As nice as that sounds, on the surface, I didn't like it. It was too quiet. Honestly, it was rather lonely. In spite of the pleasure of peace and quiet, in spite of the novelty of finishing a task (or meal) without interruption, I missed my family!! The blessing of community far outweighs the "cost" of our large family (and I am not talking about dollars and cents). It is good to be reminded again how very much I love my family and how very blessed I am to be the mother of eight. Yes, the last several months have been difficult. Yes, I get tired, impatient, irritated, and overwhelmed. Yes, my house is rarely clean and my laundry is rarely done, but that is because my life is so full, and that is a precious gift.