Ella got some snowshoes for Christmas last year and is finally getting a chance to really get out and use them. With all the snow we received last week, it was perfect snowshoeing weather.

These are some pictures I took. Thank goodness for telephoto lenses!!


Blogging Fun in 2010

I know it's not the new year yet, but I've been working on a few new things for the new year. Can't just stick with the same old stuff can we?

If you'll check out my sidebar there are a couple additions. First off since we bought a new treadmill Zan thinks I'm supposed to use it. My goal for 2010 is to run 300 miles. You can track my progress ~or lack of~ on my little ticker.

Second new thing is I'm planning on taking a picture a day and posting them on a separate blog. I've titled it Little Bug Photos. You can click on the picture and it will take you to that blog.

I hope you will enjoy these new additions that I've planned as much as I will.

I have some great photos of Ella and Zan snowshoeing around in the snow that I will be putting up really soon. She had such a great time playing in the snow!! I'll get them up by tomorrow, so check back!!


Merry Christmas!!!

Our traditional photo in front of the tree...

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas. We are having a very nice, relaxing day today. The kids are playing with their toys and I am eating all the yummy leftovers.

We are very fortunate to have children that sleep in on Christmas and don't wake us up to get their presents. We got up between 8:30 and 9:00 this morning to open presents. Ella and Sam both liked what they got. I spent the better morning putting Ella's things together and helping her get her toys organized. The day is really flying by fast.

I have officially been out to shovel 4 times in the past couple days. We have very nice neighbors who snow-blowed our driveway this morning. I don't know if I would have been able to shovel it this morning. It is the heaviest snow!!! I went out just a short while ago to get a few inches that fell this morning and it felt like it was over a foot of snow it was so heavy. Not only that but the snow banks are so high that you have to throw the snow 6 or so feet in the air. I won't even go into shoveling out the mailbox (if you can find it).

Here's what it looks like from our front door. This is the most snow we've seen around here this early in the season in a long time. Thankfully the snow is heavy so it won't blow around. We get a lot of drifting where we are.

Enjoy your Christmas!!!


Booster Seats

Minnesota passed a new law this summer that required children 8 and under to be seated in a booster seat.

This week The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety came out with new ratings for booster seats. They state that only one in four seats gets a good, or best bet rating. You can see the article here.

Now Ella is still in her convertible seat. It's actually the same seat the Sam has too. She will be outgrowing it in the near future so we'll need to get her a booster seat. I already have the seat picked out and it's on their good list.

The reason I wanted to comment on all this booster seat stuff is because there's something that I feel was important that just wasn't mentioned in the article. The 5-point harness. Ella is still in her convertible so she has her 5-point harness. She "technically" could have been in a booster seat about a year and a half ago, but I didn't think that was necessary. There are numerous studies done that show a 5-point harness is so much safer for children than a booster with seat belt.

Years ago they didn't have the 5-point harness available to the older children like they do today, but nowadays they are making seats that will accommodate much older children in the 5-point harness. The seat I will be getting Ella next is the Britax Frontier which has the 5-point harness and then converts to a booster seat. So she will probably still be in her 5-point harness for a few more years to come.

I just feel that there are too many parents out there so eager to have their children in a booster seat for whatever reason (it's easier) that they aren't always considering the safety of the seat.

It was just interesting to me that they are saying these booster seats just aren't safe enough when they don't even mention the fact that a lot of these children still belong in a 5-point harness belt. That would be the much safer option for these children. I mean if they're trying to get parents to buy a safe seat why wouldn't you mention this much safer option?


Coming Up Soon...

Sometimes there are just the powers that be that keep me from writing. Lately those have been cookie baking, shopping, shoveling snow, cleaning and painting. Don't forget your daily laundry and cooking too. Needless to say the writing just hasn't been coming. Not that I haven't thought about it, but just haven't taken the time.

I will be getting something up later today or tomorrow. Last night Ella had her school sing-a-long and it was interesting. More details to come.....stay tuned.....


