Our time is improving. It used to take both Ethan and me 45 minutes to get the kids ready to play in the snow, and yesterday it took just me 25 minutes. I know this because I put the macaroni and cheese in the oven, set the timer for 25 minutes, and it went off just after I had pulled the velcro tight on the last set of mittens.
Thursday night it snowed. The children were thrilled. We have had quite a few days of warm (at least 45 degrees), pleasant, enjoyable weather; but there were those bright red sleds, looking lonely and unloved. So when we woke up Friday to see snow falling softly on a freshly white world, they were elated.
And I was resigned.
I pulled out the recipe for my kids' favorite comfort food (homemade macaroni and cheese), threw the ingredients together and in the oven, and steeled myself for the trials to come -- trials in the deceptive shapes of mittens, gloves, hats, snowsuits, coats, and boots. Oh, and extra pairs of socks.
We headed out. Ethan must have heard the children from his off-the-garage study, because when I got out there, he was making a new sled trail. The one the kids had started using was dangerously close to the van (as you can see from this picture that the camera took when I threw my body -- with Jonathan almost toppling off of my back -- into the path of the girls' sled).
Ethan is a real show-off of a sledder. My sled rides average 3 seconds. His average about a minute. It's ridiculous. He sticks his arms out and sways with the sled, maneuvering around trees and rocks and vehicles. He decided to give Benjamin a lesson in Sled Steering 101.
Benjamin braced himself for the absurdly long ride that was to follow:
Not everyone was thrilled to wait her turn:
But there's not much a ride on a sled and then Papa's shoulders can't cure, or at least soothe from an all-out wail to a gentle sniff-sniffle.
Jonathan and I kept the girls busy collecting a large bowl of snow (no dirt, no footprints, nothing yellow).
After an appropriate 25 minutes (YES! We were outside for as long as it took us to get ready!), we headed indoors for lunch and dessert: Sn'ice Cream*. It was such a hit that the kids asked if we could please make this again and again, and Abraham declared he was going to make "Snow Noodles for beakfast formoddow [translation: breakfast tomorrow]." Thankfully, he forgot this part of his plan this morning.
After naps, we headed out for our weekly Buy-One-Get-One-Free coffee and steamers, and then at Walmart Ethan spotted some snow cone sleeves and flavorings.
Come on, snow. We're ready.
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 T. vanilla
Mix until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add to large bowl of clean snow. Stir; serve immediately. And brace your teeth!