Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Before I write about recent happenings, I realized after my last post that I forgot to include something that happened over Christmas.  In October I was thrifting when I found this book about Chuck Norris.  Ian is a huge Chuck Norris jokes fan, so when I saw this I thought, "sure, I'll grab this and give it to Ian for Christmas...."  Well when Christmas morning came and Ian opened his gift, he started laughing, and then flipped through the pages.  Just inside the cover was a signature, Chuck Norris.  He showed me the book and asked me if it was autographed.  I said I had no idea.  We looked up Chuck's signature online and sure enough, it was the same as the one in the book!  What a great surprise!  If I had seen it beforehand I would have played it up that I'd met Chuck Norris.
Eric and I took a trip up to the cabin in January to take up supplies and do some maintenance.  We decided to make a day of it and ski at Tamarack while we were up there; we had a free day pass there that was expiring.  Tamarack is one of the prettiest ski resorts; the views are amazing.  I hadn't been up there for a while so was looking forward to it.

I got new ski boots last year, specially fitted.  While they really help me control my skis better, they are also super tight.  I've had problems this season with my feet cramping up.  As we started down the first run that day, my feet started to cramp worse than they ever had before.  It got so bad I was stopping every two turns to stretch my feet.  Tamarack runs are long, so it took a while to get to the bottom of the run, and poor Eric was so patient and waited for me each time I stopped.  I knew there was no way I could ski anymore that day unless something changed.
I have discovered some (fun!) things about being 40+, one of which is needing to wear insoles.  Last summer I discovered I couldn't wear normal flip flops anymore without being in pain the next day.  After trying out several types of insoles I finally found a pair that do wonders for my feet, and I had put them in my snow boots that morning.  Eric suggested I swap my ski insoles for my other ones, and thank heavens (literally - I was praying all the way my first time down) that did the trick!  No more cramps for me and we had a great time.

Some cute hats we looked at at one of the shops.  We didn't buy any though.
We drove by Eric's family's cabin on the way home.  We haven't been there for a while now that we stay in McCall so much.
Aspen and Oakley like to play Scrabble (hallelujah - one of my favorites!).  I taught Oakley speed scrabble a few weeks back, and then played with Aspen one-on-one for the first time.  I think we lasted 10 minutes, because she kept putting down words like hehabs, and swearing they were real words.  I had a good laugh, but we haven't played since.  I'm pretty serious when it comest to Scrabble.
One day I noticed a chorus of birds all around the outside of the house.  Being January I thought it was a bit strange, and opened the front door to take a peek.  I know you can't see it in this photo, but there are tons of birds.  I'm not sure what was in the air that day, but it sounded like Spring was just around the corner.  I love it when the birds swarm our property!
Poor O was sick a few weeks ago, then Aspen.  I feel bad for them when they're sick, but I sure enjoy cancelling all my plans to spend time with them!  Oakley and I ended up watching the old school Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Aspen and I watched a few Just Add Magic videos, and of course I read to each of them.  I'm patiently waiting for Birch to get sick next, but he's been really healthy this year 😂
Some photos from some night skiing.  Sorry for all the ski photos!  Skiing at night is so magical; all the lights setting off their soft glows on the snow.

Aspen is playing basketball for the first time (if you don't count her Y camp over the summer).  She has two of her friends on her team, but now that they've been practicing for a few weeks everyone is her friend.  They had a rough start (their first game ended with a score around 2-30), but they have been working hard and last week won their game 16-10.  I love watching my kids play team sports, and have enjoyed Aspen's games so much!  Last week's game was amazing and I was able to sit with my friends Kayleen and Carissa, and we were cheering all the way through the game.  Roo made several steals and rebounds; she played amazing!!

