Things to Do on a Snow Day

Well they’re calling for it again this weekend. It may not be unusual for where some of you live, but where we are, it really is. Two weekends in a row? Unheard of here in Virginia Beach.

Besides the panic buying at the grocery stores, where shoppers seem to be planning for being snowed in for at least a week, what are your ideas for the perfect snow day(s) activities? And I’m not talking about shoveling it or clearing off the cars. Or trying to figure out how you’re going to get the dog(s) to go outside and do his/her business when there’s no grass to be found. (Hint: Try covering an area with a small tarp, mark where you put it, and then take it up carefully after the snow stops falling. It works for some people.)

If you have kids, fun snow activities are easy. You bundle them up good, complete with gloves, hat, and snow boots, and let them enjoy it! And if they aren’t prepared clothing wise, there’s some more panic buying you’d better do! If your kids are small, you’re certainly going to go out there with them and help make snowmen, snow angels, maybe build a snow fort, and of course referee a snowball fight. Maybe go sledding if you have one; if not you can improvise.  Maybe you can convince them shoveling snow off sidewalks and driveways is a game, but they’ll probably not see it that way any more than you do!

Then when they come inside, it’s time for hot chocolate and getting warm either by a fireplace or wrapped up in an electric blanket. And most likely a nap.

But what about us adults without young kids at home? If you work remotely like I do, and it’s during the week, that’s easy; it’s just another workday with a prettier view from your window. But if it’s a weekend, and you don’t have to go out to work or do snow removal, and the roads aren’t great for venturing out, what do you do?

So here are some suggestions. Some are fun, some, well, they’re probably necessary, but might not be in your top five to do!

Make hot chocolate with a bit of extra “flavoring”. Amaretto, Baileys, salted caramel syrup, peppermint schnapps, etc., are always good. And don’t forget the whipped cream! Maybe shaved chocolate, too!

Scoop up a pot of fresh clean snow and make snow cream.

Curl up with a good book. Or start writing one.

If you have a Kindle, browse around on Amazon or on your actual Kindle device and download sample books that look interesting.  Careful, though, that can become really addictive!! Ask me how I know….

Schedule a few posts to your blog, or start one. Make sure to include Instagram.

Catch up on your personal email.

Start a new craft project, or work on one you’re already doing. I’m going to make some Valentine bracelets.

Sort through and organize the photos in your phone or iPad and delete ones you don’t need. I did this a few months ago and ended up deleting some 3,000 that I’d already saved from my Dropbox to my computer.

Binge watch a tv series you’ve been putting off watching or pick out movies on Netflix you’ve wanted to see. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

Make a pot of chili or a kettle of homemade soup.

Bake cookies. Or a cake. Or brownies. How about a pie?

If you can’t get out, zoom a few of your good friends and have a zoom party. Beverages optional. But you can’t cheat and not show your face!

Clean out that closet you’ve been planning to do. Or your kitchen cabinets. On second thought, have another hot chocolate instead. That project can wait.

Plan a vacation to someplace warmer. You may even feel warmer looking at all the beach pictures on line. Have another cup of hot chocolate while you’re looking.

Brush your dog(s); with all this snowy weather they probably need it, as well as a bath! Ours certainly do.

These are just a few suggestions that come to mind. But I’m sure you have others you can think of. Why don’t you let us know what yours are?

Happy Snow Day if and when it happens! Use your time in the most fun way possible. 

And if you have a snowball fight, I hope you win! And then enjoy another hot chocolate!

Snowy Day Treats

Here in Virginia Beach we never know what snow predictions will or won’t come true. One day we hear it’s going to snow but not stick. The next it’s going to snow and then turn to rain. Then it’s maybe going to snow and have up to 6”. Or more. Or not any.

Who knows? Certainly not the meteorologists. Weather forecasting is not always an exact science. At least in our area. We didn’t know what would happen until we woke up in the morning and looked out the window. And…surprise! We got about 6″ of snow; at least that’s what my husband measured. Heavy, wet snow, Perfect for making snowmen.

I have a good friend who loves snow. Whenever the forecast mentions that particular four letter word she pulls out her “let it snow” pin and does her snow dance. She’s even posted it on her Facebook page once in a while.

Does it help? Well, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s all in fun. This time it certainly worked, and she went out walking in it at 5 am this morning! And I will admit I wore my snowflake sweater and snowflake earrings yesterday, so maybe the combination of both of us….

Snowstorms were all around us last weekend. But no snow for us. Now as I was writing this it was forecast again for this weekend. And this time in our area. Between 2-7”, or up to 10″. I really didn’t expect to see a lot of it this morning, but it really is pretty. Since it’s Saturday most of us don’t have to go anywhere so that’s good.

Now for the snowman situation. I can certainly make a snowman or two. At least I plan on trying. And I thought I’d share two of the recipes I’m considering. Because they look like fun. And a little bit of a creative challenge. I’ going to let the grandchildren and their parents make the snow ones, and they’ll send us pictures. While we stay warm and dry inside.

And we can send them the pictures of these!

Melted Snowman Sugar Cookies from Betty Crockertm

  • 1 pouch Betty Crockertm sugar cookie mix
  • Butter and egg as called for on package
  • 1 pouch each cookie icing in white, red, blue, and green
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 1 tube black decorating gel
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Rainbow sprinkles or decorating chips

Follow preparation and baking directions on sugar cookie pouch for making 12 large cookies.

On cooled cookies, draw a “snow puddle” with while cookie icing as shown on the picture below. Draw the outline of the puddle first then go out and fill in the shape. While icing is still wet, place a marshmallow on the side of the cookie.

Once the icing and marshmallows have set, pipe two branches onto each cookie with the black gel. Add fingers with chocolate sprinkles.

