We love the week or two after New Years because we leave up the tree and do school by the glow and crackle of a blazing fire. The boughs of fragrant Fraser Fir are still on the mantle, entertainment stage, and above our big window that overlooks the pond. It makes our wood-paneled den look like a lodge in the mountains.
Today, er, yesterday we lounged by the fire with our individual reading. Richard was reading a favorite out-of-print Bible book he was reminded of since we gave a copy to our neighbor's little granddaughter. George read the Bible and Tintin The Land of the Soviets. John read a Hardy Boys book. Mom was reading Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir. Spencer and James were reading we don't know what, and Dad, Will, and Sarah Grace weren't here.
We had Bible time together and we Young Guns had our read aloud, Snow Treasure, which is a true story about Norwegian children who help smuggle gold bullion past the Nazis by hiding it on their sleds. We also looked up Belgium in the encyclopedia and online as well as Bruges to see the Tintin Shop that Mrs. Sarah and Billy were talking about down there in the comment section. We saw pictures, but someone's comment said it went out of business. We also saw one in Covent Garden, London.
As wonderful as the day was, it can't compare to what happened after 3am. Mom keeps up with different astronomical events, and at 2:45am she woke us up to see the Quadrantid meteor shower! We bundled up in ski bibs, snow pants, and down jackets with the idea of going out for a short time (since it was 19 degrees) to catch seeing some of the meteors, when Mom had the idea that we get out the sub-zero sleeping bags to lie out under the heavens to watch the event. And watch it we did... UNTIL DAWN! Oh how toasty and warm we were with just our eyes poking out to see one meteor after another!
James had the best view because he got as far away from the light pollution of our house as possible while being within hollering distance of Mom. We stayed in the football field in front of our house, and we doubled up in the sleeping bags. It got down to 19 degrees while we were out there but we were good and warm in those bags! In fact, we agreed we were warmer than when we are in our beds on very cold nights.
While we were watching, we played a trivia game with questions like: "Who had the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence?" It was John Hancock, but we had to give hints for everyone to get it. Also, "Who caused a big deal when he slapped a soldier during WWII?" Everyone knew George Patton.
The funny thing is that when we came in after the sky got too light, we passed the dogs in the laundry room that we brought in since it was predicted to get down to 18 degrees, which it did. They came in, and we went out!
One time we got all bundled up and zipped up in the sleeping bag, when someone THEN decided they had to go potty, so we all did. HaHa! It took ages to get all situated and zipped again! Oh what a great time we had! We played and cuddled and cozied up and laughed and sang and prayed and praised the Lord for his creation... and drank a lot of hot chocolate! And every single time Mom saw a meteor, she gasped like it was the first time she'd ever seen one!