posts tagged with 'sledding'
I wasn't sure how we were going to spend our Martin Luther King Day yesterday. I didn't have work, so I got to spend the rare Monday with the boys; but there was also no school, so I expected that they'd probably be playing with school-going friends. So we left our schedule wide open. As it turns out, all the school-goers made sure that they had every minute programmed so after a peaceful morning of games and historical study, we were all ready when homeschooled friends invited us to join them for some sledding.
There's not a ton of snow but it was plenty to give us a few good runs down the hill. That might have been it, but then someone had the idea to run a race. So we stomped out a finish line, then a start line past which nobody was allowed to push, then the race was on! I forget who won that first one, but it didn't matter because it was followed by another, then another, then another... A sixty-second timer to get back to the start line kept everyone moving briskly up the hill as well as down. And there were enough races that each of the five kids and two dads had a chance to take a win or two (of course, I took lots more than two). As seen above, Lijah was a full participant—at least, until he face-planted with a 13-year-old on top of him. Then he went inside. But we persisted! After the races ended we tried some group challenges, and were very proud to get all five of the remaining sledders first on one snow-tube and then on the toboggan.
Then when we finally called it a day there was hot chocolate with whipped cream waiting inside. Pretty good day!
Martin Luther King Day is very important in our household, and it did not go unobserved. But when it comes to recounting the most exciting part of our days it's hard to argue with the outside adventure. Today was the most beautiful of winter days possible, and we took full advantage of it. Our friends recently bought a house with a golf course conveniently located across the street, so this morning we invited ourselves over there to do some sledding with them. It was lovely.
We've never experienced golf course sledding before, but I can't deny the appeal: there's not just one hill to go down, you have your choice of dozens! It helped that with the icy snow you didn't really need to break a trail to have a good run. The best part was sliding across the water hazard at the bottom of one hill, as pictured above. The second best part was when we all got tired we were able to walk right across the street to a warm house and be treated to hot chocolate and a lovely lunch!
I know Harvey and Zion are wonderful sledders and fully enjoy being outdoors, but I was delightfully surprised by how well Lijah did. It was cold—probably not a whole lot above 10°F when we started—but he didn't mind it at all. He was excited for the first run down the hill, and then he managed to recover after a pretty good wipeout on the second run (he yelled alot, then when he calmed down he declared he wasn't going to use the blue sled again). He was having such a grand time that on the way home I had no qualms at all about stopping, at the boys' request, to play on the frozen Concord River.
The town very kindly plowed the dirt road to the boat launch, so we were able to spend a pleasant half-hour sliding on the ice on the river and in the woods (the river having been very high when it froze). Once again, I'm sure we'll all sleep well tonight!
Before we said goodbye to Nisia and before all the snow melted (both today) we went sledding.
The light and fluffy snow of Saturday evening was much-stomped by Sunday sledders, so when he saw the hill Harvey was so discouraged he was about ready to head home. But I knew that some grass and leaves sticking up wouldn't slow us down any, because packed, sun-melted snow at 15 American degrees is about the fastest surface you could hope for. And so it proved.
Lijah stayed home with Grandma (and Cindy—thanks for the entertainment!) so I was able to concentrate on encouraging the bigger kids. And they all did great! Zion and Nisia stuck to the snow tubes (and the plastic toboggan with me), and took dozens of delighted runs down the big hill. They complained some about the walk up, but kept at it nevertheless. Harvey was fearless on both the plastic toboggan and the real one, which he got back on even after a ferocious crash into the stone wall at the bottom of the hill that left him with a scrape on his chin and a couple of sore teeth. If only we had been out after lunch instead of before it, we might have been there three hours instead of just one and a half.
Of course, I did some sledding too, and made it through the gap in the stone wall into the lower portion of the field by myself on the toboggan and with Zion on the plastic sled. I was pretty impressed with myself... I've still got it! Even Nelly took one run down, on a snowtube—she has video evidence if you don't believe it.
Nisia won't be back again til summer, but we hope the snow puts in another appearance—we had such a good time we'd hate for that to be our only sledding of the season!
Before the snow all melted, we got in a few sledding outings. The only problem with sledding is that it presents numerous difficulties to the photographer—the light's often bad, the subjects are moving quickly... and the photographer wants to be rolling in the snow, not standing around with the stupid camera! Of course, sometimes the cutest sledders stand still for a bit.
Other times, we just have to do our best. The boys have managed three major sledding days in the last two weeks of this crazy winter: one on the fabulous hills by Taya's house.
Another with my parents at the hill of my youth.
And one more with me this Monday, before the temperature shot up 60°F (ok, only 35° from when we were actually outside sledding, but still) and the snow disappeared in short order.
The other disappointing thing about sledding pictures is how they never manage to show the slope of the hill properly. That last one is pretty steep.
Just a few short years ago a bad day of sledding had me promising never to take the boys out again until Zion was seven. Obviously that was an idle threat, but it was also a misguided one, because they're now champions on the slopes (having the right gear helps.. thanks grandmas!). Even Lijah enjoys his few trips down the hill, and is happy to hang out with the big boys as long as they're having fun. Even when he gets sleepy... if you look carefully at the photo of Harvey up above you'll see the little one in the background about to tip over. Here's a close-up:
He was pretty much asleep with his eyes open at that point; when sat down with him and put him on my lap he cuddled right up and went to sleep. Then I put him in the car seat and enjoyed another 45 minutes of sledding with the big boys. We need to get it while we can!