Monday, February 23, 2009

Ice Skating with Grade 1ers

Sam and I accompanied Andy's class to the outdoor ice rink that's near the school last Friday. It was a sunny day with relatively mild temperatures. Perfect skating conditions!
Here comes Sam!

Here comes Andy...

and there he goes.

Skating is fun!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

We celebrated Valentine's Day this year by heading to our local Canyon Ski Hill for a fun day in the (VERY!) fresh air. Before we headed out, we exchanged a few cards.

On the way to the hill (about 15 minuted from our house), we came across an isolated area of trees covered in hoar frost. You can't see it very well in this picture; it's far more beautiful. You can see some more spectacular pictures of hoar frost here.

I also took a shot of our frozen Red Deer River. Again, not as pretty as it was in person.

I found this area much trickier to snowboard in because the snow was pretty packed down. I guess I was spoiled by all the fresh snow we got at Marmot Basin in the mountains last weekend. But Andy and Sam did great!

Here's some footage of Sam coming down the hill. Sam went up the tow rope here and came down so many times that he was complaining of sore leg muscles this morning. But he was sure having fun at the time!

And Andy.

Sam went up on the T-bar with Otto a couple times to come down a green run, and Andy even went on the chair lift twice and came down with Otto on the blue run very well. I, on the other had, went up on the chair lift, made a wrong turn and ended up on the blue run, looked down at how steep is was and decided it would be safer for me and anyone in the near vicinity if I went down most of the way on my butt.

We ended the evening by going out to dinner at Moxie's, and I stayed up until midnight watching "Pretty in Pink", which I somehow had missed back in the 80s! Andrew McCarthy was always by favorite out of the Brat Pack. And I no idea James Spader was in that movie.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Snowman

Andy, Sam, and I made our first snowman of the season last week.

We started closer to the front door, and were initially just mounding shovelfuls and handfuls of snow upon each other, leaving ourselves with a big mound of snow. Then we started carving around it to make it appear ballish in shape. But still, it looked like a ballish mound; not at all what I was going for. Not at all like Frosty! And how would we get the second "ball" on top of the first with all this mounding business? It just wasn't looking right.

Our neighbor came home from work and set us straight on the correct technique. Start with a ball and keep rolling it around in the snow and as it rolls it collects snow and gets bigger and bigger. It seems so simple now that I know! And these balls get heavy - it took all three of us to hoist the second ball on top of the first.

Isn't he looking handsome? Much thanks to the Connellys, our friends and neighbors back in Lake Jackson, who gave us the snowman 'kit' as a going away present!

Andy and Sam also found a good use for all the ice that built up on our driveway. Kind of a winter slip n' slide. (No we didn't sprinkle the salt like we should have, and yes, we have some now and have duly sprinkled.)

Unfortunately I lost our mailbox key, and traced it to the day that we made the snowman. After walking back and forth twice to Andy's bus stop searching the ground, and looking all over the house, I was convinced it was buried in the snow in the front. So after stomping all over the snow and looking with no luck, I thought there was a good chance it got rolled up into the snowman.

So, two days after we made the snowman, I was out there with the equivalent of a machete on the end of a stick (for chipping ice off your driveway when you don't put the salt down), chopping the poor snowman down, looking for the key. This didn't seem too odd to me until I first put the blade into his head. Then it seemed REALLY bizarre, and I suddenly realized that nobody tears down their snowmen. They let them peacefully melt away. And here I was stabbing it to death, all in the name of receiving mail again. I could just imagine all the neighbors that I still haven't properly introduced myself to, looking out their windows and wondering what kind of sicko they were living near. I went inside to put a cute hat on to make myself look friendlier as I finished chopping down the last half of his body. I was glad that our neighbors on either side of us left to go run errands so that I could at least explain myself to them. And I still didn't find the key, so off to the main post office I go tomorrow to arrange for some new ones. We'll have to make another Frosty soon to make amends.