschool went incredibly well!! The loving, joyful boy I know is back to being himself, and I am SO thankful. How I’ve missed this smile!!!

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Blessings!