Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day

Here I go talking about snow again. It's like it's winter or something...

Benjamin woke up just as I was getting ready for bed last night. He was in a real panic because his door was closed all the way (I usually leave it open when I go to bed). I held him for a minute and then put him back in his own bed and stayed with him until he fell asleep. And then no one bothered me until nearly 9:00 this morning! It was wonderful!

The girls had already eaten breakfast and were on their way to head outside to play in the snow by the time Benjamin had finished nursing. They couldn't wait to get outside and were very excited about all the tracks they could see in the yard: deer tracks, rabbit tracks, bird tracks, squirrel tracks. We know our yard boasts a menagerie but we don't often see much solid evidence of that fact (so perhaps it's not so menagerie-ful in that sense of the word).

Benjamin doesn't have snow pants so I made a waterproof layer for him out of shopping bags. He's a super trendy child.

They did the job just fine and you couldn't even tell he was wearing it because we put pants on over top.

While the girls were outside playing our neighbours from across the street invited us to go sledding with them. Their dad is a pastor at a nearby church and that church has a nice hill in the back. He spent a good portion of his day Monday finding sleds and mittens and things—he went to five or six different stores (they don't keep a big stock of that sort of thing down here)! The girls were so excited to go "real" sledding (yesterday's driveway sledding apparently wasn't real enough).

Here's Rachel showing off the snow pyramid she made on the deck just before running around to the front of the house to get in the van:

We had an absolute blast "on the slope."

Rachel's jacket, which is purple in this picture (she's in the back) slowly got so caked in snow I could hardly find her sometimes!

We don't have any sleds so we brought along a bunch of junk to try. Benjamin found great success using this old Lego box:

Miriam and K. tried it as well, though it didn't work as well for them as it did for Benjamin.

Fortunately, there seemed to be enough sleds to go around, especially with the kids using the sleds as toboggans and loading as many people on as possible!

We eventually got brave enough to send Benjamin down by himself. I was afraid he'd freak out or fall off but he loved it.

He laughed the whole way down. His only problem was that he couldn't stand up in the end (he was wearing a few too many layers).

See how white Rachel's jacket is now? I don't know why she insisted on wearing that sweater on top of her coat instead of the other way around...

Andrew showed the kids how to "snowboard" down the hill:

Eventually everybody had to try it:

Here's Andrew having another (somewhat tragic) run:

He was heading straight for E. and Rachel, who weren't paying attention (so didn't attempt to move out of the way). Andrew tried to "steer" the board away from them but ended up flipping off the board instead.

His feet flew up and nailed Rachel right in the face:

She was so sad.

The good news was that there was plenty of snow around to ice her swollen nose:

I think that was the worst injury sustained today, thank goodness! Everyone had a ton of fun. By the time we were finished we were sore and soggy in some places and warm and dry in others. It wasn't terribly cold, even, so we didn't hear too many complaints from the children.

I took a few videos but have only uploaded one so far (the internet is going really slow). I'll upload more eventually. In the meantime, here's one of Benjamin careening down the hill:

When we got home the girls were torn between making a snowman and having lunch (they worked up an appetite). I told them that I was already cold and wet and I wasn't likely to want to get cold and wet again after warming up so if they wanted help making the snowman it would have to be now.

Rachel chose to stay outside. Miriam went inside to help Daddy make lunch. 

The snow wasn't good packing snow. We could make snowballs if we tried really hard but no matter how long we rolled the snowballs in the snow, no other snow would cling to it—they always stayed the same size—so we abandoned the traditional method of making a snowman and came up with our own.

We harvested snow from the lawn in the Lego box, packed it down as tightly as we could, and stacked the blocks of snow on top of each other. It worked out well—and took all the snow from the side of our house and half the snow from our front yard! I think the snowman ended up being eight blocks high.

Benjamin helped us. Or at least...he followed me around crying (he was so worn out from sledding). He was quite interested in the snowman, however.

We made Miriam come back outside to take a group picture by the snowman. She was not impressed and grumped the whole time, but next winter when there's no snow she'll probably look fondly on this memory. We made a 4 ft North Carolina. That's got to be a record (it is for us, anyway).

I love how Benjamin is stretching his arms out in this picture, just like the snowman is:

There's been talk of having another snow day tomorrow. I will admit that this impromptu snow-cation has been fun but if tomorrow is a snow day I'm going to call it ridiculous. The roads are fine—clear. Even our residential roads (that didn't get plowed) are clear. It was an inch of snow (maybe two).

(Oh, and Andrew's classes were cancelled all day so he got to stay home and play with us in the morning (he's been doing work/homework all afternoon). His evening classes aren't cancelled, though, so he's getting ready to head to campus.) 

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