"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Monday, March 24, 2014

letters to beth {german immersion and skiing}

dear beth,
good morning!
we might be speaking more german around here soon my friend.
but let's get to that later.
for now,
i want to tell you about how much i love to ski.
my dad was here all last week and we skied our guts out.
there was fresh powder at alta and we just had the best time together.
i'm so glad i learned to ski as a kid.
and i'm the most glad that i love to do it again.
there was a good ten years in there that i just didn't want to do it anymore.
burned out from childhood.
but i've got my ski legs back on,
and it's a ball.
it also helps when one of the best mountains in the entire world is 20 minutes from your house:)
so i left my kids with friends and my mom in their respective places,
and my dad and i headed for the slopes.
the powder was light and fluffy and the temperature was just a bit cold so the powder stayed good all day long.
we did the trees.
we did the high traverse.
where you have to take off your skis and hike up the mountain on foot to get to the good powder.
it pretty much wore us out completely and made it so our legs were trashed for the rest of the day.
we did the low traverse.
i felt like i was going to die if i leaned the wrong way on the way over,
but once we got there it was AMAZING.
and the views were incredible.
we stopped for hot chocolate twice.
and chili once.
they have these fancy lift passes that you wear in your pocket now,
and you electronically buzz your way through the gates onto the lift.
another one of my great ideas stolen.
story of my life.
so anyway,
after 6 hours of that we called it day,
and then brought the kids back up a few days later,
and our neighbor jess,
for another ski day together.
brennan was in heaven.
he LOVES to ski.
no fear.
and he can go all day.
he was even strong enough to hold onto the pulley line all the way up to the top of the bunny hill,
and let me tell you,
it's no little feat.
that thing takes some muscle to hold onto.
or maybe i'm just weak.
he just went up that pulley all by himself,
and then skied all the way down like a champ.
i was so proud.
max pretty much hated it.
normally she likes ski school,
but the pulley took her out one to many times,
and when she was at the top of the hill screaming like a banchee i had flashbacks to my sister hating skiing because dad pushed her too hard and told max that we should just take off our skis and sit on the side so we could watch the people all ski down.
after about 20 minutes of that she was ready to go again,
and skied with my dad a few times down.
by the end she said she didn't think it was so bad after all.
thank heavens.
at least i know for sure i'll be able to ski with brennan:)
after an hour more of that we had turkey sandwiches in the lodge,
put the kids in ski school,
and then dad, neighbor jess, and i went for round two up top.
it was a ball.
and super warm that second day.
like you didn't even need a coat warm.
on the way home we ate cookies and watched power rangers in the car.
how do you say skiing in german?
i put brennan into the lotto for the german immersion program next year for 1st grade.
and i did this because i knew FOR SURE he would absolutely NOT get in.
i knew i wouldn't have to make a decision, so it was easy to put him in.
and then last night,
while i was watching old oprah episodes and playing solotaire on my phone in my pj's,
smelling like campfire {that's another story},
i felt my phone buzz the buzz it buzzes when a new email comes in.
and i thought it might be an exciting email about an amazon packaging shipping or something like that so i just had to put my game on pause.
and that's when i saw it.
so i immediately yelled to sean,
"he got it! i can't believe he got in!"
and sean was like,
"to what?"
because i had told him i put brennan in,
but we didn't talk about it at all after that because we knew he wouldn't get in,
so he didn't even know what i was talking about because we hadn't really talked about it.
and i was all,
"german immersion!"
and he was like,
"are we sending him?"
and i was all,
"i guess we should think about it now...."
and then i went to bed thinking about if brennan was going to learn to speak german at school next year.
everyone keeps saying why german?
and i keep saying
why not?
positives i can list:
he learns a second language FOR FREE.
his brain learns to associate different meanings for things at a young age that opens up the brain in a whole new way {this is what the pediatrician said, except he used fancier more exciting words that i can't remember now. it was very scientific i assure you.}
kids who do immersion programs test as well or better than kids who don't immerse.
it makes learning additional languages easier.
he would graduate high school with almost a minor in german.
they use my two favorite programs of all time: saxon math and open court.
{say what you may about saxon. it works.}
my grandpa spoke german. it's nostalgic.
my kids will have a secret language with each other that i won't understand.
my kids and your kids will have a secret language that i won't understand.

negatives i can list:
i don't speak german.
sean doesn't speak german.
we can't help him with his german.
my kids will have a secret language with each other that i won't understand.
brennan has a hard time paying attention in english, let alone german.

ok, so my negatives are kind of lame,
and there are definitely more positives than negatives.
and i bet if i tried really hard i could think up some more negatives,
but that just doesn't sound like any fun at all,
so let's just leave them how they are now.
tell me your thoughts.
speak me your german mind!
are you going to live in germany forever?
maybe we will move to germany.
or visit one day.
and my kids will be able to speak german,
and it will work out really great.
how amazingly beautiful are all of these pictures of the mountains of snow?!
i was dyyyyyying it was so pretty.
let's skype soon.
{teaching brennan how to roll over in skis and get up.}
{this was the day they were blasting for avalanches all morning.
it had been really warm, and then snowed 13". prime avalanche conditions. the big bomb sounds they blasted off made me jump and i almost peed my pants taking this picture. true story. so exciting to be up in the mountains on days like these.}
{i was so out of breath from hiking up the hill with my skis and poles that i couldn't stand up straight.}
{alta. the most beautiful ski resort on the planet.}


ElizabethJane said...

Emily-----Thanks for communicating with my german based daughter. I know she enjoys all of your exploits and lives through your wonderful adventures. I appreciate your diligence to see through the storm clouds of today to the sunshine of tomorrow. Quite a gift in this world of giving up so easily. In other words, you are a ray of hope.

Em said...

Liz--I love you. When can we eat yummy food and sit on bean bags chairs in the basement again? I'll bring cookies and breadsticks.