fake winter.

This winter is completely and totally fake, except for the copious amounts of germs all over the place (more specifically, in my girls’ orifices). That, and the night-time cold is the only real indication that it is February. Oh, and the brown everywhere. Of course. But it’s been mild (and almost warm) during the day. And super, super dry. Which most people would be all DUH. Desert.  But Nevada is high desert, not desert-desert. We have hot summers and (should have) cold winters. We usually have snow.  Lots and lots of it. This year? Hardly any. Which stinks for like…..the rivers and creeks and farmers and ranchers who depend on winter snow pack, (and also for sledding! It’s hard to sled in the mud, ya’ll) but it rocks for those of us who seek adventure. And just general getting-out-of-the-house’ness.

Last weekend we copied Kyle’s brother and his family and jetted over to Bilk Creek reservoir, a little over an hour away, for some ice fishing. Normally it’s not accessible in the winter because of snow and mud and things but since it’s Fake Winter this year, we could get to it.

YAY ICE FISHING! I grew up ice fishing. It was an annual thing for our family. We’d go to Wildhorse every year and fish all day and sled and whine about being cold and catch buckets of Perch and lose our toes to frostbite.

Kyle had never been ice fishing until he fell in love with me – lucky for him. Now, he goes more often than I do, which doesn’t really seem fair now that I think about it. But! We got to go last weekend, which was my first time in five years (pregnancy and small wobbly children precluded me from going the past few years. And plus, they were too hole-sized. I couldn’t trust them not to go head-first into one). My parents went with us and we had a blast.

But for all the times I’d been ice fishing, I’d never been on ice as slick as that. I mean, lace up some skates and you could have some Ice Capades going down, seriously. Fortunately we had three pairs of Yak Tracks between us, (but there were four of us… hmm…math); Kyle and my mom wore a full pair and my dad and I shared one.  So he and I pretty much walked in circles all day.

HALP! Or, Jen doing awesome Ice Capades.

Thanks for catching these graceful, beautiful images, Mom.

The girls had fun considering they were skating-without-skates all day, and I’m surprised to note that we had no falls, all day. I came close a few times because I am inherently clumsy (I trip over socks). We even caught some fish! The girls were excited about that.

caught a fish!!!!

.....and then accidentally dropped it.


Yay Yaya! (that's a lot of Ys and As)

Aven chilled with a snack while Kyle baited Jovi’s hook and showed her how to fish, ice-style.


Sweet, right?
But then, Aven got mad because Jovi was fishing with Daddy and she was stuck eating a snack on the tarp. So here is a photo time lapse I like to call “The Descend into Pout”:

Notice the protruding bottom lip...

And the Descend begins. Lower......


...and lower, until:

she is laying in a chair meant only for sitting, and her bottom lip has taken over the entire lower half of her face.

She just need a Bop and a nap

Jovi fished for like two minutes.

Jovi and her grandpa

We decided to take a break from all the slipping and whining and fed the girls some lunch. Snowman pb&j sandwiches (my specialty, you know), carrots and strawberries. Oh strawberries, how I’ve missed thee! Except (fake)winter strawberries are all white inside, which is a little off-putting.

"would you like some trout with that peanut butter and jelly?"

my girl! she's like more than half as tall as me.

The girls started getting restless and a little cold, so I suggested (because I am BRILLIANT) that Kyle take them on sled rides around the lake. Obviously I couldn’t do it because I only had one traction-y foot.

And yes that is snot pooled above Jovi’s lip. Remember the whole “germs in every orifice” thing from earlier? That.

I took some cute videos of these shenanigans but I don’t know how to post them, and the last time I uploaded to youtube it took 9328743 hours. Or close to that. OK 24. But still!

Me and my mama ♥

This can only end well, right?


We ditched the ice and had lunch on the bank (French dips… mmmmmm) and played with the girls. Have I mentioned the Fake Winter thing? It was warm outside.

Grandpa played twirly dance game with them.

Yes, she has a slightly crusty face.

This is what I get when I say "Smile at mommy!"

Wise, wise Sofie.

After about four-ish hours on the ice, the girl and I stayed on the bank while everyone else packed up the fishing stuff.

The next day we headed over to Andy and Kendra’s house for some Super Bowl-ing. Lots of food and people and fun!

I made our “famous” (in our family circle) jalepeno artichoke dip, bacon-wrapped smokies and Tijuana Trail Mix.

It's like candy. Delicious, meaty, bacony candy.

 Bacon Wrapped Smokies


  • 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into thirds
  • 1 (14 ounce) package beef cocktail wieners
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Refrigerate 2/3 of the bacon until needed. It is easier to wrap the wieners with cold bacon. Wrap each cocktail wiener with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar generously over all.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the sugar is bubbly. To serve, place the wieners in a slow cooker and keep on the low setting.

The trail mix was a hit, too!

It’s sweet, salty and a teeny bit spicy. It’s like caramel-coated chex mix. Except way better. And with more mixy things in it.

Tijuana Trail Mix (from Rich and Robbie Wilson <3)


  • 12 c  pop corn (I don’t like the popcorn in it, so I omitted and increased the chips and cereal; about 3/4 bag of bite-sized Tostitos and a whole box of generic Chex cereal. Using this amount, I also doubled the sauce in order to coat all of the dry mix.)
  • 4 c  bite sized tortilla chips
  • 3 c  crispix cereal
  • 1 can mixed nuts (11.5oz)
  • 1/2 c  butter cubed
  • 1/2 c  light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c  packed brown sugar
  • 3 tsp  chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 tsp  cayenne (I doubled this)
  • 1/8 tsp  cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in a greased roasting pan and set aside.
  • In a sauce pan, combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and seasonings and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil then pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat.
  • Bake in the oven for one hour, stirring ever 20 minutes. Turn mix out onto wax paper after baking and let “dry” for 30 minutes. You’ll have to break up the chunks of pieces.


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2 Responses to fake winter.

  1. Amber says:

    I so love reading your blog Jen! You have such a beautiful family! Looks like a really fun day on the ice for you guys! I wish we had a couple of those days around here. But like you said I think Tyler might be hole sized right now. 😉 Maybe next year. Hope that family of yours start to feel better too!


  2. Kendra says:

    few comments on this one: love Jovi in her little cowgirl hat…get ready to race some barrels girl! 🙂 Also, couldn’t help but smile with an “awwwww”, at the photo of you and your mama along with the dancing ballerinas holding Grandpa’s hand…precious moments those are! And even though there are no vidoes posted, I’m pretty sure I heard the “whoa…Kyylllllllllle” as you were about to face-plant on the ice. 🙂 luv u!!
    (oh…and thanks for the ‘shout-out’ via link to the blog….haha!)

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