At daybreak, while children still were tucked in and breathing deep into their soft pillows, I trudged out to do animal chores. Winter chores are...chores...but on these cool fall mornings, they are still refreshing and peaceful.
Walking around the yard there is always someone to talk to, or maybe not talking is what you would like.
Magpie the tiniest cat, begs to be let in for the morning. Cows bellow. Impatient hens flap their wings and a rooster crows. Hogs run all around the barnyard, making their friendly, anxious snorts but the rabbits-they just twitch and hop, so they always come last. The patient ones.
This particular morning, Sassafras has a surprise for me.
She has plucked from herself her pure white velvet and made a cloud of cozy a few days priorand so I knew her time was coming...but even still, what a surprise to see the cloud moving, just a smidge.
Instead of peeking, I gave the proud Mama a rewarding ear scratch and ran inside and upstairs and sang out "Wake up, WAKE UP. Get on your boots and come! There is a surprise for you as soon as you get out of bed!"
It didn't take more than two seconds for everyone to be at attention and they stormed down the stairs and headed straight to the door---seems they had the surprised guessed before I even had to hint.
They ran straight away to the rabbits.
And then we took a peek.
Six sweet naked babies, teeny as can be, all snuggled into and on top of one another. It was a cool morning so we admired, counted and recounted, and stole peeks while trying not to disturb them or make them cold.
All the animals we have here have been acquired when young, but not once have we experienced our own animals being/having newborns. What a wonderful gift, to experience new life in your own yard.
And I think the very best surprises are the ones that wake you up with singsong bellows and are found after running into a foggy morning in just your pj's and boots.
After one week (my, how fast they grow!) :
Thanksgiving, without the holiday, can come every day, every week, every moment. And life can be full of surprises, if you let it.
Some more every day graces to make every day a holy day....they come so easily.
* 641 * first smiles and catching them on video, proof for the Doubting Tom's of the family (you know who you are...)
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing
* 642 * money enough for bills, with some to spare
*643* a boy who looks at a psalter to sing, even though he can't yet read
*644* pajama surprises
*645* Mrs. Hobbit in our very own home
*646* rock candy
*647* catechisms set to music
*648* girls who curtsy
*649* Michael Buble while doing dishes
*650* brown paper packages
*651* a husband who is finally finding confidence in his dreams
*652* Narnia at bedtime
*653* stained glass in the evening
*654* new school books
*655* enough firewood
*656* Judah gets to meet his great Opa
*657* ( and I get a visit in too!)
*658* candycorn pumpkins with cheddar cheese
*659* a not-quite-second-honeymoon. (AKA, a hotel room all to ourselves!)
*660* NOT making the bed!
*661* laughing so hard I cry
*662* eating my dinner without first cutting up three plates worth of food.
*663* being a GENIUS
(even if I didn't marry one...)
*664* vacuumed stairways
*665* houses made out of couch cushion, a weekly (if not daily) occurance
*666* a familys' audible delight at the from-scratch cornbread and sweet pan chili you made
*667* children asking for third helpings, and having them to give
*668* homemade icecream around October campfires
*669* potato fries, the real ones
*670* no regrets