When A Tree Falls… Make Snowmen!

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We’ve had a huge dead tree on our farm that is right next to our driveway.  My husband has talked about cutting it down all summer and he and our son in law were just waiting for the right day to get started on it.  Knowing that once they felled it, it would block the road and they would be cutting wood for an entire day kind of kept them from starting.

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One day a couple weeks ago, in the heavy pouring rain,  I came home from town only to find the road impassable due to large limbs having fallen from the dead tree.   Luckily I had gone to do my errands in rain boots and jacket, so after parking my car I trudged and sloshed the rest of the way up the hill to the house in buckets of pouring water.  Eldon immediately got on his backhoe and in the rain he headed down the hill to begin clearing the mess from the road.

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Within minutes he was back up getting his chain saw gear together as it required more than just clearing the road.  The tree was leaning dangerously and it was time to cut it down!  My parents were here and Dad headed down in the rain to help.

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My little grand-girls were here for the day so they and my Momma sat in the upstairs window seat where they had a safe, birds eye view of the tree coming down.

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We watched and watched and watched… and finally TIMBER!  The old dead tree was safely down.   Eldon and my Dad cut for hours.  And when our son-in-law found out what was going on, he left work early and came home and helped them finish it up.  It was a huge job.

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They cut the wood and some of it Eldon brought up for his wood stove in his shop, the rest was stacked neatly waiting.  For what I’m not sure.  But anyway… I saw a picture on Pinterest of this great little wooden snowman that just looked SO easy.  (You know those kind of projects?!)

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Eldon said, “It’s not going to be as easy to make them as it looks.”  But he and our son-in-law cut some nice round wood slices for our Snowmen.  The little grand-girls were so excited!

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The girls and I gathered a few other sticks of wood and some twigs for our Snowmen arms and took them up to Eldon’s shop to get started!  The boys took off for some other tree cutting project on the farm and the girls and I were on our own.

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The girls really weren’t as bored as they look in this picture… but it was a lot of waiting while I did all the yucky stuff!

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So… this is where it got tricky.  I parked the girls in comfy chairs next to the warm wood stove and I got busy cutting off the tops and bottoms of each wood slice (so they will stand up) with Eldon’s big table saw.  Talk about a messy job.

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Then I drilled 1/4 inch holes in the top and bottom of each of the  sections of the snowman so that we could place a dowel rod to hold the sections together.

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Then I used wood glue to glue the dowels in place.  This project was quickly becoming not so easy.  Of course, my husband was right.  Smile!

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I made little snowmen for the girls to paint and decorate, but I wanted my snowman to be big.  The problem was that the wood was so heavy, his “head” was lopsided, his “hat” was falling off, and I was feeling mega frustrated.  Jillian said, “It’s okay Gram.  He is a melting snowman.”  She was right.  He actually looked like he might be cute.  So I left the melting look.

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We carried them inside the house where I had an area all set up in my craft room for painting and decorating these darling things.  The girls had been so patient waiting.  Rosetta (our little “lefty”) just dug right in and began with the buttons and nose on her snowman.

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Jillian, being older and more particular, really took her time getting everything just so.  See the dots on the “buttons” on the front of her snowman?  She was so proud of that idea!

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The girls tied on the scarves, added ribbon to their hats and found the perfect twigs for arms.

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We drilled holes for those and glued them in.

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I cut small limb slices for the buttons on my snowman and Jillian painted them for me.  I decorated his hat with some christmas tree balls and greenery.  And I actually ended up liking his falling off hat and tilted head!

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The little, super easy big, not so easy, all day snowman project ended up being very fun!  But quick and easy?  Nope, not so much!  But the important thing was the end result, which was success.

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And the other night I was in Eldon’s shop and there on the floor were the huge wood slices I had asked him to cut thinking that I would make this massive snowman to put down at the entrance of our farm.  You know… so big that I needed help to get it down there?!  I had abandoned that idea after the near disaster of the other smaller snowmen.  But when I asked my husband what he was doing with the planks he said, “I think I might make a really big snowman”!  I said, “It’s not as easy as it looks”.  Smile!

