Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Snowy Snow Week

What started out as a light, "wintry mix" here in Mid-Missouri, turned into 3 days of ice covered roads, followed by 8 inches of snow, sub-zero temperatures, and thus a week - yes a whole week- out of school. We've had nothing compared to our families in Ohio who have had record snow fall amounts as well as freezing cold temperatures through much of the winter, but it was enough to cause quite a bit of excitement in our land.

The boys' preschool was closed for a few days, and even though I could have taken them the days they were open, I didn't. I love snow days and wanted us all to be, crafting, baking, cleaning, creating, together.

Here is a little peek into our week of snow days.

1. Outdoor Play

In the summer, I have no problem letting the boys go outside by themselves. We have a fenced back yard, and lots of windows so I can keep an eye on them while they play. Snow presents a different challenge though, especially for Eli (age 2). If he falls down, he starts to panic and struggles to get up by himself in his snowsuit. So that means if the boys go out, I go out too. We went outside on 2 different days, but not the days when it was close or below 0 degrees. That's no fun for anybody. We ran around the yard quite a bit, but generally speaking, for a 2 and 4 year old, playing in the snow means throwing it up in the air, trying (with no success) to make snowballs, and eating it. The snow was too powdery to attempt a snowman.

A couple of notes: If you look closely, you'll see that Lex is actually wearing socks on his hands. He left his mittens at preschool, so we had to make do. He thought it was so funny and kept squealing, "I have socks on my hands!" Also, if you notice all the broken branches under the snow, please understand that the snow came right after we had freezing rain. The branches came down under the weight of the ice, and we didn't have a chance to clean them up before the snow came. Our yard doesn't normally look like this. 

2. Reading

After the first snow day, and with the expectation that there would be at least a couple more coming, I started designating quiet time in the morning (in addition to afternoon nap). After all our snow activities, and excitement of the snowy morning, we cuddled up with our favorite snow books.

Here are some of our favorites.

3. Indoor Play

In the speed of our normal, non-snow day lives, it's hard to find time to just sit and play for long periods of time. Not so on our series of snow days. We had a lot of fun getting out the toys that we don't always get to play with.
Building a fort with Lincoln logs...

Building a fort with the dining room table...

This was after they added the "kitchen."
As you can see, Lex is going through a stage (not for the first time) in which he makes a goofy looking face anytime you ask him to smile.
I do my best to just capture him in a natural state. By the way, that's a toy hot dog sticking out of Eli's mouth.

We also brought some of our outdoor toys inside and had some fun with those.

4. An Unexpected Project

As luck would have it, in the midst of our snowcation, I noticed that our freezer was dripping (and thus not freezing), and that our fridge was not as cool as it should be. We noticed a buildup of frost in the back of our freezer, which began the unexpected, full day project of defrosting the fridge.
There were 2 silver linings to the timing of this. First, the weather was cold enough to do this with the food from the fridge.

Second, I had time to scrub the entire fridge and freezer while it was defrosting. I mean take every thing apart, toothbrush scrub the crevices, and polish every surface. It is really clean. I love this picture of Eli, because it looks as if he's never seen such a thing before. Yep, probably not.
And so it was that over our snow days, our fridge/freezer got defrosted, cleaned and put back together.

5. Snow Ice Cream/Snowshakes

True story. Back in 2000, Jeremy was in AIT (Advanced Individual Training for the army) in Columbia, South Carolina. My aunt Carolyn happens to live there as well, so I temporarily moved in with her and my Uncle Sam, so I could see Jeremy on weekends, and some evenings. While we were there, a very rare snow storm hit the area. It basically shut everything down, because unlike the more northern states, the city is simply not prepared to handle the clean up of that kind of a weather situation. So I was snowed-in in South Carolina. Weird, huh? Anyway, my Aunt Carolyn who was the queen of all things crafty when I was growing up (she always made home-made play-do with us, and taught us how to decorate with homemade snowflakes for Christmas), suggested we make snow ice cream. How had I never heard of this before? So we set out clean bowls to collect the snow and waited for some accumulation before we brought it in and mixed it with vanilla and milk. It tasted so much like home-made ice cream. Mmmm.
Fast forward 14 years, as soon as the snow started to fall, I put out the bowl. I wish I had put out more, because ours kind of came out soupy, and I wished I had more snow to add to it (yes, I could have gone outside and scooped some off the ground, but that doesn't seem as hygienic as getting it out of a bowl).
If you want an actual recipe for snow ice cream, I recommend Pinterest. This one seems to be a common recipe. I, however, chose to wing it, which is probably why it came out soupy (for the record, no one cared).  Pictured above are the ingredients I used. I didn't measure the snow. I just eyeballed how much of everything to use and kept taste-testing it. I should added the milk in smaller increments and it would have been fine. It otherwise, was delicious.
The boys loved this! If you remember from earlier in this post, these guys are a big fan of eating snow.
This guy doesn't seem too concerned that the ice cream is a bit runny.

I turned mine into a snow shake. It was delicious.

Last, but not least...

6. Baking!!!

I love baking special treats, and what better occasion, than a snow day. I'm going to just post some pictures for now, because the recipe is coming in a later post.


We made sugar cookie, mostly hearts for Valentine's Day, but also some flags to celebrate the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Cooling off while the boys took a nap.

And the finished product, topped off with a confectioner's sugar/milk glaze, and sprinkles. The perfect ending to a wonderful week.

So there's a glimpse of "Snowcation 2014." I doubt there will be any more big storms like this one this year, but I can't wait for the first snow day next year. It's such a cozy time to spend with the boys and to take a break from our regular routine. Happy Snow Day!


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