Friday, December 11, 2009

It's SN-O-O-W December

Just a little play on words there, referring to our massive snowstorm this week...It actually first snowed on Sunday while the guys were out hunting and we were in Council Bluffs. I went to lunch with a couple of friends from my old church and afterwards I wanted to do some shopping. Side note: Council Bluffs has done some amazing things with their shopping industry. They are totally developing the south end of town (no doubt because of the casinos down there) and have all kinds of neat stores. I told Paul that the JC Penneys they put in makes me "orgasmic" and he turned bright red and said, "I can't believe you said that!" It is what it is! Had I known this was in the works, perhaps we wouldn't have moved! But I digress. Anyway, while I was shopping, it really got windy and snowy. By the time we left around 7 to go home, the roads were kind of treacherous. We had extra weight on top of our van with the 3 deer strapped on there (charming hillbilly picture...and I still have frozen blood on the side of my van!) and I just prayed and prayed all the way home that God would keep us out of the ditches! He did and I am SO thankful!

Monday was fine, but the news stations were full of news about an impending snowstorm. Ben had an allergy appointment that morning and then I was able to bump up his actual shot appointment to that day just in case things were as bad as they were predicting for Tuesday. We did a bunch of Christmas shopping and it was a good day. But things were a different story by Tuesday. That morning the sky was so gray and heavy with snow and it started coming down that afternoon. By Wednesday the entire metro was basically shut down. Interstates were closed and there was so much snow and so much blowing and drifting that nobody could go anywhere. We got 16" on top of what we had from Sunday! You can see it all drifted up by our back door in the above picture. The news said there hasn't been a storm like this in the Des Moines area in 14 years. It was actually a cozy day. Paul was told not to come into work (not that he could have gotten there anyway). I did my normal stuff around the house and he cleaned up some of his paperwork on the computer desk and helped Will with algebra. It was nice!

Yesterday everybody was moving again - sort of. It was down to below zero and I think the high was somewhere around 6 degrees, so it was COLD! The roads were still a bit icy so you couldn't go as fast as normal. Paul had a lot of no-heat calls to do, thankfully. I had a chiropractic appointment so I crept to town and made it just fine. Then I shopped all day and FINISHED MY SHOPPING! I can't enjoy Christmas until that chore is done. I just can't!

Last weekend went fine. Kathy and I had an amazing time together. We always do. We decided that this is nuts, seeing eachother once a year. There is no reason we can't do this every 3 or 4 months. Council Bluffs is only 2 hours away for me and it's an hour and half for her, so it's pretty even. We also decided that we are going to do a camping trip this summer with both our families. That was Paul's idea. Apparently he and Rich were talking about that last summer at the homeschool conference and Paul told me I should mention that to Kathy. She was enthusiastic about the idea. That will be a wild camping trip because we have 9 kids between us!

The men got all their deer tags filled. Will's friend, Nathaniel, who came along, got a good sized buck. I was pleased for him. He's such a fun, witty kid - I really enjoyed spending time with him! I'll be reporting on the butchering here, soon, I suppose. That's not nearly so fun as the shooting! Ben did go for a couple of hours and when I got back to the house I asked him what he thought of it. He looked at me for a moment and simply said, "It was cold!" I had a feeling he wouldn't be all that enthusiastic about the experience. Maybe if he actually got to kill something, he'd be happier...

Ben was happy on Monday, though, when he got to go Christmas shopping with me. Nothing makes him smile quite like shopping. It always has. From the time he was a baby, he was always content to sit in his stroller and just observe everything in the mall or different stores. Will and David, on the other hand. acted like they were imprisoned in an Iranian torture camp! Sam is the same way!

I was so impressed with him while we were shopping. We had eaten lunch at the food court and a nearby kiosk had caught my attention (because it had jewelry and I am such a girl). He wasn't quite done eating so I told him to just finish up and then I'd be back to clean up and we could go. To my immense surprise, he showed up at the booth a few minutes later, carrying both the drink and the shopping bag - which is not an easy feat for him. He has cerebral palsy and his fine motor skills are practically non-existent. I asked him what he had done with our food mess and he told me had cleaned it all up and thrown it away! Wow! Maybe there is hope for him!

