Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Snowboarding

For Brynja's 15th birthday all she wanted (sort of) was to go snowboarding.  And for a present/party she got to bring her best friend.  So, we checked them out of school (because after home schooling I have become "that" kind of mom) and headed up the canyon to Brighton.

Joe's first time boarding, and he did really well.  Why do guys "get" this so easily?  Maybe having skied before helped?  I am certain that is all it was.

Show off.

Joe's camera was all we had, and his battery seriously died completely after taking a few shots.  I do wish my DSLR was more packable.

We did all make it to the next lift today!  Josh was ready before we had even parked.  Brynja and Bree headed over after getting the report from Josh and Dad.  And Aliyah took a little more convincing.  A helpful instructor told her the ski lift was easier to get off of over there, and that they would, in fact, slow it down for her.  Those were her major concerns.  So, we eventually made it to the "big" mountain.  Aliyah and I only made it down the Mary's Back trail once, my ribs hurt so bad by the time we did it that I couldn't get up without help, and I seemed to find the inside of EVERY hill and corner.

Aliyah totally looks like she is falling off the chair.  I am happy to report she didn't.  I did remind Joe to put the bar down after I took the picture.

After bruising my ribs, about three times, and still trying to board, because if I paid for it I am going to do it, by the end of the afternoon I couldn't really move.  I learned that I do not like K2 boards.  I also learned not to rent from somewhere in the valley because if the boards have issues (like being able to stand completely still ON the slope, without trying) then you can't just swap them out.  So we had to rent a second set of boards at the resort.  But I didn't decide that until after paying a pretty bug price in the rib cage.  And the weirdest thing... I was ready to go again before my ribs had even healed.  

Hi, my name is April, and I have a snowboard addiction coming on.

Tracy Aviary Field Trip

I love taking the kids on field trips for home school.  It's my favorite way to reinforce something we've learned so that it sticks in their heads better.  And it makes a good incentive to get more work done so we can take a day or two off each week.  This week's adventure (well, it was in January) was to the Tracy Aviary.

It was really cold, about 21°, and mostly outdoors.  But, the benefit was that there were only two other people there the entire time!  That meant the kids got to feed the pelicans ALL of the food the keepers brought out!

They were feeding the pelicans some tasty frozen fish. The pelicans were hilarious!  They looked like dogs waiting for treats.  The kids would throw them and the birds caught them in the air.  It was really fun, and well worth the added cost to do this.

 Can you spot the fish Aliyah just threw?

This guy was my favorite.  Oh my goodness, if I ever saw a bird that big in the wild I'd have a heart attack.  This was the Andean Condor.  He was hiding when we got there.  But the keepers said to check on the way out because if the sun comes out he will usually come out of his cave to sunbathe.  He didn't stretch his wings out for us., but at least he was out!

The Tracy Aviary was actually easy to get to, it's located inside Liberty Park in Salt Lake.  It is inexpensive, and they have a lot to look at.  They have bird shows and programs that are entertaining and educational.  And, don't forget to feed the pelicans!  (There is a set time, and a limited number of tickets for that.)

You can get all of the information on their website:

Sledding in January

I am going out of chronological order.  But there's really nothing you can do about it.  Sometimes I just get a little side-tracked.

We went sledding in January, about two weeks before our snowboarding adventure.  In fact, it was this sledding adventure that made me feel like a lame mom when I was watching Josh "snowboard" on his "sled with straps" as they described it at the ski resort.  I realized he had a talent while watching him during this trip to Tibble and I decided I would have to get over my fear of snowboarding/skiing/flinging oneself down the side of a 12,000 foot mountain at speeds that only avalanches should go.  (okay, so that is a bit of an exaggeration....)

No, that's not really a sled... although the guys at Brighton would disagree.  They refer to these Target snowboards as "sleds with straps". 

It seems the sled with straps works well enough for Leah.

Aliyah and KayLee were completely hazardous, I am not sure they made it down the hill once without crashing.

Brynja had us all giggling at her crazy moves.

I think she may have outgrown that sled.

And this was the moment I realized I was a lame mom.  Josh can use the "sled with straps" to get down the hill, even with his feet pointed the opposite way than he'd prefer.  And he goes down twice before deciding he's ready for jumps.  So, being the mom that thinks kids should get the opportunity to develop talents and skills, I decided while watching him, that I'd have to muster up the courage to get him out for "real" snowboarding, and I'd have to tough it out because I couldn't just send him alone.

That was after his first jump.  And I will point out that in retrospect, he should not have been using that fake board to take jumps.

Yes, I went sledding, too.  If I am going to walk all the way up that hill, you bet I am coming down in a sled.  I took a few jumps, not intentionally, and flew out.  So Sam saved me.  Ironic since the St. Bernard was at the top of the hill watching me.

I have to give props to Joe for this picture.  I love it.  I kind of stand out a bit, but the background is so pretty!

As we came in to the canyon we saw the bighorn sheep.  They were still in the area when we left so Joe snapped some pictures.  See if you can spot them!

So if you want to know where we were, it was in American Fork Canyon,  You head up and take the Tibble Fork Reservoir turn off.  We prefer to sled to the North of the lake.  A lot of people like the bowl that is to the South of the lake, but I am really afraid of the kids flying into it and getting hypothermia.  So, we go to the area above the parking lot.