Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Snowshoe Pictures

Little Skiers on the lift

on the Catwalk

the 3 big skiers

Add caption

Monday, November 26, 2012

Snowshoe WV on Saturday, November 24th, view from Powder Monkey Lift.  They had the snow guns blowing and it was snowing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

snowshoe11122, iphone 5, snowshoe mountain, leaving the resort on 11.25.2012
leaving Snowshoe WV around 10 AM today

leaving snowshoe wv, 11.25.2012, iphone 5.  taken in the car from the passenger seat, in motion. not sure I like how photobucket sometimes widens out the pictures...

snowshoe219, taken with iphone 5, from the van, in motion, Rt 219 WV, leaving Snowshoe.
Rt 219 in West Virginia

It was a beautiful day for a drive today.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend - Snowshoe WV

We weren't going to go anyway for Thanksgiving this year... and that was fine, it has been a hectic fall.  And then my husband received an email from Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia saying that for the first time in 10 years they were going to be open Thanksgiving Weekend.  And they were offering some rather nice deals on lodging, because they weren't expecting to be open so there was plenty of lodging available and... excellent deals on lift tickets.  And so... here we are. (With many thanks to the three different households that offered to keep our dogs.)

Wednesday my kids did not have school - and so we got started on Wednesday, around 10 AM.  If you have ever traveled with my husband you know that this is incredibly late for him.  3 AM departures are not uncommon.  He decided to make a stop in Wintergreen and as we were driving into the resort a car pulled in behind us that looked and awful lot like our friends Erik & Brigid.  And it was them.  So we stopped by their place for a little while, Brigid and I caught up over a beer, the kids ran around, and then we piled back into the car.

We arrived in the dark, but not too late, and found our condo in Whistlepunk.  Wow.  What a condo!  I took some pictures but they do not do this place justice.

Thursday morning we went to purchase passes and try to get Little Hawk into day care.  There wasn't availability for him for Thursday but we were able to make reservations for him for Friday and Saturday. Tim & I took turns staying in the condo with the little guy and skiing with the other kids.  At this point they all ski.  The older four look really good on skis and Bitsy is the toughest little skier I've ever met, unlike most kids she doesn't whine for hot chocolate or to go in, she bargains for more time on the hill!  Really fun.

Snowshoe offered a Thanksgiving dinner- Turkey and trimmings- and we decided to partake.  Since we hadn't made reservations they suggested we arrive before 4.  Dinner was wonderful.  Salad and rolls, and a corn chowder topped with white chocolate (sounds weird tastes awesome!) and then turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes all on the sides - yum! And then deserts - your choice of pecan pie, lemon meringue, carrot cake, or chocolate cake.  We waddled back.

While at dinner we met up with Coach Billy and his daughter Kallie and the kids all skied together on Friday- really nice.  I'd not met Billy & Kallie before and they were a pleasure to be with.

Friday & Saturday Little Hawk was running hot and on motrin so we didn't take him to day care and again traded off skiing.  Some how I think that helped keep my husband be more relaxed about ski time. (He is usually up at the crack of dawn and pushing everybody out the door to ski)

On Saturday it started snowing and kept snowing.  Snowshoe fired up their snow guns on top of that so there was plenty of snow on the runs that are open.  If the temperature holds they have the whole mountain open before long.

On thing that I noticed that I really appreciated:  I've been elsewhere on national holidays, I've worked national holidays in Colonial Williamsburg; I was struck by the attitude of pretty much everyone I've run into here at Snowshoe, nobody seems to resent working over a holiday weekend.  Everyone seems to be in rather good spirits.  Everyone has been polite and pleasant.  It is really nice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Christmas Card Picture

Some people hate the Christmas Cards and Christmas letters that are sent out every year.  One of my friends labeled it the annual "brag" fest and she didn't mean that in a humorous way...

But it is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

As a military brat I'd watch my mother's pile of letters and cards grow, and she kept them all, so she could catch up with people who like her were all over the world doing things they'd never imagined they'd be doing (loosing a son on a ferry in the Baltic Sea, playing hide and go seek in Roman Ruins with her kids, skiing the Alps, visiting Amsterdam for the Tulip Festival are memories that come to mind).  I loved that pile of mail and all the connections it represented.  I loved the blurbs and updates which is funny because I seldom remembered who any of those people were... but it was my mom's lifeline to family and friends in world without email or texting or facebook.

