We all walked inside and after we unloaded the niece's things from the car, I scooted my sister out the door so she could tend to date night with her hubby, well, date weekend. Hubba Hubba.
After my sister left, I decided to head to the master closet to take off my nice "city" clothes and put on a Walmart nightgown so I could play and get dirty with the niece without worrying about ruining nice clothing.
Meanwhile, as I was in the closet changing out of my nice clothes, Deputy Dave was taking Shaye on a walk in the backyard to check out the chickens. She LOVES being with the chickens. In fact, she's been asking my sister lately, "When are we moving to a farm?"
My sister, the city girl, smiles and thinks to herself, "Never."
My sister is an out-of-doors kind of gal, but not a farm gal. My Sissy loves to camp, to hike, to go to the beach, to simply be outside, but it's her aversion to wild animals that prevents her from ever wanting to live on a farm.
While outside with her Uncle, Shaye searched for tomatoes, but our plants in are in the middle of heat exhaustion which means...no tomatoes. She was a bit disappointed.
Deputy Dave decided to open the sides of the chicken coop to check for eggs that we've been anxiously waiting for...the chickens were 20 weeks old as of yesterday, Thursday, July 21st. He opened the coop side panel and Shaye was about to get all excited over the golf ball that was in place to encourage laying and he warned her by saying, "That isn't an egg Shaye, it's a golf ball."
Then, he looked down at the bottom layer of coop nests and he said his eyes nearly bulged out because there WERE actually two eggs! Not golf balls, but eggs! TWO EGGS!!
He yelled as he pointed at the eggs, "Shaye, those right there aren't golf balls, those are REAL eggs!" She began to jump and down while screaming, "Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!" Her uncle, Deputy Dave was also screaming, "Eggs!"
And then he began to yell my name and Shaye began to scream my name. In a panic, I ran to the back door and opened it as they literally began to fall inward. I was thinking that something was REALLY wrong. To that point, I was unable to make out what they had been screaming; I just heard screaming. Usually, not a good sign. At the backdoor, as they were falling inward thru the opened door as I was rushing to them, they were wild-eyed and looking at me while yelling together, "Eggs! Eggs!" It was incredible. In unison, my 46 year old ADORABLE husband and my absolutely precious four year old niece were yelling, "We found eggs!"
I think I did the run in circles thing while my brain tried to catch up. For a second, I was Miss Stupid.
Shaye, in her excitement, was jumping around and being the epitome of a four year old who just found fresh eggs. My husband and I followed suit. All three of us became INSTANT four year old kiddos together! I grabbed my cell phone and called my sister...the woman who is TERRIFIED of my chickens and let her daughter personally say, "Mama! I found eggs!"
And Shaye continued, almost breathless, "Uncle David and I were in the backyard and there are two baby chicken eggs and, and I found them!" Then, Shaye promptly handed me the phone back; she was finished with the phone. She headed back outside.
Deputy Dave, always thoughtful toward my chicken elation, had told our little niece that the two of them could not touch the eggs until the aunt had been able to see them up-close and personal. Then, the two of them led me outside to the chicken coop where I beheld one of the most beautiful sights to date...two little brown eggs in the coop, laying nested beside each other.
Actually, we were perplexed...TWO eggs? One chicken laid TWO eggs at one time? We looked down to the ground and realized that Miss Speckles had been the one to grace us with both of these little, precious eggs. She was actually trying to guard her eggs. I had a rush of guilt, so I decided that I would make sure to give her an extra serving of her goodie-feed. I felt so proud of her!!!
Deputy Dave grabbed the camera and took our pictures, against my protests. Remember? I had JUST put on my Pink Polka-Dot Walmart moo-moo and he wants to take pictures. Me and my first eggs that I've been so excited about finding for about four months...pictures...with me wearing a Walmart moo-moo in the bright 5:00pm sunlight. P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
I have to tell everyone that Miss Speckles is called another name by my niece. It's kind of weird, but four year olds are allowed to do weird things. As chicks, she knew we were not really giving the chickens a name, at least not consciously. So, our niece began to automatically name the chickens with her imaginative tags.
