April part 1: Spring Break
April was busy and fun and a bit insane.
The day after Crew got his cast off we headed down to Arches National Park.
Had to pick up our Jr. Ranger books first thing.
Started at Balance Rock.
Then to Sandstone Arch, where we were actually prepared with our bucket and shovels.
And then we ran into our good friends the Brown's.
We were also prepared and brought our projector for premium hotel movie viewing.
The next morning we headed out early to do Delicate Arch before the massive crowds hit.
It was still pretty busy, but not insane.
This was one of our first successful hikes where all the kids hiked without having to be carried and no whining.
Except when we reached the top, because this one is afraid of heights.
Macey, Miles and I braved the heights and crowds to get a closer look at Delicate Arch.
Ruby's fear of heights was soon forgotten when we spotted a lizard.
Next stop was Double Arch, where the kids were in heaven rock scrambling all around.
Our hotel was super awesome. We did lots of swimming and lots of eating of their delicious food.
We even ran into one of Crew's best friends at the Nacho bar after a swim session.
The next day we headed up to Vernal.
We went to the Dinosaur Museum down the street from our hotel.
Then after swimming some more, the kids had pizza in bed while watching a movie. This was of course their favorite part of the trip.
The next morning we headed to Dinosaur National Monument.
It was practically empty compared to Arches.
And was pretty insane getting to see the actual fossils up close and in the mountainside they were actually discovered in.
There were tons of awesome petroglyphs and pictoglyphs along the scenic highway to stop at.
We had lunch at Josie's cabin where the kids loved learning about Josie and imagining what it would be like to live in the wilderness alone.
I had one more hike planned, but that got vetoed as soon as the kids saw the river and we spent the rest of the day exploring, climbing and throwing rocks.
On our way back home we took a detour to this crazy place called Fantasy Canyon.
It felt like we were on another planet.
We were the only people there too, which was a little creepy. And then we got lost inside all the formations. But, after lots of butt sliding, scraped knees, and climbing, we found our way back to the car.
And headed back home very tired and very dirty. A successful spring break.
December Part 2
Christmas Break was amazing and relaxing and very lazy.
Our first Christmas Miracle happened when all kids wore the clothes I picked out for them and then smiled for this picture.
2nd Christmas Miracle was that all kids loved their Christmas Jammies. My kids are very picky with PJ's and we often have at least one kid pouting about the PJ's I picked out.
Not this year. And The kids maybe changed out of their Onesie PJ's 3 times total all of break. That is Christmas Break perfection right there.
Christmas Eve was another late night, but well worth the effort.
Patiently waiting for us to say "go" at 6:30 am Christmas morning.
Santa brought Pop-A-Shot
We all had sore arms from playing so much.
Ruby asked Santa for makeup and jewelry. She was quite pleased with her haul.
Miles is hard to please, but totally worth it when you actually figure out what this kids wants.
The rest of the morning was spent playing with toys, shooting baskets, and playing video games.
The Rensinks came over for dinner Christmas Day. It might of been the most relaxing Christmas ever.
The only pics I got was playing Holiday Soda Pong.
To recover from the festivities we went on a hike the next morning.
Tajen came over for a late night. And shocker, Macey wanted to play soda pong.
More proof my kids pretty much lived in their onesies, unless I was washing then.
Paul and I did our annual New Year's Eve hike.
It was beautiful.
We had the O'Neal's over for New Years Eve.
and surprise...We played Soda Pong!
Everyone loved it.
and it's not New Years Eve without a crazy dance party.
Then we had a few more lazy days until school started again!!
Nana and Pop-Pop came to spend Christmas with us and it was their first Christmas away from home! We felt very privileged they choose to spend it with us.
Sadly, my mom actually came down with pneumonia while she was here. So, she ended up spending most of her time on the couch observing. :(
Other than the pneumonia, Christmas was quite perfect.
Plus, we were in bed before midnight, Christmas miracle.
And we were on time for 9:00 am church Christmas Morning!!! Turns out getting to go to church on Christmas makes for a pretty great day.
I feel like this picture sums up the kids perfectly. :)
Miles- in constant motion
Macey- wondering how she got stuck with all these crazies
Ruby- screaming and jumping
Crew- distracted by the small object in his hand
Before we left for church we did stockings and santa presents.
