Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Because our tiny church had kids in it this year (ours), they decided to put on a Christmas play. What fun!
Sheridan sang "Away In A Manger" and we, along with all the other grandparent-aged folks, smiled with delight to hear a young voice in our midst.
A family tradition has been to decorate gingerbread houses each year. Elliott and Oliver haven't been included in this project for years but joined in the fun under the disguise of simply wanting to eat candy.
(They both built really cute gingerbread houses though!)

Christmas Morning
Tim read the familiar story of Christ's birth from the book of Luke as a special TV channel crackled with the sounds and glow of a real fireplace.

Guns for the older boys, toys for Sheridan....

books for Sullivan....and a new farm work bike for Harrison.

I couldn't resist snapping this picture of Elliott playing the piano on Sheridan's new fairy tale princess book.
So glad we invested all that money in piano lessons for him years ago!

We had a wonderful day celebrating Jesus' birth!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Real Country Girl In-The -Making

We finished up chicken processing later this year but were blessed with such warm winter temperatures that we were still comfortable outside. Elliott has been very successful in his poultry business and processed about 3000 chickens this year.

Sheridan has been eager to join in on chicken processing days and is learning how to eviscerate. She will make a fine farmer's wife one day!

It has been interesting watching Sheridan, who, unlike her five older siblings, has only ever known farm life. Whereas the rest of us had to get used to the shock of processing chickens, (I remember Harrison as a 5 year old gagging while trying to help the first time), Sheridan hasn't been phased as chickens go from the pen to the freezer.
The younger children have been taught to treat the chickens humanely as they are moved from one station to the next and Sheridan has developed such a sweetness toward them that she is often seen talking to them and telling them make-believe stories as they await bagging while soaking in a chilling tank.
Our family shares a particularly sweet memory of one processed, reject chicken that she named "Anna-soda" who, just before heading to the compost bucket, was seen riding with Sheridan on her toy tractor.

Sheridan was very proud this year of an ordinary preschool accomplishment that she didn't realize would seem shocking to us because it was displayed in such a unique manner. While learning how to eviscerate the chickens (take all the insides out), I tried to teach Sheridan the various organs and body parts. You can imagine our surprise when later in the morning, once she had lost interest in her new job of eviscerating, she proudly showed us that she had learned how to tie a knot - in a discarded esophagus!

We have volunteers who often join us for chicken processing days. One of our regulars is a child psychologist. We often wonder what he's thinking as he watches Sheridan on processing day!

I suppose this is what it's like to be a real farm girl. I wish we all adapted to country living as easily.