For the face, use a small dot of white cookie icing and stick two “coal” eyes and a nose into the marshmallow with rainbow ships or sprinkles, Use black gel to create the mouth. (Aren’t you glad we have a picture to go by?)

Using the other colored cookie icing draw scarves around the base of the marshmallo. Use the white cookie icing to stick three “coal” buttons beneath the scarf.

Let cookies set for a least an hour before serving. And let’s hope that they turn out looking at least somewhat like the picture! Depending on what they look like, I may or may not post my finished cookies in another blog. Something tells me it’s going to be an interesting project.

Powdered Sugar Snowmen Cookies

  • 3/4 c Land O’Lakestm butter (NOT margarine), softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For decorations: 1/2 c powdered sugar, decorator black sugar pearls, orange jimmies, 20 small gumdrops, fruit snack roll, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sugar and butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed, Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat at low speed until well mixed.

Shape dough into 30 cookies. Ten 1 1/4″ balls (about 2 tbl of dough). Ten 1″ balls (about 1 tbl of dough). Ten 3/4″ balls (about 1 tsp of dough) Place same size balls, 2″ apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. NOTE: this means three different cookie sheets.

Bake the 1 1/4″ balls 9-11 minutes. Bake the 1″ balls 8-9 minutes. And bake the 3/4″ balls 5-7 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Cool one minute on cookie sheet and remove to cooling rack. Cool ten minutes. Timing is going to be tricky here, so pay close attention to what you’re doing..

After cookies have cooled, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Press black sugar pearls into large cookies (base and body) for buttons and into smallest cookie to create the face. Use a toothpick to create a hole for the nose and press orange jimmies into the hole for the nose.

Stack cookies to make the snowmen as shown in the picture. I’d use a little bit of icing to make them stay stacked,

Now, for each hat cut 1 gumdrop in half; flatten bottom half into 3/4″ disk (discard or eat the top half). Cut base off another gumdrop; attach, sticky side down to disk. Place on top of snowmen. If you’re not tired of doing all this by this time, use the fruit roll to create a scarf, if desired. Use the picture below as a guide.

Now, if you and I survive all of this cookie creating, I think we deserve a cup of delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream, and a touch of Bailey’s tm (to go with the cookies, of course!)

Happy Snow Day, wherever you are! And if you do get some of that cold white stuff like we did, be safe and enjoy it!

The Magic of Snowflakes

Days like today I’m reminded of the uniqueness of snowflakes 

No two are exactly alike. No two have ever been exactly alike.

No two ever will be exactly alike.

Think about the billions and trillions of snowflakes that have fallen over the years. None ever exactly alike. 

And that, my friends, is another miracle of the Almighty.

The Beauty in a Snowfall

There’s a forecast for snow in our area, and there could be a lot, depending on where you are. The grown-up me who still has to go to work in it or lose a day’s pay, says, “Oh please, no! It’ll add at least another hour or more to my already too long drive! Plus it’ll be dangerous! And the grocery stores will be nuts, and we haven’t done our regular shopping yet….”

But the little child I try to keep hidden inside of me is jumping up and down and saying, “Yes, Yes! Snow! No school! Snowball fights and sledding and snowmen! Hot chocolate and snow cream! Bring it on!”

And the writer in me suddenly wonders, when did the grown-up me lose the wonder and excitement that comes with a snowfall? Especially the first one of the winter. Yes, it makes my work life miserable, and possibly dangerous if I have to drive in it, but when did I stop seeing the beauty in another one of God’s gifts?

“He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth.’” (Job 37:6)

“He spreads the snow like wool…” Psalm 146:16.

When was the last time I actually stopped and thought about the beauty of it all? When snow blankets the world around us and makes everything look clean and fresh…a glistening cover of sparkling diamond-like beauty. Like a new canvas ready for paint, or a blank page ready to be filled with words to a story not yet written. It’s a new start…a new beginning.
backyardWhen was the last time you just stared out the window at the new fallen snow in amazement, and even wonder, at the beauty and the stillness…the quiet that only a fresh snowfall can convey? The world, for just a few minutes, at least outside your window, is changed. There’s total peace. No one has yet disturbed the blanket of sparkling whiteness, and for just a few minutes, you wish it could stay just like that.

And when was the last time you thought about how no two snowflakes are ever exactly the same? The Lord takes His time to make each one individual, each one different. If he takes His time to do that for the millions and billions of snowflakes that fall during each storm, shouldn’t we take the time to appreciate it?

Take the time to grab a cup of coffee, sit by the window, and watch P1060343the flakes softly fall, each one adding just a tiny bit more depth to that soft blanket covering all of the “junk” outside. Discarded flowerpots and yard tools disappear, and no longer remind us we still need to put them away. In my case, during the last snow I watched my backyard flamingos just barely keeping their pink heads above the rising thickness, and wished I had some little sweaters and scarves for them so they wouldn’t be cold (they’re plastic, for heaven’s sake!).

Obviously, snow is another of His gifts to us, possibly at a time we need a change, or a new start on something, or to get us to just slow down and one again appreciate the beauty in the world around us. He sends the snow to remind us it’s never too late to start a new canvas, or a new story. And because the snow makes traveling a bit difficult, He’s also reminding us to slow down, look around us, and see what we’ve been missing in our face-paced and stressful lives.

But this new canvas doesn’t stay blank for very long. The world intervenes, and tire tracks, snow plows, footprints, and shovels take over. Schools are closed, and snowmen of all sizes and shapes pop up in almost every yard. Parents and children find the nearest hill, even if it isn’t very big, and race down on sleds, boogie boards, and trash can lids. And a new story has been painted in that blank canvas.

What story are you going to paint, or write, if you get a snowy canvas to work with this weekend?