I didn't get many pictures due to the chaos and constant movement of hyped up kids. But trust me, it was magical.
Nothing beats getting a real smile out of this girl. The long wished for Lea doll did it.
Ruby didn't put this baby down or take off her stethoscope. Cutest 2 year old ever.
Crew's favorite present was this pirate chest from Granny and Granddad.
You'll notice I got no pictures of Miles. It is because he was so entertaining opening presents, I only got video. :) #momfail
And it once again snowed on Christmas Eve!!! We are getting spoiled around here.
Magical Christmas snow with some of our favorite neighbors to end an amazing Christmas. Perfection. Day after Christmas
was just as it should be.
eating leftovers, putting legos together, playing with toys, sledding, and staying in pjs all day AGAIN.
And this girl sledding was kind of my favorite.
Pop-Pop got lots of runs in too.
And these 2 never got off this sled and I don't think they ever stopped smiling either.
We did get Nana out of the house to sit and watch us bowl later in the week
This girl allowed no one to help her while bowling. It lead to a few pinched fingers, but Miss Independent was quite the proficient bowler.
It was actually much more fun than I anticipated and Crew kind of made my entire day with his sweet bowling moves and glasses.
And then we left Nana with Ruby while the rest of us went snow shoeing
And then we got in some good sledding at the end.
Pop-Pop ended up getting to sleep in the hideout due to Nana being sick. We are pretty amazing hosts with top of the line accommodations.
It was a bit of a different visit, with my mom being so sick, but we so glad they were able to survive the traveling to be with us and that no one else got sick.
After my parents left Paul and I got to go snow shoeing
up Lambs Canyon.
It was beautiful and we didn't see a single sole on the trail. The only downside was the road was closed, so we had to hike 2 miles up the road to get to the trailhead.
This is me being annoyed about it. :) And yes, I have my sled on my pack. We like to be prepared for all conditions.
Utah is the best sometimes.
We couldn't find a babysitter for New Year's Eve
and it turned out to be the best thing ever.
We texted our neighbors to come over for a kid party from 7:30-8:30. :)
We had no food. But we did have a giant saran wrap ball with goodies, glow sticks, music, and noise makers. It was one of my better parties.
We did a count down, had a little dance party and our kids were fast asleep by 9:30. It was a great start to the New Year.
We ended break with a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese and the Puppy Barn.
Love Christmas Break!
Every year we get 3 days off in October and I usually go a bit crazy with our adventures. So, I tried to pace myself this year and just had one fun thing planned each day. Worked like a dream.Day One:
Made the kids do chores (insert screaming, whining, kicking) and then when they were done I braved the crowds and headed to a pumpkin patch.
I rarely make public appearances during fall break, as most of the state has the same days off and I don't enjoy large crowds. But, I was feeling brave and the weather was perfection.
No one got lost, the kids listened, no whining, and only one incident with our wheelbarrow falling over and our pumpkins rolling all over the parking lot when I was trying to load Crewby in the car.
I'd say it was a very successful trip. And yes, I was finding corn in the house for days, especially in the washing machine. Day Two:
Scarecrow Festival and Michelle's house (where she worked on my halloween costumes)
I was actually very impressed with the Scarecrow festival and we will be back next year for sure. Macey and Libby were the photographers and took pictures of EVERY SINGLE Scarecrow, so we could then vote for our favorite one.
Macey's favorite: Harry Potter
Crew's Favorite: Jack Skeleton
Miles' Favorite: All of them
Ruby's Favorite: Elsa.
The boys like pretending to be scarecrows.
We walked through the "I am the Light of the World" exhibit. it was very cool and of course only something you would find in Utah County. Crew broke out singing "Gethsemane"
when we found a sculpture of Christ praying in the garden. :)
At the end was the scared grove
and yes, Miles instantly ran to Joseph Smith and started hugging him.
Putting Michelle to work making a peter pan collar for my costume. Day Three:
Bowling at BYU with the Rensinks & getting our fridge delivered (we didn't have a fridge for 10 days. We lost all our food. it was very annoying and I am so grateful for modern day appliances.)
We had the bowling alley to ourselves. Boys on one lane and girls on the other. It was great. And Ruby impressed us all with her ability to pick up the ball with no help and put it up on the ramp thing. This girl is tough stuff.
It was great having the kids home for a few extra days, but I can't say I was sad to send them back. :)