Our family has been pondering the possibility of a pet for some months now. Our children are getting old enough to be able to share in the responsibility and have brought up the subject from time to time. We all thought that a dog would be a good possibility, though Nicole and I could never come to an agreement about whether that dog would ever be allowed inside the house or not. Well, to clarify, I was the only one in our household who felt strongly about a dog being an outside animal. Our house doesn’t currently have a fence, so that was a bit of a sticking point as well. In any case, we had considered the possibility of chickens as a bit of a wild idea. As some ideas do, this one came into reality last Saturday.

We had a free Saturday as a family and there were a few items I had on a list to track down for our home. We decided to explore a bit as a family and headed out on a looking trip to Tractor Supply Co. where it was also Chick Days. It did not take us long to find the chicks in the middle of the store. One of the employees asked if we needed some help and we said we were interested in hearing more about chickens. It turns out that she was a big fan of chickens and shared a lot of information about how much her children enjoyed them, how low maintenance they were, and that there was a deal on coops at the other Tractor Supply Co. in town. It was a good enough pitch that we headed to the other store.

There we asked for the coops that were on sale and found ourselves speaking to the manager who took us to the back to show us the ones that he had on sale and even offered us additional money off so that he could clear out some space in the store’s back room. We took a few minutes to discuss amongst ourselves and came to the conclusion – This is it! We have talked about it for a while and this was a great opportunity. The manager helped us with the heat lamp, feed, feeder and watering equipment. We decided on the coop and paid for it all.

At that point, we thought that the equipment wouldn’t do us much good without the animals so we headed back to the other store where they had chicks for sale. We spoke with the same employee again who picked out eight chicks for us, recommended pine shavings for bedding and sent us off with some encouraging words.

We unloaded all the things, took a break for lunch, and then set about making a secure space for them in our garage. Some spare sheets of wood that were left in the home ended up working great to put an enclosure together. It was a family project from beginning to end (recognizing we aren’t at the end yet…). We have all enjoyed watching, taking care of them, and resisting picking them up so they don’t get too stressed out while they are still young. There are many next steps from here, but for today…

We have chickens!

Relaxation is a Skill

Kindermusik International
Image via Wikipedia

We enrolled our son in Kindermusik and Nicole takes him to class each week. A couple weeks ago they learned something that was new to me.

Relaxation is a learned skill. It is not something that we are born knowing how to do.

I recognize in myself a tendency to not allow myself to relax. It was encouraging to me to discover that relaxing is a skill which I can practice and improve.

Are You Making Progress on the Issues that You Care About?

Clouds in northeastern Kansas
Image via Wikipedia

One of the Kansas Leadership Center’s Civic Leadership Principles is:

Our own defaults, how we would usually or unconsciously react or intervene in a situation, can be significant barriers to making progress on the issues we care about.

There is a lot to be said for this principle as well as the others in the list, but today I wanted to focus on the final part of the sentence – “making progress on the issues that we care about.” I have realized that this is universally applicable.

Everyone wants to make progress on the issues that they care about.

It may be:

  • Foster children in the community
  • A new worship service
  • Development of one’s children
  • Creating an effective committee structure
  • Living into God‘s dream for one’s life
  • Availability of clean drinking water
What issues do you care about and are you making progress on them?

Fruitfulness: How long do you wait? (4 of 4)

February 28: John Wesley charters the Methodis...
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Last week, I had a series of posts about fruitfulness. As I have thought more about this topic, I wondered, How long do you wait?

How long do you wait:

  • before naming that you have been busy and not bearing fruit?
  • to make a change?
  • to celebrate fruit that is being born?
  • before checking something out with your District Superintendent?
  • when a stakeholder is disgruntled?

Family Time and Baby Preparation

The past few days have been full of baby preparation and family time. My parents traveled from Hutchinson to be with us for Hutchinson. Nicole’s parents and sister were planning to be here as well, however they were not able to make it due to a death in the family. We were blessed to be able to spend time with family.

With my parents help, we were able to get the baby room painted, furniture arranged and baby items sorted. We have a rocking chair on each level of our home and even managed to get to Cedar Valley Forest for a Christmas tree. It is a little mind boggling to consider what has happened over the last few days.

We are getting ready to finish up several more classes at the hospital – Newborn Care, Infant / Child CPR and Breastfeeding. Packing a hospital bag and we will be about as prepared as possible.

A Point of Clarification on Buying a Home

Nicole and I are in the process of purchasing a house here in the Kansas City area. Last week at Kansas West Annual Conference we began sharing the news and had several questions come up.

Question: Did you buy a house?
Answer: Yes. Nicole and I have put in an offer, been accepted and will be having inspections on a home. We plan to take possession at the end of June.

Question: What does a home purchase mean for itineracy?
Answer: Nicole and I are appointed yearly by the bishop. Our purchase will not interfere with our commitment to itineracy and availability for appointment.

Question: What does that mean about Kansas West?
Answer: Our probationary membership is in the Kansas West Annual Conference. We hope to be ordained in the Kansas West Conference. We hope to serve in the Kansas West Conference after our appointment at Resurrection.

Question: Why are you buying a house?
Answer: We feel that it is a good financial decision, but more importantly hope for it to be a place of retreat and hospitality. This will be yet another fun adventure for us.

Home Buying

Nicole and I have started down the journey of looking for a home to purchase. It seems to be a good time to buy and we have received numerous comments about it perhaps being a good idea.

It is not easy to predict how long we may be here in the area. We plan to serve in Kansas West after Resurrection and are trying to be faithful with our resources in the mean time.

We are in the middle of being pre-approved for a loan at our bank, met with a realtor (from a recommendation from a friend) yesterday and are going to look at a few houses today. It is pretty exciting and we hope to be able to find the right place. One thing at a time though…