"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Last Hurrah

As I was trying to compile picture calendars this year for the grandparents, I realized I sorely neglected picture-taking in 2013. This year, I am going to try and take at least one picture each day -- even if it's just of a pile of laundry or a sink full of dishes.

I took my picture yesterday; I just ran out of time to post it. My sister and kids did, indeed, get stuck here in North Dakota due to the frigid temperatures -- it just doesn't seem wise to drive across a barren state with three kids and no husband when the wind chills are fifty and sixty degrees below zero, right? I can't say either of us were too disappointed that she had to stay; and the kids were definitely uber-excited to have more cousin time. (Our husbands might have had a different opinion of the matter, however -- one is lonely and the other is an introvert in a house full of stir crazy kiddos.) Everyone is getting a little on edge at this point though -- my house doesn't really have a good space for noise and physical activity. The boys, for sure, need to get out side and burn off some energy.

Last night even my DH was celebrating -- he got a couple of text messages that informed him that not only were corporate faculty meetings canceled for today, but that classes are starting a day later than scheduled this week to allow students to make it safely back to campus. This does not mean that he gets some extra time off, of course -- only a few extra days to work without the interruptions of being on campus. More time to prepare makes for a happy husband. (And, thus, a happy wife.) Truthfully, to have seen him last night you would have thought he was a third grade boy being told school was canceled because of snow. He was that giddy.

Today's photo:

Things to note:
(1) Fireplace: On. Almost all day. Along with candles and slippers and Christmas tree lights.
(2) New Games: Cranium and Rummikub. Also strewn about the house: new LEGO sets, new movies, and new crafting supplies.
(3) Blanket: My Sister is a self-proclaimed "freeze baby."
(4) Egg Timer: Used for time-outs when a certain son of mine needed a break from everyone else. (Or, more accurately, when I needed a break from him.) He needs a treadmill in his room. If it doesn't get warmer soon, he may not survive. But things are looking up in this regard.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Just in case ...

... you're wondering what "deep fried cheesy pickles" are, my sister and I braved the cold and went back to The Toasted Frog so we could take a picture for you.

Merry Christmas! Take 11. 

Stay warm, all you Midwesterners.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Global Warming? Pffft.

Balmy. It was positively balmy today. It rained, but it was balmy. I think it got up to something like 42 degrees. Above zero.

Now? Now we're in a blizzard warning. One to two inches of new snow. Northwest winds 20-30 mph, with gusts as high as 45. Wind chill to -20. Zero visibility.

And check this out (from the National Weather Service):

60 degrees. Below zero. That's like 100 degrees colder than today's balminess. Yeesh.

It's forecast to be cold in Minnesota, too. The governor of that fine state announced that all K-12 schools will be closed on Monday. I guess my sister picked a good weekend to visit North Dakota. She may, perhaps, end up here an extra day.

Deep fried cheesy pickles and a cocktail anyone? Bring it on, Mother Nature.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cold, Caroling, and Cousins

Woke up to -22 with a wind chill of -38. Man, it's been a COLD winter.

Made it on the elliptical two days in a row.

Sang Christmas carols and shared fellowship 
with fellow homeschooling families 
and the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.

Surprised the kids with a weekend visit from their Minnesota cousins. 
(Bonus: I get to hang with my sister 'til Sunday!)

Sister and I FaceTimed -- is that a verb? --
with my brother in San Diego and my cutie-pie nephews 
(who didn't really want to have anything to do with the phone tonight).

Merry Christmas!
Take 9.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Our parish recently installed some new art in the church's gathering space. Our pastor was commenting on how the closer one gets to Mary the more beautiful she becomes. He was referring to one's proximity to Mary's face in the painting, but I couldn't help but think about the deeper meaning -- the closer one gets to Mary, the more beautiful she becomes. 

One of our family resolutions this year is to get closer to Mary and to deepen our lives of prayer. 

Happy New Year, everyone. 
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.