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These photos are for you, Denise.

We have a crazy amount of snow for this early in the winter…

Two weeks ago it started snowing at seven in the morning and didn’t stop for two days.   It was the most snow in a single snowfall that I’ve ever seen — and I’ve lived in the mountains of the Northwest my entire life.   It actually broke all kinds of records in the area… close to two feet of snow fell in twenty-four hours — yikes!   Even for a couple of cities that are used to snow, Coeur d’alene and Spokane both literally shut down for several days until the plows finally got the streets cleared.   No one could get anywhere. 

It was a relief that we didn’t have anywhere to go!  We just holed up in the house beside the fireplace and enjoyed the gorgeous swirling blizzard outside our windows.

And it just keeps comin’ down.  In the last two weeks we’ve gotten at least another foot or more…  The kids are loving it.   I am too, in all honesty (just don’t tell my fellow-countrymen… no one else seems to share my opinion.)  I really don’t mind the snow.  I love snowboarding and cross-country skiing and sledding and snow-shoeing.  I would rather have a white winter than an ugly, brown, freezing-cold one.  (Although, it’s been a cold weather already, too… a cold front hit us a few weeks back with sub-zero temps.  It got down to minus six or seven at night for almost a week straight — and only up to six or seven degrees during the day… Bitterly Cold.) 

(I’m not complaining, though — really!  I’m used to it.  I’m just giving you Southerners something to be grateful for!  🙂

So anyway, here are a few pictures from that big snowfall two weeks ago.  It was the kid’s first time out in it this season and to say they were excited is an understatement.  Jo cracked me up in that hat.  It was the kind that fits over the head like a hood and it was too small for her so it squeezed her little cheeks hilariously.  She could hardly see because her eyes were so squished.  Hee hee…

But it was the one she wanted to wear!  And it kept her warm…

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Poor Henry had a hard time seeing as well.  His eyelashes are so long and curly — the wet snow stuck to them like glue and they kept getting heavier and heavier until he could hardly lift his lids.  It didn’t seem to bother him or detour him from loving the snow and playing in it until he was too cold to stay out in it any longer.   It certainly had me laughing, though.  My kids make me laugh all the time.  Who knew having children would be such great entertainment?  🙂

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They both loved making snow angels — and, of course, they ate the snow like it was going to disappear the next day.  I think Henry’s tongue was stuck out to catch flakes the entire time he was outside — it is in almost every picture anyway! 

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 Jo just ate it by the fist-full.

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We had to watch Henry closely so he wouldn’t disappear completely into the white abyss of snow.  He was actually standing up  in the snow in our front yard in the next photo.  

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 Yes, all that snow came in one fell swoop.

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 Crazy, huh?

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I hope you all are safe and warm and dry this New Year’s Eve.

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We’ve been soaking up the last of the year’s warm weather the last few weeks.  I love this time of the year.  There is the unmistakable crispness of fall most of the day, and the leaves are starting to turn — but the afternoons are persistently holding on to the sun-drenched warmness that is Indian Summer.  We can still run around outside barefoot and have barbecues and work in the garden.  And the best part of this season is the over-abundance of fresh, yummy produce from the garden.  I LOVE being able to walk through my garden grazing on fresh tomatoes and peppers and carrots and cucumbers.  Mmmmmmm.  Jo loves it too.   The kid is a tomato-junkie.  I have never seen anyone eat tomatoes like she does.  It’s not unusual for her to devour six or seven huge tomatoes a day.  In fact, it took me a long time to finally get any ripe, red ones because she kept stripping the plants clean of every barely-turned-orange tomato she could find.  Thankfully the plants are producing enough now to stay ahead of her insatiable tomato-tooth. 

I haven’t been canning this year like I usually do.  I have been putting a little bit of produce in the freezer, but I need to get it in gear if I’m going to do anything more than that.  I have grand intentions of salsa and pickles (two of our family’s staples) but actually doing it is an entirely different story!

