Monday, January 15, 2018

Staying warm

We've had more days with these types of temperatures than I would like ...

To the point that the kids have resorted to wearing their robes & sweatshirts with hoods ON when they're inside in order to keep warm.

(the kids have been fighting some flu symptoms, hence the jumbo cups of orange juice)

But we continue to be especially thankful for our generally cozy house and also for the dusting of snow we got that at least makes everything look pretty in the lovely sunshine of our freezing day :)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Learning how to be when it's minus 3

Happy New Year!!! We've had quite the stretch of frigid temps ... so much so that when it finally broke above freezing yesterday it literally felt like Springtime!

I was very thankful that Jason's employer had shut down for the time between Christmas & New Years which meant he was home and able to help with the kids while we were all feeling a bit stir-crazy.

We also thankfully found a number of indoor type (and FREE) activities to do around Rapid City.

A trip to the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines (a science and engineering university with about 2,500 students). There were so many cool dinosaur and other prehistoric animal fossils and remains, along with an amazing collection of rocks from around the world, including some that glow in the dark!

At the South Dakota Air & Space Museum in Box Elder, only 20 minutes away.

We kept on tubing nearly every day also, even if we could only stand the cold for 10-15 minutes. It was good to be active for a bit and then of course, we had A LOT of indoor activities ... trays of baking soda to be creative with, tea parties, pajama dance parties, watching Polar Express for the first time, putting beads on pipe cleaners, playing kids Sequence ... 

New Years Eve we gave the kids scissors and newspapers and had them work on making a bag of confetti for our evening party. They were diligent and it made for a very festive evening.

New Years Day we went for a gorgeous sunset drive to Mt Rushmore. It was zero there and the indoor exhibits were closing so we didn't stay long, but it seemed like the right way for a South Dakotan to greet the New Year :)


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tubing in 6 degrees and other things

We got a wee bit of snow late last week and decided to get the kids (& us) an early Christmas present of a couple of inner tubes to chase our winter doldrums with. They have been a hit and we feel fortunate to have a small hill right in our backyard and a larger one right across the street.

Getting the tires home in the subaru :)

Ready for FUN!

Moving on to the bigger hill across the street - weee!

Luke has become obsessed with going for quick runs outside without his shoes on ... Mabel has followed suit, right after we'd finished playing "hair salon." One needs the perfect hair style for running outside with no shoes when it's 20 degrees :)

We had a very lovely and very relaxed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in our Rapid City cottage. With no commitments and such cold weather, we were content to stay in and loved watching the kids enjoy opening their gifts at a extremely leisurely pace. And of course, we had a ton of tasty food :)

Some of the kid's gifts --

During this particularly frigid time we have felt increased gratitude for the cozy shelter of our home.

We also love that nearly every morning we are given the special treat of a beautiful sunrise right outside our front window.  Everyday it's different, but always stunning and I am grateful to get to begin each day greeted with this.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Making the most of our last day ABOVE freezing!

I knew it would be coming ... the cold we've been waiting for. Starting tomorrow, it arrives and seems in no hurry to leave. Our 10-day weather forecast does not predict ANY days above freezing after today. Brrr

So today will definitely be an outside day, perhaps to our newly discovered favorite place, the Outdoor Campus --- enjoying a bit of sun and above freezing temperatures before we lose them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December Hiking in S. Dakota

Last week it felt like winter had finally arrived -- we had a couple days where it didn't break freezing (accompanied by LOTS of very cold wind) and even some snow ...

Then Sunday, we had fabulous weather -- over 60 degrees, sunny and very little wind! Immediately after church we headed up to Buzzard's Roost, a popular hiking spot just a few miles out of town to enjoy the lovely day.

We'd forgotten about the fact there might still be snow up there and weren't wearing the best foot gear, but it worked out just fine and we had a great time enjoying the sunshine!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Goin' on a tree hunt!

This weekend we got to take advantage of the National Forest's Christmas Tree program and headed out to the Black Hills National Forest to find our very own tree. It was a beautiful sunny day and Jason had found area for us to look that ended up being completely deserted so the kids could roam freely while we hunted for the "perfect" tree.

This one looked just a tad too big --

Finally found the right one! Luke helped carry it for about a minute - glad to be married to someone who can carry the whole tree by themselves :)

And, the finished project. It was really fun (& kinda stressful) to have BOTH kids "helping" decorate the tree :)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Thankful for .... Nebraska??!?!

Ha, I don't know that I would have ever thought I'd be thankful for the state of Nebraska, but this year I totally am! The proximity of our kindred-spirit friends, the Deeds family (located IN Nebraska) has been a huge blessing for us in our transition to life in the Midwest.

We got to spend the Thanksgiving weekend in their home -- and were really thankful! We'd spent Thanksgiving with them while in Guatemala in 2013 and it was so meaningful to get to do it again.  It was such a sweet time -- our kids play so well together that all four adults actually got to spend time cooking together in the kitchen. It was really fun!

We had wonderful, wonderful weather {for the midwest} and were able to do a Thanksgiving hike without coats on -- pretty exciting ;-)

I realized after the fact that I did not get a picture of our feast :( but I did manage to capture my "treat tray" of course :)  We also had a special dinner on another evening complete with Guatemalan table cloth, place mats and napkins. So so fun for us!

We continued to have decent weather and were able to spend more time outside -- the kids even had a GIANT tumbleweed chasing them!

In addition to the loveliness of our time together, we had the awesome opportunity to attend the church that Will pastors and to once again hear him lead worship & preach -- for the first time without a Spanish translator! It made me a little emotional ... getting to be with these special people who we had such a unique experience with and who have inspired us in many ways.

Then .... all too soon, it was time for us to say goodbye and head back to South Dakota. Thanks Deeds Family for an awesome Thanksgiving!!