Old McDonald Had a Farm

E-I-E-I-O! I think it is funny that years ago, Tim had this fantasy of having a little acerage with a cow, a chicken, a horse, a pig, etc...I laughed at the thought and told him people don't do that. Well, we now have 30 chickens, 3 cats, 4 ducks, a horse and probably some other critters that we don't know about. We have a regular little petting zoo...just a zoo period when you include the kids! :) Today, Jakob's bike arrived, so tonight they were all out riding up and down the driveway. The box that it came in provided an additional 90 minutes of entertainment as a fort was created...it was a small one, but one that was constructed by a joint effort.

I have wondered since we moved here what our purpose of being here is. I'm sure there is one, there has to be. Maybe it is to raise a handful of random animals. Maybe it is to rearrange our lifestyle choices. I've considered lots of possibilities, but Monday, I realized a different one.

Since moving here, we've acquired 5 new neighbors in "our" backyard beanfield. It's not been all bad. It's not been as we anticipated, but it's not like we're going to leave because of it...not yet anyway. One of our new neighbor families have two kids, a boy and a girl, 11 and 9. The two siblings don't like each other very much...pretty much not at all. They're very verbal about their mutual dislike, and much of the time it's not very appropriate. We've encountered a few challenges such as the potty mouths, persistance, lack of basic knowlege about Christianity, etc. My challenge is that I'm selfish with my time with the kids, and our family, so when it is interupted by a child who circles like a shark around our house until he sees us driving up the road. He has in his desire to play with the kids, tried to summon us out of the house by knocking on two doors and ringing the doorbell at the third for more than 15 minutes...he just kept circling the house. He is respectful when he is asked to be...he refers to both Tim and I as Mr. and Mrs. Andreasen. He is friendly...he ALWAYS says hello. He is so proud to call our boys his friends.

I have completely passed judgement on his family...his parents and their parenting...unfairly I'm sure, because I really don't even know them. My judgement comes from his language, and the fact that he and his sister both used it in their own house in front of their parents with no consequences, because he is ALWAYS at our house, because of the comments that he makes, because of the time that he DOESN'T spend at home, and because of the immature comments from his parents in front of him, like how they could never have as many kids as we do, they can't even handle two, and wonder what they were thinking by even having one! Those are probably comments that we all make...but not IN FRONT of the kids. He is starving for attention. He is amazed that we spend family time together, that we play games together, that we have bedtimes and rules and then what really got me the other day...we invited him to stay for lunch and he talked through the entire prayer, despite that we were ALL praying together, and then he asked if we always eat together at the table, because in his family, they never do. We inquired and he shared that his mom eats in one room, his dad in another and the two kids just kind of eat wherever. My attitude went from one of being annoyed with a little stalker to feeling like we have a great opportunity to introduce the love of Christ by just opening up our home and our hearts. NOW...there certainly will be rules to follow, and that is my next challenge...to lay out those rules for him.

We may have more than just a few chickens to nuture here.