Monday, October 28, 2013

A Halloween Party

Our wonderful friends Swee Peck and Kiri came to visit us over the weekend. We decided to have a Halloween party for the kids on Saturday. Ben, master of jack-o-lanterns, carved one with the kids and then they had a great time in their costumes. We had a Monster, from Monsters University, a Tiger and a Duck (or chicken, depending on our mood). So cute!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A walk and a ride

The weather here has been pretty miserable. We finally found a day that was a bit clear, so we headed out for a walk. Pieter loves these horse statues. Quiet often during the summer he wants to sit on them, but they are too hot to sit on. I guess this weather is good for one thing!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Daddy's Back

This morning we helped out at church to clean up the trees and branches. We were thrilled to be visited by the logger again today. He showed up just in time as we had a huge pile to be hauled away to the chipping site. It took him two trips and we finally had parking places again on the street. The kids enjoyed playing in the nursery and especially like their daddy's back!

Friday, October 11, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A God Sighting

After the storm we had a driveway piled high with tree branches and still more in the backyard to pull around. This week I watched my neighbor haul away his branches with his truck and I sighed about our pile. Without a truck, I knew it would be a while before we were able to deal with the mess. The city did say over the next month they would make passes through town to pick up piles, but it might be a long wait. Then today a logging truck was driving by the house and all of a sudden stopped and put it into reverse and came back in front of the house. It felt like an angel had appeared and grabbed up our enormous pile in just a few bites. I ran and woke Pieter up from a nap and we all went out to watch. These pictures show just the last bit of branches that he loaded up. We talked with the logger and he said he has been unable to log in the National Forest due to the furlough, so he is picking up trees for the city. Some times bad things can work out for the good. At church, our minister often asks for "God Sightings" from people. This was definitely one of those. We are so thankful! And now we have an empty driveway to pile high again with more branches.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The day after the blizzard

{our poor little church snowed in with so many downed trees and branches}
Shoveling four feet of wet snow mixed in with leafy tree branches is not for the faint of heart. Ben managed to get a path shoveled through the driveway after about an hour and we decided to just let the rest melt. It is starting to warm up, so we should see most of this snow gone within the week. Pieter is having a blast and we were thrilled to see at least one digger make its way up the street to put at least one pass through to let us walk in the neighborhood. We then went for a walk through town and wished we had snowshoes. There are lots of people right in town here without power. We are so thankful for buried power lines in our neighborhood. It is still warm in our house!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Morning After

{what is left of three cottonwood trees}
{the neighbor's ash tree}
{neighbor's spruce trees didn't even get through unscathed - broken branches at the top middle}
{big snow pile on the left for the snow cave}
{snow cave!}

{backyard - drifts up to my waist}
{the ash tree lost more branches at the crown over night}
{the locust tree has lots of broken branches, smashed down onto the roof}
{the apple tree lost more branches over night}

{finding the diggers that were left out yesterday in late afternoon}

We woke up to more than four feet of heavy snow. I don't remember getting four feet in 24 hours before. The driveway is impossible to shovel because of all the cottonwood branches in it. We are going to have to wait it out and let it melt. Then we'll be able to move the branches out and take a look at our new roof to see what kind of damage we might have. Most of the cottonwood actually fell on the neighbor's roof, who hasn't re-roofed yet after the hail storm, so that is lucky for him. Today it is supposed to get up to 50, so we are already seeing some dripping, but it will take a while. Ben and Pieter shoveled the front walk and made a huge snow cave. Pieter loved it. Juliana, on the other hand, takes no delight in getting suited up for the outdoors. She hates her snowsuit and boots. I made her go out with us and she finally stopped crying when she realized the getup actually might be helping her. We had to shovel off the back deck and do a little digging to find Pieter's earth-moving toys. We haven't seen any plows yet and I think it might be more than a day before we do. The really good news is that our neighborhood has buried power lines. That means we still have power and a warm house. Other than that, we are enjoying hot chocolate and whip cream! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Destroyer

{view from the garage door}

So much for five inches... we woke up this morning to about five inches already and the cottonwood, full of leaves, was beginning to drop branches. Now we are up to more than a foot. Oh, early snowstorm, you have destroyed my trees. The cottonwood tree is filling up the driveway with broken branches, after dropping down on the new roof (two days new). Many of the broken branches are hanging in the lower branches of the tree. Oh, what a clean up this is going to be. And I am nervously waiting for the snow to melt to see how the roof looks. I've been walking around the yard hitting the branches of the other trees with an apple picker to try to save them. It is helping, but it seems like a never ending job. I am curious as to what it will look like tomorrow morning after 10 more inches of snow and 50mph winds that are predicted.

{neighbor's ash tree breaking at the crown}

{apple trees - one big limb broken so far}
{crown of ash tree broken}

{snow-playing machine}

Meanwhile, Pieter can't do anything but play outside. He has been asking about winter and snow for the last few weeks and talking about playing with his diggers in the snow. Well, the time has come! Although, he did have to stay on the porch to avoid falling limbs. At one point, he came in and said that he had to pee a while back, but didn't want to stop playing, so he peed in his snowsuit. Nothing like the desperation to play...
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