Monday, December 29, 2008

Snowman Army

There is not much to be done when you have over four feet of snow. There was a glimmer of hope yesterday when the sun came out and temps were in the 40's. There was quite a bit of melting and settling. However, it was short lived as now it is snowing so hard we're having a white-out. Four to five more inches predicted. Hopes dashed.
So what to do.....

Perhaps we should build a snowman army. We certainly have enough snow. It would be good exercise and we would have something to show for it other than large piles all around the yard. We could build tall ones, short ones, in-shape ones, plump ones, action figure types, high fashion ones, baby ones.....the possibilities are limitless! And at this rate, they would last till spring!

And just to confirm what you may be thinking, it is distinctly possible that I am losing it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm Done

I have tried to make the best of a bad winter. Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter? But now I am done. It's snowing like crazy and we are supposed to get 6-12 more inches tonight and tomorrow. Christmas kept my spirits up, but now that, too, has passed and we just have winter. At this rate, I won't even be able to put the Christmas stuff away because we can't get to the boxes that are in our shed. The snow plows can't keep up with it. We didn't get garbage or mail service the last few days. Don't know if we will be able to get out at all tomorrow. I'm done, I tell you!!

By way of entertainment today, Keith, Whitney and Travis and I went to see "Marley and Me". We thought this would be a fun, lighthearted family movie for dog lovers. Do not take small children to see this movie. I cried like a baby. I don't want to reveal the plot for those of you who will choose to bring your day into a total downer, but let me just tell you, it didn't lift my spirits. I had to come home and hug my dogs and granddogs! I didn't need to be further depressed, thanks! I should have read the book and then I would have known what I was getting into. The only forewarning was that groups of of people with red eyes kept walking out of that theater as we were standing in line.

I'm so done I am ready to hibernate till spring. But only if my dogs will join me....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Night

As I may have mentioned, our house has been full of people, dogs and activity since the big snowstorm hit last week. It has been crazy and FUN. Whitney and Travis (plus "the girls"), and Alex have been here at the house since last Friday. Despite MORE snow and somewhat nasty roads, we were able to keep our usual Christmas Eve tradition of going to church. We were joined by Trav's brother, Casey, who despite his best efforts to get to Ohio, was stuck in Spokane. After church we had a good time snacking, visiting, playing games, etc. More joyful festivities....

I did have a chance in the late evening after the stockings were hung and the last of the gifts placed under the tree, to turn out all the lights except those on the tree and a plethera of candles, turn on some of my favorite Christmas tunes, and just contemplate Christmas. I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene before me and the reason for it all. I listened to Faith Hill's "A Baby Changes Everything" and got a little teary as I thought of how much the birth of Jesus means to me. He wasn't just any baby, he was THE baby that changed the world.

And now the gifts have all been opened, the dinner devoured, the dishes done, the games played. Another Christmas has come and gone. It's sad and satisfying all at the same time. I don't want to lose those moments in the dark. I want to continue to "ponder in my heart" as Mary did what it really means that Jesus came into the world in the form of a baby, one of us, yet still all of God. A baby changes everything.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Snownami Saga continues....

Well, this has been quite a winter already considering official winter only started Sunday. We have about three feet of snow with another 6-10 inches predicted for this evening. Goodie! (Sarcasm here). Keith is planning to get some of the pile off of our roof today. What we have so far has been very lightweight snow, but what is predicted is supposed to be wetter/heavier and he didn't want to end up with too much weight on top of the accumulation up there. Thankfully, Travis and Alex have been around to help him with much of the shoveling. Grateful once again for having family near by!

It has been a blast having "the zoo" at the house since last Friday. Having Whit and Trav, Chloe and Ali move in has made being housebound much more fun. If it had to happen, this is about the best time. We all have scheduled time off for the holidays anyway, so it hasn't been too stressful trying to get to work. Last night Whitney and I even ventured out to the Gonzaga game (sadly they played terribly and lost to a team they should have squashed. Whit says maybe she won't take me to any more games :( ). Travis's brother, Casey, ended up stuck in Spokane for Christmas so he will be joining us for Christmas starting this evening. The more the merrier as long as he doesn't mind lots of doggie kisses!

