Winter Wonderland

12/31/2009 09:42:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »

First I was to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas. This year the family decided to get together for Christmas week at Copper Mountain in Colorado. I haven't had a spare minute to post either before the trip, during or after our trip to this winter wonderland.
After a terrible 5 hour trip to get up the mountain on Sunday night with a shuttle driver from hell-o, Lexie and I were happy to relax on our first day there. While everyone else head up the slopes to ski, Lexi, Blake & I hit our own little slopes right next to the condo. Here's the little shack we stayed in. We definitely we're suffering!
Thanks Angie for setting the trip up. You did a great job! This is a 4 bed 4 bath privately owned condo right on the slopes.
This picture was taken from the living room window of Todd & Lori heading up to the lifts. Anyway, the little ones & I tried to make a snowman or in Lexie's case a snow princess. But this was not packing snow. As you can see here they were clearly trying.

Here's my snow angel!
And here's Blake's favorite snow activity - snow eat!
That night we decided to walk into the village to check it out and for a bite to eat. It was great to finally have all the stateside cousins together. We missed you Dylyn & Damian but we hope to see you this summer in warmer weather. It was really great to spend time with Casey. It's hard to believe he'll be 21 in March. I still remember changing his....oh sorry. I won't go there Casey.
And here's Cody, Brooke & Mackenzie showing off their winter gear.
The next day we were joined by Jim who made it just in time to tub. Casey didn't make it since he couldn't tear himself away from boarding and Lynn didn't tube because of her neck. So she took pictures and froze her....she froze. Did I mention it was COLD up there?
The tubing set up at Copper Mountain was great. They had a conveyor belt to take you up and then had 5 runs with different bends and bumps and jumps.
Lexie had no fear and I was very relieved to see the double tubes. Otherwise Yin-Yin (aka Lynn) was going to have some unhappy company at the bottom of the hill.
And I have to say Mom was the surprise of the day. She was a wild woman. Her first run down she just sat there at the bottom waiting for someone to help her out which was pretty funny. Once the worker told her she was on her own she was unstoppable.
Click on this picture to make it bigger and you'll see the pure joy on her face. I hope I'm as energetic as you are Mom at 71!!
Even Blake got to go. Aren't he and Brooke cute?
And here's Todd & Lori looking like locals.
Angie, Jim, Cody, Z & Blake are looking pretty darn good too!
And here's a favorite of mine. Mom, Lynn, Cody & Brooke were heading off somewhere. I'm just not sure why Cody was carrying that large boot.
Now the next day was one we were all looking forward to - snowmobiling! The weather couldn't have been better (unless of course it had been 20 degrees higher!) What a good looking crew.
This outfit was top notch. The machines were high end and the guide Paul was great. Coming into base camp reminded me of shooting on location in Utah when we had to be snowmobiled into the set.
This was our first stop on the tour and what a location. The snow was just glistening and the air was so clear. Of course it was a little hard to breath being almost 10,000 feet about sea level but who care with vistas like this!
This was were they wanted us to practice our turns and get comfortable with the machines. I loved the speed but I guess I loved it a little too much since they asked me to slow down on the turns. Spoil sports!
Then we were off to hit the trails and climb to the summit.
Even Mackenzie who didn't like the bumps and fast turns had a ball.
Casey and I were at the back of the pack so we could leave room between machines and then have to "catch up." Hey Todd, your college tuition money is NOT going to waste.
This is the crew at the summit. Can you tell it was a little colder up there?
After checking out the mountain goats forging at the top we headed back down to the rest stop from some hot chocolate. Lynn was having the time of her life so she needed a little nap. Like she said a couple of extra pain pills and she was good to go!
Jim & Angie where good to go themselves!
We were all sad to head back to base camp. It was really a terrific experience.
Once we got back to the condo, Mom & the kids where ready to head outside. Here's Mom & Lexie trying to sled down the little hill behind the condo. Not too much sledding going on but they still had fun.
So we headed over to this bigger hill Casey & Cody had discovered.
This was a great sledding hill complete with a little snow ramp at the end so you could catch some air. Here's Cody going for it!

Then Casey was up. The snow was really coming down and so was Casey!
Mackenzie couldn't even make a snow angle it was so deep so fast!

Lexie, seeing all the fun everyone else was having sledding down the hill REALLY wanted to go. So Yo-Yo took her with a little help from Casey.!

Lexie had a ball sledding with Yo-Yo.
After that is was more than time for some hot chocolate and some serious poker - after Lexie was in bed of course!
So the next day was Christmas Eve so a lot of cooking was on the agenda. Unfortunately Mom had a really tough time with cooking in this altittude which was just shy of 10,000 feet about sea level. Virtually anything she baked fell or ran over the pan or both. We all felt so bad for her since cooking/baking is her thing so we hoped for better results for Christmas dinner. We had planned to have it Christmas Eve this year since Jim had to go back early Christmas morning. The turkey did take an extra couple of hours to cook but it was a wonderful meal. Great job Mom!
At Copper Mt they have a tradition of a parade with Santa skiing down the mountain to meet the kids before he heads back to the North Pole to load up his sleigh. So after dinner we headed into town. Of course I had to put Lexie in a cute new outfit even it it was totally covered by the time we left the house. And it was really getting cold by this time, as in -8 with a wind chill factor of -20. But you can't stop us and off we went. Sadly we missed the parade but did get to meet Santa - again! And see the fireworks.
My camera was so cold that it could hardly work. Look at the next shot. It's pretty darn cold when the camera can actually capture it on film. Now that's cold!
Once we headed back to the condo the kids decided to get warm by doing a little dancing and singing.
Now there's talent!!

