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Tag Archives: winter

The Long Winter

Did you ever read the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, The Long Winter? In reality, this winter has had little in common with that title, as we haven’t had blizzard after blizzard for month one end, and our whole town isn’t in danger of starving to death (or freezing to death), because the trains haven’t been able to get through. But compared to other winters we’ve had here, it has been a very long winter.

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I know it doesn’t look like much in the picture (certainly nothing compared to the foot and a half of snow we had in that one January storm), but we have snow on top of sleet on top of ice right now, to go with our bitterly cold wind chills. That’s a pretty good metaphor for what the whole winter has been, and to be frank, I’m tired of it! Come July, however, I’ll probably have forgotten that I ever felt this way…such is life in the Midwest!

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Sleet

This is the view from our front door this morning:

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Even though it looks like snow, it’s all sleet (on top of a thin layer of ice). It’s quite slippery out there, although, I suppose it could be worse…it could be all ice! We’re not done with winter weather for the day, however…the snow isn’t even supposed to get here until later!

Ice

We had some freezing rain yesterday. I didn’t think there had been that much, but based on the sheet of ice covering our driveway this morning, and the icicles hanging from our tree, I guess there was more than I thought!

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There’s more possible ice in the forecast for Monday, but I’m hoping that maybe that ends up just being rain. I like snow, but ice is the worst!

Icicles

The size of the icicles coming out of our downspouts show just how cold this winter has been…I don’t remember ever seeing icicles like this since we’ve lived here!

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Ice

It may not look like much, but it sure does make for a slippery walk to the mailbox!

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2012-13 School Year–Week Sixteen

We only had three days of school this week. We couldn’t be normal and do school Monday-Wednesday, though. We had school Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I know, we’re weird. Monday was a regular day of Christmas school, because I had six days worth of lessons for Christmas in England, so we couldn’t cram everything into one week. That day’s theme was Christmas in present-day England. We read The Jolly Christmas Postman and A Child’s Christmas in Wales, as well as looked through Christmas in England, to compare a modern English Christmas to our own (they’re very similar!). We had math and writing assignments, as well.

Tuesday was our annual “Nutcracker Day.” We read what is now my favorite picture book of the Nutcracker…I’m so glad I borrowed it from the library! We already had one very short picture book that is also short on details (but does have nice illustrations), and one full version of both Nutcracker stories, which is a bit ponderous to read in one sitting, but is very detailed, and lacks illustrations. I’ve looked at many other versions in bookstores, and never found one I really liked, but I grabbed this one at the library, and it’s just what I wanted. The length of the story is just right…it took about a half-hour to read, which meant I still had everyone’s attention at the end, but it was full of good detail. And the illustrations were wonderful! I’ll be adding this to our permanent collection before next Christmas, I’m sure. We also read The Day Before Christmas, which is a bittersweet story about a little girl and her grandfather, who go to see a performance of the ballet together, just as the grandfather used to do with his daughter, the girl’s mother, before she died. The story perfectly captures the excitement of going to the ballet, especially for the first time.

This year, we watched two productions of the Nutcracker, instead of our usual one. Of course, we had to see our standard (and favorite!), version…the San Fransisco Ballet’s interpretation of the classic story. To go along with Christmas School this year, we also watched the Royal Ballet production, which isn’t quite as captivating as the San Francisco Ballet, but comes close.

Today we had our much-anticipated Christmas tea party:

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We also did our first day of winter activities, which included reading several winter-themed books (I love the copy of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening we got this year!), and doing a fun craft:

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Now we’re on vacation for a few weeks…I’m really looking forward to the break! I love Christmas and homeschooling, but when you put them together, it’s exhausting!

What We’re Reading–Christmas

Last year, I posted a list of books we read for our “Christmas in American History” unit. I decided to re-organize that list of books, removing some that we don’t normally read, and adding a few new ones for this year. Later, I’ll be creating a seperate list, which will contain the books we’re using this year for “Christmas in England,” but won’t necessarily use on a yearly basis.

Biblical/Religious Storybooks

Christmas in America

Nutcracker Read-Alouds

Book Basket Books–(These are any Christmas books we happened to have in the house, some from past “Christmas Around the World” units, and some from previous curriculum, or just for fun!)

Winter Books (As long as winter begins during the Christmas season, I’ll include the books we always read on the first day of winter)

Quote of the Day

This is how I’m feeling after the amazing end to the Cardinals baseball season:

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” Rogers Hornsby

Winter? or Spring?

This has been a very confusing weekend.

It looks like winter–snow covering the trees, wintry mix falling from the sky, roads kind of slushy…

But are those flowers under the snow on this bush?

And tiny, brand new, green leaves on this tree?

And this poor, snow-covered magnolia…I don’t think magnolia flowers are used to weather liked this…

And the daffodils…they could barely hold their heads up under the weight of the snow.

Yep, I’m officially confused. On Wednesday, we were excited about the buds starting to open on our cherry tree, and at least one of my children wore shorts.

Yesterday, we broke out the winter coats again, and now we’re wondering if the trees will even finish blooming this year, or if the hard freeze will bring an end to our beautiful spring.

March weather can always be counted on to be totally weird!

Snow-Covered Cherry Blossoms

It sounds like some kind of exotic edible, but it’s really just the state of the tree in our front yard!

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