Saturday, October 28, 2006

They are finally here…

We were waiting yesterday morning for the phone to ring to tell us to come pick up the chicks from the Poulsbo Post Office. The call never came. By 8:00 a.m. I decided to call and see if they were there. I was greeted with “Sorry, they didn’t arrive. There is another truck at noon.” They were not on the noon truck and so we waited and knew they’d be on the 6:00 a.m. truck this morning.

About 2:00 a.m. we woke to complete darkness and silence. It was so bizarre to lay there and here absolutely nothing. No cars, no appliances humming, nothing! If you’ve never heard “nothing”, it is almost unbearable…the ringing in my ears was deafening.

(Sorry for the tangent)…Anyway, I was feeling pretty lucky at this point that the chicks had NOT arrived as they would have been in the dark cold coop for a few hours and I wouldn’t have known it. They may not have made it.

At 6:30 a.m. today I decided to call the Post Office and I was told they did not arrive. I was sad. I knew if they didn’t come now to food and water they probably wouldn’t make it and I was sure someone had forgotten them in a corner somewhere. For some reason Kelsey woke at this time and we were sitting on the sofa feeling sad for the chicks, talking about their demise when not 10 minutes later the phone rings and it’s the Post Office saying they indeed had our chicks!!!! We were thrilled!!!! Talk about a roller coaster ride of emotions!!!

We hopped in the car and were greeted at the post office with a SMALL box of very loudly peeping chicks! It was exciting!

We drove home quickly and one at a time took them out of the box and dipped their beaks in water so they could drink! They all made it but one!

So begins our adventure on the farm!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In a comment below Sara asked if I had any advice on making love the natural response to my children. After writing and finding my comment back quite lengthy I decided to make it a blog post. Not because I think I’m some expert but rather because I have struggled so deeply with this and have found comfort and mercy from God I thought maybe others might benefit from my experience.


I'm so not worthy to give advice on this topic. I try very hard to make love the natural response but fail daily. My efforts include much prayer!!! Years ago I bought "Akathist to the Mother of God: The Nurturer of Children" and made attempts to read it once in a great while when I thought of it. I really wanted to pray this because it sought the Theotokoes in help to raise my children. Who better to ask? It wasn't until recently that my prayer life was less than desirable. But now I know that the one and only way to make "love the natural response" is through prayer. I've gotten very strict on myself with my rule of prayer, it's humble but consistent now and I can definitely see the fruits of my labor a tiny bit at a time. I decided to endeavor to read just two stanzas a day and not think about any more until I have consistently done this so that it was habit. Than I could slowly add one at a time. In the back of the book there are other prayers and I read one of those beautiful prayers to God each day. My favorite is A Prayerful Sighing of Parents for Their Children. You can find this online to print off if you do not own it, here.

But they are rather inexpensive to buy and are published by the Serbian Monastery in

One more prayer that I found online (can’t remember where) that I try and pray often is:

Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen

Having a prayer rule used to be VERY overwhelming to me but once I became consistent and witnessed the fruits of it I find it hard to miss for if I do I REALLY miss it.

So my only advice is PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER for I cannot do it alone!

Monday, October 23, 2006


I ordered 25 Rhode Island Red chicks today!!! We will have fuzzy day(or 2) old chicks on Friday morning!!!! We are excited! And busy making a brooder to keep them warm in for the first month and a half! MAYBE I can get pictures on here when we get them...if the dial-up allows!

I am giddy!!

What's happenin' at the Ferrenberg Farm....