And so, I love the tradition of Christmas cards and letters and family photos and I save them.  If you have sent me a Christmas picture it is either in a scrapbook or waiting to get placed into one.  Last year I lost my address book - people only got cards from us if they sent us one first so I could have their address!  That was too bad because last year we announced Little Hawk's arrival - but so it goes.

So last weekend I made an attempt at the annual Christmas card photo.  HAH! 6 kids, 3 dogs (two are puppies...)


I love this one of the older kids, but Little Hawk and the puppies don't think much of this idea.

I got out candy canes to help Little Hawk focus, but that made for a stretched candy filled mouth, and distracted puppies



This one is an option... everybody is looking at me


This one is better of the kids, I much prefer the relaxed body language and genuine smiles.


This is also an option but I don't like that Dragon looks separate. Not his fault, K leaned towards Bitsy... but that hole is bothering me... but look how pretty the puppies are with their bows!

And because they are the newest babies I took some of the puppies...





Monday, November 12, 2012

Faith & Mothering

(this post is a little outside of my comfort zone.  However, I feel compelled to share.)

This has been rolling around my head and on my heart-

Last Spring I participated in a Bible Study at a local community chapel.  It wasn't my favorite Bible study - but in the study the author asks "why is it so hard for Godly women to trust their children to God?"  The author, a woman, did not have kids at the time of the writing of the study.  This question caught my attention, because it is true, we (women of faith) do well enough muddling through until it comes to our children.  And then we act as if we - in all our mommy-ness - are the final authority when it comes to our kids.  That we have veto power on "the great plan" or whatever it is.  And then we find ourselves fearful, lacking in faith or for some of us, we fight to the point that we even fight God.  Why is this?

My first, gut, response was "because we want what is best for them."

Okay, but so does God. (if you believe in God as God the Father in infinite wisdom, you are likely to at least say you believe that God wants the best for you and for your kids.)

So what then?

We might answer, "Because we don't want it to be too hard."
Ah-hah!  Because we know that just because God called us to a task does not mean He promised to make the task easy right?  And while we may not insist that it be easy for our kids, we do not want it to be too hard for them either.  The whole, mom-monster thing gets in the way.

But who are we to decide what is too hard?  Who are we to know what builds character and what breaks it down?  But this is my child.  I'm the mother. I know.  Except for when I don't.

I do not think of myself as a particularly spiritual person.  I do not think of myself as a churchy person.  I certainly do not think of myself as anyone who should be offering any kind of "how to" when it comes to parenting.  But I am compelled to share this.

If "God" is too much for you - then substitute "Good Energy" or something.  It still works.  Life is Good, even when it isn't easy.

photo96, sketch, ink on paper, my oldest 3 watching t.v.
kids on the couch, ink on paper, 2005

Friday, November 9, 2012

Meet Thalia

On Monday I met a flight at Norfolk Airport to meet Thalia.  Thalia is our new puppy.  She is a German Shepherd Dog.  4 summers ago we said good bye to our much loved Malachi.  The day I came home without him my son asked if we could get a new dog.  My husband said "yes, but only a German Shepherd Dog."  Have you ever trained a GSD?  They are not low maintenance dogs.  So I said, "I want a fence first."  And there was the small matter of how much they cost.

Well we now have a fence.  And we are in a better financial position than we were 4 years ago.  And so, when we were out in Oregon this summer it went something like this:
Tim: That was a beautiful Shepherd in the back of that truck.
Cailin: Not surprising.  When I was researching Shepherds a few years ago there were several breeders in this part of the country.
Tim: Well see if you can find one and we'll bring it home.
Cailin: Really?

So, right then, in the car, I started looking up breeders online.
And just to be sure, I looked up some in Virginia.  The Virginian's weren't breeding any more puppies this year and only had males.  They strongly suggested that since the dog in my house is a male that I look at a female.  Eventually I came across the website for Vom HausReid.  I liked what I saw so I gave them a call and talked to Ray and put in a deposit on an expected litter.

Well, the expected litter ended up a false pregnancy.  So we waited a little longer and then eventually we got a call that they had a female for us.  Turns out she was born in Germany. She has a very fancy name.  This is her dad Hero von den Herbsteitlosen.

Hero, Thalia's sire

He is beautiful.

