Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Purpose of The Valleys

"God wants to build our faith in the valleys. We love the mountaintops...but in the valleys we build our faith. When we come face to face with a dark valley, we get on our knees." ~ The Purpose Driven Life

This quote taken from The Purpose Driven Life stared me in the face every time I went into the kitchen during the month of March. I would glance over at it, read it and then not really take the time to contemplate it's truth. Whenever life is at it's "best" and there doesn't seem to be anything that urgently needs "fixing", it seems like my prayer life is far less active. Why is that? How come I'm not praying and giving thanks as much during the "rosey" times in life? And what a shame that is.

One evening, as I was washing the dishes and listening to my in-laws play Wheel Of Fortune with my little kiddles, I finally took the time to look over, read and think about what that simple statement meant. It was SO true. The times in my life when it seems like I can't control events that unfold, I sprint to the foot of God's throne and pray like there is no tomorrow. Up until I had my own family, it wasn't always like that. My prayer life was consistent, my devotional time was firmly set for 10p-11p every night and it seemed like I was constantly communicating with God.

These days it seems like I rush through my prayers and don't give thanks as much as I should for all of the little things that I have. (although I have been making more of a conscious effort to give thanks) Faith building never seems to be fun...seriously. But it's not when everything is going so peachy-keen that my faith is tested and strengthened. It truely is when I look around and feel like there is no other place to go but to God for help. And the help always seems to come in at the 11th hour...just when I want to throw my hands up and say, "forget it!" But God always comes through...even though it is usually not in the manner that I would have liked Him to work things out. He still has always taken care of me. And for that I am eternally greatful.

He is my Rock and my Shield for all time. That does not mean that I look forward to the valleys though, but I do understand their purpose.

Confession: I still love the mountaintops. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Golfing Tips From Daddy At The Driving Range

My hubby, Charming, had found a great deal on some golf clubs for our 5 year old Grace. And insisted that we make the purchase...I didn't fight him on it at all. I knew that this meant that it would create Daddy & Daughter Dates...which I fully encourage. Well, we went as a family for Grace's first trip to a driving range. The location: The Grand Sierra Resort's driving range This driving range is set up with incentives...
As you take a swing at your little white ball you cross your toes (because your fingers are a little bit busy at that moment)... You follow the white sphere as it flies in the air and over the water (yes, I said water)... You hold your breath in hopes that it will manage to make its way to one of the floating islands (yes, I said islands)... And as it glides along its path, you can't help but shout out, "go, go, GO!". There's a barrel just waiting for someone to get a ball into it to win a prize. (like a burger from Johnny Rockets)
But perhaps you are one of the fortunate few that actually see your ball making its way to the furthest island...the one that rewards you with a trip to HAWAII if you get that covetted hole in one. Have we ever won that prize...ah, nope. But we can still hold onto the hope of doing it. :) On this particular trip it was more about a few minutes of instruction for Grace...with a TON of little white golf balls waiting to be driven into the fence, down the slope and into the water.
While Daddy & Sissy were practicing their swings...the hunt for dandelions was on.

Did she win any prizes? Ah, no. But she had a TON of fun. Next lesson...stance.

That's my little golfer girl!

Monday, April 6, 2009

ATTENTION ALL SKIERS: The Sierra Snow Is Calling!

