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Who says you need snow to have a good time?

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:01pm
Here in good ole Northern California, out in the middle of the freakin valley, we don't get snow. Problem is, the kids and I love snow. Tim, not so much. But he'll tolerate a visit to the snow if I beg and plead with him ( a promise to have sex is usually thrown in there somewhere ). The closest place for us to go is Tahoe, which is 2 hours away.

So for those of you who live where it snows, I'll bet "rainy" days are fun. You bundle the kids up and let them run outside in the snow, catch snowflakes on their tongues, build snowmen, have snowball fights and go sledding. All the while, you're in the house warming up some hot chocolate for them for when they come in from the cold.

Oh, wait....is that just a commercial I've seen on tv?? Well, perhaps it's really not THAT glamorous to live in the snow but that's kind of the way I've always imagined it would be.

In these here parts where we live, rainy days suck. Or, should I say, they suck if you have young children who cannot stand to spend more than 2 hours stuck inside the house.

On Friday afternoon, the kids were going nuts from being stuck indoors. I knew I had to come up with kind of fun craft to keep them entertained and busy. In other words, make them happy so I'm not driven to drink the last 1/4 of a bottle of Bailey's in our fridge just to keep my nerves in order.

Well, we can't build snowmen with real snow but we can certainly make fake ones. I had seen a craft in Family Fun magazine on how to make cornstarch-clay creatures and it seemed easy enough. I'll post the recipe at the bottom for those who want to keep their kids busy without losing their hair or sanity.

For a good hour, we took this huge chunk of white crap and rolled it out, molded it into various shapes and decorated our clay creatures. And the whole time, I'm trying to sound all enthusiastic, "Who needs real snow, right? We can make snowmen right here without having to leave the comfort of our own warm, cozy house!!" I heard some low groans but otherwise they were quiet.

Let me introduce our family of snowmen:



I know..so cute, right? My favorite snowman is Garrett's. See the snowman with the red horns and pitchfork...that would be his. It's SO him, wouldn't you agree? I had no clue what the thing on the right was until Bella informed me, "Mommy, it's a quesadilla. I can't believe you didn't know that".

Cole said, "Mommy, what else do people do in the snow?" I answered, "Well, there's sledding...but I don't see how we could do that indoors".

Leave it to my kids to find a way to go sledding indoors. I'll give you 2 guesses what it involved....stairs and books. I most certainly can never accuse my children of being uncreative.



Here they are in live action....



If there's anything my kids learned that day, it's definitely how to adapt to their surroundings...to make do with what they have.

Of course, it's possible one of them could've also learned how incredibly painful a broken arm could feel. Wouldn't that make for one heck of a post...."A Prelude to an ER Visit".

Cornstarch-Clay Creatures (courtesy of Family Fun magazine)
* 2/3 cup salt
* 1/3 baking soda
* 1/2 cup cornstarch


I doubled the ingredients since I wanted to make sure I had enough for each child.

1) In a small saucepan, mix salt and baking soda with 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil.
2) In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water and stir well.
3) When the salt mixture boils, remove it from the heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir vigorously for a minute or two to thicken the clay. Spoon it onto a sheet of wax paper and allow it to cool before working with it.

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