SEATTLE METAL PRINT
MARCH 1, 2018
We finally ordered and received our panoramic Seattle skyline photo on metal. We wanted to update the photos in our family room and decided on a theme of Photos around the World. We bought the Seattle photo first, as it will sit in the center of the wall with smaller photos from around the world above and below it. The first one we ordered was underexposed and not as bright so we had them reprint it and mail it to us.
WATCHING LITTLE EINSTEINS
MARCH 1, 2018
Madeline just LOVES to watch Little Einsteins with anyone who will put the show on for her. Today Abby laid next to her and watched an episode of Little Einsteins. Madeline was so intrigued, and I just thought it was so cute that they were watching it together because Abby also really loved Little Einsteins at this age.
DR. SEUSS DAY
MARCH 2, 2018
It was Dr. Seuss day at Mountain View ES and this year Abby decided that she wanted to dress up as Fox in Sox. We put her hair in high pigtails to be the ears of the fox and then she found some blue socks and wore them on her hands.
MARCH 15, 2018
In 4th grade the kids at the elementary school get to participate in a Pioneer Day celebration. We borrowed a pioneer girl outfit from the Ashby’s again. Abby looked so cute all dressed up. She started her Pioneer Day at school with a flapjack breakfast and then they had games and activities all day long. She had so much fun.
MARCH 16, 2018
Well, we had another little snowstorm. I always love the way the house looks after it has snowed.
EMMA’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY BAND PARADE
MARCH 17, 2018
Emma marched with her band in the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade. After dropping Emma off at the school Mike was able to stay for a little bit and watch the kids practice marching and playing around the school. It was fun to see them all dressed up in their St. Patrick’s Day colors.
MARCH 17, 2018
Mike took the girls ice-skating at the Monument rink since their entry was free for all students and families of Mountain View ES kids. The girls had a great time skating and even saw some of their friends there.
ABBY PLAYING IN HER ROOM
MARCH 18, 2018
Abby has always been so good at creative playing. At 9 years old she still loves to play pretend in her room all by herself. These days she plays mostly with her stuffed animals. I love that she is still so imaginative.
MARCH 31, 2018
Grandma Ann and Grandpa Franz came to visit for Conference weekend on their way to the East Coast. It was so much fun to watch Conference on our brand-new gigantic TV and enjoy listening to the leaders of our church and hearing all the new changes. The big change this conference was all about combing Elders Quorum and High Priest into a single Elder’s Quorum. They also announced that the Youth program would be changing in January 2020.
MADELINE ON THE PLAYGROUND
MARCH 31, 2018
Madeline loves to play on the playground whenever we are out and about and close to one. She is still not very fond of the swing, but she will go up the stairs and down the slide forever if we let her.
WEEKEND WITH THE GRANDPARENTS
MARCH 30-APRIL 3, 2018
My parents came for the long weekend to spend General Conference and Easter weekend with us. It was so fun to be able to hang out all weekend long and enjoy each other’s company. Grandma Anne got the girls a fun animal felt kit and they all had fun putting together different animals. We had lots of fun and thought provoking conversations at night with Grandma and Grandpa and enjoyed our walks and adventures to the park. It truly was one of the best visits we have had with them.
Madeline finally reached 20 lbs. this month. Her hair continues to grow and the curls are as wild as can be. Everyone always comments on how cute her curls are. Madeline started going to the nursery at church and has been pretty happy. She is usually a little sad and clingy at first but then she warms up to the leaders. Every once in a while she will go to Dani and tap her just so she knows someone is there that she trusts.
Her new words are: blocks (bocs), no (nah), dust (dus), open and shut (from wheels on the bus), all gone (all gah), pat pat (from Little Einsteins), blast off (bas of), pants, socks, shoes, and bear. Madeline can also make the sounds for a duck, cat, cow, sheep, rooster, snake, elephant, and pig. She can also say the sounds for the letters B, D, and F.
Madeline loves bath time. She loves to hold her hands under the faucet while letting the water trickle across her hands. She loves to play with her plastic animals but really loves her foam letters. She loves it when I sing about the letters while she is playing, telling her what each letter says.
One of the things we find amazing about Madeline is how great she is at cleaning up her toys when she is done playing. We usually sing the clean up song and she happily puts her toys away while sort of singing along. She even cleans up her toys in the bathtub before getting out. That is usually how I know she is ready to get out because she will say “all duh” and then I will get the bath bucket and scoop as many toys as I can and she will put the rest in the bucket for me. Madeline is not only good a cleaning up her toys but helping me clean the house. She loves to dust, vacuum, and clean the windows with me. She loves the feather duster and will clean right alongside me. She even will clean the glass when I used the Windex. I give her a paper towel and she wipes them just like mom. Her favorite, though, is the vacuum with her pretend vacuum.
