More snow and more snow.  Sorry we've been off the grid (literally).  The power goes out for a few days and then I try to get myself and the house back in order and then the power goes out again.  It put a little kink in my blogging schedule.

But we're back!

I only took a couple pics of the snow this time.  This snow was really too wet to go out and play in. 

This storm was a bit unique in the fact that it came in sideways.  Check out the six inches on the side of the power pole!

Thanks to the Stocks for letting us crash while the power was out!  Thanks to Jono for surprising me with a "get away from it all" weekend! (more on that later)  And thanks to PG&E for all that overtime.

Good bye, white stuff.  Hello, sunshine and chacos! 



I count myself lucky in so many ways!  Here are four of them...


Last year we made treasure boxes for St. Patrick's Day to play along with a little legend about leprechauns.  According to the story, if you put a treasure box out under the moon the eve of March 17th, the little green fellows will fill the box with gold or jewels or gifts.  However (you know how tricky they are) they will hide the box in the most unlikely place.  In order to claim the treasure for yourself, you have to find the box before the end of St. Patrick's Day or all the treasure returns to the land of the leprechauns.

Joe was all about the treasure and he has reminded me consistently every day this month that we needed to make a treasure box again this year. We were able to do it just in time.

All you need is an empty box to decorate.  We covered ours in white paper.

Then I let the kids go after it, decorating it however they wanted.  It seems like last year there was a lot more glitter and glue involved.  This year was more markers and stickers.

Ta da!  Hope we can find it today!  I'm sure those leprechauns have so much treasure they won't even notice if we keep this little box full!


Sweet Kid

This is one sweet kid
He ran all the way back across the park to pick a flower for me.

He's the kid that tells you he loves you and wants to hear you tell him back.  He notices if I wear something new.  "I like your shirt."  He says "thank you mom for cookin" almost every night.  He will randomly tell me I'm beautiful.  Who doesn't need that kind of encouragement in their life?!!  I eat it up!  And I make sure to tell him he looks handsome too.  (he reminds me if i don't speak up right away 'and i'm handsome?')

He is a good example for me.  I use sarcasm far too often as a way of communicating my feelings.  If only I could be more like this guy and spread the love.  Well, today is a good day to try.


joe friday : trip to the zoo

The tiger was loud but that lion's roar was impressive!  It rattled your bones!  D-man was not a big fan.
  Jono caught the momma lion roaring on this video. 
ps. Joe totally started it!


San Francisco Zoo

Last week we went to
San Francisco
(ooh, that's fun to say!)

Jono had something he needed to do so the fam decided to tag along.  While we were there we went to the zoo.  It was a great day to be there.  The weather was just right and it was a weekday so it wasn't crowded.
And, of course, all the kiddos LOVED it!

The first animal we saw was this duck, who Dylan tried his hardest to catch.

We took bets on the penguin races. 

We watched the gorilla family for the longest time.  The little guy is about Trek's size.  They have a lot in common.  And the daddy was very intimidating sitting there alternately glaring or ignoring us.

This sleeping koala was just too cute!

The macaws were very chatty.  Pretty sure one of them said my name.

I loved watching this little baby hang out.  Anteaters apparently eat more than just ants.  This momma was slurping up an avocado.

Another popular feature you might be interested in if you ever get to the San Fran Zoo...they have free-range peacocks.  They were just about everywhere.  A lot of them were hanging out with the kangaroos and the flamingos.  Did NOT see them chillin' with the big cats.  However, whenever we saw them out on the walkways, they were seriously hunted by our four wildcats.  It was pretty hilarious.  Maybe I should have taken that opportunity to lecture them on humane treatment of animals, but I didn't.  I laughed at that bird!  (my justification:  i don't think the bird was in any great danger of being caught)

I think everybody's favorite was the lion house, but I'll let Joe Friday tell you about that tomorrow.


Auction Projects for the Kids' Classes

It's been a challenge for me to get down to volunteer in the kids' classes this year.  But I was able to help both of their classes do a project for the school's annual auction.  I love to watch kids doing art.  Unlike us big people, they have no reservations about throwing down some paint.  We worry about what it will look like, using the wrong colors, what people will say.  Kids don't.  They know they are talented and they just go for it!  It's a beautiful thing to see.
The third graders did a batik.  My sis-in-law told me about this project which you can find here.  We just took it a step farther so that when we put all of their batiks together it made a picture (in this case, their teacher's favorite president).  It was a trick to figure that puzzle out but it gave us something to do while snowed in.

The first graders were each given a letter and asked to draw something that started with that letter.  I transferred their pictures onto tiles which they painted.  Ms. Smith's dad graciously took the tiles and made it into an adorable ABC kids table.
These are very original!  I especially love K, P, Q, V and of course...

Z is for Zombie (Joe's contribution). 
Notice the head is off, there is blood and a weapon.  I wouldn't have expected any less.

Pop Quiz:  Do you know how many stars were on the flag when Lincoln was president?


Kickin' it Like Laura Ingall

So what do you do with no power?

#1 Watch the icicles grow.

 #2 Eat dinner by flashlight.  We tried candles the first night but they were just too messy and not nearly as effective.

 #3 Wash dishes the old fashioned way.  You can only store them in the dishwasher for so long before it starts to smell.  Fact.

#4  When the water doesn't work either, you melt snow on the stove to fill up the toilet.

#5 You watch movies on the portable DVD player.

#6 Play games.
#7 Paint, draw, do puzzles.
#8 Have icicles for a snack.


24 inches in 24 hours

When we moved out here, they told us that we would get a "few snows" but it is mostly rain.  The first winter we had several BIG snows and everyone told us how unusual that was for this area but once about every ten years we would get a really Big Storm.  Maybe because time moves slower up in the mountains people forget how long a year is.  We've had these Big Storms every year for four years now.
This time it was about 24 inches in 24 hours!  I don't really know how that compares to other places (this storm came down from Alaska so maybe my Alaska friends can tell me what real snow is like) but this was heavy duty for my tastes.

This is the back of the house and still snowing...

the Swagger Wagon...

this is one of the giant snowballs from last week's storm

this is what the snowballs look like now...and joe swimming in the snow

Abs thought it was super cool that she could get up to the roof...and little monkey thought he would follow...

Jono shoveled the path for us...

Bean couldn't walk in it at all.  But he loved getting thrown into it!

here's where Abs lost her boot.  they had to get the shovel and dig it out.

The power did go out.  and our phone line.  and our water on day 4.  But more on that tomorrow. 
Alaska, no more of your weather please.  Alabama, feel free to send us some of that 70 degree stuff you have!