Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Party

I'm actually in a little bit of trouble that I didn't blog about this FIRST when we got home from Montana. Carmen turned 12 on our last morning in Whitefish, so the night before we invited some of her friends (vacationing with their own families nearby) to come have a birthday party on holidays. It was certainly an effective way to keep the guest list to a manageable size!

Ptarmigan has a swimming pool, which was at the centre of the party. Here we have the girls in the sauna. Chloe was worried about going in the sauna and then back in the pool because her school teacher has told her something about releasing toxins in the sauna and then polluting the pool with them?

Chloe was game to pose for the camera in its underwater debut!

It was crazy cold out, but the older girls still braved the outdoor hot tub. They probably spent more time there than in the recreation pool.

Ready? On 3!

Carmen turned the camera on herself.

The party ended with presents and pizza and all the girls working together to decorate the cake. (Not photographed)
(Instead I'm including a photo of Carmen learning cake decorating at a RS meeting in February.)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Skiers

(Token picture of me risking camera loss doing a self portrait on the chair lift with Carmen.)

I call this the $500 picture because it was on our last day, which was freezing, and we only skied till noon, but at least I got this picture of Steven. I hardly skied with Steven at all, partly because he likes different terrain with his snowboard, and partly because he is better than me, but mostly because he met up with friends on the hill and spent all his time with them.

Chloe added poles to her ski skills this year.

Jaclyn and I staged this picture: I skied ahead and then turned around to catch her as she went past me. Normally she's ahead and then turns around and waits for me.

Carmen had the most fun in the trees and doing jumps, but she was also pretty pleased to really get 'parallel' this year.

The real reason we bring Ken along (kidding!).
Ken and I hardly skied together at all - we took alternating turns skiing with the younger and older kids. The one morning we hit the slopes together was a very foggy one: I didn't even try to take a picture.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Accommodations

We got home early this evening from a week skiing in Whitefish, MT. I grew up skiing at Big Mountain which makes bringing my own kids that much more fun. The night before we left home Jaclyn and Steven were looking through old pictures and found a few photos in a row of them as small children always posing in what we are now calling *The Crouching Tiger*. They thought the group shot on the first day was the right time to bring the pose back.

My parents used to own a time-share at Ptarmigan village, and though there are many places to stay on the mountain, we always rent there. We landed a 2-bedroom condo for $149/night with access to the newly renovated pool and internet hot-spot in the laundry building (Ken made a few trips to answer work emails). All that and nostalgia, to boot!

The decor in the condo was fairly typical of Ptarmigan, but with a heavier-than-usual emphasis on moose and wolf themed bedding, stencilling, art, knick-knacks . . . after a few days Chloe said to me that the owners must be Native American.

But the big feature was the Jack-a-lope.
(It was covered by a black garbage bag when we walked in the door - presumably the previous renters were offended.)

We took a more practical approach.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

It's all here in pink & white

Heart-shaped orange rolls - I got this idea via Be Different, Act Normal (on my sidebar).

Homemade Valentines with fun scratch-off stickers. Funny story: Chloe made these with her cousin Erica and one of Erica's got mixed up into Chloe's pile (totally my fault) so on Valentine's Day at school Chloe heard one of her classmates say, "Who's Erica?"

Carmen's button corsage.

Steven's lunch for the Box Lunch Social at school.
(Jaclyn loved this giant stuffy - she carried it around all evening on the 13th.)

Chloe's quick Valentine's hair-do (it was a bit of a rushed morning).

Sunday, 13 February 2011

"Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true."  - Robert Brault

This week Chloe and Steven had opposing experiences at school. Steven had to write an in-class essay on the importance of being kind (the whole class had to write this essay referencing literature they've been studying - it wasn't some sort of special assignment for Steven to remedy him of unkindness or anything like that).

Chloe also had a writing assignment. Her exercise was to write a paragraph with details supporting the first sentence. The assignment read that she could write about how someone she knows is like a monster or how someone she knows is like an angel - but the teacher only gave 'monster' examples of her own sister as a child and Chloe came away thinking she had to do a 'monster' paragraph. I found her in the kitchen doing homework with a cereal box hiding her paper and the most dejected look on her face. It was miserable for her! She couldn't think of the minimum 6 'monstrous' things about anyone and she felt guilty writing down what she could come up with. Poor girl. I pointed out that she had the choice of writing about someone's good qualities (an angel) and helped her start over. Then I wrote a short email to her teacher. What kind of assignment is this to complain about someone you care about? (And for our family, how counter to the love notes we've been doing all month?)

What does this picture have to do with being kind? Ken is on a business trip in Abu Dhabi and he sent me this picture he took with his Blackberry. I'm kind of jealous. He says not to be - it's no fun without me. Well, it's not as fun here without him.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I scored some pictures

Steven scores points way more often than I score photos, so I celebrated the fact that I caught a basket on camera with a little movie. It's a silent movie because when I add my special Canadian music (by American artists) my movies get blocked in the USA as I discovered at Christmastime.

I'm not sure, I'll have to watch it again, but maybe you can see that our boys are all taped up with pink tape to help support a cancer research fundraising effort by the Calgary basketball officials. If you want you can make a donation here:

You'll have to cut the above URL and paste it into your web address bar. (sorry, blogger is giving me a hard time creating links)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Taking Back Valentine's Day

We could do better in our family expressing love to each other - being positive toward one another.

Valentines is the perfect time to work on it!

I copied the Pottery Barn knock-off floating around on craft blogs and made felt envelopes for everyone in our family. The idea is that from now till Valentine's Day we each write at least one 'love note' to another family member daily.

I've provided the heart-shaped notepad to work from - should be easy, right?

As a bonus, Ken taught the FHE lesson last night from Moroni 7:45 which fit in so perfectly with family love:

And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.