Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 Review

Oh, January. Oh, January! It wasn’t the prettiest month for me, but it did end on a BANG! (Click here to read about the highlight of our January: my birthday surprise!)IMG_8682

January had – count ‘em! – SIX SNOW DAYS for my kids. The first four snow days came on the tail end of Christmas break, which meant we had some craziness going on ‘round here. My church/office is closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so I had a lot of catching up to do and couldn’t take a snow day off to do it. The kids spent a lot of time with me at work, and at home while I worked, and at home some more. I’m thankful my job is flexible when we are in dire straits! There was lots of movie watching, even at work (this is in the church lobby).IMG_8650

We got crafty on those snow days, too. I had to get some creative energy out, and bartered some homemade non-slip headbands in exchange for one of Gina’s awesome custom canvases. Here are the headbands I made.IMG_8661

Being snowed in meant our family got to celebrate a milestone together: for the first time, Jackson saw ALL of the Star Wars movies (episodes 4, 5 & 6). He loved them! And, oh… he was in shock when he saw Darth Vader’s real face for the first time!IMG_8829

There was so much snow and it was SO cold that the kids didn’t even get much time to play in the snow. Dan took them out one day for about 20 minutes, and they dug a tunnel in the snow.DSC_0017

We got creative with indoor activities and even pulled out the trusty old bean box we used to play with when the kids were toddlers. Note to self: it’s STILL fun!IMG_8801

On one of those snow days when I took the kids to my office, we put them to work. Katie took down all the Christmas decorations in the kids’ classrooms and was a mighty vacuumer!IMG_8836

They also helped make binders for one of the classes at church, along with our pastor’s kids.IMG_8852

Finally, Christmas break ended and school was back in session. You can’t imagine the giddiness I felt when the bus pulled up. And it wasn’t just me: the kids were thrilled too!IMG_8863a

I got to host a special gathering of women from my church, and we practiced Holy Yoga together. It was a beautiful evening that started as the sun was setting. When we finished with meditation that night, all we could see when we opened our eyes was flickering candles. It was breathtaking!IMG_8910

I came across this and had to take a photo of it. It’s the collection of nametags Katie has saved from the Saturdays she has spent with Dan on our church Outreach team. The team uses duct tape for nametags, and Katie enjoys each serving day so much that she keeps these mementos stuck to her dresser. It makes me incredibly happy to see her enjoy serving others so much!IMG_8901

Dan and Jackson spent some of the quiet January days working on his Cub Scouts pinewood derby car. Jackson did 99% of the work himself (except for one small part of sawing the wood when the curve was too tight). The day of the race, he didn’t win – and actually got last place in each heat. But he ended up winning a medal for the “Simplest Design” and was so proud anyway!IMG_9068

Katie loves to draw. I found this Post-It note in her school folder, and it cracks me up.IMG_8956

Katie also loves canned beans, especially green beans and lima beans. I’m kind of disgusted by how much she loves them, straight from the can.IMG_8955

I think I mentioned in December’s monthly review that this winter has brought some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. This one was pretty spectacular too. I think it *sort of* makes up for the snow overload.IMG_8979

One day, I was volunteering at the kids’ school and saw a wall full of new year’s resolutions outside Jackson’s classroom. The resolutions ranged from “help my mom more” to “be nice to my sister” to “clean my room.” And then I saw Jackson’s, which says he resolves to be an international skateboarder this year. Um… okay… ???!!IMG_9071

And, then… MLK, Jr. Day came and the kids were off and we had big plans to go skateboarding. We ended up at the emergency room instead.IMG_9146

I smashed Jackson’s hand in the car door as we were trying to leave. Mommy guilt is a harsh thing, and my heart hurt so bad every time I looked at his poor finger. The good news is nothing was broken, but the doctors couldn’t decide how to treat it. They ended up using skin glue to seal the shattered fingernail back together, and he wore a splint for a week. (It will take much longer for the mommy guilt to stop chirping!)IMG_9133

Now, to recap January so far: there was snow. And more snow. And really cold temps. Oh, and some more snow. Then a smashed finger, which means we had to stay inside a lot (not hard to do, with frigid temps!) and not be overly active for a while, at least until the finger healed a bit. Cabin fever was NOT our friend. I had to get creative, and FAST! One of the desperate creative ideas I pulled out was to hang a mosquito net in our living room for the kids to make a reading fort. It went over well, and stayed up for a long time too!IMG_9214

We were lucky enough to go rock wall climbing with Katie’s Girl Scout troop, too, which helped get some of the kids’ wiggles out. Jackson was given the green light to take off his finger split, so both kids climbed like monkeys up and down those walls!IMG_9320

The kids had a hat day at school (yes, she has a roasted turkey hat on her head).IMG_9336

A trip to the dentist…IMG_9370

…and January ended with my birthday surprise. It was a great end to a VERY cold and snowy and cabin-fevery month. But before I go, I have to mention one last highlight of January. At the start of the year, I downloaded a new app to my phone. It is called 1 Second Everyday, and it is so darn cool! You take a video every day, then you use the app to snip one second from that video to add to the calendar in the app. Those snips are compiled in to one long video, so there’s 1 second everyday (get it?) in the video. We have so enjoyed this app, and I love using it to soothe my compulsion to document every single day. Here’s a screen shot of the month of January. Our month-long video is so cool!IMG_9384

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