As the blanket of snow began to fall, last week, the eyes of school children filled with hopes of a snow day. Little did they know, their snow day would turn into more than a week of time home from school and other activities.
The Democrat News spoke with four area families about how they have been passing the time and what a snow day is like for them.
"Snow days are some of the best memories I have of growing up," Missy Bowman said. "Especially in my teenage years. My hopes are that my kids can also look back on their snow days and have fond memories."
Bowman said she likes the extra family time.
"It is nice to have everyone at home together," Bowman said. "I know I should cherish these moments, because it won't be long until the kids are grown up."
Jenni Shell said the snow this year has been nice because she has been wanting a good snow or two for her kids to enjoy. Her daughter Leena said she has been able to go sledding but did not get to throw any snow balls and has had to sit inside because it is too cold outside to play.
"We went out in the dark for the first snow of the year to make sure the kids were able to have fun," Shell said. "Just in case it was the only snow of the year I didn't want them to miss out. Last week with the cold temps and sleet/ice we didn't get out too much to play."
The Shell kids were excited when the next round of snow came. Leena and her brother Quinton were able to go outside to sled and make snow angels.
"The kids have enjoyed their time off, but are also missing school," Aaron Proffer said. "They have spent time outside playing in the snow, sledding together and caring for our chickens. Cori (Aaron's wife) and I love watching movies with the kids that we loved growing up. Recently we have watched the Mighty Ducks series. They loved it."
Proffer said snow days are part of life, and over the past year they have learned more about what to do when plans change.
"The best part of anything when plans change and you have to be at home more is that time you get to spend with your family," Proffer said. "Time is a resource that you can't get back and we are thankful for the time God allows us to slow down and spend more time with those that mean the most to us."
Proffer said the kids have chores to keep them busy. He said winter is a a great time to organize closets and do some deep cleaning but the kids have also enjoyed playing games as a family.
"We love playing games in the evening time when everyone is able to be home together," Proffer said. "Pie in the Face was a favorite a few days ago. Uno and Spot It has been a go to for the whole family to play as well.
Danielle Clark said a typical snow day for her family is different every day.
"They have spent a lot of time with friends and family," Clark said. "Calvin and his friends have played outside and played games together. Connor has gone to his grandparents where he built fires, played with the dogs, made his own shirts and any other activities he can convince them into letting him do."
Clark said her son Calvin and her prefer inside fun but her other son Connor prefers to be outside. She said he likes to go sledding, throw snow balls and he and his dad like to try and throw snow down her jacket.
"We've baked cookies and made yummy food," Clark said. "Calvin and his friends FaceTime and play games together online. Connor says his favorite thing about a snow day is getting to play in the snow. Calvin says his favorite thing about a snow day is no school."
Clark said the kids have had plenty to keep them busy and they have also watched plenty of Netflix and played Xbox when it was too cold, so no mom guilt.
Both Clark and Bowman work for the Fredericktown School District and say they are fortunate to be home with their kids whenever a snow day is called.
"I think it is nice to slow down," Clark said. "I'm so busy with work and school that it's nice to just kind of stop for one."
Bowman said, as a large family of ten it is important to them to keep a daily routine, but snow days pretty much have their own routine. She said after breakfast and chores everyone spends the rest of the morning doing whatever activities they like.
"The main things are playing outside, watching movies, video games, Legos, baking, Nerf wars, and sorting football cards," Bowman said. "Although the kids' answers may differ from mine, my favorite thing to do on a snow day is stay inside and watch a movie. Alec's favorite thing to do on a snow day is going out sledding. Justice's favorite thing to do is play video games. I asked Cheyenne her favorite thing, and she said she would rather be at school."
Bowman said another one of her favorite activities is counting down the time until her husband Danny gets home from work. She said supper time is something she looks forward to on a snow day because the whole family is home and can eat together.
Shell said her and her husband work during the day, but the kids have been having fun with grandma and even got to make snow ice cream on one of their snow days.
"We have spent a lot of time inside watching movies too, King Kong and Godzilla are new favorites in our house," Shell said. "We pop popcorn and all gather in the living room to have movie time with each other. We have been playing some new games lately too and just enjoying our time together."
One thing all of these families have in common is they are making the most of their snow days. Whether the whole family has the day off together or grandparents join in on the fun, memories are being made.
"Snow days are awesome," Leena Shell said.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org