Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ski Trip

We went to Banff and went skiing at Sunshine for two days this week. It was pretty crowded, but there was lots of fluffy snow, and it wasn't too cold.

Andy and Sam took a lesson the first day, and Sam was very excited that his instructor said he should get some poles to start getting a feel for them. So the day after this picture was taken, he had poles, too.
Me taking a rest at the bottom of Strawberry.

This was at the top of Goat's Eye. I had never been on this run before; it was pretty good, but at the top there was limited visibility, and it was deceivingly fast. It was blowing snow like crazy! Andy and Otto went the second day, and apparently conditions had deteriorated at the top from the day before. Sam and I went on some easier runs while they went on Goat's Eye.

On the gondola on the way back down after a LONG day of skiing. The second day we left a couple hours earlier. I think the first day we were super-excited because it was our first trip of the season. The second day we were a little sore. :o)

After dinner one night. It snowed the whole time we were there!

You can see more of the lights in the background without the flash, but you can't see the snowflakes!

Sam checking out a grizzly bear ice sculpture by The Wildflour Bakery yesterday morning before we left.

The drive home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1st/2nd/3rd skates of the season, and cookies

Sunday we went on our first skate of the season. Andy, Sam, and I did. Otto still needs to practice and decided to help get people geared-up, and keep on his boots.

Then Andy and Sam talked me into going again on Tuesday. Before we left I gave them an early Christmas present from Papa Rex; REAL hockey sticks and pucks.

We had much fun, and went back this afternoon, hockey sticks in-hand again.

Although this looks like about 6 pm in the Southern U.S., these were taken around 4 in the afternoon.

Sam navigating around our make-shift goal of Andy's boots.

We also made some gingerbread cut-out cookies over the last couple days.

Though we rarely make cut-out cookies, I love cookie cutters. When we were in New Orleans this summer, we walked through a store at the River Walk, and I spotted some NOLA-themed cutters. I passed them up, but someone snuck back and purchased them for me. (Thank you, Dad.) So now we have some fleur-de-lis, Hail King Rex crowns, and little Louisianas thrown in the mix. And, of course, I had to buy a maple leaf the first time I saw one up here.

On to the decorating!

After taking a break, because cookie decorating was so exhausting, they ran off, got hot, stripped off the shirts, and came back to finish the last few.

Cookie heaven.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Exciting Saturday Nights...

with NO VOWELS!! Argggghhhh! :o)

(Me killing time while Otto fields a phone call from work.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Christmas Concert

Here are my uber-handsome boys before we headed out to their Christmas concert last night.

Sam came back with a different tie on than what he left with. These were little matching ones that all the kindergarten boys wore as they sang the French version of Little Drummer Boy. Andy's class sang a Spanish song (Campana Sobre Campana). I had never heard it before; it was nice.

And Sam showing me the penny he found on the floor at school.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tree time

We put up the Christmas tree last weekend. A few years ago we bought a fake, pre-lit tree. Love it! Mostly. You, of course, don't have the lovely pine smell, but the frustration saved by having the lights already evenly-spaced on the thing is spectacular. No dead needles to vacuum. No dragging it to the street. I'm not saying we'll never have a real tree again, but I'm sure happy with this one right now.

Mom made this one with the boys when we were visiting New Orleans this summer. It's really cute. And nothing says Christmas like a crawfish in a dress. :o)

My favorite box of ornaments to open are the picture ornaments.

My mom made one each year of Claire and me growing up. And speaking of Claire, here she is from our wedding!

The newest edition to our ornament collection, with last year's family ornament (snipped directly from an extra Christmas card).

The school-made ornaments are dear as well.

Our angel. This is angel number two. I broke angel number one when removing her from the top of the tree in Lake Jackson a few years ago.

Sam got to put the angel on the top last year, so this year was Andy's turn.

A little rest while Papi spoke with Abue.

Decorating the mini trees. A veritable forest.

And the preparation continues....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Georgia on my mind

I took a quick trip down to the Atlanta area to visit my family this past weekend. Solo.

The primary target of visitation was my Mamaw (Dad's mother), but my dad and sister drove over from New Orleans to visit, and my Aunt Mary Jane (Dad's sister) and Uncle Alan, Uncle Steve (Dad's brother) and Aunt Gail also live in the area, so there were lots of people to hug!

Here we were sitting in Mamaw's new apartment at Heritage of Peachtree, an assisted living facility that she moved into this summer.

Claire displaying her early Christmas present.

Sam and Andy made some artwork for Mamaw, which she taped to her wall.

I was blown away by the fall foliage. It was an unexpected perk of the trip to be surrounded by so many beautiful colors. I also enjoyed the Georgia accent (which is slightly different than Alabama or Texas), as one gentlemen told me outside, (spoken in your best male-version of Paula Dean), "I feel like I'm livin' in a wah-tah culuh."

Mamaw and I took a walk around her building on Saturday morning. I walked, she rode.

On our way to meet everyone at The Olive Garden for lunch, sunroof open. It was in the low 70s that afternoon. Light years away from what I left and came back to in Canada!

Fayetteville was designed with golf-cart transportation in mind, and here we were driving under a mini bridge.

Dad following behind us.

That afternoon we headed to Mary Jane and Alan's house, where we met the newest addition to their family, Cali.

They adopted her from a Great Dane rescue facility. I think she's half Dane, half Retriever. Georgia, their other dog, also came up for a scratch.


Enjoying the lovely weather in the backyard. Mary Jane, Gail, and Claire.

Alan, Mamaw, and Dad.

Mamaw requested a Dad-and-Uncle Steve picture because they look so much alike.

The next day we took a nice Sunday afternoon drive out to Steve and Gail's house.

Mockingbird Lane, which leads to their place.

Gail was showing me the pictures of their property after a tornado went through a couple years ago. Hundreds of trees were torn away, garage doors blown in, and poor doggies in their doggy houses picked up and thrown down the road by the tornado. Luckily they survived.
There were also a few pictures of their horses, non-tornado related. I believe that's why we were smiling here. :o)

This was a fruit and nut cake that Gail was in the process of making. She had four of them; two sherry-soaked, and two brandy-soaked. They need to be "fed" weekly for several weeks in row. The finishing touches will be a layer of homemade marzipan, then a topping of royal icing. Oh, how I wish I was spending Christmas at THEIR house.

Mamaw taking a whiff. They smelled GOOOOOOOOD.

Gail had also just taken out a loaf of freshly-baked bread. Mamaw called dibs on the end-piece.

We got home that evening just in time to play Sevens with the ladies.

Mamaw dealing out.

Short trip, but I'm SO glad I got to go - it was great to see everyone. And thanks to my wonderful husband, who encouraged me to leave the boys with him for the (long) weekend. That's true love. ;o)