There are a few new things that Madeline has discovered this month. She loves to go behind the lamp and press the button to turn the lamp on and off. She also loves to turn her sound machine on and off by putting her hands on the top of it. She is so smart. When she is done listening to the different music or sounds she turns it off and says all done. Madeline also loves to rock on her little rocking chair and can get on it all by herself. Then she rocks herself back and forth and says rock. It is the cutest. Madeline still loves to dance and sing to music and will now try and jump up and down. She loves to bounce and hop when she has her bunny ears on and even tries to say the word bounce. Madeline has discovered coloring with crayons and loves it. Her favorite thing to do is flip through all the pages of a notebook and color a little on each page. Her favorite color to use is usually red. Madeline has also figured out how to climb up onto the couch and chairs in the family room and the kitchen chairs. One day when I was cleaning the kitchen I saw her get up on the chair in the kitchen and told her to sit down since she was standing straight up. As she went to sit down she lost her footing and fell off the chair. Luckily she was ok except for a sore lip that she bit because of the fall.
Madeline still loves food and has tried a few new things this month. She loves to pull out the Redi Whip from the refrigerator door so that we will squeeze some in her mouth. She loves whipping cream. She also got to try fruit snacks for the first time. We don’t really buy those but Mike had a free pack and so we gave them to her. She loved them. Madeline has become more picky during dinner time will frequently tell us she is done before she has eaten enough of her dinner. I can usually get her to eat a few bites by telling her that she can be all done when she eats just one more. She usually agrees to eat a few more bites that way.
Madeline got a new car seat this month and finally graduated from the Nuna infant car seat to the Nuna convertible car seat. It took her a few days to get used to sitting up a little more than her baby car seat. She didn’t really like it at first. We decided to keep her rear facing since she is still pretty tiny for her age.
Madeline LOVES to be outside and enjoys running around on the grass. She loves to play at the park and especially loves to slide down the slide. She has mastered getting up the play set stairs by herself and then sitting down and sliding without any assistance. We still catch her at the bottom so she doesn’t fall off the slide. The closets park to our house is the elementary school playground. We don’t go there that often but when we do, she is in heaven.
Everyone was a bit tired this morning so Mike and I took advantage and went out skiing without the kids. Andrew joined us mid morning and then Mike went back to watch the kids and start packing up our stuff. Andrew and I did some harder runs. We headed up the Silver Queen Lift and went down Crystal, Twister and Upper and Lower International, which were all black runs. I definitely preferred the black runs that did not have a ton of moguls. Upper and Lower International were actually fantastic runs. It was so much fun skiing with Andrew. He is such a fantastic skier.
It was a sunny Sunday on the Mountain. Everyone was a bit slow to get going, but once we did, we were off into a beautiful sunny day. Andrew stayed behind with Madeline to get some rest and to let his hand recover a little more. The rest of us went up the Silver Queen lift and took some of the first turns through Paradise Bowl. Early morning is a lot better than when the lines have been all chewed up by everyone else. Bright sunshine was nice as well because it was easy to see where you wanted to go. The lines were fast and the bumps were easy. It was a nice way to start the day. Abby crushed another black today, so it was nice to see her progressing toward hitting any run on the mountain. Paradise Bowl is a wonderful cruiser that you can follow all the way down to the East River lifts. It's quite a run. At lunch, we all met back at the apartment. Madeline ate half the watermelon and then put on Abby's helmet because she didn't want to be left out. Sorry Madeline, you can't ski yet! After lunch Sara and the boys headed out, then Emma joined them for some more afternoon turns. Abby and Dad watched Harry Potter while Madeline took a nap.
It's hard to imagine a more serene feeling than carving down a mountain in the early morning sun. That's how our day started. Bright sun. Fresh snow. Empty mountain. Actually, our morning started with eggos and milk, but the snow came soon after. At the end of our condo, you drop down to a little lift that takes you through the Aspens. From there, you can grab an express lift to the top of the mountain. Sara stayed with Madeline for the morning and the rest of the kids and me took the first turns on fresh groomers and fresh powder. It was sublime. Abby even crushed her first black run with no problem. Andrew was catching good air and floating in the powder and Peter was ripping down the mountain as fast as possible. It was fun to see the kids crushing it. Unfortunately, Andrew got some huge air off a jump and landed weird and messed up his thumb. Since it was swelling quickly, I took him down into town and called the on-call Orthopedic Surgeon. He came in with his daughter, took some X-rays (no fractures!), and put a cast around Andrew's thumb and wrist. He was one of the nicest most mellow Surgeons I have ever met, and he didn't charge us as a professional courtesy. People like that are the reason I became a surgeon, and its good to see there are still great people like that out there.
After lunch, Sara went back up with the other kids and I met up with them a little later. The kids had fun skiing down the Paradise Bowl down to the Paradise Express lift while Sara tried out her new GoPro 6. With voice control and a bunch of new features the GoPro was fun to use. She even got a new handheld stick so that she could get lots of great angles. Eventually, the clouds rolled in and it was a little overcast, but the cruising was still good. Any day on the mountain beats a day in the office. Life is just better in the mountains.
