Magical moments

This has been a weekend of high emotions for me.  I am honored and thrilled to have been named the La Crosse Tribune 2010 Person of the Year.  This recognition came about through the efforts and initiative of very special parents which makes the joy and meaning of this award that much more significant to me.

I offer a sincere thank you to those who made this tribute happen.  I am deeply appreciative.  You can be sure this is something that will sing in my heart and soul forever.

Now … another magical moment!

Cold, isn’t it?

My daughter reminded me this weekend about one of her most favorite childhood memories that we would do when the temperatures dropped below zero – a fanciful, never-to-be- forgotten ice castle.  It’s easy enough to do, if you’re willing to brave the cold.  And it’s worth braving the cold for the sheer beauty and fun of it. This is definitely an all-family activity.  You can use all the help you can get, leaving you and your children enchanted by the finished project.

Here’s a photo of the ice castle my husband and I put together today to get your imaginations stirring.

Okay, ready to start?

Throw open those cupboard doors and find everything and anything that you can fill with water – as many different shapes and sizes as possible.  Pans, tupperware, jello molds, cupcake pans, pie pans, roasting pans, plastic glasses.  Fill them with water.  Put desired amount of food coloring into each.

Next – this part is adult work – carry these carefully outside to freeze.  That’s the benefit of creating your castle during the coldest time of the year.  It won’t take too long to freeze and it will stick around  awhile for your enjoyment  (though do be patient; leaving them overnight is probably best).

When the ice has set hard, bring the frozen pans back inside.   Run some water on the back of the pans and out should pop your forms, handing them off to be carried outside.  Putting the structure together is easy. Squirting some water from a squirt bottle onto one of the frozen forms of ice will instantly freeze it to the next piece.

The building goes very fast now.  Pop out, squirt with water, stick on and your castle is rising.  Stick things here, there, anywhere you choose until all have been attached. There’s no one right way to do this.  That adds to the spontaneity and fun.

Now, into the house for a quick warm up, change of gloves, a sip of hot chocolate before going back out with the whole family to admire what I hope will become a favorite memory and a magical moment for your family as well. Don’t forget the camera!

Thanks for the memory, Aimee.

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