Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

Mexican for Sully

March 26, 2011

This weekend we got together to celebrate Sully's expected arrival.  We had a great group of girls meet  at local restaurant for dinner and Sullytime.  Abby got loads of great stuff and the fellowship wasn't too bad itself.  Just Kidding!!  I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone and just hanging out.  I can't wait for our little Sully Man to get here and join the party.  He has lots of older "siblings"  who want to meet him.  Watch out, Max may think he needs to move in to help Jack care for Sully.  Ok, Abby, I am waiting on a Sully Bug book review . . . can you do it?  Wasn't it great?
Gindy, Ami, and debuting in August: Bella

Abby and Alyssa
Rosie and Amanda

Abby, Jill, and Ami (Oh Jill, be careful, you are too close!)

The Girls & Jack Attack

T-Ball Practice

March 26, 2011

Today was our first T-Ball practice with the team.  Max was so excited when I got home from work last night.  He was talking so fast I could barely understand him.  All I got was . . . my coach . . . tomorrow . . . Maddie . . . it was absolutely adorable.  After getting him to slow down, he told me that his coach had called, they were going to practice tomorrow if it didn't rain, Maddie was on his team, and Daddy said we had to go shopping for cleats.  So he rushed me to change and help Jay clean up the kitchen.  (Side note:  We had a huge mess when they got home due to the 2 gallon sweet tea container leaking all the tea all over the fridge and kitchen floor, minor hiccup.)  We went out for a "Max day" as he calls it when he gets to get stuff on a shopping trip and he got his pants and cleats.  Too cute! Little Bitty Baseball Booty!   Saturday afternoon couldn't come fast enough for him.  From the moment he opened his eyes he asked, "Is it one o'clock yet?  Daddy, what time is it?  How much longer until one?"  Well, the time came and it wasn't raining, so we met the team at the park and off all the Daddies and Kid-o's went onto the field.  It was fun to watch them all hit off the tee and play in the field.   At the end, the Dads decided they should run the bases.  So the pack of kids all took off at the same time from home base.  Well, as you can imagine, after turning at first several of them tripped over each other. Poor Maddie took a tumble and it took Daddy Joe to pick her up and get her going again.  They all had a great time and loved getting to play together.  It is going to be a season filled with a lot of fun and laughter.  Max can't wait until practice again this week.  Here are a few of the pictures I captured.

Max throwing the ball
Hayden getting the ball
Maddie getting a pep talk from her Daddy

Ski Day 5: Northstar

March 11, 2011

Well, our final day of skiing was spent today at Northstar in North Lake Tahoe just south of Truckee.  It is a very up class resort with lots of village life.  Some of the resorts just have a minimal gift shop and cafe, but not Northstar.  It even has a Ritz-Carlton at the base.  There is lots to do like pottery, candle making, numerous specialty name brand shops, and many different restaurants.  There is an ice skating rink, jumpy thingies (sorry for the technical terms), and live bands.  We enjoyed passing through the village and taking a look around this morning and again after our day.  We decided we would really like it there, but it might not be the place for our bunch.  Wink, wink!
Big Daddy, Unk Jon, and Aunt Josie

Max catching a ride in the ski wagon
Our skiing weather was gorgeous today with lots of sunshine. We all wore sunscreen today, but I believe it was too late. Our lobster faces soaked up some more redness as the sun bounced off the snow. Max is a little ski bum! He was begging before we arrived at the slopes to please do a black diamond today (the highest skill level slope).  So after a few warm-ups runs we decided to bite the bullet and let him try.

Amanda, Chance, Jon, Big Daddy, Josie, & Jay

Hahaha!  Let him try!  He conquered it with no problem and no falls.  It is so funny to see such a little dude swooping down the mountain with all adults.  He was super pumped and we ran several more blacks during the day.  Sassy B even headed down the blacks today with little difficulty.  We are very proud of our two newest inductees to the diamond family!  Check out Max's video as we drops off the top into the run . . . .
Max posing next to his first black diamond run . . . Challenger

Unk Jon and Max
Family Picture with the Lake behind us, but Unk Jon didn't position us right!
Positioned correctly to see the view, Aunt Josie and Unk Jon
Max has also become a fan of the terrain park area of the mountain.  He likes the jumps a little more than his Mommy enjoys.  He races down toward the jumps almost faster than I can keep up.  I like to be right there so that I can swoop in and put him back together if needed.  He did a great job and left the snow getting air completing under his skis several times.  Even after big spills he bounced right back up to hit the next jump.  Silly Boys!  I wonder what Mary Kate will be like . . . girlie girl?  thrill seeker?  tom boy?  I guess time will tell.  Well, I need to go down and help Jay pack, next time I talk to you we will hopefully all be safe back on the ground at home.  See ya next time Lake Tahoe . . . my favorite place! 

Happy Birthday

March 10, 2011
Happy Birthday!!

