Thursday, December 12, 2013

IceMageddon 2013

We interrupt this "quiet, peaceful" month of Advent for.....a crippling ice storm.
This last weekend, most of North Texas screeched to a halt.  Literally.
Last Wednesday, December 4th, it was 75 - 80 degrees and I was out for a lovely walk in a tank top and capri's.  I clicked the following pictures to document the glory:

The following day the temperatures dropped by 50 degrees and the precipitation started after dark.
The next morning, we woke up to this:

It was quite beautiful, but it was truly a crisis for many people.
I am so very grateful that I determined to switch my normal weekly shopping day from Friday to Thursday that week, so we would be sure to have what we needed.
A couple years ago, we had a similar situation happen, but at the same time, I was very sick in bed, and so was my husband.
We had 6 children home under 13 trapped inside......and then the power went out.
Misery like I've never experienced before.
I could not get out of bed without I could not cook.
The roads were so ice coated that even our friends in town who wanted to help could not get to us.
I learned my lesson well during that experience and was determined to be well stocked and prepared for the worst.
We had plenty of food and water, firewood, and toilet paper!!
I also had enough forethought to purchase items needed for some fun wintery crafts and treats.....since we were going to be cooped up in the house!

So on Friday, our little town's annual Christmas parade was completely cancelled.
The first time in 13 year's we missed it!
To keep our morale up, we made some of these:

Let me just say here, for the record, that I would NOT file these under the "Simple, sane, and sacred" folder.
These were anything BUT simple and sane.
In fact, my children abandoned the whole project before their roofs were on.
In other words, I had to finish everything.
But, I did like the way they ended up all folksy and cute.
What WAS I thinking though, that these would dress up our dining room until Christmas?!
Let's just say that they are all gone now!

On Saturday, December 7, our church's annual Ladies Christmas Brunch was cancelled as well as the morning dress rehearsal for the children's Christmas program scheduled for Sunday evening.  It was postponed to 4 pm on Sunday.
We did more of this:

 And I made some of my very favorite Christmas treats:  Secret Kiss Cookies

By Sunday, our church services were cancelled completely and the children's Christmas program postponed until later in the month.

The children had been getting outside nearly everyday for sledding, and on Sunday afternoon I ventured out with them.  Everything was still beautifully coated with ice.  

We also made a batch of our very most favorite Christmas treat:  Buckeyes 

 We were so thankful that nothing forced us to have to try to get out of our driveway (which would have been impossible with the ice coating it and the slight incline to the street).  We had 4 days that were unexpectedly wiped clean of outside activities, and even though we were still busy at home, it was so lovely because it made our days much more....simple.....sane....and yes, even sacred.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Simple. Sane. Sacred: "It is more blessed to give than to receive.." Acts 20:35

We are so blessed. Some days I fret over the things that I think my children need that we cannot supply for them. Then I fret over all the "stuff" we have piled here, there, and everywhere. Toys have a way of cluttering up our lives and stressing me out. They get played with for a few days, parts get lost, batteries run down, and I'm sliding across the linoleum on some little piece of something. Last year, I decided that instead of just filling up our house with more stuff like that, I wanted my children to learn how to let go of some things that they don't even appreciate anymore, and share with other children who are much less fortunate. We are going to do this EVERY year now. It's AWESOME!!!

In our town, an organization collects used toys and puts them all together in a sort of "store" where 10 families from each of the 9 public schools have been given vouchers to go pick up some toys at no cost to them. These are families recommended to them by school personnel who are chosen as in "desperate need." I was so encouraged to know that our family was having a part in encouraging nearly 90 families who are struggling and broken-hearted because they have no way of shopping for and choosing something really special for their child.

Obviously my girls were excited about it too!!