Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowy Days

This is our 3rd winter living in Tennessee and they just keep getting snowier.  The first year there was hardly any snow.  Last year there was a lot more, and this year has topped them all.  School seems like it has been out of session more than in.  The week of school before Christmas break we missed 2 days of school due to snow.  Then it snowed off and on during Christmas break.  Since school has been back in session, we have missed at least one or two days every week for snow days.  Mind you, it doesn't take a lot of snow to cancel school because there is a lack of snow equipment here and many roads just don't get cleared or salted. This makes it dangerous to drive sometimes even with just a little bit of snow.  That said, there have been days where I think a two-hour late start would be adequate.(like today for example :)

While I enjoy the snow, I do wish the kids weren't missing so much school.  They have already used up their built-in snow days and already went to school on MLK day to make up one.  They will be also attending school on President's Day now and they will likely be implementing the plan where they stay late everyday until the days are paid off like last year.

Here's some pictures of a few things the kids have done in the snow this month:

One of the snow days, the 2 girls and their 2 friends plus sometimes Jarem built this snow fort/igloo.  I thought it was quite creative to use the little bucket and pack in snow to make bricks.  They spent nearly the entire day out there and still didn't quite finish so they went the next day after school and worked some more.  Their whole idea was once it was completed they were going to have hot chocolate and cookies together in their igloo.  When it was the 3rd day after they started and it still wasn't complete I was starting to get worried that they weren't going to be able to have their culminating activity before it all melted.  Fortunately for them though, the temperatures cooperated and didn't get above freezing those days.  The evening of the third day they finally got to have their hot chocolate and cookies.

Igloo from the entrance

They made seats for each person with the letter of their first name and cup holders by each seat for hot chocolate
Here they are sitting on their seats drinking hot chocolate...they only sat on their seats long enough to get the picture though.  They said their buns were freezing! :)
Picture from you can see the back wall was starting to fall in but was still solid
The day after this, it melted completely to the ground.  It was amazing they gathered this much snow because we didn't have that much.  They asked the neighbor if they could clear his driveway and used the snow for this.

Another day:

Tessa and Divya discovered the most delicious dessert ever!  They couldn't stop talking about how delicious it was.  They would gather up snow, form it in a ball, add caramel topping and/or white chocolate chips, and eat. 

They enjoyed it until I told them that snow might not be the best thing to eat...there could be dust and different things in it that it absorbed from the environment on the way down.  They were shocked and asked me why I didn't tell them this BEFORE they ate it.  Needless to say, they didn't eat anymore.  I feel a little bad now that I ruined the fun, but I think they had their fill anyway. :)

And these last pictures came from yesterday:

Yesterday early morning we got about 3-4 inches of snow.  It was soft, fluffy snow.  The thing that skiers call powder.  It was beautiful.

Deep Snow

We all went out and played in the snow for a few hours.  It wasn't that cold and the snow was awesome!  Even Alex came out and played with us.  They rolled around in the snow, we went down the hill with the snowboard as our sled, Alex even went once down the hill on the snowboard (he hasn't snowboarded in awhile, and did well), we made snow angels, and then we built a snow fort.  They kids were going to have a snowball fight: Jarem and Alex against Jesikah and Tessa.  Once they got their forts all built and snowballs ready, I had them come in for a late lunch.  After lunch, they didn't want to go back out so the snowball fight never happened, which is probably ok. :)  We ended the day with pleasant feelings.

Jesikah carrying the snowboard up the hill after sledding down

Alex so kindly saw she was struggling and went and got it and carried it up.  Then he boarded down.
Snow Angels:

The fort was taller than it appears in the picture.  Those things take a lot of work, especially with powder cause it doesn't stick together too well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I love making new year's resolutions! My dad was always big on new year's resolutions and I think he rubbed off on me. A lot of times, I forget them after a few months, but I love reviewing the last year, and having another chance to start over and make positive changes in my life.

My mental list of new year's resolutions is very long this year, so I am cutting it down a bit to make it realistic.

1) Prioritize and stay on top of things better--I have felt like I am constantly forgetting things because I don't write them down or I don't check what I write down.  I want to do better at remembering things by writing them down and checking and prioritizing.  Often, I do things that are of a low priority before I do higher priority things which in turn makes me in panic mode trying to get those high priority things done in a shorter time.  One way I have already started doing this is by writing down things I need to do as I think of them on a to-do notepad and checking and updating it each day.  I also have been prioritizing the list by high, medium, and low.

2) Exercise at least 4 days a week--I have tried a few exercise programs this year.  We had a membership to the gym for awhile and I did that very irregularly.  When school started, my neighbor and I started walking each morning and then I would do Pilates afterwards.  Then, late fall, Eric and I started p90x.  While that only lasted for a few weeks for me due to aggravating a previous knee injury, there were a lot of things I liked about it.  I'd like to incorporate all of these into my exercise this year.  Last year I made a goal to lose weight and become more fit.  I am happy to say that I am about 8 pounds lighter at the beginning of this year, and have become more fit.  I would like to become even more fit and lose another 8 pounds.

3) Do regular piano lessons with the girls--I have been teaching my kids piano lessons for the past few years and I have not been regular with their lessons.  Alex's lessons have been almost non-existent the past year, but the girls have been on average about once a month instead of once a week.  I want to be better about that this year.  I am going to put Alex in piano lessons with someone else this month and see how that goes.  He still has a real interest in piano, it is just not working well with me trying to teach him.  The girls are responsive with me so it is me that needs to be more consistent.

4) De-clutter/de-junk and re-organize every room in the house and donate or sell things we no longer use.  I plan to do this one room at a time and even if it takes several months, I hope to make it through the whole house by summer break.  I have already started with my bedroom.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

As our kids are getting older, they get more fun to play games with!  We were excited to have Kyle and Jessica come and spend New Year's Eve with us.  We put Jarem to bed around 9 or 10, but we let everyone else stay up until midnight.  We had yummy snacks (crab dip with club crackers was my favorite) and played Apples to Apples until midnight.  It was a lot of fun.  I bought the adult version of Apples to Apples (we previously had only the kid's version)  and it has been like re-discovering the game all over again.  We also had a fun dinner with friends one of the nights of Christmas break and played it and had a great time.  It has been a family favorite.  At midnight, we drank ginger ale.  Jesikah felt it was important to have the fancy glasses, so she got those out for us.

New Year's kisses. :)