Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snow Trip with Dad

Given an unexpected week off from work, and needing some bonding time with my boys after all the chaos of the past 2 months, I (Mark) decided it was time to take them on their first snow trip.  We drove up to Truckee, in the northern Lake Tahoe area.  It was a great two-day trip, just the 3 of us.  We mostly went sledding at an assortment of locations, but we also went ice skating, hot tubbing, had snowball fights, and ate at a lot of fun places.

In Squaw Valley

Most of our time was spent sledding.  The boys loved it, but got banged up a bit.

This is how deep the snow was in the Tahoe National Park

Trips with Dad usually involve more goodies then usual

Our hotel had a working hot tub, surrounded by snow drifts. The maintenance man was very kind and got it all set up for us at 7:30 AM in the morning.  We spent an hour in it and it was a blast! The air was so cold, and the water so hot, that if we splashed around we created so much steam that I could not see Benji from across the hot tub, 6 feet away.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Recovery & Rockets

I mentioned in the last post that Mark had an emergency appendectomy. He's been slowly recovering the past two weeks. He's doing a lot better now, but for the first week he basically lived in his recliner in the living room. He couldn't move around much except to get up to do his hourly lap around the house. So we had to get creative about how he spent time with the boys (who were seriously in need of some daddy one-on-one time). He played a lot of games with the boys and worked on a lot of crafts, which worked out well.

We got a model rocket kit and built it together.

 The kits said they were for ages 7+, but there was still a lot of ways the boys could help.

Tommy LOVED launching the rockets. After blast-off he would start hollering about how cool it was, and then run across the field to catch them as they landed via parachute. 

Benji did NOT like the rockets. The loud launch scared him. The first launch, he was 10 feet away. After that, he kept repeating, in a very cute way: "Daddy, I did NOT like that. It was TOO loud!" Every subsequent launch he was 15 feet further back. By the 4th launch, he was on the other side (width-wise) of a football field. But he did like counting down for us, yelling across the field. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012

This was the craziest Christmas ever. 

Four days before Christmas, Mark went to the doctor to find out about a pain in his abdomen, and it turned out to be an appendicitis! He had surgery that day, was in the hospital for two days, and was mostly immobile for the following ten days.

Christmas itself took a bit of a back-seat due to our situation with five kids and Mark's surgery. We were not able to go to our church's Christmas Eve service, which we were looking forward to.There were a few other traditions that were skipped out of necessity as well.

Christmas morning was a surprisingly pleasant time. The boys loved their presents.  We noticed that we gave them the same thing as last year: Shoes, books and guns. The essentials. Only this year the guns fired Nerf darts instead of water.

On Christmas day Mark surprised the family with a Viola performance. He had been secretly taking lessons for 3 months. To the shock of those gathered, he played a few Christmas songs.

And on Christmas Evening, we all got together with the cousins for dinner and more presents. It seems like the Cousin Count increases by one each year. Aaron was last year's addition, and Maria is this year.