Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice candles, doggy school, and Valentines

ice candles, Dec. 2006

The boys and Miss Shadow, not feeling like having her photo taken. We interrupted her playing.

They have stained lips and teeth from Popsicles they ate.
My first attempt this year at ice candles, and I bumbled it up. :0)

It's a quiet winter night here. The boys and I had a busy day of making Valentine's for the Valentine Skating Party next month. Plus we'll do some extras for their friends here and I will make some for a few family members, and my hubby! We'll be working on them for the next few weeks. It was fun stopping and starting those today. The boys are so excited about giving them to their friends. We set up a table in the basement with all the supplies. I helped cut out some hearts and wrote whatever they asked me to. We cut out a pictures of their faces for their Valentine mailboxes. They liked that. I bought some glitter pens the other day and they are really messy, but neat to use.

I started an ice candle last night. There are lots of ways to make an ice candle. I messed ours up and started another one with less water. This is the way I did it. It takes a few days, apparently, for the water to freeze around the candle. What I do is put cold water and food coloring in a pan and place a candle inside. I had too much water and the candle floated, so I put another pan over the candle to hold it down until the water froze about half way. I was impatient and the inside water never froze. All I ended up with was a shell of ice and liquid inside. We put our pan of water and candle outside overnight to freeze. I thought 12 hours was long enough, but I was wrong.

This is a cool experiment and pretty to look at when it is done. I will post photos of our when it is done and the candle is lit. This year's candles will look different than they did a few years ago. Plus I can only find red food coloring. I would love to try mixing colors of ice. If I find the other food coloring I have, I will try it.

Tomorrow night is Shadow's 3rd night of doggy school. She has 3 more classes after that. They are only about 1 hour long, once a week, and she is doing great. We have a lot left to learn. The class is through Animal Rescue League of Iowa and we are loving the class and instructor too. It is only $89 and they use the clicker method and lots of treats. The other dogs in the class are so cute too. It is a lot more fun than I was expecting. It is a good manners class for dogs. They also have a session for younger dogs called doggy kindergarten which I wish I'd have known about. We got Shadow a kong ball and one of those cool fling it tools that comes with a tennis ball. We've been having fun tossing that for her. It is really hard for her to find the ball in the snow. A few times we've had to give up b/c she gets wore out looking for it, and I get so cold. The temps have been around 10 degrees here. Tomorrow I think it is going to warm up a little more, and we'll bundle up and go for a walk with her. She doesn't seem to mind the cold too much at all. Although she'd prefer to be cuddled up on our laps than outside, if we aren't with her. LOL. She loves her kong for treats. We had a smaller one and she lost it. This one is huge and she plays with it even when there are no treats inside. We like to put a little peanut butter inside the opening for her at least once a day. She is spoiled and very loved.

We are still on the hunt for a second used vehicle. We are taking our time. But having one car is interesting, but not terrible. One of Cliff's uncles has a friend at a car lot who is looking for what we want. There are things I'd like to do on days when Cliff is at school three days of the week, but not bad enough to take Cliff to school early in the morning. He gets home those days at around 3:30, so I can't complain. I don't have that much I need or want to do this time of year anyway.

All is well here. I feel so thankful for all we have to look forward to next month and when spring arrives. Every day I find things to be grateful for. It is better than being miserable. I used to get so frustrated this time of year, and I still do sometimes. But I try to make life enjoyable and make the most of it. We have a warm house, our health, and each other. Yes it is true, I'd rather be on a beach somewhere or hiking a trail with my boys and dog on a mild day. When it warms up a little we will still venture out and be grateful for all we can do, when we want to do it.

Happy thoughts to all.

Love and laughter,
Heather xoxox

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