I packed my bags to go lodging and in them I put…

First, let me explain my computer situation more fully, and the lack of pictures on the blog. Our desktop is on the fritz, so I am using my husband’s laptop which is about 8 in. x 10in. It’s awkward, confusing, and I miss word publisher, all my photos in picassa, and my hundreds of well-organized bookmarks on the desktop. I am grateful to have a computer that works, and I’m glad for Google Reader so I can keep up with my favorite blogs. But this thing does cramp my style. The only way I got those photos of Seth up yesterday was to turn the desktop on, start them uploading on our slow connection, and pray they got into the post before the computer crashed  (it usually runs about 12 minutes before dying without any notice). I got the post done, and was working on another when it crashed, mid-upload. So, that’s where we’re at, and why you’re getting mostly text again this week! Hopefully this will be resolved sometime…meanwhile, a friend and I are working on a blog design update and I’ve got some great posts coming – it’s just taking twice as long on this tiny screen, so bear with me!

Ski Season is in full swing! Jeremy drives 1 1/2 hours east 2-3 times a week, and we try to go with him when we can. This last Saturday was the first time we could all go out for the day (the wedding and some other obligations keeping me from joining him the previous two weeks of the program). We had such fun day, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into our experiences.

This is Jeremy’s 12th year with the program, and my 6th. Each year I spend less time on the slopes and more time in the lodge with our growing family, an activity I’ve affectionately titled ‘Lodging’. I’m not lying when I say I’m totally ok with this arrangement. Although I hate to admit it (because I believe it’s a sign of aging!) but speeding down snow covered hills in below freezing weather has become less enticing every year. It takes a lot of gumption, and most of the time I’d just as soon sit in the lodge, chatting with the other ‘Lodge Moms’ and knitting. I know the time will come when I will be needed out on the slopes, supervising our own little race team as they bomb the hill on mini skis, meanwhile, I am content.

While Jeremy packed his warmest layers and ski gear for the below-zero-windchill forcast, I was busy filling my ‘ski bag’ with food and activities to keep the kids and I fed and happy all day in the lodge.

  • Snow clothes (in case it warmed up enough for them to go outside)
  • Puzzles
  • Raw Milk Cheese Curds 
  • Markers and our favorite Jumbo Coloring Book
  • Diapers and Homemade wipers
  • Matchbox cars
  • Flourless Brownies (recipe coming tomorrow!)
  • Knitting needles and yarn
  • Play dough
  • Oranges
  • Spare clothes and extra wool socks 
  • Favorite board books
  • A book for myself (ha! like I would have time to read!)
  • Homemade bread and sloppy joe filling in a thermos for lunch

On Saturday morning, I nursed Seth at 5:30 and then went down to make coffee and breakfast (homemade tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese, and sour cream – wrapped in tinfoil to be eaten in the car). I had put the kids to bed in their ‘long john’ layer, so I could just get them out of bed and put jeans and sweaters over turtlenecks and leggings. Jeremy packed the car while I dressed the kids, then we all climbed in, along with my brother-in-law, Isaiah, for the 1 1/2 hour drive to the mountain.

It was a beautiful, if frigid day – started out about 7 degrees. We unpacked, got settled into our corner of the lodge, greeted all our ski buddies, and Jeremy headed out to the slopes. I anticipated a busy day with my hands full trying to keep my kiddos occupied, but I had forgotten one small, wonderful detail…

My kids are like the mascots of the ski program. Everyone, from participants, to volunteers, to management, loves them. When we arrive, everyone gathers around, exclaiming how big they have gotten, vying to hold the baby, and asking when we’re gonna start the next one on skis. Today was no exception, and it continued all day, with various people doting on my children throughout the day so that the only thing for me to do was sit back and keep an eye on things while knitting! I only saw Seth every three hours when it was time to feed him. Friends played play dough with Jesse and Claire, read books, and one girl even offered to take Claire outside in the afternoon. This was something I’d have loved to do if I had the freedom, but I couldn’t so I was so grateful for her desire to take Claire out. They came in half an hour later, Claire’s cheeks rosy and her face full of delight. She had ridden on top of N—-‘s skis, up and down the beginner hill, even using the rope tow, and had an absolute blast.

I can’t say how much this group of friends blessed me on Saturday. When people love on my kids, they are, by extension, loving on me. I was so blessed to be surrounded by such great people on Saturday, and to enjoy the bit of a break they gave me.

Meanwhile, out on the slopes, Jeremy and his team were working at mastering the monoski so they could effectively teach a new participant how to use it. This involved one of the instructors taking a turn in the bucket seat mounted on a single ski, with out riggers strapped to his arms, learning how to load on the lift, unload, and get down the hill safely. Apparently this was quite the challenge, and I enjoyed the stories Jeremy told me on the way home – of T—– falling off and getting run over by the lift. Of T—– failing to unload off the lift in time and falling off after the bench had already started down the mountain again. Amazingly, no one got hurt and everyone had plenty of tales to tell in the ‘debrief’ session in the Lodge’s Restaurant when the afternoon session was over.

We were home by 9pm that evening, having stopped to do some shopping on the way home. We finished out the evening with a dinner of leftovers and cheese tortillas for the kids before collapsing in bed, worn and and relishing the wonderful family outing we’d had together.

I hope to do it all over again this weekend – wish me luck! 🙂

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