Monday, March 9, 2015

Big Sky Ski Trip!

We kicked February off with a great week of skiing in Big Sky (outside of Bozeman, MT).  Clint and Rachel's crew as well as Eric and Amber Green's crew all flew up here for a fun week of skiing together.  Our family grew up skiing with Eric's family (our parents were friends when they were just out of college) so we try to keep the next generation going with the family ski trips.  It was a week with a few complications (as is the case when you bring children along) but it was  a GREAT WEEK!!!! 

Here is our whole crew:
Grown ups: Amber and Eric Green, Us, Rachel and Clint 
Kids: Ayelan Green, Auburn Green, Roselyn, Kanyon, Nolan (looking really attractive.  He did this in every single picture. haha) Quinn, and Easton Green.  As you see, Jaylie June did not make the trip.  She got to spend a few days with her Gram and Chief! Clint and Rach's youngest, Marion, stayed in Paris with my parents too.  

Our schedule was sort of crazy and scattered.  Me and Quinn left on a Tuesday afternoon and drove to Bozeman to go to the grocery store and pick up the first crew at the airport.  We got the Greens loaded up and the kids (Quinn and Easton) were laughing and playing in no time.  

All loaded up in the car headed to our cabin! 

It was a pretty drive but it did start snowing once it got dark and we were on unfamiliar mountain roads so it took us a while to get to our house.  Once we got to the area we were supposed to be staying we could NOT find the house! We could see all the right streets but not the right house number. It was SNOWING and DARK and LATE.  We were tired and sort of laughing/frustrated at the whole thing.  We eventually found the right house and immediately gave Clint and Rachel, who would be coming later that night, better directions! The house was great!  We eventually got the excited kids to bed and waited up on Clint and Rachel to arrive later by shuttle.  They got there late but we were so excited!! Ready for a fun week!

Quinn and Easton found the fooseball table and didn't leave it! 

We spent Wednesday getting everyone's rentals, the rest of the groceries, ski school, lift tickets, etc.  We were all pumped up for skiing the next day! Quinn has been looking forward to skiing since last year and couldn't wait to get to ski school the next day.  I hadn't skied in YEARS and was beside myself to get to ski again! And then it hit....Q started feeling bad and running a high fever.  I put him to bed at 7:30 which NEVER happens and was hoping he was just exhausted and it was going to be nothing. He was restless and feverish all night long and still the next morning.  

Seriously? Was this really happening? So we stayed in that morning hoping by afternoon he would perk up.  Then he didn't.  Me, Rachel, and Amber had signed up for lessons that afternoon, so we were scrambling to try to figure out what we were going to do with this sick kid! Then I got a text from Amber around 10:30 that ski school had called her because Auburn threw up.  Oh dear.  Eric was a champ and stayed in the afternoon with Auburn (who was just altitude sick) and Quinn who was just miserably laying on the couch so that us girls could do our lesson.  

This was a picture of them skiing away from the house the first morning.  I was sad.  Q was sad. He was crying because he was missing ski school, but he could barely pick his head up off the pillow. It was a sad morning.  

This was just us gals during our Thursday afternoon of skiing.  I sure do love these girls and had a blast skiing with them! 

We picked the kids up from ski school and had fun skiing home with them.  

Thursday evening, Kory and Kanyon arrived for the fun!  Ro and Kanyon were busy playing in no time.  These 2 have a pretty special relationship.  Kan LOVED the hockey game in the game room.  

We hadn't been able to figure out how to turn the arcade game on, but KLP figured it out in no time and was one happy camper when he discovered it had Mega Man on it! We all had fun reliving the old days with these games. 

Here is Kanyon, Friday morning, ready for his first day of skiing!!!

Eagle Mount is a program that does adaptive skiing (as well as other sports) in different areas of Montana. Their program at Big Sky was GREAT! Here he is getting all settled in to his bi-ski.  

