Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snowed In

It's been a very long time since we've been snowed in anywhere. After two days of being snowed in at my parent's farm, I'm hoping it is a very long time before Mother Nature does this to us again.

We rushed to get to Mott on Wednesday, hoping to beat the storm. We again got in front of the storm on Christmas Eve and made it to Bison before the storm hit. The roads were not great, but if we would have waited, we would have been snowed in with the Kerzmans instead of the Sheas. We are praying the wind goes down and it stops snowing tomorrow so we can get back to Bismarck.
In the meantime, we've found ways to stay busy. It's been kind of fun, but also a little hard not being at home and not having cousins to play with, but we've gotten creative, and kept Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle John entertained. So, next time you are snowed in in the middle of nowhere (Bison, South Dakota is truly the middle of nowhere...check the map if you don't believe me. And we're not even in town. We're on the farm) here are some suggestions to help pass the time:
  • Gamble. After UNO got boring, Brad taught the kids to play blackjack. Even Lizzy, although she took the term "hit me" a bit too literally, and decked Grandpa! The kids weren't willing to wager their Christmas money, so they played for M&M's. Jake is headed to Vegas..he won the, it's warm in Vegas!
  • Hunt. Brad's original plan was to go deer hunting with my dad today. The ten foot snowdrifts changed their plans, but Brad is a dedicated hunter. While rocking Morgan, he spotted a deer outside the sliding door. He quickly got bundled up, grabbed his rifle, and headed outside. We watched from the warm house. He got that deer, and when Dad went outside, they got three more. And they still have tags to fill.
  • Shovel. Really, it's the neverending job. Jake has shoveled a path from the front door to the van three times today, but you'd never know it.
  • Nap. I know, sounds boring, but I've had two fabulous naps in as many days.
  • Eat. I may have to join the hunting party tomorrow to burn off all the junk I've eaten while snowed in. Of course, it doesn't help that it's Christmas, and there are cookies, fudge and candy calling my name.
  • Catch up on long overdue thank you notes. I have good intentions. I brought the cards and the gift list...but I've only managed to write about four thank you notes. Morgan is six and a half weeks old. My goal is to finish before all the snow melts. I figure I've got until at least June.
  • Drink. Hey, Grandma and Grandpa are ready to babysit....I don't see anything wrong with having a little Baileys in my morning coffee!
  • Drink more. Seriously, I may have to have another drink after what my two year old just did. Lizzy gave herself a haricut. I should have was much too quiet. Everyone thought someone else was watching her....when really, no one was watching her. As you can see, her bangs are almost gone, and the sides are pretty short too...she's kind of got a mullet going on. I'm so sad, because this means she needs a real haircut, and her beautiful curls in the back will be gone for good. She is my first kid to cut her own hair. Lexi and Jake never would have dreamed of doing such a thing (Jake was scared of haircuts for years, and Lexi has always just loved being pretty). She claims she did it because she wanted to look like Abby Cadabby. She does not look like Abby Cadabby. Someday I will laugh about this, but not today.

There are other things I should have done during this adventure. I have two books along that I've been dying to read, but I just can't seem to focus. Instead, I've watched a lot of tv (Grandpa has an awesome 52 inch tv!), taken a lot of pictures, and really not done anything productive. But I'm ok with that. Chances are it will be years before we're snowed in again, and just as many years before I have a good excuse to do nothing! Maybe being snowed in isn't so bad afterall...but next time, I will be sure to hide all the scissors!

Merry Christmas from the Kerzmans!

Our 2009 Christmas letter:
What’s your lucky number? Mine has always been 42, Brad’s 52. But this year, our lucky numbers have changed. We now both call four our lucky number. That’s because our family has grown, from three kids, to four. In honor of lucky number four….we decided to share four things about each of our four kids:

Morgan (6 weeks)
  1. Baby number four was born November 11th, 2009 at 5:43 pm. She weighed in at 9 pounds 8 ounces and measured 22 inches long!
  2. Morgan was born with a full head of dark hair, proof of the terrible heartburn I suffered while pregnant with her!
  3. Morgan’s middle name is Louise, after her godmother Madonna. Morgan’s name was a challenge for us…she didn’t have a name for the first 15 hours of her life. In our defense, everyone thought she was a boy (except for me, but I’ve never been right, so no one believed my “hunch”, including me) so we focused our efforts on a boy name (even those efforts came just days before Morgan’s arrival though!).
  4. This kid is so mellow! She obviously takes after her father! The poor kid gets dragged to school every day, to basketball games, concerts, you name it, she’s probably been there…and has likely behaved like an angel!

