I had every intention of writing this on Monday, then I had a little setback with downloading pictures, and now I’m staring down Friday and the week is nearly gone! Arg!
The acreage is covered in sparkly, fluffy snow and the weather has been frigid, so we’ve been stuck inside. Anna and Natalie both have a case of the classic runny nose but otherwise all is well, health wise.
It is a HUGE priority over here to get outside, and so with the exception of the last few days where the high is below zero or single digits, we go out! We bundle up in our snow pants and scarves and Nathan pulls up the sleds to the back door by the time I get the girls dressed and ready, and we’re ready for our “sleigh” ride! Nathan loves to pull Anna, while I pull Natalie, and often I find myself in a what feels like a video clip of “Rocky Balboa” doing winter training for his next fight while I heave the two sleds, walking or running. It’s quite a workout! Adriaaaan!
On the days where it’s mostly calm, sunny and thirty-something, we track animals in the snow, mostly a crazy rabbit that runs circles around the yard (Bugs Bunny?), the cats and some pheasant. We hunt down huge icicles and eat them and make a choir of snow angels. One day Nathan brought his huge icicle inside and dipped it in his apple cider we were having to warm up!
We embrace winter over here and try to remain joyful in this season of hibernation. Nathan and Natalie put on their little aprons and helped me make homemade pies for our extended family Thanksgiving feast. I had 2 little mini pie plates left from my days of Farmer’s Market, so they rolled out their own crust from my scraps and put the leftover pumpkin filling in, and that was their snack for the afternoon. They loved it! I was exhausted, but pleased to make those kinds of good memories! Although, I confess, I told Dan I should never volunteer to make/bring those kinds of foods to our family gatherings! Next year I might volunteer to bring napkins or juice!!
As part of the Winterfest activities in Luverne, we attended the Children’s Puppet Show. It’s always a little chaotic and hectic bringing 3 under 3 somewhere by myself, especially if I have to nurse Anna, but they did great! Santa Claus showed up and gave all the kids candy canes, and they couldn’t have been happier! I was calculating how long it would take for them to recover from their sugar high!
The first Saturday of the month we finally broke out the Christmas tree and the few decorations I have. Natalie was trying to put the stockings on her feet and they went up to her hip! It was pretty funny, and then Nathan joined in and they were walking around in Christmas “stockings.” As a fun little festive gift, Nathan helped me dehydrate orange slices, grapefruit slices and apples, which we put in bags with cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks to simmer on the stove as a Christmas spice room fragrance.
That same Saturday we had our monthly potluck and opted for soups. I made a hearty beef stew and pull apart rosemary-garlic bread–so addicting! Friends brought a spiced butternut squash soup and salad with fresh raspberries for dessert. Prior to our meal, we had a sort of “Winter Olympic Games” with a sled pull and log toss. It definitely got our hearts pumping and our lungs burning and we were ready for some warm soul-ful food!
In N&N news, Natalie turns 2 on Monday! So it’s a busy time here preparing for a birthday and Christmas! Nathan is in his first Christmas program at church on Sunday. Natalie can now go down the steps by herself, which still makes me nervous on our 100-year-old steep wood steps, but I just stand nearby and hold my breath. She just yells, “No! No!” if I even attempt to help or have my hands nearby to “spot” her. She is also potty trained now, and doing awesome. She loves her Minnie Mouse undies and being a big girl! So 2 toddlers in undies! Woohoo!! Natalie LOVES to play baby and anything Elmo and Cookie Monster. So on her birthday I’m making Monster Cookies, and we will eat them Cookie Monster style!
Anna is rolling all over the house and everything within her grasp goes in her mouth! It has been a little shock to the older kids to realize that when they try to love on her, she grabs their hair with an iron fist and doesn’t let go! “No! No! Anna! ” they tell her.
I haven’t seen much of the animals lately, since it’s cold. On the “nicer” days, I pull the 2 older kids around on the sled to do chores, but I struggle to lift haybales, so I leave the goats and donkey’s to Dan’s care, and collect eggs and feed the cats.
And now, we just wait for Christmas! Nathan asks every day where his presents are and tells me he wants them “right now” in spite of all my lessons on how Christmas is about Jesus’ birth and it’s His birthday we’re celebrating! Nathan loves the tree lights and turns off all the house lights so we can see them better!
And that’s the news on this sledding-and-rolling week on the farm!