I skied with them the first day to make sure all was well. I knew Kanyon would have fun but wanted to make sure they could communicated with him if he had trouble.  These 2 were GREAT instructors.  We got up the lift and ready to go. Right as we were about to take off, the guy looked back and said, "Does he have any aversions to speed???!!!" I shook my head no and THERE THEY WENT! They flew down that mountain and Kan was loving every second! They have tethers/reigns on the back of the ski so they can hold the reins and let him practice initiating turns and stuff or there is a handle on the back of the seat that the guy can hold on to and push. Either way it takes a tremendous amount of strength from the instructor! The other instructor skis alongside.  I skied behind them smiling from ear to ear the whole time! There are things in life that you really want for your kids. Those things that in the grand scheme of things you know don't REALLY matter, but you really want your kid to experience them/join others in experiences.  Skiing is one of those things for our family.  With Kan's love for speed and all things wild, fast, and loud, this kid was made for skiing! Getting to watch this happen was a highlight of my Mom Life.  The excitement and fun is followed by a powerful wave of appreciation for people who devote their lives to making sure this sort of thing can happen for kids and adults like Kanyon.  Someone invented this bi-ski, someone developed and raised money for this program, and volunteers spend their time, energy (WHEW! This is quite a work out for the instructors), and days off so that my kid could fly down the mountain.   Without them Kanyon would've missed out on everything but the hockey game at the house (which was a close second to his skiing experience).  So It was a GREAT day to say the least! 

Here is a chair lift swing at the base of the mountain where he could swing after his day of skiing. His first day he ended up only getting to do half a day. He had a seizure right before his afternoon started and was soooo tired.  They made one run and he was almost falling asleep.  But he did just fine the next 2 days and would've done more if he didn't have to go home!  

Meanwhile Quinn spikes a REALLY high fever, we take him to a medical clinic, negative flu, negative strep.....then he started having tummy troubles.  So this is what he looked like all week.  This was the day he thought he wanted to try ski school but that lasted only about 15 min.  Poor guy was spending his long awaited ski trip on the couch! He was soooo pitiful.  

Here's creepy, scary, ski bum Clint serving up cherry coke on snow! Mmmmm it was our favorite after kids are in bed and we can all relax treat.  

The next 2 days were a blur of Kory and I switching out staying in with Quinn, bringing lunch, picking up ski school kids, dropping off Kanyon at his was pretty hectic.  We kept thinking every day that he would turn the corner but he never did.  His fever stopped but he wad NO strength and slept all day.  But all the craziness was MORE than worth it! 

I can't remember how this happened, but me and Rachel scored a whole morning skiing by ourselves.  I think the boys were off skiing crazy extreme stuff and the kids were in ski school.  

One afternoon after ski school we skied with the kids a little.  This was my ski lift partner Auburn! Such a sweet girl.  

We had a small window of time where all the kids could "ski with Kanyon" so we made one run up with him and his instructors so they could see him ski. 

Here are all the kids (including poor Q who came to drop off/pick up with Kory that day)
Easton, Quinn, Nolan, Kanyon, Ro, Ayelan, Auburn! Is there anything cuter than little tiny ski kids???!!!! I could just eat them up!

Here they are all ready to take off!!!  

Nothing feels better to a bunch of ski bums than a hot tub.

A litte more time at the arcade.

Poor Quinn had almost no energy but still had to leave the house when me or Kory had to bring lunch or switch skiers.  By this time in the week we were pretty sure he had some sort of bacteria in his gut. He was a sad sight. 

The gang one afternoon on the way home.  (Kory was home this afternoon with Q and K after his lesson). The scenery at Big Sky was absolutely INCREDIBLE! And we all love to look at how Eric is grabbing Easton's coat to keep him still.  Ha!

Pit stop for lunch one day.  Quinn was at least there to be a part of things like that.  Poor kid.  

I was getting klp ready for skiing and set his helmet down and next time I walked in it was on and his goggles were over his eyes.  He was READY! 

