This year we started in Bend and had a LOT of snow. We spent a couple of nights in a yurt doing upscale winter camping. It was really fun. The second night while we were cooking hot dogs outside over the fire, Kai said, "at first, I was nervous about camping in the snow, but now I LOVE it!"
We built a huge snowGIRL and when we were looking for sticks for her arms, I suggested just breaking a couple off the trees. Kai looked at me, alarmed, and said, "Mama, this is the owl's HABITAT. If we did that, he would be sad." We found sticks that had already fallen on the ground.
We woke up Christmas morning in the yurt. On the drive over, Kai told us that Santa was real (even though we had previously told her there was no such thing as Santa when she asked us point blank if Santa was real). We asked her why she thought that and she said, with a great deal of authority, "my friends told me." Then Kai said, "I hope Santa brings ME presents for the holiday." We didn't say anything. She wasn't really asking us any questions -- she was telling us what she wanted to happen. I really don't like the idea of telling Kailey things that are not true, but if she wanted to believe in Santa and not consult us on the matter... well, that was her call. So, we spent Christmas Eve in the yurt. We never mentioned the holiday, but after she went to bed, we filled a stocking and wrapped some presents. The next morning, when she woke up, she noticed the gifts right away and exclaimed, "SEE! Santa CAME! He brought me presents!" Again, we didn't correct her and she didn't ask us if she was right (which she almost always does when she's trying out a new theory -- so, in this case, I'm pretty sure she didn't want the answer). I guess this means, at least for now, there really is a Santa Claus.
After we unwrapped the gifts, we headed to Portland for the annual Tamale Party with Amy and Dave. It was a fun party. Great food, good company. And the following morning, we went to Nonnie and Papa's house for a few days of barbie playing (I kid... but, Kai totally associates there house with barbies which, somehow, she loves despite every effort to dissuade her). We also went to OMSI and played lots of games and cooked good food.
Then we traveled to Hillsboro to spend a few nights with Leo, Soren and Grammy. There was a play, bowling, and general merriment. Leo, Soren and Kai get along really well and love playing with one another. It's so cool to see how close they are, even though there is a big age difference. They always include her and are more then willing to play games she wants to play. It's great that she has cousins she is so close to -- I love it!
The last few nights, we headed to Timberline for our annual trip -- which I previously wrote about. I attempted skiing again this year -- and even managed to go down my first (and maybe only) blue run. It was more adventure then I intended to have on the mountain -- but, I made it down!
We didn't take nearly enough pictures on our trip. I need to get better about that. But, we had a jammed packed couple of weeks with more then enough snow and adventures.