Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Heart Attack

Valentine's Day is my second favorite holiday (behind Christmas). I don't buy that it's a Hallmark scam. Of course we should love every day, but I am in favor of a day especially devoted to celebrating love. One of our traditions is to do a family "heart attack". We did this as our Family Home Evening activity this past Monday. I cut tons of hearts from red paper and we each wrote things that we love about each other. My favorite part is when we go around and read them out loud. I get so choked up hearing the things that we love about each other.

Here are a few I want to remember:

Then, we tape them all over the walls so we can see all that love whenever we come into the house or come downstairs. It's amazing how good it feels!

On Valentine's Day morning, I had a little gift bag for each of the boys. (I'd mailed packages to Lyndsay and Dylan so they could share the fun as well.)

Usually I make a pink breakfast, but this was our Field Trip day, so the boys brought their new games to the car and off we went to the mountains!

February Field Trip: Snow Tubing at Big Bear Snow Play

In an effort to get out and do more with the kids, for this month's field trip, we chose a trip up to the mountains to go snow tubing. Conor has long been begging for snow. I promised him snow this year, but unfortunately there hasn't been a lot here in California. Over the three day weekend, I thought we'd drive up to Big Bear and play in whatever snow was available, and when I mentioned the plan to my nail girl, she suggested snow tubing -- an idea I hadn't thought of. The boys were so excited, and I'll admit, I was too. We all needed some fresh air fun.

We went to a place called Big Bear Snow Play, about a two hour drive from where we live. They advertise the longest snow tube runs in Southern California. It was $30 per person, which included the inner tube, for all day fun. They are open from 10am to 4pm. We got there right at opening, only a little carsick from the winding drive up the mountain.

Conor was all business about getting right to the snow!

We brought all kinds of snow gear, and most of us started out with coats, but it was almost 70 degrees, and we were soon way too warm with them on. Aiden was wishing he'd worn shorts! The shade was cool, but mostly, the sun reflecting off the snow was intense enough that we ditched the snow gear.

We got to choose our own inner tubes. Conor took this very seriously.

And saving us multiple trips hiking back to the top of the hill, was the Magic Carpet, a moving sidewalk of sorts.

There were six different runs, each a little different. Some with steeper inclines, others with (what we called) "whoop-dees", or humps in the run.

It should be noted that I am a complete chicken. Generally. In life. But I was determined to play in the snow and have a great time. I was actually the first one down the mountain, screaming my head off the whole way. I was terrified! But it was also exhilarating, and the kids wanted to go down with me just to enjoy my terror. Aiden accompanied me on many of the runs, with his camera poised and ready. He got some funny pictures that make me laugh to see just how embarrassing I am.

Here's the view from the top:

I love this series of shots he got as we went down together, holding on to each other's tubes. As we start off, it's all lovely.

You can tell that the speed picks up intensity, because my face expresses more and more fear.

So fun to have those rides with my boy. Who never made fun of me, I have to add. Just laughed along with me.

Little Conor had so much fun. No fear in him! Here he goes down the mountain, with Aiden in front of him capturing the joy in his little face.

 Conor and I went down together a few times as well, as did Adam and I.

I love this selfie Aiden got as they "Double Supermanned" down the run.

We ended up staying until about 3pm. We left happy and tired. Speaking of tires, we had a flat waiting for us in the parking lot, but a quick stop at the nearby gas station and a can of flat tire repair later had us back on the road. I'm sporting a decent sunburn, but the important thing was how much fun we had together in the Southern California snow.