Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Celebrating an early Valentine's Day

Jason has a work trip this week - his company's annual convention (which is planned every year over Valentine's Day) - so we celebrated Valentine's Day with the kids while he was still home.

I have never tried to make pancakes in any particular shape as I'm usually just hoping for getting them fully cooked without burning; but in the spirit of the holiday I decided to try heart-shaped. Whew, it wasn't always pretty, but with these helpers what could go wrong?  ;-)

The kids even wanted to dress for the occasion for church on Sunday. Super cute :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Feeling chilly

We've had rather brisk temperatures recently and woke up to this on Saturday morning. Brr!

Although it is certainly not my favorite, one bonus to the extreme cold is that it releases me from the feeling that I should get the kids out to do something. Instead we stay inside. Making forts, putting puzzles together, watching spectacular sunrises, reading books, baking, cleaning and anything else I can think of.

Luke did the sweetest thing for me. He had been coloring on some scratch paper and taped this one to our window, telling me "look, I drew summertime out the window for you mom..."

As cold as Saturday morning was, it was supposed to warm up to the teens and be sunny with very little wind; so we knew we needed to get out. We headed up to Buzzard's Roost for a short hike. It was a beautiful day and we had the place completely to ourselves :)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Wrapping up January

After the fervor of the the holiday season, I'll admit this month seemed to drag a bit ... it probably didn't help that we were all sick with various illnesses for about a week mid-month and then I didn't feel like I'd fully recovered for another full week. :-(

We did manage to have some fun in the midst of the chilly weather and sickness.

After our two weeks of frigid temperatures, we had a day early in the month that was above freezing and felt SO incredibly warm. We immediately went outside to play :)

One of the most fun things this month was getting to host a pen pal friend for an evening who I haven't seen since we met in 2010. Shan is a missionary in Japan who worked with Jason's aunt & uncle when they lived there. We got to meet her when we visited them while living in China. Shan is an inspiration to me and after finding out that she also like to write letters, we began writing to each other.  And now, nearly eight years later she is on home assignment in South Dakota! It was a blessing to see her and hear first person about her life as a missionary (and I'll admit .... it's always nice to be around another tall woman!).

We attended the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo last weekend. It's the second largest annual event in the state (second only to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally) and it was a total ZOO. Might have been more fun without having to keep track of our two kiddos, but they had a good time.

A new friend introduced us to the FREE kids art room at the Dahl Art Center - complete with a dress-up section, thousands of legos and all kinds of art supplies for the kids to use. It was awesome!

We were also treated to gorgeous sunrises on a nearly daily basis. Love that!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Checking out a super-blue-moon-eclipse

This morning we made the quick drive and short walk up to our nearest high point with visibility to the west - Dinosaur Park - and caught a peak at the lunar eclipse. After a glance, the kids were more interested in playing on/around their dinosaur friends, but it was fun to get out with some of our fellow Rapid City residents to see the lunar event.

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.