All in all, it's not been so bad. As much as I DON'T enjoy snow and cold, the timing of it has made it tolerable. Now if it carries into January, THAT won't be fun.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Vacation Family Style

Well, there has been one huge benefit to Snownami 08. Whitney, Travis, Chloe and Ali moved into our house on Friday when they could no longer navigate their alley to get their cars out. They were feeling house bound, as were we, so they decided to come spend the week prior to Christmas. It's totally great! We have watched Christmas movies, done some baking, worked on a Christmas jigsaw puzzle, played some Wii, eaten a LOT. We have been totally entertained by the granddogs - they are quite funny together - and throw our dogs into the mix, it's a bit of a zoo, but a fun one.

It's almost like going on a mini-vacation in spite of the nasty white and cold outside. In here it's very cozy with all the best company - our kids. Alex has been in and out, too (his Suburu navigates most any roads and he HAS to get out to spend time with his friends). Have I mentioned how much I love spending time with our kids? Can't imagine a better Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Same Song - Verse Two

We just have a bunch (or perhaps a pile, a wad, a load) of snow.  And it's still coming.  It is incredibly beautiful, but three inches would have been equally pretty.  THIS is what I don't enjoy about winter.  THIS reminds me of growing up in Montana and being snowed in.  THIS was fun for about a day.  IF I had all my shopping done, all my groceries packed away in the cupboard, all my cards mailed, I could just sit back and let it happen.  I like my house, but I don't like the feeling of being stuck in it.  Lessons in patience, practicing slowing down, learning to just take a breath and let life happen without everything being neatly finished and in order.  The "overachiever perfectionist slightly OCD" in me screams to get it all done.  I have SUCH a hard time leaving things unfinished.  And so we will venture out today before the next "pile" comes.  Dumb, I know.  But I just have that "one more thing" to accomplish.  THEN I will relax and "enjoy" our Snownami.  Or not....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And the world stood still.....

Spokane is completely locked down today.  We have at least 20" of snow in most areas.  All the schools are closed, including Mead and Gonzaga (yay for days off, right Whit and Trav?).  Mass transit has about three routes open.  Government offices are closed.  Plowing is non-stop.  I couldn't get out of our neighborhood even if I had to.  But the Timberview office is closed today.   SNOW DAY!!!!!  Hmmm.......I think I'll address my Christmas cards, maybe see if I have enough supplies to do some baking, maybe watch "Elf" one more time...... Okay, so maybe snow isn't THAT bad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When Can I Look Forward to a Little Global Warming?

Today we got the first BIG snow of the winter season. I do want to point out that according to the calendar, it STILL isn't winter. But that has never stopped the Spokane weather. We got a dumping of snow and bitter cold that created driving havoc. For the first time since we have lived in Spokane (30 years), they actually closed city streets. There were commuters stuck EVERYWHERE. What a mess!

All this to declare once again, that I cannot believe the global warming theory. Nope, not buying it. Our winters are colder and nastier than they have been in decades. As for global warming - bring it on! I realize they say Florida will be under water and polar bears will be stranded on icebergs in the arctic, but really, I could probably live with that if it meant shorter, warmer winters in the Pacific Northwest. And until I see the tide rising, I will steadfastly remain in denial. And that's the truth......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Big Chill

We finally got our first real snow.  It didn't come in the form of the HUGE blizzard that the weather folks predicted.  We didn't get the 8-12 inches they thought we were going to.  I have a little sympathy for these guys - Spokane weather is supposedly some of the hardest to predict.  And better to caution people more than less, I guess.  We ended up with a couple inches of very wet snow and then it promptly turned into an Arctic freeze which has now left two inches of ice on the roads.  Have I mentioned how much I don't enjoy winter driving?  Mostly I don't enjoy other people's winter driving.  The temp right now is 6.4 degrees - BRRRR!  Have I also mentioned how much I don't enjoy bundling?  I know, I know I should make the best of it since I have chosen to live in a place where winter is the longest season.  And I know there are some people who really love snow and couldn't wait for it to get here.  But technically winter doesn't start till December 21 - it would have been okay with me if it had waited till then.  

