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Happy Friday!  What a crazy week of polar vortex it has been, 4 snow days in a row is wild!  I think the girls were starting to get tired of not being able to play outside and get some fresh air, one probably wouldn’t admit it, but I think she was even excited to get back to school today!

At Christmas time as a fun family gift we decided to give the gift of time to each other. I gave each person in our family three manila envelopes with different dates on the front. Each person had to plan a fun family event for the month and put it in the envelope and then on the 1st of the month we will open the envelope and make plans to do the family activity.

Ellie had January and she had roller skating and supper out in her envelope.  We truly had every intention on going to Roller City on a Tuesday night, but the weather has not cooperated. So...we did our January outing tonight on February 1st!  🙂

Roller City is such a fun local place for all ages. I remember going to Roller City as a child and I think the best part of going as an adult is how it doesn’t feel much different, it is like a blast back into the past especially when they play songs by Tiffany!

We are super excited to open our February envelope!  I told them they had to wait until tomorrow since we did our January fun today. 😉

What fun things do you do as a family? Any ideas for us?

From the gravel road-

Jen

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Some people have been asking for updates from the frozen tundra of Iowa!  

I took a few pictures while doing chores this morning and afternoon to provide proof that everyone is handling the cold.

I jokingly asked if ombre hair color was still in...

The only downside of the day was that my vehicle wouldn’t start, I used the starter pack and was able to get it going pretty quickly.  On a side note---in your mind doesn’t red equal something bad, like negative? How can I train my brain that red is always positive when jumping something?

Time for a little jump.

I posted the other day about all of the things that I was wearing in an attempt to stay warm while feeding animals. Every since I posted that I have been thinking about all of those clothes I was blessed to have  and a video I had watched on social media from Trent Loos.  I was thinking about how far technology has come in regards to winter clothing and what we have available to keep our bodies warm.  We now have so many options beyond what our grandparents and great-grandparents had available to them. As a matter of fact, the same goes for technologies on the farm our tank heaters, heated hog barns, heated seats in a truck and floor heat in shops help to make humans and animals more comfortable.  In Trent’s video he said let us not forget to thank those that came before us that have now provided us those luxuries. I think some of the above listed items are things we sometimes take for granted, until they fail us. Then, we typically get upset that something is not working, but do we think about those that came before us that had to carry hot water to thaw things out, those that didn’t have electricity at all, or even the dreaded outhouse as the only option-brr, it makes my buns hurt just thinking about it.

In all honesty, a reminder to be patient with nature and our machines that might not want to cooperate is a great reminder for all to be grateful for what we do have and to give thanks to those that paved the way for us to get to (almost) February 2019!

How are you handling the cold? How did your grandparents or grandparents handle these temperatures back in the day? What are you grateful for today? Also, you have to tell us, did you have to run out to a cold outhouse? Comment below!

From the gravel road,

Jen

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