As I mentioned in Audra's last post, we went to an ice sculpture competition during one of the warmer days of the month. We went pretty early in the day so we didn't get to see the completed sculptures, but it was still pretty cool (no pun intended) to see the different sculptures taking shape... it was just very wet there since all of the ice was melting too.
[Fruit salad - we'll see how this one does, since a lot of secondary branches were broken during transport]
[The apple tree - although we thought we were going to lose it last year, it's still alive so far!]
[Fig on the left, mulberry on the right]
[Just the tips of the apple and cherry trees are sticking out of the snow]
We had a freezer full of food, a prepped generator, and enough activities at home to keep us busy already, so really the biggest issue we had was clearing the driveway. Our driveway is so long that if we can't keep up with clearing the snow away by plowing, it's a huge job to have to do it by hand if it gets higher than our tractor can handle... as Ryan found out the hard way :( He stayed up most of the first night to plow, and the snow was just falling so fast that he eventually had to abandon the last third or so of the driveway to at least be able to keep up with the rest of it.
So we quickly fell into a rhythm of bundling up multiple times throughout the day to play in the snow and work on the driveway, and explore our new landscape. Josie wanted to stay outside (even during blizzard conditions), and had a lot of fun eating snow, making snow angels, and sledding off the retaining wall. We also had some "snow day freebies", where we did unusual things (for us, at least) because we were snowed in. So we watched a few movies (mainly Star Wars), had daily ice cream, and I even made pancakes for breakfast one morning. So while we didn't get much work done, and clearing the driveway was physically taxing, I think we still had a pretty good week together :)
[Watching the snow fall]
[Ryan working on the driveway, Josie patiently waiting for someone to pull her on the sled]
[Looking over the pond]
[Looking out over the driveway]
[Our road actually got plowed after only a couple of days this time!]
Josie had a rather emotionally traumatic month. She was cleaning up after dinner at Wegman's one night and accidentally lost her ring in the trash. She was inconsolable when we couldn't see it in the trash to pull it out and I refused to dig through the whole trash can to find it... although she finally calmed down when I suggested we come up with a plan, which was that she would use her own money to buy a replacement ring. So we later embarked on an epic quest to find rings (they were surprisingly difficult to find!), finally finding the perfect Frozen rings at our third stop (Party City was the answer, by the way).
Josie also revealed more of her beautiful, sensitive soul.... and started refusing to watch movies that were too scary or sad (I understand this, seeing as how I've never watched the end of "Old Yeller"). We watched up through Mufasa's death in The Lion King, then she turned it off and just sobbed, and was sad since she said there was no movie she could watch (since she turned off Cinderella when she saw how mean the stepmother was, and now The Lion King). Perhaps that was a mistake on my part too - I had forgotten how upsetting it can be to see (even make-believe) characters die or people being mean. This is what it looks like to not be desensitized to these things, I guess... poor thing.
[Unrelated picture, but this is Josie being sad since I don't let her do anything fun]
And yet... this girl likes being scared when it's not due to a scary movie, at least. I was demonstrating to her how quietly I could tiptoe, and snuck up behind her, grabbed her, and apparently scared her pretty good. She screamed so loudly that I instantly felt terrible... and then she immediately asked me to do it again. She and Audra had fun playing this month, playing lots of games together, like kitties (where they both crawl around on the floor and meow) and hide and seek. I also gave Josie my laptop so she could write, and it was so cool to see how resourceful she was in figuring out what words to write, since she grabbed one of her books to look up words in. She wrote that she is a big sister, and she is a very very very good girl. So fun to see little insights into her mind :)