So this morning I am up early, watching the news, drinking coffee, and getting ready to bundle to go to church.  My first choice would be to hibernate till spring, but then I guess I would miss out on a lot.  Especially Christmas.  So maybe I will wait till the first of the year to hole up till those first warm spring days.   No Maui this year (boooo!!!!).  Guess I'll pile on the sweaters, get out my mukluks, put the hand warmers in my gloves......and it begins......SIGH.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This is Christmas

I think I may have mentioned how much I love Christmas.  I transform the house, take in all the parties, make special trips to look at lights, play endless Christmas music, bake way more cookies than my family needs to eat, and so on and on......

But the best part of Christmas for me is hearing about people being generous and blessing other people.  THAT is what the Christmas spirit really is - reflecting Christ's love by loving others.  I am a member of the Advent Conspiracy which is a group committed to making Christmas more selfless and less materialistic (go to and click on the ROCK blog page to learn more). Recently I have been touched by the generosity of our church family to sponsor families in need.  I have gotten to be in on Whitney doing a good deed for two very deserving boys.  I have heard countless stories of extreme generosity in extreme economic conditions.  It warms my heart. 

This morning was extra heart-warming as I got to listen to the radio as my friends Kathryn and Leland were recipients of "Christmas Wish" sponsored by KZZU.  Their friend Michelle wrote a very touching letter about all the Bonnetts have been through and the station picked them to receive an abundance of gifts.  I cried through the whole thing.  It was sort of like Extreme Home Makeover on a smaller scale (that show ALWAYS makes me cry).  I had been in on the secret and it really was an incredible blessing to watch unfold.  I know it's hard and humbling to be on the receiving end of such a thing, but I can't think of anyone who deserved it more.  

We have about two more weeks to spread the love and I am already thinking of ways that we could bless others.  If you hear a story, please pass it on.  It makes my day, my week, my Christmas season!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I spent the better part of my day off today putting the finishing touches on the decorating and cleaning house.  Keith helped me out and I was able to get things pretty well back to normal after not having time to clean for the last two weeks.  Even though we were gone five days in that two weeks, Alex was here with five dogs - need I say more?

I'm totally ready to party now.  It begins tonight with our staff Christmas party.  I'm looking forward to an amazing prime rib dinner, gift exchange and good fellowship.  Tomorrow we get to spend the evening with the Bievers and Mays at Gail and Roch's house.  On Sunday after church we're going to Kathryn and Leland's to watch the Seahawks game.  And last but not least, on Monday we are going to see Celtic Thunder at the Spokane Arena.  I'm very much looking forward to all of these events.

All of these occasions will include food, of course.  I will be investing in an elliptical machine right after the first of the year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I am a creature of habit.  I try to be open to change, but when it comes right down to it, I like traditions.  Especially when it comes to Christmas.  My traditions usually include decorating the house right after Thanksgiving.  I like to make it last as long as possible.  

However, THIS year we were out of town for Thanksgiving weekend.  THIS year Thanksgiving is later than usual.  THIS year the week after Thanksgiving has been especially busy.  THIS year I have struggled for the last three days to get the tree up and house decorated.  I didn't have the nice leisurely day after Thanksgiving to spend the whole day listening to Christmas music, drinking the hot spiced cider, decorating the trees (yes, I have two), setting up the nativities, arranging the snowmen and Santas, and so on.  Then in the evening, I like to sit in front of the tree in the dark and just take it in.  

But, tonight after work I FINALLY got the trees up and MOST of the decorating done.  It didn't have the same magic as usual and felt like a lot of work.  But it's done.  And sitting in the dark staring at the living room tree (the extra fancy red, white and sparkly snowflake designer-type tree), NOW it's Christmas.  I still have the nativities to set up and the snowmen to arrange, but NOW it feels like the celebration I look forward to each year.  NOW I'm ready.  NOW it's about taking time to enjoy the celebration, remember the reason, and once again have the best birthday party for the best baby ever.