We have been at our new location, a family farmhouse in Kentucky, for 7 days now. We have started to settle in to our new home and routine. The first week was a whirlwind of activity. The children felt they needed to see everything on the farm all at once. Plus then there was Easter and many family members to see and visit with. They say that the first week of a deployment is always the hardest normally this would be true for our family as well. I know the first week of the deployment was definitely hard on my husband as he was sick and traveling for 5 days to get to his final destination. For the children and me the first week of the deployment was overwhelming in a different way. First we had to pack out our things from our New Jersey home and close it down for the spring and summer. Luckily my father was with me and handled shutting down the water heater, furnace, gas lines, and electric to the house and well pump. I am sure I could have figured it all out but I am blessed that I didn’t have to do so. I instead handled the packing, cleaning, and organizing for a 16 hour trip with 6 kids, 1 rabbit, and 2 adults. I have already talked about all of that however so we will move on.
We arrived at the farmhouse at midnight on April 1st. The kids were able to see the creek we crossed in the dark but that was really the extent of their view in the pitch black of night. The next morning however they were up and at the windows as soon as the sun rose. Our 8 year old and 5 year old twins were enamored with the “wild cows” grazing in the pasture next to the house. After a quick breakfast we sat off to explore the farm.
We checked out the cows first. I mean how could we NOT check out “wild cows” first?!
Next up we headed up to the pond to see what we could see. This is the pond where I learned how to swim. That however was a few years ago and I am not too sure I would encourage my children to swim in the pond at this point. The mom in me is thinking about snakes and cow poop! The children have decided when it gets a bit warmer they would like to have a try at fishing in the pond however.
While walking to our next destination we saw some small minnows swimming in the small stream leading from the pond to the creek. Of course we HAD to try and catch them. Being city folk however we totally bombed at this endeavor. My aunt came to the rescue and attempted to catch a few for us. She didn’t have much luck either (Hey maybe we are not such lost causes after all!) she did however catch a crawdad for the kids to inspect. The girls were having none of it, our son however decided that “crabby” would make a perfect pet. We kept him on the dining room table and played with him off and on throughout the day. I wasn’t really all that keen on figuring out what crawdads eat or in explaining why his pet was dead in the morning. Luckily our son agreed that “crabby” needed to go home for dinner when he went to bed.
Next up was a walk to the creek. This was one of the highlights for several of our children. Not one day goes by that someone doesn’t come to me and ask if they can go play in the creek or the big pasture next to the creek. I spend many summers out there doing the same thing and I have to admit I feel a bit nostalgic watching my children head down to see what they can find under the rocks.
Ralph the rabbit has received a new outside hutch thanks to grandpa’s handy work. She was not too sure about this whole outside thing since she has been a living room rabbit her entire life. She however adjusted quickly and now loves going into her outside hutch during the day. We are surrounded by actual woods, you know the type filled with coyotes and bobcats, so Ralph still comes inside at night to her indoor hutch. I would be in some serious trouble if Ralph was a bobcats dinner.
We have had many adventures in our first week on the farm. Including lots and lots of rain. Know what happens to a creek when you get massive amounts of rain? It goes up. What happens when the creek goes up and there is no bridge? You sit your bottom back down and enjoy your quiet time because you are not going anywhere until it goes back down.
Luckily this isn’t Jersey and we are surrounded by family members who are more than willing to stop what they are doing to come help us. After the water went down my aunt came to the rescue again. This time with her tractor to fix the damage to the road caused by the flooding.
With the road fixed we were able to attend an Easter egg hunt at my sister in laws church. We stopped to get lunch first and my sister in law was treated to her first “are they all yours?” and “Are you running a daycare?” remarks. She was not amused. I can’t say I blame her. Two women out with 7 children does raise a lot of attention however. One we arrived at the church we had a great time hunting for Easter Eggs and meeting new people.
We had such a great time we headed back the next day for Easter church service. You know you are in Kentucky when the Easter sermon contains remarks about the basketball game the night before!
After Easter service we headed home to the farmhouse to host Easter dinner for our entire extended family. This sounds grander then it was. I did absolutely nothing other than to leave the house unlocked. My mother did all of the cooking and she and my father set everything up here at the house. We even got to keep all of the leftovers which fed our family for several days after Easter. Did I mention I was blessed?
Our first week on the farm was quite the adventure. It was a bit of a touch and go situation with the children who were worried that it never stopped raining in Kentucky. I heard a lot of “What good is it to live on a farm if it never stops raining?” Luckily the rain did stop and the sun started shining again, just in time for the spring flowers to start blooming.
We are having a lot of fun but we still miss daddy quite bit. Seeing the children play and explore their new surroundings makes me miss him even more. We are very happy to be able to talk twice a day, before he goes to work and when he comes home. I have been sending him long emails detailing what the kids have been doing through the day with lots of pictures. In an effort to help the kids understand the passage of time I made a poster board to hang in our dining room. It says “We have missed daddy this many days” and we add a star for each day completed. It is kind of depressing for me but seems to be helping the children to see how things are progressing.
This will definitely be an interesting summer and I look forward to sharing it all with you!