Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're Back!

First off, I want to thank my God and Savior for making this trip possible. Without Him none of this would of been possible. Now, look closely. Can you see the tiny snowflakes? There is one on the tip of the middle finger and another tiny one on the right side of the palm seam. You can clearly see the tiny snowflakes. How someone doesn't believe in our Creator is beyond me. Still Waters is the one that took this picture. It's her gloved hand that caught the snowflakes.

Ok, next I want to thank my Knight for putting this trip together and surprising us. Babe, you always know how to pull things together and make the very best of everything. Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I know I haven't met my quota for the day so... I love you and your baby blues! Be still my heart...

I must confess, all but one, wanted to stay in Bolton Valley, Vermont. We had a FANTABULOUS time! I know that's not a word, but it's my blog and I happen to like my made up word. :o) It's a combination of FANTASTIC and FABULOUS.

Where do I EVEN begin?! First off, we stayed 8 days, at a condo in Bolton Valley, Vermont for .....$250! I know, it's unbelievable, but it's true. But that's thanks to the RCI certificates. The condo had 3 full bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room w/ a fire place, a small dinning area, and two bedrooms. The couch was a sleeper couch. They also had one of those wall pull out bed in the living room. Our room had a queen size bed. The Fair Maidens' room had two full size beds and a balcony. There were three tv's. They had plenty of board games too. They also had a recreation center. They had a heated pool, a jacuzzi and game room. We never made it there, we were too busy skiing. :o)

First off, up until 3 weeks before our vacation, we were concerned. You see, no snow had fallen in Bolton Valley yet. This was to be our first family ski vacation. Well, we've been skiing many times before, but our Squires weren't born yet. Our Fair Maidens have gone with church groups, but all 7 of us have never been skiing together before. We also wanted it to be a special trip because, well... our children are getting older. Who knows if we'll get another chance to do this kind of trip. But as we all know, God cares even about the littlest things. By the time we got there, it had been snowing for over two weeks. We had fresh God made snow, not man made. :o) There is a HUGE difference.

Our first night there, we settled in and then went to get our ski equipment. They saw us walk in and their eyes popped out. LOL! I guess they aren't use to seeing families like ours... by that I mean a family with 5 children. We got looks from dads, moms, and young ones. We also got looks from young men. But I know they weren't looking at our family size, they were looking at our Fair Maidens. Which by the way they were oblivious about the looks they were getting. Soaring Amongst The Clouds did mention that she had never seen so many young men. Which I must say, was true. We saw wayyyyyy more young men than young ladies. Hmmm... makes me wonder if we should move up north in our for our Fair Maidens to find their Knights? Nah... I know that God already has their Knight all picked out for them. :o)

The second night we were there, we spent most of the day skiing. We also went grocery shopping. We stocked up on items we needed and plenty of log for the fire. We also found out that a snow storm was going to hit late Saturday night. But we were ready. :o)

After breakfast Sunday morning, we did a family devotion. I don't know why it amazes me, it really shouldn't. God always has a way of doing things. The devotion my Knight did was on 1 Corinthians 12. We talked about how each of us are special, now two are alike. How we each have a purpose. Snowflakes came into topic too. How each one of them is different and God created them that way. A couple of nights before we had seen Survivor. I know, I can't help but enjoy watching that program. Well, on that program one of the participants made a horrible comment regarding another participant and what she believes the other ladies life to be . What happened tied into our devotion. I love how things that happen can be used as lessons. God is truly AWESOME! No skiing was done on Sunday. All lifts were closed, due to the snow storm. But that did not stop my children from venturing out in the snow storm. They went out and still had a great time. They were freezing, but none the less they enjoyed it.

The rest of our stay, was spent on the mountain skiing. Like I mentioned before, we had a FANTABULOUS time. I have a gazillion pictures. But I'll only post a mere million. Just kidding. LOL! I'm having a hard time picking favorites. So bare with me...

We left our International Airport and flew to JFK International Airport. We had about a 3 hour layover. We were very surprised cause the airport was almost empty. There was no traffic at all. We were expecting New York to be buzzing, but instead it was snoozing. From there we had to walk out to our plane. Our children got a kick out of it, cause it seemed so old school to walk to a plane.

We flew into the Burlington International Airport. I always thought that International Airports were big, but this one was quite small and quaint. They even had white, porch type rocking chairs for people to sit and watch the airplanes. Did I even mention that I LOVE rocking chairs? Well, I do. :o)

Here we are, first day on the slopes. All bundled & geared up, ready to go. You won't find me in many of the pictures cause, I'm the one taking the picture. :o) Which is fine and dandy with me. ;o)

I love this picture. My Knight, always the helpful one, is helping G.I. Joe with his boots.

Still Waters (in white) and Daughter of the King are checking out trail map. All my children take after their dad. Always prepared. Know where you are going so you don't get lost.

