Digging Out

The kids could hardly wait to get outside this morning and I couldn't wait to get them outside! It is really cold today with our expected high at a whopping 17 degrees but we were going outside!

After getting the kids all bundled up we went outside to face the cold. The kids had a blast digging tunnels and Michaela pulled the kids around the courtyard on the sled. I kept warm by digging my way down to the laundry room. Since Emersynne was wearing her last clean outfit, laundry couldn't wait another day.

There is sunshine and blue sky so hopefully we get a chance to dig out before we get more snow.


Snow, snow, and even more snow!

We've had another weekend at home because of a storm coming in. Last weekend it was ice and this weekend it was snow. It started snowing Friday afternoon and didn't stop until Saturday night. We had a very little break and then another storm hit Sunday morning.

So, for the second week in a row church was canceled. Our Sacrament meeting Christmas program will be performed next week so now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that we actually get to have church!

Our Sunday was spent watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional with the kids, making Christmas ornaments, and making more Christmas cookies. As we sat around the table working on our various projects I couldn't help but feeling like I was inside a snow globe. Even though all this snow has caused havoc with our schedules it sure was pretty to be inside my nice warm home with my family and watch the snow fall.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention that Sunday afternoon we got a phone call that made some of us laugh and some of us cry. No school until January 5th. The kids were supposed to go back to school today and tomorrow but this weekend snow storm took care of that. By the time the kids go back to school after the holidays they will have been off for more than three weeks. Only half of that was scheduled vacation time. The other half was school closings from the ice storm and the snow storm. Looks like there will be lots of makeup days at the end of the school year.


Cookie decorating fun

Since the kids didn't have school AGAIN we decided to decorate cookies today. We've done lots of crafts, projects, and baking to keep us busy during these cold stormy days but we are all starting to feel a bit stir crazy. Or, maybe it's just me. Our house is small and it feels even smaller when I have six kids to keep busy and happy. Wish I could just send them outside to play!

Abigail and Trevor got to lick the beaters after I made the frosting.

I gave Abigail her own little bowl of frosting since I knew she would just sit and eat it all. She had a great time! Wonder why she didn't want any lunch?



During our two day power outage Michaela discovered that the best way to stay warm was to sit and hold Emersynne. It was a win win situation since Emersynne was extra fussy those two days. It seems she could tell that things were stressful and not the way they normally are. Michaela sat and held her until she fell asleep.

Day two of no power our house was lots colder when we woke up and kept getting colder throughout the day. The kids all thought Emersynne looked so cute in her tomato hat (that's what they call it) so I had to take a few pictures.

Don't you just love that double chin?


This morning we woke up to snow. Not very much but enough that the kids were begging to go outside. It was only soft for a little bit and soon had a coating of ice over the top. Now everything is icy and slippery and I am so thankful to have heat.

The kids shoveled our entire courtyard. Anthony and Natalie came in for a hot chocolate break but then went out to finish the job. They were trying to hurry because they wanted to have it all done before the bobcat came through to plow. They got it all done just as the bobcat was driving into our courtyard.

Abigail was loving the snow and even though her cheeks were bright red and her hands were freezing she didn't want to come in. We had to bribe her with hot chocolate and marshmallows!


Laundry, laundry, laundry

After four days of total chaos we are trying to put some order back into our lives. The kids were home from school today and were all good helpers with getting the house cleaned up and getting the laundry done. We ended up with nine loads of laundry. It's amazing how much more laundry there is when eight people are wearing extra clothes to keep warm!

Still thousands without power and today we found out that school is canceled for the rest of the week. This storm has really shut things down. I had some children excited to be home for the rest of the week and one upset because tomorrow was supposed to be the school concert. So far they have missed the bake sale, Holiday craft fair, Secret Santa, and now the school concert. Not much we can do about it though.

Tonight Natalie and I baked some cookies so tomorrow we will decorate Christmas cookies and have our own little bake sale.

Jeremiah told me this storm was all my fault because I was wishing for a snow day so I could have my kids at home to enjoy some holiday baking with them. Their Christmas break doesn't start until December 24th so I was hoping for a snow day before then so we could have some Christmas fun. One day would have been plenty and I wasn't expecting six days. We are trying to make the best of it and enjoying getting holiday preparations done ahead of time. The kids are all done with their shopping and tomorrow we will get the wrapping done too. I have no idea what we will do Thursday and Friday!

Our long cold weekend has turned into a really long week but at least we are warm and can use our oven to bake cookies.


The long cold weekend!

A storm unlike any other we have ever experienced hit our area Thursday night. We went to bed listening to heavy rain hitting the roof and woke up in the early hours of the morning Friday listening to the cracking of trees falling over. The temperatures were just right so that rain fell but everything it touched was soon coated in ice.

With no power we pulled out our emergency radio to find out if school was canceled. The children were really excited to learn that they got to stay home. That excitement was soon lost when they realized exactly what it meant to not have power. Natalie went from room to room testing all the lights and informing me that they didn't work. She even went downstairs to see if the Christmas tree lights worked. So we took a few minutes to explain to the children what it meant to not have electricity. No TV, no computer, no fridge, no freezer, and no heat!

