Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Last Days of Summer

Oh how I love summer time! Our water double from swimming and playing in the sprinkler nearly every day, we go through sunscreen like it's going out of style, and we drink capri suns by the truck load, but it's summer time! There's just nothing like summer, especially when you're a kid. It's such a carefree time of year. I'm much more free to let the kids do just about anything in the backyard because I accept that they will inevitably be filthy at the end of the day anyway. So, we dig in the dirt, we walk until we are sweaty and stinky, we eat on the patio, then we end the day with long bubble baths to get everyone clean.

This summer has been particularly fun because for the first time in a while, I have had all 3 kids able to walk around and play without having to worry too much. Last summer, Ayda had just turned 1 and couldn't really play outside without my constant supervision. This year, since she is 2, I have been able to relax more. I can actual read a book or surf the web while the kids all play and entertain themselves. But alas, we must get back to school work, and summer must come to an end. I thought I would take a look back at all the fun things we did this summer.

Our summer began this year with the purchase of a slip-n-slide. It was the first one we had ever bought, and although it didn't make it all the way through the season, it was the best $9 I ever spent. Look at the fun we had!

So, we have warm weather, water, what else do we need? Ice cream! We love having Lic's within walking distance from our house! As an added bonus, the ice cream was free since my kids got coupons from the library during the summer reading program! Yea!
This year, we decided to get a zoo membership for the first time. We wore that out too! The kids and I went to the zoo sometimes 3 times a week! They never got tired of seeing the animals, and I loved how well they slept after all that walking! Here they are with daddy right under the jaquar. Very neat!

One of their favorite places to go at the zoo is to see the prairie dogs. They love crawling through the tunnels and popping up inside the prairie dog home. It's so cute!

We took a break from visiting the zoo animals to pay a visit to the animals at the ol' county fair. Let me just state for the record that I don't particularly like the county fair. It's usually hot, it smells, and the animals are just gross. My kids, however, love it. Needless to say, we usually take them. While no one would actually touched the animals, Makenna loved to have her picture taken with them (well, at a safe distance from them).

Since Ed was on vacation the first week of August, we decided to take a trip to Indy to visit his parents. Since we became foster parents, we got a free family membership to the children's museum there. We were thrilled! It took us hours to see everything and I think we even missed part of it. It was amazing! In this picture, the kids were on the human kaleidoscope. They were slowly moving around in a circle while looking at TONS of beautiful colored glass.

Back at home, life with our new little puppy was getting a little crazy. The kids who once thought Mace was just so cute were learning that, like most puppies, she is also rotten. Wyatt and Makenna were playing in their sand table when Maci jumped up and started digging and throwing sand all over the place. Makenna was horrified that Maci would actually destroy her castle!

Finally, with just a few more weeks of summer to "hang" around and be free...

We decided to go to the zoo for a celebrity sighting--Dora the Explorer! Two of the three kids were excited to see her. Wyatt was behind a bush scared for his life. Cute kid. Hehe

We have had one of the best summers in years and I hate to see it end, but I am anxious to see what this school year will hold for us. Makenna is learning to read, Wyatt is learning to write letters and numbers, and Ayda is just being the little princess she is. Life is going by quickly! I am so thankful for my husband who works so hard so that I can be home to share these moments with my kids. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Book Review--No Girls Allowed

I recently received the book No Girls Allowed: Devotions for Boys from Tyndale for review. I think the book would be very appealing for young boys. I believe it is aimed at boys over the age of 6, but I think it's even appropriate for younger boys. My son is 4 and he can relate to the characters such as Batman and Spiderman and the choices they make. I think the authors have done a great job of understanding the characters young boys like to read about. Most people wouldn't think to ask "What would spiderman do" and then compare that to "What would Jesus do?" What a way to grab boys' attention! The devotional also has occassional games, word puzzles, and word searches for older boys. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has boys ages 5-8 years old!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Newest Addition

Well, we did what we said we would never do again....we got a puppy. After all the trouble we had with our last dog and all of his health problems, we swore we would never get another dog. I had actually grown to like my house free of dog hair, dog toys, muddy footprints, and all the other messes that go along with having a dog. My kids had come to like not having a dog waking them up from naps too early, getting them soaked after a bath, and pooping in the yard they play in. Life was good. Then, we met this little gal and just couldn't say no.

