Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Timers

Liza's first ride on the chair lift

We've planned to go skiing several times this winter but something kept coming up and Jared has SO wanted to get all the kids on skis since that was such a big part of his upbringing.  Plus we live in Northern Utah now - skiing is sort of obligatory.  

So yesterday (Friday) the kids were off school and we made it happen.  We went to this great little resort called Wolf Mountain where we practically had the place to ourselves and the gentle slopes were perfect for beginners.  It was warm and beautiful and everyone had a truly wonderful time.  

Isaac was a natural and Ashton picked up right where he left off last time he went skiing a couple years ago.  Liza and Oliver shed some tears and declared that they were DONE after some uncomfortable and frustrating falls at the beginning.  Silas didn't get that frustrated but also didn't get the concepts we were trying to teach him for quite a while (so we were the frustrated ones).  But in the end, Jared and I were so pleased to see that these plucky little kids were bound and determined to figure this out and that they actually seem to have some natural aptitude for skiing (thanks to Jared's genes - I'm all stamina with no talent or courage when it comes to athletic stuff...). 

It was amazing to see their progress by the end of the day.  The twins were riding up the chair lift and skiing down the mountain on their own with very few falls (and a cute stance where they'd hold their arms out behind them and keep their knees quite bent).  Liza was skiing with great control and was actually going off jumps on the bunny hill - she was so pleased with herself and we were so proud of her for her determination in the face of frustration.  And Ashton and Isaac were doing great on the intermediate hills - and doing some pretty impressive falls that didn't seem to bother them a bit.   

I didn't ski - just helped a bunch with getting everyone going and teaching them a bit on the bunny hill - reaching way way back to a few skiing tips I remembered from my childhood and towing the twins around between my legs repeating "tips together" again and again.  I sat with those who were frustrated and we watched others coming down the hill, looking for ideas on technique and talking about what seemed to be working for others. I drew zig zags in the snow to help the twins get the idea of going back and forth to keep their speed under control.  I gave pep talks and hugs and offered some stern words here and there about how nothing is ever easy until you've worked on it a lot.  I absolutely loved being there to see the triumphs. And at the end of the day, when I congratulated Oliver on what a good skied he'd become, he sweetly turned the praise to me: "Well, that's just because you taught me about that zig zag thing - that totally helped me." So glad I seemed useful!

Then I sat in the lodge and worked all afternoon - found a window where I could see the kids coming down the hill when I glanced up from my laptop.  I think next year will be my year to learn to ski.  I skied one time when Ashton was a baby.  And before that, I think the last time I skied was when I was about 12.  All the kids are probably better than me now.  Oh well, they can be my teachers next year.  

On the way home, Jared and I smiled when we heard Silas announce -without being prompted, "Hey, don't you think the lesson for today is that we can do really hard things if we keep trying really hard?"  I'm so glad the lesson sank in and that Silas has internalized that there often is a lesson for the day embedded in what we do.  Maybe all the times I've asked the kids "what can we learn from this?" have actually sunk in a little bit!

Jared ended up taking the kids skiing again today since, as it turns out, 3 of his brothers and 1 sister all ended up deciding to ski together today and he wanted to solidify the kids' new-found ski skills before the season was over.  He met up with his family at Park City for the day and while it was colder and a little snowy, they had a great day and the kids all progressed further and came home full of stories and excitement.

I stayed here and took Liza to a birthday party she didn't want to miss and did some much-needed shopping with her.  It was so nice to have a special girls' day - and it's so nice to have some pants and shoes w/o holes in them that actually fit the kids now.  I don't get how they can wear holes in their pants and shoes and grow out of their clothes so fast!  They've been looking very scraggly lately.  I really really don't like shopping but it was fun to do it with Eliza as my shopping partner.  She even helped me pick out a couple things for myself.  

Oh, a break from website work for several hours on Friday and today was so very nice!!!  It's almost 1am now and we've been working so hard on finalizing things so we can launch the new website tomorrow night.  Better get myself and my dear husband to bed!  But had to capture this big "first" for our family before the memories loose their freshness.

My camera ran out of batteries pretty quickly but I managed to get a few good shots before it died.  And I got some great video footage on my phone that I have no idea how to get off my phone and up on my blog.  I'll figure that out sometime.

The magic carpet seemed really fun and exciting

After finding out that skis can be hard to control and falling can hurt, Oliver said he was done and laid down with a huge frown.  But he got over the frustrations and became an awesome little skier after going up and down the bunny hill on his own about 25 times, getting a little better each time. 
By the end, we had a bunch of great skiers on our hands!


Patty Ann said...

Oh, it looks like such an amazing day!! I am so glad that they all had fun!!

Jonah and Aja said...

That was a great post Saren!
Loved every minute of it.

Also, sorry you had to go shopping. It reminded me that we share that distaste, and it also reminded me of the time we went to Target together so you'd have enough driver's licenses to be able to exchange the outfits for bigger sizes.

It'll be fun to come ski with y'all sometime if we ever dare come there in the winter. :)

Tx Land For Sale said...

It seemed that they were having good times,thanks for sharing. For sure its totally one of the best day ever.

Eyrealm said...

How great to see those kids out on the slopes! Good for you guys! That's a big job!


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