Monday, January 27, 2014

The Longest Winter

I am predicting that this will be the longest winter EVER. 

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been in hiding. For the last few weeks we have been assaulted with bitter temperatures with wind chills around -40. That would be bad enough but then there has also been mounds and mounds of snow. Schools have been closed day after day because of the cold and the kids are forced to sit inside the house staring at the piles of untouched snow.  

This past weekend we finally had a little (very little) reprieve from the torture.  

On Friday the kids had off of school (a planned day off this time for a teacher in service) and we decided to go up north for an extended weekend of skiing (if the weather decided to cooperate). 

Thursday I ran around getting all the skiing gear, packing bags, buying treats and food, and making sure everyone had extra warm clothing. Joey had a basketball game after school at 6 so we ate an early dinner, packed up the truck, and went to watch Joey play.  After the game we left directly from school and began the three hour ride up north. As the night wore on and we got closer to the cabin the temperature got colder and colder.  By the time we got to the cabin at around 10:30 the temperature settled at -17.  It looked as though our ski trip may be a bust.

The next morning when we woke up it was a balmy 4 degrees outside.  Slowly the temperature climbed all the way up to 12 degrees and we decided to hit the ski hill.  We quickly bundled the kids and headed over to the ski hill 20 minutes from our cabin. Needless to say, the kids were more than happy to brave the cold.

This year was the first time we had to pay for a lift ticket for Joey.  He was officially out of the "kids free" category and into the "junior" category.  I had a moment.
Once the kids were fitted for their boots, skis, and helmets we were ready to go.
Dare I say it, but it was the easiest time we have ever had skiing with our kids. The snow was thick and slow and the cold didn't feel nearly as bad as I thought it would. Not only that, but all three boys quickly found their ski legs and were ready to move on from the bunny hill to some green runs on the actual hill. Todd made sure they all remembered how to be safe on the ski lifts and then off he went with his three boys to explore the hill. 

Grace and I hung back on the bunny hill together. Todd and I had been taking Gracie down the hill between our legs the last two years and I figured it was time to see if she could ski on her own.  The first time down we held hands. When Grace got to the bottom she told me she was ready to do it all on her own. And sure enough, the girl can ski on her own. The rest of the day was spent working on getting down the hill and learning how to turn. The girl does not give up. I was so proud of her determination. 
It was a big day.  The first time Todd could just relax and ski next to his boys on the hill all day.  And it was a big day for Grace and I too. Not only did Grace ski by herself for the very first time but I actually got to teach her. Todd is normally our family's ski instructor but Grace and I made a good team and I was so proud to be able to teach her to ski.

It was a great day and a sign of good times still to come.  Many times I get emotional and weepy thinking of my sweet babies growing up so quickly and this was just the thing I needed to remind me that there are so many fun times ahead too.

The next day the temperatures took a dip back down to the negatives again so we didn't get to go back to the ski hill. Probably for the best since my legs were a bit sore anyway.  Instead the kids played outside in the woods while I read in front of the fire. The kids would come in every so often to warm themselves and dry their clothes and then out they'd go again.

At one point I had gone to check on the boys outside and all three of the boys were up on top of the shed shoveling off the snow. I have no idea how they got all the way up there (and helped their SIX year old brother get up there) and I don't want to know. Lately I have been trying to give the boys a little more freedom but that one really tested me. I sincerely don't know if I am going to make it to see my boys to adulthood without having a heart attack. Crazies. No one was hurt so it all turned out okay, I suppose.

It ended up being a pretty good weekend. One I'd like to repeat again and again.

Today the temps are record cold once again. The schools remained open today (surprisingly) although tomorrow's school day has already been cancelled (and I think today is colder than tomorrow is predicted to be).

I think it is going to be a very long winter.  As long as we can sneak in a fun weekend here and there I think we'll make it through.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?


Bijoux said...

