January 18
    The forecast didn't sound very good this morning with predictions of sleet and snow and falling temperatures, but with the exception of a few flurries the weather definitely fizzled.  It was, however, enough to keep a lot of people away from church
this morning.
    Matt had two friends come home with us after church and we all went out for pizza.  Margaret and Kenny are great kids and we consider them a part of the family so it's always a pleasure to have them around.  Matt went home with them this evening and is spending the night.
    We got a new sofa tonight!  Well, it's new to us.  A woman at church asked me if the youth group could use another sofa.  I asked her why she was getting rid of it (people sometimes try to give us their junk because they can't get rid of it) and what it was like.  She said it was about 6 or 7 years old and in good condition.  Both ends recline and the middle flips down into a table with cup holders.  The only reason she wanted to get rid of it was that it was in her sewing room and she wanted to make more room for her quilting.  Hello!  It is exactly the kind of sofa we've been wanting so I asked her if she'd consider selling it to us.  She said if we wanted it, we were welcome to it as she just wanted it out of her house.  So, before Matt and his friends left, they helped us bring it to the house and take our sofa down to the church for the youth group.  We are all tickled with the "new" one, but there is one problem......we need another one because everyone wants to sit on it!

January 19
    No school today, so it was a holiday for me, too.  It was cold, windy and snowy all day so I was content to stay cozy inside close to the fire.  The household chores were all caught up so I got to spend some time reading a book I got the other day and also pouring over the seed, nursery and chicken catalogs that have been arriving almost daily during the past week.  I'm beginning to get an idea of what will be on my list to order, which is good, but it's making it awfully difficult to wait for spring.  I'm dreaming of blue skies, warm sun and digging in the dirt.
    Tim is also dreaming of nicer weather.  He has been drawing plans for our new front porch, which will go on as soon as the weather improves.  His work allows him to keep materials left over on the job so he's accumulated enough concrete block to do it.  He also has enough block for the foundation of a familyroom addition we hope to add this year.

January 21
I started subbing on a mid-day kindergarten route today and will most likely be filling in until February 13.  The extra income will be nice, but it does make for long days.  It doesn't really leave me enough time to come home during the day so I am going to be gone from 6:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening (I see a lot of early bedtimes in the next few weeks).
    Thankfully, the weather has been nice so far this week and all the dire predictions have not come true.  The temperatures have been staying in the 20's during the day and the teens at night.
    We watched the third night of American Idol tonight.  It's fun to watch the try-outs.  It's kind of sad, too.  All those people who can't sing worth a darn.....you have to wonder where they got the idea they were not just good, but great?  Some of them are totally crushed.  Anyway, I like that it's something all of us like to watch together and try to predict who will make it.

January 22
Extremely cold temperatures and a windchill well below zero was the prediction for today....along with some snow.  The prediction was wrong again.  Other than a short squall at 11:00 it was sunny and mild all day.  One of the drivers said that her thermometer at home read 40 degrees this afternoon!  We could stand a bit more of that to melt the ice that is covering parking lots, driveways and sidewalks with a thick blanket of ice.  It's been just sunny and warm enough to give the ice that smooth as glass finish on top.  Treaturous!  I've had several kids fall after they've gotten off the bus and a big story on the news tonight is a lady that slipped and fell under a car and couldn't get out for over an hour and a half!
    Another big news story today was that a 13-year-old in our school district was found to have brought a gun (and bullets) to school today.  They are not releasing the child's name because of the age and for once the kids in the school don't seem to be talking, so there's no knowing who it might have been.  It's got all the bus drivers shaken up, because we are all wondering if we had a gun on our bus this morning.
    A Wal-Mart Super Center opened about 5 minutes from us yesterday.  I wasn't brave enough to go check it out on the first day, but I talked Tim into going tonight to do some grocery shopping.  Wow!  That place is huge!  I've heard it is one of the biggest anywhere and I believe it.  The Super Wal-Mart that opened yesterday just two towns over is 80,000 sq. ft. smaller.  It's amazing.  I'm really excited that it's opened.  I love doing the grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.  They have lower prices and offer a lot of items none of the other stores in the area do.  We didn't take the kids tonight because Megan had soccer and we needed the room in the truck for groceries, so we had to promise them we'd take them over the weekend to see it.  They can wander around while I look into changing my bank accounts to the bank in the store. They sent me a flyer that offers some deals I can't afford to pass up.

January 23
Good morning!  It sure is cold here.  The actual temperature is zero and the windchill is about -25.  All the schools are delayed 2 hours.  I'm not sure that will help much, especially since they say the weather will take a turn this afternoon and begin to snow.  With the roads already so cold they are worried it will be quite nasty.
    A good friend from work was to have a home inspection this morning between her runs.  It was the last step she had to pass in getting approved for adoption.  She and her husband already have one daughter they adopted two years ago and they are really looking forward to adding to their family.  I don't know how she will handle this.  Canceling the inspection will set the whole process back a good bit, but our supervisor at work doesn't like anyone taking time off unless they are very ill.  Even then he isn't smiling.  It's so hard to get routes covered and he is short-handed.  I hope it all works out for her today.
    Well, if I'm going to be ready to head out of here on time I'd better get moving.  Wherever you are I hope you are keeping warm and enjoying life.

Carpe diem!