Embracing the Ice. Sort of.

When the forecasters promise that it’s going to get warm and it doesn’t, I like to pretend that they make the weather and get mad at them.

At least for a minute. It makes me feel better.  So yesterday, after weeks of this ice business, I decided to finally embrace it – or rather, made the kids embrace it while I watched from inside, standing on top of the heat register.

Lately I’ve seen ideas from every family fun source there is on filling molds and balloons with water and letting them freeze outside before playing with them and/or turning them into beautiful ice sculptures.  BUT after doing it ourselves, I have a few tips to offer that the others omitted.

First off, it’s still just as fun without food coloring.  I promise.  Look at the delight in her face at seeing the ice crystals and frozen bubbles within our frozen balloon.

Second, if you’re going to use food coloring, put it in the balloon BEFORE filling the balloon up with water.  Since this project is obviously done indoors (given that it’s -1 outside), if you attempt to put the food coloring in the balloon after filling it, even partially, then you will look like a speckled egg yourself.

I speak from experience. Sigh.

Third, don’t use yellow food coloring.   It’s just my opinion, but it’s going to leave colors on the snow and do we really need anymore yellow spots on the snow?  I’m just saying.

Fourth, let the children put the balloons onto the snow/ice.  Because we all know you’re not going to take the time to put boots on just for stepping outside the back door and those slippers are … ironically, slippery.  Again, speaking from experience.

And finally, have a shovel or crowbar or dog (as we learned) nearby to remove said balloon from the ice as it freezes to the ground.  We were surprised that the dog was just as fascinated by the orbs as the kids.  Also, the kids can have a game of picking up the balloon pieces after revealing the orb.  I like to call this game, “pick all the pieces up or mommy won’t share her hot chocolate.”

And over hot chocolate, you will be glad you embraced the ice and then once again pray that the forecasters get it right and bring us some warmer weather.

Bad Dancing

Recently in the newspaper I found that a big club was charging money and giving out prizes for a Bad Dancing contest.
And what an easy thing to do for a family fun night (or better yet when you have guests over)!

The secret to the fun is that each participant isn’t allowed to choose their song. Set your mp3 player on shuffle and they get what they get! Each player gets 90 seconds to groove in the worst way before switching songs and picking a new player.
If you don’t have a wide variety of music, visit the library the day before. Eclectic mixes are fun! Let them know ahead of time what the prize is – perhaps an extra scoop of ice cream? Or a chance to choose the next family movie?

Uh-oh. Their groove is too normal. You might run into this problem. Your kids don’t know what bad dancing looks like. So, try to find a super edited video of Elaine Benis dancing like this one or the Napoleon Dynamite dance scene.  Then try again!

And yes, costumes are allowed.

But jumping on the furniture is not.

Helicopter Dusting

“Hey Mom! You know how you complain you can’t dust those way up high ledges?”

I nod.

“Well Dad figured it out!”

Heli-dusting. That’s what we now call it. Hubby got a Syma S107 helicopter last year for his birthday. He had a blast with it until his attention was diverted by a giant baseball bat tail (a.k.a the dog) and flew the helicopter directly into the wall. The copter had already taken approximately 50 hits but this one was just too fast and furious and the wounded copter was placed on top of the refrigerator for our very own Flight Museum.

Until this Christmas when we discovered all the replacement parts are only 5 bucks! Minutes later, the S107 was up and running.

My youngest, seeking to prevent disaster, made a helicopter launch pad for hubby to practice take off and landings.  (Great crafting fun, by the way!)

It paid off. Because by the end of the night, the youngest was telling me about the new sensation that’s sweeping the nation (or not): Heli-dusting.

He buzzes the high landings and sure enough, dust that was caked on, dust that I never thought I could get without a ladder and a sponge, came flying off.  I’m not sure how the wise men feel about the now daily flyover buzz, but as long as they don’t get decapitated, I’m good.


The Fiscal Cliff

Our eldest sometimes watches the news with us.  This weekend she sat and doodled while we watched.  The next day as I’m cleaning up I find this in her spot: