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Holy Ice Marbles — It’s Cold!

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

About every 20 minutes somebody in my house says "It's freakin' cold," or if you're three, "Is fikkin old."

Yeah, Robin has good intentions to keep that positive attitude of hers, but the Ashcrafts are gonna complain it.

More than the cold itself though, is the fact that it has pretty much grounded us. We could sled, but three-year-olds complain. We could watch some movies, if we hadn't seen them all. We could play some games, but there's only so many time you can play Clue in a week before you just want to guess without moving any pieces.

The worst part, really, is the constant fighting this bitter cold is causing within my household. "Moooooom, he stole my Power Ranger," "Moooom, Kip ate my cookie," "Mooooom, Jonas went in my rooooooom," "Mooooom, Moooooom, MOOOOOM!!!!!"

If I hear myself called MOM in all caps one more time, I think I just might might have to go to the spa.

Instead, I've been searching the net for things to do with the boys in sub-zero temperatures.

Last weekend, we made ice marbles.

We filled balloons with food coloring and water, then carefully took them outside to freeze.

As I was carefully hauling water balloons outside, Marty asked "What is the point of this?"

"Huh. I don't know, why not?"

Filling water balloons in the middle of winter proved to be kinda fun, in a it's 8-below-zero kind of way.

The boys then spent all day wandering outside to check the balloons. A few were lost to impatient stabbing with pocket knives, but proved to make entertaining explosions of color.

It wasn't until Monday that we finally had fully frozen ice marbles.

I think they look like cough drops a giant sucked on then spit out.

They boys are still having fun with them. They can't help but give 'em a kick when walking up to our door, or trying to build a marble snowman, or rolling one down the stairs.

Jonas grabbed a green one, wielded it over his head, and smashed it on the sidewalk like Hulk. That was delightful. Then, Kip ate the pieces.

So, yeah, ice marbles. That's what happens when you live in Alaska.


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So clever! I saw somewhere on the Internet a guy made a colorful igloo out of blocks he made from square milk cartons and food coloring. There is fun to be had in the sub-zero temps.

Here’s the link to the story about the colored-ice igloo: http://in2eastafrica.net/igloo-made-from-hundreds-of-frozen-milk-cartons-by-a-couple-in-edmonton-canada/

Oh man, now I want to do that. Anybody have milk cartons?

i do!

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