Not being able to watch the news and get a report of how bad the damage was we were expecting the power to be on within a few hours. When we learned that it wouldn't be a few hours but would be a few days we were a little concerned. It was cold in our house and the temperatures outside would be dropping into the teens that night. Because we have a gas hot water heater and a gas stove we still had hot water and were able to cook on the stove. We drank lots of hot chocolate, dressed in layers, and used up all our blankets when we went to bed Friday night.

The kids were troopers and although they didn't like being cold they sure did enjoy using flashlights. I wish I had a picture of the kids sitting on the living room floor wrapped in blankets and playing a rousing game of Go Fish. Trevor had the job of holding the flashlight so the other kids could see their game.

We were very fortunate to be one of the early places to get power back on. After two really long and really cold days our power came back on Saturday night. It was so nice to be warm again.

Since our Church building and lots of our ward members were still without power church was canceled yesterday. It was another day at home but at least our home was warm once again! Some friends of ours came over and spent the day with us so they could shower and bath their children, do some laundry, and enjoy electricity. It was a bit crazy with 10 children but we did manage to have a 5 minute primary lesson after lunch and before nap time.

Today was another no school day for the children and tomorrow they will be home as well. So many people still without power and so much clean up still to be done.


Three Months Old!

It's hard to believe that our little Emersynne is already three months old. She is such a good little baby and we are loving her smiles!

Here is a sample of what a good natured baby she is.


Christmas countdowns

Our five Christmas countdowns are hung in various spots of the kitchen, dining room, and family room. That is the first thing that is done in the morning by the children. Before they know what to do they have to look at the chart on the fridge to see whose turn it is. We have five different countdowns and the kids all rotate taking turns on each one. They like having the variety and doing the different countdowns but it is getting rather complicated keeping track of who is doing what and on which day.

I think we finally have a good system down but I do think it is funny that we have to have a countdown to keep track of our countdowns!

Maybe next year we will think about switching so everybody has their own countdown.

Christmas fun!

To kick off the Christmas season and give the children an opportunity to do some missionary work we hosted a movie night at our house. Each of the school kids invited two school friends to come over Saturday night and watch Mr. Krueger's Christmas and have cookies and hot chocolate.

We started off the evening with the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas and then moved on to Mr. Krueger's Christmas. All the kids that were invited were able to come so we had kids all over the floor. Even Trevor's little friend Max was able to join us for the evening.

The evening was a success and all seemed to have a good time. And in case you are wondering........yes, the hot chocolate came out of the carpet.

Trimming the tree!

The day after Thanksgiving our tree was brought out of the box and set up. The plan was to decorate it that day but after Jeremiah spend two hours messing with lights that didn't want to work the decorating never happened. So our tree sat a whole week waiting to be decorated. Friday we finally made it happen. It was 8:30 at night and the kids should have been in bed but we got the tree decorated!

Don't you love the eggnog mustache on Abigail? She really got into the decorating and pulled out all the candy canes to put on the tree. I soon realized that after she put them all on she was pulling them all off so she could put them up again.


I was wrong

I should have known better than to put my trust in any organization other than the Church of Jesus Christ. I was saddened and hurt by this statement that I read today at apple.com:

No on Prop 8

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees' same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person's fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.

I have been a loyal Mac Addict for years, and it pains me to the core to see a company that is in so many ways superior to the competition blunder into the political arena and on the wrong side to boot. I am now torn with indecision. Burning questions torture my brain.

Who is the press release quoting?

How does Prop 8 affect someone's right to marry? (A gay guy could still get married, just not to another guy.)

Would I be supporting gay marriage by buying Apple products in the future?

Have I already financed gay marriage with my past Apple purchases?

Is Windoze still the "dark side?"

Should I join the dark side and use a PC? (Not likely.)

Is there any guarantee that the company from which I purchase computers (or any other good or service) in the future won't also break my heart and undercut my confidence?

Perhaps most important:

What else should I have expected from a company who's logo was originally a rainbow-colored apple?

Marry different.


Early Christmas Present

Emersynne has given me the best early Christmas present ever. I don't think anything else will top this one!

She has been sleeping through the night. When I say sleeping through the night I mean sleeping 11-12 hours straight! It is pretty unbelievable. None of my babies have started doing this so early. She isn't even 3 months old yet and started sleeping really long stretches at 2 months. It's been pretty consistent now and has happened for over a week. Since she has been taking a pacifier and not sucking her thumb I was not expecting her to sleep like this. My other kids started sleeping really well when they found their thumbs but that was not until around 4 or 5 months old.

When I snuck in to check on her one morning after she had already been asleep 11 hours I found out the reason for her sleeping so well. She had found her thumb after all. I had never seen her sucking it during the day and it seems she only finds it in her sleep.

Thank goodness for thumbs!


Secret Santa

As we sat around the living room discussing what things we wanted to do this Christmas season Natalie came up with a really good idea. We have started the Secret Santa tradition. Today was day three and the kids are really enjoying it.

Every morning we each pick a family members name and then do secret acts of service for that person throughout the day. At first the kids weren't sure what to do but they have quickly learned that it doesn't have to be anything big. Sometimes the acts of service are small and unnoticed by the receiver but the Secret Santas are learning that it feels good to serve even when it goes unnoticed!

It will be interesting to see if the excitement continues through the upcoming weeks.