Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year in 2010!

After our little family Christmas, we took a trip to Northern Indiana to spend Christmas with my side of the family. While there, it snowed several days in a row (lake effect snow), bringing back wonderful memories from my childhood. :) :) :) :) Where we presently live in SW IL ... if the area gets snow, everyone panics and schools close (for even just 4 inches). In Northern Indiana, 4 inches of snow is no big deal, and people grow accustomed to driving on partially snow covered roads ... because if they were to clear them every single time it snowed, they'd be re-plowing every hour. It often snows steadily (gently--not blizzard), accumulating slowly as the day progresses. Yes, people go to work and children go to school midst snow covered roads. What eventually happens, is the snow becomes packed down on the road, keeping it drive able. For precaution sake, the road workers put sand and/or salt at the bottom of hills (on top of snow packed area). :) Most highways and main roads are kept pretty clear ... Anyhow, driving on the snow has nothing to do with my childhood memories. lol. I remember going places "business as usual" during snowy days, and making snow forts, snow men, and snow castles during home-bound days (like if we got 14+inches). I'm sure there were people who did "business as usual" midst the 14+ inches, but our family usually stayed inside until they could get the driveway cleared (snow plow would push snow back into the driveway while clearing the highway, etc.). It had been a whole ten months since we'd seen my side of the family! We were certainly happy to visit everyone again! I hope you enjoy these photos:Above: Mom playing the organ while we all sang Christmas songs! :) :)
Below: The Shelley cousins! Our kids had a blast with their cousins ...
The extended Shelley/Pletcher family

Oh--Richard took our family skiing! It was our first time to learn the snowy sport. Well, Richard knew how to ski, but the rest of us didn't. We left Ashlyn with my parents before taking off to Michigan! What an amazing experience! I think I was finally getting the hang of skiing by the end of the day, though I was secretly jealous that the boys appeared to catch on faster than myself. [lol] ... but at least I tried something new ... and defeated the bunny hill!! :) :) :) :) I will need a bit more practice on the bunny hill [next time], but hopefully it won't take me as long to review and I'll be able to move up to green! :) :) I was a tad bit frightened, to tell you the truth. I need to get the turning technique down-pat so I won't fly down the hill so fast. :) :) :) :) Leaning forward while flying downhill is not the most comfortable feeling, but that's what skiing is all about ... and to think that I finally learned to ski!! :)
Yay, for new experiences!!! :) lol. :)

Now that we're back home in SW IL .... I desperately miss the snow!!!

2010 holds other new experience for our family-- like, making some healthy changes, for example. We've decided to grind our own wheat, so I have been researching wheat berries, along with other healthy-minded topics/products. Our Christmas gift to each other should arrive next week (Nutrimill grinder and Universal bread mixer). I'm looking forward to making our own bread and using other healthy products through our (recently joined) food co-op. I'm excited to try some "healthy" sugar and coconut oil in my cooking and baking, too. These changes scare me slightly (like they would anyone), but we know we'll benefit in the long run with this investment in healthy living. As I research and experiment with new recipes, I will share the "good stuff" with you!

I had mentioned in our Christmas letter that I was going to sign up for my next college class this winter, but I think I am going to put it on hold a bit longer. Yes, it was difficult choosing between healthy eating and a college class, but I figured the most important thing is to be in great (superb) health so that I can have the energy to juggle family life, kids' school and my own schooling!! :) :) lol. I am on a mission for a healthy lifestyle in 2010!! :) :) :) :)

Uh-oh. Our dryer quit working. At least the used gas dryer lasted 5 years. We will be looking for another used one ... I'm just glad that I had gotten most of our laundry done before it quit working! I had to line dry the towels (ew...scratchy towels. lol)! :)

I'm hoping our pitiful dryer and our family's dental problems aren't an indication of what the rest of the year is going to be like! Antonin has a bad tooth that needs to be extracted (not quite as serious), and his appointment is the day before my root canal. I don't think I mentioned that Ashlyn will be getting some cavities taken care of the same day Antonin visits the dentist. LOL!!! I am so glad we changed dental insurance for this new year!!! :) :) :) :) :) [I had originally shared how the top half of a tooth had come out of Caleb's mouth (bottom half stuck in gum) ... the other half of tooth took care of itself and we won't have to keep his appointment with the dentist. yay!!]

Looking forward to this new year ... knowing there's going to be both good and bad experiences, and that God will be right with us during the entire journey (He's not reactive. His plans develop as planned-- while He holds our hand(s) the entire time). :) :) :)

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