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Ya know what Sugar Pies, I just have to say that Winter is NOT one of my favorite seasons. Being a Californy girl I’m used to warm sunshine most of the year round. Now that I call the Ozarks home, I’ve had to make some adjustments…mainly in the way that I view things.  In the past few years I’ve become more aware of the importance of  living with a positive attitude intentionally.  I’ve made the choice to be thankful and to look for God’s blessings throughout each day. Not only do the medical experts say that this is a healthier way to live, it’s  a happier way too.  I also want my kids to take this happier and positive path in life. If we get complain-y and whine-y about the little things that bother us, our kids will too. What a wonderful blessing and gift to give our kids when we teach and model thanks-living.  Oh yes, every once in a while I do slip up and lament about something (“Oh for the love of Pete! Another blizzard? It’s sooooooooo cold!!!! I don’t like it so cold! When is it gonna be warm again?”)  Whine, whine, whine like a little hungry piggy one hour before suppertime!  I’ll catch myself and try to turn it into a teachable moment. I’ll say something like “Oopsie-daisy! What I should say is, I’m thankful that we have warm coats to wear, and a toasty home to hunker down into when the freezing wind blows, and hot soup to warm our tummies… and just look at those snowflakes coming down, they’re soooooo beautiful!”. Our thoughts and words feed our attitude.  If we want goodness in our life, then we have to look for the goodness, think on goodness and speak words of  goodness…for goodness sake! LOL!

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Phillipians 4:8

Even in winter we can keep on the “Sunny Side of Life”!

So with all of that “goodness” in mind, come and take a peek at the beauty and downhome fun of wintertime in the Ozark hills of Branson, Missouri…

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My vintage Dinner Bell at The Farmhouse

The Snow is Dancing -

Whirling, the snowflakes are dancing,

as through the air they go.

Flying and circling and frolicking comes the snow.

~old school song book ~ 1950

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Winter Song

Sing a song of snow-flakes Flying in the air:

Sing a song of sleigh bells Tinkling everywhere

Sing of feathery snow banks earth in dazzling white:

Sing of gleaming ice fields Sparkling in the light.

~ 1955  School Songbook ~img_3860

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What’s a gal to do with all that snow? Build a pretty little snow-gal, that’s what! May I introduce you to Mrs. Marshmallow? (Summer thought of that sweet-treat name) She’s got rosy cheeks, a sassy hairdo and a welcoming “Howdy-do” smile!

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Building her with Summer was, well…SnOw FuN! (I had to say it! ;)

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I decided to let Mrs. Marshmallow borrow my Strawberry and Chocolate striped scarf. She looks sweet enough to eat!

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Making memories!

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Summer in Winter!

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Sweet snow kisses!

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“My sister and I would just stare up at the sky, trying to see where the snowflakes were born. We could do it for hours. Well, minutes. “I just caught one!” I’d shout to my sister, who was also trying to eat snowflakes out of the air.” ~ A quote on a Starbucks bag

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The sleds were beggin’ for a ride on the sugary snow!

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Summer Rose and her friend Sadie Rose were happy to oblige!

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Sledding and snowball fights…

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and a chance to make Snow Ice Cream!

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This is my mother-in-law Ruth’s recipe, it’s got to be over 40 years old! For several years she raised her 4 kids up in the mountains of Idyllwild, California. As an amazing cook and homemaker she always had candles glowing, a yummy supper cooking on the old fashioned cast-iron-style electric stove and a blazing fire to warm up to when friends and family came in from the cold.  When my hubby and I were dating his mama would invite me to stay at the big old cabin for the weekend. If it snowed we could always count on a fresh batch of snow ice cream to enjoy by the crackling fire.

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Gather eight cups of fresh snow, pour 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk…

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and 1 teaspoon of vanilla,

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stir…

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and serve! You can add sprinkles, chocolate chips or whatever you like but for me…it’s delicious just plain!

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What else is a gal to do with all that snow? If you’ve got little ones, fill a metal bowl with fresh snow and put it in the kitchen sink. Gather a spoon, ice cream scoop, tiny tart pans or jar lids or anything you have on hand to play with. Pull up a chair and let them snow-play to their hearts content.

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Let’s make Snow Pies!

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Hide treasures in the snow! An old sparkly earring, bracelet, a few shells, and cute erasers make fun treasures to dig up and find. Dig little holes in the snow, drop them in and smooth over the surface and let your little one delight in finding “lost treasure!”

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Make polka-dot confetti snow! Let your little one shake some colorful candy sprinkles in the snow to make their snow-play even more fun!

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Let their imaginations ignite!

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Ya know what else is fun to do when the hills are covered with powdered sugar?

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Play with a new puppy in the snow!

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This little buddy is my son Dusty’s new pup. His wife Kimmy named him Gus Gus after the  chubby little mouse in Walt Disney’s Cinderella. (Dusty recently endured  heartbreak with the passing of his beloved lab Jack. While nothing can replace dear and delightful Jack, there is always  room in our hearts to love someone new.

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dustygus-gus

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Gus Gus is happy to find a good home and a family to love him! Oh Honey!

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So there we have it Sugar Pies! Winter isn’t so bad after all!  Sure, I’m looking forward to Spring and Summer, but in the mean time, I’m thanking the Good Lord for the blessings of winter!

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Blessings like children giggling in the snow…

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Blessings like a warm home…

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and hot soup!

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Happy Winter y’all!

May the Good Lord bless you and keep you real good!

Aunt Ruthie

P.S.  Come visit me on Facebook!

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