Here are a couple glimpses into life around here the last few weeks (well, glimpses of the little’s lives anyway…)  

I laughed so hard one afternoon when I came around the corner and saw Joanna floating in the wading pool on this tube.  There was only a little bit of clearance around the edge of the pool, but she was certainly floating on the water and relaxing in the sun! 

Yes, these are my kids… hardly recognizable under all the dirt!  They’ve been enjoying playing in the driveway before it gets too cold to play outside any more.  (And, yes, all that dirt is our driveway! 🙂 )

But, just to prove that they aren’t ALWAYS in the dirt… here’s my newest fav photo of the kids together.  (Special thanks to my sis for getting them to smile at the same time!)

I know I’m incredibly biased… but aren’t they amazingly cute?

“No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn. April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.”
(Hal Borland)

Spring has descended in all it’s confusing glory — rainy one minute and then gorgeously sunny the next.  Seriously,  it rained four separate times today — and then after about an hour of drenching spring rain, the clouds began to roll back and the sun came out and the day was incredibly warm until the next little weather cycle.  So fickle.  So difficult to work outside!  But amazingly beautiful just the same.

My kids have been practically living outside this past week.  They come inside in the afternoon long enough to get cleaned up and take a nap and then they are out again.  They get so very dirty and so very tired — but gosh they have fun! 

I too, have been spending a great deal of time outside.  I feel like I have finally found the surface.  I was drowning there for a while in the bleakness of a long hard winter that wouldn’t let go.  But I have broken through to the surface at last.  I’ve worked in the soil again and have been on long evening walks as the sun casts a long shadow over the mountains.  I’ve been awakened by the sweet melody of birds singing and have stood out in the spring rain with my face turned upward. I’ve opened my doors wide to let in the wind.  I’ve breathed deeply and layed on my back in the grass, letting the sun shine on my face and the ants crawl on my arms.  Heck, even the ANTS make me happy these days.  I feel free.  I feel released.  I survived the winter and am standing at the threshold of a new year. 

It’s been a bit of a nostalgic week for me.  Joanna has been right beside me, wanting to help with whatever project I am working on.  She wasn’t quite at this stage last spring — all she wanted to do then was play in the sandbox, but this year it’s different. She seems so much older to me all of a sudden.  And as she stands there in her faded work jeans and heavy canvas farm jacket, hands covered in dirt, hair blowing wildly in the wind… my throat catches.  I have the strangest flashback to a day twenty-four years ago very much like this one where I was the three-year-old — tired, but happy — eagerly helping my mom work outside.  It is the STRANGEST feeling.  I am at once connected to my past, present and future.  I am a giver and receiver of life — just as my daughter is and her children will be after her.  Do you other moms experience these moments as well?  Maybe I’m just weird.

Well, weird or not,  I am grateful for this season of my life.  I don’t know if we will always be here, but for now I am grateful that my kids are growing up with their hands in the soil as I did.  I am grateful that they are connected to the earth.  This land goes deep into my soul and is being worked into theirs.  My daughter is learning to plant seeds and will watch them grow.  I love that.

Spring is inevitably a busy time for us.  As winter fades it leaves behind four months of neglect that we have to catch up on.  There are garden beds to be tilled, soil to be prepared, mulching to be removed and lots of clean-up.  And of course we’re never content to not have a big project going! — we ripped out our existing kitchen and laundry room cabinets over the weekend to make room for the new ones that Peter is building.  This is one of the last things on our remodeling list and once it’s finished, we will be close to being done (minus a few pieces of trim here and there and the rest of the carpet upstairs. )  Those of you that have done it know the indescribable joy of building or remodeling a house while trying to live there at the same time!  (in case you’re wondering, that last sentence should be read dripping with sarcasm!) 

