Winterfest 2016

IMG_2647In this installment we deck our halls, enjoying the winter festivities around us. From snowy parades to unicycles, you’ll find we have plenty to do!

Without the typical fall snow & thaw cycles, our first good snow was a welcome sight. It was early December when we got our first few inches, and it was nice and wet! Unlike our more common, dry, crystal-like fluff, this kind of snow makes great snow balls and snow men. IMG_2655We dubbed him “Harry” as the leaves & needles gave him a rather… um, un-kept look.

IMG_2666While the girls were assembling their snowman, I was making myself useful stringing up the lights on our porch. Having combined my supplies with Birdy, I finally had more than I knew how to use. (A challenge to address next year.)

The kids had all hunted for Christmas trees with their other parents, and weren’t really in the spirit to go gallivanting in the woods for more.  I guess that’s the trade off on the years when we get them for Thanksgiving.

IMG_2677We decided to take the easy way out, and buy from a tree lot.  Pickings were slim, but this gave me a chance to have a “Noble” fir, just like the good old days. I had a farmed tree for the first time in about a decade, and now I better appreciate the symmetrical & groomed traits they have.

The snow kept coming, so we let the kids play. It was so neat for TBear to have a buddy to help build his snow fort with. We made a sledding hill out of our bark-chip pile, and the kids rode it until it was bare before coming in for hot chocolate.IMG_2721

Enterprise’s Winterfest celebration came, and we decked the stroller with some LED lights before hitting the streets. The trees were all lit, giving a magical glow around town. We had missed Santa & roasted chestnuts, but the burn barrels were still warming folks, and the Fire Department was doing their chili feed.

IMG_2777One block had been completely shut for the day, creating a pedestrian paradise where kids sled & played. The parade brought out many wonderful floats from the local businesses and organizations. The best year so far (in my opinion). There was also a new barrel train for the kids to ride!

Decorating the tree was a bit complex, as Birdy and I had our own ornament collections. In the end, we decided to hand sentimental ones first, then fill in with what’s left. Not every ornament fit, but there’s always next year! IMG_2784Birdy had some lit garland she strung across the kitchen pass-through, and we decided we needed garland around the whole living room.

IMG_2808Next, we got to experience the Unishow. Dustin Kelm (a world champion unicyclist) came to Wallowa County to perform. Thanks to Building Healthy Families,  we got to witness a world-class performer do amazing things, while delivering an amazing message. It’s a rare thing around here, and you’d be surprised at how entertaining a unicyclist can really be!

Since then, a ‘cold snap’ has crept in, bringing temperatures as low as –21 F! (That’s pretty cold around here.) We usually don’t see these temperatures and snow packs like this for a month or two, so it’s looking like a long winter is in store. IMG_2847

On the bright side, we’ll have plenty of snow for winter recreation. As a bonus, our beautiful landscape becomes stunning. Moon-lit drives show off the countryside, and the lake is peaceful and serene.

With less than a week remaining, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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