The last two days of our vacation were spent with some very special friends...The Anderson Family. They were gracious enough to invite our family along with three other families to stay at their cabin right down the street from our hotel. Twenty seven of us enjoyed skiing, snowmobiling, cooking and talking for hours together at their cabin.
This is how it went....
Picture perfect scenery.
Plenty of snow.
Mr. Anderson listening to Vic during one of their many conversations.
Mrs. Anderson playing games with Sophie. (smile)
I tried to take a lot of pictures, but you know how it is all too often..."ahhh don't take my picture, I look terrible!" So I didn't get very many. I got this one of the Peterson and Anderson girls just after a full day of snowboarding. Thank you girls for entertaining Sophie, she had so much fun!
Jen and Dan's boys playing a game. So happy to have spent the time getting to know them again~ it had been way too long since we saw them last.
Packing up to go ~ no fun for anyone!
After many fun moments together we had to leave the fun and head home. We are so appreciative of time spent together with family and friends and will treasure the memories forever. A big thanks to The Anderson Family for inviting us to your cabin!
Day two of our trip to Utah was as perfect as a cold-snowy-hot-chocolaty day could be.
We woke up excited for the day to unleash its schedule of events beginning with a wide-eyed look out the windows of our hotel room to see the sight of beautiful pine trees topped with sparkly snow. We quickly dressed like abominable snowmen and waddled over to the Navajo Ski Lodge to get the kids enrolled in snowboard lessons.
This is how it went....
We got the girls enrolled and fitted for boots, bindings, and boards then settled at our meeting place. Their nervousness began to creep in, worrying whether they would be able to snowboard by the end of the day was at the top of their conversation. I reminded them to enjoy the opportunity they had been given and just have fun.
Meanwhile, a certain three year old was having a blast exploring the snow.
She wanted her gloves off so that she could feel the snow but the temperature outside didn't allow for that.
Our little family. [smile]
Vic, who knows no stranger, made sure to talk to all of the ski instructors to get their life's history and to make sure his girls would be well taken care of.
Finally, they met their instructor for the day and off they went.
After the girls left for their lessons, Vic and I stayed outside to teach Sophie how to make snow-angels, until the warmth and relaxation the ski lodge called our names.
Hailey was able to get up on her board and not fall, pretty great accomplishment!
Megan looks like a pro-boarder already!
Until she got a little twisted! [smile]
After an hour of lessons they were ready to head to the lift and up the hill!
Megan was first, she wouldn't look at me for fear that she would be knocked over by the chair lift, but she did a great job anyway.
"Hi Mom....these lifts don't get stuck do they?"
"NOOooo Never!" I said, hoping the look on my face didn't give it away.
Another flawless moment. How did they get so good at the chairlift that they weren't tangled, tripped, or dropped under the chair like I was when I first learned?
I didn't get a look or a response from Hailey as I cheered her on from below; she was holding on for dear life she later told me.
Off they went on their new adventure!
This day was a beautiful birthday for me. I was undoubtedly grateful for having the opportunity to take our family on a vacation, but thrilled to watch our oldest girls learn a new sport and our youngest play in the snow. We ended our day with a dinner together and a night of karaoke singing which filled me with smiles and appreciation for our blessings.
This holiday season has been quite busy for our family, between trips to town, wrapping up year end details with our business, Christmas preparations, and the kid's club volleyball season back in full swing, we felt like there wasn't a day where we could sit in idle mode and enjoy a moment of quiet time. Vic and I thought it would be fun to temporarily escape from our lives filled with 100's of responsibilities and plan a trip with our kids and go somewhere we have never been before.
We didn't exactly throw a dart at the map and pick the place it landed on, we had a little more thought involved than that. We wanted to take the kids to the snow and it had to be within a reasonable driving distance for our three year old.
This is how it went....
Taking the picture taken through the windshield, our first sign of snow was near Page, Arizona, this was a welcome change of scenery after being in the truck for 4 hours.
I kept Vic awake and intrigued throughout our 7 1/2 hour journey by reading aloud a great new book by author, Chris Camillo, called Laughing at Wall Street. The book reveals many myths about the investing industry, specifically hidden fees from mutual funds and 401K's, and how to pick stocks based on what's going on around us rather than what the Wall Street analysts tell us.
After 6 hours of driving, we all were sick of being couped up in the truck, so we resorted to finding new things to do like seeing if we could put our feet behind our head, [not me] and dancing in our seats to fun songs like "I don't want this night to end" by country singer, Luke Bryan....You got your hands up- You're rocking in my truck- You got the radio on- You're singing every song- I'm set on cruise control......lalala la. [Whatever works right?]