Today we got up and finished the rest of our packing before heading to Crested Butte. Mike had a few patients to see up at the AFA and Urgency Center and stopped by Memorial Hospital to see our friend who was admitted to the hospital the night before. It was a busy morning for both of us. I wasn't moving very fast because I was sick with RSV that I got from Madeline who had been sick the previous week. By the time everything was all packed and ready to go we double checked our reservation and had quite a scare as the website said our reservation had been cancelled. We called the place where we were staying and were relieved that our reservation was still good. We got in the car and headed to Rudy's and had quite a fabulous lunch of brisket, chicken, potato salad, and chocolate pudding. From there it was a relatively easy drive all the way to Gunnison where we stopped at the City Market to stock up on groceries. It's a good thing we were close to Crested Butte because we were all tired and hungry. This year we found a VRBO at the San Mortiz Condominiums. The placed was pretty great with enough space for all of us. It was a little older than the place we stayed at last year but more convenient in many ways because it was a ski in-ski out. We unpacked all our gear and made a quick dinner of hot dogs and milk. After putting Madeline to bed we all watched the new Jumanji move and laughed so hard at all the funny parts.
March 13, 2018
The boys first swim meet at Palmer High School went well. Peter swam in the 500 free, 200 free relay, and the 400 free relay. Peter was a little nervous to be swimming in his first swim meet and to be swimming in the longest event. His start looked decent and his flip turns had drastically improved from the beginning of the season. He told me after the race that he was so confused with the lap counters and thought he had been disqualified. It took the boys at the end of the lane cheering him on for him to keep going. When he was on the final length of the race the lap counter is a big red square. He thought he had been disqualified again but kept swimming until the end of the race. He was pretty tired for the 200 free relay which was the very next event but he swam well in both of the relay events.
Andrew swam in the 200 IM, 200-medley relay (backstroke), and the 100 backstroke. It was new for him to swim the backstroke in the relay and as a single event but he did well enough. I loved watching him swim the 200 IM because I could see him swim all the strokes. His butterfly has really come a long way. More than anything, I loved watching the boys cheer each other on. It’s so much fun to have them on the same team.
March 20, 2018
The boys swam really well against Cheyenne Mountain and beat the pants off of this team. This was the first time they have been able to do this in the last 10 years. Now that the first meet was out of the way the boys could really get their groove on in this meet. Andrew swam in the 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, and the 400 freestyle relay. Peter swam in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay, and the 400 freestyle relay.
Nothing beats government funded travel. Well, maybe that’s not true. Either way, this month I had the opportunity to go waste time with the Army filling out paperwork and pretending to be interested as Senior Leaders fretted about ways to make themselves more promotable by annoying the rest of us. At least, the training was near Atlanta. The best part about being in the military (if there is a best part) is the opportunity to make friends through communal suffering. I met up with an ENT buddy from Michigan, Dr. Bae, and a CRNA from Spokane. We went to mandatory meetings together, but also had some good meals in Atlanta. I also got to go to the Aquarium, which is pretty cool, and also see Sara’s brother John, which was a lot of fun. I enjoyed going for a run through the Georgia woods at a nearby nature preserve. It was really cool, except for the pricker bushes. I forgot that in the East, if you step off the trail, you are going to end up getting into brambles. Even so, it was great to be in the woods because they were just like the woods I grew up exploring in Virginia. Ironically, we would all go suffer together later in the year somewhere much less interesting. It would make the trip to Atlanta seem like a dream come true.
Sometimes the best way to get out of hibernation mode is to have just one warm day.
The weather was unusually warm today for this time of year and so Mike and I took advantage of it and went for a hike up Stanley Canyon. It was a great start to our training to get ready for our 10-day adventure hiking through the Swiss Alps for our 20thAnniversary. The trail started out on a dirt path until we got to the trailhead. From there the trail was a little like Barr Trail but with bigger rocky sections. It was straight up for 2.5 miles. Mike was so smart to grab both of our trekkers because it wasn’t too long before we had to put those on to scramble up and over the snowy and icy sections where the creek had frozen over. It was so much fun walking through snow, then ice, then dirt, then snow again. We kept our trekkers on most of the way up the canyon. When we got to the top at Stanley Reservoir, we were saddened to see that they had drained it. We walked around the once full reservoir to the other side and found a great place to eat our lunch. When we were ready to head back down the mountain we walked through the empty reservoir to the other side and made our way back down the trail. It was just as much fun traversing down than it was going up. My favorite section was in the middle of the canyon where we traveled through a snowy path. It was a relatively flat terrain, which made it so much fun. We made it back to our car in less than 3 hours from when we started. The total distance we hiked was 5 miles. Being in the mountains again really rejuvenated us and made us excited for more hiking down the road.