Yet, in the middle of the busyness of this season, I am striving to find the rhythm in my own life to mirror that which is all around in nature.  Spring is a season of simplifying, rebuilding and returning to the rhythms of sowing and reaping.  I’ve been feeling the need lately to take some time to unplug from my computer and focus on balancing my life — being still and listening; spending more quality time with my family; tending to some neglected friendships; gaining a renewed perspective for the rest of the year.  There are a lot of desires and passions heavy on my heart and things I want to get more involved in, but I sense God prompting me to take a little season to step back and evaluate the what and whys.  Hence the sporadic posts lately. 

Balance really is the key to so much, isn’t it?  

Anyway, here are a couple more pictures from the last few weeks outside (please excuse the messy faces, snotty noses and dirty clothes — it wouldn’t have been fair to clean them up just for a few pictures! 🙂 )

MORE SNOW???????????

I feel like we should play that old Sesame Street game:  Which of these things doesn’t belong??

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The answer in ALL of the pictures is of course the SNOW!!!!! DUH!!!! Here it is almost April and this is what it’s looked like around here this last week.  Ughhh.  That POOR robin!

Nothing shouts “spring” as loudly as a wild buttercup!

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I don’t know about the rest of the country, but we have an unofficial fifth season that slips in between winter and spring — the not-so-creatively dubbed “Mud Season”.  It comes every year without fail…  This year it is promising to be extra-yucky and extra-long since we got a lot more snow than usual over the winter.  We have a good three weeks of mud left — if not more!   Yeecchhh!  It wouldn’t be so bad if the mud would stay outside, but of course it doesn’t.  It also means that we inevitably have to deal with people getting stuck in our driveway.  We’ve already had a couple casualties so far this season.  And if you have never had to push someone out of being stuck in the mud, take a moment to imagine how messy that could be for the ones behind the car pushing (as the spinning tires are throwing mud back behind the vehicle.  Got a visual??  🙂 )

It’s definitely NOT my favorite season — but the kids sure love it!  Actually, I remember loving it as a kid, too.  The snow was disappearing and there were oodles of puddles to play in and no shortage of perfect mud to “cook” with.  It was also the first time in months that we were finally turned loose outside without having to be bundled up!

I guess there are a few aspects of this season that I still like.  There is that sweet promise of spring in the air… and the birds are back, singing and chirping in full chorus.  The crocuses will be poking through the remaining snow soon — and I think we could find the first of the buttercups if we went out in search of them.  I love opening up the door to the south and letting the sun and fresh air stream it.  I also love standing out on the deck facing the wind.  There is nothing like strong gusts of warm spring wind against my face and in my hair to make me feel wild and free.  I also like donning a pair of rubber boots to tromp out for a walk… although I will be glad when the boots are no longer necessary!

I’m glad my kids have so much fun in it, but I am quickly running out of fresh “mud clothes” for them and it’s not quite warm enough yet to turn them out in the buff.  I guess I’ll have to do some laundry — seems a shame though, to wash clothes just so they can end up looking like THIS in a matter of minutes!!  🙂

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Oh, and speaking of getting things clean after mud-play, you should see the bath water after these two are finally clean!! 

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We’re down at my parent’s house in Spokane again for the weekend.  Peter is finishing up a couple of jobs and we’re hoping to get to meet with Henry’s foster family tomorrow — they are on furlough in the States and will be driving through this area.  We’re looking forward to seeing them and we’re so glad they get the chance to see Henry again.

There is a crazy amount of snow down here!  We have a lot at home but they have even more than us after this last week.  Last weekend they got over a foot of fresh snow in 24 hours and it kept coming down steadily most of the week after that.  Schools were shut down for days and the roads are still hard to navigate because of the piles of plowed snow in the middle of the lanes.  We’re used to snow in this part of the country — but not usually this much so far into the season.  I had to post a few pictures — just for you, Denise!  🙂

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Almost up to my waist in the yard…

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It’s hard to believe it will all be gone in a couple of months…

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A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

Photography Website:

Contact Me:

sunfreckled@gmail.com
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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