Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New hens for the new year

We have 4 new chickens. They are Brahmas, and part Dresner. They are 6 months old so we can trust they are really girls. And God willing, they will start laying eggs in March. We went last night to pick them up, and they slept well with the other chickens. We saw a little hen pecking today. Our garden is pretty big, so the two older hens, and the 4 new hens just didn't hang out together. But by the end of the day they were mostly together. But Nicole and I had to catch the new hens and put them in the coop. But Jürgen built a new perch for the new chickens. So I think we are good! Hopefully the pecking order will be figured out in a few days, and we will have one happy flock.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A bird in the hand or two must go

I’ve had a few people ask me what I would do with my chickens when they got old. Could I kill them? They are meat birds after all. This morning the roosters started to crow one hour early at 6am. I ran outside with just my jacket over my PJ’s. I grabbed both of the roosters (one in each hand). Because it was cold, I came back into the house and sat with the birds in the hallway. It was not easy. They are very big birds... And after a half hour I could not do it anymore, so I called for Nicole to help me. A half hour later, the alarm clock rang, and Jürgen ran down the stairs to go get the roosters out of their pen before they woke the neighbors. And of course he found us. But the birds started to pant hard. So we decided to put them in the small bathroom. And they crapped all over the floor right away. Thank God they waited to do that. We gave them food and water, and waited until 8:30am to let them out. They crowed their little hearts out, but we hope it was not so loud. The windows are new with 3x glass. Jürgen went outside, and said the noise was very small. And I had to scrub the bathroom with bleach after the bids were returned to the garden. The farmer will take them back tomorrow. I don’t know if he will keep them or kill them. But as I held them by myself at 6am I thought I could do it. I could kill them with my bare hands…no problem! They have had a good life. They are so beautiful. But I am not going to wake up early every morning to keep them from waking the neighbors. The farmer says he does not have any more hens to replace the ones I lost, and these 2 roosters. I’ll just have to wait.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! The food is ready. We are having enchiladas, fajitas, tamales, beans, rice, salad, and fresh guacamole. My family brought the ingredients over from America this summer. It’s been waiting for this special day! It smells so good! What makes Christmas special for you? Stay safe, and be blessed. God is good all the time, but we pray you know his peace and love today.

Bye, Bye Birdies

We started out with 6 Brahma chickens. Two died from red mites. Now 2 are roosters and they both just started to crow (December 24th). We are emailing the farmer who sold us the birds. We cannot keep them because they crow. It is so sad. They are so beautiful! But maybe he will trade us the roosters for more hens. After all, it is eggs we want! But I don't know if anything can be done for a few days. It is Christmas! Juergen will go apologize to the neighbors and beg for understanding. We are working on it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

a little hope

We delivered our shoe box Christmas gifts tonight to 2 refugee camps (Muehlhausen and Wiesloch). The people were really friendly and helpful. We tried to only give people gifts at their door. This was especially important in the bigger camp of Wiesloch. The security guards went with us. They even gave us a list of who was in each room. It took us a long time to go door to door. We went with Juergen and I, (our sons) Philip and Thomas, and my good friend Kerstin and one of her sons. And I know most of these refugee families will not be allowed to stay in Germany. They were all from Eastern European countries. But some of them were very poor. One family had 7 daughters, ages 15 to 2 years old. Their skin was dry and gray. Their hair was thin and falling out. They were malnourished. And I know if I could not feed my children, I would migrate too. I felt compassion for them, and sadness because I know they have little hope of staying in Germany. And they have little hope when they are sent back home. And I was grateful to offer them at least some joy for today. We could bless them in the name of the Lord. And everyone who received a shoe box gift was grateful. There are 1200 shoe box Christmas gifts being handed out in the next two weeks in the Heidelberg Germany area. Each one of these gifts have been donated by families in the area. They are going to children ages 0-18.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

a gift from them

One of the things Juergen had to do with his brother and sisters was to clean out the room of their father. He was living in an assisted living home. He did not have many things anymore. But he had a coffee pot from his 25th wedding Anniversary. And everyone said it should go to Jürgen and I. I'm not really sure Jürgen was even aware it was a silberhochzeit kaffeekanne. He just knew it was fancy. And he gave it to me. And I cried. It was like receiving a gift for my 25th wedding anniversary from the two of them.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

a long trip

Juergen and I both feel a little dazed today. We drove to Northern Germany in a storm to get to Juergens dad's funeral. We drove in separate cars because Jessica would not stay for all the family stuff after the funeral. It took me 6 hours to get there, and 7 hours to get home. The wind was very strong, the rain was pouring and there were many accidents. But I'm glad we could be there. There were so many people. And I guess that surprised me because so many of his friends and family have already died or are too ill to go out. And I prayed Juergen would hear stories about his parents that he could carry in his heart. And he did hear so many stories. And I drive with Nicole. And for me this was not a waste of time. She will most likely be moving away next fall. So these hours are really precious to me. And Jessica was very well behaved on the trip. And she really understood she was saying goodbye. She was sad...and so are all of us.