Some of you wrote to ask about the picture in this post. You want details? Here they are:
::Computer is fully charged and always plugged in. We rarely lose power here since the lines are all buried, but I like to know I'm fully charged should it happen. Same with my cell phone. Last night was Mike's first night home. My cell phone started the "low battery" beeping about 2 AM. I recognized that I never would have let that happen if he were gone. I'm always on alert when he's gone. When he's home, I figure he's fully charged and in charge:-)
::Half and half is gone now. We used it for snow ice cream and chai tea. I didn't restock it for Blizzard '10. But I did buy seven gallons of whole milk. Works for tea, for ice cream, for bottomless cups of hot chocolate. I am a hot chocolate snob--made from scratch with milk, cocoa, and sugar every time. This little gadget makes it frothy, too (HT: Kimberlee).
::The small tin is Daddy Van's Beeswax polish. Bored children get the polish and a rag. Kitchen cabinets, furniture, banisters--there's no end to the polishing that can be done while the snow falls and the wind howls.
::Here's the current basket of snow books. We've pretty much memorized them now.
The Snowy Day (Karoline's current favorite)Owl Moon
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (beautiful, effortless poetry memorization)
The Rag Coat (this one makes us so grateful for warmth)
::Children's Advil (Actually the medicine stockpile is a more extensive than this--my little girls are still struggling)
::And, finally the popcorn and marshmallows. This is standard snow food, but my littlest children probably don't know the whole meaning behind the tradition. When Michael was little, there was snow predicted one day. I made a big deal, stocked the snow books, talked it up in a big, big way. He was so looking forward to snowballs. No snow. So, I popped popcorn and made popcorn "snowballs." Saved the day. Now when snow is forecasted, I stockpile the ingredients for popcorn balls. That way, we have big, round, white balls no matter what.
Melt two sticks of butter in a very big pot.
While the butter is melting, pop 1 cup of popcorn. I do this in two batches.
Dump a bag of marshmallows into the melted butter.
Pour the popcorn into the melted marshmallows and stir well.
Generously grease your hands with butter. As soon as the marshmallow-coated popcorn is just barely cool enough to handle, form into balls.
Even if you don't have snow, read the books and make the popcorn balls. Childhood should be sweet.