The Tale of Seven Chickens (Part One)

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After our move to the country, we spent quite a lot of time in our backyard. Having the extra room for the girls to play and explore was wonderful. It wasn’t long before the girls and I starting daydreaming about having a few more pets. We love our sweet cat, Marcie, but another cat was not in the picture since we knew Jonathan and Aviah had developed allergies to the feline family.

Farm animals started coming to mind. Sorry girls, no horse — not quite enough room. Sheep? Hmmm … I’ve always wanted to have a pet sheep! My husband quickly reminded me that our property is not completely fenced off. We had several friends who had chickens, and I loved hearing all of the amusing stories about them. I daydreamed of gathering fresh organic eggs in the morning with an adorable egg basket. I pictured chickens foraging on the acre as the sun began to rise and hearing the sweet sounds of chickens coming from our open windows.

Time went by, and the idea of chickens still lingered. A little over a year ago, some neighbor friends asked if our girls would like to take care of their chickens while they were out of town.

“Oh, they would love to!” I exclaimed. I was as excited as the girls!

Each day we would walk to our neighbors’ chicken coop to give the hens fresh water and make sure their food dish was supplied. The neighbors mentioned the hens would love table scraps, so we giggled and smiled as we watched the two hens chasing little pieces of bread or pecking at lettuce leaves. When the girls collected the first egg, they were so excited and commented that it was “still warm”!

The girls and I couldn’t wait to show Jonathan! I expressed (many times!) how great it would be to have our own chickens and how excited the girls were! (girls including myself!)

About two weeks later, we visited a recommended hatchery — the girls and I were in awe! I never knew there were so many varieties of chickens! How could we possibly decide on which kind we wanted?

The ladies working at the hatchery were very helpful and patient as we asked numerous questions. After talking it over, we decided on Rhode Island Reds and asked if we could order four to pick up the following week. The lady looked a little concerned and recommended that we get six in case one or two didn’t make it. We agreed and purchased some needed supplies for the baby chicks. Taking one last peek at all the adorable bundles of cuteness, we headed home.

With building anticipation, we returned the following week to pick up our six chicks. As we waited, I began to peruse the many books written on chicken care. I had already done quite a bit of research on the Internet, but still felt a book would greatly benefit us. I kept gravitating towards a book entitled Chick Days by Jenna Woginrich. I would highly recommend this book — a fun-filled journal of three baby chicks as they grow into mature hens.

I added the book to our final purchases, and the four of us headed to the car with our box of baby chicks. My husband began the drive home as I held the box on my lap. The girls immediately wanted to peek inside the box, so I opened it ever so carefully and tilted it slightly so the girls could take a look. They were so cute, sweet and tiny! One, two, three … I counted to make sure they were all there, except I didn’t end on six. There were seven! I told my husband, but by that time we were nearing the highway. Grinning, Jonathan stated that they must have added an egg-stra.

 

Mia Familia

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Welcome again to Life Bellissima! I realize that many of you visiting my website have no idea who my family and I are, so I wanted to take some time to get better acquainted. Let’s push the rewind button back a few years. My name is Anna, and I moved from southern California to southwest Idaho with my parents and sisters several years ago. I met my wonderful husband, Jonathan, at church, and we have been married for almost 18 years. We have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, Aviah and Geneva, that fill our lives with such joy!

When we found out Geneva was on the way, we quickly came to the realization that we needed to search for a larger home. Long story short, my parents very graciously offered to let us build a home on an acre of their property in the country. Let me say that the building of our home would make a novel all by itself. Many adventures, many tears and many great memories all rolled into one. When the house was completed, we were exhausted, but also very excited and extremely blessed to move into our new abode.

And so the four of us along with our tabby cat, Marcie, began our wonderful transition to country life and many new adventures including homeschooling our daughters. It has been such a huge blessing to be surrounded by family and friends who homeschool as well. They are always there for us to offer support and encouragement. In a nutshell, the first year I felt like a pilot taking off on my solo flight — a great big bundle of nerves, but so excited at the same time! Last year, with much prayer, the flying was smoother and it came to me that I am not the pilot; God is the one flying our plane, and how truly grateful I am! I am so glad you found Life Bellissima! I hope you will visit often! I’m so excited to share more with you as we move along in the blog — family life, organic recipes and our newest additions of seven chickens and several rabbits!

~Anna

Lessons in Walking

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I love going on walks. Not only is it beneficial health-wise, but it is such a great opportunity to explore and revive! Growing up in southern California, I’ve always enjoyed walking along the sand with the waves lapping at my feet. When we moved to southwest Idaho, I was delighted to walk along the hillsides, pastures, orchards and vineyards. One of my favorite routes winds up and down a hillside road that eventually leads to another road between two orchards. For a few weeks now, the weather has turned much warmer. Ok, it’s turned hot, and now I have to decide if I’m going to get up earlier to walk or hope it cools down enough by evening.

One afternoon, I ventured off because I didn’t want to wait until evening. I walked for miles or, literally, approximately four miles in one direction, and yes, it was hot and even the cows and horses looked a little concerned about me. Here and there I would catch a heavenly breeze that would cool me momentarily, but I had reached the orchards and they were so beautiful! I kept walking, daydreaming about what it would be like to have an orchard in Italy, but soon enough reality caught up with me. I’ve walked this far, now I actually have to walk all the way back home. I didn’t bring my phone, so I couldn’t call my husband to rescue me from the now scorching heat.

I headed back and with each hill, I kept thinking I would be back to level ground. I had evidently lost count of how many hills I had covered and actually had several more to go. I pressed on, hoping that at least one farmer would have his irrigation water running so I could stand near the fence and let the water spray over me. Nope, no water. I had borrowed my daughter’s mp3 player, so I turned up my favorite tunes by Tobymac, Jamie Grace and Building 429 to give me an added boost of energy. This, along with much prayer for strength, greatly helped, and I knew I would soon turn the corner and be in the home stretch.

A few things I have learned from that day. Yes, it was too hot to go walking, and I should have worn a hat. I put on sunscreen, but missed an important area, giving me a bright red sunburn necklace for the next week. I also learned that I do not want heat exhaustion and to always keep an extra bag of epsom salts handy at home. Even though the walk was not the easiest one, I did realize that in the midst of such circumstances, I was still able to enjoy the beauty God had for me that day. The sky was gorgeous with large white clouds, the orchard was lovely and most importantly, wherever I am, the Lord always walks beside me.

Welcome to Life Bellissima!

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  Welcome to Life Bellissima ~ Living Life Beautifully!

As a Christian wife and mother, it is my desire to inspire and encourage you with the richness of God’s many blessings! Here we will explore a variety of topics that are near and dear to my heart — family life, homeschooling, organic food/recipes (which of course includes chocolate!) and our many adventures in the country with a tabby cat, several rabbits and seven Rhode Island Red hens!

I hope you will join me on this beautiful journey — Life Bellissima!

~Anna

lifebellissima@gmail.com