Back To Reality

This past week, we pretty much recovered from our spontaneous trip to California, put our house back together (we had left it in a rather disorganized state when we left because we were trying to beat roads icing over and another storm headed our way), and got back into our routine. The weather has been warmer (it is almost March, after all), for which we are all grateful. I’ve had a taste of what a real winter is like and I don’t care for it much, haha. Bring on spring with its warmer temps, wildflowers, sunshine, and warm breezes!

Our local weather station posted this graphic. It’s crazy!
Sometimes humor helps when dealing with a crazy situation. I found this on Facebook and had to laugh.
This was another one that made me laugh…but the extended power outages really did test us!
See now, this is what I’m used to for winter. 😉
Warm sunshine…no snow…I’m okay with this.
We even went to the park one day.
She loves it when her brother reads to her.
With it being almost March, I updated our house with St. Patrick’s Day stuff. I made this shamrock banner a couple years ago using string and some scrapbook paper (I traced around a wooden shamrock I have so that all three of the paper shamrocks would be the same size and shape).
I updated my board for March with a portion of one of my favorite Gaelic blessings: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
My other St. Patrick’s Day decorations. The larger shamrock says: “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”
Cute story: Abigail spotted the leprechaun and asked me why we had a clown sitting inside a witch’s pot. 😂
Our door decoration.
Someone decided to give herself a Greek yogurt facial.
As I was getting her ready to get into the tub (because, really…there was no other choice) she admonished me to be careful because she didn’t want to get yogurt on her shirt. 😂🤔😂

The Great Escape

Not long after I posted all my snow pictures, the power went out. And stayed out. It went out a little after 1:00 in the afternoon and stayed out overnight and well into the next day. We managed to get dinner cooked on the propane camping stove we have and got some light from a propane lantern we have (we were sure to have proper ventilation for the short time we used both of those things, so don’t worry). We also got some light from some solar lights that had been outside that Paul brought in. After we got dinner stuff taken care of (using bleach to sanitize the dishes we used since we had no hot water), we got ready for bed. We put both kids in Abigail’s room so that their body heat could keep each other warm. The next morning, we went to a friend’s house to warm up, charge our devices, and make a big decision. We were facing no knowledge of when the power was going to come back on, potentially no water (the water towers couldn’t refill because of the power outage), a boil water notice for the water we did have, and another storm (that we came to find out dropped four more inches of snow). I called my mom, asked if we could come (she, of course, said yes without hesitation), and we packed up and headed to California. We drove straight through, which was tiring, but necessary in order to beat the storm. We found out our power came on about 12 hours after we left, but we still felt we made the right decision because even with the power restored, we were still facing all the other things (including a gas shortage and a shortage of finding food) I already mentioned. We stayed for a few days until the situation at home improved and then we drove home Saturday and Sunday. Whew!

This was Tuesday morning (before we lost power).
Crazy icicles!
We made sure to properly ventilate before using this…
…and this. We also made sure to only have them on when we were using them, and then they went back on the back patio!
Playing by the light of a solar light.
Brrrrr! It was cold when we woke up!
Grandma’s toys are the best!
The trip wore her out.
Sunset. 🙂
Joseph and Abigail made sure their stuffed animals were nice and cozy.
Loving the 70= degree weather.
The little amusement park near my mom’s house had their mini golf open.
Paul took Joseph for some Dad-and-son time. Joseph got a hole-in-one!
At the park by my mom’s house.
Swinging with one of his cousins.
Snuggling with Grandma.
Reading with her cousin.
She kept bringing him books to read. He was very patient.
Seeing what Uncle Aaron was up to.
I was amazed she got herself in here.
Trying to get out.
The morning we left to go home.
Watching a show in the hotel.
Yesterday morning. We were so glad to sleep in our own beds last night!

