More of December
Paul's parents came a few days before the kids got out for school, they got to enjoy all the Christmas Break Craziness with us.
We started out break with decorating sugar cookies.
Opa was just as talented as the kids.
I thought about doing a more involved gingerbread house, but glad I stuck with the preassembled one from costco. Not a single complaint about one house for the whole family to decorate.
And check out Crew's tongue. True concentration mode.
A trip to see Santa.
After church we had to trek up the canyon to find some snow.
Still wasn't very much and not the most ideal sledding conditions, but we had a blast and it got out some of that Christmas Eve energy.
matching bucky shirts!
I did not get a picture of the kids in their pj's before bed Christmas Eve, but there was plenty of time Christmas morning, since Miles woke up the entire house at 5:30 am.
We tried to stay pretty simple with Christmas this year and for the first time I think we actually did it. And the kids did not seem to mind one bit.
I loved watching them open their presents from Santa. Part of me always wishes I could have a 3 and 5 year old at Christmas time.
Video games for Miles, Batman tank for Crew, Princesses for Ruby, and it was all Ravenclaw stuff this year for Macey.
Crew played non-stop with his batman tank and loved shooting everyone with the batwings. So, glad Santa didn't bring him what he asked for. :)
We have had NO snow this season, but Utah was extra kind to us this year and it snowed Christmas Eve.
It wasn't tons, but it was perfect for making Frosty.
Ruby might of made us all hold hands with the snowman and sing "Frosty the Snowman". :)
Then it was off to our favorite Utah Family's house for Christmas Dinner.
We were pretty depressed about the lack of snow, as our snowshoes have been mocking us just hanging in the garage.
We had to get out, so we went for a winter hike to Stewart Falls instead. No snowshoes needed.
Paul packed our ultra light chairs, so we enjoyed some relaxing time sipping some hot cocoa and enjoying the view.
The weather was even nice enough for a family bike ride to the park. Crew was the cutest, and slowest, bike rider around. I think it's time for him to move up bike sizes.
New Years Eve.
We invited the rensinks over for fried food and yummy appetizers.
We even pulled out the disco ball, the sign of a true party around here.
The highlight was Soda Pong. We each bought 3 gross and 3 good sodas. The kids were obsessed and want to play it all parties now. :)
Then at 9:30 we had our count down and kids were asleep by 10:00. It was the best kind of New Year's Eve.
Love these party animals.
Can't believe 2017 is behind us!! But, happy to be onto new adventures and trying to gain some control over my crazy bunch.
Miles is Great and 8.
It happened again. Kids not listening to me and growing.
Fancy pics of just Miles are courtesy of the talented hrob photo
We did a lot of celebrating, as you only turn 8 once. Friend party at Coconut Cove.
it was birthday party perfection.
I pretty much nailed the requested Kirby cake.
I didn't get a lot of pictures of them in the play structure. But, they had a blast and were not stop. The highlight for me, was playing tag and hide and go seek with Miles and his friends. Plus, the slide races. Gotta love a good slide race.
He really has some great friends.
And he surprised me with what a gracious host he was. Hugging and screaming about each new friend that arrived. And sincerely telling them "thank you" for the present, even if I knew it was something he didn't actually like. It's good for me to see that perhaps his social skills aren't as lacking as I think they are. :) Birthday BYU game with Gavin
. Family Presents Birthday Dinner
He requested campbells Bean and Bacon soup. Every once in awhile Miles does try to make my life easier. My favorite birthday dinner yet. Homemade cake #2
, I don't think I have ever made 2 cakes for anyones birthday before. Only for this kid.Pie Face
And then there were the special target trips with Holly and L.E. This is one well loved kid.
The big celebration with turning 8 though, happened a few weeks later when he got baptized.
There was lots of stress and preparation beforehand. Would he actually go in the water? Would he let people put their hands on his head to confirm him? Would he be able to handle all the attention? Would I be able to get his church clothes on him after? Would he wear the weird feeling jumpsuit?
Miles was very excited about getting baptized, so I had faith he would go through with it. I just had to patiently push through the screaming and crying before hand.
