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.