chirp, chirp, peep, peep.

Baby chickens!

Jordan’s white hen has been sitting on a batch of eggs for a few weeks now with no luck. We’ve found a couple dead chicks (which have been stolen away by the ducks) and ‘bad’ eggs but no babies. We nearly gave up on her last week, thinking that she would give up on the eggs soon too. One morning, a fluffy head emerged from under the mother’s white wings! A baby!! Success!! Then another day, another baby! Yay! 

The one year-old hen is a first time mama hen, and we are so proud of her! I’ve spent quite a bit of time crouched in the shavings beside the nest, watching the mother spread out her body to keep all the eggs warm and tuck her head underneath her body to push some eggs around or scold chicks. She sits patiently, clucking quietly at chicks that have wandered a couple inches away, calling them back to her. The fluffy chicks trip and tumble about the nest, falling backwards when attempting to tilt their heads up to drink water, and accidentally pecking mama in the eyes. The little blonde chick with the brown stripe on its head is a joy to watch. He studies his mother and immediately imitates her actions. I love it.

The chicks are not without some sadness, though. More hatched chicks were found dead in the past couple days. There are still a few eggs left, so there's hope for more healthy chicks. For now, we're just enjoying watching the mother (and rooster) interact with the two fluffy babies.

My adopted duckling Judy is also growing larger each day. Her pin feathers are starting to come in and she recently enjoyed her first 'big girl' bath! Soon, she'll be out with the other ducks. They grow up so fast....

I found a job! Woo-hoo!

As we transitioned from our lives in Illinois to our new life in Kentucky, I was going back and forth on whether or not I still wanted to teach. The desire to teach was still there, but it was marred by disappointment of not finding a teaching job in the last three years since I left grad school.  I want to be a homeschooling/unschooling stay-at-home-and-volunteer-everywhere kind of mama in the near future, so I decided to pursue teaching assistant jobs in Kentucky. I got phone calls from a couple places -- for teaching interviews! A few days ago, I accepted a position as a teaching specialist in a Christian early childhood education center. The job couldn't be more perfect: be a teacher without the late-night/weekend workload, work with a very small population, use my experience from working with low-functioning students with special needs, be close to home, incorporate some sign language, and work within a private school/Christian environment, which my heart has been yearning for..... in addition to a few other perks. God sure has strange and wonderful ways of providing and fulfilling my dreams. I am full of joy and cannot wait to start working there!

The beginning of the end of summer.

I cannot believe it's August already. The heat is peaking, but cooler nights are just around the corner. This is the beginning of the end of summer, and I love it. We've been here three and a half weeks. Time flies. I am in awe of how crazy/beautiful life can be. One more month and I'm going to start decorating with apples and pumpkins. Hehe.

Much love, friends.

Bourbon and Church.

Kentucky loves their bourbon. And beer. And wine too, I suppose. In a span of twenty-four hours over the weekend, we visited a brewery, a distillery, and a winery! Oh, Kentucky. We were unable to tour the bourbon distillery, but hope to head back as we tackle the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in the future. Otherwise, we've been exploring different small towns (and falling more in love with the area, one road at a time), moving the ducks into a new 'home', cleaning up the land a bit, hanging out with the horses (as usual), and enjoying the quiet out here. We've also had to bury a dog (Kyle helped a neighbor out with her dog too) -- that was sad, but such is life. With all the animals around, things like that are bound to happen. A sneaky fox steals ducks on occasion, and raccoons have stolen a couple turtles. At least I've got a little duckling following me around! Oh, and that rooster. He's a character.

We also found a church, which will be a vital source of grace and community for us. The people are warm and friendly, the community is tight-knit, the pastor is not afraid to address serious issues, and there are plenty of ways for us to grow & connect through volunteering, small groups, and worship. I'm excited.

Oh, there is an Amish community here! I'm not quite sure where their homes are, but one of my favorite grocery stores is a little Amish-owned store north of town. They come to town occasionally to sell goods and shop. It still throws me off when I see an Amish woman pushing a cart around at Walmart. In the past year, I have been reading a lot about the Amish simple way of life and feeling very inspired to incorporate some of their wisdom and methods into my own life. (I may expand on this in a later post.)

