Friday, February 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes - Groundhog Fail, Birthdays, Birds, Woe & Snow

Linking up again with Kelly at her blog for another Quick Takes. Thanks, Kelly!

So, let's just start with the obvious:
Somewhere under this is our driveway.

Groundhog, you let me down.

We've been hunkered down all week, venturing no further than the end of our driveway for the past five days. I've pretty much given up on my boys seeing preschool again until somewhere around mid-April, which isn't all bad considering we've hit a pretty nice groove at home.  This meme that I saw on FB pretty much sums up how well we handle a lot of snow in Kentucky.

A lot of records were broken here this week, and I'm not talkin' about basketball (but how 'bout them Wildcats!).  Some places got over a foot of snow, and we had about eight inches on the back porch. Then, the bottom fell out of the thermometer last night, and I had the sad misfortune of getting to experience ten-below for the second winter in a row. Only last year, I did not live in the supposed South! Why is this weather following me??? Because ya know, it's all personal, right? Nothing scientific about it.

But let's not talk about the weather.  Let's talk about this little guy who turned four this past Sunday.  If you read the conclusion of his birth story this past week, you know that as soon as I laid eyes on him, I thought he'd have a beautiful smile someday.  Am I wrong?

He had a wonderful birthday and was so happy.  He was just beaming the whole weekend.  He was so excited to have his grandma and grandpa from Kansas City visiting for his special day, and he received not one but two toy trains as gifts. He adores trains and fell asleep that night clutching his new black locomotive. He requested a "red cake" for his birthday, so I made one using pureed raspberries for the red coloring (I try to avoid the artificial food colorings as much as possible). It was yummy even though he refused to eat it.  Unlike his big brother, Joah doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and seldom eats dessert.  Before the cake, everyone feasted on pork and pancakes because pancakes are Joah's favorite meal at the moment, and Tom's smoked ribs and sausage are everyone else's favorite meal!  We also invited a couple of friends over, and they brought two five-year old girls.  Joah and John loved playing with them.  Joah kept telling the girls knock-knock jokes, and they'd just smile but not respond. When that didn't work, he decided to start chasing them up and down the staircase but they'd keep running away.   After a bit of that, the poor guy came down the stairs looking all defeated and exclaimed, "Mom, those girls just won't stop running.  We need to build a fence!"  Get used to it, Joah.

Two days after Joah's birthday, we celebrated the birthday of our fourth baby, Karol Elizabeth.  I really wish I had that little two-and-a-half year old running around here but I know she is working hard for us in heaven.  Normally, I make a cake for our babies' birthdays, but since the day after was Ash Wednesday and we already had leftover "red cake" in the frig, I opted to go with something different. So instead, the boys and I made snow cream, put some sprinkles on it, and we each got a bowl full with a candle on top.  Then we all sang happy birthday to Karol and slurped it down.

So, did anyone else out there participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this past weekend?  If you missed it, there's always next year. It's a great way to introduce kids to birding and you can even do it without leaving your house. Just fill up a feeder (black oil sunflower seed is best) and wait a few days.  The birds will find it and then they'll be eating you out of house and home!  With the big snow we've had, our feeder has become grand central station and the boys really enjoy watching all the activity.   They know several of the more common feeder species, and yesterday, we even had a visit from a hermit thrush. If a hermit thrush visits a feeder, you know things must be getting rough (bird-wise).  Birding is a hobby that will last a lifetime, and as a matter of fact, it was our mutual love of birds that first brought Tom and me together. But that is a story for another day.

Once the birthdays were celebrated, we started trying to getting ready for Lent. Our Ash Wednesday services were canceled due to the snowstorm so we just stayed home.  I took down the string of lights that I'd put up on the feast of St. Lucy back in December and the boys and I hung our Lenten calendar. On Fat Tuesday, I kept reminding John that there would be no more candy after that day, and the kid did his best to scarf down every piece of chocolate he'd received for St. Valentine's Day. He started to founder after his fourth piece and then declared that he was saving the rest for Easter. So far, he's doing pretty good, although he has had a couple of weak moments, but I think we might be through the worst of it.

Fat Tuesday, John style.

On the adoption front, there isn't much to report.  Our agency has shown our profile a couple of times since December, and one birthmother chose another family and the other decided to parent.  Still, I am encouraged that our profile is at least being shown. It was after we lost Karol that we really felt the pull to adopt again and that has now been three years ago.  This past week, we actually had a very discouraging moment when one of the *Christian* agencies we were applying with asked us to sign a Statement of Faith that was contrary to Catholic teaching.  We could not in good faith do that, so we had to scratch another agency off the list, and it felt like our odds just got a little longer.  Trying to adopt is certainly not for the faint-hearted in these days and times, and I'm trying very hard not to get too jaded.

That's mostly the week that was.  I will end with an epic picture that I took this past week of Joah on his very first sled ride. I think the look on his face says it all. Maybe this is why God sent us snow. Love that smile!

Have a great weekend!

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