Will opening his gifts at his birthday party
Will opening his gifts at his birthday party

Winter is dragging on. The cold keeps me from the workshop, and keeps the family inside more than we would like. The boys want to play on their electronics more than they should. The dogs don’t get the exercise that they want. The house is cold, and the oil bills are expensive.

But, winter isn’t all bad. It is a chance to try to find other projects to work on.  Like writing in my blog. Unfortunately I don’t like writing when there isn’t much to write about. I like to think about spring and the summer. And plan. I like to plan. It is fun to talk about ideas. But I’m not sure it is as much fun to listen (just ask Susanna).

February brings Will’s birthday. Which means a birthday party. We get to have his birthday party every other year, and this year was our turn.  Winter birthdays are difficult. The kids don’t want to spend as much time outside, and a large group of 5th graders is way too loud to keep inside for very long.

This year we held the party in the boys’ clubhouse above the garage. I moved the portable heater up there, and the room was warmer than the house. They can be as loud as they want, and jump on the furniture out there.  I think everyone (mostly) had a good time; but if you get enough 5th graders together, you will eventually find a pair that don’t always get along.

Will and Ben actually washing the dishes after pizza/movie night. Sometimes it is possible to get them to work together. But not too often.
Will and Ben actually washing the dishes after pizza/movie night. Sometimes it is possible to get them to work together. But not too often.

I forgot to make pizza dough for Friday night, so pizza/movie night was moved to last night. The boys even helped clean up from dinner (and washed the dishes).

So, what are we all doing to keep occupied during the cold weather?

Ben and Susanna are working on a 1000-piece puzzle. Ben has been building Legos and practicing his trumpet.

Will has been writing a book. I have been trying to get him to take some of the creative ideas that are in his mind and put them down in words. It is difficult for him, he types much slower than he thinks. But he is making progress (as of this morning, he has a chapter and a half written). When he isn’t writing, he is reading or trying to earn time to play on his iPod.

Both boys are playing indoor soccer. Will and Ben are on one team together, and Ben is on a second team without his brother.

Susanna and I are trying to exercise more, and are trying to run a 5k race in March. It has been a long time since I have run much at all, and it is slow getting back into running.

I have been doing small house projects and on warmer days working in the workshop (a very little). We have a three-day weekend next weekend without the boys. Our plan is to finish the hallway and maybe some smaller projects (e.g. the last set of hinges on the kitchen doors, shelves in the storage loft, clean the basement).

Will and Ben assemble Will's birthday present surprise. Will had to follow a treasure map to find the pieces of his birthday gift.
Will and Ben assemble Will’s birthday present surprise. Will had to follow a treasure map to find the pieces of his birthday gift.

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