Friday, January 12, 2018


It's no secret that the Jordans like to ski and take the skill acquisition seriously.  We've been fortunate to share the sport's love with Palmer who now skis freely on the mountain with Rick and me.  In addition, Ms. Grace was introduced to ski school for the first time this year.  We put her briefly on skis last year at Taos, but she was still too young to really do much.
This year, we skied in Utah where there are several world-class resorts within a short distance.  Grace went to Snowbird for ski school and we fell in love with an amazing instructor named Fancy Nancy.  Her creative and engaging personality ensured that we booked her for three days during the week.
"Happy New Year! Grace is back there and finally old enough for ski school!"
Simple things like telling Grace to turn towards the purple/pink balloon or to pretend like she is a mermaid/snowman/throwing a party kept Grace's interest on her first run of the winter sport.  Grace enjoyed skiing, especially when we showed up at the end of the day and promised to ride the lift with Grace.
Grace's favorite part was eating the snow, though.  For some reason, she really wouldn't stop eating the white stuff despite our pleas to stop because there was NO FRESH POWDER this trip.
Mr. Palmer is really tearing it up these days.  Rick's plan to put as many ski hours into a 6.5 year old as possible has paid off and Palmer goes pretty much anywhere we want to go.  We skied Snowbird, Alta, and Deer Valley during the week.
By "we", I really mean Rick because Rick likes to wander off the path and into trees and jumps.  So, does Palmer.
There was a time when they went off path and got waaay off of the regular run.  I waited and waited and waited for them to figure out how to get out of the trees.
I always try to ski fast so I could get ahead of the guys and take some pictures.  This year, I would ski fast and hard and then turn around only to find Palmer right behind me.  I had to start yelling, "Stop!  Let me get ahead of you!!"
And then there are moguls.  My knees like to avoid moguls.  Palmer's knees like them, apparently.
This year, Palmer begged us for poles.  At the end of the week, we told him, "Congratulations.  You earned your poles!"  He was so happy.
At the end of a long day, Palmer was such a proud brother and couldn't wait to go and check on Grace's progress and tell her all about the things she can do once she gets bigger.

If you're looking for me and can't find me on the mountain, come here.  Sometimes it's nice to just visit the heated pool and spa instead...
Also, the nordic jumping US trials for the upcoming Olympics in S Korea were going on while we were in town...
We have a few more trips planned for the ski season.  Rick will be in Denver one week for work, so Palmer is going to fly up and join him for a guys ski weekend.  And then we'll drive over to Taos for a long family weekend and grab one more run.  We need mountains in our backyard.  (Oops.  When I say that, Rick gets excited about the fact that I might be willing to move to a ski town...)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Discussion Time

Over the weekend, Palmer, Grace, and I sat down to go over a few questions.  Enjoy.

What is something your moms says a lot?
You're cute.

What makes mom happy? Birthday presents

What makes mom sad? 
Frustrating you
When I don’t listen to you

How tall am I?
Really really really tall
This tall

How old am I?

How does your mom make you laugh? 
Silly things

What was your mom like as a child? 
Curly hair

What is her favorite thing to do? 
Play with Palmer and grace

What makes me proud of you?
When we complete a goal

What does your mom do when you're not around? 
Go to work

If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? 
TV stuff

What makes you proud of your mom? 
Helping our family have clothing and other stuff

At what is your mom really good? 

At what is your mom not very good? 

What does your mom do for a job? 
TV commercials

What is your mom's favorite food? 
Salad and yogurt

Do I have a favorite child?
(Each child says their own name)

What's my favorite song?
Girls on fire
Say say say say hey now baby

How do you annoy me?
When we don’t listen

What is my favorite movie?
Greatest Showman

Where was I born?
In a hospital

Who's my best friend?

What scares me?
Spiders and monsters

How do you describe me to your friends?
Black hair and dark brown eyes

If your mom were a character, who would she be? 
Old McDonald or a beautiful girl

What do you and your mom do together? 
Homework and unpack luggage on trips

Where is your mom's favorite place to go? 
The nail place

How do you know your mommy loves you?
She just does.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Merry Merry

We are ambitious.  Our house was somewhat free of construction, so we said, "we will host Christmas as usual!  Oh- and we will host Christmas Eve and we will have several other gatherings during the Christmas weeks!"

Call me crazy.

We did love it, though...
First things first...because the kids went to school right up to the very last minute, the week of Christmas was also filled with school programs and parties.

Even though Aunt Samantha now lives close by in Fort Worth, she agreed that Christmas wouldn't be the same without all of our week-long preps and came for an extended stay.
We baked and made plans for our upcoming feasts, saw Christmas lights, watched movies and The Crown, did yoga, and sent restless kids to Rick's office with an iPad so that we could "get things done around here."

On Christmas Eve, we hosted Jeff's family traditions...and then over-achieved by throwing in Christmas cookie decorating.  I think everyone agreed that cookie decorating is fun, but on Christmas Eve, that's a lot going on.

When night fell on Christmas Eve, Rick and Palmer put on their new matching jammies made by Gram:
The reindeer were fed (and Grace was naked) and Palmer wrote a note to Santa (with a last-minute soul-searching session that led to an apology about fighting with his sister).
Our annual reading of The Night Before Christmas (we got a new version of the book that is way too long, by the way...gotta find our old copy for next year!)
And it's Christmas morning!!!
Christmas morning highlights included a lot of weaponry (Nerf guns/bow and arrow, Power Ranger guns, and a light saber), which I learned was not the most strategic idea when the temps are low and we are contained to the inside of the home.
Grace was all dress-up, all the time, and also got an American Girl doll and accessories for her babies.  And of course, she got her sparkly purse!
Memories this year include the kids yelling, "oooh!! A mystery box!!" every time that they saw an Amazon box and fighting over their favorite part of the present, the bubble wrap.

And Rick? Well, he wears a version of this outfit nearly every Christmas and as the day goes on, the outfit gets more additions.  I'm sorry to say that I never snapped the final product with an additional new USA flag belt he received and some new boots.  He changed around 3pm or so (with a house full of 17 people, mind you!)  Here's his morning starting look...
We moved on to dinner and cake preps.  Samantha's annual Southern Living cover cake was a hit as always.  She had a minor stress moment when the icing didn't pipe as planned, but she went to the laundry room, closed the door, and focused.  The end result was perfect.
I would end here with a nice family photo, but I have nothing of the sort.  Next year, we will try to remember to take a photo.

So, I will end as our Christmas Day ended- with crazy cousin #1 and crazy cousin #2 doing who knows what...
Merry Christmas from one circus to another.