Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ice, Ice Baby (so original, right?)

Honestly, who has time to blog about children when January provides such exciting, nerve wracking, where did that come from, weather patterns?

In between storms, the inversion accumulates. All in favor that inversion (definition: trapped layers of pollution that blocks the poor people of Utah from its connection to blue sky, sunshine, happiness essentially...) is awful, scream, "I."

"I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

It's the pits. Living, somewhat, on a mountain hillside...I think we're offered a reprieve of the gunk in comparison to those centered in the valleys; so I ought to tone down my complaining. Even so, we're craving a hearty dose of sunshine. You can't help but cheer the news report when a storm is in the forecast since that's the best way to rid the skies of gray for a while... even if that storm is named 'Gandolf' or they're predicting 'freezing rain.'

Freezing rain? What?!

Driving Eliza to school today, the roads were wet. When we headed back out an hour or so later so I could volunteer in her classroom, we were slipping all over the place in my car. Returning to pick my kids up from my friend who was watching the younger two Fleglets, I noticed more ice. It was the perfect day to run out of diapers (and if it hadn't been diapers, it would have been toilet paper - I am cursed) because driving in these conditions is an absolute thrill.

Returning to my morning experience of volunteering in Eliza's school, I was lucky enough to be working in her Chinese classroom. It was a scene that left me stunned in amazement (wait, what? I exaggerate? Nah.). Watching the children follow direction and respond in a different language was so neat. I need to video Eliza going through her online homework lessons as a demonstration of what I mean. I can't believe what she can do/say/understand halfway through her first year.

The time came to return to the school to pick her up. The school grounds, particularly the track/sidewalk, was a giant sheet of ice. With my made for Rexburg snow boots on, my coat that resembles a sleeping bag securely fastened (it's all that fits these days) and my younger two kids set with a pile of books and ring pops, I locked the car doors and headed to the field to meet Eliza. I only fell once. Considering I am 'with child' falling down was not in my afternoon plan, but it happened. It was one of those slow motion falls. My pride hurt more than my backside as the entire carpool lane was privy to my embarrassment. 

The thick snow was a safer route. As I trudged to my daughter, I passed kids who were running on the ice, sliding on their knees intentionally and/or pulling their friends behind them... laughing all the way. Finally reaching my child, Eliza lunges for me. As we clasp hands, she issues a dramatic sigh of relief. Before I can commend her for choosing knee deep snow over the path of ice, she quickly takes charge of our conversation.

"Mom!" She says seriously, "Don't worry. I already said a prayer." I was so touched by this. If I hadn't already been panting like an overweight panda bear I would have scooped her up right there and kissed her sweet face. 

"I'm so glad I know about Jesus and Heavenly Father because I knew I could pray not to be scared of this ice." She goes on to say how it's a good thing she goes to school and Church because it taught her that she can always ask for heavenly help. My sweet daughter was bearing her testimony of the blessings of prayer. It made me smile for a number of reasons... one of which was that I'm sure there were older kids in our midst who were thanking the heavens for the totally awesome ice rink their school had been blessed with.

While other, more relaxed, parents smiled and shouted direction to their kids from the safety of their cars, I had dramatically entered the scene (not because I'm better... but because she's six, is clumsy like her Mom and I worry for her).  Pretending to be a hero Mom off to rescue her helpless child in the midst of a natural disaster (which this was not), we both, in true Ali Flegal dramatic fashion, ventured back to the safety of our car to be cheered a heroes welcome by Henry and Lottie. WHAT AN ADVENTUROUS 7 MINUTE ORDEAL IT WAS! 

What's that? I need to get out more? Ya, okay. You got me there.

Presenting our driveway and street.
Even the places where the ice seems to be absent;
there is ice!

Oh yes, here's a goodie from Monday. Having the day off from school, the Mays crew plus Callie came up to play. From 'Grandma day' on Friday to Sunday dinner at my sister's house, the weekend was full of these cute faces. 
And if you're wondering why I am now on the verge of crying, it's because we just learned that these darling kids are moving to Alaska! And while I once had my own personal dream of being neighbors with Sarah Palin (I am not a creeper), I find myself torn between being supportive of their family's upcoming adventure and throwing a two year old sized tantrum over how unhappy I feel about this moving away business! What's worse than having your brother move away? The answer: having him take away your kid's cousins! Three cheers on your job promotion, Mark - yaddy, yaddy, ya!! :) Based on the reaction to your family news, I sure hope you have a guest room ready!

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