The residents we talk to seem so shocked that we moved from Chicago and usually remark with, "Wow, what a big difference!" Yep. That's why we are here: to live life with an adventure our hearts desire.

I probably have more to write about, but all I want to do is get off this computer and go outside. It's funny how my priorities have changed in just a couple weeks. Stepping back from what we used to know and considering how we want our future to look has given me some clarity. I won't stop writing, but my desire to share everything has lessened. I want to be here. Now.

We woke up today to a chilly fifty-degree morning (in July!). I don't mind - I love layers and hot drinks (is it too early to say that I'm looking forward to fall already?). Our plans for today include more odd jobs around Jordan's farmstead and a continued search for jobs. We're also picking up the truck from the shop (the trip out here was a bit much for it). Asking for prayers and luck in our job search! Hope you are well, friends. 

Of course, what's an update without some photos!?

in the bluegrass.

We made it. We're in Kentucky and loving it!

It took us two days to drive down to Kentucky with a truck, an RV with all our belongings, a car, myself, my husband, our friend Josiah, two cats, a bunny, and a bearded dragon. We left Chicagoland on a Sunday morning, stayed overnight at a campsite in Indiana, and arrived at a Walmart in Kentucky on Monday afternoon.

Walmart? Yep, to buy another new trailer tire. An hour after departing the Indiana campsite, I was following the RV (as was the plan) when I noticed a flat tire and pieces of rubber flying at me. I waved Kyle down and we discovered a blown-out tire -- the one tire we hadn't replaced recently. Thankfully, I caught it before it wore down to the rim. Kyle skillfully changed the tire and we hit the road again. Once the newly purchased tire was put on the RV, we headed to the farm.

Arriving at Jordan's (our adopted aunt) house was a huge thrill! We were welcomed with friendly faces, open arms, and dozens of quacking ducks. After years of talking about doing this, we are here.

The RV is currently parked in Jordan's driveway; we will be relocating to our spot (a hundred feet away) some time in the next week or so once we lay down some gravel. In the meantime, we've made multiple trips to stores in the area, done more RV work, rode around on the ATV, had breakfast at Waffle House, worked around the farm, played with ducks, hung out with horses, planted a tree, relaxed, explored nearby towns, met many nice people, BBQ'd, and enjoyed our time with Jordan and Hank. Last week was our vacation. This week, we're job hunting and settling in.

And in the middle of everything, we actually went back to Chicago for a day to see some family and visit our friends' sweet newborn son. It was wonderful seeing them. On our way out of Chicagoland, we saw a sign for the Dixie Highway and on a whim, decided to exit the tollway and hop on Dixie. It was a pleasant road that led us south through some small towns in Illinois. They were all so quaint and peaceful, a different side of Illinois than we're used to seeing (endless construction, rude drivers, taxes, tollways, etc). And somehow, that made us appreciate Illinois a little bit better. We grabbed pizza in near-empty Hoopeston, IL before getting back on the usual highways through Indiana back to Kentucky. 

It was so good to be back in Kentucky. The entire twenty-four hours we were in the 'burbs, we felt like visitors in the past, even though we only left a week prior. Those feelings melted away once we hit the road. Quacking ducks outside our windows is home.

The foggy mist here is gorgeous. It's slightly scary when you're driving through it on rolling hills in the middle of the night (I kept expecting a ghost to pop out), but absolutely stunning in the early morning hours. Click here to see more photos I took of the horses in the early morning mist.

Oh, and something else I need to get used to: bats! At twilight, the deer walk out of the woods to graze in the pasture as the bats fly out of the trees, dipping and diving everywhere. They're fun to watch. :)

So there it is. We're here. We're happy. Pieces still need to fall in place, but we don't mind.

Our home is open to visitors! Come by anytime. 

Much love.

NOTE: My computer died. I've been alternating between using the notes feature on my outdated iPad (works great but most apps won't work because the iPad isn't compatible with the recent iOS) and borrowing Jordan's laptop to plug the notes into a blog post. I'll get a new computer eventually.....