This is how sick and tired I am of this winter: Last night, while watching HGTV Island Hunters, I saw a couple enjoying a warm breeze on their deck and I CRIED! I kid you not!

I'm glad you had some family fun on the slopes!

Kat said...

Oh my gosh. I don't mean to laugh but I can't help it. I'm laughing. Only because it REALLY sounds like something I would do right now.
This weather is BRUTAL. Horrible. Alaska has been warmer than we have this winter. :( I'm sad.

Dawn said...

I can't even imagine that kind of cold. It must be physically painful to even be out in that. I'm sorry that it's what you're experiencing. The skiing sounds like fun though, so glad you got to enjoy that. I hope it warms up soon in your area of the country.

Tabor said...

At least you can take some consolation in knowing that so very many are having to suffer the same cold!! that last photo of you talking to the little gal is precious.

Wisconsin Girl said...

I've become so cynical this winter I can hardly stand it. What fun is it to stare at snow outside that can never be played in? There is no sign of animals running around because it is just too cold. And I HATE to even think about anything being outside this winter...makes my heart ache. And I'm trying to remember what color my car has been salt colored too long and never warms up enough to get a car wash. The bottom may just rust out in spring. Yeah, I could go on an on, esp. since we have another school day off tomorrow. It should be interesting:) Brutal is right...this winter is just awful and we are only about half way through. Ugh! Fun to see your skiing pics. Glad you and your family had some fun last weekend and braved the cold!

betty said...

Will the kids have to make up the school days later in the year? Talk about cabin fever! Honestly, I think I would be in hiding too having to endure the cold and also having the kids around (which I know you love, but they need to be in school if it is school time, you know what I mean).

Glad the skiing trip went well. How neat to have a hobby that all in the family enjoy (good for Grace for taking to it like a pro). This is something that can potentially always be a fun activity as the kids grow into adulthood too! (something I never did, ski that is, when we lived in Montana; son and hubby would go skiing, I'd be in the lodge reading a good book, always afraid I'd fall, LOL :)

I do hope it is an early spring for you all! I feel really bad with the wonderfully unseasonably warm weather we've had this winter, but the downside is a drought and fear of water rationing come summer.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

NOT my sport, but it looks like your family had a fun day.

Anita said...

With plenty of skiing nearby, I have yet to ski. Somehow, I know I'd love it... at least the bunny hill.

Your story and pictures are heartwarming. Great to see a family come together under such challenging weather conditions and manage to have big fun!

Ercotravels said...

Great family holiday and really, best place to spend family holidays and adventure activities.., kids looking cute...
Thanks for sharing your experience with us..

Hilary said...

Yours is such a wonderful family. I love how you make such beautiful, ongoing memories for your kidlets.

I had a little, knowing chuckle over "I had a moment." I can only imagine how you relive each of those milestone moments.. times four.

And yes, there are many more to come. Just think first date.. driving lessons.. and the inevitable (gulp!)"Can't I just stay home with my friends while you go....?" They're all to come. They're all good.

I think your sweeties will be better prepared than most to take on the world. There are amazing things in their futures. Good work Kat and Todd.

Elaine Alguire said...

Can you believe we've been out of school down here? I know! NUTSO winter for sure!

Glad you had so much fun skiing though. And that you and Grace make such a great team (of course!)

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

I truly can't imagine. I'm a homebody but being stuck inside, and especially with young bueno.
The skiing sounds awesome though, fun and memory-making!

Riahli said...

Awww, it looks like you had a wonderful time, how fun. Wish a tiny bit of your snow had ended up here. :)

lime said...

there really are sweet things about them growing up and being able to demonstrate they are learning. and we get to enjoy them on a whole new, more independent level. gives us a chance to sit back and revel in their growth a bit. thanks for sharing. it sure does look like it was a fun and happy day.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

So glad the ski trip worked out.

And, seriously Gracie isn't even old enough to walk, let alone ski, right? RIGHT?

I'm trying to give my older two more freedoms as well (by default) and they sure now how to test things!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson