summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, February 23, 2015

birthday girl!

Miss Suzanne Eleanor, 14 years old today. It was a terrible day, weather wise. School was cancelled. The roads were bad. was Suze's birthday. She said it was okay if we didn't go anywhere, but I knew she was hopeful.

So..we went to the Chinese buffet. Her choice. As per usual, I felt that our Big Van is parked permanently in the driveway, I can only bring six kids with me when I go out and about...unless we double-buckle...but even that option was out today, as our minivan is in the shop. I had to drop it off in town today, and the roads were not fun, ice packed with white-outs from the blowing snow. The snowbanks are high, the wind blows across them, plus more snow was falling today. I did not want to go out and about. But. I did, and we are alive to tell about it.

We drove the Bravada, which is good in the snow, but can only fit five. The girls have their cousin Olivia here, so I brought Suzanne and Kathryn, Olivia, and Evelyn. My heart broke for Sonja, she had a snow day from school and really wanted to go.

We went to Kohl's first, and I let Suze pick out a few things for her birthday, because...even though her birthday comes on the same day every year, it sneaked up on me somehow. I wasn't prepared. She found a sweatshirt, a flannel shirt, and a pair of sneakers. They were all on clearance, of course, but are very nice. They all started rallying to go to Chinese for lunch. I tried to remind them how awful we feel after we eat there, and how we have vowed to never eat there again. They were undaunted, and since it was Suzanne's birthday, we went. They think they're funny, and one of them asked if they could get soda instead of water, which we simply don't do in our family, :), and I said, "no", unless it comes with it. It didn't, so we had water. And hot tea.

These girls are silly. They are loud and funny when I made a pig nose at one of them for going up for thirds, right as a lady from another table looked our way...I looked at her with my pig nose, and I think she might have thought I was making it at her.

The bad thing is that when they are laughing, I can't help but join in. I forget that I am old. That is precisely why it is so much fun to be with them.

Winter, how I hate thee.
Your sparkle deceives,
Your ice is a snare.
We're captives but we
soon will be free,
to wander the yard in barefeet.
That knowledge of that hope,
makes you weak...
You battered and blew
and still are not through
but spring will come soon,
and rescue me.

Anyway. Tonight is going to be another cold one. -13 F (-25C), not including the windchill. brrr. The good news is that it should warm up to 20 by the afternoon. Paul called tonight from Florida. He at lunch outside. He had dinner at a restaurant and ate outside. He said he drove with the windows down in the car. rrr. Naw, I am glad for him. And it is not all fun and games, he was still doing work at 9:30.

Okay. I may get the prize for Worst Birthday Mom, but I did manage to make a yummy ice cream pie/cake for her.

Two packages of Oreos, crumbled and crushed, mixed with a stick of melted butter (I did set aside a cup of the crumbs to sprinkle on top). Spread in the bottom of a big pan, mine is 18" by 24". I think. Anyway, I used three cartons of ice cream, slightly softened. I used mint choco-chip on one end, fudge ripple in the middle, then dark chocolate on the other end. I added caramel to the top of the fudge ripple, and a little bit drizzled on the chocolate. I sprinkled the extra crumbs all over it, then some chocolate sprinkles. Waxed paper then foil, and into the big freezer. Then I made homemade frosting: half a stick of butter, some shortening, about a pound of powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk...I used half and half this time.

Yum. I had a very tiny bit in a very small little container, like two tablespoons. It was TOO GOOD.

We put candles in it and sang to was a small gathering, for our house. Evelyn had left with a friend to go to the bookstore (and she brought home a gift for Suze), and Margaret went to visit her cousin Audrey who is watching my niece's two niece is in the hospital recuperating from surgery due to complications of Crohn's disease. (poor Kate, she is the sweetest girl, my sister's oldest daughter. She is a childhood cancer survivor, and is a fighter! We are hoping and praying that she will feel better now than she has in a while, her surgeon assured her it went well and she would start feeling better soon:))

The little girls were all excited about the ice cream cake and the birthday song, and the little gift bag with the travel mug, a bag of Valentine's candy (yummy mixed chocolates), and a box of Valentine Fun Dip. And a flash light. Hey, what can I say, I am running out of gifts in my gift closet.

Margaret and Sonja and Joseph stayed home with Jonathan, Char, and Camille today. They hung blankets over the windows and in the livingroom doorways so they could watch a movie in the dark. Margaret and Sonja made them brunch, and Camille had to call me to tell me how much fun they were having. Char actually told me to take my time and not hurry home. What nice big sisters they have.

Margaret's interview is rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

If the van is fixed soon enough in the day, we will attempt our little hotel night get-away.

I really really hope so...the hot tub and heated pool sound heavenly right now. My fingers are so cold I can barely type. Blah blah the snow is pretty and winter is wonderful, but seriously? Who on earth actually enjoys cold hands? And cold toes! If I didn't have my electric blanket rigged up on these freezing nights, my feet would never warm up! I would just try to put them on new warm places on my opposite legs all night, and never get them warm. I have socks and slipper on now, and a comforter over my feet, and they are still cold. My nose is cold. I know, I know, there are colder places, there are homeless people, I shouldn't complain.

Snow. It is heavy and cold and when the wind blows it off the snowbanks and down my collar when I am cleaning off the car in the morning....and when I open the car door to get the snowbrush and the snow from the roof falls all over the seat in the car....and when I drop my phone in the snow....and when the newspaper gets thrown in the driveway because our paper box is long buried...and when I have to shovel to get the door open...and when the recycling bin is totally submerged under a few feet of snow...and when the dogs fuss to go out and come back in covered in snow like ten times a day....and when the heat works sporadically on two of our vehicles and not at all in one...the minivan has heat only in the front....and when it's so cold the wipers are frozen to the windshield, and the heat isn't working, and I have to manically scrape the ice from the insides of the windows while I try to drive...when carrying in groceries, up those snow covered deck steps...when successfully backing out of our own driveway is like a victory...when I realize my muscles are as tight as when I am sitting in the dentist chair, simply driving down the road trying to see through a white out...then in all honesty, I can say, I hate winter. Sure, there is beauty. There is exhilaration in going out to shovel on a freezing winter night, with the stars shining and the wind howling. There is something robust about going out and shoveling. The trees branches weighed down with snow are breathtaking. And when the snow piles up more and more, it can be exciting. We can almost jump right off the side of our deck these days, right into the ever-deeper snow.

And that's my I Hate Winter Rant of the day.

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