There are many times I am thankful to live on a hill. This is one of those times. Apparently, in counties all around us, the rain has wreaked havoc on the landscape, causing flooding severe enough for governments to declare that overused phrase "state of emergency" wherever necessary. We are fortunate not to have all the ice and snow that our northern friends in Washington are having. I guess it's really bad up there right now. We had our snow over the weekend and, boy, did our kids have fun! Chad built a 7-foot snowman with Carmen and Alec assisting. It loomed large in our front yard and we were all sad to see the rain reduce it to a basketball-sized lump of snow. The kids' muscles were sore for several days - playing in snow is hard work, after all!
It was wonderful to watch the blizzard-like snow fall for a few days. But then the rains came, warming things up a bit. Two nights ago, it rained so hard that it flooded the rain gutter just outside my window. Sounded like the kitchen faucet running at full blast - all night long. It's amazing to watch the rain flow down the street in great sheets. We are not in danger of any mudslides, either. No, our hill is pretty well situated for this weather, as far as I know, and I am thankful.
All this cold weather has made it nice to stay in and read or play games. Our newest game was sent as a gift from Todd's sister - Apples To Apples. I have heard of this game through homeschool channels for years but never thought to buy it. We have played it a lot since Christmas. All five of us played for several hours straight on New Year's Eve. While I do get tired after awhile, I am impressed at how much our kids have learned from this game. It's all about adjectives. Some of the subjects in this mod version of the game are things I'd rather not know more about (man cave, anyone?) but even these subjects launch us into discussions about the world that we might not otherwise have.
The adjective thing, however, is what is so great (to me, anyway). Every time a child has to think of an adjective, it's a mini-grammar lesson. Painless learning. I love Mad Libs for the same reason. Carmen knows a lot more about grammar than I do, just from doing Mad Libs. She'll correct me if I give her the wrong word (an adjective instead of an adverb, for example). How cool to have your 10 year old know more grammar than you!!
On a completely different note, my extended family grew by two these past few months. A close cousin of my husband's had her first baby, Adell Rae. I love this cousin and her husband and I'm so happy for them. Adell will need heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart but it sounds like the doctors are confident the surgery will be routine. I'll be praying anyway! My oldest sister's daughter (Zana) had her second child, a boy named Thomas Marshall. What's cool about Zana's son is that his middle name is my step-dad's last name. Grandpa Marshall was the only grandpa Zana knew, since my dad died when Zana was a toddler. She was very close to my Mom and step-dad when he was alive and has honored him with this baby's name. She also named her first child Isabella Daphne, after my Mom (Daphne). I am so thrilled and proud of Zana for her decision to carry on these family names. Zana and her husband are a great couple and very much into caring for their family. It is wonderful to know these babies have been born into wonderful families that will love and care for them!