I couldn't LOVE the Wood family of Oak Park, Illinois any more. After years of ingenuity and testing their process (including last year making a Pyramid using milk cartons to form ice blocks) this year they came up with the idea to fill 12 inch water balloons with dye and set them out in the frigid temperatures to make the blocks for their enormous and beautiful igloo. Once the balloons freeze, they cut off the latex to find gorgeous crystal colored spheres. The igloo sits about 5 feet high and 8 feet long (seats 8 comfortably inside), and the family works diligently and quickly over several days to make a "mortar paste" using snow that they heat up with water. If the temperature is just perfect (in the 20's or below) that mortar helps to quickly freeze, locking those colored snow globes into place. Antony Wood, his wife and two kids have gotten the process down to a science. So much so, they even put a blow up mattress inside one night to sleep. But don't fret...Antony knows EXACTLY what he's doing- his day job finds him as the CEO of an organization called The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. So he's an architect by profession. His expertise? Towers! What's up for next year....a 12 foot TOWER made of ice. To the Wood Family, thank you for bringing so much joy into the world. This is what I call family happiness.
(*photo credit with permission: Antony Wood)