Wordless Wednesday


Extra Layer Required

Long underwear is usually reserved for those days where you're outside skiing or snowshoeing, but here, today, I am wearing my long underwear top. (I think there were far too many comma's in that sentence, but I like it.)

It is so incredibly cold outside today! Thank goodness for the sunshine. We had such a nice November that I was hoping for an extended fall and a shorter winter. Not going to be the case I guess. The first day of winter arrives this weekend sometime, so the days will start getting longer once again. Then about a month from that it's technically the coldest days of the year, so the days should start getting warmer again, right?

I do this every year. I look for signs of spring starting in December. Don't get me wrong, I really like the snow. It's just the bitter cold that I don't like. Really don't like.

Sam and I just got back from a trip (outside in the freezing cold) to the grocery store. We had to pick up the last few things needed to make the Christmas cookies. I really should get started on that.

Gifts are all bought, they just need to be found (I hide them a little too well and in too many different places sometimes.) and wrapped. And if you're on my Christmas card list you should be getting your card in the mail in the next day or so. Tis the season!


Christmas Decorations

Someone requested photos of our Christmas decorations. See how accommodating I am?

Here is a picture of our tree...

The stockings on the fireplace...

The family room. We have mostly finished with this room. We're going to add more seating on the side of the table towards where I'm standing so we have better seating to watch our t.v. The t.v. in the corner will be moved to the basement. You get the idea...

I might get some pictures of the house at night with the lights, but only if I'm brave enough to go out in the freezing cold. Maybe in the next few days, we'll see.

I've been painting almost every day for two weeks now and am almost done. I was working on the upstairs hallway yesterday and will be finishing it up today. So all we'll have left is the front foyer (which is two stories tall) and we need a very tall ladder for that.

Sam likes to come upstairs when I'm painting. His excuse is that he needs a hug, which works on me. He also likes to find the tools that I have laying around and "work". He'll grab a screwdriver and head to the nearest screw and "work". Yesterday I gave him the drill and he loved it; even if it was very heavy for him.

Then we tried on his hat to see how it fit him from last fall (it was too big).


Snow Day

Yesterday was Ella's first snow day. I was hoping that she wouldn't have school so I wouldn't have to go out in the freezing, windy, snowy day. There were quite a few schools in the area that did have school so I wasn't sure, but I did get to go back to bed and stay inside. At least until I went outside in the afternoon to shovel.

I took the day off from painting to try and get some things organized around here. My yarn has been stuffed in plastic bags then stuffed in the closet in here. I've been looking for some way to organize it all at a reasonable price. On Tuesday Sam and I went to Target and found the perfect little storage system for only $16.99!! It's perfect and fits great in the closet.



Much better, no? I'm very excited to have it all ready for me when I need it.

Ella did have school today and since it's below zero with way below zero wind chills we bundled up in snow boots and snow pants. She has new pants and boots that keep her nice and warm. She had fun playing in the snow pile at the bus stop.

When the bus came to pick her up the bus driver told me that he can pick her up in front of our house since he goes around the block and doubles back. I think this might have changed recently as some road construction has been finished. She gets dropped off at the house but we've had to walk to the end of the street (only 2-3 houses down) to get on the bus. This will be very nice. The great thing is we can see the bus pull into the street and go around so we won't have to wait outside very long at all.


Monster Jam!!!

Zan got tickets through work for the Monster Jam in town. So we took the kids (way past their bedtime) and headed down to the dome. Neither of us had been to one of these "shows" before but we had a really good time. The kids had a great time too. Sam was a little shaken with how loud it was at first. They had ear plugs in but some of the sudden loud noises made him jump.

Ella had a great time, but when asked if she wanted to go again she said no. I think it was getting a little late for them. There was a little too much down time that they didn't like and got bored, but overall a very entertaining "show". We got back to the car around 10:30; slowly squeezed our way out of downtown and made it home before 11:30.

Here's the new Advance Auto Parts truck Grinder. It's a cool truck!

The famous Grave Digger.

Here are some other random shots too.