Not Just Any White Stuff Will Do

There are all different kinds of snow.

There is the icy, crystally kind that hurts your cheeks when it drives down out of the sky and the impossibly fluffy kind that falls out of the sky in feathery clumps that compact into almost nothing by morning. There are the super cold drifts that squeak beneath your boots and the terrible warmed and refrozen kind that is really just snow shaped ice covering the ground.

The best kind, that never seems to come around as often as you hope, is the wet pack-able kind. This snow, that snowballs and snowmen are made of, shows up on warm days. And those days, when the snow is debating disappearing altogether but hasn’t yet given up it’s hold, those are the days for sledding.sledding

The track becomes hard and packed so you fly down the hill.Ivy sledding

And between the climb of the hill and the warmth of the day everyone can stay out for hours.Jonas sledding

The soft snow that might be turning to slush at the bottom is forgiving of crash landings. Grandma Mary and Ivy sleddingIt will melt on your face and your clothes, until snow pants start to sag with the weight of it.Grandma Mary, Clara and Ivy sledding

It takes a certain kind of day, a certain type of warmth, a certain amount of snow and a perfect hill.Tyler and Jonas sledding

Not just any white stuff will do…John sledding

…if you are looking for…
Jonas and Pete sledding



… a perfect day on the hill.Jane sledding

Snow Melt

In less than a week we have gone from over a foot of snow cover to mud with patches of icy slush.

Clara has tried to make the best of the situation.mud sledding

Jane and I appreciate Clara’s efforts but we feel the same way about the loss of our snow.Jane crying on sled

And Ivy…Ivy  …Ivy is ready to embrace all the warm weather she can get!


In Michigan…

“Well, I guess in Michigan they have really big cats and lots of snow.” Ivy stated as we drove to meet my Uncle for an afternoon of skiing and sledding.

John and I agreed. It was undeniably true that the house cats we had seen since arriving in Michigan  were huge (I think one of them is actually part mountain lion) and the snow was impressively deep.

While I’ve no photo evidence to show you that the cats were at least three times the size of ours (and part mountain lion), I did bring the camera out into the snow.

After an entire afternoon of skiing and sledding followed by a delicious dinner, we headed back out into the snow for a fire and s’mores.

Soon after Uncle Jim joined us around the fire, Ivy calmly walked over to me, tugged on my jacket and said, “Can I whisper something to you?”

“Mom, why is Uncle Jim wearing a skirt?”

In Michigan, they have really big cats, lots of snow and they take perfectly good Finnish candles, call them Scottish Cabers and then stand around them in their kilts.DSCN7527-(2sm)

Alright, to be fair to the rest of  Michigan, I’m pretty sure it’s just my uncle that does that.

But we are so grateful that he keeps putting our animals back together when they break that we’ll still admit to being related.


No worries we didn’t bring any really broken animals with us this time. Just some veterinary maintenance that Clara presided over.

All in all it was a great trip, even the drive (two adults, three kids, two dogs, two cats through Chicago) wasn’t too bad.

Noisy- but not bad!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This weeks photo challenge was to use three pictures to tell a story. So, as proof that we have gotten outside to play, even in the frigid weather I give you – Driveway Sledding!

We’ve yet to find another path down the hill that works as well as the driveway for sledding – we’ve got an apple tree obstacle problem everywhere else.

These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, if the girls were playing on today I’d have to title my pictures Driveway Luge or Perhaps Driveway Skeleton.  I’ve needed multiple runs to get up the driveway if I’m not in 4-wheel drive and while spreading ashes from the wood-stove on it this afternoon all I had to do was balance and shake my bucket as I slowly slid down! To say it’s a bit icy would be an understatement!

Yum! Yum!

In the middle of lunch today Ivy stood up on her chair, opened her eyes as wide as they would go, smiled her biggest smile, and threw her arms up and down expressively as she said:

“Mom! Clara is learning to talk!!! She said: ‘Yum! Yum!’!”

The only thing better than watching Clara grow is seeing Ivy’s joy in it.

In addition to saying “yum, yum”  she and Ivy went sledding by themselves today.

They lasted about ten minutes and nobody ran into anything.

The morning was a success.

Until Clara fell and chipped her tooth, that sort of put a damper on the fun.

The last toothy grin!