Friday, March 14, 2008

Snowflakes that stay

It's old news by now, but we were snowed on - a lot. After 20+ inches canceled anything with the possibility of being canceled (including RB's overnight call responsibility) we were able to dig out all of the sledding gear for some fun on one of Columbus' few hills.

Calvin was so excited he put on his gear (including hat and gloves) about 45 minutes before we were actually ready to get out the door.

Noah was happy to get outside but seemed more interested in snowflakes on his mittens than anything else going on. After a few times down the hill, he decided he had some phone calls to make inside the warm car.

A few weeks ago RB had taken Calvin out sledding for what turned out to be a real coming-of-age experience. Calvin had been telling RB that he didn't want to go all the way up to the top of the hill because he was "too scared." Something clicked in his little mind when RB coerced him to give it a try - and when he came back in the house afterwards he proudly proclaimed, "Mommy! I turned into a brave boy! I can go all the way to the top!"

This time around, despite a bigger hill, Calvin never hesitated. He wanted to be treated as an equal with everyone else, as shown by this exchange with our friend Scott Rowley who was trying to ensure the safety of the jump we had just created:

Calvin (to Scott, sitting on his tube): "I want to go."

Scott: "OK Calvin, I'm just going to make sure it's safe to sled down first."

Calvin: "But I want to go."

Scott: "Do you want to go next?"

Calvin: "No, it's my turn."

Scott: "How about we go together?"

Calvin: "But you just had a turn."

It's impossible to reason with a "brave" three year old boy.

Calvin did have one pretty impressive wipeout, after which we ran over to make sure he was ok. He jumped up in the snow and yelled, "Dad, I just wrecked like the monster trucks!" He and his Dad managed to take at least a couple more tumbles together as well.

Noah and I were perfectly content to view most of the freezing fun from the car - maybe next year.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Winter Days

By now, the boys are absolutely tired of being kept indoors due to the freezing weather (not to mention having had the stomach flu all this week). Finding new activities to entertain is always desired. My talented cousin posted this wonderful, kid-friendly craft idea on her blog and we decided to try it out today. It was so much fun! It was cheap, fast, relatively clean, and I think they turned out actually kind of cute - which is always a plus. The boys had a great time doing all of the steps involved and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for something to do on a cold wintry day.

There are beautiful pictures and a great step-by-step guide on my cousin's blog that you must check out if you're interested. She made hers all into little place holders using some wire, we just didn't have any of that on hand. Still, I think it's such a great idea to let each of the kids make their own little animal for Easter dinner. She's made things like pumpkins for Thanksgiving and ghosts for Halloween as well that she says have now become family keepsakes that the children love to see and use.

The ingredients are flour, salt, and water... it only took Noah two taste tests to figure out this wasn't an eating type of treat. Yes, he was very disappointed.

They were able to coexist stirring for about 15 seconds.

Noah, not surprisingly, didn't get into the sculpting part so much and opted to play dough basketball instead.

Calvin on the other hand, requested tooth picks to add details to his designs. (I believe he has some of the artist gene from Aunt Julia.)

Here are our creations drying after we zapped them in the microwave for 40 seconds each. The tiny blob in the front is Calvin's "monster."
Painting was definitely the best part for Calvin.

And the finished product, monster included...

Another great use for these I discovered is for alternative eggs in Easter egg hunts. Calvin and Noah both love finding things, and instead of using the little plastic eggs that they would expect to be filled with candy, I used these today and they loved it. They were all dropped a number of times and still managed to remain in one piece, I was very impressed.

[RB Update]

When I got home and saw all the pastels and crafts I knew I had to act quickly. I took the boys straight outside to play in the mud, followed by racing on their bikes and general rough-housing and demolition.

[/end update]