I’ve actually been quite surprised at the mild winter we have had here in New England thus far this year (uh-oh….I probably spoke prematurely and will be blamed for the next Nor’Easter). Nonetheless, we finally saw our first official snow / ice day off this season and the boys could not have been more ecstatic to have been able to stay home from school. Of course, that begs the question….what does one do with three rambunctious boys on an unexpected day off?
Now, I asked the above question, but you have to understand MY boys. MY boys are not your typical kids who take advantage of a snow day to sleep in, lounge around and do nothing or even go out to play in the white stuff. Just because they don’t have to get up, shower, throw on their uniforms, eat and dodge off to school doesn’t mean that they sleep in. No, my adorable, crazy, driven and task-oriented children are still up at the crack of dawn to get things done ~ BY CHOICE! My oldest was up at his normal time (5 AM, the same time I begin my work-from-home), showered and on the computer to work on his AP Statistics. My middle son was up because he just couldn’t sleep anymore. My youngest ~ well, he hardly ever sleeps in, so there’s no need to explain that. By 8 AM, all boys were up, showered, dressed (in comfortable attire), fed and had already crossed off a handful of tasks from their personal check lists. Yes, I know they’re strange – but it’s okay. They are mine to cherish forever and ever and then some.
Now, the boys had off…but Mom and Dad didn’t. Hubby was relieved of his duties of taking the boys to school that morning, but he still hopped in his truck and headed to the office for a full day. I work from home, which means it is always there waiting…almost hauntingly…for me to accomplish. Fortunately, the boys are well trained on how to manage things around the house. They work on daily chores in the morning, read, play board games, doodle or play with legos, etc. They are very good at occupying themselves and are very aware that asking to play video games is out of the question until mid afternoon (they get an hour every once in awhile – it’s worked well for us). They even did me a solid and worked on laundry (not to mention shovel!) so I could focus on catching up on work. Love these guys!! I think I’ll keep ’em.
Noon came and it was time for lunch. I have two who can cook at the moment, so I didn’t have to worry about leaving my desk to ensure they ate properly. However, I was feeling a little guilty about all the hard work and wanted to do something with them. I knew I couldn’t take the time to watch a movie and leaving the house was out of the question because of the ice. I have been wanting to make these homemade pretzels for weeks ~ the Tasty recipe has been circulating around social media for a bit now (click here for it). So – I convinced myself it was okay to step away from the computer and spend about 30 to 60 minutes just hanging out with them, baking pretzels together. And so we did.
I had one preheat the oven and take out the baking sheet, foil and spray, another gather ingredients (refrigerated pizza dough, shredded mozzarella, minced garlic, parsley, shredded parmesan and butter) and the third prep to melt the butter. I took care of cutting the strips of pizza dough that would ultimately become our not-so-pretty pretzel creations. That was probably the hardest part, working with the dough, which is why I took on this particular task. Once they were cut, we added the mozzarella in a very thin line down the center and pinched up the sides ~ not my favorite part of the recipe! Cheese was going everywhere, to be quite honest. Once pinched together, we formed the long strips into pretzel-like shapes on the baking sheet, all the while my oldest was creating the melted butter concoction with added parsley and garlic. We buttered the tops of the pretzels (and a few pretzel bites from leftover dough after I was just too tired to create any more true pretzel shapes), sprinkled on the parmesan and tossed them in the oven at 400ºF for twenty minutes.
At the fifteen minute mark, I had my oldest heat up some marinara…and we were ready to go.
They tasted just like pizza, to be honest…but we loved it! It was a great way to spend a piece of their snow/ice day. The ice made it challenging to go outside and my boys are not that much into snowball fights and snowmen anymore (outside of Olaf, of course). From there, it was time for their video games and enjoying the rest of the day in our pjs.
What do your snow days look like? Do you have a “snow-day” schedule or do you take opportunity to simply let the day unfold? Share with me some of the fun, unique things you do when your kiddos have a snow/ice day off from school.
Until the next set of footprints are made ~ T
Food allergy tidbit!
This was a great treat for our egg, peanut and treenut allergy son! He loved making them and, well, eating them was even better. We were able to save some money and use a lot of our own store brand (Big Y) or Full Circle ingredients, such as the pizza dough (though we can use Pillsbury, too, which may have provided a little bit better stability in the dough), mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and marinara. We simply just read the ingredient labels to ensure there were no disclaimers. All safe and much enjoyed!!