Yesterday we took a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth...for hubby anyway. We drove up to Lacey, Washington, to let Daddy spend some money at Cabela's. Turns out they were out of everything he wanted to get, so we went across town to the Sportsman Warehouse where he found what he was looking for. Despite not having what he wanted, it is an impressive store. The kids loved all the taxidermied animals and the live trout pond where you can feed really large fish.
Their favorite thing was when they fed the fish in the large aquariums. They had a trout aquarium, but the real excitement was in the other tank where there were walleye, bluegill, catfish, and bass. They threw live fish into this tank for feed, and the kids loved watching the fish hunt their prey (those fingerling trout were terrified!).
At one point during the feeding, a bluegill had a fish by the tail and was trying to get away by himself to finish eating it but a whole group of other fish were following him around trying to get it out of his mouth. Abby got all excited and said, "Look, it's a parade!"
Wednesday, December 31
Tuesday, December 30
Abby: Mommy, sometimes I think I love Daddy more than God. I try to love God most though.
Me: Yes, I know it can be a hard thing to learn to love God more than anything else. Just keep praying and asking God to help you. So do you ever think you love Mommy more than God?
Monday, December 29
We still have several of inches of snow covering the front yard, but it's just about gone in the back. The birds have seemed so happy to go about their usual activity of plucking worms out of the lawn.
We had snow covering the ground for so long and so deeply that I had almost forgotten about the broken limbs on the ground. We'll need to get those cut up and put into the yard debris bin soon.
When the snow was about a food deep, I shoveled a path for the UPS carrier to get to our door (totally unnecessary since they never showed up!), but I accidentally cut the corner of our sidewalk. It wouldn't be a big deal, but I see that our crocus are coming up! I hope us tromping over them for a week didn't kill any of them.
I don't remember them coming up this early last year, but maybe that's why they call them snow crocus?
Sunday, December 28
As I mentioned before, we had the beautiful blessing of a white Christmas, and our whole family thoroughly enjoyed that! Other than the snow, our Christmas was fairly typical. The kids woke up just before 7:00, and we let them empty their stockings. While they were playing with the contents of their stockings, I got breakfast going. We then had our usual breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls. I made half the batch into orange rolls, but they weren't too popular (though I loved them!) so I guess I'll stick to the regular ones next year.
After breakfast cleanup, we opened presents. We had several packages that did not get delivered due to the snow (apparently Oregon UPS doesn't deliver in adverse weather).
We spent the remainder of the day playing with the kids and their new toys, playing games, and of course eating our usual prime rib for dinner.
The only bad note of the day was that Ryan got a severe headache right before dinner and had to go lay down. We gave him some pain medicine, and after an hour of laying still and listening to his new Adventures in Odyssey CD, he was feeling much better.
Saturday, December 27
I haven't posted for a week because I've been enjoying my family, enjoying the holiday, enjoying the snow, and enjoying just plain relaxing! We had a nice quiet WHITE Christmas! So now I need to catch my blog up before I'm too far behind and I give up.
Christmas Eve we decided we'd better give the birds something to eat, so we threw some bread out for them. Our local birds aren't used to not being able to get to the ground for grubs and worms and such, and our ground has been covered for a week. Unfortunately, it started snowing again right after we threw out the bread, so they didn't find it before it was buried in an inch of snow. But a few days later when the snow melted, they were all over that bread, devouring it in no time at all!
Daddy and Ryan worked on a pirate ship puzzle that we've had for some time, and Mommy and Abby spent some time doing some last minute baking. Christmas music was playing in the background and snow was falling outside. It was a lovely day!
That evening the kids put on a play for us. It was nonsensical and goofy, but they had a great time!
Tuesday, December 23
Monday, December 22
Friday before last during our lunchtime prayer Abigail asked God to "Please let it snow...enough for me to play in." It started snowing the following Sunday morning, and we've had snow on the ground ever since, 10 days so far!
That first Sunday, Abby was SO excited and told everyone how God had answered her prayer, and she's still telling people, including the server at our favorite Mexican place. The server then went on to tell us some incredible stories of his own son's answered prayers!
It's hard to say for sure how much snow we actually received because we've had a lot of drifting, but we put the ruler in the middle of the yard and it said about 10 inches there. We have some drifts that are close to three feet high though!
We are really enjoying the weather and are hoping it will stay at least until Christmas Day! The kids will have their first white Christmas, and hubby and I will have our first in about 12 years.
Sunday, December 21
We have had lots of opportunities to play in the snow this past week, but the kids had the most fun when our neighbors joined us on Friday afternoon. We don't have any good sledding hills nearby, but they thought it was a blast just sliding down our short driveway.
I offered to help them build a snowman, but they had no interest (which meant I could watch from the comparative warmth of the garage!). Instead they threw snowballs, made snow angels, and sledded. Abby spent her usual time searching for the best tasting patch of snow!
Saturday, December 20
We just tucked the kids into their warm beds, but it's cold outside...20 degrees but with the wind chill it feels like 7 degrees! We have had snow for a week straight now, and today we got about five inches on top of the couple we already had. I don't know about the rest of the Pacific Northwest, but our family is thoroughly enjoying the winter wonderland! Hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures tomorrow (and post more from today).
Thursday, December 18
I bought a Gingerbread House kit two years ago to do with the kids, but the first year the kids were sick or something came up and we didn't get it done. So I popped it into the freezer and pulled it out to do last year, but then hubby had a catastrophe at work which kind of threw a wrench into our Christmas plans. So once again I put the kit into the freezer, though this time I had opened it and had to put it in a FoodSaver bag.
I pulled it out again this year (thankfully you don't actually eat the gingerbread!) to put it together with the kids. When I opened the freezer bag, all but one piece was broken! I dutifully pieced it back together with icing, and it ended up working just fine. Of course you can see the cracks, but otherwise, it turned out really cute. Most importantly, the kids had so much fun decorating it!
Wednesday, December 17
the wind storm we had the night before!
Yesterday morning we still had a light dusting of snow on the ground left over from the day before, but that was quickly covered over by a fresh coat of new snow this morning. It snowed all day long, and it was cold!
Usually when we get snow the temperature is barely hovering around the freezing mark, but today it started out in the low 20s and only climbed a degree or two above freezing for an hour or two in the late afternoon/early evening before dropping down into the 20s again.
When the kids and I went out to play in it, the snow was so dry it wouldn't pack well enough to build a snowman, so we just sledded and threw snowballs. Abby spent most of her time (as usual) eating mouthfuls of it!
Apparently, as the temp warmed up, the snow became wetter because by the time hubby got home from work he said there was an enormous snowman on the corner down the street. So we put on boots and coats and walked down to take a closer look. It was probably eight-foot tall! There is more snow in the forecast for tomorrow, so maybe we'll get to build our own snowman then.