Friday, January 28, 2011

As January Comes to a Close

I cannot believe that January is almost over. I have to admit it is my least favorite month of the year! In fact, I am not a winter girl. I have learned to embrace winter and I think that has worked better for me this year. 

I am working out (a bit more than I would like to!) and perhaps this is having a good effect on my psyche. Lots of crunches, core stuff, squats, plank & the treadmill. I am still drinking lemon water and will be trying cucumber water, too!

This weekend we are going to fit in some skiing. It is the 50th anniversary of our favorite ski spot, Snow Trails. This is where Foster competed in Big Air 2011. We might also finish this:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid puzzle.
I placed it on the backside of a quilters cutting mat, so that it can be moved from room to room
or stored under the couch!

Sloan has been tempting me with her popover recipe. I am breaking down & trying it!

And I have to finish everything on my Anti-Procrastination List! I am still way under 2 cups of coffee each day. YEAH for me! And I finally figured out the last little bit of my blog button code with Heather's help! Her blog is here. If you read Check It Off, I would be honored if you copied the code and added my button to your site.

I made a new soup recipe this week! It was from Kim and it is a broccoli soup. It was a big hit with my family! You can find it here.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Big Air 2011

In my last post I mentioned the Big Air competition that my 12 year old son did prior to my husband's birthday party. Here are a few photos:


FANS, Marissa, Mr. A, Mr. Jman and Miss J:

Rich & I on the right and our bestest, supergreat, ski & boating buddies on the left:

Miss J (our friend) with Marissa and Ana:

FLYING taken during the competition, this is Foster (12 years old):

My son over the years has told me that he wishes he could fly.  Maybe I exposed him too much to Jimmy Neutron or the Snowman movie where the snowman flies while holding the boy's hand, all over town (The Snowman by Raymond Briggs). There aren't any words in that movie and I loved the soft music as it would lull my kids to sleep. Guess it didn't work on my son, though.

All of our  children started skiing by the time they were 3. We knew it was something that we could enjoy in the winter and so we made a commitment to teach them very early. It has been a lot of long winters with blood, sweat and many tears, as it is no easy feat teaching children to ski. Our children have always worn helmets. If you are considering teaching your kids to ski or snowboard, always require them to wear a helmet. They are very comfortable & warm. It is a critical component of ski gear.

As our kids have progressed through the years, they continue to challenge themselves with more difficult terrain and jumps. This is not easy on a mother. There are a couple of things that make it easier. I do know that my children have years of ski experience, as my husband or I have always been by their side, until just recently. We have taught them the etiquette of taking turns in line. We have stressed the safety measure in getting on, riding & getting off the lift.

I am afraid to say, there are many parents that won't invest the time and energy into teaching their kids or providing them with lessons. Unfortunately, there are times on our slopes where beginners with no training and no one by their side, make our slopes dangerous. Too often, kids are let loose on the slopes with no training. It breaks my heart that the parents do not realize the danger they are putting their kids in, as well as others. Skiing is a dangerous sport with inherent risks and we stress the risks to our kids.

To be completely truthful, I really did not want my son to compete in the Big Air contest. He had a fall about a week before the contest and injured his shoulder. I was secretly hoping that God was answering my prayer by allowing him a minor injury, so he could not compete. The shoulder healed quickly. In the days leading up to the contest, I couldn't talk about "BIG AIR" as my stomach would clench and I had a hard time breathing.

As luck would have it, my husband and I ran into a coach that my son trained with this past summer. He was very confident that Foster was ready for the competition and explained in detail how he was ready. I tuned it out and kept saying over and over to my self, "but his mother is not ready".  (The coach just had one of his skiers place 3rd in the Mountain Dew Tour in Vermont!!)

The day of the competition was busy with me finalizing all of the party details. As my husband & son were departing for the ski practice runs, I had a run-in with my oldest daughter, Ana. As thirteen year olds tend to do, she was disrespectful and non-compliant in things I had asked her to do hours earlier. We had a doozy of an afternoon that was filled with tears and frustration and an exchange of hurtful words (both of us). I stuck to my guns and punished her the best way I knew how. Instead of going skiing for the afternoon, she had to study and stick by my side with the party errands. I did let her go to the competition, but she had to be with me (instead of her friends) as my shadow. As you know, 13 year olds do not prefer to hang out with their mother in public places. Perfect punishment.

My emotions were running high as I hit the slopes to watch Foster compete. I rode the lift with a 16 year old boy from a city an hour away. He told me how tough the jump was and that he had crashed in practice a few times. He was pulling out of the competition. I asked where his mom was and he said  at home (an hour away). My stomach was clenching very tight by now. I told him who my son was and he said, "That little kid with the orange boots. Yeah, he is shredding it!"

The competition was very exciting. Watching and waiting and praying that I have not made a huge mistake in letting my son compete. It did ease my nerves a lot when my husband explained that Foster had completed 3 practice runs and had done them well.

We cheered Foster on and his first run he did lose a ski, but was able to ski down the steep slope on one ski. I could barely watch the second run, so I just stood slopeside praying for no injuries. My prayers were answered and then everything was over. Of course I was thrilled that he was fine, but my emotions were still jangled. It took me awhile to recover.

In my mind I knew that Foster had trained for the event. He was ready. It was me who wasn't ready. Here is proof that of his training from last summer. If you are a friend of Facebook, you may have already watched this:

Week One Highlighted Skier from Ohio Dreams on Vimeo.

I know there will be more competitions. I need the Training Manual for Mothers of Freestyle Skiers. Anyone have a copy that they can loan me?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Orzo Soup & Other Updates

I apologize for not posting recently! I have been very pre-occupied and haven't had a minute to blog!

