Saturday, February 27, 2010

What do you do when you're snowed in?

We're not snowed in any more (yay!) but here are some pictures of what we did during the snow times that I finally got off of the camera this evening.

Shoveling, there was lots of shoveling.

Bob made a pathway through the backyard and eventually all the way up the hill out back.

We left a bowl out to collect more snow for snow icecream. I think we got more than we needed.

We got in some good sledding time using the path Bob made and the sled trail Jaide and I made by repeated sledding. It was incredibly fun. It started on top of a big snow pile in the neighboring parking lot and ended close to our back yard. It went fast, did side to sides, and even hopped up a bit.

We did get reluctant Kiree to go down a couple of times, but her favorite part of sledding/playing in the snow was always going inside and drinking hot cocoa.

As things started warming up and melting (and then refreezing), many big icesicles were made and we tried to knock some of that stuff down off the roof and elsewhere.

There was a very impressive sheet of ice on the back porch near this pretty impressive icesicle.
We found some things to do inside too. We played some games and had a visit from the diaper bum fairy.
She signed an autograph for us.

We tried to pretend we were in a warmer, more tropical place by eating tropical like foods.

When the weather was improving, we decided to party. Bob had invited some people over to play games and I was finally going to have my multi-postponed valentines party for the little ones, so we wanted to make sure there would be some kind of parking available. We also wanted to shovel out the area where the school bus stops, so it was win-win. And our good friend brought over their snowblower which really, really helped. The kids did finally go back to school on the 17th and had delayed days all that week.



I really should have taken a picture during the party. It is hard to believe we had 39 people here not too long before I took these photos. A few of them were babies and many were little kids, but it was a lot! I think a lot of people needed to party. You may notice I stole lovingly borrowed my friend Jenny's sewn paper garland idea. I borrowed some heart shaped hole punches from some lovely friends (that would have been a lot of hearts to cut out by hand!) You might also notice that the front of the sink cabinet has been replace by a piece of fabric. While we were snowed in, I got a hankering for removing the bottom piece of the sink cabinet to survey the damage (it was super warped and we had had a major water leak in the past). Fortunately there wasn't any mold, but we ended up removing the whole front part to get the bottom piece off. Fabric, my trusty staple gun, and a baby gate got the thing semi-normal looking before the party.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goals for 2010- January and February

I'm finally getting around to following up on my goals for the year and how I've been doing with them.

Continue good habits established in 2009

I think this one has been going pretty well. We've been keeping the house pretty clean on a consistent basis for one. We've continued weekly meal planning and I'm still eating a lot more fruits and veggies than I was before. I haven't made it to the gym as much as I would have liked with snow and colds, but most days I have gotten some physical activity in.

Take care of and enjoy the things I already have.
I've enjoyed working on this one so far. I started making a blanket with the yarn stash I have. I finished Kiree's baby book!! I still haven't finished Jaide's though. I made valentine's for Jaide's class and decorations and crafts for the valentine's party I had for Kiree and friends, all with things I already had and using some tools I borrowed from other people instead of buying my own. We've headed to the library for fun books as well as some informational stuff. I'm reading a book now to help with my crocheting. I also got out the old viola again and was playing it in preparation for playing in church at the end of January. It's funny how I got asked to play not too long after I had thought about wanting to play it again. I haven't played it since, but maybe I'll have to get it out for fun sometime and not get stressed about it.

Ask myself each day if what I'm doing is going to help us get closer to our financial goals.
I haven't done much with this one. I might need to make it more specific and/or measurable. I think what I was trying to go for with this one was more like, stopping to think before each purchase or expenditure of money to see if it was going to fit in with our plans, or if it was really necessary. I think I need to tweak this a bit and maybe get back to being more aware of our budget. Bob kind of took it back over at the beginning of the year. Maybe we need to work on it together more.

