We decided winter is over

At our local MOPS group, we hosted a fantastic speaker last week. Her name is Elizabeth Hagen and she is a professional organizer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She’s fabulous. Full of energy, she motivates without being intimidating. I had heard her speak prior to this event, but it was again engaging and thought-provoking. One of the take-home messages for me was to ‘make decisions and move forward’. Well, she worded it more eloquently and catchy, but I transferred the thought from organizing (which I may write more about my successes and woes later) to changing seasons.

Today was the last day of winter. I decided so, and we’re moving forward into spring! Here’s the list:

1. I told Vince he can leave his snowboots and snowpants at school. I always had been making him wear them on the bus in the morning, fearing he will be frozen all day from sitting on a cold bus seat. And who can stand the thought of a first-grader with cold, wet feet all day? Vince was thrilled because, apparently, all the town kids in his class NEVER have to take their boots and snowpants home. Live it up, Vince, I’m finally the cool mom.

2. The mantel definitely needed refreshing. I don’t really like to dust; I prefer to wipe clean and wow, it was needing it.

Winter sports theme.

Winter sports theme.

The sled was a find at a neighbor’s auction this past summer. $7.50. I think I got some extra junk to go with it, but still worth it. The ski poles were something Farmer Joe and I found in our grainery nearly 10 years ago. We had placed them up in the rafters and they were still there. A little bit of history. I found the ice-skates this winter at our largest local thrift store, Bibles for Missions. I paid $10 for them, which seemed steep, but all the proceeds go to buy Bibles for missionaries (you would have never guessed THAT from the name), so I justified the purchase. The lady at the register smiled at Liv as we bought them and asked, “Is Mommy going to go skating with you?”. I informed her that they were just for my mantle and she raised her eyebrow.


Can you see the mischief in her eyes?

Liv is a packrat and had received these ribbons from a purging aunt last Easter. I tucked them away a year ago and, sure enough, she was absolutely delighted to see them again. Do you like her style?


Is it too empty? I do appreciate simplicity.

And here’s the Easter Theme!! Skipped right over Valentine’s Day and St. Patricks! My intentions had been spring things in general, but I was stuck. I have had the Go Fish song, “It’s about the Cross’ (www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyR0lwO-nXc) stuck in my head for some time. I asked Liv if we could make a cross and she thought that was fantastic. So spring transformed into Easter and I’m glad it did. I began to wonder if we had any wood in our old hoghouse or grainery, but then I thought to check first behind the freezer. Isn’t that where you check for random pieces of wood?


A leftover piece of trim from when we moved this very old door during basement remodeling. Painted off-white, but where the paint is flecking off you can see that it was turquoise. I love turquoise, even if barely there!

We headed outside in search of a saw. Ava was thrilled. She is nearly two, but a super-late walker. With all the ice this winter, she has had very limited time to explore. She found lots of mud today! Anyway, back to the saw. Liv told me she knew there was one and led me to Joe Farmer’s large Stihl chainsaw. Um, no. I searched the pegboard and found a small saw that has a specific name I will never know. Whenever I entered my dad’s shop as a little girl he would shout, “Get those bare feet out of my shop!”. So my knowledge of tools and fixing is minimal. This saw, believe it or not, was up as high as possible. I wondered if Joe Farmer was trying to protect me from myself. Anyway, the saw worked wonderfully, and it was lunchtime. So we headed back to the house, and Ava screamed passionately. It could be a long summer of hauling her indoors for mealtime. We hot-glued (now that is something I am knowledgeable about) and walaa — we have a cross.

Vince has a bible memory verse that he says each Thursday morning at school. Today, before the bus came, we practiced Matthew 28: 1,2. “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.” These words stuck with me, so I moved my ‘victory’ angel over to the mantel. We made a quick trip to the garden and Liv picked out a stone. Well, she actually began to pick out several stones (remember the pack rat characteristic?) and I made her stop at one. Just to keep with the story. The palm branch is from years ago on a Palm Sunday and it dried so beautifully that it is always on my mantel.

3. We ate our last squash. My kids were so excited to eat squash this fall (they never believed me that zucchini and yellow crookneck were squash) and I tried to hide my surprise. I let them sprinkle brown sugar on top and apparently that is motivation enough. I had never grown the Hubbard variety before. The skin is the toughest thing ever. I have used some of the ‘halves’ as cat dishes outside. It is akin to wood. Anyway, they kept really well over the winter. The last one was enjoyed tonight and now it is time, for me anyway, to look forward to zucchini!


I chased after this bug with my camera until I got a decent shot at the window. As if I couldn’t have found another one.

4. I emptied my vacuum cleaner, because I was on a mission. When the weather gets warm, it’s not just bears that wake up. We have had these box-elder bugs invading our house for a few days now. The only answer is the vacuum cleaner.  There were some cold days this winter, but these bugs seem extra hardy to cold weather and fly swatters.

So, that’s it!  Winter is officially gone from our house.  Have you said your good-byes yet?


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