Thursday, December 09, 2010


Fact: We have 22 chickens
Fact: Chickens lay a maximum of 1 egg a day (in 99.9% of cases anyway)
Fact: I collected 26 eggs today.....

It seems that the escapee chicken has still been escaping every day and has found a new place to lay. It had stopped laying in its rubbish pile, but I had presumed that it had actually started laying in the nesting boxes as I couldn't find any little piles of eggs anywhere - at least not until today! It appears that the lemon grass plant is preferable to the rubbish pile and I collected 11 eggs from her little stash today. Here's hoping that me removing them doesn't encourage her to find a different spot to lay - I don't have the time or energy for hide and seek right now!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The best present ever

Today I went to school again... I went yesterday for an afternoon/evening of PTA stuff, but today was a little different. Today it was my son's class's turn to do a presentation in front of the whole school for 10 minutes in the morning. There are 12 children in the class (the biggest in the school!). They are all 7 or 8 years old. I had no real idea what the presentation was going to be about, but I knew it was something to do with Peace and that they had been practicing for weeks. It turned out that December 7th was the day in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in America and World War 2 took a different turn when America declared war on Japan. I had no idea. In fact I really know nothing about the war. My generation in New Zealand seems to know that there was a war, but it hasn't really effected us personally (probably a huge over-generalization, but...).
This morning my son's class (who are usually pretty out of control) stood in front of the school and in their loudest voices told us a story of a family who died in the war. They sang a wonderful song about how we should all stand together in peace and make the world a great one. They stood in unison and asked us all to never consider war ever again. My son is continually telling me that war is bad and he knows why. I'm sure there are people who would disagree with me and say that Japan teaches the history of the war etc. in a biased way, but from all the presentations I have seen this is not the case. The teachers at our school do not point fingers. They talk about the lead up to the war and the things which Japan did to escalate it. They talk more about how we can prevent it in the future than anything else. However the children are the ones who really get the point across. Their presentation this morning should have been shown worldwide and perhaps a few more people might listen.
The presentation also got me thinking a bit more about Christmas. Every year I feel obliged to get presents under the tree for my family etc. Living far away from them I have no idea what they want or need so most things are pretty random. I'm not saying that my gifts aren't appreciated, but I do often feel like it is an obligation rather than a heart-felt gift. Having spent the last few days trying to literally clean out our house (I think I've taken out 6 big bags of rubbish already) I have been conscious of how worthless a lot of the junk we accumulate is and how precious the things are that have really been given from the heart.
One of the teachers commented after the presentation today that the biggest gift the children can give us is the gift of peace. I totally agree and I think the biggest gift that adults can give children is the capacity to bring peace to their own little piece of the world. So.... this morning I made a decision. I'm not going to send any Christmas presents to New Zealand this year. Sorry! Instead I am going to send gifts at a time when I think they are necessary and important. Please feel free to do the same! And in the meantime I am going to give my family the gift of raising my children, their great-grandchildren, grandchildren, niece and nephew in a way in which they can hopefully bring as much happiness and peace to my family's lives as possible in the future.
I realize this is all a bit deep for a Wednesday morning - don't worry, I'll be back with the normal chicken news in the very near future!