I remember practially holding my breath by the radio in the morning, burrowed deep beneath the covers, waiting to hear the announcer tell us if school was canceled. If we missed the announcement, there was frantic dial spinning and rapid tuning to catch it on another station. No more. Now, within seconds of the decision, my phone starts dinging with the news, heralded from far and wide.
And my kids don't even go to school!
The school decision has a domino effect, even here. No school in the neighborhood means that friends can come play in the middle of the day. It means that dance is canceled and the studio firmly closed. It means soccer becomes a last minute dcision and a moving target--everybody and his brother scrambles to secure indoor space all over the region and at all hours of the day. Why, sure, I didn't have anything planned or anything, let's just go check out driving conditions in two different counties.
School has been canceled for the whole week. They've even made the decision for tomorrow already.
"School" is not canceled in the Foss household. Actually, I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing. If my children get some work done every day this week, I figure that makes up for the week when the school kids went back after Christmas and we were still distracted by the presence of our college boys. We're all even now. More or less.
Not a lot of sewing is happening here, much to my surprise. I've been distracted away from pajama sewing by a little Valentine towel embellishment. And, as in years past, for some reason, snow means a beeswax furniture polishing blitz. We're stocked up on Daddy Van's Beeswax polish. Bored children get the polish and a rag. Kitchen cabinets, furniture, banisters--there's no end to the polishing that can be done while the snow falls and the wind howls.
We did made some really pretty snowflake ballerinas with a whole bunch of girlfriends. This craft was surprisingly successful even with tiny girls. The girl total that day was around ten, I think and everyone enjoyed the craft. I highly recommend clicking that link and giving it a whirl (or a twirl).
There is, of course a basket of "Snow Books." The basket grows fuller every year. Here's a list of favorites. Christine Scarlett sent me some recommendations last year (or mayb the year before) and we've added to our basket based on her suggestions. So, here's hers and mine, all together and happy.
::Our Snowman by M.B. Goffstein (I love the line, "Year after year, these things work," and I look for opportunities to say it in real life.)
::The Snow Child retold by Freya Littledale, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (other versions available)
::The Hat by Jan Brett (Hats and Mittens: they go together;-)
:: The Snow Speaks by Nancy White Carlstrom and Jane Dyer (enchanting and one of my favorite illustrators. Pull it out again during the Christmas season.)
:: Winter Harvest by Jane Chelsea Aragon and Leslie Baker (a calming evening story)
:: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr (Caldecott, classic)
:: Ollie's Ski Trip by Elsa Beskow (nice one to read on a day of sledding, skating, or X-C skiing)
:: Flannel Kisses by Linda Crotta Brennan, illustrated by Mari Takabayashi (a just-don't-miss book favorite)
:: City of Snow, The Great Blizzard of 1888 by Linda Oatman High, illustrations by Laura Francesca Fillipucci (true story)*
:: A Day on Skates, The Story of a Dutch Picnic by Hilda van Stockum (for older readers or as a read aloud over several days)
::Snow (I love the lyrical Cynthia Rylant. She does beautiful things with snow.)
::Snowsong Whistling (We pull this one out in the autumn and love it together through February.)
::The Snowy Day (Karoline's favorite for several years. We even have a Peter doll.)
::Owl Moon (Another Caldecott. I love this story of a late night adventure with Dad.)
::Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (beautiful, effortless poetry memorization)
::My Brother Loved Snowflakes (this one, with the one just below, makes the spine for really good unit study on the science of snowflakes
::Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott-worthy woodcuts, true story)
::The Rag Coat (this one makes us so grateful for warmth)
::Jan Brett's Snowy Treasury (all the Jan Brett snow books, bound together. Definitely a treasure.)
::The Three Snow Bears (another Jan Brett favorite)
Here are some more links for snow discoveries:
- Six-fold symmetry of the snow crystal (click here and then click on "Nature, Number, and Geometry")HT: Kim
- Make a virtual snowman
- The Snowflake Bentley Website
- Learn some new facts about snow
- Intermediate level list to help understand winter weather
- Snow art, snow castles, virtual snowflakes, and lots of snow info
- The official site of the Snowman story , with some games
- The FEMA Winter Storm site for kids
- Jan Brett activities
::And, finally the popcorn and marshmallows. This is standard snow food, but my littlest children probably don't know the whole meaning behind the tradition. When Michael was little, there was snow predicted one day. I made a big deal, stocked the snow books, talked it up in a big, big way. He was so looking forward to snowballs. No snow. So, I popped popcorn and made popcorn "snowballs." Saved the day. Now when snow is forecasted, I stockpile the ingredients for popcorn balls. That way, we have big, round, white balls no matter what.
Melt two sticks of butter in a very big pot.
While the butter is melting, pop 1 cup of popcorn, the old fashioned way.
Dump a bag of marshmallows into the melted butter.
Pour the popcorn into the melted marshmallows and stir well.
Generously grease your hands with butter. As soon as the marshmallow-coated popcorn is just barely cool enough to handle, form into balls.
Even if you don't have snow, read the books and make the popcorn balls. Childhood should be sweet.
So, what about you? Is it cold and snowy there? How are you spending your days. Of course, please tell us about your sewing and your reading. And also, let us know if you have any snow links to add to the list.
And the snow,
while it is here,
reminds us of this:
that nothing lasts forever