If you have missed the amazing snow that the Reno/Tahoe area has received this season...you better get into your car, plane, train or jet as quickly as you can. If you're able to, teleporting would be highly recommended. The ski conditions have been fabulous for the Sierra ski resorts this Winter and so far the Spring skiing hasn't been anything to sneeze at either. This past weekend the Sierras received a nice 2-3 foot unloading of snow from the clouds as they passed through. It left me wondering when Spring was actually going to be allowed to show itself. Well, Spring will have to wait. And there is another weather system that is due to hit next week, sometime between Monday and Friday (April 12-16). How can I make this perfectly clear as to just how perfect the snow has been? Well, let's just say that our snowpacks have finally received totals from 95-99% of the average this year! So grab your snowboard, your skis, your sled, your snow shoes...perhaps even a snowmobile and head on up before the ski season closes. The Chatty Mom Pick: Grand Sierra Resort ~ This season Grand Sierra Resort has the best ski packages available, starting at $75 per person. Package includes $60 in hotel credits! Take your pick of 11 ski resorts including Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows and Mount Rose. Based on Double Occupancy. 2 Night FREE with Sunday - Wednesday Arrivals* All ski packages include your choice of $20 Food Credit, $20 Bowling Credit and $20 Fund Quest Credit OR $30 Food Credit & $10 Free Play *Restrictions Apply To All Offers. See website for details & to customize your package.
Ski Season Closing Dates
Boreal: This Sunday, April 11 (Open 9am-4pm) Official Site Adult Lift tickets are only $47 Teen (13-18) $39 Child (5-12) $15. Tubing - for only $25. Mini Tubes for kids under 42" are $15. Diamond Peak: This Sunday, April 11 Official Site A GREAT resort for kids. They even offer an Interchangeable Parent Pass for only $49! Lift Tickets: Adult (18-69): $49; Half Day $38 Youth (15-17 must show ID): $39; Half Day $30 Child & Senior (7-14 & 60-79): $18; Half Day $14 6 and under, 80+: FREE Homewood Mountain: This Sunday, April 11 Official Site ONLINE SPECIAL: Adult Ski Passes Mon-Thurs $39; Fri-Sun $49 Lift Tickets: Super Senior (70+): $15 Senior (62-69): Mon-Thurs $25; Fri-Sun $35 Adult: Mon-Thurs $45; Fri-Sun $55 Teens: Mon-Thurs $35; Fri-Sun $35 Child (5-12): $10 Child (4 & under): FREE! Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: April 18 Official Site SALE! - Purchase Tickets Online! ($7-$29) Lift Tickets (at window): Adult (18 - 64): $65; Half Day $50 Senior (65-74): $45 Super Senior (75+): $19 Teen (13-17): $45 Child (6-12): $19 Child (5 & under): FREE Northstar-at-Tahoe: April 18 Official Site Lift Tickets: Adult (23-64): $84; Half Day $74 Young Adult (13-22): $74; Half Day $64 Child (5-12): $32; Half Day $27 Senior (65-69): $74; Half Day $64 Super Senior (70+): $32; Half Day $27 Parents Predicament (interchangeable): $84 Sierra-at-Tahoe: April 18 Official Site Lift Tickets: Super Senior (70+): $20 Senior (65 - 69): $43; Half Day $36 Adult (23 - 64): $69; Half Day $59 Young Adult (13 - 22): $59; Half Day $49 Child (5 - 12): $17; Half Day $15 Child(4 & under): FREE Parents Predicament: $69 Alpine Meadows: Full operations until April 18; Limited operations until May 16 Official Site Lift Tickets: Adult (19-61): $69; Half Day $54 Teen (13-18): $52 Child (5-12): $15 Senior (62-69): $52 Super Senior (70+): $20 Heavenly Mountain Resort: April 25 Official Site Lift Tickets: Senior (Ages 65+): $71 Adult (Ages 19-64): $83 Teens (Ages 13-18): $71 Child (Ages 5-12): $46 Sugar Bowl: April 25 Official Site Lift Tickets: Super Senior (70+): $5 Senior (60-69): $56; Half Day $44 Adult (23-59): $66; Half Day $54 Young Adult (13-22: $56; Half Day $44 Child (6-12): $20; Half Day$15 Child (5 & under): FREE Active Military: $33 Kirkwood Mountain: April 25 Official Site Lift Tickets: Purchase Online Option Super + (70+): $19 Senior (65-69): $49; Half Day $39 Adult (19-64): $74; Half Day $59 Junior (13-18): $59; Half Day $47 Child (6-12): $9 Squaw Valley USA: May 9 Official Site All day and afternoon tickets include FREE night skiing and riding when night operations are in effect. Lift Tickets: Senior (65-85): $20 Senior (65-75): $55; Night $15 Adult (19-64): $83; Half Day $62; Night $22 Youth (13-18): $61; Night $15 Child (12 & under): $10; Half Day $10; Night $5