And this is my new baby girl. Call name, Thalia. As in daughter of Zeus, one of the three muses, also referencing Thalia of the Percy Jackson books. And finally, in honor of Tag, my first Shepherd. Tim, who has never trained a dog, has taken her to work twice this week. Today I heard reports that she was in the conference room during a staff meeting making the rounds and being petted by everybody.
She is one tough little girl.  After that full day of flying I had told the kids they would need to give her some space and let her adjust.  She waltzed into my house and went up to my husband and covered him in kisses, did the same to my high school student and the next morning wanted to meet everybody and say hi to everybody and actually pushed the labrador puppy aside and ate the lab's breakfast.  That is confidence.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bush Neck Farm

Last Friday my Kindergartener and her class went to Bush Neck Farm for a field trip.

Little Hawk and I tagged along.

I don't have pictures of the kids and the apple trees, too much activity! But Little Hawk and I took a walk and the scenery is lovely.






Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rain, Rain

Last weekend we were bracing for a big storm.  It skipped over us.  The Virginia shoreline has some damage, the roads were flooded, there were pictures on Facebook of bridges I am glad not to have to drive on... and of course it pounded the North East.

But for us, it was 2 1/2 days of rain and wind, and it was kind of fun.  And we are very grateful to be able to say that.

Sandy in Virginia, Lots of rain, and luckily that is all, grateful for that

We went out to see how our yard was holding up, behind that fence is a steep drop off and in previous years we've fought erosion.  Luckily all the work we did last spring and summer is paying off.  Aren't the trees pretty?

Playing in the rain, two labs checking out the swamp behind the house as Sandy passes through

On the other side of that fence is this low swampy area.  This is it flooding after a full day of steady rain.  Steady but not torrential, in no way am I complaining.  Molly and Kahn Sol had fun exploring.  The littles and I stayed on high ground, didn't want to get stuck in the muck!  My older three went out to for a bit but I don't have pictures of those knuckleheads.

Too deep Molly

Getting too deep for Molly!


Molly coming back to us, but she has her eye on Kahn Sol who is enjoying the water.

October 2012, Checking out the water levels in the swamp, Sandy in Williamsburg Virginia

I love this picture!  Bitsy, Little Hawk, and Molly, out in the rain.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pretty Pink Birthday Ballerinas

Last weekend MLyons was invited to her ballet friend's birthday party.  The Birthday Girl had requested a ballet themed party.  So pretty!  The Birthday Girl's Momma had found lovely pink ballerina bags at TJMaxx over the summer, and filled up the entry with pink balloons and streamers, and covered the table in pink roses and pink candies, and there were ballerina's in the home made cupcakes, and to top it all off, the Birthday Girl's Grandmother sewed each guest a pink tutu!  Can you believe it?  Such a pretty party!

bother, I've cropped and rotated on photobucket and what I'm seeing doesn't show any of that, sorry for side ways photos!
pretty packages
pretty packages in the entry

Ballet Cupcakes
pink ballet cupcakes

Tutu handprints
pink tutu art, found via pinterest

Pretty Pinks gathering at the pink masks table

Pretty Pinks in a circle around the Birthday Girl
Pretty Pinks opening presents


The Birthday Girl showing off her Guinea Pig
it's wearing a pink tutu too!

Here is MLyon's making her pink tutu art:


sharing with Pink Saturday

Halloween 2012

probably the most chaotic of our Halloween's but fun anyway!
We are lucky to live on a long street with three cul-de-sacs.  As there are several families with kids, our neighbors stay home and hand out sugar, lots of sugar.  Lots of other families in the neighborhood come to our street for trick-or-treating.  The kids run around in the dark and the mommies hang out in the middle of the street with grown up beverages and chit-chat.  I love it!

This year we sent a Mummy, a Duck Hunter, a Flower Garden, two Fairies, and Buzz Lightyear into the fray.

Ghouls, Mummy & his friend, off to Trick or Treat!
Dragon (the Mummy) and his friend
Mummy, We wrapped him in strips of old curtain fabric that came out of someone's attic, and then dumped a bottle of baby powder on him!
Getting into character
Duck Hunter, He wanted to take the new puppy trick or treating, so he used his Colonial Williamsburg Musket, the dog, and a "pheasant" dog toy hanging off the back of the gun. Wicked cute! But the puppy needs more leash work
Tiger "Duck Hunting" and Molly
treat bucket & "dead bird" (dog toy) hanging off his
Colonial Williamsburg musket
K "Flower Garden" walked the two fairies around
Buzz Lightyear!

Little Hawk was a bit confused as we waived the others off, and then I pulled Buzz out of the basement closet (Tiger wore it 9 or 10 years ago!) and Little Hawk was so excited.  We put it on and went out into the street and our neighbor dropped candy in his bag! Whoa! You get candy for this? Hooray! Best day ever.