Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ketchum/Sun Valley

People have been telling us for awhile that we need to visit the Sun Valley area.  In fact, you can do a driving loop from Boise to Stanley to Sun Valley and then back to Boise.  It would probably take at least six hours to do the entire loop.

We have only gone as far as Stanley, so when the kids had a day off from school for teachers' in-service we decided to make the trip to Sun Valley (going the opposite direction of the above arrows).  As it turned out, it was great timing for Russ and I as we just needed a little time away after a super busy and emotional week.  We had a youth group pancake brunch fund raiser on Saturday, a full day on Sunday, funeral on Monday, and the Senior Valentine Luncheon on the Thursday we left.  And that was on top of the regular visitation, prayer meeting, council meeting and other things going on in the church.  It was just a good time to get away, even if it was only for 24 hours.  

We were told that there was a free outdoor ice skating rink in Ketchum, so we planned to drive up on Thursday evening, hang out at the hotel until Friday morning, then go out and ice skate and just drive around to see the beauty of the area.  

The drive up and sunset were breathtaking.  

Unfortunately, however,  the skating did not happen...

So we decided to continue the loop towards Stanley and back home on Hwy 21.  As we drove along to what is called Galena Summit, a sign was posted that Hwy 21 was closed from Stanley to Boise, so we just turned around and saw the sights twice!

I was absolutely amazed at the sheer amount of snow.  

In fact, I asked Russ if he ever thought the snow would just rumble down the mountains to bury us as we drove along.  He just chuckled and rolled his eyes at me.  "Never, even if I lived 1000 years, would that worry ever cross my mind!"  I felt slightly justified a little later by this sign:๐Ÿ˜

We were fascinated by all the beautifully groomed Nordic trails.  Russ and I decided we need to either take up cross-country skiing or find a good pair of snowshoes and actually go out into the beauty and enjoy it!

We stopped at a scenic overlook...but you couldn't see anything because of all the snow.  So we just went climbing!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Other Jan/Feb Activities

Track season is just underway so that means spring will be here soon!  We had an unusually cold Jan/Feb often due to inversions.  This is when the cold air is trapped in the valley and does not leave until another front moves in.  I remember Seth had homeschool ski one day in January and I was warning him that it would be cold up on Bogus (15⁰).  Because we were in an inversion, however, it was a balmy 30⁰ with sunshine up on the mountain.  When you are up on Bogus you can see these gray, "foggy" clouds trapped in the valley.  Kind of cool...if you are above it.  On the day I took these pictures, though, we had a beautiful day both on the mountain and in the valley.  What looks like clouds on the horizon are actually the snow-capped Owyhees on the other side of the valley.  

One morning on the way up to Bogus to ski we even saw a herd of elk.  I was told later that if there is quite a bit of snow (which we had all winter) they will come down to the foothill area around Boise.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get a picture of them.

Other notables for the last few months:

This girl who just began organ lessons turned 15!

Nicolas had his second to last BPYO concert.

We kept plugging away at homeschool.  I wonder if someday I will miss all these science experiments lying around๐Ÿ˜‰.

Yes, I still have a poinsettia from Christmas...alive, unless too many experiments with the leaves kill it๐Ÿ˜œ

Thought this was cute.  Seth drew these during school read aloud time.

Austin, one of the Mountain Home AFB guys who spent Sundays with us, gifted us with a virtual reality gaming system.  We are not huge gamers, but this has been a fun experience.  Sadly, we said good-bye to him a few weeks ago since he has completed his military service and returned to Indiana.  He will be missed! 

Since outdoor track has officially begun, I had better post some pictures of our indoor track runner!

4 x 400 relay qualifiers for the NAIA National meet in Tennessee  March 2-4!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Casual Co-op Jan/Feb

The first activity of the new year was ice skating.  The kids had a great afternoon skating with friends and moms enjoyed both skating and catching up after not seeing each other much over Christmas break.

Camo buds

After cancelling one week due to snow, we met the next three weeks at church learning etiquette and making invitations and centerpieces for our Senior Valentine Luncheon which we hosted the week of Valentine's Day.  

Seth serving his table

Everyone had conversation questions under their plates to learn more about each other.

The kids even gave a small music recital.

This past week we visited the Idaho Air National Guard at Gowen Field (right next to Boise Airport).  We sat in a Black Hawk helicopter, saw how the hoist works in the medic helicopter, "drove" a humvee, and "flew" a Black Hawk in Afghanistan in the simulation units.  We have great respect for those who do it for real!

Learning how to fly this big chopper.

Medic helicopter