Friday, January 18, 2008


We awoke yesterday to a grey, windy, cloudy day, with a hint of snow in the air.  Hints of snow are rare here in Virginia, so we grab onto each hint for all it is worth (which is, admittedly, very little). But the hint delivered yesterday, and later in the morning we were delighted to see huge, slow flakes of snow morph into smaller, faster flakes.


 Ethan was recovering from a tooth extraction and a root canal, so I valiantly determined that the children and I would get outside before the snow melted (snowfalls are quick and fleeting here). Over an hour and a half later, I had finally gathered enough hats, mittens, boots, coats, and snowsuits to adequately cover my children. Dressing five small children for snow is NOT for the faint of heart! And I must admit, I was quite faint of heart. So faint, in fact, that my poor husband heard my frustration as I ordered the fourteenth child (how many do we have?) to leave his mittens on under penalty of death; and I turned around to see Ethan, gauze in cheek, pulling on his boots.


I wasn't exactly sure WHAT I had planned to do with the children after we finally got outside (you mean being OUT in the snow isn't enough?), but Ethan pulled out the inflatable sled and we blew it up. Ben (6) ran off to the back hill to try it out. I had Edee (11 mos.) on my back and the twins (2) were staying close to me, ordering me to "go for a walk" with them.  I'm not sure what Lily (4) was doing, but I think it had to do with looking for the other sleds. As the twins and I walked down the back hill, we passed Benjamin trudging back up it, both his spirits and the sled deflated. "Do you want to go for a walk with us?" I asked. He said, "Snow isn't that exciting," and continued his dejected walk up the hill.


Abraham and Miriam surprised me with their energy in walking through the snow. It was hard-packing snow, and in some places it was pretty deep for a 2-yr. old. Abraham kept about ten steps ahead of us, pointing out birds that were flitting in the tops of the field grasses and saying, "Oh, Christmas tree!" every time we passed trees with snow on them. We had just rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill when he plopped straight out on his front, turned his face to the side and said, "I can't. No walkin'." Typical. Wait until the BOTTOM of the hill to decide you're tired.


I asked them if they wanted to make a snowman instead. "Yeah, snowman!" they agreed, and we started walking back up the hill. This took about five times longer than the descent, and our speed was not aided any by the frequent sitting spells they were taking (the hill is not THAT big). I cheered them on with chants of "Let's make a snowman! Let's make a snowman!" which they echoed once they regained their energy.


We reached the top of the hill into our back yard when a very welcome sight met my eyes: an almost completed snowman that Ethan helped Benjamin and Lily make. "Look! They made a snowman!" I told my group. Miriam's eyes grew wide with wonder. She ran at the snowman, yelling, "Oh, a Christmas! Look! A Christmas!" I guess my vocabulary was deficient on our walk. Perhaps if I had told them we would make a "Christmas," things would have moved along a little faster.


Our contribution to the snowman was finding a spot under the magnolia tree where the snow had not fallen and pointing out some black walnuts that might be the right size for eyes. We then headed into the house, everyone starving after their 45-min. excursion in the snow. I commented to Ethan that it hardly seemed worthwhile when it took twice as long just to get them dressed for it.


But they took early naps, and long ones too, and that definitely made it worth it.



  1. I know when my crew were very young I could never decided which I hated more... getting them all in snow gear or applying sunscreen...

  2. We also had snow here in northern VA, and much to my delight Emily actually wanted to play in it instead of crying and burying her head in my shoulder like she did last time it snowed. Cason got to come home early from work courtesy of our safety conscious Army, so they had a blast throwing snowballs and making a one foot tall snowman. (We obviously didn't get as much snow as you!) She also took a great nap after that, which was the best part of the whole thing for me--I happen to agree with Benjamin that snow really isn't that exciting. :)

  3. Hi Rachel!! We didn't get anywhere enough snow for us to play in here in MD! Abigail just wants some snow so she can "throw snowballs at Daddy." Just glad it's not at me! I would love to have at least one good snow so that we can all have a snow day & the naps that go along with them.


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