Take time each day to do fun things, even if it's just for a few minutes.
I think I've been doing pretty well at this. It certainly hasn't been every single day, but it has been far more often that it used to be. I bought some inexpensive art supplies (on sale, with a coupon) and I was having personal art time twice a week during nap time. Having Jaide home from school and other random goings on these past couple of weeks has gotten me off track.
I'm striving to use my timer (a flylady idea) to do work in intervals with breaks. It's hard for me to remember to take breaks and that makes it easier. Doing something fun is so much more of a treat when you only get a certain amount of time and then it is a great motivation to get some work done for a while so you can get another break afterwards.

Get to the root of my bad eating habits. Learn the principles of good nutrition and apply them in my life.
I have been reading my nutrition book and another book about volumetrics. The nutrition book is very "boring textbook" in style, but I've found some interesting and useful information in it. The other book is interesting, but kind of common sense. If you bulk up your food with healthy stuff like fruit and vegetables, you can eat more, yet consume fewer calories than you would otherwise. I'm looking forward to finishing up these books and putting it all together into a lifetime plan for healthy eating. Hopefully I'll be able to do that!

Find more opportunities to give service
My goal is to make some blankets for Project Linus. I think I need to work on my crochet skills a bit more before I can do that. I think I might need to redo the blanket I've been working on so far. I haven't searched out community service things to do with the kids yet, but I have done some small acts of service for other people when opportunities have presented themselves.

Get our emergency preparations in place
This one we really haven't done anything on lately. Besides replenishing stuff in the three month supply, nothing at all. Sad. No, wait, we did talk to someone about life insurance and got some info but haven't made any decisions about that yet either. I had set the end of February as a deadline for making a will and I guess we've got a little over a week left. Guess we'd better get cracking on that. I'm not sure if/when we're ever going to have another ward cannery trip, so I probably ought to call the cannery myself to see about getting some stuff canned. And we need more wheat for short term use too.

For March
I'd like for us to have a will done and a date with the cannery. I would also like to go over the budget with Bob and see where we are at. I'd also like to reestablish regular art time and find small amounts of time for fun every day, I think I can do that at least!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow leads to unintended consequences- a story

They say it's going to snow a couple more inches tomorrow. What is up with that? We already broke the record. I'm really over it.

So here's a little story about what we've been doing to stave off cabin fever when we couldn't get out and what we've done when we could get out.

Stuck in the house, Meg got creative and tried to paint her 80's-a-riffic, shiny brass, dining room* chandelier. Not having any non VOC paint and not wanting to open the window during freezy, snowy weather, she got the bright idea to use black and brown fabric paint markers to go for an antiqued brass look. file photo of ugly light fixture

*it's not so much a dining room, as it is a small bit of floorspace on the edge of the living room, and the light is the only built-in light in the entire LR/DR combo area.

It took a long time, and it made Meg's arms tired from all that reaching up, but at last she was finished. Unfortunately, even a crazy marker job didn't stop an ugly light fixture from looking any less ugly. In some ways, it made it more noticeable. Even Bob thought it looked kind of bad. On the bright side, Bob and Meg came to a somewhat quick agreement that that funky, dated light fixture really ought to be replaced. (photo coming soon)

A couple of days later, Meg started searching online for a new light fixture. Bob said to let him know when she decided. Meg showed Bob some options. It made Bob sleepy. The next day, the whole family headed out to Ikea to see one of the light fixtures in person. There was free lunch for the kids too, which was a nice bonus. Bob and Meg looked and looked, and thought and thought. Some things looked different in person than they had online. Sometimes that was for the better, some times for the worse. Meg liked one in particular, but just wasn't sure. She wanted to go see another one she had liked at Lowe's. So the family purchased some kids hangers and IKEA chocolate and headed to Lowe's. Powered up by chocolate, young Kiree didn't seem to miss her usual nap time nap. She did however act crazy after a long, long time in the lighting department.