Finally, we were there, to the Grand Lodge in Brianhead, Utah! Even though it was only 8 degrees outside and it was way past Sophi's bedtime, she happily stood in a "frozen" state looking around at the beautiful Christmas decorations in the resort lobby and said, "is Santa coming here too mommy?"
While Vic and the girls braved the cold to unload the truck, Sophie and I stood by the cozy warm fire waiting for them to bring in our bags and head for our room.
The room was actually a suite, we were pleasantly surprised at the amenities and our King bedroom had more than plenty of room for Sophia's Pack-N-Play crib. The room was so nice that I decided to take pictures on my phone and send them to my sister-in-law, Lisa, showing her what her and her family was missing out on! [They couldn't come with us.]
I know it's kind of weird to be taking a picture of the bathroom but it was really pretty and worthy of remembrance!
This would be the kitchen that we would be using for the next couple of days.
This was the living room with a pull-out couch that our girls would call home. Not too shabby having a fire place and flat screen TV for two teenagers to enjoy after a hard day on the slopes! [smile]
With all of the driving we did, we were all tired, but not too tired to head upstairs to the family area they had in the hotel where guests were singing karaoke. Of coarse our girls had to join in the fun too. Sophia saw a few little kids singing Jingle Bells so she pulled her sisters up to the stage to do the same!
The next morning, we planned for the big kids to head to the slopes for snowboard lessons, and we would stay back enjoying the warm ski lodge and watching Sophia make snow angels.
Oh Red-Bull we will miss you, you were a good boy here on the ranch, but you have fathered all you can and now you must move on to greener pastures.
Red-Bull, our long horn bull, is being replaced by a registered Black Angus bull who is two years old and ready for our green pastures! I know it sounds harsh that we have to replace the old boy for a new young wiper-snapper, but that's how it goes on a ranch. Bulls can only mate with so many cows in a season and cannot mate with his offspring. So in order to keep the herd growing we have to get new bulls every few years.
He will be sold to another ranch and live happily ever after there. [smile]
I had been wanting to learn how to skeet shoot for a long time but never got in on one of the "guys" shoots. So when we had a bunch of family up for the weekend, Vic said, "this would be a good time to teach you and the rest of the girls that want to learn how to shoot."
Little did Vic know that he would have an entire class of women and teens wanting to learn, watch, and shoot.
This is how it went....
The Rules: SAFETY FIRST!
The first thing we did was get a lesson on gun safety, then how to properly hold a gun, how to turn on and off the safety switch, how to load the gun, how to stand, how to aim, how to look for the target, and finally... when to pull the trigger. Whew, who knew there was so much to learn!
Vic got the targets loaded in the trap machine, while we all watched.
My cousin, Jennifer went first. She was totally excited to try something new and wasn't afraid, like some of us were. I put her in the category of someone who would easily say yes to new-dangerous-adventurous outings like jumping out of an airplane or bungee jumping off of a bridge.
I live more simple and unadventurous. I would rather watch someone jump out of an airplane on TV from the comforts of my couch!
Of coarse she looks like she's been shooting forever!
And why do all of the cute girls look so cool doing tough things!
I will mention...that this time, she didn't hit the target! Good try though Jen!
Then came Jennifer's sister, Jill, who with all 98 lbs hit the target on her first try. Of coarse we ALL said in unison..."that was beginners luck!"
Jill continued to amaze me and everyone else on her great eye, as her aim was dead on nearly every time. So much for beginners luck!
Then is was time for Karen to learn how to load the bullet into the gun. I'm pretty sure she felt uneasy with the whole process but she was a good student and followed Vic's instruction flawlessly.
Karen did a great job, and said with a big smile, "I'm glad I tried it, experienced it...now I'm done!"
Ugggg, then it was my turn, I was fearing the kick-back of the gun the most. I have heard of people hurting their shoulders and I didn't want to be one of those. Not to mention I had two teenagers making fun of their mother [me] because I wasn't standing right or that I was a chicken. Yes, I was a chicken but mama has a flock to tend and I didn't want to get hurt! Is that such a bad thing?
So the chicken finally pulled the trigger and missed the target by a mile but it was really fun! I didn't get the kick-back that I was so fearful of and I could still tend to my flock of chicks when it was all over. Yay!
It was so nice to hand gun over to someone else, my daughter, so that I could laugh at her. No, I didn't laugh at her, safety first!
When the girls were done, the boys began to play a little competitive round of shooting. So they had their fun too. The best part was that we all got to hang out together and do something new. Thanks to my cowboy for giving us girls something to remember.