All the prep paid off though and the day was perfection (other than pictures, but there was no way I was pushing pictures with this kid).
He did not sit still and spent most of the time bouncing in his chair, under his chair or wandering around the room greeting people. Typical.
It really was perfection and I know Heavenly Father was aware of Miles in this moment and his struggles and that the Holy Ghost was with him and comforting him.
Best primary teachers in the ENTIRE world right here.
Nothing has ever been easy with Miles and every single thing we do is a struggle. It is these moments though that help me realize how far we have come and that the effort is well worth it. Some of my favorite things about Miles at 8:
- How much he loves chapter books and wants so bad to read them.
- That I am catching him more and more being kind and helpful to Crew. I also love that they are bonding over video games and he will put down his remote and actually help Crew sometimes! #miracle
- We have a special kiss we do every night and he does not go to bed without doing it.
- Watching him play at recess with his friends while I wait to pick up Crew and getting to see that true, real smile.
Love this boy.
The theme for November was sick. Macey started on Halloween and it passed through everyone and is still lingering a bit even into December ( I am currently on my 2nd round of antibiotics), luckily though there was no puking involved. It's the little things.
Ruby's Temp got to 104.8, it was a bit stressful for a moment, but some popsicles from Gina helped to ease the worry. And it was kind of nice having a calm Ruby to watch movies with for a few days.
Being sick didn't keep kids from finishing off their Halloween candy in record time though.
We worked on a few things around the house.
I purged the linen closet, again, 3 grocery bags of trash. Always amazes me how much things pile up and how much more I dislike clutter now that I've felt the feeling of living with less.
Paul had to replace the basement tub surround and recaulk our shower. We also decided to repaint our bathroom cabinets while we were at it.
Due to sickness we spent a lot more time around the house than normal.
I probably only got fully ready a handful of times this month. Luckily my personal photographer, Ruby, documented one of the 5 times I was dressed in real clothes with makeup on.
She is always underfoot and constantly requests selfies. :)
and is always requesting we look at her and say "Cheese"
There was lots of games, book reading and I even pulled out the littlest petshops to keep us all entertained.
Miles has been VERY difficult lately, but every once in awhile he gives me a moment like this, so I keep him around a little longer.
Also lots of wrestling, running around, and screaming.
Paul is a much better playmate than I am.
We did get a perfect leave jumping day before all the leaves got cleaned up.
Thank goodness for Ruby's dance class at the Rec Center that got me to the gym twice a week to workout with Ashley and Traci.
Traci captured this amazing pic of me showing off my new found skill...a backbend.
We were so ready for Thanksgiving Break!!
And Crew's teacher brought a turkey to recess. :)
park with The Brown's
Bowling at BYU
It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings EVER.
First, we met our friends at the park while our turkey's cooked.
It was amazing and something I could get used too.
I nailed "The Feast" this year and the kids were excited and actually hung out and chatted and ate lots of food.
I let every kid request one item. Mac & Cheese, deviled eggs, yogurt jello, and ham. Paul's favorites were there too.
We had friends over for Turkey Bingo and pie.
And then enjoyed the leftovers for days.
We started our Christmas festivities with a trip to The Riverwoods
Notice the boys have shorts on?!? Warmest November ever.
Then Black Friday we did our, now tradition, hike.
hiking beats shopping any day.
Other Exciting November Happenings:
-BYU basketball games started.
- Ruby went to Sharing Time for the first time and loved helping with singing time.
- Macey called Brenden "her uncle" in her job application paper for school.
- I am an official Walmart Online Grocery Pickup shopper. I have tried every store by my house that does pickup and Walmart is the winner. Pretty much the only store I ever step foot in now is Target and it's heaven.
- Christmas Decorating began
The kids favorite tradition is still collecting their ornaments.
Macey- Snowman, Miles- Transportation, Crew- North Pole, Ruby- Sweet Treats
Now onto the excitement that is December.
october Chapter 3: Halloween
We had perfect weather in October to enjoy all our halloween activities.
We had some new booths this year, Mini golf (Miles' favorite) and facepainting.
The kids insisted we did our normal fishing booth.
