Monday, February 08, 2010

Most Alive Monday: Snow Castle

or why all the neighborhood kids flock to our nest...

The robins have arrived and the daffodils are beginning to emerge and I fear they both may be a tad early as we received TWO respectable snow storms just three days apart. Satch began making tiny snow castles, his very own twist on sandcastles, and I was so inspired by his idea that I couldn't resist making him a giant snow castle to play in.

We started building it after a warm breakfast of oatmeal with fresh strawberries and cream...

After stockpiling the fortress with a stack of snowballs, we went inside to eat lunch...macaroni n' cheese and hot cocoa. We enjoyed the ethereal scenery, the muffled hush that accompanies a good flurry, and the excuse to toast marshmallows in the fireplace.

Here's how to make your own Quick n' Easy Snow Castle:
  1. Dig out a square for your interior floor
  2. Dig a trench around the outside of the square to form the base of your castle's foundation (formally called a Battered Plinth), approx. 12" wide - you can shave off excess later.
  3. Pat down to good, firm foundation.
  4. Begin filling a square storage container to make the stones. We used an Ikea food storage container.
  5. Lay the stones, staggering them as you go.
  6. Use extra snow as mortar to fill grooves between stones. Satch his Ikea Sandig tools for this.
  7. Add turrets, crenelations and perhaps a flag!

I'm thinking they should rename it Snowdig because it makes awesome snow bricks!

*Castle jargon glossary can be found
here! And a book of inspiration here!

This is the super cool snowball maker that Santa brought!

THEN...just 2 days after we built our snow castle, we were hit with a blizzard! So we hunkered down with some java logs and some - good - books...

and some serious comfort food. There were fresh banana muffins (sans the espresso) for breakfast.

There was steamy homemade vegetarian "chicken" noodle soup with warm Tofurkey sandwiches and mushroom barley stew and tomato risotto with fresh mozzarella.

There were experiments...

to learn about color.
(and the left over potions were used to color snowballs)

There were Lincoln Log constructions with demolitions via remote controlled car. There were card games by the fireplace, visits from neighbors and also some body markers.

When the big snow let up, so began the big dig.

Our street was no longer recognizable and people walked right down the middle of what was once a road to take photos.

Here's the same view after the storm passed. There are many trees down, completely blocking the road.

Our snow castle was buried, but identifiable by its red flag, and...

branches, heavy with snow and ice, created wonderful natural winter forts and tunnels to play in.

*About Most Alive Monday: I've decided to make at least one "most alive choice" each day and post my favorite each Monday. This, of course, is to motivate me to consciously "live juicy"! I hope you'll join me and share your "most alive moment" in the comments section so we may inspire each other.

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posted by Wendy at 5:07 AM


Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

i wish i were a neighbourhood kid!!! :)
you are such an amazing mama, beautiful you...
so much love and warmth in this winter wonderland post.xo

9:40 AM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Hmmm, my most alive moment? What a good question! I think it would be dancing with my kids the other day. Only when I dance with them can I really dance. It's so fun!

I really enjoyed your snowy pictures. We haven't had much snow this year and we are missing it. What fun!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Renuka said...

Gosh Wendy,
What a gorgeous snow castle. Those were some wonderful pictures.You inspire me to go out and make one myself....

9:00 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I wanna come play in that castle! Maybe I'll make one for the girls if the snow picks up. How fun!

5:24 PM  
Blogger said...

Oh, this is just WAY awesome! I have been a chicken, hating the snow this year.. but now i am feeling a wee bit inspired to grab the kids and get out there. Thx for that. :)

11:27 PM  

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