In the Christmas season we tend to binge watch our favorite Christmas movies. We love these movies so much their viewing tends to spill over into the rest of the winter.
Here’s our top 10 Christmas movies that we are currently watching:
1. A Christmas Story
My all time favorite Christmas movie. I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, and one year I actually got a BB Gun for Christmas!
2. Home Alone
This year it seems that this movie is #1 with the family. The finale scene rocks.
3. The Santa Clause
Another favorite for the kids. Supposedly #3 is better than #1, but #1 is the staple in our house.
4. Polar Express
We may have almost worn out this movie. The kids love it.
5. Christmas Vacation
I love the griswalds!
This one is a classic that the whole family enjoys. Michele’s top Christmas movie, but probably somewhere in my personal top 5.
7. It’s a Wonderful Life
One of my favorites. The kids aren’t too into this one, but I love it!
8. Miracle on 34th Street
I used to watch this one when I was a kid. The kids aren’t too into it, but it’s a must watch for me each year.
9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Jim Carrey version is a classic, but we also watch the original animated version.
10. Bad Santa
We actually don’t own this one yet, but I remember watching it a couple years ago and remember it being frekkin hilarious! Definitely top on my list of movies to purchase.
It’s officially the first day of winter! There’s something relieving about knowing that each day from now on will have more daylight than the one before. Winter can get a little depressing when it’s dark in the morning before work and still dark when you get home. There is just no time to enjoy the daylight.
This is why, being a new englander, you need to take up a winter activity to stay sane. For the past couple years since we’ve taken up skiing more regularly, we are actually looking forward to the winter!
Last weekend had some of the most unbelieveable ski conditions we’ve experienced in a couple years. We were skiing in literally 2 feet of powder. It was up to our knees while going down the trails. We were in pure heaven.
Ironically, the kids hated it. They weren’t used to skiing in powder and kept falling. Once they were on the ground they had a hard time getting back up and were just getting frustrated. Some day they’ll understand that these are rare days in new england.
So rare in fact the conditions did a complete 180 within 24 hours. We went from unbelieve powder on Saturday to a complete downpour on Sunday and many of the trails closed. We decided to have breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor (which I highly recommend) instead.
Just another weekend in the whites!
A couple weeks ago I gave Eli (now 8) my first programming book, “C By Example” from Que. The original edition I had was from 1992.
From the time I first laid my hands on a computer I was hooked. I devoured giant books like these on MS-DOS, QBasic, C, Pascal, and x86 Assembly language. By the time I was in 8th grade I had written many large programs and was proficient in all of the above languages.
Eli is definitely cut from the same cloth. He first got interested in Kindergarten when each kid has to complete an ‘hour of code’ (from code.org, a great site by the way). He’s extremely curious, much in the same ways I was at his age.
I started showing him a little simple python code, where he could prompt the user a question, check the results, show random text, etc. He’s really excited about it, but I still think the mental concepts are a little out of his reach.
So, for bedtime reading, we’ve been going through this book starting at page 1. It’s pretty entertaining given how outdated the book is (25 years old, gulp!) Computers were so much simpler then. The book really starts with the fundamentals of how a computer works from a low level.
I’m finding that a lot of Computer Science programs don’t even teach low level languages anymore. A typical CS program will start with Java or Python as its initial language. Most schools don’t even teach C unless you are pursuing an EE degree.
While it is great how quickly you can become productive in these languages, something is definitely lost when you don’t learn the fundamentals of how a processor, memory, and disk work. I’ve noticed that many entry level engineers are impatient and just want to ‘make things work’, rather than understanding how things work.
We had a successful second weekend skiing up at Bretton Woods. This weekend there were a lot more open trails, with 17 open by Sunday. Much better than 5 the previous week!
First off, I thought I’d share some pics of the house we are staying at in Whitefield, about a 20 minute drive from Bretton Woods. Here’s our view of the Lake, which is already frozen!
The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a nice great room for everyone to sprawl out in:
Overall we’ve been super happy with the place, it feels like we’re going on a vacation every weekend!
Now, back to skiing. The weather has been good to the mountain so far. Temps have been low, enabling the crews to keep the guns running nonstop. Unfortunately we haven’t had any blockbuster snowfall at the lower (3000′) elevation YET, but I’m sure it will come soon enough.
Above is a shot of Eli and Aaron at the top. In the background you can see a mountain (Waumbeck I think) covered in snow and the distinct elevation line where that snow occurred. Unfortunately that line is above Bretton Woods. Mt. Washington, the mountain right next to us, got something like 4 feet of snow this past week!
The boys did great skiing. They are all really loving it. I spend most of the day w/ Eli and Aaron, while Michele is teaching Tommy on the bunny slope. This week Tommy learned pizza and french fries, and was able to ski down the whole run by himself. We’re sure he’ll be up at the top in a few weeks!
Another great addition to the mountain this year is the waffle cabin! The boys loved the sugary treat!
This weekend we kicked off the ski (snowboarding for me) season at Bretton Woods. This year we rented a house up in Whitefield, NH on Forest Lake from 12/1-4/1. We split the rental with another family that has 2 kids about the same age as ours.
Here’s a current trailmap of Bretton Woods:
Overall there were only 4 trails open on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. The mountain crew was blowing snow on lots of trails so we’re hoping more will be open next weekend.
Here are some pics of the kids having fun:
The house is pretty awesome (pics soon), with lots of frontage on the lake. We’re hoping to be able to do some ice skating on the pond once it freezes up. Also, they have a nice big fireplace near the dock that should be fun. The only downside to the house is that it uses lake water and there is no filtration. The water really tastes like a fish tank.
Eli and Aaron are doing excellent skiing. Tommy is still on the bunny slopes using the harness. He gets exhausted after a couple hours and super cranky, so we’re going to have to figure out how to make that work.
In addition to the season passes, we rented a locker in the lodge this year. It was pretty expensive but we’re hoping it will be a huge logistics saver. No need to pack/unpack all of our gear each week.
Overall we’ve found the skiing life to be perfect for our family. We all enjoy it and get super excited about it during the week. We get to spend a solid 8 hours a day with the kids enjoying the outdoors. This is sure to create memories for all of us.