Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Blooms, Ice Cream and Books

My Christmas cactus is still blooming, encouraging me to persevere.  I need reminders like that every day.  It's also a good nudge to surround myself with encouraging, wholesome words and things.  This life can wear you down.  We gotta take care of our spirit, encouraging ourselves, just like King David did in the Psalms. 


Sunday afternoon, our neighbors stopped up with some delicious homemade strawberry ice cream, because, ya know, if it's 15 degrees outside, you should definitely harvest ice from the bluffs on the side of a back country road to make homemade ice cream!  At least, that's what farm boys do. 

I'm pretty sure it's becoming a tradition here in our little Hollow.  It was peanut butter ice cream last year, but I think the strawberry stole the show this time. 

I contributed Microwave Chocolate Pudding Cake, which is a family go-to recipe from my childhood.  Because it's served warm, it's a winner every time.  You'd think we'd be cold after eating ice cream in winter, but nope, the visit warmed us up!  My mother-in-law says that one thing she misses from her younger days was the visiting around on Sundays.  Sunday afternoons were when family members popped in to catch up with each other.  We continue this tradition with weekly phone calls to Grammie and Pappy.  My sister continues it with ice cream nights at my parents' house.  And we have neighborly visits on Sunday afternoons.  I like it.  Visiting connects people and I feel like I'm modelling to our children how important relationships really are.  People matter.  They matter big time.  If we don't have time for real, unhurried conversations, which amount to the best kind of quality time I can think of, we must be too busy.

My friend is headed south for a little family vacation, so much to the Blossoms' delight, we are puppy-sitting. 
*Insert evil mama laugh* 
Hiro is a border collie and he's charming and friendly and has gelled into our hound-loving household already.  No surprise there.  However, I laugh evilly because having him around hasn't been too stressful for me, as I've delegated the puppy related chores to the girlies, including standing outside in the frozen tundra of our yard for him to do his business. 
(In case you're wondering, Hiro is licking Blossom3, the headstand queen, not biting her.) 

It's snowing right now and it looks like we've got a mixed bag of precipitation on the way this afternoon, so books are a big part of the next few hours, especially since the girls are sad that we had to reschedule the planned library trip.  One of the above books is a fantastic read-aloud I borrowed from a friend.  It's called In Grandma's Attic.  It was one of my childhood favorites and the girls and I really enjoyed it.  I will say that if your kiddos aren't quite up for long read aloud sessions yet, this would be a fantastic transition.  It's a collection of short humorous stories that have a moral too.  I think I need to get the rest of the books in the series because we enjoyed it so much.  On a fun note, whenever I finish a chapter book read aloud (that we own), I write in the back who I read it to and the month and year.  The girls have enjoyed browsing through the backs of their books and reminiscing about what I've read to them in previous years.  I like that it proves that I really do more than watch soaps and eat bon-bons all day.  Ha.
I was interrupted while writing the above paragraph, because I heard *another* loud thump.  I say "another" because on Thursday, Blossom4 jumped off the bottom bunk and fell forward and hit the Lego table.  The sound of her face hitting the Lego table sounded like she fell head-first from the top bunk, it was just that loud.  Since then, her nose swelled and she has TWO black eyes, shaded with purple, blue and yellow.  We've been very thankful that her nose doesn't seem to be broken.  The swelling has progressively gone down but it hasn't stopped her climbing.  My mountain goat girl was standing on the counters today, picking out her hot chocolate mug.  While I was writing the above paragraph, she fell from the bathroom sink when she was "dust yookin at stuff."  Wouldn't ya figure she'd lock the bathroom door too?!  I thought I was gonna have to break it down.  She was fine and again, I'm thankful that she's got stellar guardian angels on her case. 
Well, I need to read her a naptime story.  Stay warm and cozy, friends!