Meet Maci. Maci is the most loving, loyal dog I have ever known. She is adorable (obviously) and she has given me a reason to get out and walk every day. Our hope is that as she grows up, she will be a great guard dog for our kids. Now, I've read all those Carl books, and trust me when I say that I realize she can't actually babysit for us. What she can do, though, is be my eyes and ears in the house or in the backyard when I am busy with something else. When I run in the house to grab drinks for the kids, I know that she will at the very least bark if someone comes to our backyard. So, her being here is not just to raise the cute quotient of the house...she'll serve a purpose too.

We did research on many different breeds of dogs before welcoming Maci into our family. We considered a german sheperd for their intelligence, a boxer for their protectiveness, and just plain ol' mutts because they are usually some of the best dogs. We decided, though, that a lab would just fit really well with three wild, crazy, obnoxious....I mean...angelic kids. :) We were right about that. Maci is playful and yet gentle and is a perfect match for our kids.

Maci may not have been the best choice, however, for a mom who likes things taken care of and not ever damaged in any way. I'm not OCD about cleaning or anything--anyone who comes to my house can attest to that. I accept the fact that we have 3 kids, so there will be clutter. I'm ok with that. I just like to keep MY things as they are intended to be. When I read a book, I like to hold it open just enough to read it; there's no need to bend it backwards and inside out to see inside! Books certainly should never be chewed on! I like to keep my kids' toys in good condition and with all of the parts together (maybe not as much for them, but so that I can resell them later). I just don't like things torn up and so far, God has given me kids who are just like me. The dog, however, is not mine. Maci has a mind of her own and I think the only thing that runs through that little mind of hers is "What can I chew on now?"

After a few days of having her, I went to the library and got the book "Marley and Me." I had seen the movie years ago, but never read the book. The actual thought that went through my head went like this: "It will be funny to read about another lab. Since we have a lab now and know that they can sure get into trouble, we will get even a bigger kick out of hearing tales of a really BAD lab." I honestly thought that. A few days later, I stopped half-way through the book and returned it. I didn't need to read any more about that "bad dog"--I was living with her!

In just the few weeks we have had her, Maci has walked past walls and tried to eat them, torn up at least 2 pieces of my carpet, dug no less than 5 holes in our yard, eaten more marker/pen lids than I can count, has done horrible things to my daughters' baby dolls, and has bitten nearly everyone in the house (although playfully). Anything she can reach, and somethings she can't, she will try to chew up. I'm amazed that she never tires of the same ol' thing. She's a mess, and yet we all love her. We may be in for the ride of our lives with this girl, but so far we're enjoying it. Just be warned that if you come to my house to visit, you will likely be greeted by a cute little face, a lick on your feet, and a wack on your leg (by her tail). If you sit, she will be right on your lap--even if she is bigger than you. Spend a little while with her, though, and you'll see why we've kept her. You can't help but to love little Maci!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review and GIVEAWAY--Hands on Bible

I was so excited to receive my copy of the "Hands-On Bible" from Tyndale for review. The desciption alone had me anxious, but I was pleased to find out that it did, in fact, live up to it in real life! This is a great bible for kids of nearly any age. I believe Tyndale recommends it for children over the age of 5 (I could be wrong there), but I'm going to use if for all of my children (ages 5, 4, and 2). I love that it includes 52 activities--one for each week. This will be an excellent tool for me as I homeschool my kiddos. There is so much to do and read in this bible, it will take us many years to do it all! What a great bible for kids!

If you'd like to receive a free copy of this bible, simply follow my blog and leave a comment on this post. I'll choose a winner in a week and send your certificate for your free Hands-On Bible.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Book Review: An Army of Ordinary People

I have so rarely come across a book that I don't like. I recently did, however, when I received "An Army of Ordinary People" (by Felicity Dale) from Tyndale Books. I was so excited about reading the book as it was supposed to be about people "being the church" wherever you are. What a great, although not new, idea! I really enjoy and am encouraged by stories about people simply being Christ-like in their lives, even when no one is watching.

