Laresa Watkins

The Henriettas and The Girls (And Don’t Give up, Don’t Ever Give Up)

Oct 21, 2015

So, I am sitting here with Jason.  I’m tired and I just want to shut the computer and go to sleep and I have NO IDEA what to write about, but I don’t want to give up on this #Write31Days thing.

I asked Jason what I should write about, and he says I should tell you all about our chickens and the hawk. So I’m going for it.

We have 11 chickens now, 4 that are laying and 7 that should start laying towards the end of next month.  We call the 4 big chickens Henrietta.  The smaller chicks don’t have names yet (aside from the barred rock that we call Darth Vader-guess who named her?) so we just refer to them as “the girls.”

The chickens have become pets to our family.  They follow us around everywhere we go outside and they like to be petted and held.  We call Maddie the chicken whisperer because she is always holding a chicken.

Unfortunately, a chicken hawk is after our girls.  We have lost 3 chicks over the past couple of weeks.  It circles around all day, perching in the tops of the trees and sometimes on our fence, waiting for a chance to get a free meal.  Since the chickens are free range, they’re a pretty easy target.

I didn’t let them out yesterday because I saw the hawk flying around the back yard, but they were already out today when I looked out the kitchen window and glimpsed it flying high up in the sky.  The kids and I went out and made lots of noise until it flew away.

So there you go! Now you’re all up-to-date on the chicken situation at our house. #farmlife 🙂

This post is part of my series for the #Write31Days writing challenge.  Click the image below to see the rest of my posts for this month.

Just Write 31 Days theme pic


A Lesson from the Coop

Apr 21, 2015

So, here we are in spring…we made it, people!  Well, at least in the south we have made it. I love this season of color and thunderstorms in the afternoon. I know some people are still dealing with winter, and I am truly sorry for that.

This picture of the kids on Easter should cheer you up.  Aren’t they precious?  They are holding the stuffed chickens their gramma gave them. These chickens go everywhere we go!

Speaking of chickens…as the days have grown longer, we have begun letting our chickens out of their coop.  The kids and I (and Jason, even though he would be reluctant to admit it) love watching them fly out of their coop door one after another with a big squawk and a flap of their wings.  They immediately begin pecking away at fresh grass and clawing at the ground in search of bugs, obviously thrilled to be out of their enclosure.

I enjoy being outside with the hens, and I think they like us.  When we go out, they tend to follow us to whatever part of the yard we are in.

I also spend my fair share of time chasing them around with my broom, trying to redirect them away from my flower beds.  That is quite a sight for the people passing by, I’m sure!

One thing I have noticed about our chickens is that they aren’t the smartest of animals.  There are always a couple of hens that don’t quite make it out the door for one reason or another. Maybe they’re busy eating at their old feeder when I open the door or they’re getting a last swallow of water before their big adventure, but they are left behind by the other chickens.  Instead of just waddling over to the obviously open door and going through it to find their friends, they run wildly around the coop, frantically searching for their group of hens.  When they do find them, they remain stuck in the coop, looking through the chicken wire at the other girls happily pecking and scratching in the yard.  They continue to circle around the coop trying to figure out why they are stuck inside with a dry, dirt floor that has been picked clean of all living things, while the rest of the hens are on new, fresh ground.

After a lot of anguish (on their part and mine) they eventually find their way out and happily join their friends.

I have to admit…I can see a bit of myself in my hens.  I wonder how much time I spend stuck inside a dry, dead area, longing for more but not seeing the open door in my frantic state.

Upon some reflection, I realize that I spent much of last year like this.  If you remember, I began 2015 with a specific prayer and vision.  I wanted to move from the state of yearning for more that I seemed to be in, and instead see doors that were open all around me, right where I am.

Let me tell you, God answered my prayer in a big way.  There were so many opportunities that I was missing out on, and I didn’t even see them.  Things I was already doing, but not doing like God was calling me to do.  Ministries I have that I was neglecting because I thought they weren’t good enough or big enough.  Like one of my not-so-brilliant hens, I was running around frantically trying to get where I wanted to be, and I was missing the opportunities around me.

Is there an opportunity for ministry that you are missing? Do you have a neighbor that needs a visit and cookie, or a friend who needs a cup of coffee and some of your time, or a program at your church that needs a volunteer? Or maybe you just need to change your perspective about a ministry that you already have. (Psssssstttt-To my mama-friends…..your kids are a ministry!)

