Back inside after an hour or so of climbing up the hill, sledding down with wild dogs giving chase and screaming laughter, climbing up and sledding down again. The sun is shining and the reflection off the snow is blinding. We were blessed with another snowfall, just a few inches, and the ridiculous wind was kind enough to leave a dusting so we could slide down. Not even the stumps from the burdock Matt cut down could stop Luke's giant ironclad LL Bean tube. Eric brought the kids Saturday night, had dinner and left yesterday morning to get back to Maine. He hit a snowstorm but made it home safely. Luke made the request so I took the kids to see The Hobbit yesterday which we all enjoyed. I was afraid I missed it as we stood in line over Christmas vacation and watched as the showing sold out. Hannah was ready to be disappointed as she "is not a Lord of the Rings fan," but I could see out of the corner of my eye that she was as riveted as Luke and I. I loved every minute of the almost three hour film and can't wait to see part 2. Mia was in the play in Middle School where she played one of the heroic dwarves. Sigh, sniff! We made our way to Panera where we picked up Hannah's baguettes and Luke's blueberry muffins. Home for an evening of Killing Lincoln - interesting but rather sobering after a stirring Hobbit performance - and spinning with Hannah on our tandem Robin Wheels. Woke up to zero temps and cold stove despite getting up to stoke the stove twice. I tried sleeping in the same bed with Matt Redmond last night but was scolded all night long for stealing his covers. So much for late stage romance. The dogs who couldn't make the jump into the high colonial bed were not happy either. They whined and cried for me to get up and lift them with Izzy, who I tucked in with me early on, growling and snarling at them from under the covers. I tried lifting Bertha up on to the bed but couldn't do it. I found the little stair case and put it beside the bed and told her to figure it out, which she did, making the bed even more crowded and problematic. I think she was the one stealing the covers. It was so cold I got up to bring in a couple of front stoop kitties from the boxes of wool I put out for them. When I got back into bed I thought, oh, no, did Reba slip out the door when I opened it to get the cats? Another reason to loose sleep. She was actually in the bed on Matt's side unbeknownst to me. I think I'll take a little nap after our journey to Frank's Pizza in New Berlin. If I could freeze this day I would, metaphorically not literally as it is already freezing. Everybody in the barn seems okay. Hannah and Luke are so sweet and unspoiled, so easy and undemanding. They have their little machines to entertain themselves and are never bored. They do whatever I ask them to do in the barn. Luke is checking the tops of the round bales for frozen eggs, which we thaw out and eat ourselves. I figure they've been in the freezer so what's the danger? I have enough hay to last through March. Annie will come and pick up the kids on her way back to Maine after visiting her folks in Maryland. She will be pulling a sailbot with her Pathfinder. They will put the boat to good use and the Boy Scout Camp in Eric's Pine Tree Council. Mia is skiiing in Utah with her new beau, a Physician's Assistant at the Jersey City Medical Center. I'm sure they have a lot to talk about. Father Aaron will join them for a day or two before he has to get back to his Army Chaplain duties in Nevada.