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But of course he did it, I painted and decorated him, we put him by the road (and yes it took two of us) and he’s darling.  Almost (just almost) Pinterest worthy!

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Happy Holidays friends!

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Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

Leave a comment 47 Comments

  1. Virginia Hewson says:

    What a project that turned out to be! Life on a farm is like that, isn’t it? Anyway, you had a very special day with your grand-daughters, and one they will never forget! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Virginia,

      You aren’t kidding… everything on the farm is harder than I thought it would be! And I grew up in the country, I ought to know better! :-) I’m thankful for my husband who isn’t afraid or unwilling to handle the hard things! :-) And loves every bit of it!

      Those days with the grand-girls are special beyond measure.

      Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  2. Bambi Miller says:

    Love this story. I am sure the girls will remember it for a long time. I love your snowmen! We don’t have very many trees where we live, but, if I found a few pieces, I would try to make them. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Bambi,

      Thanks for writing. I hope you get the opportunity to make yourself one! They are pretty cute!

      – Dori –

  3. These are adorable snowmen. What a fantastic project and I love that you included your grand daughters. Merry Christmas, enjoyed!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Carole,

      Yes those little grand-girls get included in all kinds of fun things! Luckily they only live about 2 miles away so I get to grab them whenever I want!

      – Dori –

  4. Sunny says:

    What a great share!! Thank you!! Such great fun!! All that hard work and family time, making adorable snow men paid off!!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Sunny,

      Thank you! Yes, sticking with something (even when I wanted to just throw them in the wood stove!) is sure worth it, isn’t it? :-)

      – Dori –

  5. Mary Rauch says:

    Oh, these are definitely Pinterest-worthy. I love, love, love them!… If I were the girls, I’d be so excited to show “everyone” the project after it was finished!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Mary,

      The girls were very excited! I actually need to take a picture of them sitting on the mantle at their house with tiny little twinkle lights interspersed around them. They are really darling.

      – Dori –

  6. Sandy says:

    My daughter bought one just like this at our local nursery for $35!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Wow! How big is it? I think if you were making little ones (like my little grand-girls made) and had an assembly line sort of thing it wouldn’t be so bad. The first time I do anything is hard! :-)

      – Dori –

  7. Barb P says:

    Love this post! Even though you have discovered what I suspected when I first saw this project, I’d still like to make some. Yours most certainly ARE ‘Pinterest-worthy’!

  8. Nicole Christensen says:

    OH Dori…I WANT ONE! Truly those are the most adorable snowmen! We have lots of trees that my hubby has been working on for firewood, clearing, etc., so I am going to show him this and tell him we have to make one (though I won’t show him the bit about how difficult it is). Love seeing your sweet grand-girls, and your mom is so cute! What a stunning photo of them together. Merry Christmas, Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Maybe knowing up front that they are kind of tedious and time-consuming to make will make it not quite so hard! And if you don’t have little girls waiting on you, that will help a lot too! :-) Let me know if you make one!

      – Dori –

  9. Ellen Gerard says:

    Oh how darling and what fun!

  10. Angela says:

    Can’t wait to see them! I’m not big on projects that take forever, but they do build patience!

  11. Kristeen says:

    super idea and good looking snowmans..
    HUgs

  12. Wayve says:

    A 5-generation memory: your Momma and Daddy, you and Eldon, your son-in-law, your grand girls, and your snowmen! Not so sure the snowmen will remember, but they will be remembered, probably for many years. How wonderful!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Wayve,

      I love the way you express yourself (and in so doing, you express my thoughts)! Kindred farmgirl spirits maybe? :-)

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  13. Marilyn Collins says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience. What a clever idea concerning the wooden snowmen. Your granddaughters are beautiful young ladies. I enjoyed this post tremendously. Wishing you and yours a blessed and Merry Christmas.
    Marilyn

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Yes, those little grand-girls are pretty special little things!

