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First 'school closed' of the winter!

It's looking like Christmas here in Minnesota! Winter blasted in here last week, with a few inches of snow and the first 'School Is Canceled - Snow Day' of the year!! I remember being a kid, there is not much that tops getting a Snow Day from school!! Pretty much everything here is frozen up now, we've even had our first sub-zero temps - so the season of 'Long Johns and Hot Chocolate' is in full swing!
FAMILY MATTERS... Parents - have your kids put away all electronics for the next week, and get out a 1,000 piece puzzle for them!! This was the scene at our house last night. It resurrected my own childhood memories of gathering to fix a big puzzle during the holidays. It just sets there, getting attention from anyone who passes by and slowly evolves - this is one sport for team participation from all family members! It has a deadline of finishing by Christmas, of course, (are you kidding, nothing is stress free in this world anymore!! LOL). It will evoke laughter, excitement, and pure simple fun! Oh yes... and lets not forget about the sleds,... Jacob and Zach didn't waste a minute getting to our back hill once the ground had a dusting of snow... Jacob pleaded with me not to put this picture on, but it is just too cute! ("Mom, I look like a retard with those goggles!") Isn't it funny how we think we look so cool 'at the time', only to look back and realize we looked like a genuine dud!
AROUND THE STUDIO... Why do we put ourselves under so much stress! I'm not really speaking of the baking and sending cards here... I gave that up several years ago... but I did agree to do a private painting commission 3 weeks ago, and have it finished, wrapped, shipped and under someone's tree by Christmas morning! So, in addition to the normal hoopla of the holidays... I am putting in very long days trying to get this wrapped up, framed and out the door next Tuesday...this would be a good time to say a prayer for Bonnie Mohr folks!! All kidding aside, I've never painted so close - right up to Christmas before, and honestly - it feels good, and productive, and if all goes well, I should make my deadline. Since it is a surprise, I can't reveal anything more right now, but there will be a pic posted right after Christmas!
COWTALES AND FARM NEWS... These are the days I'm glad I'm an artist, and not a farmer working in the outdoor elements. I think John and Hauke have fixed every wagon, tractor and drinking cup on the place in the last week with these sub-zero temps. Hang in there guys - warmer temps on the way today. I'd like to also introduce Hauke, our trainee from Germany. In light of the fact that we ourselves are mostly German, we had an official flag raising ceremony on our farm for him last week. Well, it wasn't too official - we just put up a flag for him and had a beer! LOL. What a wonderful fella - will be studying dairying with us for a few months! Get busy now - there are cookies to bake, trees to trim, cards to send, but most importantly the REASON FOR THE SEASON - take time to light your advent candle and read the Christmas Story of the miracle birth of Baby Jesus and prepare your heart for His arrival!! Fun facts and useless information about Bonnie Mohr that you've always wondered but been afraid to ask !! I love Dill Pickle sunflower seeds and almost always have a bag in the car for travelin'!! (They don't make me stop to go to the bathroom, and are very low calorie, especially when you eat them one by one in order to capture that microscopic seed!) Thanks for reading.