He sure cracked me up the other night. He and David were watching a movie in the living room and I don't even know what it was they were watching (I'm thinking now I should probably be keeping better track of such things!). Ben came to where I was and asked, "Mom - is 'son of a ditch' a swear word?" No, that's not a typo - that's exactly how he said it! I wanted to laugh so badly! But I assured him very solemnly (by biting the inside of my cheek) that yes, that's swearing and we don't say that.

I had to take Will back to the foot dr. last Friday. He has a mess of plantar warts on the bottom of his foot. Nasty! So nobody else is using the upstairs shower until that gets taken care of and he's showering with flip flops on. I thought we had those conquered but evidently not. Anyway, while waiting for the dr to come in, Sam was playing around the door. Soon, he opened it and disappeared! I caught up with him at the end of the hallway and asked him where he was going. Sam replied, "to van!" I guess he'd had enough of waiting around!

I'm going to have to post a picture of my living room one of these days. I am becoming so pleased with that room - finally. It's been painted several colors since we moved in but I just never liked any of them. My colors have always loosely been burgundy (now barn red), hunter, and navy since our first little apartment. And I still like those colors. Last January I finally hit upon the idea of painting one wall a barn red and the rest a cream color. Then we ended up buying a tan couch and things have just really come together since! I picked up some new throwpillows this fall for it. In July I ordered a red throw from a home decorating party I went to. I discovered that a quilt I bought in Branson a year ago looked very nice against my tan slipcovered loveseat. I bought brown drapes last winter and started adding other touches of brown to the room, which I am finding I really like. This week I bought my Christmas present from Mom and Dad (they give me one big check at Christmastime for all of us. I do the shopping for the boys in advance and usually get my own gift right before Christmas). I got a 5' x 8' shag area rug in a deep chocolate brown. Oh, it is gorgeous! And it covers up my boring tan indoor/outdoor carpet that's in there. The boys love it because it's so soft! I just walk into the room and smile every time now! For being a small room, I think it's really quite inviting. And just think - a year ago at this time that front wall was just drywall with splotches of mud on it. The entry way was that awful built-up thing with the peeling white and blue linoleum on it. It's like it isn't even the same room anymore! All right...enough about me and my decorating prowess...:)

Well, it's looking like David may need glasses, at least for reading. He had a tutor for a month or so and she sent me her report on the experience. She told me that David had complained about his eyes hurting and would rub them frequently while reading. I have always been aware that he seems to have trouble focusing on his place while reading, but it never occurred to me that might be because he needs glasses! Now, I feel kind of bad that I didn't recognize this before. A number of years ago we had been to an eye dr. in W. Des Moines when David's cornea got scratched by Will's toenail (yes, really!). At that time he persuaded me to have all the boys' eyes tested since I had never done that before. Well, then he really put the pressure on for me to have all 3 of them put in glasses. I didn't do it because I didn't see that they really needed it. I know from experience that the more you wear glasses, the more dependent your eyes become on them and I didn't want that for the boys. It just sounded like a way for that optometrist to make some money! But - maybe now it's time, at least for David. I mentioned it to him yesterday and he wailed, "No! I don't want to wear glasses!"

I need to get back to my to-do list. Today I have so much that instead of my normal to-do list I have a "Must get done TODAY" list. Blogging was one of my things! So, every time I get something done, then I go wrap 3 presents. That way I'm making progress on that chore, as well. And I enjoy that anyway. I have to make 5 dozen cookies today for a cookie exchange at church tomorrow, which I think will be fun (as long as I don't burn the cookies or as long as they don't turn out to be so hard that they are chipping people's molars - sometimes I have that problem with cookies). And I have to get Will over to church tonight for a birthday party. It's going to be a busy day.

I should go check the mail. We haven't gotten it since Tuesday! Whatever happened to, "...thru sleet, thru snow, thru dark of night..." And I was told at the city council mtg last night that if we don't have our mailbox shoveled out the mailman won't deliver, either. I'm thinking we have a lazy mailman! That's going to be one big load once we do get it, that's for sure!

Off to work!

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