Monday, October 5, 2009

Snow Day!


Daddy gives everyone a ride on the snow shovel.

All day long Payton and Alyssa begged to go out and play in the snow. I waited until after lunch, then after quiet time. By then it was pretty warm, but I made them clean their rooms first. (Yes, I am a mean mom!) Daddy pulled up from working just in time for the fun to start!

Even friends, Bella and Ivy, got to come play. (Bella & Alyssa above.)

Then began "5 Phases of Snowman Destruction."

1. Knock off, er, I mean, completely destroy the head. (The most exhilarating phase.)
2. Climb it.
3. When all else fails, have sister help you climb it.
4. Rise up as conqueror!
5. Take a daredevil leap back onto solid ground.

Friends went home. Daddy hanged the shovels. Mommy started dinner. Kid's changed into dry clothes. Alyssa said, "Mommy, that was a lot of fun to have Bella over to play in the snow with us."

I smiled inside. Sometimes life is so simple and sweet.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Traditions

I never really cared for fall. It always meant the end of summer and the start of a long cold winter.

Last year I fell in love with autumn for the very first time. Now it seems more like a mild extension of summer. (Where winters are almost 9 months, every nice day counts.)

This year, I want everyone else in my family to enjoy autumn too, so, because I'm the mom, I decided to start some traditions to welcome it. Mostly, it would be things we do anyway, but, I wanted a specific time to start it, so "Conference Weekend" it is. I love "Conference Weekend" because I get to be home with my family and it's a fun time to prepare special meals for them.

"Saturday Conference" has always been a "clean-your-house-while-listening-to-conference" day for me --- so what better time to pull out our box of Halloween stuff and put up the decorations?

Each year, starting a couple years ago, my kids and I started making a ghost wreath to hang on our front door. (We pass out those ghosts to trick-or-treaters.) Perfect quiet conference activity!

For food.... pumpkin pie for dessert, that definitely tastes like autumn. But for dinner, I wanted something I could make a bunch of and freeze 1/2 until Halloween eve. I really wanted stew. But nothing popped into my head. Something special. Bread bowls? I couldn't find any so I tried making some. They weren't worth the work. And stew, apparently, does not freeze well --- I tried to find information on the internet and that's what I found out. So, I have another year to think of something else. (I spent so much time on the bread bowls that I never did get around to baking a pie.)

Sunday it snowed. And it snowed! Is autumn over already?!?!

That brings up another tradition we celebrate here, one I gleaned from a coworker about 11 years ago... He and his friends would meet at a certain gas station during the day of the first snowfall and sip hot cocoa.

But, here, I make it, and we sip it around the kitchen table. Mmmmmmm... it was really good!

I also (just last week) learned about "Conference Bingo" from another friend of mine. I could see my family do that! So, I sat down Friday evening and made up 4 Bingo cards. I was actually quite pleased with the nice results from my minimal effort. (If your interested I can send you a .pdf of the cards. It's all pictures so it's fun for everyone.) Sunday afternoon, we did play it, even Eli. We used Peanut M&Ms (my favorite) as markers. Not a good idea. They rolled all over the place. Next year, we'll use candy corn. (I think I'll eat fewer of those too.)

So, autumn, really, I do like you! Please, come back and visit! At least for a couple more weeks!!! I just bought some garlic to plant, and I just know I won't do it in the snow.

The Hunger Games

Just finished. I read it for book group. Need a good book? Read it! It's really good. I can't wait to get started on the sequel, Catching Fire. Stephanie, thanks so much for making me take time to read. I so enjoy it.