Friday, January 31, 2014

Staying sane.

 It is arcticly cold in Ohio.  So very cold.  This winter has been exceptionally cold.  And irritating.

We had a big snowstorm last Sunday.  We were sent home from church early due to the snow.  When we arrived home, snow six inches deep covered our driveway... and it was still coming down.  The girls and I shoveled enough so Andy could get in the driveway (he stayed at church to finish up his clerk duties).

I had contractions every 2-5 minutes for the rest of the day... so I won't be doing that again... for a few weeks.  :)

I couldn't sleep Sunday night.  The wind was howling all night long (and those contractions kept up until the wee hours of the morning).

In the morning I sent the kids off to school and ran a few errands.  I noticed a bunch of snowballs rolled in near the road.  Lots of them.  I thought, "Who was crazy enough to roll all those in THIS weather?!"  (It was so cold!) 
Then I noticed them everywhere... along the highway, at the school, in the park, in our neighborhood!  And then I realized that it was a widespread thing.

Snow rollers.

They are kindof cool.  (Except that you have to have crappy weather to get them.)
We waited until it was "warm" outside... like 20 degrees...  (And we had to wait until Thursday) and then we went to a park to check out the snow rollers first hand.
I had never seen them before.  My mom had never seen them before, so I figured we better seize the day and get some pictures with this rare phenomenon.

"It's a donut!"

They are somewhat fragile.

They are everywhere!  Hundreds of them!

June sat on one... it broke.  She was pleased with herself.

"Can't I just get one picture of the three of you together?!"

The kids have missed so much school this winter... the school used up all of the calamity days.  With all the snow days and holidays, they haven't had five school days in a row since early December.
We have spent too much time inside.
Here is the latest fun diversion...
 The girls have made a little world in the house plants.
 And all sorts of little plastic animals, people, and creatures live on the plant "islands."
 There are little cottages and barns on the islands.
 More fun than toys.
Stay warm.  Stay sane.
Spring will come.  (Right?!!!)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Big 1-0... Harry Potter style!

I still can't believe I have a ten year old!  Double digits!  (Where did the time go?)
Anyhow, Alli read all seven Harry Potter books over the summer, and she is slightly obsessed with all things Hogwarts.  And so we planned a Hogwarts-style birthday party.
First, I went on Pinterest to find a few good ideas.  (And then I remembered that I didn't want to spend a fortune and I didn't have tons of extra time.)  Good old Pinterest.
We gathered up a few witchy/wizard-ish things and made a display.

The big project was in the dining room... floating candles!

 For our craft, we made golden snitches!

We dipped pretzel rods in chocolate and decorated them to make wands.

It was hard to wait for the chocolate to harden.

The girls ate lunch in the dining room with lights out... floating candles gently illuminated the room.  The girls drank butterbeer (melted butterscotch candies mixed with cream soda and seltzer water... topped with ice cream) and ate sandwiches, chips, carrots, and fruit salad.

Then we played a game tasting Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans (aka Jelly Belly beans that come in nasty flavors).

Alli wanted a pink cake with green letters that said, "Happy Birthday Alli," like the cake Hagrid made for Harry.  It was supposed to be sloppy.  (Oops.  I forgot.)

Gifts were opened... there were lots of ooooohs and aaaahs.

Andy somehow managed to calmly sit on the couch and check news/email/etc while a riotous game of quidditch ensued all around him.

The goody bag: the pretzel wand, coins from Gringot's bank, a chocolate frog, jelly beans, and a couple of mints.

Alli was delighted with her party.  She is excited to be ten!  
Next year she hopes to get a letter from Hogwarts.
You can read about some more of the details of the party here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

if being pregnant makes you THIS slow...

We took the kids to the gym tonight for a little swim.  We go as a family, but when we get inside, Andy gets to go to the men's locker room solo, and I take my little flock of girls into the women's locker room.
The girls were excited to hit the pool... and they were pretty much running to the locker room.
I am 33 weeks pregnant.  I was not running, so they were far ahead of me.  When I caught up to them at the locker room door, Alli said, "Mom, if being pregnant makes you THIS slow, do NOT get pregnant again!"

I will take that into consideration.

A (Last Minute) Birthday Party!

We were in the thick of an "arctic vortex" for a few days.  The kids missed three days of school.  Being outside was not an option.
There was no school Monday... and the email came saying no school Tuesday either.  The kids were going nuts.  There was lots of energy in our home.
Tuesday was June's birthday.  
So Monday afternoon, I decided to have June's birthday party on her birthday... Tuesday (the very next day!).  I made a few quick phone calls/emails to June's friends' parents.  Because of the short notice, this was a no-gift party.  Instead, I asked that each kid bring a gently-loved book to exchange, and to make that more fun, the books were wrapped.  June said her friends could wear costumes to her party.

Alli and Ruby prepared a special surprise for June.  They decorated a room in the dollhouse and made paper dolls of themselves and June.

 They used paper to make streamers and decorations.  There was a little table cloth on the table.
June dressed as a cat for her party.

And we made a cat cake.  I used frosted graham crackers to make the ears and collar.  June wanted it to have one green eye and one blue eye... just like her favorite stuffed animal kitty. 

 The books for the exchange were all wrapped.  Everything is more fun in wrapping paper!
 Alli read a few cat stories to the kids.  (She likes being in charge.)

 While the kids had storytime, I put lunch on the table.

Amazing how captivating a book can be!

 For lunch, we had little smokies, French fries, carrot sticks, and fruit cups (which were decorated like cats)

We went through a lot of ketchup. 

After lunch, we sang "Happy Birthday!" to June...

and she made a wish... 

 The cake was a Christmas confetti cake (the awesome thing about a January birthday is that you can get really good deals  on Christmas leftovers and repurpose them for a birthday) with extra rainbow sprinkles added in.  The frosting was homemade chocolate frosting... it was excessively good.

How old are you now?

And later that night... we celebrated with Daddy.  Taco night and leftover kitten cupcakes.