Snow day!

Today, the icy rain coated all surfaces in a shiny glaze and then big fat blobs of snow started to mix in. Eventually, it settled into a steady sticky snow that covered all that glistening ice in a white fluffy layer. Sounds pretty, huh? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, it was. And since I only had one errand that was easily cancelled, we were able to stick safely close to home. 

Macho, who was born just outside of Boston at Thanksgiving time, doesn’t remember snow since we’ve lived in the south since he was 15 months old. So, his little 3-year-old self thought today was quite the adventure! Papi took him out, after a fight over putting on his big coat, and taught him the fine art of catching snow flakes on your tongue, having a snowball fight, building a snowman, and well…the snow angel didn’t turn out so hot. 

All this play made him super ready for a nap, and that is where the day turned weird. Macho was sleeping and Puppe was having a bottle to get ready for her nap. I was feeding her in the living room when I saw a camo clad figure out my front window. I waited for a knock or the doorbell to ring, but it didn’t. So, I got up to look outside only to see about 10 kids with sleds tromping all over my front yard.

Ok…admittedly, when we built our house, one of the first things I mentioned about the front is that it would be an awesome sledding hill. 

See what I mean?

But, I didn’t know any of these kids. So, I figured kids being kids, they didn’t think to ask. Then, I noticed that six parents were standing in the driveway across the street. Apparently, one mom saw me standing in the window and she made her girls come ask if “y’all don’t mind”. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t mind at all. However, would it kill one of those adults to come knock on the door, introduce themselves, and ask before the kids started sledding? Then, one of them pulled their truck in front so the parents could stay warm and all the moms were taking pictures of their kids…in my front yard.

I know I haven’t been the most outgoing neighbor. First, I am painfully shy and an introvert at heart, but we had met a couple of our neighbors here and there. But, other factors contributed to me not making the rounds as well. We moved in when I was pregnant. It was a very difficult pregnancy, I was on restricted activity, went into labor at 30 weeks, and then spent 8 more on bed rest. Nope, didn’t get out to meet my neighbors! Guess how many stopped to say hi or bring a casserole. Yeah, I’ll narrow it down to between -1 and 1. Yet, you expect that you can just spend a couple hours on my yard and not even bother to ask or say hi? 

When the 10 or so kids came back for a second run, Papi took Macho out for his first sledding experience while there was still some snow left. One dad was standing in our driveway and shocker, he was a former coworker of Papi’s. While they chatted, the 5 other parents still stayed across the street. They yelled thank you, but it really had lost any meaning by that time. It would have been so awesome to be the coolest sledding hill in the neighborhood if us parents could have at least shared a coffee, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine. You’re welcome random kids, I’m so glad you had fun on today’s snow day. Hopefully, the next owners of this house will meet your parents’ friend requirements.

Now, for the awesome parts of the day! Snow and ice just lend themselves to crockpot cooking. Today, I made taco chili and it was awesome! I’ve made this before and it is something all of us really like. I keep the chilis mild so the kids can eat it too. I’ve linked to the recipe, because I’m no chef! I follow “as is” the first time and then adjust after that.

Crock pot taco chicken chili

The tomato sauce was made originally for pizza. I package the extra in “can size” (14-15 oz) amounts to freeze for future use. I also cook beans in bulk and do the same thing. It’s cheaper to buy a big bag of dry beans, cook them all at once, and pop them in freezer bags, than to buy by the can. The chicken is from the 2 large packs I bought two weeks ago at $1.99/lb. I put them on a cookie sheet and froze them and then put them in a freezer bag to pull out as needed. Two packs cost about $15 and will make about 4 meals or more for us. 

I added a little red onion, shredded cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt (or Daisy sour cream) and a little avacado to take this over the top. 

This recipe makes enough for 2 meals for our family. It’s also a great freezer meal option since you can throw all the ingredients into a freezer bag and then just take it out and pop it in the crockpot (defrost first).

With our snack supply running low and inside time at an all-time high the past few days, Macho and I decided to make some graham crackers. Below is the recipe I used, but this time we left out the cinnamon. Also, I used whole wheat and white whole wheat (instead of AP) flour. 

Graham crackers

These are so simple a 3-year-old can make them! Ok…almost. The rolling and the oven are tricky.

You  can use cookie cutters  to make these cute, but we find squarish shapes taste just as good!

All in all, it was a fun day! We had lots of play, our house smelled fantastic all day  long, and our bellies were filled with delicious, healthy food. Happy snow day to you and yours.

Now, get off my lawn!