Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snowed On, Snowed In, Snowed Under

The old year ended with snow, and the new year has started the same way. After getting a bunch of the white stuff dumped on us earlier in the week, we started Sunday with enough falling and anticipated to warrant canceling church today and possibly school tomorrow. It’s enough to send the adults in the home into fits of nostalgia for the California winters of our youth. Nevertheless, we pressed on by adding a few extra layers and taking a little extra time.

Mike found out that "selfie" was named the 2013 word of the year by the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary. The kids seem to like taking them: 

Monday, December 30 – Last week at this time, we thought we were going to be taking a road trip to Idaho to take Diamond to school. The last-minute anonymous donation of miles toward a flight gave us not only the gift of avoiding traveling along potentially treacherous roads, but time to take care of some of Diamond’s packing needs here. In an effort to fight off cabin fever, Hallie took the kids to Lakeside Mall, where they rode on a two story carousel. Mike stayed at home working in preparation for the coming semester.  
Celebratory cupcakes for the Rose Bowl

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 – Hallie took Diamond to get her hair done while Mike took our kids and Laurel’s kids to the local movie theater to watch Frozen. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Lots of trope bending. Mike had thought Olaf the snowman was going to be hokey, but he had a surprising amount of charm. 

We spent a low-key New Year’s Eve at home with pizza and a couple of movies. Using our Roku, we discovered that we could watch a live stream of the festivities at Times Square. Whether we were actually watching it live or two minutes delayed is beside the point. . . . Landon managed to stay up all the way to midnight and was confused by the idea that after midnight was the morning in spite of it being dark outside.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 – Happy New Year! Using the Livestream channel, we watched the Rose Parade from sunny Pasadena on good ol' KTLA Channel 5 while we got pummeled with several inches of snow and watched the thermometer drop.

What to do with the kids?
Outside. Out with you! Out into the weather that is so cold it makes the moisture in the windows freeze. . . . On second thought. . . .

After sending them outside for a few minutes to play with their toy construction equipment, we made fun for ourselves indoors. Landon found his roller skates and decided that today he would learn how to use them.
Hardwood floors make a decent surface to learn this sort of thing. 

Hallie straightened Eliza’s hair, and Eliza paraded around in her new do.

She also got in on the roller skate action. 

Later on, Mike and the kids built gingerbread houses Hallie had found as a sweet deal (so to speak) at Aldi.

Diamond went on one last split with the sister missionaries before heading back to school. It’s been a real blessing for her to continue serving with the sisters as she has made the transition back to “real” life.

Thursday, January 2 – We got yet more snow today—light, powdery stuff that has coated the world in a blanket of beautiful powdery white. Hallie and Landon spent a long time out shoveling it in the morning, but by midday, you couldn’t tell they had done anything. Diamond spent most of the day visiting with her family members. The rest of us did some tidying up around the house. One of the sets of elders came by to bid Diamond farewell, and Mike took them to their afternoon appointment. The roads were marginally passable, even by Grosse Pointe standards. With the weekend’s predicted weather, we seemed sure to be in for some wild road conditions.

After Diamond got home, we watched Saving Mr. Banks, and then after the kids went to bed, we grown ups watched Mary Poppins. Probably should have watched the films in reverse, considering Diamond had not seen Mary Poppins before and Saving Mr. Banks was more for adults. Oh, well!

Friday, January 3 – Hallie braved the elements to take Diamond off to the airport for her flight back to school. We have really appreciated having her here with us over the past month, and we will miss her. However, we also feel excited for her to start the next chapter of her life at college and know she will do great!

We spent the rest of the morning tidying up the kids’ rooms. We moved Eliza back into her room, which is kind of weird now that we have gotten used to both kids sleeping in the same room. Or rather, used to both little ones starting in the same room. For the last couple of months, Eliza makes her way into our room in the middle of the night each night. 

Owen came over to play in the morning to mid-afternoon. The three kids fed off each other's insane energy. Thank goodness for LEGOs and Disney videos. 

Saturday, January 4 – Hallie once again braved the elements to take Landon to gymnastics while Mike took down the Christmas decorations (with a little help from Eliza). While we don’t cry the day we take the tree down, we do feel that wistful bittersweet sense that comes with the departure of another Yuletide and arrival of the New Year. Onward and upward!

Even without TV, we couldn’t avoid all the buzz about the weather thanks to social media, so it came as no surprise when we received word that church was canceled tomorrow. It remains to be seen if the kids get a snow/severe weather day on Monday, but the signs seem to point that way.

Sunday, January 5 – We woke to snow and mucked-up roads, but the snow did not add very much to what was already on the ground. At midday, the temperature had risen into the 30s as the cold front came in and pushed the warm air out of the way. According to the Weather Channel, the storm actually has a name, Ion. Since when did we start naming storms? It is coming this afternoon along with an arctic vortex of frigid air. Joy. Anyway, we’re hunkered down and as ready as we’re going to be to deal with the cold. The prospect makes the thought of a California winter like those from our childhood very attractive right now. 

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