She said, "Here is one I will call Thursday and that one is Friday and this one is Saturday and we'll call this one Sunday." It was hysterical. Then, the female little white speckled chick got her attention and she named it "Shelley Faye." This was not a random day of the week kind of name. I was shocked because this was my mother's name. To complicate the chicken naming episode...my mother died five years ago, when my sister was five months pregnant with Shaye. My niece never got to personally meet her grandmother. However, my sister and I talk about Grandma all of the time...Shaye loves saying my mom's name and talking about her being in Heaven.
Shaye's own name came from my mother. My sister took my mother's name, "Shelley Faye" and combined the names to create my niece's name, "Shaye."
Since I found it odd to call this cutie chicken by my mother's name, I began calling her, "Miss Speckles." But, when Shaye is at our house, we call the chicken "Shelley Faye."
Shaye has drawn me pictures of Shelley Faye aka Miss Speckles. I have a drawing on my refrigerator. It still hits me funny when she tells me, "I have a picture of Shelley Faye to give you." The first time Shaye told me this, I thought that she was actually going to give me a picture of my mother, but then she gave me a little drawing of the chicken. I laughed out loud, "OH YEA!!! The other Shelley Faye. How silly of me."
Life can be strange.
So...out of the five chickens that we have in our backyard farm, the one chicken that is the smallest and most precious...the one named after my mother by my niece...that is the chicken to first lay eggs. And that little chicken produced more than we could have imagined; she gave us two little brown eggs.
We didn't even know chickens could lay more than one egg in such a fast time-frame.
Best of all, my niece showed up at my house with perfect timing to find these first laid eggs. I can only think
that all of this happened in God's timing.
For so many weeks I had imagined myself searching for eggs in the backyard and could picture myself finding an egg and spinning in circles as if I were singing "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music" while caught in my own thrilling moment.
I had finding my egg all planned out: I'd get the camera, take a load of pictures and fully document the moment. Then, as Deputy Dave drove up our street, I would replace the egg where it was found so he could see it as I had found it. A perfect plan. Naturally, in my mind's eye, I'd find the egg while Deputy Dave was at work. After all, I am the one home all the time, so I just knew that I'd be the one to find the first egg.
However, NOTHING I imagined could have held a candle to the incredible moment of hearing those petrifying screams that had me rushing to the backdoor only to find myself hearing the chorus of those two yelling, "Eggs! Eggs!" And to see those expressions...my husband looked like an excited boy and my niece looked like the happiest kid alive.
My husband said, "Come on! You have to come see it for yourself!" So, all three of us went outside to look at the nested eggs that were inside the chicken tractor/coop that my husband had built and to get pictures. Deputy Dave refused to let me change back into my clothes because he wanted to, "...capture the moment." So, there it is...the moment...in my moo-moo. But, it was pretty awesome. I could not have planned it better. A child who is so close to my heart got to find those eggs and share in our extreme happiness. Shelley Faye gave us wonderful gifts today. If only I could have recorded the celebration, but you can probably imagine the scene as well.
These chickens and these two eggs have brought us more joy than can be expressed. I don't really understand it, but that's how we feel...full of giddy joy.
Inside the house with the two small jewels, we continued to celebrate with hugs and high-fives. Deputy Dave washed the eggs, put them in an old egg-carton, then into the fridge. Those little brown eggs looked so small inside the hollows of the egg carton...small eggs, but I bet they are tasty.
Then, we had a brief explanation to Shaye that there were not baby chicks in the eggs because these eggs were the kind you eat...like from the grocery store. Her excitement didn't dim and now she wants to eat the eggs. My husband said, "Those eggs are so tiny. If I make tuna salad, I'll need to boil twenty of those little eggs."
I just can't wait to take these cute little eggs to a family function as mini-deviled eggs. This is going to be fun.
And Houston, we have eggs.