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There's An Alpaca On The Road {And Other Things I've Heard Since Moving to The Country}

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 There really was an alpaca on the road.  Two of them actually.

And a llama.

Since moving out to our farm I have seen and heard a lot of things.  Some of them beautiful, some comical, and some a little bit hard.  Here are a few of my favorites.


I can't, it's hard.  You can do it!

Some kids are naturally more courageous than others when it comes to trying new things. What has been really beautiful is to see those for who this transition has been a bit easier, encouraging those who are less likely to jump in.

{Insert name} is really good with the {goats, chickens, gardens, tractor, etc}.

Again with the encouragement!  Let me just say, that in the past (and even now) my kids have not always been poster children for sibling encouragement but I really see it coming out more in recent weeks.  We've done hard things (and united around a common cause) and made mistakes but we are working together towards a common goal.  At least some of the time.

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Why can't we move back to our other house?

This is one breaks my heart a little bit.  It comes up most when kids are waiting to share a bathroom or still waiting for bedroom walls.  Or when they have to go out an manually move the clueless meat chickens under the sheltered part of their tractor in the pouring rain because the little monsters insist on just standing there looking like doofuses.

I hate chickens.

See previous quote.  The funny thing is that as the kids unite in their hatred of meat chickens, they laugh more about the same silly antics.  It's like a noble thing to go out and move them with Dad and conquer their avian oddness.

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My tomato grew!

This one is extra special because Lucie didn't actually plant any tomatoes in her little garden.  Mostly some random seed corn that she found and some other haphazard things that didn't come up.  She was waiting so patiently for her tomato to grow, however, that one of her brothers dug up a plant from his garden when she was gone one day and put it in hers.  I mean, really?!?!  Cue the waterworks.  Teenagers are more awesome than not.

I've noticed...

A few things that observant children have noticed before the adults.  A pregnant cat.  A problem with a gate.  A chicken limping.  A new hen that might be a rooster.  They aren't always right, but I love to see them taking in information, making observations, and drawing conclusions.

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What if we try it this way?

I will be the first to admit that I don't (can't!) always use the solutions to problems that the kids come up with, but I definitely have had a lot of chances to listen, consider, and hash through their ideas.  We have the luxury of moving slowly enough into this way of life to keep them involved as important team members.  We want their ownership of both the beautiful and the hard to continue.

At first I didn't like this, but now I kind of do.

If you keep up with us on Instagram, you may have seen we have had a great crop of lettuces so far this year.  A pound of lettuce every couple days.  As such, I've been putting out salad as an easy veggie side with pretty much every dinner.  My pickiest eater announced this week that it turns out he kind of likes salad!

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Me do it.  Cect (collect) eggs coop.

I tell you what- farm life is better than therapy.  I saved this one for last because most days he brings me near tears at least once.  So many opportunities to help him to do it himself, show him how to be gentle, and build vocabulary.   There is nothing like life in the country to make a toddler's language go crazy.    After two+ silent years with this boy, he is surprising us with new words every day.  And the way he uses them tell me that he is understanding so much!  Earlier this week, he rolled a square bale of hay across the courtyard to the garden.  Talk about heavy work and maximum effort!

We've all had our moments.  Activities we've missed out on.   Animals who have died.  Weather that keeps us cooped up in an unfinished house.  I know those moments aren't going away, but I find myself appreciating them in contrast to the satisfaction of hard work and the beauty of growth (human and otherwise).

In the meantime, the llama is back.

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