Lizzy (2 years)

  1. Not only does “busy Lizzy” rhyme, it is the truth! This kid is into EVERYTHING! She doesn’t do it to be naughty (most of the time) she does it just because she’s curious and can’t sit still! She has locked us out of our bedrooms and even the house, colored with permanent marker and lip gloss all over the carpet and the walls, and filled her water bottle with an entire bottle of caramel ice cream topping…and that’s just in the past week!
  2. Lizzy discovered tv this year and LOVES “Dora the Explorer”. I think we’ve seen every episode 50 times, and the Christmas special at least a dozen times. She has now also discovered “Phineas and Ferb” and “Veggie Tales”.
  3. Lizzy LOVES being a big sister. She makes up beautiful songs to sing to “her” baby Morgan and gives Morgan about a thousand kisses every day. No lie. A thousand is not even exaggerating.
  4. When she’s not getting into trouble, watching tv or loving her little sister, Lizzy is asking someone to read to her. She doesn’t understand it’s ok to just look at the pictures…she insists that someone reads to her because “no my know how to read”.

Jake (8 years, 3rd grade)

  1. Jake is obsessed with football. The obsession started this fall when he played flag football. He learned the basics of the game and had a great time with his buddies. Now he spends Sunday afternoons, and Monday and Thursday nights (until I force him to go to bed) watching NFL games with his dad. He plans to play for the Minnesota Vikings someday. If that doesn’t work out, he’s prepared to play in the NBA instead. He starts his second season of basketball at the YMCA after Christmas.
  2. Jake loves to read. He’s currently working on the Harry Potter series. He loves the series so much, he asked for his own copies of the books for Christmas.
  3. Jake is a Bear Cub this year. This is his third year of Cub Scouts. Jake is thinking about being an Eagle Scout someday. In the meantime, he sold popcorn and wreaths this fall, and candy bars last spring. He spent three days this summer at Cub Scout day camp and took third place in the pine wood derby. He and Brad need to get started on this year’s derby car. Brad has also caught the Cub Scout “bug”…he is the Assistant Cub Master for Jake’s pack.
  4. Legos are still a favorite of Jake’s. He even went to Lego camp for a week over the summer. Maybe if the NFL and the NBA both fall through, he can put his Lego skills to work as an engineer.

Lexi (10 years, 5th grade)

  1. Lexi accomplished something I never did in all my years of basketball…she had a perfect season! Her school team didn’t lose a single game this fall. She is now playing travelling ball. We’ve been to Dickinson, Valley City and Mandan for tournaments already. She spent a lot of time practicing basketball over the summer, attending camps and playing in a summer league. She’s super tall for a 5th grader and it’s so fun to watch her play ball.
  2. “Za-Za” is Lizzy’s name for Lexi. Lexi is hoping Morgan will learn to say Lexi and she can forget “Za-Za”, but I have a feeling this nickname may never go away. Lexi really is a very good big sister. Not only does she put up with being called “Za-Za”, she also let’s Lizzy play in her room and with her friends. AND…Lexi changes diapers!
  3. Lexi is in her fifth year of Girl Scouts. She once again sold a TON of cookies last year… over 350 boxes. She and a friend spent a night at Girl Scout camp this summer. Lexi suckered me into being her leader this’s been a good reminder of why I didn’t become a teacher.
  4. Lexi got to start band this year. She chose the flute and spent two weeks learning the basics at band camp this summer. She’s pretty dedicated…she practices at least two hours a week and gets up early for rehearsal at school three days a week.