      Thank you for your kind words.

      – Dori –

  14. Marvene says:

    Hi Dori,

    Wayne & I enjoyed the birth of the snowmen. We talked about how your grand girls are not walking around with iPhone or tablets in their hands — they are creating something beautiful with their hands and using their minds. What a treasure they have with you and Eldon in their midst and vice versa we are sure.

    And, the best of all is you did this as a family unit, talking, laughing and doing. God bless you all!

    Marvene & Wayne

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Aunt Marvene,

      Well… to give credit where it’s due, Andrea and Justus are the ones that have laid down the law with their little girls on electronic devices! :-) Eldon and I just get to reap the benefits of their great parenting! :-) But yes, we are so lucky to have them close by and that they love our farm and everything we want to do!

      Big hugs… hope to see you soon???

      – Dori –

  15. Marsha says:

    They are adorable, and so are your grandgirls!

  16. Sandi King says:

    Dori,
    those snowmen are absolutely gorgeous. If we don’t get snow soon, I may have my son do this project. I love snowy winters and snowmen, but these are really special when the snow doesn’t show up any time soon. Especially at Christmas and New Year’s. Thanks for a wonderful story. So glad you had family there to enjoy this time with you.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Sandi,

      Yes! Have your son make you a few! :-)

      Family is the best. My parents live across the United States in New Mexico and I miss them terribly. I cherish every little bit of time we get with them.

      – Dori –

  17. marge hofknecht says:

    Dori, These are adorable! My pastor’s wife is a high school teacher who has a huge collection of snowmen. She decks out her house throughout with these little fellows right after Thanksgiving. She would love these. Merry Christmas!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Marge,

      I love snowmen too. I don’t have a ton of them, but they are my choice for winter decorating!

      Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  18. Jeff says:

    That’s cute, love it!

  19. Joan says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I so wanted to make some too but — well maybe next year. The girls snowmen are really spectacular!!! great job cutting a wowzer the painting is superb.
    Merry Christmas and God bless.

  20. Jodie says:

    Dori!!! Oh my word, these are darling!!! This will be a project for my babe and I. We are in Portland, OR and it doesn’t snow here either. I miss the snow of Iowa this time of year. We’ve got a tree that needs felled, so I see these little snowmen in our future. I shed a little tear when I read that Jillian called you “Gram”. I had a Gram and she was the most dearest person in my heart. Your relationship with your grands remind me of Gram and myself. Keep on memory making! Thanks for the inspiration! Love your crooked head/had snowman! Perfect imperfection! Also love that Eldon got in the spirit, too! Merry Christmas!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Jodie,

      I’d love to see a picture of your snowman if you get to make one! email me: redfeedsack@gmail.com.

      My grand-girls used to call me Grammie but the little one shortened it to Gram, which I absolutely adore! So now I am Gram. :-) Eldon is Gramps… so we are Gram and Gramps!

      I’m so happy that you have such special memories of time with your Gram and I always just hope that my grand-girls will grow up with those amazing memories of our time together.

      Thank you for writing,

      – Dori –

  21. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Dori,
    Those adorable snow men most certainly are pinterest worthy! Love the story and your day with the girls!
    You made some great memories that day!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours my dear!
    Big Hugs,
    Deb

  22. Vivian Monroe says:

    Looks like sweet Christmas Grand time memories made. And adorable snowmen, I love that idea especially the big one. Merry Christmas to you and yours and a very blessed New year. Neta

  23. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a wonderful project, Dori!! I love the way these snowmen turn out and the little ones the Grandchildren made are just precious. It looks like it was all such an adventure! And yes, I do believe these snow friends are Pinterest worthy!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Thank you Winnie! In hindsight… they were a super fun project!!! :-) Doesn’t seem like near the work now! Ha!

      Happy Holidays!

      – Dori –

  24. Susan says:

    Love the snowmen…..clevera!

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