This February has been crazy … and that is being kind. Winter waited until this month to show up and then she took us out in one big sweep that seems to continue to last.

      The month started out with this kiddo still sick. There is the nastiest bug going around school that has taken out most of Gavin’s class and at his basketball game they were missing six kids because of it. Thankfully the fever only lasted two days – the cough and general lethargy lasted longer.

      We had some homework issues and battles with Carter this month. He had a project assigned two months ago and we just heard about it two days before it was due … and he had hardly anything done. He got a crash course in how to focus and work on something for hours on end and we had long discussions on not waiting until the last minute to do things. Then he remembered he had math and vocab that was due on Monday too. *sigh* So while he worked, I played with some angles and natural light.

      And then the Super Bowl snow started. This was as we were heading out to watch the game.

      We were only supposed to get around three inches of snow, but we woke up that morning to closer to seven. It kept snowing throughout the morning and our final total was about ten. The kids were so excited – they headed out into it and FINALLY were big enough to use the really awesome sleds they got about four years ago. And we live next to a great sledding hill – kid heaven!

      There was another amazing sunrise.

      While it was so beautiful to look at, it was a sheet of ice out there because the temperatures dropped into the teens at night. Jeremy made his flight to Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon and the kids were out of school until Thursday, where they had a two hour late start. I tried to drive back roads home when I picked them up and found that everything was still a sheet of ice out there. After sliding part way down a hill, I was able to turn around and get back on main roads and decided that until it is completely gone, I am sticking to main roads.

      The kids had early dismissal Friday – originally they had parent conferences scheduled, but then all schools were let out early for the next storm system to move through. Jeremy’s flight was supposed to land at noon and that is when the snow was supposed to start again. His flight was delayed due to the hydraulic fluid freezing, but thankfully he was able to take off. When he arrived home the snow had just started. In the meantime, you would think the world was ending with the grocery store clean outs – it was amusing to see shelves laid bare. I stocked up on soup supplies because they forecast for the next week to be cold with more snow showers.

      The kids went out several times throughout the day and evening. Carter had fun building mini snowmen.

      The “boys” set up a new game to play with Ian online.

      According to the neighbor, we got another 8″ of new snow. The birds were looking for something to eat, but this guy really doesn’t look like he needs it.

      The sunset cast a lovely glow over the trees.

      And then the next round of systems hit. It was supposed to snow 4-5 inches and then change to rain. It never changed over to rain and the result was a LOT of wet, heavy snow. That went on all afternoon and all night.

      While beautiful, it was also incredibly destructive. A huge branch that was almost half of our Japanese Maple crashed onto the table and we discovered that it had a fungus that causes decay. After consulting an arborist, the tree will need to be taken out – along with two other giant fir trees in our yard. This summer things will look so different.

      I think we were over 20″ of snow total at this point. I don’t ever remember seeing this much snow.

      I knocked the snow off the branches of our lower Japanese Maple and found a lot of branches down, including one that landed in the trampoline, plus some huge branches that split off our plum tree in the front. We had huge fir limbs that fell and some smaller trees that split. The weight of the snow caused so much destruction – it is going to take awhile to get all of this cleaned up and to further assess damage.

      The roads have been treacherous to drive with the heavy snow, the freeze into ice, the melting, the freezing again. The kids have been out of school almost the entire month. I did a quick look and they have been in only 13 hours total in the month of February. Then they have mid-winter break, so they are going to be out all of next week as well. I have refereed more battles that I care to admit, but they are also going stir crazy so it is tough for them. The novelty of playing in the snow wore off after about day three. Now they have been out of school seven days – at this point their last day of school is now June 28th. One more snow day and it will be July 1st. Now we cross our fingers that they are back in school tomorrow and these systems are done for the rest of the year!



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