Friday, February 15, 2019

 Winter Hiking

We love winter hiking here in the desert. We (as in Jason and I, definitely not the kids) always wish we could do more hikes, but winter is also sports seasons and every Saturday is spent at the field or basketball court. We finally got a chance to sneak away on MLK day to hike Camelback. Camelback mountain is the most popular hike here in Phoenix, so I'm a little embarrassed that we've lived here for 15 years and I've never been. Jason took the older kids last year, but this was my first time and it was the perfect little morning date. Honestly, the hike way exceeded my expectations. It started out like any other desert hike, but as we got closer to the peak we had to start scrambling over rocks until we reached the most incredible lookout over the entire valley. Between the red rock, saguaro cactus, wildflowers and views for miles, I can see why it's such a popular hike. Loved spending the morning with Jason enjoying the great outdoors. And the kids loved spending the morning sleeping in and watching YouTube!

Pinewood Derby

Maddox's first pinewood derby was a bit of a disaster. Lots of time and money spent on making the perfect car. He had high expectations and his hopes were dashed when he came in like 20th place. The point of the pinewood derby is being able to spend time together with your dad or mom making it, but if you ask any scout, they will tell you the point is to win. There were lots of tears shed. Last year Jason gave Maddox the option to skip the derby and go to the Monster Truck Jam instead. It was a good choice. This year will be the last pinewood derby since we won't be doing scouts anymore, so we decided to give it one last chance. They spent a few hours one evening making the car and went in with low expectations. Much to our surprise, Maddox's car came in 5th place and he was thrilled. Glad to end on such a good note!

Happy New Year and a Winter Wonderland!

New Year's eve this year was a little different. Jason took Jayden snowboarding in Utah for a boy's weekend. They had such a great time, and managed to somehow stay warm and come home in one piece. Kylie spent New Year's eve celebrating with friends so the boys and I had a quiet night at home with movies, games and treats. At midnight Maddox and I climbed onto the roof to watch the fireworks. Loved that sweet little moment with him.

The plan was to meet Jason and Jayden in Pinetop for some snowboarding. We had a late start, due to a hair dying fiasco with Kylie and Addi. We finally got on the road around 10:30 pm, I took a zip fizz to keep me up for the 3+ hr drive. Things went smoothly, the kids were all sleeping, and then around 1 am I hit snow. The roads were icy, the tire warning light kept coming on and cell service was a little spotty. I was a nervous wreck. I got a hold of Jason and felt relieved knowing he was about 45 minutes away and could come help us if needed. After white knuckling it the whole way, we finally made it to the condo around 2 am. Thankfully the rest of the weekend went much more smoothly! We were a little disappointed last year when Pinetop only got a few skiffs of snow. This year we have been spoiled with tons of much needed snow. The boys woke up to snow falling out their window and it was pure magic. They spent all morning building forts and snowmen. 

Later that afternoon we went on the hunt for a sledding hill. Just when we were about to give up we found one. It ended up being such a fun afternoon sledding and having snowball fights with the family. And Jayden learned the hard way what happens when you peg your brother in the back of the head when he's already crying. We stayed out until the sun started going down and we could no longer feel our fingers and toes. 

The next day we went snowboarding. It was the most fun day we've ever had on the mountain as a family. Ryder tried a few runs last year but still spent most of the time on the bunny hill. This year he didn't even look at the bunny hill, we spent the whole day on the big mountain and it was so much fun. I decided I like being a snowboarding family after all, it was a little touch and go here and there. It did help that it wasn't freezing cold!

The rest of the weekend we spent curled up by the fire playing some often heated rounds of Exploding Kittens. We went to the movies to see Aquaman, and also indulged on our favorite Red Devil Pizza. It was one of our favorite weekends in Pinetop. Love the time we have to spend together as a family there.