Personal Training: I started working out with a personal trainer last week. Ouch! It has been very good, but after the first day I came down with a stomach bug. I was couch ridden for 24 hours with a headache and fever. On top of it I could barely walk, as I was so sore from my first workout! As soon as I was over the bug, I felt fantastic and had plenty of energy, which I needed to finish planning my husband's birthday bash! (More on the bday bash later!)

Coffee Update: consistently less than 2 cups a day for several days in a row!! Isn't that fantastic? I am super excited that I have cut down so much! I really didn't think it was possible!

Sleepwalking: A new development: my youngest (age 8) has been sleepwalking the last 2 nights. One night she left her warm comfy bed & woke up on the couch. Last night she turned on all the bathroom faucets, flushed the toilet, walked downstairs into the kitchen (she seemed like she was wide awake!) gave me a hug, and used the bathroom. My husband asked her who we had dinner with that night & gave her the names of 2 friends. She picked the wrong one so clearly she was asleep! When I told her about it this morning she laughed and of course, didn't remember a thing! I know this is pretty common, but I am a bit anxious about it! My older two when they were very young, shared a room and would talk in their sleep to each other. Weird!!

Blog Button: figuring out the last little bit of code & then it will be visible on my site. Don't have a blog button & want one? Then you need to go see my friend Heather at A Lovely Mess. She does a great job & is very reasonable!! Tell her I sent you!

The Bday Bash
We had a fantastic weekend celebrating my husband's birthday. I planned the party in less than a week. I used Evite for the party invitations. It was super easy! I love sending real invites, but was under a time crunch so I decided just to email the invites. He especially enjoyed reading everyone's comments as the party drew closer! does a great job on keeping you notified of rsvps. The only tricky part is making sure that you have the correct email for everyone. After that, it is super easy!!

We held the party at our local ski lodge where there was already a great band booked. The snow fell lightly all night long & it was super pretty to look outside and be inside with great friends. I ordered 24 latex balloons & 6 huge mylar balloons. NOTE to self: hard to fit that many in a SUV! I had friends that secured tables for the party and they decorated the whole area for me! I walked into a beautiful party. Thanks girls!!

I had a photo banner made (12 feet long) of 200 fun photos of my husband. I was sure to include all of our family (including pics with his Grandpa, "Pop Pop") and our closest friends. It is now stretched out on the living room floor and we keep looking at it and laughing about all of the good times we have shared! I stitched this photo together on my point & shoot camera:
And in place at the party:

I had our local grocery make a cake with a skier on it. It was super inexpensive. Let me tell you that it was DELICIOUS!! It was awesome when everyone sang Happy Birthday to my husband. 

The food was prepared & served by the restaurant. We had gourmet pizzas, dips & nachos. People snacked on the yummy comfort food all night long. 

I forgot to mention that just prior to the party, my son was competing in an event called BIG AIR. I was slopeside to watch him compete. The competitors ski down the hill to a steep ramp, which is about 50 feet from the ramp till they land on the downhill slope. My husband had been there all afternoon & witnessed a  lot of falls and skiers/boarders pulling out of the event. My son did 3 practice runs safely. In the competition he had 2 awesome jumps and he did not fall or get hurt. He did lose a ski on the first comp run, but was able to ski down on ONE ski. I was a nervous wreck. I found out later that he is the YOUNGEST skier to EVER compete in BIG AIR. I am still nervous. After the comp I had to change out of ski clothes into party clothes & get the kids fed & arrange to meet up with their babysitter, who took them home, after giving their Daddy big birthday hugs & greeting some of our guests. My husband made his entrance right on time. He had to run home & get my jeans. Yep, I left them in the dryer!

The best part of the party was interacting with our awesome friends in one spot. It was an amazing feeling to look over at my husband and watch him with his great friends, laughing & talking and enjoying life! We are truly spoiled by having so many wonderful people in our life. I feel very blessed. 

I didn't forget AP Here was my Anti-Procrastination list for the week of 1/10/11. I link up with Amy at New Nostalgia and you can see her button for Anti Procrastination on my side bar.  These things were done before January 10th!

  • Order family photos of kids from our summer photo session DONE
  • Clean 2 kitchen junk drawers DONE (so glad I did this! I can find what I need now!)
  • Treadmill workout~ease back into running with a workout  NOT DONE. but started  personal training instead
Anti Procrastination List 1/24/11 (get done by Feb 1st)
Get new photos in frames
download photos from email, phone & then back up
back up kids' photos & videos
set up printer for Ana

And Last but not LEAST. A few have asked for the Chicken Orzo Soup recipe. I just made it up as I was going along. Here it is:

Chicken Orzo Soup
2 T. Wesson oil
2-3 fresh chicken breast, washed & cut into 1 inch pieces
3 carrots washed, peeled & sliced
3 celery stalks, washed & sliced
1 small onion washed, peeled & chopped 
1 cup orzo pasta
1 Large can Chicken Broth 49.5 ounces ( I used Swanson 100% Natural, 99% fat free, no MSG)
lemon slices

Sautee chicken in oil until cooked through. Add carrots, celery & onions & cook until carrots are not hard (about 5 minutes). Add can of chicken broth & bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes & then add orzo. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve soup into bowls (with fresh warm bread!) I squeeze the lemon after I have served the soup into a bowl. Some of my clan likes the lemon, some do not. 1 slice of lemon squeezed, per bowl. Enjoy!

I am off to enjoy a cup of hot tea and watch it snow. We have had a beautiful winter and January is zipping by us!