Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snowshoeing and snowboarding attemps...

On January 2nd, everyone left us. Jeff's parents and aunt left to go back home and when they left, Jeff went with them. They dropped him off at the airport since he had to be in Las Vegas all week for work.

Before they left, Jeff got in one last morning of skiing with the kids. However, Alex had his worst skiing wipeout ever! He crashed so badly that ski patrol actually got involved and insisted on checking him out! Thank goodness for helmets though! He has dents in his helmet from where his skis hit his head. Thankfully, he was just shook up and there were no injuries. Without the helmet, it would have been so much worse.

After everyone had left, the kids and I decided to go out on an adventure. But first Alex had to try the new snow...

And then Clara did too...

They were calling it "dippin' dot" snow since it was snowing little round balls of snow!

We went over and rented snowshoes and decided to go out trekking across the golf courses there at Crystal Mountain....

Alex was the first to go down...I was next... but much later. It's a little tricky going down steep little hills while wearing snowshoes :-)
Here's a little video of our adventure (and the "dippin' dot" snow)...

video

As you can see, the weather was pretty rough, so we decided to head back home. It was really fun though!

In addition to the ski lessons they had gotten for Christmas, they also got snowboard lessons as well. Their lessons were the next morning, but you could pick up your rental equipment after 7:00 the night before. The kids thought that they would be naturals and wanted to get some practice in before their lessons the next day.

I'm not sure things went as planned...

video

It's deceiving... Clara looks like she got the hang of it right way, but that was so not the case. She had some pretty "epic" wipeouts, I just happened to miss them all with the flip! :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

afternoon adventures...

After lunch, the kids wanted to try the sledding hill again since this time it would actually have good snow!

As you can tell, the snow was coming down pretty good...

They were the first ones down with the new snow...
That made it tough for a while, until they packed down some good paths.
A near collision...





They had such a great time going up and down, up and down. We finally left them to keep sledding and after a while they walked back home... thoroughly exhausted!

video

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another list...

No bullet points this time as I'm doing this on my phone and bullet points don't seem to be an option. :-)

1. Clara got the casting list for the school play. She's a towns person. She's not entirely pleased. Lesson learned though... if your teacher asks you if there is any particular role you want and you answer towns person, you shouldn't be shocked when that's what you get.

2. Alex just added voice to his guitar lessons. He's signed up for the Neil Young spring show, so guess what we'll be hearing a lot of!

3. Just got an email from church and Alex has been asked to do the "minute for missions" in front of the congregation in two services on February 5th. Perhaps I should go buy him some real church clothes. :-)

4. Clara has no school on Friday and we WILL get her science fair experiment done that day. Trying this again since last time I posted that here, it didn't happen.

5. As if we don't have enough going on, Clara wants to join Girls on the Run at school. I think it will be good for her, so we're going to try to make it work.

6. Alex's school implemented Hallway DJ this week. No more bells at the end of a class period. When the music starts playing, it's time to change classes!

7. Today is my errand day. I decided to go back to a store I was in a week and a half ago to pick up some things I opted not to buy at the time. Well... the store is gone. Seriously... do we really need another CVS right across the street from one Walgreen's and about two blocks from another one?

8. I'm on a whole wheat muffin making rampage. If you have any good recipes, please share! So far I've been making banana honey and pumpkin.

9. I'm a creature of habit and I've altered my errand day routine today. I'm regretting the switch a little... especially since the aforementioned store (which was the reason for the switch) no longer exists.

Okay. I've occupied this table long enough. Time to embrace the change and get out there!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Year's Day!

New Year's Day we woke up to rain... but given that there was a Blizzard Warning in effect, we knew things would change. We took our time getting around and had breakfast (I tried a crockpot breakfast recipe I found online... not thinking I'll make that one again).

When the rain changed to snow, Jeff and Clara decided to go out skiing while crowds were light (Alex was wrapped up in his new xbox game)...
I went along to take some photos and Jeff's mom came too!





Notice anything different between these two photos? There was probably only about 20 minutes or so between the one above and the one below...Yes! Clara has on new bright green pants! The pants she had been wearing were hand-me-downs that had no waterproofing left in them. With the rain and wet snow that morning, her pants soaked right through from riding on the chairlift. She gave us the hard sell and off we went to the ski shop to shop for pants. But seriously... it's no fun to be out in the cold in wet pants, so it wasn't too hard to justify the purchase.

While watching for Jeff and Clara, look who snowboarded by...... it's Crystal Mountain's Snow Tiger, Snowball :-)

Not sure what's going on here...
Waving good-bye...
We were getting cold and wet and decided to head back to the house for a while. On the walk home, we ran into Jeff's dad who was just coming back from dropping off Donna to meet us. Anne got in the car and went back to watch Jeff and Clara ski with Donna. Then when I got back to the house, Alex announced that he was ready to ski. So, when Jeff's dad got back from dropping off Anne, he took Alex over! Quite the shuttle service!

video
They skied for quite a while, came back for lunch.... and then had other things planned for their afternoon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

bullet points...