Wow, what a great place to spend your 30th birthday . . . the beautiful Lake Tahoe!  It was predicted to rain today, but we had lots of snow showers instead.  The locals called it "snain,"  when it doesn't know whether to rain or snow.  So instead of skiing we spent the day in town shopping.  We visited Squaw Valley USA (Home of the 1960 Olympics) and went in all the shops at the base of the mountain.  Squaw is a huge ski resort that we have skied in trips past.  It is very difficult terrain with lots of bowls below the peaks.  Next we went down to town to eat at a pizza shop that overlooked the lake.  It was very good.  Then we shopped some of the shops on main street of Tahoe City.  This area is much like Gatlinburg, TN with neat locally owned businesses.  Finally we came back to the house for a great meal of Sassy B's brisket and birthday cake.  As you can tell from the pictures, we never travel far from our El-Rey traditions.  Jon successfully smashed the whip cream all over my face.  Happy Birthday!  Thanks for all the wishes, it was a terrific day in the mountains!

The Big Chair at Squaw Valley USA

Logan and his Daddy
Too much fun at bathtime

Sweet girl
The Johnson Family
The Kelley Family
I just can't escape El-Rey on my birthday!  Thanks Jon!
A big whip cream kiss for Max
Making a Wish!

Ski Day 4: Homewood

March 9, 2011
Happy Birthday Big Daddy!!!

Today was skiing at Homewood, CA!  Yay!  This is my favorite place to ski at Lake Tahoe, well, anywhere!  As you will be able to quickly see in the pictures . . . the view is the best from Homewood.  No matter which trail you choose, you are always skiing toward the lake and beautiful views.  The weather was perfect and actually a tidge on the warm side.  Several of us shed a layer or something at lunch time.  Max successfully skied the entire mountain with us.  He flies down the greens without a worry and with a quite a bit of hot dogging.  He is constantly looking for jumps and side wood trails to buzz.  Now he has also conquered the blues with nice looking S's and a great wedge to stop with the group. You cannot tell that this is his first week on the slopes. By the end of the day, he had his own little fan club of snowboarders at the terrain park where he was attempting the jumps.  They cheered for him every time he came through the area.  Max was so excited.  Uncle Jon was very impressed by Max's skiing today.  It was Jon's first day with us because he arrived yesterday due to finals in his EMT class.  So, another super day at Tahoe, and now we are getting ready to do cake and games for Big Daddy's birthday . . .  see you later!

Ski Day 3: Mt. Rose

March 8, 2011

Today was an incredible day of skiing with everyone.  Max woke up refreshed and ready to go again.  After the day with us yesterday; I figured he would be with us today.  We went to "Mt. Rose, where the wind always blows."  Due to the elevation of 9700', the peak is always a very windy area.  I believe it is the highest peak on the north end of the Lake  By lunch time the wind had slowed down and the sun was shining bright.  We all have bright red cheeks tonight to vouch for the wind and sun.  Max had a fantastic day and now skis with the whole group.  He reminds me a lot of his Unk P and his skiing style.  Tips straight down and fast to the bottom.  I tried coaching him on his turns and big wide s's and he told me that it made him go too slow.  Ha ha ha, but it wore my Mommy nerves out today.  He did great and I was a nervous wreck for him most of the day.  He loves skiing and tells me that he is now better than I am.  Too funny.  By the afternoon, he was cutting through the woods on boarder trails and looking for jumps to hop over on the edges of the trails.  He looks great and Big Daddy is SO PROUD. 
View from road up to Mt. Rose
Big Daddy and Aunt Josie
Max and Jay
Max and Big Daddy
The 2011 Gang

Ski Day 2: Alpine Meadows

March 7, 2011

Wowzers, am I tired!  Today we skied Alpine Meadows on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  It was a total body work out today.  We got a late start out to the slopes due to the snow that accumulated last night.  We got another foot or so of snow at the house and required snow chains to get out. Putting the chains on the van slowed us down leaving and traveling to the mountain.  We arrived too late (hahaha the Parsons were late?) for Max to go the Ski School so he got to ski with us all day.  Whew!  Alpine Meadows is a great place to ski, but it is NOT for beginners.  Max had to be "baptized by fire" today.  We put his Ski Bum backpack with a handle and harness on him, purchased him a device for his ski tips that helps with wedging (slowing), and we went to it.  He did fantastic!  We were all totally worn out by the end of the day.  It is a full body workout to steer him with the harness and make sure he doesn't get carried away.  My legs are always sore from skiing, but tonight I hurt from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  You see, for those of you who don't know my Jay, he refused to stand in line before he left heaven for the gift of patience.  He has never had patience and after almost 10 yrs of married life together I have learned to live around his absence of the great gift.  Max on the other hand has not.  Jay and Max don't get along too well when it comes to missions like today.  So, that is why I am so worn out.  Max wanted me all day!  That's okay, we had a good day and he advanced a lot today.  Let me clarify, Jay did  help tremendously today, he just sometimes had to ski on when he had enough.  He always stepped in when I couldn't move to lift and pull him anymore. So I think he is pretty worn out too.   I am tired, did I say that already?  oh, and sore! Max is so tired from keeping up with the gang that he says he is resting at the house with Bebe tomorrow.  :-) Anyways, we will just wait and see how that really pans out in the morning.  We had lots of snow and wind all over the mountain while we were there.  I literally could see the powder piling up on the trails as the day wore on.  So cool!  I just love the powder stuff!  It makes it a little more difficult to ski, but it is so pretty and fluffy.  Well, my family is in bed so I guess I need to head there too.  I am positive I am going to have to snuggle a little four year old out of my spot!  Big smiles!!
On the lift to the TOP!
Chance & Amanda
Ryan, taking a quick break
Jess and Max
Our Skier
We stopped on the side of the road on the way home today for a great photo opportunity.  The lake and mountains were so pretty today and the sun was starting to set....just a perfect way to end a tremendous day.
My ski buddy, My Daddy

