Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Frosty Wonderland

On the drive home from the great skiing adventure in McCall, our eyes encountered a most marvelous sight. We called them frost flowers.


It was enchanting.

The Super Skier and Me

I'm married to a super skier. Jim loves to ski and he is really good. He loves the thrill of skiing through the trees in powder on black diamond runs. Unfortunately, he is married to a wimp of a skier. I started about five years ago and progress has been painfully slow. I'm still stuck on the beginner hill. I love to ski on wide, gentle sloping hills. Sometimes, I'm willing to try a steeper one as long as I can clearly see the bottom at the top. I freak out on anything else. My fear takes over. Poor Jim. Thankfully, he is patient. He taught me to count so that I will breath and other little tricks. He tries everything he can think of to make skiing more fun for me.

I've gone skiing five times this year. The first time was in McCall with my grandsons Nathan and Matthew. We skied on the beginner hill together and had the best fun. They thought grandma was a great skier. Then they moved on to the intermediate hill and started skiing with the real skiers leaving grandma in the dust (frost?). Next, Jim and I skied at Bogus on a Monday night. We spent an hour and a half on the beginner hill enjoying the beauty and serenity of the mountains (notice I said beginner hill). I could almost call that hill my own, I've skied it so many times. Then the sleet came. The warm bowl of soup we enjoyed in the lodge didn't improve the weather but it was a delightful ending to a delightful evening of skiing on the beginner hill. We skied, again at Bogus, the following Saturday. We were late getting away. By the time we reached the ski resort it was 10 am and the parking lot was full. We drove to a lot further up the mountain by some beginner hills I hadn't yet tried. Unfortunately, because these slopes were new to me, my fear mode took over. I just couldn't relax and enjoy myself. I took a break and Jim got to do some real skiing. Then the crowds came. I was glad to go home.

The next ski trip took place on Martin Luther King Day. Jim was determined to make this a happy adventure. He secretly booked a suite of rooms in a high class resort on Payette Lake in McCall. When we arrived in McCall, we stopped at the lodge to "use the restroom and check out the lodge". I was pleasantly surprised when he announced that we were going to be staying there for the night. He had found out that we could get the suite of rooms for less than a regular room at the Holiday Inn. What a deal! This ski trip was off to a great start.

The lodge sported a Beauty and the Beast chandelier!

Our rooms were beautiful.

We ate breakfast in the dining room the next morning. We had the whole place to ourselves and the food was delicious.

Check out the elk on the wall.

The view was incredible.

It was a beautiful, spring-like day. I think it was 45 degrees at the top of Brundage.

My super skier.

Jim signed me up for a private two hour lesson. My instructor was very nice, and patient. She tried to teach me how to overcome my fear. I thought I made progress. I had a good time showing off my new skills to Jim after my lesson. Then I went skiing again last weekend, at Bogus, and guess what...that old fear came back again. Was it because it was sleeting and ice was forming on my goggles so I couldn't see? Or am I just a hopeless case. I hope Jim survives.:)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

McCall Winter Reunion

We traveled to McCall for another family reunion!
Getting there and settling in was extremely stressful. We were late leaving our home. Some members of the family were unable to join us until late in the day as they were working on a surprise. The ladder on the camper got bent in the process of trying to back up and park. Packing and unpacking was a huge project. By the time we got every thing moved into the cabin, it was too late to ski--a major frustration for the dedicated skiers. Needless to say, we started out with a bit of tension in the air, actually more than a little. I must admit that I was worried that this was going to be a long week! Thanks to the diligence of every member of the family pulling together to make it work, our reunion was a great success. Here are the memories.
The book "30 Memories for 30 Years" was presented by our children. They spent many hours creating it to show their love and appreciation for their parents. We felt their love, especially after all they did to make the week such a great one!

All but two members of the family were able to attend the reunion. We really missed Sariah who is in Uruguay on her mission and Brian, Elly's husband. We're glad our friends Satoshi and Emily could join us.

Matthew is the king of Wii. That was the first thing he did when we got to the cabin and, boy, does he get into it!

We had a family Wii tournament. It was entertaining to watch everyone play. Did anyone win? I couldn't figure out why everyone was laughing at my serve. How do you serve a tennis ball without throwing it into the air first? Never mind that it's not actually there.

Interacting with those little grandkids all week was pure delight!

We celebrated New Year's Eve with a karaoke bash. Toe-tapping Maggie was a hit! Thankfully some family members could find the right key so the rest of us could join in at the top of our lungs, hitting a few notes here and there.:)

I was sorry I missed the pillow fight....

...but thankful I didn't have to try out the hot tub.

There was plenty of entertainment!

We laughed a lot in the Categories game. I've never heard such heated discussions over such topics as whether or not Mickey Mouse is a living thing. Does he, after all, reproduce?

Nathan, Matthew and our friend, Satoshi took skiing lessons every day. They were fearless! They were skiing with Ryan, Jacob and Grandpa on the black diamond run by the end of the week. I had a blast skiing with them after their first lesson on the beginner hill. It didn't take them long to pass me by.:) The highlight of Grandpa's week was a comment from Matthew after a day of skiing: "You're the best Grandpa a boy could have!"

While the boys were skiing, the girls (and Owen) found lots of ways to entertain themselves. They read, played, created jewelry, slept and took Owen to the emergency room to discover that he did indeed have an ear infection. One afternoon they explored beautiful McCall.

Thanks, Jacob, for these incredible photos.

We spent another afternoon playing in the snow....that is until it started to rain.

It was Owen's first experience with snow. The little boy from Florida was awe struck!

Becca, the one-eyed pirate baby.

Trying to get everyone ready for the family photo shoot is always a huge challenge. Then there is always the wise guy who has to make a face in every picture. Can you find the culprit?

We had a few sad faces when it was time to go home. Matthew was sad that every day had been "only about 10 minutes long" and that he didn't get to do everything he had hoped to do at the reunion. Nathan was unhappy that he wasn't going to get to go skiing again for a very long time. I think Uncle Ryan probably felt the same way.

We ended our week with, according to Matthew, "the best lunch ever" at the local pancake house.

Thank goodness for kind, loving, helpful, entertaining, creative family members to make a reunion such an unforgettable success!