I did not find these uplifting stories in "An Army of Ordinary People." Instead, I found a lot of information that is simply wrong. I think scripture was twisted and misused throughout the book. The book was a collection of stories about people "being the church." In addition to all of the stories starting to sound alike, they seemed to be presenting the idea that the church itself is not important. Dale often pointed out that if two or more are gathered in Jesus' name, they are in fact a church. After 4 or 5 chapters, I felt like the book was written in order to show people why they should leave the church. While Dale said the church itself is okay, it was obviously not what she thought was best.

To say the least, I was disappointed in this book. I would not recommend it. On to the next book on my list...

I think I'm going to read some C.S. Lewis--can't go wrong there!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Makenna's prayers

Lately, Makenna has become quite the little prayer warrior. I am so proud of her and sweet heart. In the past few weeks, some of her prayers have been:

"Dear God, thank you for our family. Thank you for our teachers at church that tell us about Jesus. Some kids don't have a family or a church to tell them about Jesus, so we have to tell them."

"Dear God, thank you for our family and for our church that tells us about Jesus, and for Bro. Dane (our pastor), because you have to have a preacher."

"Dear God, thank you for giving us food so we don't die."

"Dear God, I hope Ayda is quiet so I can get to sleep tonight."

And then there are those run-on prayers such as, "Dear God, thank you for the day today. Thank you for the sunshine. I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow because I want to swim in the pool. I wanted to swim yesterday, but Mommy said it was too cold. She said maybe we can go tomorrow, but not in the morning, because the water has to get warm....." etc. :)

The girl just says it like it is--no holding back. What is so sweet, though, is how she sees God. She has learned, at only 5-years-old, that God is a friend who she can talk to about anything. Sometimes her prayers are her list of "hope fors," while sometimes they're just a run-down of what she did that day. It's easy for her to talk to God, though. I hope that she never loses that feeling of comfort and ease when she prays. She just has talks with God...and often makes me laugh in the process.

Family Funnies

A sure sign that my kids have been watching too much t.v.--
I was unloading the dishwasher yesterday and Wyatt was standing beside me. All of a sudden, he started singing, "Who's that lady? Sexy lady" (you know, the swiffer commercial?) Of course, in cute little 4-year-old language, it was, "Who's that wady? Sessy wady." :)

That kid cracks me up!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Review: Facing Your Giants

I recently read Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado and realized how I've missed Lucado. I used to read every Max Lucado book I could get my hands on, but had eventually quit because his books tend to all sound alike after a while. Having been a while since I've read anything by him, this book was a breath of fresh air. Oh how I've missed his ability to tell a story like few can! I was hooked from the very first chapter.

Lucado tackles the many different "giants" we face in life: disappointment, hatred, loneliness, bitterness, and grief just to name a few. He uses the life of David as a backdrop to the book. The low points in David's life are experienced by so many of us today. In fact, for each episode of David's life, Lucado uses a modern-day example of people who have experienced the same thing. The lesson to be learned is that no matter what, God can bring us through the "slumps" of our lives. As Lucado puts it, "Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone."

The chapter that spoke the most to me was about forgiveness. This theme actually ran throughout many of the chapters, but Lucado sums up the whole point of forgiveness when he writes, "Forgiveness is choosing to see your offender with different eyes." We are to see both situations and people through the eyes of God. Not an easy task!

Facing Your Giants was both an encouragement to me and a lesson on how to rely on God no matter what the circumstances. I highly recommend it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family Funnies

Tonight we went to Family Christian Store and the kids were actually really good. Of course, when we got up to the register to pay, Wyatt knocked over a whole shelf of books, while Makenna almost knocked over a CD display. Things started getting a little chaotic and of course I saw a clearance table, so we had to go back to shop some more. Our time of shopping with Wyatt was up. He was touching everything and I was so afraid he was going to break something. He started getting whiny and got into trouble. I had Ed take Wyatt and Ayda to the van to prevent any more problems while I paid (for the second time!).
So, tonight, when I put the kids to bed, I prayed with Makenna. I prayed, "Dear God, thank you for our family. Thank you for our Grandma who stayed with us all day today. And thank you for Makenna being such a good girl tonight at the store." Makenna then prayed, "Dear God, thank you for our whole family. I didn't want to get in trouble, that's why I didn't act like Wyatt in the store tonight." She's such a funny little girl!

Monday, February 8, 2010

She sings!

