Wednesday, June 07, 2017

We Bought a Farm: All Alone

I wrote this before our four-wheeler accident. I had been keeping a daily journal of my experience running the farm for myself. I was pretty proud of myself before the big crash!

So here's how this has gone down.

JB's brother, Rob, is getting married in Mexico this weekend. It is at a very fancy resort and children were not invited to the wedding. (Which I get -- really!) After much discussions, it was determined that, obviously JB's parents needed to attend. (Duh!) And obviously, JB would attend. However, leaving all the kids and the farm to someone else just felt too stressful to us. We've left the kids many times. We've left the farm many times. But finding someone to watch all of those things was just too complicated for us. I wouldn't have been able to relax with so much going on back home. So, we opted for me to stay home with farm and kids and instead go on a cruise (next week!)

I knew this would be tough, but I didn't think about it too much until the day was upon us. Jacob, our intern, is here with me, but he is taking a holiday from Friday evening until Monday morning. This was arranged long ago and was incredibly important to him and unavoidable. This meant that I would be on my own for much of the weekend.

My main babysitter is on a two month mission trip which I, stupidly (ha ha!) encouraged her to go on. And my back-up sitter was booked.

So here I am.
  • 1 mom
  • 4 kids
  • 2 dogs
  • 7 ducks
  • 5 geese
  • 25 pigs
  • 68 laying hens
  • 250 new chicks
  • 2 rams
  • 14 ewes
  • 12 baby lambs
  • And a partridge in a pear tree
John was amazing. He tryied to get things set up for me as much as he could before he left. Jacob was equally helpful -- getting animals that needed moving in place before he took off. 

But in the end, no one could prepare me for the facts. I needed to keep all children and animals (less important but still valuable) alive for the weekend by myself.

A quick note: I had many people offer to help. However, they all had kids and families of their own. I really didn't feel like inconveniencing them was in my best interest. I also just didn't think that someone coming to help and having to bring their own children would be to my advantage. I instead decided to tackle this on my own.

I have decided to keep a diary of my time running The Bauernhof by myself since I don't post that I am living by myself before hand just for safety reasons.

Here we go.

  • JB and his parents leave the farm and head to the Knoxville airport. 
  • JB and his parents take the mini van and leave me the more reliable Ford F-250.
  • Abigail loses her mind with sadness at the loss of her Daddy. 
  • One episode of Princess Sofia totally heals her sadness. 
  • Jacob is here to do animals for the entire day. Sweet blessings.
  • First up, Isaac is getting braces. 
  • Yes, I scheduled this on the first day everyone leaves.
  • No, I don't know why I did that.
  • And Sidge is getting his braces tightened. 
  • And I have to take all four kids to the orthodontist. 
  • At some point, a "reward" is offered if Isaac does a good job getting his braces on.
  • (This is after it is announced that Sidge was given a reward when his braces went on which I had completely forgotten about.)
  • I do an "egg exchange" with a regular egg-buying customer in orthodontist parking lot.
  • Isaac who has a very quick gag reflex, does a great job at the Orthodontist. 
  • Now we need a reward. 
  • I thought he'd want to pick out something online.
  • But he says he'd like to go to the store.
  • The only store in our town is ... Walmart.
  • Egads.
  • There is a gigantic lego set on sale for 50% off. 
  • This NEVER happens with Legos.
  • Isaac agrees to pay the difference to get this set.
  • We go to Ingles to get some groceries. 
  • Isaac swings open trucks door and dings up the door of a car next to us.
  • Lady who owns the car is incredibly kind. 
  • Whew!
  • Take kids to Dairy Queen for ice cream because I want some.
  • We stop at the Pharmacy to pick up Isaac's inhaler refill.
  • They accidentally give me nebulizer refill which I don't realize until the next morning.
  • Now off to tennis lessons.
  • Three older kids attempt tennis while Hannah and I pass the time.
  • Return home and make taco ring for the kiddos. 
  • Bed!
I have an appointment with two fellow Heritage teachers on Friday morning. Jacob is still around to do animals. While at the meeting, I decide to let my friend Kim's son, Avery, come over and play for awhile so Kim can focus on preparing for VBS next week. The kids have a blast, and the day is really uneventful. I know Jacob is leaving at 3pm though and from then on, it is just me. I work to get emotionally prepared. After Avery leaves, I put an episode of Sofia the First on for Hannah and run out to do the animal chores. When I return, I do what it takes to get through the evening:
  • Dinner of champions: Dijorno pizza and macaroni and cheese with ice cream for dessert.
  • Eat in front of the computer watching: Queen of Katwe. (Great movie although there were a few things I probably should have researched before showing to kiddos.)
  • I manage to get kids into bed without crying. 
  • (And I mean me crying -- each of the kids took turns crying about something.)
  • Do a quick run to other side of property to put chickens to bed, only to discover they don't go to bed as early as I thought they did. I wait fifteen minutes until they go into egg-mobile, and I go home, shower, and collapse!
This is going to be the day. It is just me on the farm with all kids for the whole day. I get out the four-wheeler and decide to do all my animal chores with four-wheeler to minimize time away from kids. Each time I leave, I get everyone occupied with something that will hopefully not allow them to fight with a sibling. (This always includes Princess Sofia for Hannah.) The animals are on the other side of the property right now (about a quarter mile away from the house) so I take a walkie-talkie with me and communicate with the kiddos the whole time I am gone. I take Hannah with me on one of the runs. (She loves riding on the four-wheeler.) I usually love doing animals on foot because I get a ton of exercise, but I have to go fast this day. 

While I am exhausted from taking care of the animals and the kiddos all day, the day truly goes perfectly. The only "glitch" was when I realized that carrying collected eggs on a four-wheeler does NOT work. (Just trust me on this.) But otherwise, I am a rock star. I zip around to get pigs and sheep and chickens fed and watered throughout the day. Everyone is alive, and everyone is happy. We even squeeze in a tennis "play day" and a quick trip to the grocery store to get Isaac (who is still uncomfortable in his braces) some more yogurt and jello. 

Around 4pm, our friends from Eglin, Philip and Kara and their two adorable children come into town. They are moving from Northern Florida to D.C. and make a quick stop at our farm on their way. I love to help out military families. I told Kara, "I don't know how you guys do this!" and she said, "Ummm, Wendi you did this with two overseas moves." Hmmmm .... I guess I did.

I was never able to document anything. We said good bye to our friends, I loaded the girls up on the four-wheeler, and we took off. The rest was history ...

1 comment:

TAV said...

Running a household (much less a farm!) with energetic children is no joke. It stresses me out a ton anytime Kelvin is unavailable/out of town, and I just have one! Good job!