?? Saw this at Target.  I think...I need it.
In the car on the way home from skiing.....
Oh no I forgot to rotate this photo.  Well Eric and I went out on a date one night, and we found this when we came home - the kids had made us chocolate covered popcorn served with root beer, and a note reading Thanks for being the best parents, happy valentine's day.  It was very sweet.
Went walking with the kids one Sunday after church and saw this tree, grown around a fence.  It was cold that day but we had a nice walk.
Well this amazing looking cake wasn't actually the one I ate for my birthday but it makes for a pretty picture!  I had the smaller one there, a gf bundt cake, also yummy.  We brought home the larger cake from my friends' birthday party - she had an abundance of cakes there so we took one home for Eric and the kids to eat the following day which was my birthday.  41 and isn't that crazy.  This birthday was a bit hard for me because I was alone most of the day.  I really just wanted to celebrate with Eric and the kids, but of course they were at work and school.  Anyway I had asked my friend Leslie if she would be free to go on a run with me that morning.  It was 28 degrees with 18 mile an hour winds, but we bundled up and went out and I'm so glad we did!  It was good for me to get some social interaction that day, and I love going for a good run on my birthdays.  Anyway after our run I went to Costco, then picked up Aspen and took her to her basketball practice.  Her fun coaches had the girls sing to me, which was so cute, and then Roo and I met Eric, the boys, and his parents, Annie and Chance and Beckham for dinner.  When Eric, the kids and I got home we had some cake.  The kids each wrote me a sweet card, and Eric hid them and his card around the house so I would find them throughout the day.
Leslie made me this and I love it so much! 
I have loved being Birch's class's art mom so much!  One week we made quilt paintings, Faith Ringgold style.  After I instruct them I love walking around the room and seeing what they create, as they love to share with me.

I told Sash I wanted one of her prints for my birthday.  Specifically one she took in Washington/Oregon.   After looking at my options, lots of deliberation and changing my mind many times, I finally chose this one.  I need to ask Sasha what she calls it.  I love it so much; the colors, the flower pushing through a dead stem, strength.

I recently taught Roo to play canasta.  We had a much better time with canasta than scrabble ;)  She was just killing it!  And picked it up right away.  This is something I love about my kids being older:  teaching them new things I love to do!
As I get older, I'm really trying to keep up my running pace.  Some days are much better than others, not gonna lie.  This was a good day.
Years ago I bought some Cornish game hens at Winco and then decided (because it sounded like such a fancy meal) that Eric and I would serve the kids dinner as if we were waiters in a restaurant.  I thought it would be fun to do this again on Valentine's Day (Birch had been asking), but Eric surprised me with dinner and a movie (Knives Out, lots of fun!) that night, so we did it on Sunday instead.  Eric asked the kids to dress up, and Oakley and Birch went all out; O put on his three piece suit and fixed his hair, and B put on his Sunday best (including a vest) and fixed his hair as well.  I'm pinching myself I didn't get a picture!  We played some smooth jazz, turned down the lights, gave them their menus and really played things up.  The best part was the kids interacting with each other as Eric and I observed between courses.
One of Birch's friends from church just got glasses, and I mentioned to Birch how cute it was.  Later he asked me if I could get him some.  He kept asking, and so I decided to order some on Amazon.  These fake fashion glasses look so cute on him.  He asked me not to tell anyone they aren't real, and was so careful to take them off at dinner (so they wouldn't get dirty) and put them in their case.  They have since disappeared and I am heartbroken!
Aspen got braces recently.  A good thing too because the retainer plan wasn't working out.  She had such a hard time remembering where they were each day, let alone wear them!
The kids are asked by their teachers each year to make Valentine's Day boxes.  Aspen being in middle school now didn't need one, but the boys did and Oakley decided to make a tie fighter, and B a Spiderman themed box.  Eric and I helped B with his, though he did a lot of the work himself, and Eric helped Oakley with his tie fighter.  Eric really loves being able to do these kinds of projects with the kids. 

Some photos Aspen took at the park.

Oakley and Birch.  Can you find Birch?
We went skiing on Presidents' Day, and Eric and I got away for a bit while the kids snacked in the lodge.  I told Eric I wanted to ski down a run called Paradise because I'd never done the whole thing.  I now know why they call it Paradise; its the prettiest run at Bogus!  But it's also the longest, and when we were there there was a ton of powder so the run was really challenging for me.  I'm glad we did it; I'd like to do it again with less powder!
the kids being silly

Oakley's Papa gave him a neck gator a while back, and Oakley wears that thing every day.  One night he wore it to bed as a jammie shirt because all his other ones were dirty.
O came out of his room one night donning a mustache he'd found and some shades.  We thought he looked like Magnum P.I.
Eric volunteers to help plan and carry out activities with the youth at church.  Every Wednesday night they have an activity.  Last Wednesday they were holding an Iron Chef competition, and had all the youth separate into smaller groups.  Each group went to a different house to prep their food before meeting back at the church to have it judged.  Aspen is now old enough to attend, but was at a different house.  Eric came back to our place with his group, and it was fun to see them at work making their layered Mexican casserole.  I was upstairs some of the time watching the Democratic debate, and could smell the chicken and spices sautéing, smelling amazing!  Later that night Eric brought home the delicious leftovers; mmm!