Ski Day 1: Diamond Peak

March 6, 2011

Today we started our ski adventure for the year with a new resort.  We visited Diamond Peak, NV or the first time.  We have skied lots of places here at the Lake, but never at Diamond Peak. It is on the northwest shore in a Incline Village.  Wow, it was a great decision.  We had some foggy snowy conditions this morning, but by afternoon most of it had risen.  This gave us gorgeous new views of the lake and surrounding area.  I took lots of pictures, but they just don't do God's beauty any justice.  Max loved his first day of ski school and we got good reports from his teachers.  Apparently after the morning session he was the only one in his class of three ready to move up to the next level.  So, he got a private lesson the rest of the day with another instructor.  He was totally pumped when we passed him at one point during the afternoon.  He says he is ready to ski with all of us.  I totally doubt that, so we have convinced him to finish his planned second day of class.  Then tomorrow afternoon he can ski with us. I can't wait.  I missed my little buddy today.  Little Sissy spent the day with Bebe and Logan at the house.  Bebe said she had lots of fun, but shows that she is jealous of Logan's time in Bebe's arms.  Whoops!  Anyways, what a great start to the week!
Ready to be "Too School for Cool!"
Big Daddy's classic stance
Jess and Amanda
Max practicing his pizza wedge
The Girls

My Bestie

Travel Days

March 4 and 5, 2011

Ok, as you will notice this blog entry has LOTS of pictures.  I recently started converting my blog years into printed books like scrapbooks of our memories.  I like the idea having the tangible book to look at in future years.  As I started the adventure of converting the blogs to books I quickly realized two things:  videos don't print (duh) and Smilebox picture shows don't print.  To remedy this problem I am in the process of adding pictures back to my Smilebox entries so that some pictures will be printed with that entry.  Thus, as I go forward with blogging I plan to either just do lots of  pictures or do a combination of Smilebox and pictures.  Now that I have covered that . . . on to the week.

Friday we left out on our Big Family Trip to Lake Tahoe.  We arrived at the airport at 1:30 on Friday for our flight and finally arrived at our house in Tahoe at 5ish pm on Saturday.  Yes, over 24hrs of traveling with a party of 13, lots of fun.  Seriously . . . everyone did great.  We range in age from Logan at 2mo to Bebe (guess we shouldn't state Mom's age, no brownie points there).  Our total flight time was 8 hrs and the kids did great.  Logan and mKate were passed around and slept for a good portion of the flights.  Max and Jay played DSi and watched movies.  So, like I said the kids did good for such a long trip.  We spent the night in Reno, NV at Circus Circus before we headed over the mountains on Saturday.  We crashed as soon as we arrived to the hotel, but awoke refreshed and ready to finish the traveling.   

mKate slept the first leg of the flight on Big Daddy
Max talked non-stop (no surprise) on the way to the airport.
They both loved taking off and looking out the window
mKate hitched a ride on Daddy's suitcase

We were in no hurry on Saturday, so we spent the morning at the Circus portion of the hotel.  Max, Mary Kate, and Logan loved watching the performers and playing the games. Max spent all his "dollars" that he had been saving from chores.  He won lots of great stuffed animals to carry around with us this week.  :-) 
Circus Games
Max won 486 tickets

After several errands on our way out of Reno, we finally arrived at the house.  It had been a long two days and we were ready to be here.  The snow in the mountains is unbelievable as it always is here.  The drifts are taller than cars and houses and the scenery is gorgeous.  I just love coming over the top of the mountain and seeing the Lake surrounded by all the snow.  It is truly one of my favorite places on earth.  We are all looking forward to a great week of skiing and fun family moments.  Max is talking non-stop about ski school and all the snow.  Can't wait!!
This is the snow drift on the side of the road at the house.  Whoa!!
While shopping down by the lake, we found this cool  dragon snow sculpture

Go Flames