I enjoy all the variety that the different seasons bring. But I do have a favorite – Summer. And my least favorite season? Winter. I am by nature, cold all the time. I do not like being cold, and yet, I live in a very cold climate. But, winter is not all bad, and some of my favorite things happen in the winter.

I love basketball. I am so grateful some of my kids also love, and play basketball. I enjoy this sport for many reasons. For one, it’s inside. I have been to football games where it rained the whole time and I froze, or had friends at track meets that said they about died because it was so hot in the stands. Basketball is in a controlled environment, so while the gym is kept cool, and I have to wear a jacket, it’s comfortable to be there and watch my kids play. I don’t like professional basketball however, so when my kids are out of high school, I’ll have to figure out something else to do in January and February.

I love hot chocolate and hot apple cider. I know I could drink those all year long, but there’s nothing better coming in from a day outside in the snow, than making homemade hot chocolate. My recipe has been tweaked from several I found online, but my kids love it, and no matter where they go in the winter, I always get a request at some point for the recipe so they can make it themselves. It makes quite a bit, but even if they’re by themselves, it still gets finished off.

Steph’s Hot Chocolate Recipe:

3/4 C. Sugar

1/3 C. Cocoa powder

A couple of pinches of salt (this makes the chocolate flavor stand out)

1/2 C water

Mix these ingredients in a 2 quart (or bigger) sauce pan until well combined. I usually put this on low heat while I get the milk out and measured, but you don’t want to “cook” it, just start the warming process.

5 1/2 C. Milk (I use whole milk, but 2% would work well)

1 tsp Vanilla

Add the milk as soon as you get it measured and whisk everything together. heat on medium to medium/high heat, but continuously check for temperature as you are not trying to boil it. Allow to heat to the temperature you would like to drink it at, whisking fairly often. This usually takes between 5 and 7 minutes. Check often.

Add the Vanilla at the end and serve. My kids also like to have some freshly whipped cream for the top, and a candy cane is always fun as well.

One of my other favorite things about winter is the time. For some reason things tend to slow down, which can make winter longer, but for me, it gives me more time to do a lot of the things I put off all summer. Mainly, painting all the pictures I wanted to paint all summer, but just didn’t have the time to do so. But I also enjoy quilting and sewing, and I have more time to practice my piano, which also gets pushed to the side quite often in the summer. I also tend to read more in the winter, which I love doing. And baking, I love to bake, but when it’s hot in the summer, that’s the last thing I want to do.

Those are some of my favorites, and they help the winter months pass quickly, usually I don’t get everything done I had planned to do in the winter, but I am grateful I have plenty to keep myself busy. What is your favorite season? What do you enjoy doing in the winter?

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