One funny story from the trip. I was in the bathroom with Abigail at a gas station and she happened to see my reflection in a mirror that was across the bathroom. She said, “Mom! There’s a momma over there that has the EXACT. SAME. BACKPACK. AS. YOU!!!” I said, “Oh? What else do you see?” She looked again, saw herself, and said, “Oh, wait. That’s me. Never mind!!” 😀

After we got home, we were grateful to find that the boil water notice was lifted, none of our pipes froze (we had left a faucet dripping), and everything looked good. We are so grateful to friends who let us come to their house and for other friends who went to check on our house while we were gone. Also, we are more than grateful to my sweet momma for taking us literally at a moment’s notice. We are truly blessed!


Valentine’s SNOW Day?!

We knew snow was in the forecast, but we didn’t realize just how much we’d get. It was bitterly cold yesterday and we got a bit of freezing rain during the day. About 10:00 at night, though…it started to snow and snowed until the early morning hours. We got between 4-6 inches! For your viewing pleasure: a San Antonio snow day!

Grilling steaks when it was 23 degrees…
I thought this was cold (look at the “feels like” temperature)!
Then we hit -1 as the “feels like” temp…
…and then we hit -6!
This is when it first started coming down.
He hadn’t gone to sleep yet, so he got to see the late-night snow.
He was just a little excited.
It was really coming down!
The back yard at about 11:00 last night.
Last night, Paul had asked Joseph to set out clothes for the morning (this was before it started snowing). Joseph has a pretty funny sense of humor.
We woke up to snow in the trees and on the roof…
…snow in the back yard…
…and snow in the front.
She really, really wanted to go out (she missed the night before because she was asleep and there was no way I was going to wake her up for it…it would have been WWIII trying to get her to go back to bed after that).
Paul was sweeping off most of the snow…
…and then shoveling the rest to get us a good, safe walkway.
“Uh, Dad…can you go any faster?” 😉
I could not believe just how much snow there was out there.
One happy kiddo.
Another happy kiddo.
She kept saying, “Snow!!!!”
Her “cheese” face. We made sure to have them wear their sunglasses because it was pretty bright out there.
They were trying to make snowballs, but it was too powdery.
This leaf happened to be in the perfect place for this footprint “face” 😀
She loved being able to run and not worry about cars. You can also see the edge of Joseph’s snow angel. I didn’t realize that until right now. I wish I had gotten a shot of that!
She was getting ready to “get” me. 😉
Cold artwork (this is one of my brother Gary’s sculptures).
Paul pieced this sled together for the kids: old table legs, a board, and a chunk of rope.
Bringing the sled back up the “hill” (our driveway).
There was so. much. snow.
Once again…”SNOW!”
Every once in a while, there would be a gust of wind that would send snow flurrying out of the tree. She loved when that would happen.
Looking at the “flurries”.
This was right before lunch. Paul had cleared off the back patio so that it wouldn’t ice over. Still so, so much snow.
Family selfie!
Ready for Round 2 (we went in for lunch and got into dry clothes before heading back out).
Thumbs up with our snowman!
He was fun to make.
A baby carrot for a nose, twigs for arms, and pebbles for eyes.
Can you see the heart? 🙂
He used pebbles to make a happy snowball. 🙂
We were outside for over an hour…I knew they wouldn’t want to come in, but we needed to (I could feel the temps start dropping again), so I used the hot cocoa card.
It worked. They both were very willing to come in. 🙂
Cold weather calls for tomato soup. I love that I can just throw in all the ingredients, uncooked…
…and my blender will not only blend everything up…
…but it will cook the ingredients while doing so.
Paul told me about cooking grilled cheese in the oven. Uh, whaaaaat?! Yup. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees, and prep the sandwiches like you would normally. Then put them on a foil-lined pan and bake them for 6-8 minutes. Flip them and bake them for 6-8 more minutes. Voila!
Homemade tomato-basil soup and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches for the win!
The snow on the roof was starting to melt but then freeze again.

Videos of Playing and Sledding: 🙂

Two Bonus Photos:

*These two photos are not mine: they were posted on our local news site and I thought they were really neat*

Keeping watch over a very special place to San Antonians and Texans…
…the Alamo! I am grateful that whoever took these two photos was willing to share with the rest of us San Antonians!