Bob and Meg looked and looked at a very few light fixtures. Bob did have some opinions after all. Will this one be too big? Will this one hang too low? Would that one be too dim? Would that one have a positive effect on resale value? The one Meg had seen online and liked seemed now to her to be much too large for the teeny, tiny "dining room." Another one that Bob liked was really cool and modern looking, but the metal on it wasn't black- would that fit in with the other stuff in the room? Jaide asked repeately which light would be purchased. "Probably none," Meg replied. Jaide wanted the ones with all the "beautiful" colored glass and by the end, wanted anything. Jaide and Kiree wrestled in their car cart and tried to get in and out repeatedly.

Finally, Bob wrote down the item numbers and prices for the fixtures they were most interested in. Meg knew that at least one of them had been less expensive online (and she was right you know). Later that day, Meg poured over various internet sites trying to find a suitable light fixture. Chandelier? Flush mount? Semi-flushmount? Modern? Traditional? Candelabra bulbs? Standard Bulbs? Halogen? No, not halogen. Finishes, prices, shipping? Well, what about the first one? The one back at Ikea? Bob and Meg discussed and discussed. Meg looked at more internet sites until her eyeballs nearly shrivelled up and disappeared. Bob went down in the basement. Meg finally decided. The one at Ikea, with little shades, on clearance from JC Penny's site. Let's hope she doesn't change her mind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

and Snow it Continued Both Day and Night

It's snowing. If you take a look at this picture of our back yard taken recently from upstairs, you might notice a wartlike lump, that would be the kids castle/slide. And those fences are big tall privacy fences, not little waist height ones as they appear to be.

So here was Monday. We watched the 2nd half of the superbowl that Bob taped and ate crepes. The girls (Jaide at least) was excited to get outside and sled! Kiree is not a huge fan of snow. It might have something to do with her short stature and aversion to cold. Even on Monday, the snow was basically deeper than she is tall, although her light little self didn't sink all the way in.

We did get around to some sledding. Kiree eventually agreed to getting dressed to go out. Kiree took one ride down, lost her glove and declared, "let's go in and have hot cocoa!" Bob and Jaide stayed out a while longer.

Monday afternoon Bob went to work and I ventured out with the girls to Walmart. But Walmart was closed. Between the very warm car and the long time it took to drive there and back, Kiree fell asleep. We went home.

Tuesday we saw that it was supposed to snow again, so Bob and I devised a plan for the day. He would go to work for a little while, I'd go to the store. There was a great deal of ice on the front porch and steps. Using a hammer, salt, towels, and a hair dryer I eventually cleared it all off. I later discovered that falling/melting snow/ice was causing the problem and I wacked it off with a broom out the window. Bob called just before we were about to leave and we ended up meeting him at the store (BJs this time) and we shopped and waited in the long lines together, as a family. I got the groceries and kids home and Bob worked at another office for a surprisingly long time. Then it started to snow.

It's supposed to snow for a while. Bob's breakfast meeting, my surgeon follow up appointment, our dentist appointments, and relief society meeting are all cancelled today. School is unsurprisingly cancelled for the rest of the week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow on and Snow forth

Earlier this week, we had a little bit of snow and school was delayed two hours. Bob shoveled the stairs and built us a tiny little snow man. The snowman fell down before us girls left the house, and was all melted by the time we got back from running around. I took the girls to the gym and then we drove Jaide to school. Kiree was pretty sad that she didn't get to get out and go to school with Jaide.

Friday night the big snow storm started up. There was a great deal of snow on the ground by Saturday morning. We were pretty much stuck inside. Bob did some shoveling. Meg did some shoveling. Bob helped the neighbor get his big jeep back into their parking spot (he got stuck just outside the driveway while it was still snowing). We made doughnuts and bread and later in the day I turned the snow that had collected in the bowl I set outside into snow icecream. It was a hit with everybody.

Church was cancelled. There's still quite a lot of snow, but the road seems pretty clear. The neighbor shoveled out our cars. Bob and I did some family history work. We found some of my ancestors in the 1870 and 1880 censuses.
We'll probably go play in the snow tomorrow. Kiree probably would have sunk in up to her eyebrows (or farther) if she'd gone out yesterday. Jaide didn't have too much fun when she went out with Bob, it was very hard for people with short legs to get around in. And we'll have to take some more pictures.