Yesterday in Sunday School, my kids were learning about the 12 disciples. Makenna told her teachers that she knows a song about them and she proceeded to sing it for them. They asked her if she'd sing it in front of the church that night. Anyone who knows Makenna knows that she is terribly shy and never wants the attention on her. Imagine my surprise when she actually did it! Her teacher sat up on the stage with her as she held the microphone and sang! It's a little difficult to understand some parts (she's not finished with speech therapy yet!), but it's so precious. The words are as follows:

There were twelve disciples Jesus called to help him:
Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John,
Philip, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus,
Thaddeus, Simon, Judas, and Bartholomew.

That would be a lot for any 5-year-old to say! Anyway, here's Makenna singing "The 12 Disciples"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Journey Begins!

The time has finally come. Tonight is the first night of the training Ed and I will go through to become foster parents and possibly adoptive parents! We will be training throughout the month of February and will hopefully have a child (or children) in our home by this spring. We're so excited about it. I wanted to share just a little bit of our story and how we got to this point. I hope that, by reading our story, other families will see the need for foster parents and will get involved.

My mom said it well last when she said, "When you are obedient to God's call, He equips you to do what He called you to do." I am still amazed at the changes in my attitude and desires lately. It was just a few months ago that God put foster parenting and/or adoption on my heart. My answer was always the same: "We don't have the money for any more kids. We like our life just the way it is." Over the following few weeks, however, I was surrounded by foster parenting. I would hear a conversation at the mall, I'd hear people on t.v. talk about being raised in foster homes, I started coming across blogs by people who foster/adopt kids, etc. It was everywhere! It almost became comical to me. I would be watching a show and someone would say in passing that they were raised in a foster home. I would look at Ed to see if he noticed it too. This was not going to go away!

I finally took that first step and talked to Ed about the possibility of doing foster care. To my surprise, he didn't object! What was going on here? Was this the same man who said a few years ago, "Do you really think we can afford 3 kids?" You can imagine my surprise when he was just open to this! Since then, though, I have been even more surprised by the change in me. After spending about 1.5 hours in an informational meeting about foster care, there was no turning back. I can honestly say that I walked out of that meeting and have not one time thought about the money factor. Not once! It's not a concern for me at all.

My concern, from that night on, has been for these children that are getting tossed around and all too often lost in the system. I realized that we, as Christians, have been missing the boat. I'm including myself in this group too. We have been too content and too self-centered. We like having our little family just the way we planned it. I know because I was there! I have always wanted 3 kids, I had my 3 kids, and that was it. I like my life! I see now that it's not just about me. So many kids need homes and families, and too many of us have wonderful christian homes to offer, but we don't want our lives inconvenienced.

I found out a startling statistic at the meeting I attended. The "cut-off" age for children waiting to be adopted in the state of Indiana is eight. Now, that doesn't mean that you can't adopt a child over the age of eight. It means that if a child isn't adopted by the time he is 8 years old, the chances of him being adopted are slim to none. Eight years old! They're still so young! They also pointed out that the state so badly wants these children adopted that they will pay money to the adoptive family every day until he/she is 18 (sometimes 20) years old! How sad that no one is there to help.

Another troubling thing I noticed is that there are so many people who ARE passionate about helping these kids. Gay and lesbian couples are fighting tooth and nail for the right to adopt these children. Why are we, as Christians, not as passionate as these people to save these children? We have so much to offer them, and yet we don't.

I'm so excited to get started in this process. So much has taken place already. Even during the one hour I spent at my informational meeting, change took place. The meeting began by the case worker asking who was there for the purpose of adopting and everyone raised their hand except for me. I was interested strictly in fostering. By the time I got home, I was talking to Ed about adoption. Fast forward a few days ahead and we were talking about the possibility of getting a 15 passenger van (instead of a minivan) because we can take more children in that way!

I just can't wait for what God has in store for our family. I just asked Ed last night if he ever thinks about what our family will look like 5, 10, or even 20 years from now. Oh the changes that could take place! It's exciting! Please pray for our family as we venture into this new area.

I saw this quote on another blog and thought it was very fitting and worth sharing:

"Children will come in and out of our home, but they will never leave our hearts. My first prayer is that we can be a part of saving families. That is what the children need most. If a family cannot be saved, I pray that we can become a new family. Some will stay and some will go. The right ones always stay."

