As I sit typing at the computer on this chilly Friday night, there is a blazing fire beside me, and a cooing baby playing with little bits of wood on the hearth below. The smell of turtle brownies (caramel and nut filled brownies…not turtle filled…just in case you needed to know…) is wafting in the air. A pregnant daughter-in-love and not-pregnant daughter are laughing and painting their nails, while Christmas music plays softly around us.
You read that right.
I normally wait til July to bring Bing back, but we have had a VIRTUAL BLIZZARD here in Corvallis the past two days. Which is a perfect excuse to torture my family with Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls and It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas…. because it really is. I am already plotting where we are going to put the tree next December, because that view in the picture above ?? It will make the perfect backdrop for a 12 footer, and I will not settle for anything shorter.
At the beginning of the week I texted my oldest sons and their wives, as well as Sam and Mackenzie, with this message : sledding party this Friday morning at The Rice Ranch. Hot cocoa and pancakes for all !! I attached a screen shot of the weather forecast for the week from my phone - those little snowflakes on my weather app for Thursday and Friday and Saturday had caught my eye immediately that morning, and I was not going to waste one second in planning festivities accordingly.
I wish I could say that my adult children placed so much confidence in my weather forecasting skills - or at least the Apple weather app's weather forecasting skills - that they promptly bombarded me with a flurry of texts confirming their attendance…but the opposite was true. If my mind serves me correctly, Monique was the first of the doubting Thomases to respond with something to the tune of "Not going to happen. Well, maybe a dusting of snow, but nothing to write home about." The rest of the naysayers quickly chimed in, and I'm sorry to say not one of them had anything positive to say about my absolute and total faith in whoever decided to put little snowflakes on my Apple weather app that morning.
Call them Grinches, Scrooges, or whatever name you want… my family said there would NOT BE SNOW.
But strangely enough, we went from this…
…in a matter of 12 hours.
Thank you, Jack Frost and Apple weather app, and also thank you God. Because I did pray for snow, so if you live anywhere in the Northwest, and you are the happy recipient of The Great Snowstorm of February 2014 - you can thank me too.
That photo was taken last night off my bedroom balcony, and I kid you not- there is at least another foot of snow piled on top of the foot that was already there. And it's still snowing.
Oh ye of little faith …
After receiving a blizzard (haha) of texts and phone calls from repentant naysayers yesterday, I decided to forgive and forget. We moved our sledding party to last night, as everyone had to work in the morning, and I changed my menu to Andy's skillet instead of pancakes - with piles of hot buttered English muffins and orange juice on the side. (If you haven't ever been here for Andy's skillet, it is a breakfast that our dear friend Andy Altringer used to make for us, back in the day. Think diced potatoes and crumbled bacon fried in a humongous skillet and tossed with eggs, and you've almost got it. Top with salsa and sour cream and sprinkle generously with green onions and you're there - Andy's skillet. Booyah.)
Anyhoot, Jason and Naomi had to make a little detour at the ER with little Miss Norah Jane…but after a breathing treatment and instructions to watch her closely through the night, they were able to join us for a night of food and fellowship. I love our big family, and I love everything that comes with it - loud, overlapping conversations, crazy laughter and mockery, endless stories and memories shared, and chaos….beautiful chaos.
I have a few other blurry and non-shareable photos of that chaos, because I could not get anyone to stop laughing or teasing long enough to pose nicely for a picture. But I also have a heart full of pictures to reflect upon in years to come…the night it dumped so much snow in February that we had a Christmas party.
Jason and Naomi and the kids left around eleven, and Josiah and Monique stayed the night… we were all a little hung over today, but it was worth it.
I spent the day doing laundry and more laundry…the kids spent the day creating more laundry (playing in the snow and coming back in, rinse, dry, repeat fifty times)… and Sam worked from home…
I opened all the blinds in the house so that everywhere I went I had a view of my prayed-for winter wonderland. I absolutely love how snow changes the look of everything….
Tonight we're hosting Christmas Party in February Part Two… Abbi's brownies and an all night game of Monopoly are calling, so I'll end this post with just four little words that I've been joyfully proclaiming since yesterday …words that may be painful for my oldest children to hear, but it's a good lesson to remember none-the-less :