But they are the kind of days you ALWAYS want to remember, so I'm here to try :)
Friday morning we woke to a beautiful day and (relatively) warm temps. Matt and I took the girls to see their school (in a nutshell: unbelievably wonderful... more on that later). Grandpa and Paul and Krisanne braved the challenge of gearing up all the little boys (ages 4, 3, 3, almost 2) to head outside for some snowy fun. I've been quickly reminded that getting little ones into all their winter gear can be a full time job. Hat and gloves and boots and snow pants and jackets and .....
When we pulled in the driveway the girls scrambled to get into their gear and head out to join the fun.
Grandpa and Grandma have a perfect sledding hill for littles. Great fun. And it's a good thing we took advantage of the nice temps because in recent days the locals have been trying to scare me away with crazy cold. Today's high was -21. With wind-chills at -50. It's every bit as cold as it sounds. But they won't get rid of me this easy :) I know the people here are worth it - plus I'm a sucker for gazing at a blue sky, even if my eyelashes are frozen!
By late afternoon the cousin party was complete. All 10 under one roof. My girls and Kaelynn were buddies within milliseconds. You'd never know they spent three solid years apart -
And Isaac totally thinks of himself as "one of the big boys". Connor and Carson are just incredibly kind and gracious and generous with these little cousins, everything you'd ever want in a older cousin.
A full kids table for dinner (just missing baby Caleb).
We celebrated double birthdays - Julianna and John Paul.
[This one deserves a whole separate post... oh the last 365 days have brought us so far! His second birthday was so hard, ten days post palate-repair, all of us in survival mode. This birthday just JOY. John Paul, I love that your birthday is New Year's Day. I love that our God is making all things NEW. I love the story He is writing with your life!]
Julianna and her new sewing machine. Julianna loves to sew - and she certainly didn't get it from me. I don't sew anything. But for several years Julianna has shown a steady interest in sewing - she often gets out scrap fabric and needle/thread and creates something. Grandma thought she was ready for a beginner machine. And she is! She already sewed a little quilt for a baby doll. I'll be back with a picture so you can see how talented she really is (*grin*).
John Paul loved opening gifts - and we continued the celebrations with Christmas presents so he had plenty of opportunity to showcase his unwrapping skills!
I loved loved loved it. The noise and activity level and food and family. At night my four older children and Kaelynn filled a bedroom - plenty of sweet memories for me as I peeked in at their sleeping bodies before I headed to bed myself - I adored my cousins and loved nights sleeping in a room filled wall to wall with cousin-friends.
We moved in to our 'own' house here in town on Sunday afternoon. Someone who flew off to Arizona to escape the winter cold is loaning us their home for these months. It is perfect for our family - just perfect. So very grateful for this place to call home. And the sunshine streaming in the dining room window....
even if it is negative 20 something outside!
The girls first day of school moved to tomorrow (Tuesday) since school cancelled today because of the super cold temps. But John Paul and I braved the cold for his speech therapy intake eval. The results are exactly what we expected.... he tested well above age-level for receptive language (his ability to understand what he hears) but shows significant delays in expressive grammar and articulation. Again we heard that he shows no typical cleft-related delays (hyper nasality, etc).
We're just waiting for the final insurance clearance and we're set to go with 3x a week sessions for this little guy. I'm excited for what the Lord has for him here - the clinic is just a few long blocks from our house (though goodness knows we won't be walking in this weather!). I loved the SLP who did his intake eval but it's not a sure thing that she'll be assigned to him, still waiting to hear - and hopefully I'll know all this by tomorrow.
And the girls first day of school ... and I bought groceries and ran three loads of laundry.... and I planned meals and we have church/AWANA on Wednesday .... and cousins across town and more just an hour down the interstate ... and this is proving to (once again) be a sweet spot for our family while we plant ourselves (temporarily) in the States for the spring.