Friday, March 02, 2012

Winter Park

Some friends invited us along to Winter Park, Colorado where their family has a rental house. Normally, upon invitations like this, I will politely say no, we have school, I still feel new to this classical university model system we're doing, I'd prefer to keep us home, in our routine, thank you very much.

Drew must have worn me down asking me to go other places and my excuses weren't working.

Or maybe he said Colorado and I just couldn't think through the logistics of what he was saying.

So, we booked our flights and said yes.

We purposely booked our flight later on Tuesday evening so the kids and I could do as much school as possible before we left. Monday, they got home from school and we started doing school for Tuesday. We finished all of Tuesdays work easily before our 6 o'clock flight.

I also got our house picked up and everything set out for community group that was going to be at our house while we were gone.

We're kind of a circus when we travel. 4 kids, 4 car seats, 1 stroller, 5 bags to check, and 7 carry on bags. If we didn't pay a porter to help us, we wouldn't be able to move through the airport.

A highlight of the trip is that they no longer see kids under 12 as a threat to our national security and they don't have to take their shoes off through security! Yay! I had already pulled Annika's shoes off before they told me. And! The kids didn't have to walk through the weird x-ray machine!

I lucked out on the way there and Annika was a total daddy's girl. Meaning, Drew sat next to Kolby and Levi and held Annika. Sage and I were across the aisle.

Our first day there, we sent the boys outside to play in the deep snow and rented our skis.

Annika did not get ski's but wanted in on the picture. And yes, her coat is a hand me down from her brothers. Also, Kolby's shirt is on backwards. (I love little details)

The second day, we had all the boys enrolled in ski school. So, we got up bright and early to get there and drop everyone off by 8:30. 
After we dropped the boys off, we went to our own ski lessons. And learned a lot! Like, only 6 out of 100 take ski lessons. Good to know.

I got really anxious after dropping the boys off. I'm going to be tremendously honest here and admit that I have a large, healthy (maybe over the top) fear of anyone "helping" my boys in the bathroom. Get my drift? I hadn't thought through the layers of clothes and the time away from me. And it hit me as I stood at the bottom of this beautiful mountain, answering questions about how many times I had skied in my life. 4 or 5. 15-20 years ago. Want to learn more than the snowplow. I might have just dropped them off and something terrible could happen to them. I was fighting tears. And it wasn't just the bathroom issue, it was everything. What if they hated skiing? Would the instructors be nice? Would they be able to understand Kolby? Would he cry? Would he cry when he fell?

We had been chanting with the boys. "We're going skiing, we're going to fall down, it might hurt, we're going to get back up! It's going to be fun!" We tried to prepare them but all of the sudden, at that moment, I wanted to just be with them. Or at least be able to spy on them!

Drew and I prayed out loud, multiple times for our boys. I relaxed.

And then, we skied. And I had a blast! I thought that I would probably not really like it. I would be too cold and not very good. I wasn't awesome by any means, but I had a blast! We took it pretty slow and did the same run all day. It was so beautiful. It was actually one of the coldest, windiest days to be skiing, but it didn't matter. It was just so fun. Our lesson was from 9 - 3 with a lunch break.

At one point, we were getting on the ski lift and got to see Levi practicing on the kid hill. He made a triangle with his skis (okay, he had a thing that held the tips of his skis in a triangle) and then he rode the conveyor belt back to the top. Cutest little movie in my head ever. I wanted to shout and wave but held back. Our instructor had already informed us that was the worst thing a parent could do.

We picked the boys up and determined that everyone was tired and had a lot of fun.
The wagons saved us at the end of a long day. It was a long walk back to the parking lot. 

If you ever go skiing, a helmet and goggles are key. I wore them too and was so thankful for them.  Mostly for warmth. I promise Levi had fun, it just doesn't look like it! 
The third day, we had a decision to make. Put all 3 boys back in ski school and enjoy a day of skiing by ourselves? Take Sage with us? We asked the boys what they wanted to do. Sage wanted to ski, definitely. Kolby wanted to go to childcare or stay home. Levi wanted to stay home. We decided to have Drew and Sage go skiing and I would stay at the house with Kolby, Levi, and Annika. Well. Levi woke up and told us he wanted to go to ski school. But, it was already too late, we couldn't get him to ski school in time. It was pretty easy to convince him to stay home!

Drew and I switched halfway through the day, so we both got to ski with Sage. I only got to do 3 runs with him and it was the last run that I realized he did way better if I was in front of him. I was so impressed with how well he did skiing! He had a blast!

The fourth day, we had an agenda. Play outside, go to Winter Park Village and play in the ice castle, and go tubing.


Good thing I bought Annika those mittens and brought all that gear for her to walk outside for 3 minutes.
She wanted in this stroller so badly. It was a perfect nap.

The ice castle at Winter Park Village.
Annika on the slide!
Strawberry shortcake crepe.
Sage chose a birthday cake shake.
Seemed like the thing to do. Our 4 kids with the giant polar Coke bear.
No pictures of the tubing. I stayed at the house with Annika, it was incredibly windy. Drew said the boys loved it. Levi especially was reported to having a grin plastered on his face the whole time.

I'll have to do a separate post on the people we stayed with. That's what made it the most fun.


  1. Fun! I loved Winter Park, but that was a long time ago and in the summer. I think maybe 20 years ago. You are brave to fly and ski with 4 little ones!

  2. What an awesome vacation. Thanks for sharing all the fun! Welcome home and back to the routine....
    Can't wait to hear more.

  3. Just looked again at all the of Kolby I thought sure was Sage.... but the coat was wrong...The boys do look alike! Love,love your braids Punkin!!

  4. Kristy,

    I have the same fear that you have at times about someone taking or harming my children. Sigh.....sometimes I think I am being irrational but then I read/hear about the terrible things that happen in our world to children. Makes me hold onto my children even tighter!


  5. Those pictures are awesome! So glad you had a chance to take the family up there and glad you didn't have to take off their shoes at the airport. Ha!

  6. I want to eat your precious family.

    The end.


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