This snow was only 1/2 inch. That still counts doesn't it? Well, in Mississippi it does. :)
3 snows in 3 weeks in Mississippi is very rare. I watched this snow drift downward last evening before going to bed and it was a spectacular show. HUGE fluffy flakes. I wish it could have happened in daylight hours for the kids to have been present.
I didn't get out quite as early this morning before some of the thaw began, but I was still able to capture some of the winter white.
Wonder how long it will be before our next snow? Maybe it will be next week. :) We've gotten quite spoiled with all the "snow fun" around here.
"Who Am I?" is a game that is great for Olivia's age. Olivia has gotten really good at playing it within the last 2 years since she now knows the difference between a mammal, bird, fish, amphibian, and reptile. She also has studied different types of habitats: the desert, savannah, arctic, woodland, rainforest, tidepools, etc. In addition, she knows what nocturnal, herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore all mean. This is a game that can be played anywhere at anytime--as you can talk. We play it often and always have a lot of fun asking questions that can only be answered with a "yes" or "no" reply.
Today when Michael came home for lunch we were playing a very unassuming game of "Who Am I?" We each took turns guessing each others animals. Mine was a raccoon. Michael's was an opossum. Then it was Olivia's turn. Our conversation went something like this:
Ashley: Is it a mammal?
Michael: Is it a fish?
Ashley: Is it a bird?
Michael: Is it an amphibian?
Olivia: (hesitating) I don't think so. No.
Olivia: (hesitating again) No.
Michael: Remember an amphibian is like a frog.
Ashley: And a reptile is like a lizard, alligator...
Michael: Or a snake.
Olivia: I know. I know.
Ashley: Is it a bug?
Michael: (now getting a little frustrated) Olivia how can it not be a mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, or bug? It's got to be one of them.
Olivia: No. It's not any of those.
(Michael and I are now totally confused and are thinking she must have something wrong.)
Olivia: Do you want me to tell you?
Michael and I: (at the same time) YES!!!!!
Olivia: It's a __________________________!
Want to take a guess as to what it was?
Hint: She had us tricked. She was right on all along.
Lesson learned--the child can always teach the parent something. Remember the time she stomped us with her "Hangman" puzzle?
The Barnett family has another fun tradition. It's the way in which we welcome in each new year. New York's Times Square has a ball drop; Orlando, FL, has an orange drop; Atlanta, GA, has a peach drop; Hershey, PA, has a Hershey Kiss drop; New Orleans, LA, has a gumbo pot drop; Memphis, TN, has a guitar drop; Austin, TX, has a lone star drop; and the Barnett's have a BALLOON DROP.
We celebrate being together as a family toasting in the new year.
Here are some pictures of us ringing in 2010. Notice any new people this year?
Leading up to our annual balloon drop this year we had the privilege to view a video tribute my Uncle Mark had made for my grandparents 70th anniversary gift. All 7 children, almost all of the grandchildren, and many others contributed pictures, stories, and memories of my grandparents. It was a true gift being together with the two of them watching their reactions and seeing the tremendous legacy they have.
Here my grandparents are with their 7 children - David, Jane, Robert, Mary, Mark, Jonathan, and James
God has truly blessed me with a big wonderful family who enjoy having fun together.
This morning I went out to take some pictures as the sun was rising. Then I came back inside, got the kids dressed, and took them out to play (making more snow angels and digging roads for trucks). When we were good and chilled we came back in for a hot breakfast of Irish oatmeal with maple syrup, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries and sat by the window staring at the beautiful glistening snow.
One of our traditions each year for our Christmas in Arkansas is our annual weenie roast. I along with 3 other cousins began this tradition back in 1981 and we have carried through with it every year since. . . come rain, sleet, or snow.
This year's weenie roast was unusally warm and didn't even require us to wear coats.
Staples always include:
hotdogs and buns with condiments (ketchup, Miracle Whip, mustard, relish, onion, shredded cheese)
refried bean dip and chips
homemade salsa and chips
Not a healthy meal by any means, but once a year it's a treat to indulge. Right? We sure do think so. :)
Joshua and Dad
Cousin Lacey and Granddad
Olivia and Madisyn; Cousin Donivan, Cousin Lacey, and Wonton
Cousins Sarah and Lacey
Some of the boys cooking the dogs - Uncle Robert, Michael, Dad, and Cousin Anthony
Cousin Abby and my newest cousin Emma
Uncle James and Aunt Marilyn; Margaret and Joshua
Olivia and Uncle Robert
Uncle Robert, Uncle James, Dad, and Uncle Jon
Family members by the fire; Hillary and Cousin Christopher (and Pilot)
Aunt Jane and Mom; Dad, Olivia, Michael, and Joshua
One of highlights for the kids was definately the rides on the 4-wheeler with Uncle James and Cousin Stephen.
And finally roasting marshmallows for our s'mores was one of my hightlights. :)
Our 2010 annual weenie roast family picture
Sticks all clean and ready to go next year, when we cook on the fire again.
Can you believe that today is the fifth day that we have had snow on the ground in Mississippi? Very, very unusual for the deep south to say the least. The high for today is 35 degrees and is beginning to show some signs of melting, but tomorrow is predicted to reach 45 degrees and will surely melt our "snow" fun away. Because I don't believe tomorrow afternoon we'll have much snow left, I decided today that the kids needed to play in our snow one more last time before it is gone. After lunch we bundled up and headed outside to have "snow" much fun! For remember...it's not everyday that a kid in Mississippi gets to play in snow, and deep snow especially.
While the boys were busy digging up snow and piling it in the trucks, Olivia was occupying her time doing something I remember with great fondness doing as a child. She was pulling down icicles and admiring their beauty up-close. Icicles are so stunning to view and when in one's hand the beauty becomes even more breathtaking: glistening winter spiked jewels.
And so we say farewell to our long lasting snow of early January 2011. And now we wait with great excitement for our next "snow" fun.
Christmas with my mom's side of the family takes place in Arkansas beginning the day after Christmas each year. Begins I say, because it is a continuous party of family, food, fellowship, and fun for at least a week. You see, Mom is one of seven children and Christmas is the one time of year we all gather together and keep busy making memories throughout one whole week.
The evening that we have our official Christmas celebration, we always have a large dinner, and then gather in the family room. At this point we enjoy members of the family playing musical instruments, listen to children sing, sing Christmas carols together, share thoughts about the last year, and listen to words of wisdom from my granddad and grandma. It has been like this for as long as I've been around. This year was extra special though because my precious grandparents even sang a duet to us.
Our dinner menu this year consisted of green salad with cranberry champagne vinaigrette, beef tenderloin with shallot sauce and standing rib roast with whipped horseradish cream, roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, asparagus, and sweet potatoes), corn pudding, mashed potatoes, seasoned green beans, rolls, and of course apple butter (a Barnett STAPLE). Then for dessert, as if we still had room, we had amaretto cake with ice cream.
Uncle James serving the meat
My dinner plate; Some family members gathered round the dining room table (1 of 3 tables) Uncle Robert and Margaret; Grandma and Granddad Dad and Mom; Cousin Jordan and Liz Olivia, Cousin Nick, Joshua, Corina, and Isaac; Hillary and Cousin Christopher Michael and I; Aunt Marilyn and Uncle James Uncle Mark, Hillary, and Cousin Christopher playing for us
Cousin Anthony and Uncle Dave; Aunt Marilyn and Olivia Cousin Cameron; Aunt Jane Grandma and Granddad singing the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"
I am SO thankful and grateful to have a family that enjoys getting together to share experiences and make memories together. It's truly special to have 4 generations under one roof celebrating Jesus' birth together!!!