Shortly after the "show" they kids discovered that Santa had stop off and left them each a gift. Lexie got the princess doll she had been asking Santa for. The other kids were equally pleased. Then it was off to Christmas Mass where a gentleman passed out and a lady a few seats down cried the whole Mass. It was a rather interesting way to celebrate the Birth of Christ. By then it was after midnight, so it was time head back to the condo and set out some cookies and milk for Santa then head to bed. But after checking out our supplies, Cody decided Santa would be just as happy with water since we were so low on milk that Blake wouldn't have any for the morning. Smart kid!

Christmas morning dawns bright but bitterly cold as in colder than the north pole - literally (Todd checked!) Luckily Grandma bought Lexie & Blake their traditional Santa & Mrs Clause outfits so they were nice and warm inside.
Lexie, like all the other kids, got way too much. But one of her favorites was this "violin" which she took very seriously.
Of course she also got enough princess stuff to fill a castle and a ball gown fit for a princess. Sadly it itched so she didn't keep it on for long.
Christmas day was a wonderful success with all the kids playing their various games and toys. Lexie and Blake were clearly pooped by the time they sat down to "read" some of Lexie's new books.

Our final day in Copper Mountain was another really cold one but we had to get out of the house by then. So everyone got bundled up again and off we ice skate. We had planned on dog sledding which I'd really looked forward to but believe it or not they didn't have enough snow. Go figure!
Casey's version of being bundled up was way cooler than the younger kids (in more ways than one!)
Lexie was so darn cute - look how tiny those skates are! And yes I know the "walker" was upside down but this was just to get her to stand on her own while I got a picture.
Here's Brooke & Lynn cutting up the ice - NOT!
Casey was a big help with keeping all the kids on their feet - well as much as anyone could.
Mackenzie really did well. She had no fear and had fun doing it. Nice job Z!!!
Cody was a little cautious at first (he's the one with the walker now) but he got the hang of it and did really well.
And here's my baby skating on her own. I was so proud!
Oh well - you learn when you fall right?
The girl just knows how to have fun!!

Well I think this is my longest post yet (and that's saying something) but I can't close without wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! May you all find good health, prosperity and love in 2010!

Christmas Fun

12/19/2009 10:43:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
One of other fun Christmas activities Lexie & I managed to squeeze in since our return from Texas was going to The Nutcracker. It was preformed by a local company at the high school for a LOT of the elementary school kids.

Can you tell she was excited? Her Montessori school was taking the elementary kids but her class wasn't going since she's only in pre-school. I thought she might enjoy it since she's a "ballerina princess" you know so I asked if they had a couple of extra tickets. So we got to tag along. I'm so glad we did.

Some of the characters were walking around in the audience while all the kids got seated so naturally Lexie went right up to them. There is not a shy bone in her body!

It was a nicely done performance as well as they keep their audience in mind by keeping the entire production down to just over an hour. During the intermission they had the Mouse King come out and tell the kids how the production is run, how they make snow, light cues, etc. It was a wonderful introduction to musical theatre for Lexie. Of course she keep saying "that's me" every time a ballerina would come on stage.

A couple of nights later we were off to the official Port Orchard Tree Lighting Festival. Nothing like life in a small town.

They started with The 12 Crafts of Christmas in the library. We got there in time for just the last few of them. But the best was the creative scarf Lexie got to make out of felt. She is proudly wearing it as she went on to the next table.

Then they had story time followed by a puppet show.

I have to say the Story Time Lady was much better than the puppet show. It was the youth group who put that on and I think they were pretty much winging it. But the kids couldn't tell....sorta.

Then it was a walk through town and a stop at the bakery where they let the kids decorate gingerbread men or teddy bears. Lexie wanted to "do a girl" so she went with a the teddy and made it pink- big surprise!

Then we were off to hear Austin, a friend of mines youngest son, sing for the tree lighting ceremony. And I've got to tell you it was COLD that night. I mean really cold like 28 degrees with a wind chill of about 0. That is really cold for us.
I somehow lost Lexie's gloves so I gave her mine. She's such a good sport. The kids were really good even in the cold and the tree lighting went off without a hitch. Then we were off to the marina to vote on the best boat decorating contest...I mentioned small town right?

Here are a couple of the entries. Walking down the floating piers in the dark with the wind whipping at us was quit the adventure but Lexie insisted on going. Then finally we followed the parade with Santa and Mrs Clause on the fire truck to the park where she got to meet them. Lexie was so excited and they had it set up so you could just take your own picture. Sadly my camera's battery was running out or it was too darn cold - I don't know which. But this was all that I got.

I know - it's a little well creepy. Luckily I got to take her to the mall and get that better shot of her. Of course Mrs. Clause couldn't make it there but at least Lexie got to meet her this night!

Lexie also got to experience her first class Christmas party at her pre-school and Mommy happily joined her. They had a performance by one of their classmates and then low and behold who stops by but Santa!

He was clearly one of Santa's helpers but the kids where still glad to see him. Then it was time for snacks and the best part of all - the gift exchange. Each girl brought a present for a girl and the boys for a boy.

I think Lexie was having a little present envy because Jazzy got to pick before she did and she picked the Tinker Bell bag. But have no fear, Lexie was very happy with her Polly Pockets.

Here she is with two of her best buddies Clair and Anika. Anika is a very mature 5 1/2 year old who has taken Lexie under her wing at school. She's a doll and I'm so glad Lexie has her to play with.

And finally before I forget here our traditional Cousins Christmas Picture.

Aren't they cute?! And it wasn't easy to get. The big kids were so good while the little ones.... this was Blake's favorite pose most of the time

I LOVE the tongue action!! And Lexie thought Cody & Z where there to swing her.

Well we're off to Copper Mountain Colorado for a white Christmas.
I want to wish everyone a joyous Christmas with the people you love!!!