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Just 4 Days

Wow, what a weekend we've had here. It all started Friday night when we finally got the girls' bunk beds together. They were so excited! We had Grandma and Papaw come over to check out the new room, we stayed up late, the whole nine. They had been waiting for these beds for months and now they had them. Here's the pic:

Then, when it was time for Ed and I to go to bed (around 11:30), I just couldn't do it. I couldn't leave my 1 year old in the room with a ladder leading to a bed 6 feet off the ground. I kept imagining her climbing up in the middle of the night and falling. It scared me so much that by midnight, I had taken the mattress off the toddler bed and moved it into our room. Ayda slept on a mattress on our floor for the rest of the night.

The next morning, the first thing we did was make the bunk beds two twin beds (both on the floor). It made for tight quarters, but I was still excited about how cute everything was. Here's what the room looked like 12 hours into this journey:

Now, fast forward 48 hours to this morning. I heard the kids playing nicely in the girls' room and was enjoying some quiet time. I heard a loud BANG and said, "Is everyone ok?" No answer. This time, I went in there while I asked, "Is everyone ok?" I found the 3 kids standing in shock, not sure what to do and I found this:

Yep, that would be our brand new bed---broken! Makenna has only admitted to standing on the bed, so I'm not sure exactly how this happened. To look at the positive side of this, though, I'm glad we had separated the beds. The bed that broke was the one that was on the top! Maybe it was more than just my fear of Ayda climbing that made me unable to go to sleep with bunk beds in the room. Maybe it was God giving me an uneasy feeling about them for this very reason. I'm glad I listened!

Now, off to do some bed shopping....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Project 365

I saw about this project on another blog, and it sounded like a great idea. Project 365 is a great way to document a year in your life. You take one picture each day for an entire year. You can write a little or a lot about each picture. By the end of the, you will have a scrapbook that shows what was going on every day of that year. How neat! I got started a couple of weeks into January, so I'll be missing a few days at the beginning, but so far I've been keeping up with it! I'm excited to see the final project. I'm certainly not a crafty person, but I will learn as I go.

What I have noticed so far is that this project makes me stop and enjoy the everyday things more. I usually only broke out the ol' camera for things like birthday parties, holidays, trips, etc. Now I keep my camera with me at all times. It has made me document what I always knew--that memories are in the day to day life. I've had moments previously in which I was watching the kids eating breakfast and would take a picture because I didn't want to forget the picture in front of me. This has just made me do that more often. There are so many memories being made here every day. Now I'll have them all together in a book!

Monday, January 25, 2010

When Momma's on Facebook....

...Ayda finds a way to entertain herself. I saw her go into the bathroom and thought she was getting a kleenex since she was saying, "nose!" About 2-3 minutes later, I wondered why she hadn't come back out. I went to check on her and found my little angel doing this:

Yep, that's lotion all over my mirror. She was having a great time, though! I let her "fingerpaint" on my mirror for a few minutes, but not to worry--I gave her the obligatory, "Let's don't do that again" line. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Review: The Language of Love and Respect

I started my 2010 “30 Book” Challenge by reading The Language of Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't like to harm the books I read in any way. I don't open them fully, I remove jackets so they don't get bent, I don't write in them, etc. The exception to that rule is if I am reading a book that I know I will need to keep on my shelf to revisit over and over. This was one of those books. I got about 20 pages into it and realized I was going to have to grab a pen and start over, making notes along the way.
As the subtitle of the book ("Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate") suggests, the whole book is about communication. Eggerichs points out that men and women are, by their very nature, as different as pink and blue. Women see through pink glasses and hear through pink hearing aids while men see and hear in blue. Therein lies the problem. He goes on, however, to show how couples can work around those differences, since trying to change them will only leave couples frustrated and in what he calls "The Crazy Cycle."
Behind all of the advice on how to deal with day to day conversations, how to make your spouse feel loved/respected, and how to better understand how your spouse feels, Eggerichs' main point is that the solution lies in your relationship with God.
For a marriage to thrive, a wife should respect her husband as herself, and a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:33) The key is that this love and respect must be unconditional. As Eggerichs writes, "Yes, the two of you are very different, and I am telling you to love and respect unconditionally anyway." He later points out that this unconditional love and respect can only be offered to a spouse "by being faithful--to God, to His Word, and to your spouse."
I highly recommend this book or any other books/DVD's by Eggerichs. He has a great insight into men and women and into marriage itself. You can check out the products he has available here. Has anyone else read any of his books or been to one of his seminars?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great Homeschooling Quote