Ski lift selfie with Rach

The last day, Amber didn't ski so she stayed with Q.  WHAT A GREAT FRIEND!!!  So Kory and I both got to ski. We ended up spending the majority of the day together. It was so much fun! 
The last day came to a screeching halt when Ro and Easton had a major collision.  It was a bad crash and it ended with Ro and Clint headed to the hospital in Bozeman to get an MRI.  She definitely had a concussion, but recovered quickly.  We were very thankful.  It was the ultimate advertisement for  wearing helmets.  She and Easton would've been a lot worse off without a helmet. 

Here is Q and Nolan playing one last game before Q left.  The saddest part of the week was when Kory went to load Q up to leave and Q said, "But Mommy, what about skiing?" I had to tell him he missed it. The trip was over.  I don't think he realized all week that it was passing him by and he wouldn't get to do it when he felt better. I was so sad.  

The last night was kind of crazy because Clint and Ro had gone by ambulance to Bozeman not knowing how long they would be there. They were supposed to fly out eary the next morning but Rachel and Nolan were still with us.  Kory was leaving with Kanyon and Quinn that night too.  It worked out pretty good because Ro and Clint got discharged pretty quickly. So Kory picked them up from the hospital and took them to eat supper in the mean time Eric took my car from our ski house and met up with them to bring Clint and Ro back to the house.  They ate supper at Wendy's and that totally made Kanyon's week. He loves Wendy's...borderline obsessed.  And to get to eat there with Ro was even better! As you can see, she was feeling much better and they were laughing as usual. When we got back from skiing and everyone was asking Kanyon how the trip was he would say "I got to eat at WENDY'S with Daddy, Quinn, Uncle Clint and RO RO!" So much for the skiing. Ha! 

Sweet Q had an appetite but it his tummy rejected everything he ate. It was a long, interesting drive home for poor Kory that night. There's not a ton of towns between Bozeman and Lewistown (read: almost none)and the ones that are there are....tiny.  A 24 hour Laundromat did the trick once I know.  Poor Quinn. POOR DADDY! 

I stayed the next day and got The Greens to the airport then headed home.  I was happy to see my Juney girl and thankful Kory had gotten Q to the Dr. and got a few things figured out.  We LOVE The Greens and Spencer crew SO MUCH and had a total blast living together, skiing together, wrangling children together, cooking, eating, visiting, laughing, and dealing with the fun/stress of family ski trips! It was AWESOME!

Monday, February 16, 2015

January Sun and Snow!

While we were in Texas, our town got clobbered with snow! It was piled up everywhere and so thick and pretty.  

As you can see in between the storage sheds and our house, it was knee deep in the yard.  And the roof had several feet of snow.  Of course the business behind us provided lots of great icicles!  

I took this the next morning when I was taking Kanyon to school.  Everything covered in white, but life goes on around here! 

This little fawn (and her mother just ahead of her) walked right by my back window.  It happens all the time and we are right in the middle of town. They actually bed down on our back porch! 

The kids were anxious to get out in the snow so we bundled up and headed out.  J didn't like walking in the snow, so she camped out by the trampoline and ate snow the whole time. The all-you-can-eat snow buffet! 

The snow was about 5 ft. deep on our little trampline. We had to shovel it all out before it turned to ice. It was a big job! Kan had fun digging in there.  

Q was busy tromping through the snow! 

...finding lots of icicle swords!

Busy in the kitchen.  Quinn loves to help cook, Jaylie June loves to "help" cook (as in she is right under me....closer than a shadow ALL DAY), and Kanyon is my head dish washer.  Its fun when we are all together "working". I love having them near me.  I also love how happy Kanyon is at the sink. Its my #1 babysitter.  And the more we learn about him, the more we know its actually good for him. Calming, modulating, and therapeutic! Yay! So that water bill is actually just another therapy bill! :) 

After we got home, the kids got their Christmas presents from us. Me, Sydni, and Kory teamed up to make some teepees for the boys and Jaylie June got a kitchen!!!  You can find her cooking "cakes" all day long! 

KLP is so much fun in the snow with the kids! They worked really hard on this snow tunnel, complete with icicle gates! 

The boys are sitting up on top of what they called "Penguin slides". They loved sliding down the sides like little penguins. 

A better view of the tunnel and gates.