2 Timothy 2:15 says,  “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (NLT)

It’s so, so easy to get busy doing everyday things, to get into an inflexible schedule of waking and working and cleaning and appointments.  It seems simpler to just go about our business without adding any extra stops or expenses or meetings.  But what if we all just looked for that one open door? What if we all asked God to show us one person in our community who needs to be shown Jesus’ love?

Maybe the world would be a lot different.

A Trip to the Dairy Farm

Aug 26, 2014

One thing I am loving about homeschooling so far is the field trips we get to go on.  Since Charlie began kindergarten last week, we have been on 2 field trips!  This may seem excessive, but I know that in another couple of weeks all of our usual fall/winter activities will have kicked into gear and we won’t have many days to go places, so we’re trying to do some extra stuff now.

I have always enjoyed touring factories and other places, so today’s field trip to a nearby dairy farm, Homeland Creamery, was right up my ally. It was a gorgeous day to visit a farm and be outside, and any trip that ends with fresh, homemade ice cream has to be good, right?

Here are some pics from our morning.  I only had my phone with me, so they aren’t the best pictures, but you get the gist!

Maddie liked the hayride around the farm to see all of the cows.

Maddie liked the hayride around the farm to see all of the cows.


Charlie and Maddie practicing milking a cow.

Charlie and Maddie practicing milking a cow.


One of the best parts of the trip was getting to feed a baby calf.

One of the best parts of the trip was getting to feed a baby calf.


photo 2-8


Sam, Aaron, and Bethony came, too!

Sam, Aaron, and Bethony came, too!


We did some shopping in their store after the tour, so we’ll be enjoying their ice cream for a few days!  So good.


***The winner of the toilet targets from Good Golly Graphics is Casey Corder!  Congrats, Casey!**

Summer Bounty

Jul 19, 2013

Hi everyone!  So glad today is Friday and we have a great weekend ahead of us.  I am especially glad that our new refrigerator was delivered today.  After several weeks of going back and forth to our garage fridge to retrieve juice every time the kids needed something to drink, I am SO HAPPY!  What an ordeal this has been, but I will save that story for another day.

We were late planting our garden this year so we are just beginning to harvest our fruits and veggies.  We have been eating fresh squash, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes every night, and today I enjoyed my first tomato sandwich of the summer.  It was so good!

Jason is keeping a close eye on our canteloupe and watermelon, and I think we will get to pick one this weekend.  Can’t wait.

My cutting garden is also very plentiful right now.  I so love to go out back and cut a bouquet of flowers for the house.  Jason built my cutting garden for me one day when I was at work and he had the day off (about 7 years ago), and I have gotten so much enjoyment from it!

Here’s what I cut today:

I am not sure what this red flower is, but it actually comes back every year.  I added some rosemary.  We got this vase in Tijuana several years ago.

I am not sure what this red flower is, but it actually comes back every year. I added some rosemary. We got this vase in Tijuana several years ago.

This is a mix of zinnias, cosmos, mexican sunflowers, and black-eyed susans.

This is a mix of zinnias, cosmos, mexican sunflowers, and black-eyed susans.

I love this print I just got. You guys should check out and their gorgeous prints.

I love this print I just got. You guys should check out and their gorgeous prints.

Anyway, great day for me!  God has really blessed me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!



A Vacation from my Vacation

Jun 29, 2013

Whew!  We made it home from the beach, and man do I need a vacation!  Being at the beach for a week with the family is wonderful, but it is hard work for the mommies involved.  Thank goodness Mama and Casey were there to share in the burden!

I know Jason is exhausted.  He hauled all of our things back and forth from the beach every day and afternoon with hardly any help, not to mention all of the time he spent trying to catch some fish for our dinner.  He is snoring on the couch as I type this up!

While I, of course, love being on vacation, I really love coming home from vacation.  I enjoy our home and my bed and our pets. It is always fun this time of year to return home and see how our garden and flowers have grown.

I spent some time cutting flowers from my cutting garden where I have zinnias, cosmos, mexican sunflowers, and some other random wildflowers growing.  I also was happy to see that all of my hydrangeas are blooming.  They range in color from bright pink to dark purple to a really bright, almost electric blue.  I cut a bunch of the blue for my bedroom.

I love hydrangeas!

I love hydrangeas!

I am going to definitely have to do some work in our garden this week, but it is totally worth it.  Our squash has finally begun to come in so we had some to pick when we got home today.

I went to Mama’s to help her pick green beans, and also lucked out and got some tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots!


Charlie and I snapped the beans while he watched his Superman cartoon tonight, and I can’t wait to cook them tomorrow!

We had a wonderful vacation, but I am glad to be home so I can get some rest!


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