Winter’s Beauty

Its been so cold here lately.  Highs in single digits and lows in the negatives, factor in the wind chill and we have had several days of no school and a very cold house.  The type of cold that when you take a deep breath in, you feel your lungs form ice crystals and your exposed skin starts to tingle.  Despite the deep freeze, the scenery created by winter is beautiful and I can’t help but enjoy it.

 

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Relaxing… new meaning

My idea of relaxing usually involves a calm, quiet place.

After dinner, my evening consisted of helping the girls with homework in German, spelling, math and then studying for a science quiz about soil with Isabella.  With the long christmas break, followed by snow days and holidays, the kids’ sleep schedules are out of whack.  In order to help them fall asleep, I have been running warm baths with essential oils.  I light a candle, turn off the lights and have them breathe deeply and try to relax in the water.  Immediately after the bath, I tuck them in for (hopefully) the night.  So far, this seems to help ease them into sleeping.

Tonight, after their baths, I waited for the hot water to return so I could take my own calm, quiet, relaxing bath.  When it was finally time, I filled the tub with scalding hot water and slipped in with candlelight casting shadows on the bathroom wall.  Then I heard it, the sound of feet hitting the floor, the bathroom door opened and cold air flowed in.  Just like that, poof, the candle was blown out and Blackburn flipped on the light.  He said he just had to go to the bathroom.  I talked to him through the shower curtain, knowing my moment of relaxation had just passed.  I sighed as he exited long enough to grab his remote control, monster truck and then he returned back into the bathroom.  He showed me one cool trick after another and then I asked him about his day today at preschool.  Such a simple question.  He began to tell me about the new things they have in the muscle room, the fact that the teachers said it was too cold to play outside (he did not agree), he told me about his grapes that he had for snack and that he was getting better at writing his name (again he exited long enough to grab paper and a marker so he could show me) and he was correct, he is getting better.  He showed me how he can make a star and how he makes mountains now (better than most in his class, he told me).  As I listened I felt my body relax, the pain that had started earlier in my neck slowly faded away.  I was completely and totally relaxed.  He talked and I listened.  As my fingers became wrinkly and the water grew cold, I told him I was going to get out, to which he told me he needed to get to bed anyway.

I’m so glad he blew out that candle – turns out I didn’t need quiet after all.

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It’s a Mustard Yellow

We painted our dining room shortly before Christmas.  Before then it was a bright yellow and we both hated it.  We decided on a more golden, mustard yellow.  The painting went fast with Ben rolling the ceiling and walls and myself doing the edging.  For now, we have kept the same curtains.  We moved the bookcase from the living room into the dining room.  We still need to purchase a light and frame some prints we have collected over time, but we are making progress.

I'm just trying to keep these babies alive until spring/summer.  The cold temps in our house have not been kind.

I’m just trying to keep these babies alive until spring/summer. The cold temps in our house have not been kind.

The prints Ben purchased for me when we were in Savannah.

The prints Ben purchased for me when we were in Savannah.

The shelves were given to us by our old neighbors when they moved.   They hold css, candles and cookbooks

The shelves were given to us by our  neighbors before they moved. They hold our cds, candles and cookbooks.  They also hold our nature collections – stones, antlers, shells, etc.

We bought this at the Thornville Country Fair.  We bought this at the Thornville Country Fair.

I think the bookcase fits in pretty well with the room.

I think the bookcase fits in pretty well with the room.  The color of the wall in this picture is off.  It was difficult to capture the actual color.

We plan on hanging the tv above the mantle.  I hate this, but I have been outvoted on the decision to remove it.  The basket holds all the prints we still need to frame for the room.

We plan on hanging the tv above the mantel. I hate this, but I have been outvoted (4-1) on the decision to remove it. The basket holds all the prints we still need to frame for the room.

I think the layout works well for the family and I am so glad we purchased the extended table last year from Ikea. It’s the perfect size, especially when we have family and friends over for dinner.

All is right with the world…

We picked up Vita this morning and my prediction of a grumpy lass who just wanted to sleep when she got home was accurate.  Once rested she said she had a great time.  She made a t-shirt necklace, danced to the Wii, ate tons of food and spent time with her best friend.  After a restless night of meowing, Georgie was most relieved to have her back and promptly crawled in bed beside her.

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I wonder…

The middle one is at a sleepover tonight.  She packed all her essential toys and after searching through her overnight bag full of dolls, bracelets, art supplies and snacks I had to remind her to pack a change of clothes.  We will pick her up in the morning.  Both of the kids mentioned that they missed her.  The house is quiet now and all are asleep.  I wonder if she is still awake (she’s my night owl), I wonder if she had fun, I wonder if they have left a night-light on for her (she doesn’t sleep well in the dark).  I can’t wait to ask her how it went and what they did.  She will probably be too tired and maybe even a little grumpy in the morning to talk.  Georgie misses her, she has stayed in her room all day.  I miss her.

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Catching up…

I just realized I never shared our Christmas and Winter Solstice pictures.  I took a mini break right after the New Year and have a lot to catch up on.  As much as I love words and writing down thoughts, I don’t feel like sharing them unless I have photos too.  My camera has been noticeably absent lately and my hands are itching to take pictures.

Yearly staircase photo at the lake.  This was the best one we snapped.

Yearly staircase photo at the lake. This was the best one we snapped on our camera.  These are the great-grandchildren.  

Waiting for all the presents to be passed out on Christmas Eve.

Waiting for all the gifts to be passed out on Christmas Eve.

We fit in a couple of places on Christmas Eve. This is at my grandparents house.

We fit in a couple of places on Christmas Eve. This is at my grandparents house.

Darth Vader and Blackburn

Darth Vader meet Blackburn…Blackburn meet Darth Vader

Georgie watched over the presents back at our house Christmas morning.

Georgie watched over the gifts back at our house Christmas morning.
Captain America visited us.

Captain America visited us.

The big gifts for them this year were, remote control truck, Barbie dream house and a polaroid camera.   Yes, we are that family that has the Netflix fake fireplace playing in the background.

The big gifts for them this year were a remote control truck, Barbie dream house and a Polaroid camera. Yes, we are that family that has the Netflix fake fireplace playing in the background.

Enjoying the fire...smoke follows beauty.

Enjoying the fire…smoke follows beauty.

Solstice fire.

Winter Solstice 

It was  great to see family that we hadn’t seen since last Christmas Eve, letting the kids play with cousins and catching up with family and friends.  It is a long day, then once home Ben and I always have some finishing touches before we can go to bed and Vita tends to get up before 5:00 a.m. Christmas morning.  We convinced her to sleep with us for a couple more hours and she held out until about 7:00 a.m before waking us all up to open the gifts.