Category Archives: winter

The Year of the Ox

I just went running into my daughters’ room to tell them the one phrase I know in Chinese–Happy New Year. You see, years ago I was engaged to a guy who’s maternal grandparents were originally from China. The relationship with him was a total bust (whew) but I adored his grandmother and I learned how to say Happy New Year.

Man, his family was good to me–but I digress.

Fast forward many years to 2012. Caitlyn and Sue were enrolled at the local elementary school. The school had asked families to unplug for the week. I failed miserably, but the school also sent home some activity ideas. It was this time of year and it was Chinese New Year so I made my first attempt at making Chinese food. I don’t remember the food at all but a tradition was born.

Every year we do our best to make Chinese food for the Lunar New Year.

Caitlyn chose her recipes, I bought the ingredients. She cooked for hours to make us spring rolls, dumplings, and wonton soup. I made beef broccoli (pretty sure that is not authentic but we like it…). Patrice was her assistant in this process. She used carrots and purple cabbage to make the dumplings orange and purple. Making fortune cookies failed us, per usual, but it was fun. Caitlyn wrote little fortunes. Mine was, “You will give Caitlyn money soon”, daddy got, “don’t tell anyone, but I poisoned your food” and Patrice got, “Did you thank Caitlyn for this wonderful food?” Sue also gets to give Caitlyn money…since the cookies failed, I taped everyone’s fortune to a piece of candy.

It was really good and as Caitlyn said, “well, it kept me off my phone all afternoon.” Maybe the school did accomplish something all those years ago… 😉

When I Was Little

2014-11-13 09.09.54

I grew up further north than we currently live.  I remember snow on Halloween (man my legs were cold the year I was wearing a majorette costume!) and more snow 3 days before my birthday in middle of May.

Of course, there were years with less, when the snow came later, but more often than not, there was snow in November, toward the end of the month.

Down here?  Much less.

So imagine my surprise yesterday when the girls started screaming that it was snowing outside.  It was suddenly time to dig out the heavier winter coats.  Ah.  And time for the 45 minute dressing session to go outside for 10 minutes began.

All too soon for me.

I was really shocked when Caitlyn came in with a snowball.  Yes, folks there was enough for her to make a fair sized snowball to shove down her mother’s shirt.  Silly girl.  It got her one scream, and one snowball shoved down her shirt and smushed all over.

We had more flurries today.  One child was singing, “snow, snow, go away.”  Two were much more loudly singing, “snow, snow, stay, stay, stay.”

I kicked them all outside to play in the snow mixed with fall leaves.

If all else fails, make sure at least mama is happy!


Multitude Mondays 51-55

We had spring this week.  We had 2 days of 50 degree weather.  And it was glorious.  A lot of snow melted.  I went without a coat one day and got to do my running outside.  The heart starts dreaming of spring, while knowing it is much too early.  It is beautiful.

Now it is snowing, there are storm warnings like crazy. Winter is encapsulating us. It is right on schedule. It is beautiful.

My girls like to pray at dinner.  Caitlyn especially.  She always thanks Jesus for a warm house.  Today I echo her thanks.

51.  For a warm house.

52.  For new tires on the Jeep (I might need that 4 wheel drive!!!)

53.  For the beauty of snow.

54.  For clothes to wear, wash, fold and put away.

55.  For too much to eat, so we need to start a diet tomorrow.

I am not alone in my thankfulness. Please see what others are thankful for at A Holy Experience.

Hopelessly in Love on Works for Me Wednesday

I am hopelessly in Love with this hubby of mine and daddy of theirs. Nothing touches my heart more than to see him displaying his deep love for his girls. Today he showed that by spending extra time outside playing with them.

He is hopelessly in love with his girls and that works for me on this snowy Wednesday.

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Works for Me Wednesday has a fun Valentine’s Day theme this week.  Hop on over and enjoy!

This also worked for Things I Love Thursday.

Christmas on the brain–5 ? Friday

Here are my thoughts on Mama M’s 5 Question Friday.  Check out her blog hop for more fun!

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

I, like Mama M, choose to birth all natural, so that hurts, like wow.  But it is an empowering pain.  Really.  So, I would say that is my most painful thing, but it is too rewarding to be considered truly painful.  So, I’ll chose pancreatitis as my really painful thing.  As some of you may know, last year I had an outpatient procedure that went all wrong.  Some of the dye got in to my pancreas and caused pancreatitis.  9 days I was in the hospital.  It was horrible.  Morphine and some more powerful drug took the edge off it, but it was bad.  And it made eating or drinking food painful for a long time!

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

Well little Miss Patrice is 3 months old.  My sleep comes in chunks, but I think if I add it together I get about 6 hours, but that is while I am still off work.  Once I go back, that number will likely be lower…uggghhh.

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?

