A Birthday Surprise for Ozzie


Winter has finally arrived in Western PA. After an unseasonably warm and mild winter, snow has arrived, and it is fitting that it made its debut on Ozzie’s birthday.

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We woke Ozzie early with a song and a cupcake, but the real surprise was waiting outside his window. At our prompting he open his curtains and discovered 8 inches of snow on the ground.

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“I love the gift God gave me for my birthday!” Ozzie exclaimed with enthusiasm. “Snow!”

Heavenly Father couldn’t have picked out a better birthday gift for Ozzie, our weather enthusiast,

Unless of course He sent a tornado, unfortunately I think Ozzie is out of luck with that wish, given he has a February birthday. 🙂

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With the arrival of snow on Ozzie’s birthday came other blessings, like having Toby home for the day. The roads around us were still unplowed and slick when it was time to leave for work so Toby declared the day a snow day from work. (You can do that when you own your own construction company!)

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He spent the morning digging out our vehicles. I was so grateful he was there. Because of his hard work Ozzie and I were able to make Ozzie’s therapy session which was critical given the fact it was his birthday and the overwhelming emotions connected to that day as an adopted child. It was essential we  work through and process some of those big emotions with Tina and thanks to Toby we didn’t have to cancel our appointment.

She even surprised Ozzie, knowing it was his birthday, with cupcakes at the appointment.

Upon arriving home we discovered there was no getting back up our driveway. The heavy, wet snow that fell compacted into ice under Toby’s truck tires, turning our driveway into a skating rink. Currently all three vehicles are parked at the end of our steep driveway and we are hiking in and out.

The greatest blessing that came from the snow storm was a forced stillness and solitude from the world…a break from busyness…a chance to be together, alone as a family. It was lovely and reminded me why winter is such a healing season for me.

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I crave the peace that blankets my world when everything is covered in white. There is a magic…a peace…that only winter can bring.

It was wonderful.

At 2:00 we declared it the end of the school day and put away books and pulled out the sleds. It was time to go out and play as a family. Toby went to the garage to cut sheets of plastic for sleds and the next few hours were spent building snowmen,

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having snowball fights,

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making snow angels,

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and sledding.

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When everyone was sufficiently chilled and worn out we headed inside to put on PJs early and snuggle in for movie time while enjoying mugs of hot cocoa.

After dinner it was time for Wax on Snow. This is a beloved tradition from my childhood. It is a treat that instantly transports me back to age 6. Wax on Snow is a special and rare treat because of two key reasons:

#1: It requires REAL maple syrup which (due to cost) we only have in the fridge when we receive a jug as a gift.

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#2: it requires a pan of freshly fallen snow, so it is a treat that only comes in the winter months.

To make Wax on Snow you fill a pan with pressed fresh snow. You keep the pan outside in the cold until the syrup is ready.

Next you boil REAL maple syrup on the stove top until it reaches the soft ball stage. (In other words: when you drop it in a glass of cold water and it forms a soft taffy like ball).

Then it is ready. The kids gather around the pan of snow and the syrup is poured in strips on the snow where it gums up into a taffy like treat and is eaten with forks. In addition to it being a delicious treat if you love maple flavored candy, it is also a fun family experience. After the candy is all gone then the kids enjoy eating the maple flavored snow.

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The remainder of the evening was spent relaxing in our warm house and spending time as a family. It was a much needed reprieve from a crazy week and a perfect way to celebrate the birth of Master Oswald William McCleery!

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