Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Angels in the First "Real" Snow

So, I'm fairly certain that most of you reading this at this point are aware that we are taking part in the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge . Just as I'm pretty sure most of you are aware that this winter we're in Michigan and you're looking at the temperatures and weather forecasts and saying, "There's no way those kids can play outside right now!"
Enjoying hot chocolate after playing outside.

Well, you are both right and wrong. Most days all of the kids do get outside, usually for at least an hour. However, if the temperatures before wind chill are below 20 degrees no one goes out. If even one out of the three kids are ill (sinus issues or worse) no one goes out. And if there's temperatures higher than 20 degrees BUT there's lots of wind, sleet, rain, or snow no one goes out. Otherwise we get out there and play.
The children had played outside on Sunday for about an hour then came in and attempted to warm up. It was pretty darned cold on Sunday and there wasn't anything "new" to discover in the yard. They'd pretty much just chased each other for the whole time. Monday morning dawned and we had our first "real" snow. I don't mean real snow by it being an actual good accumulation, I mean that it was sure to stick and not melt. Peanut was super excited as one of her all time favorite things to do in winter is make snow angels, the one she and her sister are making above are the first official snow angels of the year. They even got ECJ in on the act, he doesn't much like the cold.

They turned out pretty well even with there not being much snow on the ground. I'm sure their next ones will be even better. This certainly made Peanut happy because last year her first snow angel of the year wasn't able to happen until after Christmas! Ah, the differences between Michigan and Kentucky winters.

They spent the next forty-five minutes or so making snow balls and having a snow ball fight. Thanks to their snow pants, winter coats, and gloves the didn't even realize how cold it was outside. All in all on Monday they spent about an hour outside between making snow angels and throwing snow balls.

Tuesday through Thursday no one went outside. Peanut was having sinus issues because the temperatures outside had dropped. She's our early warning system because her sinuses always react first, this means that sooner or later everyone else (except for Daddy) was going to be sniffling with stuffy/runny noses as well and complaining of sinus headaches. The only kid who even stepped outside for a moment was ECJ and that was when he was letting the dogs outside. Friday dawned below 20 degrees before the wind chill factor was added in. Yup, that's right no outside time on Friday either.

The scene above is what we opened our eyes to this morning. The snow still hasn't stopped, if anything there's more coming down. It's supposed to stop snowing sometime tomorrow afternoon. Although it will be darned cold with the wind chill factor tomorrow the actual temperature will be almost 30 degrees. This means that IF the wind isn't too bad tomorrow the campers will get to play in at least three inches worth of snow! We'll be adding scarves and hats to the clothing options due to the wind chill, making just an extra layer for exposed necks and ears. Their winter boots are all ready sitting by the door in anticipation.

For those of you keeping track that's only two hours outside this week to add to our year to date total. Making this week's year to date total only 141.25 hours. I'm not freaking out however because I sort of expected this. Winter is just not one of our favorite times of year to spend outside. We spend a good deal of time outside in both the spring and fall and are hardly ever inside during the summer months. I know that whatever hours we haven't been able to do this winter will be made up long before the end of next summer, let alone the end of our year's challenge.

This does put a bit of a damper on our nature studies right now. While the children all have proper winter attire, Mommy does not. I have winter boots but they're not meant to be used for hiking unless you want to break an ankle, three inch heels just are not prudent on ice. Once I procure a new set of boots for myself we will be doing a nature walk about once a week. It's awesome to see animal tracks in the snow and be able to spot the first flower of spring when it happens. In anticipation of this I ordered (and received today) new science text materials and of course our health text books. 

The Health books and Peanut's Kindergarten Science book are all ABeka books. Although these are not the newest editions because I purchased used off of Amazon to save some money on these, they're perfectly valid and useful textbooks. The bonus was the fact that none of these books cost me more than $3, I paid more in shipping than I did for any of the books.

The other science materials I had shipped to me I received for free from Nutrients for Life . I received this today as well and had forgotten how much I had asked for. This came with magnets that are color coded for the parts of speech, flash cards, a teacher's research guide for teaching middle school aged children, coloring books for the younger children, colorful informational guides, posters and more! We'll begin using this January 6th, the same day we begin our health books, and I'm sure within a few weeks I'll have more to share about this product. ECJ will still be doing his Apalogia General Science course along with this, as well as his nature studies and any other areas of interest to him in science. Science is one of his favorite subjects and it's interesting to see how we can adapt what he's learning to work for the younger kids as well. 

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  1. Aww snow angels! We have no idea about those since we are all born & raised Floridians. The hot cocoa part sounds even better. :)

    Btw: love how you layed out your pics in the post...very different!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    1. I'd love to be in Florida right now! We usually winter in Kentucky but this year the MI house needs work so we're staying up here and BRRR!!!

      I just noticed after looking at the pictures that they almost resemble a snow angel ... it wasn't intentional I was just a little bored with my regular layout LOL and thanks!