I don’t remember.  Santa Claus used to come to my great grandma’s house on Christmas morning while all the family was there.  We all talked to him and sat on his lap.  Little did I know it was MY dad dressed up in there!!!  He would drop my mom and I off and then say he had to go back home to put wood in the furnace (at that time my whole family heated our homes with wood, so it was not unreasonable someone was often running home to put wood in a stove), change into his suit, get white make up in his beard and mustache and head back to delight us kids.  My mom did not tell me for several years it was my dad, and my dad was mad when she did.  How cool is that though?

Even after Santa Claus was out of the picture, my mom waited until I went to bed to put out my gifts.  One year I decided I wanted to be Santa.  So I set my alarm, that was incredibly loud, to go off at 1 in the morning.  I did not hear it.  It rang and rang.  Finally my mom came and woke me up so I could go put the gifts I had for my mom and dad under the tree!

Another year, money was really, really tight.  There wasn’t going to be much for Christmas.  My mom was great at finding lots of little things so my sisters and I had gifts to open.  We got toothpaste and toothbrushes, undies, one year pencils with our names on them and lots of yard sale treasures.  And normally a doll or something.  But this year was going to be smaller than any before.  But someone decided to be “Santa” that year.  My Little Ponies were popular and someone gave me a My Little Pony barn and ponies.  It was so cool.  No one has ever fessed up, so that year, I KNOW “Santa” came to my house.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  It is my absolute favorite children’s book.  They did a good job with the movie!

5. What do you wear to bed?

Nursing pjs, of course!
Thanks, Mama M for bringing up some great family memories with your questions!

The above question about Santa started a conversation between a friend and I facebook. We both have young children. I asked how her family handles Santa Claus and focussing on Jesus at Christmas. I really appreciate her input as we navigate this same issue with out kids. I wish my kids could be oblivious to Santa, but we live in this world and even this morning they asked to watch a cartoon that includes Santa. We tell them Santa is a fun part of Christmas but what we celebrate is Jesus. Toward this end, I found a great book, Santa are you for Real? that gives a very simple, fun explanation of the history of Santa while talking about the importance of Jesus.  You can use the following link to find it and other great resources.

306299: Santa, Are You For Real? Board Book Santa, Are You For Real? Board Book

By Harold Myra / Thomas Nelson

In this book children will discover that there really was a Saint Nicholas. Through colorful illustrations and a heartwarming story, children and parents will learn who the real Saint Nick was, when he lived, and why he gave gifts. Most importantly, you’ll see how the original Saint Nick set an example for us today by keeping Christ at the heart of Christmas. Written by Harold Myra, President of Christianity Today, Inc., this trustworthy story is accompanied with fun, whimsical illustrations. For ages 2-5

Winter wonderland and daddy

I am not an outside type of person.  Not really much at any time of the year, unless I can be out jogging…and definitely not an outside person in the winter.  I like to look at the snow and look at the Christmas decorations and I am glad to live in a state with seasons, but otherwise, none of it is really my thing.

My husband enjoys it more and thanks to him, my kids are experiencing it.  In the summer he sets up the little kiddie pool, in the fall he takes them out to rake leaves and in the winter he takes them out to play when we have snow. 

This winter, we haven’t had much of that white stuff.  It’s been cold, awful cold, but not exceedingly white.  But oh my girls look for that snow. 

And when it comes…”can we go outside?”
“can we play in the snow?”
“Oh girls, that is something you do with daddy!”

Monday of this week was one of those days, we got quite a pounding of snow (between 6 and 9 inches depending on where you lived).  The girls had a rough afternoon so were in their rooms about the time daddy was done snowblowing and wanted to take them out, but I decided it would be okay to let them out to play, anything to get rid of some energy.

So the process begins to get them ready.  Caitlyn didn’t need much help at all, she was ready to go as soon as she heard the words..really, we have never seen her get her coat and stuff on so quick!  And Sue was very cooperative with getting all the stuff on, that is snowpants, boots, gloves and coats for both of them.

When you ask them what they did:

Caitlyn says, “we wore our boots and we made snow angels and angels and angels.  We didn’t finish the snow man, then we come in and have hot chocolate.”

What strikes me each time is how excited they are to go out with daddy…and how much they are crying from being cold when they come back in.  Caitlyn stays out just as long as she can stand it, but then is a basket case when she comes back in. She cries and cries at how cold her hands are.

And this week daddy had a good idea, hot chocolate.  Well with a 2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old it isn’t really HOT chocolate, but I made up some chocolate milk and warmed it a touch.  When Caitlyn tasted it, she declared “this is chocolate milk.”  Ah well, we tried.

They were not interested in pictures this week, but the other day we got some:

 I am glad they are having fun, but I have one thing to say—“Spring, please come soon!”
What do your kids/nieces/nephews like to do outside?  Do they have fun in the winter?  Do you go with them or are you the designated “undresser”, like I am?