One of the chicks that hatched on Christmas Eve.
One of the chicks that hatched on Christmas Eve.

Christmas this year brought an unusual sight in Texas- snow! We had a wonderful time with family gatherings at my Grandmother’s house, my parents house, and my in-laws house.  Each year you can count on fun, family, and good food.  This year was no exception.

I am not surprised by the snow, not because it was common, but because of something I said to Jonathan a few weeks prior.  Every now and again, Jonathan will get fixated on a subject and relentlessly bring it up in conversation.  Snow at Christmas was one of those topics.  Again and Again, he would say, “Remember when it snowed at Christmas… I hope it snows again.”  To this I would reply, “you remember wrong, it does not snow at Christmas in this part of Texas.”  Well one day I had enough and basically yelled, “IT DOES NOT SNOW AT CHRISTMAS!”  As soon as the words left my mouth I had this inkling in my gut that I might just get proved wrong due my hateful response to the only kid I have left in my house that still gets excited over the little things at Christmas, like watching every Christmas movie we own and listening to Christmas music all day long.  So, Christmas Eve rolls around and at the gathering at my Grandmother’s house on Christmas’ Eve I was relaying this story to my sisters and cousins as we watched the weather report calling for snow on Christmas.  Then my sister informed me that the year we all took the family Christmas picture that it did snow- nothing stuck, but snow flurries fell all around.

Jonathan with me and Rylie, making Royal Icing
Jonathan with me and Rylie, making Royal Icing

So, I was wrong on both accounts.  I did not count the snow flurries as significant that one year, but Jonathan did remember it.  I think that is what makes Christmas different for children.  They still get excited over the little things.  There is none of the “been there and done that” in their soul yet.  I myself, get wrapped up in the huge and significant parts of the holiday and tend to miss the everyday little things.  However, it is in the everyday little tidbits that we live and make memories.  I hope I do better in the new year.  However, I did do much better this year at staying calm and making memories without getting as wound up as I usually do.

Preceding the snow came some nasty thunderstorms as the cold air met up with the warm air.  Just before all of this weather started up, Tony and I made a trip to the house to deposit the gifts that were received and pick up the gifts that were going to my mother’s house.  While there, we turned on the heat lamps and heater in the greenhouse, fed all the animals again (more feed = more calories to burn and keep them warm),  moved a few goofy hens who wanted to ride out the weather in a hay feeder to the hen house, and generally set things up for the night.  Big weather “events” can be demanding enough on a farm when you are present, but they are really stressful when you need to be away.

As I headed back to my daughter’s bedroom to get a gift sack, I heard chirping coming from the incubator!  The Christmas chicks had begun hatching a day early.  So, we had to get the brooder box ready and put a heat lamp on it.  We placed 3 hatched chicks into their new home with food and water.  The rest would hatch and in the morning we would move all of those into the box.  That was the plan anyhow.

During the wee hours of the morning, the thunder began rolling, the wind howled, and the rain came down.  I began to pray over our animals and our property, a little while latter I heard Tony muttering something and when I said, “What?” he replied, “I was praying.”  Then we decided to pray together.  There was a time when our world had been uncomplicated and storms meant little to us.  That was before we began homesteading.  Now with the experience we have gained ( meaning knowledge gleaned from things gone wrong)  there is a whole list of possibilities of things that could go wrong that run through our minds.  However, you can’t control it so you just have to move on.  We got up and opened presents and had a great time.  Before breakfast Tony ran back to our farm (15 miles from my parent’s house) to check on things.  This way he said he would be able to relax and enjoy things.  As soon as he left the bottom fell out and he had to feed in a torrential down pour.  It was a good thing he went home.  The power had been knocked out and the heat lamp on the new chicks was out.  By the time he got them back to my parent’s house, the chicks were cold and the incubator had cooled off.  My two nieces and my kids each got a chick and rubbed them to warm them back up.  With help and a heat lamp the little guys made it ok.  Sadly, no other chicks hatched, just too  cold during such a important stage of the hatching.

Everyone working to warm up the cold chicks.
Everyone working to warm up the cold chicks.

Due to the weather, Tony and I did not spend the night at Tony’s parent’s.  The kids stayed on and brought themselves home the next day.  However, there were no more complications and Christmas 2012 slipped pleasantly into history.  What a great year it was.

 

Me & my sisters with Grandmother on Christmas Morning
Me & my sisters with Grandmother on Christmas Morning
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