Monday, February 28, 2011

Ode to the Olpins

This is for our neighbors, the Olpins.  One of my all time favorite Will Ferrell skits.

Skiing

 Last fall Lisa and I went to the Warren Miller movie and got two free tickets to ski at the Canyons.  This past Friday we took Tucker up with us (kids ski free at the Canyons) to give him some more skiing experience.  For only his second time out, he did great.  He's really starting to enjoy and look forward to skiing more with us, which is exciting for us as parents to share something we love to do.  I think we'll put him in one more lesson before the year ends, and then he should be able to go down any green and most blues.
 


This smile pretty much sums up how he felt being out with us.

The proud mommy.

Sideways photo that I can't seem to correct, but hey, just turn your head and you can enjoy it too.

Here's a cool video of Tucker skiing down the hill.  I had to laugh that he skied right over some dude's skis.  Not very courteous, but pretty funny when it's a 5 year old with his arms out like a scare crow.
video


Through some trade work I've been able to get some ski passes to Deer Valley this year.  Lisa and I went up today, just the two of us.  We love Deer Valley, but I don't know if we'd go there if it weren't for the free passes.  I'm too much of a tight wad to pay that much money.
Now that I have bought Lisa some new ski boots, she is able to better work on her skiing technique.  Her old boots were ill-fitting and quite old, so they didn't allow her to ski properly.  With her new boots, she started to figure out how it's done.  She is skiing the blue runs much more confidently and comfortably now.  It's like the light bulb went on for her.  Now we just need to get her up there more frequently.  Soon she'll be tackling the black diamonds with me.

It was a great weekend of snow skiing and makes me so happy to have these great resorts right in our backyard.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Seattle Trip and Boat Show

Last weekend Lisa and I flew up to Seattle for a dental conference. Thanks to Patterson Dental, we were able to fly up for free. Another big thanks to our parents for watching the kids for us.  My brother Carson (he's a dentist in Seattle) let us stay at his house and he and I attended the conference together, and it was so great having him there. We've decided that we need to do more CE together. 
Lisa and I had a fantastic trip up there. It's always so good to stay at Carson and Marisa's house, to play with their kids, and to stay up late talking and playing games once the kids go to bed. At the end of the Friday sessions, Marisa and Lisa drove down to Bellevue to meet up with Carson and me for dinner. The four of us went to Bellevue Square and ate at PF Changs. Dinner was so tasty. Afterward we went to the mall and did a little shopping. It was so cool being up there in Microsoft country where they have a Microsoft store in the mall. So much cooler than an Apple store and all the sheep that flock to it.
Our classes ended on Saturday around noon, then we went back to Carson's.  They let Lisa and me borrow their car so that we could drive the Olympic loop.  We drove up to Port Angeles that day and went into Olympic National Park.  Unfortunately for us it was typical February weather so it was very cloudy and rainy, but that didn't dampen our spirits as we anticipated that weather.  Despite the weather, we absolutely loved the area.  We have decided that we have to go back up in the summer time with the kids, do the park when we can see all the olympic mountains and vistas and then take the ferry over to Victoria, Canada.  It was great seeing how thick the foliage is everywhere up there.  Even in the middle of the winter everything is still so green. 

That night we stayed in Port Angeles, and then the next morning got up and continued the loop.  We drove out to La Push to go see the coast.  There was a cool hiking trail down to second beach that we enjoyed.

Here's Lisa on that trail.  Hard to believe from that photo that Park City had a high of 7 degrees that day!  We were enjoying the 50 degree weather even if it was wet.