While I'm still unpacking boxes I've found the time to get our and explore my little corner of the world a bit more. This past weekend we had my niece and nephew with us for 2 days and on Saturday I pulled on my boots and we headed to see what we could find out there in the beautiful forest surrounding our home. It was really quite fun and inspiring. I finally know where the property ends as I came across a wire strung up across the far east end of the property. Right next to the wire I found a peculiar sign posted....
"No vehicles allowed." We all laughed as we trampled through the trees and high brush that surrounded the sign. A road? One would have never guessed there was a path at one time that could support a vehicle.
On Sunday afternoon I changed into work clothes and once again pulled on my boots, but this time I went out and began to work on our soon-to-be chicken coop. There are 4 big windows in the coop, two have actual windows that will let in lots of light and the other two were just window openings. After some thought I decided to just board those openings up so as not to let in too much draft and critters. So hammer, nails and boards in hand I went a-poundin'. I then staked out the fence line where I'll have my chicken run. A nice big area that includes some brush and a small group of raspberries that need became out of control ( don't worry I have two rows of tame raspberries in another area, so i'm not wasting these-they'll be a nice treat for the chickens next summer). I look forward to finishing up the coop to welcome our new chickens in the next week or two. We'll get day old chicks that will live in a small brooder in our mud room for the first 4 -6 weeks. Once they lose their fuzz and grow feathers they'll head out to the coop.
OOOHHHH I can't wait to start getting eggs!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sr. Magdalen

I too was at the Portland Fall Women’s Retreat. I’m sure you saw our picture at either Dawn’s blog or Mimi’s. I feel compelled to explain the “roller derby” joke…but Juliana’s blog post from awhile back explains it best.

I just wanted to share a couple highlights for me. These are from my attempt at notes. Do not take these as complete and perfect quotes.

-St. Silhoun said, “The best catechesis for our children is LOVE.” We put the cart before the horse when we try to TEACH our children asceticism. The one who is loved and learns to love will desire asceticism.

-The sorrow we feel for our perceived failures can burden our children with guilt. A young boy said, “I don’t ever want a Christian wife because she’ll just be miserable all the time like my mother.”

- We can respond to our children with our face rather than our mouth.

- The best discipline is LOVE!

- Someone asked about equality/feminism and she said…

We in our society have developed the mistake of thinking equality means doing the same thing. If we can’t do the same thing as the man/woman we are not equal. Wrong! We all know God because He created us persons. We are all person. We all receive communion from the same chalice. We are all baptized the same baptism. What are we after? A cassock? A label?

While at the retreat I bought her book “Conversations with Children: Communicating our Faith”. I have only read the Preface and a couple things really made me pause and are needed in my brain….

-Teaching, like praying, is spoiled when we stop to consider how well we are doing—when we are continually second-guessing. We teach best when we simply enjoy the company of our beloved children.

-A lot of things in everyday family life go on as a matter of course. When conscious decisions or spontaneous choices need to be made, being a Christian will make a difference, but often a variety of decisions can fit in with Christian principles. Orthodoxy does affect one’s lifestyle, but Orthodoxy can live in many different lifestyles. A combination of healthy principles seasoned with common sense means that life goes on organically. If spiritual principles are put first, many decisions make themselves.

-This book is offered to parents even if they read it piece-meal or in random order; concentrated reading is for many a rare luxury. AHHHH someone who knows my reading life well!!!! And accommodates it! J

Friday, October 13, 2006

Going to Retreat

Well, after 2 solid weeks of unpacking, organizing, homeschooling and becoming familiar with our new surroundings I am packing my bags and headed to Portland with Dawn, Mimi and Vicki for the Women's Retreat at St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Portland. I'm so excited about meeting some bloggers face to face, about having some mommy time with full-size people and about hearing what Sister Magdalen of St. John the Baptist Monastery in England has to say.

Friday, October 06, 2006


After purchasing and installing a 56k Modem, stringing (and stretching to it's limit)50 feet of phone cord across the entire house (no working outlet upstairs) I am FINALLY reconnected to the internet. The connection is slower than molasses in January but I DON'T CARE. After being disconnected for over a week this slow modem connection is a welcome sight. I miss my daily connection to my family and friends across the USA!

We are still working on settling in. Emptying boxes and finding new homes for everything is a huge task for 6 people and their belongings. There are always little gliches to pass, like the non-working oven that welcomed us the night we moved in as we carried in 2 Take-n-Bake pizzas. But now I have a range that resembles the one I left top stove and fresh clean oven.

Thank you for all your prayers and warm thoughts!

We finally did it and are excited for what the futre holds as we establish our new life her in the country.