Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back to Camp Jewell!!

During February break the kids and I and a bunch of our friends headed back to Camp Jewell for Winter Family Camp. This year we rallied even more families to go and ended up in two different cabins. I was weary that it could never be as good as last year. But this year proved just as good....if not better!!

Obviously with this crazy winter of snow, we had no concerns that we wouldn't be partaking in snow activities. Last year I never made it on one of the early morning snowshoe hikes so this year on the first morning I mustered enough energy (after a bad night's sleep..ugh) to head out with a small group of energetic boys. The snow was crunchy and not that great for snowshoeing, but we climbed up to the summit on that beautiful morning. Admittedly, I was partially motivated to take the trip for the photos.

Stanley the pig was still there and eating all of our meal leftovers....

We took our turns at target sports. Chica was insistent on loading and shooting the bb-gun all by herself. Yikes! I had to casually direct the barrel to her target......

A couple of cute snapshots of the kids...

Broomball was a popular activity for our large group of (competitive) boys. We had many little games and then entered 3 teams in a Broomball tournament one afternoon. The moms put together a team and there were two teams of our boys and one other family not part of our crowd. It might as well have been an NCAA final four game. Ben scored for his team to win it with about 2 seconds left.

The Champions!

And the mom's team took a bronze. It was so fun!!

Tubing conditions were great and the kids took turns sailing over this big bump and catching some air!

A break for hot chocolate!

The littler ones were such troopers climbing back up the hill with the tubes. Sometimes they needed to stop for a rest....

One afternoon a small group of us tried our hands at ice fishing while another group went on the hay ride. I knew from last year that it was a nice time to relax and it was a glorious day. Our group hooked the worms and dropped the lines in hopes to catch something. I would've bet large sums of money we would come up with nothing.

The crew from the hayride met us later at our fishing holes. Jack sat down and fiddled around with the line of one of the poles. Then he announced that he think he caught something. I really didn't believe him, but as he began pulling out the line it looked very taut. He pulled and pulled and before we knew it, a large fish erupted from the hole. We all squealed in excitement and disbelief! It was no small fish!!

Our last rainy morning the kids all took turns again at the Flying Squirrel.

There were also lots of candles and crafts made and a lot of fun just hanging out with friends at the cabin. Another great time at Camp Jewell!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Myth.....Busted

This was the scene yesterday....on the first day of Spring 2011. I had recently found the cutest little gnome and mushroom statues at Target and placed them in front of the sprouting daffodils. This past weekend Chris raked the whole front yard and the kids (begrudgingly) picked up all the piles of sticks, pine cones and dead grass. The yard looked great and I was really feeling spring!!!

I didn't put away the snow boots, hats, mittens, coats and snow pants, though. I thought that would be a big jinx. But I guess the placement of the gnome statues outside might've ticked off Mother Nature.

Remember Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow on Groundhog Day last month, predicting an early spring? That myth is officially BUSTED!!! And more snow is predicted for tomorrow!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Season for Skiing

I was determined to get this skiing post done before every bit of snow has melted from our yard. It's really starting to feel like spring out there, thankfully! After a winter of several feet of snow, it's a nice change to put away the snow shovels and buckets of salt.

Despite the nuisance of snow days, shoveling and leaking ice dams for many around these parts, it was a great year for skiing at our local mountain. I don't think the mountain had to make any snow this winter, so that must have helped with costs.

I first ventured up with the kids by myself one day in late December. The kids were on break from school and we were hanging around doing nothing. I dragged everyone up to the mountain for a couple hours of skiing. It was a little stressful getting everyone and everything up there, but once we were there and heading up the lift I was glad we did it. This was the first full season we would be skiing as a family. And the first season that I could take the kids solo.

Chica wasn't that willing to pose with me on our ride up.

What a glorious day!

Our shadow heading up the lift.

We didn't ski too long and I did end up with a nice big headache for the ride home, but I was still glad that I made it up by myself !

The snow started dumping in January and the skiing really picked up. There was one afternoon where I came up but just didn't want to rent skis again for a couple of hours, so I took photos instead. Chica came a long way this winter. She absolutely loves to be outside and never said 'no' to skiing. And she was usually the last one out on the slopes.

It was a mixed winter for Luke. He mostly skied, but did snowboard a couple of times. He had the least interest of all the kids in heading up to the mountain. But I noticed that he did enjoy the days he got to hang-out more with Ben. Those two have been having a lot of fun together being goofy and laughing.

Chica skied in her first two races ever! The Slush Puppy race was late January while Dad was out west skiing. There was no question in Chica's mind about doing this race. She and Regan were ready to give racing a try.

I was taking video of the race and not taking photographs. But Chica came down that hill at a good pace and in complete control, making it around each and every gate. She was one happy girl after it was over. And so proud of herself!

We waited patiently in the lodge to wait for the results of the race.

We missed the announcement because the lady was speaking so softly, but found out later that Chica was the youngest racer at the mountain and won herself a trophy. And she received her Slush Puppy too! She was giving me the hardest time about having her picture taken with her trophy. This was the best I could get.

There are no photographs of Jack and Ben skiing except for this candid of them having a snack and a rest with some friends. They skied quite a bit with their buddies and had a great time overall.

What a great winter of skiing for the family. It was such a nice break in between fall and spring sports for some outdoor fun and family time. And this winter I purchased my first ever set of skis (and also a new ski jacket and pants!!).

Yesterday our ski mountain closed for the season....and tomorrow is the first day of spring. After a great winter, I'm ready to move on to the beauty of spring and lots of baseball!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pinewood Derby!

A few months back Luke excitedly joined the Cub Scouts. His Dad was a boy scout and has been telling them about all of the cool things that the scouts get to do. So Luke signed up and he and dad have been bonding at all of the scout activities. He has already earned his first badge and had a sleepover at the Boston Science Museum!

This past weekend was their first Pinewood Derby. Luke designed a car on paper and he and dad used wood shop tools to cut out the car to match the plan design. From then Luke sanded the car and painted it all by himself. He was ready to go race last Saturday morning!

I've never seen a Pinewood Derby so I had no idea what to expect. The track was cool and even had an electronic system for identifying the heat winners.

Luke's car is the blue one with the smiley face and bubble eyes!

Luke was pretty excited for the race. They had to wait for all of the racers to arrive. He spent that time inspecting the track...

and intrigued by the table where they weigh the cars and are able to apply more weight if allowed.

He was happy to have me there snapping pictures and happy his Grandma came to watch, too!

Chica was excited to watch and hung out with her little buddy from school whose brother was also a racing scout.

More waiting...

And we really had no idea how his car was going to do. After a demo, the races began.

And the results:

Heat one: second place!

Heat two: third place!

Heat three: first place!

For his age group, Luke ended up in 2nd place was thrilled to get a little trophy.

It was a successful Pinewood Derby for Luke and his troop!