As for Brad and me, we are still at the same jobs (Brad at the DOT, me at KFYR) although I did cut back to part time so I would have more time to chase my four very busy kids! Outside of work, Brad has found time to hunt (including a Colorado elk hunt and many trips to Mott to hunt deer and pheasants with the dogs, Bob and Windsor) and play basketball. I occasionally find time to scrapbook and hold Uppercase Living shows (my second part time job!) Be sure to become our Facebook friends (the coolest way to stay in touch with friends and family…it’s like a Christmas letter everyday!) and check out our family blog as well - – it’s filled with daily mishaps, funny stories, videos and pictures of our four blessings.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Best Christmas EVER

We celebrated Christmas early this year. We figured since we're heading to the farms for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Brad is busy tomorrow night, we'd let the kids open their presents tonight. They barely made it through supper, they were so excited. Their excitement didn't die down until they finally fell asleep.

You should know we didn't spend a lot of money on anyone this year... with me on maternity leave and not getting a full paycheck, and the expenses of a new baby, there just wasn't a lot of extra money for extravagant gifts. I would have loved to buy the family a new flat screen tv and a Wii, but instead they got much smaller gifts. Turns out it doesn't really matter how much you spend on family was thrilled with the gifts they got, because they were things they all really wanted. Lexi got the fuzzy boots she's been asking for since July (I bought them on sale in September) and new tanks, Jake got the entire Harry Potter series and Madden 2010 for his PS2 (he's been playing Madden '04...pretty outdated!), Lizzy got new jammies (Dora, of course!), and Brad got new jeans for church and new sweatshirts for work (I'm praying he doesn't wear his new jeans to work!). And Morgan is just too little to care..but I'm sure she will be thrilled with her princess bath towel once she gets to use it. I also made all four kids banks for their savings... they were thrilled beyond words with the two-dollars in change I put in the banks.

There will be more gifts, but hopefully nothing extravagant. My kids and my husband proved tonight that they don't need expensive things to be happy. Lexi can't wait to wear her new boots to school tomorrow. Jake challenged Brad to a game of football on the PS2 (Brad won in OT). Lizzy tried on all three pairs of her new jammmies and probably won't wear anything but jammies again for a very long time. Brad is excited to go bridge inspecting tomorrow because he now has a warm hooded sweatshirt to wear. All night, the kids kept thanking us and telling us how this is the best Christmas ever. I have to agree.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I got a massage today. It's been a long time since I treated myself (I actually used a gift card Brad gave me for Valentine's day!) and I'd forgotten how nice massages are. A full hour with no children and no guilt for not doing something productive while they are gone. I laid on the table and let my mind wander. I'm not even sure what I thought about during that hour.. maybe nothing. I do know that I left feeling better both physically and mentally. My aches and pains were massaged away and my mind was refreshed.

It was a quick return to reality. I picked up the little girls from daycare and hoped to run a couple of errands. No such luck. They were both fast asleep. So I dragged them into the house, hoping they'd keep sleeping and I could fold the laundry. No such luck. Lizzy woke up and needed to snuggle and at the same time, Morgan woke up and needed to eat. So there I was... stuck in my recliner with two sleeping babies on my lap. Somehow I managed to get my laptop on my lap too, so at least I had something to do while they slept. But, that too was short lived. We had just a few minutes of cuddling before it was time to get the big kids from school. So I loaded two crabby kids into the van and headed to school. I blame the massage for what happened next.. I was obviously still too relaxed to think about what I was doing. I took all four of my kids, plus the neighbor kid, to the mall to run the errands we didn't do earlier. Believe it or not, we got everything done in record time, and everyone actually behaved!

Then...the most stressful part of the day.. and the reason I may need another massage tomorrow... we took our family pictures tonight. I've been procrastinating them because Lizzy HATES pictures. She can not behave, no matter how we bribe her. This time we had a friend (who also happens to run a photography business out of his's all who you know!) take our pictures. Surprisingly, they turned out ok. If nothing else, he managed to capture the "real" us. And that's ok. If I learned anything during my one hour of peace and relaxation today, it's that my life is not perfect, so my Christmas picture doesn't have to be either. So what if the two year old is making a funny face or the baby's eyes are closed? Those are small details that I don't have time to worry about.. I'm just happy all six of us were in the picture and that we got it taken before Christmas. My next goal is to get those pictures and cards mailed before Christmas... but first... I think I'll schedule another massage.