I'm behind on posting photos from winter break and I'm nowhere near getting to the photos I've taken recently. I'm trying to keep up my posting momentum going by jotting down a few recent things...

  • It's official, Alex did graduate out of Rock 101, so he gets to sign up to be in a spring show!
  • Clara is auditioning today for her school's spring musical. She was taking it rather seriously even though fourth graders (the first year you can be in the musical) are almost always "townspeople" or something similar. She decided to sing Popular from Wicked for her audition... lol! She does it really cute here at home, but I have a feeling she'll stand there and mumble the words when she gets up in front of her teachers. Can't wait to hear how it goes!
  • Clara started basketball last week (Alex was supposed to but Jeff took Alex and a friend to Michigan for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding instead). She was the lone girl in a whole sea of boys! She held her own though! She came out embarrassed though.... when they scrimmaged at the end, she shot at the wrong basket and all of the boys laughed. Didn't deter her though... she's fired up for this week!
  • Clara did find the perfect dress for the Daddy Daughter Dance (after trying on over 20 different dresses... ugh). You've got to love shopping the sales after Christmas! So many leftover "holiday" dresses at such great prices! Given the great prices, I let Clara have free reign with what she picks out. The dress she picked was so not one I would have payed anything near to full price for, but for $11.98 we're both happy! She's totally in love with it and it does look really cute on her.
  • Alex started practicing with his school rock band last night! According to Alex they had a great jam session and I think they're having another one tonight. He truly loves his school!

I think that's all my bullet points for now. There are a few other things, but I actually have photos to go with those so I'll wait to post about them until I get the photos ready!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year's Eve...

Our New Year's Eve was spent in way that's pretty typical for us... food, games and Shirley Temples :-) We had another Just Dance tournament (I'm pretty sure Clara was the winner), played some card games, ate guacamole and chicken nachos, etc., etc., etc,... the usual. I took no photos of the festivities though. That seems strange... but I guess I was either in the kitchen getting the next round of food ready or playing a game.

At around 11:15ish, we started getting ready to walk over to the base of the mountain. We got there in time to watch the parade participants ride up the chairlift...
Jeff and the kids could have participated, but decided to just be spectators this first year to see what it was all about.

Then we saw the glowing red lights snaking down the mountain...
I think the age is 16 to carry a torch, but you can ski or snowboard down without a torch. Jeff's not so sure about skiing without poles, so we'll see what he decides about next year. :-)

As soon as the last of the parade participants made it to the bottom, the fireworks began (and I took really crappy photos of them)!

Jeff had the flip, and the video shows them much better...
video
(Can you hear the Michigan midnight vs. Chicago debate going on the background?)

The fireworks went on forever... it was so cool!

Our two party animals at midnight....
... Clara looks tired and Alex looks a little crazed!

After the fireworks, we walked back home... but could we go to bed yet?? NO! And why? Because it wasn't midnight in Chicago yet! We still had an hour to go. The kids insisted on staying up so them could text their Chicago friends at midnight...
... they were just barely hanging on though!

It was a great way to end 2011 and begin 2012!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another day...

.... another "non-real" post! :-)

Spent entirely too much time today shopping for the perfect crimper and doing this to Clara's hair....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

No real post today....

...because in addition to a full afternoon spent at Clara's ballet classes, a large chunk of our day was spent looking for the perfect dress for the daddy daughter dance with the right amount of twirly-ness. :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

sledding video...

So you can see that I wasn't kidding about Clara not being hurt and that she did come up laughing after her wipeout! :-)

video

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the 31st...

The last day of 2011 got off to a fabulous start! Jeff and the kids went off to ski for the morning. And I headed to the spa with his mom and aunt! We had massages scheduled for that morning. Afterward we took advantage of the steam room and sauna.... soooooo relaxing!

We all met up back at the house for lunch. After that, the kids went to the indoor pool for a swim (supervised by Grandma and Auntie Donna).

Can you believe that after skiing and swimming, they still weren't tired?? So, we headed out to try the unofficial sledding hill our neighbors had told us about. The first tee box for the golf course is at the end of our street, so we walked down there and the kids started sledding...
They both had gotten new sleds for Christmas from my parents. Clara got a disk that had grooves on the bottom that made you spin as you went down the hill. And Alex got a Zipfy mini luge....
... he had seen one in Wisconsin when we went to Door County this summer and had really wanted to try it out!

It wasn't the best snow to sled on...
...you would hit bumps every once in a while that would send you flying...
(Clara was NOT injured during that fall and came up laughing... whew!)

Alex had a little trouble adjusting to the Zipfy at first...

... get one foot down when you turn...
and it's WIPEOUT....
Clara after another wipeout...
They had so much fun sledding....
... but they were soon ready to head back to the house because they were eager to start our New Year's Eve festivities!!