Outside, a fox killed a chicken and a guinea. It's cold (finally, hopefully to destroy the oak mites). The water freezes. I can't lift bags of chicken feed or gallons of water yet, so James has manfully taken on all the chicken chores. The chickens are laying more/again, so our egg bucket is filling again.
Inside, I'm washing eggs and there are eggs for sale again. Baby PK, born December 14, keeps my arms and heart full. We're still trying to find a new normal as a family of eight.
One thing I'm trying to do is be more conscious of things I haven't taught the big kids. For example, gratitude. We had a family and gift-filled Christmas season, but somehow in my survival of the day to day, I've grown lax at expressing gratitude in the form of thank you notes. I love to receive them, and actually, I like to write a few at a time. The trouble for me is there are many, and I feel less grateful when I write "thank you" for the tenth time. Rarely do I manage to enlist the kids in a low stress manner, if at all. In additon to the regular gifts, we've been blessedly inundated with meals from friends and parishioners. Every time I think I'm caught up, generosity is bestowed on us again.
This year, I'm hoping to have each of the three big kids write two notes to extended family. It's taking significant time to guide the six-year-old, as I really write the thank you note and he copies it, but I remind myself that I only learned to write thank you notes by the teaching of my parents. I can do this, and so can they!
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Until next time, remember, this is not paradise. It's Purgatory Ranch.