Means Family, Beaver Creek, CO 2009I know it may seem as if we have been on one huge vacation this year and we have been able to see some really neat things along the way, but the truth is we have very few "down days". The "down days" we do have we spend catching up on administrative things and cramming in as much home school as possible. I have lost count of our miles. I think it is somewhere around 30,000 and we have meetings and mission conferences straight through Feb 2010.
Then we were in Colorado and the mountains were calling. I had completely forgotten the amazing calm, peaceful quiet of a landscape blanketed in snow. Then a few people sent money they wished us to put towards some special family time. We were able to get a hotel in Beaver Creek for a great price and rent our equipment from the MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) at Fort Carson. We rented equipment for the entire family for next to nothing. Vail/Beaver Creek Associates gives amazing lift ticket discounts for the military. I intend to write them a thank you letter, because not a lot of people do that anymore and it really made the difference in being able to ski or not for us. So with the money provided and some deal hunting we were going to be able to take our kids skiing at Beaver Creek! I was in complete disbelief. It is something Sam and I never thought we would be able to do for our kids and God provided this opportunity at the end of a rather long year.
Powder!! We almost didn't make it over the pass.
Enjoying the view the first morning.
The View! Can't you imagine "swishing" as Hannah calls it.We had planned on taking Haden up with us in the Kelty baby backpack as we have done in the past, but Colorado law has changed and prohibits that now. So, we decide to try some skis on him. While Sam got skis for Haden, I went ahead and took the older four up the small beginner lift, which is still pretty high. I wasn't sure if I remembered how to ski and I was going to have to get four beginners done the hill. We had worked on ski familiarity the day before and Sam had taught them how to stop (which is important), so I thought we should be ok. We got on and off the gondola ok and our skis back on. Then the kids looked down the mountain and panicked a bit. They started falling all over the place. As soon as I got one up and going, another would forget how to stand up. Where is my ski instructor? How did I end up on the mountain with four first time skiers? I was trying really hard to remain calm, but was pretty sure I was going to have to scoot them down on their rear ends. Sam got Haden’s skis and then up the hill he came. By the time he caught up with us we were about 1/3 of the way down and three were doing much better, but Lena was really starting to lose hope.
Please stay in a wedge and follow me!
Sam to the rescue, with Haden in tow! This is Haden's only run this trip. :)Haden didn't mind skiing as long as Dad was securely holding him, so Sam coached Adelina down while holding Haden and I took the other three down. After that all four of them just took off! Sam and I took turns staying at the bottom with Haden trying to get him used to his skis, while the other went up with the kids. After a bit we decided Haden would be better off at childcare. It broke all our hearts that he couldn't be with us, but he had a great day playing inside. At the end of the day the kids had smores on an open fire, mountain side, while Sam and I went for one more run that was a bit more challenging. We had skied from the time the lifts opened, until they closed. What an adventure!
The first day we just used the gondola and the beginner slope, but the second day we used the chair lifts. I was really concerned about getting four children on the chair lift, but it went really smoothly.
Ski bunnies and lil' bro.Now Sam and I enjoy skiing, as you read in the last post, but we didn't know what the kids would think of it. We were just excited to be able to have them on the slops with us. THEY LOVED IT!!! They are not your average children. They have been able to hike, rappel, camp, travel, hunt, and much more. In short they have a lot of experience under their little belts. We thought they would enjoy skiing the way they enjoy other things in life, with enthusiasm. But this was completely different. They loved it! I mean really loved it. When I suggested stopping to grab a bite to eat the first day they only wanted to keep skiing. I made them eat a little of course. As we sat to eat, Samuel declared he was almost as good as daddy. That is just too good! ;) They really were becoming good skiers and in just one day. I can’t even explain how much they enjoyed skiing. It was like dolphins enjoying jumping out of the water as high as they can. I have never enjoyed skiing so much myself. Watching the kids have so much fun was almost more than Sam and I could stand. Little 7 year old Lena would ski down the mountain singing at the top of her lung a song Sam taught her on the lift.
"Please help me I'm falling
Down the mountain again.
Close all the lifts quickly
Before I do it again.
All my friends say skiing,
Is the most fun of all...
I'm not so sure,
Lena singing down the mountian with me in the back ground. Not bad form. :)