I saw this quote on another blog and thought it was worth sharing:

"In not mentioning God, my public school teachers preached a thundering sermon every day. By implication, they taught that God is not relevant to most areas of life...with every lesson, in every class period, all day every day for twelve years, I was being taught to think like an atheist in the academic realm. And I didn't even know that I was being indoctrinated."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Sweet Boy

Wyatt has always been both a challenge to me and a joy in my life. He has so much energy and can't seem to sit still for long at all. He's been on the go since he started walking at 10 months old! He has always been able to find a way to get into trouble; we have often said that trouble just seems to find him. He can't resist it. It's been a constant struggle for us.

Recently, however, he is starting to mature and outgrow some of that. He just turned 4 and we are finally seeing more about who he really is. He's showing his personality and his heart more and more with each passing month. One thing that we have noticed about him is that he is very sweet and tenderhearted. He will always get up to turn a light on for Makenna or stop eating dinner to walk all the way around the table to get Ayda's fork if she drops it. He takes a lot from Ayda, who has recently started biting (usually only him), and he never retaliates. Of course, it doesn't help us deal with Ayda when he ALWAYS gives into her, but it shows what a sweet heart he has.

The greatest trait that we have noticed in him recently, however, is his love for God. Even through all the squirming in chairs through Sunday School, he has been listening. He knows his bible better than most kids twice his age. There are many times he says something to me and adds to the end of the statement, "because that's what the bible says." Now, keeping in mind that he's 4, he sometimes uses that phrase with things that have nearly nothing to do with the bible. He'll say things like, "We need to wear a seat belt because the bible says so," or "Always wear an undershirt because that's what it says in the bible." We will never correct him, though, since he's obviously learned the important lesson--that we live by the standards of the bible.

Wyatt also always wants to pray. In fact, it can cause quite the argument between him and Makenna over who gets to pray at that meal. Lately, he has combined his "prayer life" and his nurturing of Ayda. He is like a protective mother to her at bedtime. He says very quietly and sweetly, "Come on, Ayda. Get your baby and get into bed. I'll cover you up." Here he is just a couple of nights ago putting her to bed. Keep in mind that the room was completely dark, I just had my camera on night time mode so we could see.

Then, after her gets her tucked in, he gets on his knees, puts his head on her bed, and prays for her:

I think that is the most priceless picture. It is one of my very favorites.

Wyatt is just a loving little boy. He has such a tender heart and a love for God. I pray that he stays faithful to God, and I can't wait to see what God has planned for his life!

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 "30 Book" Challenge

I saw this on my brother's blog (Dr. Ron's Blog) and thought it was a great idea, so I'm borrowing it. :) It's called the "2010 '30 Book' Challenge." He encouraged everyone to read 30 books this year. I love to read, but all too often I don't take the time to do it. I seem to go in spurts. I'll read two books in record time, then won't read for a couple of months. I want to commit to spending more time reading and less time watching t.v. I plan on updating this post as the year goes on, and hopefully I will reach 30 books by the end of the year!

My list:
1. The Language of Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
2. The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
3. Facing the Giants
4. Adopted for Life (currently reading)

Anyone else up to the challenge?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day!

Seven days into the new year and we're having our first snow day. I wish I could say I was excited and able to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery, but it's snow. It's cold, wet, and a mess! Since 7:30 this morning, the kids have had one thing on their mind--playing outside. I put it off as long as I could, but had to give in.

I don't think they even noticed the cold! It was just under 20 degrees and they were running around like it was summer time! Ah to be young again!

After a whopping 15 minutes in the snow, the kids are having some hot chocolate and marshmallows and I'm left with the memories, a few pictures, and this:

The good part is that they got it out of their system. They'll be content to stay inside the rest of the day. Snow is much more beautiful from inside a warm house with a hot cup of coffee. Off to start a fire in the fireplace....