Eating Snow

When the first flake falls here, my kids have one goal (okay two, but since they’re throwing things at each other every day of the year, snowballs hardly count, do they?)…collect enough white stuff to make ice cream.

Last night we enjoyed the first snow of the year, huge gorgeous Hollywood style flakes drifting heavily down.  We probably accumulated an inch or two.  That’s quite enough to get me excited.  I try not to ask how my teenager collects 4 buckets of ice cream from an inch of snow on the ground.  He assures me that he did NOT scrape it off  the dumpster, so that’ll have to suffice to putting my mind at rest.

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Doesn’t that look yummy?  If you’re looking for a good snow ice cream recipe, you can’t beat Paula Dean’s on the Food Network.  Regular sugar makes it grainy and crunchy.  Sweetened condensed milk….oooooooohhhhhhhh.  Lovely.

8 cups of snow

1 can sweetened, condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

Mix. 

Actually, we used more than 8 cups of snow, but hey…who’s counting?

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Sweatshirts, flannel pjs, snow ice cream…and then of course, hot chocolate. LOL The works. 

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A New Woman

It doesn’t take much to make me happy or to perk up my outlook on life.  A new haircut will usually do it.  Thankfully, I got a lot better than that.

This was my effort at being “a new woman” last week:

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The drastic change from long hair to short somehow endows me with a surge of confidence and willingness to try new things.  Less than 24 hours after this admittedly shallow attempt at self-improvement, my little girl showed me the real way that’s done. 

I can’t show you a picture because it’s not an outward change.  Here’s the first picture after the big event.

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Looks uncannily like the last picture taken of her beforehand.  And yet…she is truly a new woman.

2Co 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Last night, I experienced the unique and moving joy of hearing my daughter confess her belief in Jesus Christ and express a desire to be saved eternally, and I assisted her in being baptized to wash away her sins.
Ac 2:38 – Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Every little girl in the congregation cried.  They know and love my sweet little girl as a friend, and they understand (to some degree) the beauty of what she’d done.  She declared publically that she was ready to put away whatever bits of selfishness and weakness and brokenness she had inside, and turn it over to Jesus to be blessed into something new and wonderful and glorious.  

It might not show in her face, but God looks on the heart, and he can see that today, Jordan is a new woman.   

Larger than Life

Up close to the equipment, the size overwhelmed me.  

Yesterday, several homeschooling families toured a part of Shepard Air Force Base, led by a homeschool dad who’s a Tech Sergeant there.  He explained to the kids how the airmen train, maintain the aircraft, and use several planes and some of the weapons.  I see these planes fly overhead all the time, and of course, they’re on tv all the time, in the news and movies.  But you can’t really appreciate them from a distance.

We walked into a cargo helicopter that was easily the size of a house.  This thing flies??  Amazing.  We ran our hands across gun barrells longer than my truck.  (The boys tend to get an evil grin standing behind those…why is that?)  Jordan held an ammunition a foot long while we were told that the gun next to her could fire 73 of them per SECOND. 

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My youngest told one mom on the tour this was the most exciting thing he’d ever done, and he asked the tech sergeant if we could come back tomorrow.  I know he’s entertaining dreams of flying heroically into battle someday to wipe out the bad guys in fiery glory.   Can you see the intensity on his face?  He wants to fly.  He’s inspired.

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I have a greater appreciation for our uniformed heroes now, seeing the immense proportions of what they deal with daily, and getting a little glimpse of the muscle our military flexes.  I appreciate the flexibility homeschooling gives me to introduce my kids to so many aspects of the “real world,” but today, even more, I appreciate our military.  Those guys really are larger than life.

The Mad Scientist, the Elf, the Jedi, and the Vampire

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That’s me this year as a pirate, my niece Amanda as Lady Vom Pyre, my eldest as the Jedi Knight (you don’t want to sell me death sticks…you want to give me all your candy), and in the front row Sean the Mad Scientist and Jordi the Elf (think Lord of the Rings, NOT Santa Claus).

One of the things I love about Halloween is the fantasy, the ability to act like someone you’re not.  I’ve noticed, though, that my children use it not to be someone else, but to bring out who they truly are inside.  Or at least, some part of who they’d truly love to be.

Looking back at many years of posed “about to go trick-or-treating” pictures, I can’t help but see a pattern.  My little girl is always in a long, flowing princess dress.  Sure, one year she called herself a witch and this year she called herself a Lord of the Rings Elf.  But come on…they’re all just different colored princess dresses.  She’s feminine, she likes to be adored, and she kinda likes bossing people around. LOL She’s a princess.

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(A princess by any other name…)

One son is always a fantasy/sci fi super hero.  He always carries a weapon, and he generally has some supernatural/mystic/amazing ability.  Gandalf the White, Night Crawler the X Man, a Jedi Knight.  He always poses for the camera as though he’s attacking or fighting.  Hmmmm.  

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(Previous incarnations on the same theme.  Whatever you do, DON’T tell him he looks like Moses or Father Time.  He’s carrying a sword.  He’s clearly Gandalf the White! 🙂 )

And the little one…the goofy one…he defies patterns.  His costumes are random, chosen at the last minute, based on what’s lying around or what someone suggests.  Until this year.  Finally, I think Baby Brother has come into his own personality.  He dreamed this costume up a year ago, and we actually had to shop, borrow and search for certain pieces.   This Halloween, the true Sean emerged.  My precious Mad Scientist.  Gotta love him. 

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The kids think this holiday is all about candy and scary movies.  I think it’s all about deciding what they value and who they want to be.