Sunday, February 21, 2016

Catching Up . . .

I'm not doing well with blogging regularly, am I? We've been busy, but not doing anything too earth-shattering. Here are a few pictures from the past month or so . . . 

Don't think I ever posted pictures of the wall decals Little Bit got for Christmas. This is the wall under her loft bed, isn't it perfect? 

As some of you might remember, for Lexie and Ashlyn's 7th birthday, we went to the American Girl store in New York City and they each chose a doll and some accessories, and we had tea in the cafe.  I was starting to think we wouldn't be doing similar for Little Bit's 7th birthday. Whereas Lexie and Ashlyn enjoyed the American Girl books starting when they were 5, it was just recently that Little Bit has decided they're interesting. But, just in time for her birthday next month, she has dived head first into the world of American Girl.

So we WILL be having another American Girl 7th birthday after all. She has decided that the doll she wants is Samantha. And she wanted to get Samantha's bed since both her sisters have a bed for one of their dolls. However, while Josefina and Kit both had reasonably (for American Girl stuff) priced beds, Samantha's is much less reasonable. So, Lexie to the rescue! She has made a bed for Samantha. She made it in an afternoon out of a cardboard box! And then went through our fabric bin and button box and made a comforter for the bed over the next couple of days. Little Bit rearranged things under her loft bed in preparation for Samantha's arrival :)

While our BIG snow of the winter was the topic of my previous post, we did get a beautiful snow storm a couple weeks ago. It was truly beautiful, snowing most of the day, and turning the whole world into a powder-sugar covered landscape. As an added bonus, the temperatures were near freezing so, while we enjoyed a quiet day at home, we COULD have gone out if we'd had to.

Our rather quiet winter has led to lots of creativity from the kiddos. One afternoon as I sat in the living room a piece of yarn dropped down through a knot-hole in the ceiling (which is also the floorboards of Lexie and Little Bit's room). When all was said and done, Lexie and Little Bit had created a tin-can telephone from their room to the living room.

A week ago, Friday, Little Bit and Ashlyn noticed a stray cat in our yard. Ashlyn went out and "made friends" with it and wanted to bring it inside. While it WAS a very cold day, I assumed, especially since it was a very friendly little cat, that it lived somewhere nearby, so vetoed the idea of letting it in the house. However, the next morning when I went into the sunroom for my morning Bible time, I noticed that there were quite a few cat footprints in the dusting of snow we'd gotten overnight right outside the sliding door. It had been down near zero overnight, so not a night for a cat to be out and about :(

We headed out to church, and a busy Sabbath. It was "Jean Sabbath" when we do various community service projects in the afternoon. For the last several months Ashlyn has been asking to go pass out food and other things to the homeless downtown, but Lexie and Little Bit have wanted to help provide crafts and games at Olivet (the Big Brothers/Big Sisters center downtown). For various reasons we've ended up doing the crafts and games, so finally this month I told Ashlyn that I would take her to pass out lunches while Rodney took Lexie and Little Bit to Olivet. It was AFTER I agreed to that, that I realized the HIGH TEMPERATURE that day was going to be 15 F!! Brrrrrr . . . but we survived. People were very appreciative of the food AND coats that had been donated for us to pass out. AND because it was so cold, we didn't waste any extra time outside, so as it turned out, Ashlyn and I got to Olivet just as they were starting the crafts, so she was able to help with that too.

When we finally got home late Sabbath afternoon, the above mentioned cat came running across the yard toward us. Much as we DO NOT need another cat, I couldn't, in good conscience, leave it outside in weather THAT cold, when I knew it hadn't had a place to go the night before. So, I told Ashlyn to bring it inside until the cold snap was past. She's a pretty little thing (Ashlyn is guessing she's around 9 mo old, based on her research), and looks quite a bit like Lexie's first cat, Socks. Socks ran away several years ago, and soon after that one of the strays that came and ate on our porch at our first house in PA looked somewhat similar and was christened Socks Jr. Which makes this cat Socks the Third, or Tre.  It only took her a day to figure out the cat door and litter box, and she's very friendly with people, and amazingly tolerant of Little Bit carrying her around and generally mauling her, but she continues to growl at the other cats whenever they get close, and generally not play nice with them. So we shall see . . . once it warmed up, we put her outside and she ran off over the hill, so I thought that might be that, but at bedtime she came back. And again yesterday, she was outside, but came back at bedtime, so she seems to have claimed us as home base.

We've been having lots of fun with school during the cold winter days, so conducive to indoor activities. We're using the Jesus Storybook Bible for Little Bit's Bible this year, and doing fun hands-on activities and crafts to go along with each story. The activity for the story of crossing the red sea was to create a shaving cream "red sea" for her plastic people to walk through. I'm not sure the sea ever parted or people ever walked through, but she had GREAT fun playing with the shaving cream :)

Lexie came to me last week and said she needed a flower to dissect for science. Ummmm . . . couldn't you have planned things to do that particular experiment when, getting a flower was as simple as going outside and picking a wild flower? Of course not, that would be too easy! However, she pointed out that they had passed carnations out to all the adults at church for Valentine's Day, so I had 2 carnations in a vase on the kitchen window sill. She insisted that one of those flowers was Daddy's and HE didn't care about flowers, so she should be able to dissect HIS flower. And that is what happened. . . it's amazing how different a carnation looks once it's been dissected, isn't it? I was busy with other things when she and Little Bit dissected it, but she said it was really cool!

For supper one night last week Lexie took her first stab at making homemade, sourdough pita bread. They got abit brown, but overall turned out quite well. They tasted great with the falafel and tzatziki sauce she made for supper, and even had the pocket that pita bread is supposed to have! Definitely something she'll be doing again, YUM!

And that pretty much catches us up. As proof of how weird our weather is this winter, last Sabbath's high was 15, and yesterday's high was 60!!!

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