Here we are at mid mountain. From left to right: G.I. Joe, The Warrior, Still Waters, Daughter of the King, me, and Soaring Amongst The Clouds. As you can see it was pretty cold. Temp was 10 Fahrenheit. Sorry, I don't know how to do the little "o" to represent temperature. Well, we had ski masks on, so it's hard to see our faces.

This is the only picture you'll see of me on the slopes. You wouldn't believe the compliments I got on my hat. The young and old loved it! LOL! They are actually dreadlocks, but my Still Waters braided them and this was the end results. I liked it better this way. :o)

I love this picture too. I just love the way my Knight is looking after and teaching his young Squire. Isn't that what a parent is suppose to do? This was The Warrior's first day of skiing. We had him take two half day lessons. By the third day he was skiing with parallel skis and traversing like he'd been born on skis. G.I. Joe and the Fair Maidens all looked like pros. I was totally amazed. I was blessed beyond measure. To think that my children love and enjoy doing something that their parents also love and enjoy. It was all too surreal for me. Be still my heart...

This was taken at night. It snowed most of the days we were at Bolton Valley. Here they are with Jabba The Snowman. This was the first snowman they ever built. It was still standing or should I say sitting, a couple of days after it was built. If you look closely, you can see that they gave him a mohawk. LOL!

I always knew my children were angels! G.I. Joe is the one furthest away. The one up close was made by The Warrior. This was their first snow angel. All those little spots you see are snowflakes falling. Pretty kewel!

I know I've said it before, but I love this picture too. This was taken by Still Waters. The lift closest is ridden by Soaring Amongst The Clouds (in purple) and Daughter of the King. The lift in front of them has G.I. Joe (in gray) and The Warrior. The lift in front of them has my Knight and I (in dark blue).

Every time after The Warrior was done skiing, this is what he would do. He would lay on the floor, too tuckered out to take off his boots. No problem, cause...

Daughter of the King and Soaring Amongst The Clouds were always there to help him out. This is what we are all about... helping each other out. Still Waters stood up on a chair in order to take this picture.

The view from the top of the mountain. This was the clearest day we had. You can see the other mountains around. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I don't know how some people think that all this just happened all on it's own.

Did you know that Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is based in Vermont? Well it is! And we got to go and check it out. :o) We all bought a pint of our favorite. I know, you think we must be crazy to eat ice cream when it's 15 below zero, but we did. :o)

We thought this tree was absolutely beautiful even without it's leaves. I don't know if you can see it, but The Warrior's hat says, "MARINES" on it. He says that when he grows up he wants to be a Marine or a Ranger. Whatever he does, I know he'll be great at it.

Let me say it again, no, this time I'm going to yell it, "I LOVE MY KNIGHT!" This man ROCKS my world!

Future Bond Girls. No, wait a minute, one of them is already a Bond girl. You see, Soaring Amongst The Clouds was named after one of the Bond girls. Which one? Well I can't tell you... for security reasons. :o)

Soaring Amongst The Clouds makes purple a beautiful color. I know what you are saying Sweetie, only a mom would say that. But, this mama is right. ;o)

My Still Waters always has a pensive look. She's a thinker. I love that about her. I always wonder what she's thinking. The gloves she is wearing use to be mine. My hands are no longer itty bitty. Oh, those gloves are 24 years old. They were bought when my Knight and I were stationed in Germany. I can't believe my hands were ever that tiny! Gone are the days of being itty bitty...

Daughter of the King is always sporting a smile. One can't help but smile when she's around.

G.I. Joe getting ready to go out on the slopes. He couldn't get enough of skiing. A Squire after his own dad's heart.

The Warrior, ready to tackle the mountain. His instructor told me that he was very impressed with our Squire. He had never seen someone learn so quickly. To think that this was his first time in this type of weather and he just kept at it. The instructor kept asking The Warrior if he wanted to go in and get some hot chocolate, but kept saying no, that he was fine. The instructor was more than ready for some hot chocolate, but kept up with The Warrior. He has a way of doing that. He makes you want to give 100%.

Soaring Amongst The Clouds gave us her pouty face, "I don't want to go home." G.I. Joe, "Whatever" and The Warrior is ready to go home. He misses his other little beanie friends.

Here we are leaving Burlington, Vermont. It's hard to believe that it time to go. We had a dream come true vacation. Things couldn't have gone any better if we had planned it. God was totally in control every step of the way. My prayer was that God would put a hedge of protection, shower us with mercy and grace and show us favor where ever we went. Did I mention that they gave us a free day on our ski equipment due to the snow storm? Did I mention that we got to ski one day for only $10? Did I mention that everywhere we went people were nice, courteous and friendly? Isn't that just like God... what a mighty God we serve.

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