Mini Olympic Games

There were no gold medals, no world records and no opening or closing ceremonies, but we did have our own Winter Olympics this past weekend in our backyard and front yard and even from our rooftop.  When mother nature gives you snow, what do you do?  Our latest storm gave us over 15″ of snow.  We had plans to take a mini ski vacation to Giants Ridge while the kids were on winter break last week, but with the “blizzard” predictions, we changed our plans and stayed in Duluth to ski at Spirit Mountain.  The white out conditions caused Spirit Mountain to close at 4pm which was probably a good thing.  We got home before the worst of the storm hit.  By the next morning, drifting snow buried our driveway, sidewalk and everything else.  As a family, we ventured outside and began digging out.  After most of the work was done, the kids decided to have a little fun.  Out came the snowboards and sleds and our mini Olympics was underway.

Girls Division | Driveway Snowboarding

Boys Division| Driveway Snowboarding

Senior Division | Driveway Snowboarding

After a quick photo next to the tunnel that leads to our front steps and door, we moved to the backyard snowboarding course.

Girls Division | Backyard Snowboarding

Boys Division | Backwards Skeleton

Girls Division | Swing Set Jump

Boys Division | Swing Set Jump

Preparing for the jump.

The big jump.

Pairs Roof Jumping

Relaxing before the jump.

After the jump and digging out.

Boys Division | Luge

Senior Division | Roof Shoveling

The snowman that was created back in December has not melted, but is nearly buried by snow.  Here he is during the early December snowstorm when Mike and Sophia made him.

Mr. Snowman With His Creators

Here he is now…or what is left of him.  Look for the tip of his red hat.


One final collage of the snow cover.

Subzero temperatures are in the forecast, but no snow…for now.

Hopper Happiness & Sock Monkey Madness

Serious Sock Monkey

We gave the kids a few small things for Valentine’s Day.  Nothing fancy, just some chocolate treats, gum and a small gift for each kid.  Sophia had her eye on a giant stuffed frog that was on display in the gift section of a local store since mid-January.  Every time we stopped by the store to pick up a few items, she spotted the frog and begged to have it for Valentine’s Day.  It was a little overpriced and ridiculously pink and large, but she declared her love for it each time she saw it.  Early this week I had to do some errands and stopped by a different store for a few household items.  I decided to pick up some Valentine’s treats for the kids and a card for Mike.  While I was debating on whether or not to get a small stuffed bulldog for Sophia, I looked up on the top shelf and spotted the same frog that Sophia had seen at the other store.  I decided that it must be fate.  Not only was it the same frog, it was almost half the price.  Sophia became the proud owner of a giant pink and white frog on Valentine’s Day.  She couldn’t have been more excited.  Now we just need to figure out where to keep him.  Sebastian’s gift was not quite as bright or exciting, but he was very happy with his new fleece blanket (a.k.a. Woobie).

Hopper, Socky, Sophia, Sebastian & The Brown Blanket

In addition to her new frog, Hopper, Sophia also received a gently used sock monkey hat with her Valentine’s Day loot.  Sock Monkey was also a big hit with her as seen below in the snapshots from earlier today,

Sock Monkey Madness – iPhone Photos

I also enjoyed my Valentine’s gift…a beautiful bouquet of roses, truffles and a nice card from Mike.

Rose Bouquet

Sebastian had a basketball tournament in Zimmerman, Minnesota today.  Mike made the 2 1/2 hour journey with him.  It was a long day, with less than ideal road conditions, but the boys played well and they made it home safely at 10:40 p.m. tonight.  While they were away, Sophia and I took care of shoveling the freshly fallen snow.  We did take some time to have a little fun and enjoy sledding in the back yard.

Snow Play – iPhone Photos
Monkey Faces

Daphne also joined in the fun.

Snow Dog
Lonely Leaf

We are looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and enjoying a quiet day at home…or maybe skiing in the fresh powder.

Outdoor Activity

We had high hopes of having a great winter with lots of outdoor activities.  We had nearly three feet of snow on the ground early in December, but since then the temperatures have barely made it above zero.  Today’s high was -4 F.  We did have a couple of days at the end of last week that made it to 30 degrees…above zero!  We took the opportunity to play fetch with Daphne, sled in our backyard and clean the snow off our deck.

Sledding The Backyard
Going Over The Jump
Close To The Finish Line
Fresh Powder
Not So Angry Bird
Snow Removal
Rare Outdoor Time For Daphne
Winter Birch

We spent New Year’s Eve at the movies, followed by dinner at Famous Dave’s restaurant – an annual tradition for us.

Happy New Year!
New Braces!

Warm wishes for the days ahead and hopes for some outdoor time skiing and skating. Happy New Year!