For the Grahn family in Mount Prospect, winter boredom turned into one giant project -- a 3,600-pound igloo in the front yard made out of 600 six-pound blocks of colored ice.
Mary Grahn, who lives on the 1300 block of East Thayer Street, said two of her daughters, Bridgett, 34, and Meggan, 32, who live in Des Plaines, came to her with the idea, which she believes they researched on a YouTube video, on Super Bowl weekend.
"Our daughters were really bored with the weather," she said.
That week, they got loaf pans from Gordon Food Service in Des Plaines, filled them with water and added food coloring. "They were all lined up on my patio while they froze."
Meanwhile, they informed other family members and planned the igloo assembly for a time when two of their sisters would be visiting from Austin. The sisters brought two grandchildren, and another grandson who is at the University of Illinois came to help out, as did a girlfriend and a neighbor who is like a family member. In all three generations of the family and 14 people ranging in age from 4 to 73 worked on the project.
The blocks were assembled over the weekend of Feb. 8 and 9. Half of the igloo was built on Saturday, but the team had to stop because their hands got too cold from the mix of snow and water they used as cement for the blocks. They bought waterproof gloves and finished the igloo the next day.
Meanwhile, Mary Grahn said she stayed busy inside, drying gloves and cooking cold-weather foods such as macaroni and cheese, chili and potato soup. Her husband Ray served as project photographer.
Now, the question is how long the igloo will stand as the weather finally starts to warm up.
Mary Grahn is betting those six-pound bricks will take a while to melt.