Christmas morning is always such a special time. The kids are pretty good about getting up and staying in their rooms until we come to get them. They don’t peek over the banister but cover their eyes and sit at the top of the stairs until we give them the go ahead to run downstairs to see what they got from Santa. Usually there are some stuffed animals that accompany some of the kids downstairs. This year from Santa Abby got the Lego Friends hotel, Emma got a brand new camera, Peter got snowshoes and a Lego Technic set, and Andrew also got snowshoes and a spy cam robot. After relishing in the fact that they got what they wanted from Santa it was onto finding the pickle ornament in the Christmas tree. The tradition is that whoever finds the pickle gets to open up the first gift. This year we had two pickles and both of the girls found them. We all got lots of fun gifts this year and thoroughly enjoyed our day of gift giving, eating, playing, and pure laziness.
On Christmas Eve we spent the day recovering from our ski trip and making Christmas dinner. Abby and I made cinnamon rolls for the next morning. She loves learning how to make new things. After dinner we did our traditional program of reading the Nativity while the kids got dressed up and acted it out. They were all a little irreverent this year and so we had to stop before it was over and have a little chat. After everyone had calmed down we finished the Nativity and then they got to open up their one present of Christmas pjs. I think the kids enjoy getting new pjs every year. It's a tradition I loved as a kid. After reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas we all headed to bed.
On our fourth day of skiing we were pretty tired so we skied really easy and took lots of breaks at the Rendezvous Lodge. It was interesting to see how much snow Steamboat had gotten while we had been there. In 48 hours they accumulated 17 inches of snow and just in the previous 24 hours 11 ½ inches of snow had fallen. We couldn’t believe it! We didn’t ski as long today but still had just as much fun as all the other days.
On the last day of our ski trip we only skied half day and then headed back to our hotel to go and relax in the hot tub. Everyday after skiing we headed to the hot tubs to relax. The hot tubs were all outside which was so refreshing. Those times really are some of the best moments of our ski trips. On the way home the drive was just beautiful with freshly fallen snow. We love going to Steamboat Springs to ski every year. It really is the highlight of our ski season every year.
It wasn’t a sunny day at all today which was kind of a bummer but we still had a great day skiing. We decided to head up the Gondola and went down Vagabond and eventually got on the Why Not trail to get to the Burgess Creek lift. It turns out that the visibility was so bad that these runs were pretty poor. It ended up taking us longer than expected to go through these runs. When ended up eating lunch a little early at the main lodge by the gondola before heading over to the West side of the mountain to our favorite runs. We headed down Spur Run towards the Sundown Express lift and then headed up to the top at Sunshine Peak. From there we went down Tomahawk once before heading to the Rendezvous Lodge to get some hot chocolate to warm up. After warming up we headed up the Sunshine Express lift and went down Tomahawk four more times. Since I brought my good camera today I went ahead of everyone so I could take some cool photos of them skiing and jumping. It may have been really cold today but the kids had fun skiing down our favorite Tomahawk run. Abby even went down the first face of Tomahawk, which was already pretty steep but even harder in low visibility. The further down Tomahawk we went the better the visibility got and the more fun we had on the run. It may have been cold today but the skiing was still great.
Since today was Sunday we decided we would take a break from skiing and head to church. Even though the Steamboat ward is small the people there have such big hearts. We have enjoyed going to church there over the last few years of visiting Steamboat. We love all the musical numbers they have during Sacrament meeting and the donuts and milk they have afterwards. After church we headed back to the hotel for games and movies. It was a relaxing day.
We look forward to our ski trip to Steamboat Springs every holiday season. We were especially excited this year because Steamboat got a fresh 30 inches of snow a few days before we arrived. Our first day on the slopes was absolutely perfect. The snow was good and the weather was sunny and beautiful. This year we decided to head up the gondola first thing and straight over to Sunshine Peak via Spur Run and the Sundown Express. We hit the Tomahawk run first. Mike, Andrew, and Abby rode Sundial down the first part and then met us on the lower half of Tomahawk. We love to race down Tomahawk and go off the small jumps on the side of the run. We skied down Tomahawk twice, then High Noon, and then two more times down Tomahawk before heading to the Rendezvous Lodge for lunch. Being on the slopes when they opened allowed us plenty of time to ski before stopping for lunch. We loved eating early before the crowds stopped for lunch. We brought our own lunch but splurged to get hot chocolate and fries. After lunch we headed back up the Sunshine Express and came down Tomahawk and Buckshot down to the Sunshine Express again. Our last run was down High Noon to Lower High Noon and towards the Elkhead chairlift. We took that lift back to the Gondola and rode the Gondola back down the mountain since we were pretty tired. It was a fantastic day.
Emily and I were in charge of Abby and Noelle’s class Christmas party this year. We decided to use the same party ideas that I had used last year for Emma’s class. We had a couple of different activities planned for the kids. We decorated Christmas tree ice cream cones, had races to dress up someone as a snowman, and played holiday bingo. At the end of the party the kids got to enjoy getting their pictures taken at the photo booth. One of the room moms even dressed up as The Elf on the Shelf and gave out fun treats throughout the party. It was pretty hilarious.
The kids were so excited for their first ski day of the season. We had anticipated heading to Copper Mountain but when we saw all the traffic on I-70 we quickly headed north towards Boulder and to Eldora instead. The weather was pretty cold and overcast but the skiing was great. Mike and Abby took lessons during the morning and then met up with us for lunch. The lodge where we ate was pretty crowded so it was a good thing we got there before noon. It was so nice to warm up with hot chocolate. After lunch we all skied together and had some fun jumping contests. Andrew was a little disappointed that I beat him in jumping higher. It was a great first day of skiing with the kids.
After enjoying our North Pole Breakfast we headed over to the Christmas tree for our traditional decorating of the tree. The kids love pulling out all of the ornaments and picking out their favorites to hang on the tree. This is the one tradition that all the kids enjoy even as they get older. This year Abby got to put the star on top of the tree. She was so thrilled about that. After the tree was all done we walked around to look at all the ornaments. As I walked near the back of the tree I noticed that Andrew had placed the Tori gate ornament right over his ornament of the boy playing video games. It was priceless.
The kids get so excited every year when December rolls around because they know that our reliable elves come during our North Pole Breakfast celebration. This year we decided that we would skip trying to do the breakfast on December 1st since that usually falls on a school day and do it instead on the first Saturday in December. Luckily, our elves agreed and happily showed up for our breakfast this year. Like past years, we are greeted by our two elves, Jack and Jill, along with powdered donuts, milk, pancakes, and a mixture of berries. We just love December!
Today Mike and I enjoyed a day of skiing together while the kids were at school. The weather couldn't have been better. It was our first day on the slopes this ski season and it felt good. The first fun was a bit rough but our legs quickly adjusted back to ski mode. We skied mostly down American Flyer and the groomed runs along the Timberline Express. We ate at the T-Rex grill like we normally do on sunny days. Our favorite thing to eat there is the veggie burger. We usually share that along with fries and a brownie. Since we got to the slopes right when they opened we had a good deal of time to ski before heading out around 1:30 pm to beat the traffic and make it home in time for the kids getting home from school. The best part of our ski day was the fact that there were no crowds. It's so nice to ski at the beginning of the season!