So glad I started out simple.
these 3 ran around the whole afternoon together. Finn, BB8 and Ray. :)
Georgia's pinata is always a hit and the kids get way more candy than they need.
One day I will get a pic with all my neighborhood bff's, without whom I would not survive, but you will have to settle for this pic of Ashley and I in our animal onesies.
Domo killed it this year. No matter what your kid is into, Domo had a character for them.
And then they had an entire Harry Potter themed tent we got to walk through which covered Macey's Favorite.
Another thing I love about Domo's Halloween party is they don't hand out the same old candy.
All the Harry Potter characters hand out a different themed candy that relates to their story, ring pops from Belle, Super Hero pencils from spiderman, cotton candy, glow sticks, bouncy balls...I just love and appreciate how much thought they put into it all.
It's no wonder these kids think Domo is the coolest place in the entire world.
Halloween always ends up being one of the busiest days of the year for me. With Class Parties ( I did kindergarten and 2nd this year), School Halloween Parade, Domo, and then trick or treating.
Macey ended up being sick this day, so we took her to school late, because she would not even think about missing the parade or class party. Poor girl was drugged up all day just to make it through.
Miles was apparently into Kit-Kats this year. :)
It was a pretty perfect Halloween. I didn't even have time to go to Sodalicious, but I survived the day just fine.
October Chapter 2: Fall Break
For fall break this year we headed south with all of northern utah, luckily most of Northern Utah was headed to St. George and not to our destination, so we missed the crazy traffic.
We scored another Yurt reservation and are in love with this style of "camping".
The heater was an added bonus in the morning too.
Our Yurt was in Deadhorse Point State Park.
There were amazing Mountain Bike trails right outside our door. Paul, Macey and Miles had a blast riding on them and it was all M&M wanted to do.
Waiting for my mountain bikers to come back.
We promised Crewby we'd be back to ride through the sand and on the slick rocks when they had bigger bikes.
We did let them explore the trails around our Yurt though.
Deadhorse State Park was amazing!
Spectacular views in every direction. And a 2,000 foot drop in every direction.
We got to watch the sunset, a safe distance back from the edge. Beautiful.
One of those moments I hope they remember.
And we found a mini pride rock.
Crew is rafiki and notice how Macey and Miles are bowing to baby Simba. :)
Lots of hiking and lots of view points.
My favorite hike of the trip was in the state park, Basin Overlook.
No one on the trail but us and we could get right to the edge of an amazing view point.
We planted the kids a safe distance from the edge with a snack and Paul and I went in for a closer look.
Really gets the blood flowing and I won't even get that close to the edge.
We spent a day in Canyonlands, which is just down the road, at the Island in the Sky section.
And for the first time all 4 kids actually completed their Jr. Ranger books and loved it! Usually they get bored and toss them in the garbage after 1 hike.
MESA ARCH was a huge hit.
We saw tons of wildlife and these kids were amazing at spotting lizards.
Overall I would say this was the kids best hiking trip we've had
I don't think anyone even complained about all the hiking. #miracle
Notice my hand in this picutre...I am sure I am telling Macey to stay away from the edge for about the 100th time.
Crew and I still held our spot in the back, but we weren't as far behind the other 4 as on other trips.
The cliffs weren't actually as stressful as I thought they'd be. It helped we weren't with other families, so our kids weren't running around and being crazier than normal. They stuck together and listened when we showed them which rock or bush they were not allowed to pass. :)
Paul and I ventured to the edge a few times. Terrifying looking over that edge and seeing the canyon floor 2,000 feet below.
I think the kids favorite hike was Whale Rock.
essentially you just follow a trail to this giant rock that looks like a whale and then you just get to run and explore all over.
Always an amazing view at snack time.
Turns out Ruby is a bit afraid of heights when she's tired, so I had to carry her around on the "whale" and back down to the trail.
This girl was in her element, no fear here.
Always have to dab when you're on an awesome trail and there are prickly pears around.
We live in an amazing place and I am so grateful we get to explore a small piece of it.
These are the things I want my kids to remember from their childhood. Not the stuff, but the adventures and the way they felt taking in these amazing places.