Saturday, February 22, 2014

First time skiing with Jacob and Claire

Claire and Jacob got to go up to Mount Hood for their first time skiing.  Jacob and Claire were really excited to give it a try.

Thanks to a Groupon, the ski rental and lift ticket were a good deal.  Thanks to the same Groupon, it felt like the majority of Portland had the same idea to go skiing, so it took about 2 hours to get lift tickets and rental gear.

After getting onto the hill, we went over to a small side area where we practiced doing a snow plow and some turns before their lesson.

Both Jacob and Claire are pigeon toed, especially Claire.  That means that the snowplow is much easier going backwards.  Claire enjoyed giving that a try.

After their lesson, we had a turn going up the ski lift.

The ski area really was a perfect area to learn on.  The slope isn't very steep and it is nice and wide.  It is also a good length to get some practice without being too long.

By the end of the day, Jacob seemed to be getting more comfortable on his skis.  He really doesn't do the snow plow at all (or turn), but he was getting some good confidence.

Claire was also having a lot of fun going down the hill.  She wasn't turning much either (except when she would flip a 180 and ski backwards for a few dozen yards).

We left the hill with 2 happy kids!

Friday, February 14, 2014

23 weeks and upside down

Here's our little baby at almost 23 weeks

And Dani is feeling quite spry!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

We celebrated Valentine's Day in style with a heart-shaped pizza (though the picture doesn't look very heart shaped!), heart-shaped strawberries, a salad with heart-shaped carrots, and frozen strawberry smoothies.  Yum!

And we decorated Valentine's Day cookies for dessert.  Yum again!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Building in the snow

The first two days of snow produced a snow that was so light and fluffy that it wasn't possible to build anything.  The last day, we had some rain, so it made the snow great to build with.

The kids all helped make a pretty big snowman.  They found the rocks and sticks and brought out the carrot.  We were all pretty proud of our creation.

Jared made a little slide in the front of the house.  The original intent was for it to be a big pile of snow that we could build a cave in, but since we don't have a snow shovel and Jared had to carry the piles of snow, after a few minutes, the scope of the project was reduced to building a little slide!  Most of the snow that made up the slide was from the top of Jared's car!  Kate and Liam loved going down the slide over and over and over. 

Later, it began to rain, and later that night as the temperature dropped, and the rain began to freeze, which put a coating of ice over top of the entire slide, which looked pretty cool.  

We got a lot of use out of our snow gear over the course of just a few days!  

After the rain came back, it didn't take long before all the snow gear was back in storage, and it didn't take long for both slide and snowman to completely melt.


Liam has become much more mischievous than his older siblings. One of Liam's favorite new activities after we have put him to bed is to empty his dresser drawers.  And Kate's, too.

He's quite proud of himself, too, especially when he sees the look of frustration on his parents' faces!  He gets this really proud-of-himself look on his face that, while pretty cute, just drives us nuts!  He's since done it many other times.

3 days of sledding

Over the course of the 3 days snow was falling, we found lots of fun places to sled around and near our house.  We made sure we had lots of times out sledding since snow like this is so rare.

The first evening, we sledded just down the street from our house.  The hill wasn't very steep, so it worked really well for the babies (and gave Jared a little exercise as he pushed the tube, then ran down the hill to make sure it didn't veer into one of the cars parked on the side of the road!)

After the babies were done, the big kids and Jared went over to another street in the neighborhood that had a much better hill and sledded for a while (a little too long, actually!).  They would return there the next evening as well.  We learned that Jacob was quite an adept snowboard-style sled rider, making it to the bottom of the hill a few times riding sideways.

On Friday, we went in search of a good sled hill and ended up down at Memorial Park.  We were grateful to have the 4 wheel drive on the Yukon and easily navigated hills around town.

Memorial Park's hills weren't quite as big or steep as we remembered them being!  We were able to do a little sledding, and it again worked well for the babies because they could make their way back up the hill without much trouble, but we left wanting more!

It was a little bit of a walk to and from the hill, and we had to improvise to help Kate and Liam's little legs make the trip without tiring out too much!  We also needed nice pushes to get going.  Once going, we got enough momentum to make it a fun little ride down the hill.

It got a little bit cold and snowy for Claire and Kate, and they sought shelter in one of the huge pine trees near the hill we were sledding on.

Yes, Jacob wore Dani's old mittens - they kept his hands nice and warm!

We went to Atfalati Park in Tualatin on Saturday, and that was the best sledding we did the entire weekend.  While the hill was pretty crowded, it is a large and wide hill that accommodated people really well.  One of the big reasons we often had to wait is because our tube was out-distancing any other sled by 50 feet or more (as evidenced by the picture, taken at the end of a tube ride) and we didn't want to run anyone over at the bottom of the hill!

While not sledding, the park at the top of the hill was a huge hit.  The kids spent time on the teeter totter

and on the swing and the slide.  Liam and Kate spent the majority of the time there, which was nice for Dani so she didn't have to trek up and down the hill and for Jared so he could get a couple speed runs in on the tube to see how far he could go (he made it past the corner of the tennis court and is convinced he could've made it all the way across the park if he had time).

Eventually, Kate and Liam decided they wanted to ride the tube down with daddy, and they thought it was a lot of fun.

Jacob and Claire really enjoyed going off the jump, which was inconveniently situated between two trees, but which sent them flying, giggling through the air.  Claire would take seemingly forever getting herself back up the hill, in part because she would try to kick the tube up the hill the entire way.  Jacob, meanwhile, was practically on a dead sprint to get back up so he could get back down.

We timed the sledding perfectly because it started sleeting right as we were happily getting into the car!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Snow in Wilsonville!

It has been a number of years since we last had any real measurable snow in Wilsonville, so it was with great excitement that we watched the weather and then the skies as the snow came down!  Fortunately, we have winter gear for Kate and Liam from when Jacob and Claire were little so they could go outside and play.

Jared taught Kate what a snow angel was, and then Jacob, Claire, and Kate all decided to make snow angels side by side.  I love that Kate is looking over at Claire in this picture!

The final results in the backyard were pretty good!  Even better were the snow angels that Claire was doing randomly every 30 yards or so on the sidewalk (right below) as we took a walk around the neighborhood a little later in the day.

For Kate and Liam, this was their first time with snow in the back yard, and they loved it!

Claire took it upon herself to make sure that there was no snow covering any surfaces outside - the table and chairs, the grill cover, and the play house roof were all cleaned regularly by Claire.

Claire was our snowgirl outside.  She would go outside earlier than anyone else, stay the entire time, and stay out for hours after everyone else had come inside.  She would go play with the neighbors, dust off the new snow, and who knows what else!