It's not that I ever really entertain doubts, but days like today I especially appreciate the flexibility our homeschooling lifestyle affords us. We woke up this morning with a soft white blanket of snow on the ground. It was cold, but relatively still, and when the kids started getting around for the day I suggested we take advantage of this optimal time to play in the fresh snow.
We pulled on the layers -- rigged warm footgear for those who do not have boots, and sorted through gloves and hats until everyone was adequately covered. The flakes were still coming down when we headed out. We thought we might make snow people, but the powder was far too dry, so we settled on snow angels and throwing balls which turned to snow dust as quickly as they left our hands.
My mom and I used to play a game we called Fox & Goose whenever we had fresh snow. Middle Munchkin remembered my stories about this game and suggested we might play a version with our dog, Nancy. She loves being out in the snow (when we are out with her) and everytime a kid went down to make an angel, she worried and nosed them up again. Nancy loved the game of Fox & Goose. She was the fox, of course. We took turns running around the house and the yard, ending in a spot where we couldn't be seen, and then we'd let Miss Nancy lead the others. Her nose would get to work and she would take us, without fail, along the path that the leader had taken.
The last round we played, Middle Munchkin was trying to make it really difficult for the dog. We took out around the yard, behind the house, through the trees, and then Nancy seemed to get distracted at one particular tree at the back of our house. I thought maybe she had tired of the game. So we pulled her away from the tree and she then proceeded to take us around the shed and up front till she found Middle Munchkin by the mailbox. When I asked Middle Munchkin to describe her path, she admitted to hugging and rubbing her snow suit on that tree in order to try to confuse the dog. So it turns out Miss Nancy wasn't tired after all, just very aware that her child had spent some time near that tree!
I think we've discovered a game we can play year round with our dog's help. We are looking forward to trying her out in other locations.