January 13, 2015

Little Big Things

This morning, the kids were playing happily together as I stood in the kitchen looking out on the freezing cold, sunny morning as the tea kettle came to a boil. And I had one of those moments of quiet delight. That unbidden feeling of joy. Everything felt right. All the little things were perfection, which made the big things right. 

Little things. People throw that phrase around, talking about things that may take up a small part of our day/life, the backdrop of our life, but that matter in the grand scheme of things. When it comes down to it though, they aren't little things. 

Kids playing happily together--I have kids. Healthy kids. Loving kids. That is fabulous. Amazing. 

I am standing in a warm house looking out at the brilliant cold sunshine. The security of a warm, snug house is something that cannot be too greatly exaggerated on mornings when the mercury hits 20 below zero.

I have warm and spicy tea. After a filling breakfast. How lucky am I? 


 Very, very lucky. 

These aren't little things.

Gilbert the dragon being visited by Elsie, the cat/panda/I-am-not-sure-what on a tricycle

My steamy cup

Inside looking out

Playing meeting in the sunshine

Facetiming with Daddy

January 9, 2015

New Year's Eve

Hope your 2015 is off to a lovely start. Ours is cold, blowy, snowy, but good! Since New Year's Eve was on a Wednesday, our party didn't start until 9:30 when we got back from meeting. We just had some snacky things and played a few games. We celebrated more New Year's Day with a turkey dinner, made by Dana and Marilyn. It was a great way to start a new year!

Our tablespread. Which looks paltry, but it wasn't!

Lincoln was very taken with this little slinky

Rilla in one of the pinatas Aunt Ashley made. Yes, she made two of them. One for each family, Whites and Cottens. She is a rockstar aunt.

Lincoln also loved this sword that he made out of a McDonalds cup top and a straw. What a kid!

Dad protesting picture taking. 
Dad hadn't been feeling well, a chest cold and dizziness, so he was pretty low key.

Scott was also feeling a little under the weather.

Orianna giving the pinata a good whack

Fierce Lily

Timid Elsie

I forget who broke it, but it did break and spread joy and light in the form of snickers, hershey kisses, pencils, notebooks, and party poppers. Isn't Ashley cool?

The White kids up to bat

Lincoln making it swing

Cheyenne with a solid hit

Elliott perfecting his form. Haha!

Hoyt and Owen

Love Orianna bending back just like Elliott

Hoyt had to get in on the action

The rousing game of hearts. 

Look at those cheeks!

Happy boy!

The kids all stayed up to midnight. Elsie and Gilbert both had naps in meeting and the older kids were actually very well behaved. Unfortunately for them, it was a pretty tame affair. Poor Elliott resented the little kids staying up as well. It is no where near as much fun to stay up if your little brother and sister get to stay up too. Who can you brag too? Every once in awhile he would ask Lincoln if maybe he wasn't getting tired and should go to bed. 

iPad kids.

The Wild and Crazy Dominion game. Well, Evan is wild and crazy anyway.

This is what happens when you stay up late with the Whites. They get dorky. 

Midnight cousins!
They had to do a sleeping picture, just for fun. 

And then an smiley one!

Since Dad, Mom, Scott, and Dana had already gone to bed, midnight passed pretty unannounced. There was a small rousing cheer and then everyone bundled off to bed. There were no sparklers, no gun shot, no horn blowing, no jumping, or the other noisy, boisterous things that we usually do. Okay, that we used to do when we were noisy and rowdy teenagers and had some energy at midnight. 

January 8, 2015

Icy Sunday

This past Sunday, we had an ice storm of sorts. It snowed pretty hard on Saturday, and sometime in that cold and snowy night, it turned to rain. The temperature was supposed to be up into the 40's by mid morning, but it didn't cooperate, staying stubbornly below freezing for most of the day. This meant a lot of ice accumulation and therefore, no Sunday morning meeting. We had a little meeting of our own, and after that, the kids wanted to break out their paints.

 The three kids saved up their birthday and tooth money, for a total of $42. They had been discussing art supplies and finally decided that was the very thing to buy. On Saturday, we headed to town to make the very difficult decisions art supplies bring up. Cute little markers or the regular ones that are a little cheaper? Construction or cardstock? One of the big purchases ($8) they made was a white board they could write on and play school with. They also found an Open/Close sign in the office supplies that had one of those little clock hand things to show when the shop owner will be back. Delight! For only $2.84, it was considered a bargain and must buy. It hangs on their door and gets carefully turned around at various, inexplicable times during the day. They also got several large bottles of paint. Terribly exciting! 

Orianna and Lily carefully painting and making sure to wash their brushes out to keep their paint neat and orderly.

Elsie and Gilbert on the other hand had no such worries about finesse and stirred things up into a monochromatic purple/grey.

Orianna and Lily's tray...

Gilbert and Elsie's,

After all this hard work, things had to dry for a little, and then Orianna set up an art gallery in the living room. This was the refreshment table, with Grandma's pumpkin bread as a centerpiece. 

They had three sets of these chairs set up with three pictures per pair. It was all very orderly.

Lily's rainbow

I had four itty bitty canvases, so each kid got to do one up. This is Lily's.


Orianna's Love


(Minimalistic) Lake at Sunset by Orianna

Hot Cocoa by Orianna

Gilbert's autographed canvas

Elsie's canvas, which used to be Lily's, until Elsie climbed up to where it was drying and took it back to her side of the table to stir all Lily's carefully placed paint up and add a few dabs of her signature purple/grey. Lily got an extra canvas to paint.

The pumpkin bread loaf after Orianna got done cutting it up for refreshments.

My Christmas flowers, which still look nice. 

The proud artistes.

I forget why, but Elsie flounced over here, laid down and announced "I'm just pouting." 

After an appropriate amount of time, she decided to forgive other's grievous trespasses against her and walked with her hands and feet back to where the kids were playing. 

The icy woods behind the house

I came out back to take a picture of the trees and was surprised by the humming sound thousands of raindrops make as they hit the ice crusted snow. 

My Orianna girl who came out to listen to raindrops with me.

The girls scrapping the car off. By this point, late afternoon, it had finally got up to the 40's, so the ice was pretty easy to scrap. 

Justin's truck, trailer, and sky

I love this dark sky! 
Right after Justin and I started dating, we had a pleasant argument about whether the sky could be blue when there were clouds in it. I said it absolutely could and Justin maintained (and still does) that calling a sky blue when there are clouds in it, is silly. It is one of our pet arguments that we pull out at random to irritate the other, mostly because it reminds us of when we were dating. But whatever he says, this sky had some deep, deep blue in it.

The icicles were dripping like crazy

The wind was also crazy, blowing little pieces of snow and ice off the roof of the milkhouse

The ice crust

Tori's Houdini pig who roams free until his brethren are fed and he is enticed back into his pen. It is quite an ordeal watching him climb in and out. I am always sure he is about to impale himself on this or that, but so far, he is unscathed. 

Gorgeous, gorgeous clouds! 

This is Mom telling me not to put this picture on Facebook, while chatting with Jeff and Bonnie and Owen and Ashley.