Oct 30 2009

Day 202: What a difference the sun makes!

by renee

Boom! Whoosh! Whomp! There are huge clumps of snow and icicles falling off the trailer onto the ground. It’s a bit hazardous coming and going, dodging big clumps of wet snow and icicle drippings. But it’s so warm today and the sun is hot and shining and making the white world sparkling and breathtaking. But today is a different day.

After the snow fall and cold weather all day Wednesday and Thursday, we received about 20 or more inches of snow. We enjoyed the snow but the kids got cold and wet very quickly. However, we soon remedied that with hot cocoa and a fire in the fireplace. That was the fun part. The hard part was bundling up the kids just to go the bathroom in the house. Our trailer is not hooked up to the sewer here. We have a small porta-jon, but it fills up very quickly. The other hard part is living in two places at once. Making lunch for the kids in the trailer while giving my daughter a bath and doing laundry in the house. Now today, while it’s warm, I don’t mind it a bit. Running back and forth, spending more time outside breathing in the fresh air, and getting a bit of exercise. It was the last two days that were very difficult (was it only two days? It seemed like a week). With no sun and it being so cold, it was a lot more character building. Keeping the kiddos occupied in a small space for a longer period of time and making sure they didn’t get too rambunctious in the house and cut short their house play time privilege. There are a lot of us and even when we do behave ourselves, we tend to change the sound and space dynamics of a place pretty obviously. Including us, there are 3 family units living in close proximity who all need their own space to function properly and recharge once and a while. I’m trying to be sensitive to others ‘ needs as well as our own.

That;s hardly an issue when it’s nice out, as they don’t need to spend that much time indoors. Today it was 45º F and getting warmer. After a little home schooling, my sister-in-law and I took our kids for a long walk through the snow to Whole Foods. To give them some exercise and sunshine, and to tucker them out so they would have blessed quite times this afternoon. The walk there was great and we had snacks and water in their cafe and picked up a few groceries for the weekend. The way back was a different story. The sun had melted more of the snow and it was a lot wetter than on the way there. My father-in-law had blessed us by bringing us some sleds that he had drilled holes in and attached ropes so we could use them for our tired kids on the way back. We ended up carrying them for half the way but definitely enjoyed them the rest of the way home. The kids were tired and complained of being wet and cold and having to go pee. On the way home, the sled I was pulling tipped over and Zach and all my groceries tumbled into a huge pool of melted snow. A few minutes later, my sister stepped in a big puddle and lost the whole sole of her shoe! We both burst out laughing. The tired kids, the puddles, and more mishaps along the way home could not discourage us. We were determined to enjoy the walk and knew we would be rewarded by a nice long quiet time when we got back.

And that is what I am enjoying right now. With the sun shining in through the windows and warming up our little home, all is peaceful and I am looking forward to taking the kids out again in about an hour or so. It’s been a beautiful day.

Oct 28 2009

Day 200: 12 inches and counting

by andrew

I just measured 8 inches of snow out there… two hours ago. It’s up to at least 10-12 inches now by the time this posts and we’re maybe only half way there (if that). It’s supposed to keep dumping through the night and tomorrow. Welcome to Colorado!

So, we’ve been in survival mode: Yesterday I finished some preparations, including a make-shift awning to keep (most of) the snow off of the walkway as well as constructing a rough mini tarp room around around the water tanks and plumbing underneath the trailer. With tarps on the ground and 4 sides and the silver side in, it has so far held at 6 deg warmer than the outside temperature. But as things are getting colder I had to finish the project today and run the little heater under there that I picked up at the thrift store for $4 a few weeks ago anticipating such a time as this. This morning I brushed 6 inches of snow off the make-shift tarp awning and the slide-out topper awning; breaking a broom in the process. My logic was to get all the weight off the awnings since more snow would be piling on top of that. Of course, it’s practically pointless and it will all just have to reach an equilibrium on it’s own. Hopefully without breaking anything expensive. The kids are getting pretty restless. We’ve had the obligatory snow play time that always ends up too short because everyone gets cold and tired before they get their energy out. So, I finished the snow shelter by myself. And then of course hot chocolate, shows, throwing things, screeching like falcons, and wrestling on dad and mom’s bed when they were bored of everything else.