Here's a view once at the beach.  I felt like I was in Goonies or something with the great views.  It really put me in a seafood mood being on the ocean.
 We then drove through Forks, which was quite uneventful, but still cool for Lisa to see since she is such a fan of the books.  It is a really small town, and a few adventurous residents have tried to capitalize off of the Twilight series, bust most of their attempts are extremely cheesy and tacky.
We really wanted to go to the Hoh National Rain Forest, but we didn't have enough time, so instead we went to the Quinault Rain Forest ranger station and did a little nature trail hike.  It's quite surreal being in a rain forest coming from Utah and the red rock country.  There are trees (like the one pictured below) that are completely covered in thick moss.  The moss is so thick that it supports additional plant growth on top of it.  There were ferns growing on top of the moss that was growing on the trees.  Did you know that the Olympic Rain Forest averages about 180 inches of rain a year?  That's more than 10 times the amount of precipitation that Utah gets.  WOW!

It was a lot of driving, but we had a great time enjoying each others company, the conversation, the scenery and some quiet time away from the kids.

Yesterday we went to the boat show as a family.  Well, we left the two younger ones with my parents because it was nap time.  But, when kids 12 and under are free, Lisa and I figured it was a great family activity.  We got some discounted passes and went to enjoy all the boats.
Here's Tucker driving a tricked out Supra.  He and Aubrey loved finding all the storage compartments and would hide in them.


There was this really cool BYU decorated Mastercraft X-45.

The price tag for that bad boy?  Well, for a cool $122,000 it could be yours.

Tucker and Aubrey pretending to drive a wave runner.

My dream boat.  The Supra Sunsport.  So delicious.  Maybe someday I can get one for a mid-life crisis or something.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Annual Grant Family Snowmobiling Party

We were able to play in the gorgeous sunny weather all weekend. My Mom's side of the family gets together every year for fun in the snow. Even my relatives from Texas fly up to be a part of it. The weather was perfect and sunny and not freezing (unlike today's high of 9 degrees!)

 We played snowmobile Frisbee which is a blast. My cousin Jared would stand in the middle of the field and as you approached on the snowmobile he would send it flying and the goal was to take off on the snowmobile and catch the Frisbee before it hit the ground. It was so fun!
 (Britney, Loren, Kyle, Haley, Lindsey, Alisha, and Robyn - cousins)
 Tubing. This was a blast as well. You get whipped around and have to try so hard to hold on and not fall off.

 My cute baby Blake.
 After the cabin we invited my cousin Loren and his girlfriend Britney to our house for dinner. We also took them to the Ice Castles. On our way home we saw 2 mountain lions. It was awesome! They were between Francis and Jordanelle on the right. Of course they ran away before I could get my camera out. We have now seen 3 mountain lions since moving to Midway. Not bad considering you usually never see them.

Cole is 2!

 Cole turned 2 on January 26th! We celebrated his birthday the Saturday before with the relatives. I made him a train cake this year. It looked super cute on the Betty Crocker website, but I swear everything kept going wrong for me while I was making it. Cole's face says it all though - he could care less what it looked like. He knew it was a train and that's all that matters.
 Cole received awesome gifts from everyone.  Cody and I gave him this train table picture below. My friend Laura was getting rid of hers and she offered to sell it to me. Talk about a steal! For $15 we got the table and all the toys. All the kids love it!
 On Cole's actual birthday he was pretty sick. I wanted to take him to free day at the zoo, but I had to take him to the doctor the night before. He had an ear infection, bacterial conjunctivitis, and thrush. We hung out at home and played instead.
Tucker and I have started taking piano lessons from my Dad. It's been over 15 years since I last took and I've really been wanting to get back into it. My one goal I didn't accomplish last year was to be in one of his piano recitals. This year it'll happen. We are actually taking lessons and practicing. Tucker amazes each time he practices because he remembers so much. My Dad was a little leery of starting him this young, but he's doing great. The theory part is hard for me, but I'm coming along and having fun. My goal is to be able to open up the hymn book and be able to play with both hands and not just my right. My Dad is tuning my piano in the picture, that and fixing it. My kids love to pound on it and we had a couple stuck keys. My Dad is a certified piano technician, so if any of you need your piano tuned or repaired you should give him a call. He'll travel almost anywhere. 1-801-255-TUNE or check his website out at http://www.kenfoster.com/.