Schweitzer Memories 2016
Awakening to this gorgeous landscape of mountain, lake, snow, and rose-tinted sunrise is like taking a super tonic each morning. It is pure health to the soul and joyful music to the spirit.
When snowflakes are captured in sunshine we are treated to a dazzling display of sparkling light.
The first evening is filled with the excitement and anticipation of Christmas gifts for all the children. These littles are lined up in a row, eagerly waiting for grandpa to hand down the presents.
All the granddaughters, aglow with the delight of four days and nights together!
This year my older brother Richard joined us (along with his son Jacob) for the first two nights. It was a pleasure to get to spend these few days together and we were all glad they made the long journey across the country to join us.
Dad, Josh, Richard, and Lavern, hanging out around the table on the first evening.
Richard and I, excited for the festivities to come!
Preparations are underway to take to the slopes on the first morning.
Don't we have the cutest little chalet? This is our second year at this place.
Jacki and I, all smiles, but we are, in fact, a bit nervous about what is to come.
This is Jacki's first time to try skiing and it's a bit intimidating with all the cousins, aunts, and uncles making it appear so effortless, whether they're skiing or boarding, but we all have to start somewhere. It's finally her turn and I'm going to show her how it's done.
No, I did not pay the extra money to get her an instructor but wish now I would have taken that route. Well...we managed to get down the slopes but very, very slowly and cautiously! Her conclusion is that it's quite difficult but that she should not judge it by her initial experience. Perhaps next year we can try again.
Later, she and I walked up the road next to the ski lift and caught some gorgeous views. Hiking at her own pace on her own two feet seemed much safer and happier than sliding about on those awkward skis!
The littlest children went skiing the following day. Mason mastered the second level but, we have to admit, it's an exhausting business for a five year old. One minute his eyes were open...
...the next, he was totally out!
Because the temps dropped down to the frigid zone of zero and below, we literally kept that cozy fireplace blazing for the duration of our stay. That is the joy of this winter retreat, freezing cold and invigorating snow sports followed by a toasty lodge to wrap us in its warm embrace.
Game time! We had a lively game of Taboo going...
Grandma plays Dutch Blitz with the girls.
The cousins at a game of Apples to Apples.
Here, it's the grownups playing Black Rook...or lounging...whichever you prefer!
Catching up on their phones after our skiing escapades...
All the pretty lights cast a warm and welcoming glow. There is no doubt as to whether this particular chalet is in use.
Gathered by the great stone fireplace for the photo we (at least some of us) required of the gang. Jacki set up my phone on self-timer to capture this picture. One little girl obviously did NOT want to be identified! Perhaps it was too strange to take a photo with no smiling face opposite her. The littlest guy is not too convinced either. These are my people and I love them with a deep, almost painful, love...they are the family my Father has given me.
Here is where we really needed my other brother, Keith, to complete the sibling photo.
Left to right...Kristina, Karyn, Richard, Renee', Joyce. "Keith, we missed you terribly!" And we hope to gather again next year with all of us present...at least we can dream!
It has been another beautiful gift, this vacation with my family, this hiding away in the snowy mountains. My heart is full. My thanks overflows to my Father, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Now that I'm back home in Ohio and it insists on raining instead of snowing, January or not, I'll just delight in the snow-filled photos and family memories of another year on Schweitzer Mountain.