I’ve been trying to decide all day whether or not to take the 4×4 out and play in the white stuff since we need a few things. For example, we’re completely out of pull-ups for our two bed-wetters. Last night we were down to 1, so we woke the other one up at 10pm, 2am, and 6am and kept them dry all night. Actually, when I woke them up at 6am they said, “I already went pee 4 times last night,” and went back to sleep. But the other one doesn’t wake up so well. Fit city. So, I don’t know. Back to procrastinating on that decision I guess. Maybe this is the excuse we need to force them to kick the habit of peeing at night.

I kept the text together because it flowed better, but here are some photos of everything I was talking about…

Our little walk-way, make-shift awning above since the real awning just sags under the weight of the snow due to the fact that it can’t pull very far out.

Tarp enclosure underneath the trailer. The brown is on the south side, so when the sun comes back, that should help absorb some extra heat… wish I had a black tarp!

Says it all 🙂

Our snow fort. We haven’t tested it yet, but I think 3-4 kids can squeeze in there more or less comfortably. The back of our trailer is in the upper left.

And, finally, the official measurement (as of 3:30pm):

Oct 17 2009

Day 189: Sukkot

by renee

This week has been a week of recovery, reorganizing and chores. After spending a week camping in the mountains for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), we accumulated much laundry and extra camping gear that we now have to find a place to store! We went camping for a week in the mountains with about 80 or so other people for a majority of the week (including children). It was pretty cold. We ended up using all our winter stuff that I had packed and enjoyed many hot, hearty, one pot meals.

We decided to live out of our grab-and-go bags for the week. The four oldest children have their own packs and Bennah and I carried Joy’s clothes and a some extras for the others (just in case). We had done a massive thrift store shopping trip and was able to outfit all our children in good quality clothes for this camping trip and the winter season coming up. We bought sleeping bags and made do with our propane heaters and many, many, many Hot Pockets (hand warmers). We stayed in our tent for the first couple nights, then moved to a warmer, more deluxe dwelling: a pop up camper after it was offered to us by the hosts. The nights were pretty cold for the kids, although Bennah and Andrew didn’t mind sleeping in the tent in -10 (C) /20 (F) degree weather. It even snowed a few times during the week!

Sukkot is probably my favorite feast. It is the biggest and longest of the biblical feasts and it has so much significance to me, my family and our family of believers who celebrate this with us all over the world. Sukkot is a time to celebrate and remember when YHWH’s spirit dwelt with Israel in the wilderness, as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. After Israel entered into the promised land, Sukkot became more of a feast of in-gathering and celebrating the fall harvest since it occurred right around the harvest time. King Solomon dedicated the very first temple during Sukkot. It’s also a time to look forward to when Jesus/Yahushua will return and we will reign and dwell with Him in His kingdom. Yahushua was also born during Sukkot (scriptures says He came and dwelt among us. The word to dwell in hebrew is the same meaning as to pitch a tent or tabernacle). It makes sense that He would come to earth during a feast that is about looking forward to His return and dwelling with His people. In 1621, the first pilgrims celebrated Sukkot as a thankful celebration of their harvest. About 200 years later, it became known as Thanksgiving.

Anyhoo, we were excited about it. It was a lot of fun. I wore my hat for almost the entire time, but it was fun. The week was full of times of fellowship, shared potluck meals (in a heated garage, yay!), teachings, informal discussions, activities for the kids, and much tromping through the woods, breathing in the crisp, clean mountain air and catching snow on our tongues. All this with a spectacular background of snow covered Colorado mountains and golden aspens.