Saturday, December 20, 2008

What we've been up to this week...

I've been taking pictures all week and meaning to post, but somehow by the evening I don't feel like it, and need to work on the handmade gifts I am madly crafting before the Big Day. So here is the condensed version of our week.

We had snow last weekend.  Then the weather got clear and cold, some days not even making it above freezing.  We had school delays in the beginning of the week.  This rock was interesting to me.  It is in the front yard at Gabriel's school.  I don't think I noticed it before, but with the snow all around it I could see the pretty designs in the stone.

Annika will not stop eating snow.  She is obsessed with it.  It took us forever to get to school and back, because she keeps reaching down and grabbing snow to munch on.

We finally got our Christmas Tree Tuesday evening.  Gabriel really wanted a two-foot tree that was just his size.  I wanted a big one that almost touched the ceiling.  We compromised.  It smells wonderful.  The kids decorated the tree the next night all by themselves.  I put the lights on, and they went to town on the decorations.  I just sat back and watched as they picked out the straw ornaments I brought back from my semester in Vienna in 1990.  They also picked out the ornaments that they have made or that were given to them.  Because the tree is small, we only put some of the ornaments up this year.  But it is special, because they cared so much about the ones they were placing.  Gabriel put up the angel he made in preschool a few years ago.  It is made from a paper plate, and most of the glittery details have fallen off.  I don't care if it's tacky, or if the ornaments aren't spaced artfully all around the tree.  I love our tree this year.
This is what it looked like outside while we were decorating.

On Thursday the kids and I walked up the street to the park behind the school, where we did some sledding.  The kids had fun.  It snowed the whole time we were out.  The hills are small and short, but enough for the little ones to feel like they are going fast.  I felt fine letting them go down by themselves and trudge back up the hill themselves.  I mostly watched and chatted with the other parents, though I did go down a few times, too.

Today we watched a red-bellied sapsucker working on our deodora cedar in the front yard.  This photo is taken through a window with a point-and shoot, so it's not the greatest, but if the bird comes back tomorrow, I'll try to get outside and get another shot.  The bird was drilling holes in the bark to get to the sap.  I haven't seen this species in our yard before, so it was fun to identify it, observe it throughout the morning, and learn a bit about its habits.  We pulled out the Sibley Guide, which gives more information than the Peterson Guide.  The kids and Aaron all enjoyed the bird, which makes me so happy.  My little naturalist family!

We have more snow tonight, a light, dry, powdery snow that nevertheless in relentless and thick.  It is filling in all the footprints from the past few days, and covering over the grasses and bushes that had begun to peek out from the last snowfall.  I look forward to seeing what the morning light brings us.  Then it should warm up over the next week.  That's good, because the ice is making it difficult for everyone.  But sometimes I wish we lived somewhere that got snow for more than a few days each winter.   Of course, then I'd have to learn to drive in it...  I guess the rain isn't so bad after all.

Stay safe and warm everyone.

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