When there is snow on the streets, the plows come through and clear the streets.  It piles the snow up in the middle of the street then they come back through later and haul that snow off. Here is the street right in front of our house.  The snow was piled up almost 10 feet! Look closely and you'll see Q at the top of the pile! 

One of Quinn's drawings. "Its Jaylie with pigtails! And its raining but she has a balloon."

Here is the snow removal team at work on our street.  I love watching this. Maybe all this stuff is just fun to me because I'm new, but I get a kick out of watching it work.  This tractor thing sucks up the snow and then it shoots into the back of the dump truck that drives beside the tractor. Teamwork.  

Just a week or so after all that snow, the sun came out and we enjoyed lots of good time outside.  The boys were happy to be back "at work" at their stumps Uncle Tye and Aunt Rachael gave them for Christmas.  They got their own hammer and nails so they can hammer hammer hammer!  

The snow was starting to melt, but the kids were dying to go sledding. So we went out to the ranch and had some fun on one of the hills.  

Good ol' Dad dragging kids back up the hill (no snowmobiles that day....we missed them!) 

Q ready to go!

Daddy and Q ready for take off! 

Jaylie's first sled.  She was sort of frozen in fear/uncertainty through the whole thing. Ha! 

KLP and klp.  klp LOVES the speed, doesn't mind the snow in his face, and has SO MUCH FUN! He is such a speed junkie.  

Good ol' Hungry Hungry Hippos.  This time Quinn started saying a prayer before the game started...get it??? Praying before a meal??  Haha! I guess he's keepin' those Hippos on the straight and narrow! 

My crazy girl! 
Jaylie June just tryin to stay warm

The boys always go to bed earlier than Jaylie, so that means she sometimes gets to do fun things at face time Uncle Clint and Aunt Rachel....and their CAT! She was soooooo excited (though you can't tell in this picture). 

She got all cozy on her chair and made sure her baby was cozy too.  

Kanyon got a new pair of glasses just a couple of months ago but they were TERRIBLE.  They were bent and crooked all the time.  So we decided to get new ones.  The lady in the office convinced me to try plastic frames.  I think they're cute....on other kids.  You know when something is cute on some people but you don't feel like it "fits" you.  Well, thats sort of how I felt about these glasses. But we decided to go for it and instead of calling them "preppy"or "hipster" (descriptions that don't exactly fit Kan or us) we think of it more like he's channeling his inner Kevin Durant.  NBA MVP is much more our style.  ha! 

Speaking of glasses, hiding behind these sunglasses is a zonked out little girl.  

So we had all that crazy snow at the beginning of January and then after that we had CRAZY WARM weather! There were no complaints coming from our corner of the world! We spent as much time as we could playing outside and soaking up the sun (without having to spend 20 minutes putting snow clothes on!).

After Christmas break, we changed Kanyon's school schedule.  Instead of going 3 full days a week, he now goes 5 half days.  His mornings are VERY hard. His seizure meds make him super sleepy and he functions best if he gets a little bit of a nap when those meds hit.  Obviously that wasn't happening when he was going to school in the mornings. His school days were long and he was getting very tired.  I think starting his days off so tired and uncomfortable from the meds made it really hard to recover.  So now, he goes to school at 11 in time to eat lunch with his class and carry on the rest of the day. It has been a great change for him and his days have been much more smooth, peaceful, and productive.  All that to say, we have more "school nights" now.  The boys love to sleep in the same bed, but I only let them do that on nights that klp doesn't have school.  So, with this new schedule and all, they look forward to Friday nights when "tomorrow is not a school day" as they say.  It happens all the time, but it kills me every time.  Here are the best brothers in the world sharing that tiny bed. 

The last weekend in January was the Winter Fair here in town.  Winter weather hit that day and it was cold and snowy (for the first time in several weeks) but that didn't stop us from heading out for the stick horse rodeo.  We did this last year so they boys were excited.  

Here's all the rodeo kids. It was actually a much smaller crowd than last year! The boys had fun and as you can imagine there was some major cuteness going on with each rodeo "event".  

And there goes January!!!!!!!