may - part 2 aka utah moves to orange and then yellow (too soon).
Since we moved into the orange phase at the beginning of the month, we started #momhike back up again.
It was heaven to be reunited. Even if we drove our own cars to the trailheads and kept 6 ft between us while hiking and drank our sodas at separate tables. It felt amazing to do something normal again.
And luckily momhike did start up again, because Kacie and I only got one hike in during the month of May!
We also got to do other normal things with the move to orange (and then yellow in the middle of may) ...
Like go to the zoo.
and I felt like the zoo did an amazing job of keeping the numbers low and making sure people were social distancing.
Kids went to the dentist.
Things were of course a little different, but just glad we could get in and get some cavities filled.
We even went to the movies!
Our local community theatre was showing all the Harry Potters. We decided to brave the crowds and see the 4th one. It was amazing. There was maybe 12 people total in a theatre and no one was in a 20 ft radius of us.
We met up with the Rensinks for the first time and took a scooter ride through the canyon.
It was the first time they'd played together since March, so it was a very exciting afternoon.
Julianne and I walked far, far behind them reminiscing of the early scooter gang days where they'd get hit by long boarders and cause crashes and it was just pure chaos.
They have grown up, even if they are a bit wild still. and they rode those scooters 5 miles without complaint (except for Ruby).
Mother's Day was amazing and I do not think I will ever be able to go back to attending church on Mother's Day. It was such a relaxing day and one of my best yet.
We hiked .7 miles to a new spot along the creek off the Big Springs Trail, where we just played and ate and relaxed all afternoon.
And no other people in sight.
BYU did a drive up Cougar Tail Day. Genius move on their part.
We then took our Cougar Tails and chocolate milk on campus to eat.
We then of course scootered all around campus, which has become our favorite quarantine activity.
Come mid May I let the kids loose in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood alliance decided that we were ok with outside play, but no kids allowed in houses.
These kids were just so happy to be reunited, that they didn't even fight for the first few weeks.
Most days you could look out the window and find kids from the ages of 3-12 all playing together.
And I was so happy to have this sight out my back window and extra happy no one was bugging me to come play inside.
The Miners also opened up their pool and become the hottest hang out on the block.
Fang has probably been missing the constant stream of visitors and kids more than most, so he has been especially happy (and tired) to have all the neighbor kids back.
an over the fence greeting during quarantine.
There was still lots of sibling time, my favorite moments are when they are actually friends and playing together nicely.
And endless bike trick practicing.
Crew and Sawyer have also mastered the outside playdate and couldn't of been happier to be reunited.
And since school was wrapped up and my table was once again free, Macey and I got to do our Hostess Puzzle.
Which we of course celebrated it's completion by buying a bunch of hostess treats at the gas station.
We got together with Michelle and kids to hike to Battle Creek.
It's crazy to think that just a few years ago just the thought taking these 8 kids hiking alone would of made us laugh hysterically.
And now here we were doing it. It's not so bad that kids actually grow up, sometimes.
We fit in 2 more camping trips. In a normal May 3 trips in the month would of sent me over the edge, but this time it was just what we needed.
Cherry with the Johnson's
This was probably one of our easiest trips yet because Ruby was entertained the whole time and not constantly whining at us.
Plus, all these little best friends have just been missing each other and were just loving getting to finally hang out.
And Capitol Reef, where we left Ruby behind with Holly. This trip also marked off our last Utah National Park to visit!
We never get pictures with the park signs because the lines are always so long. So, we couldn't pass up the opportunity when we kept driving by and there was never anyone there.
National Parks never disappoint. It was beautiful. And made better because the campground in the park was still closed, along with all visitor centers, so it was very empty. We of course missed getting to do the Jr. Ranger program, but I guess that means we will just have to go back.
The only down side was the No Seeums (aka biting flies). They mostly just bugged Crew. He had 42 bites from ear to ear. Luckily they were only on 2 of the trails we did, but poor little Crew.
It was awesome getting to go out on top of Cassidy Arch.
And we had this whole section of the river to ourselves.
Gerald is proving to be a very awesome addition to our family.
Things are crazy and stressful and hard, but I am doing my best to enjoy life slowing down and realigning where my focus should actually be.
Another bonus of Covid and Paul working from home...he has actually had time to teach the kids how to mow the lawn!!
It's the little things.
April surprisingly flew by.
And since I am with the kids 24/7 I have a million pics to document our daily activities.
There didn't seem to be much of a middle ground, either we were deliriously happy to be home and spending time together, so grateful for everything we have. Or depressed and angry with no motivation and at each other's throats. Such seems to be the life of quarantine. School:
a highlight of the month was the teacher parade.
We love and miss these teachers desperately.
There might of been a few tears shed, but mostly there was happy smiles and yelling, as some of our most beloved people drove by.
And I have realized how much I count these teachers and staff as my friends and I miss getting to talk and laugh with them a few days each week. Not to mention what I know these kids are missing out on and now they instead get me glaring over their shoulders to write their dang essay instead of the amazing, kind, loving, and patient teachers they all had.
2 children have been very difficult to do homeschool with and 2 have been much easier. I am sure everyone knows who falls where.
Miles spends the first half of his day raging about how he can't do anything and then most days pulls through and gets it done, no problem.
Ruby is just non-stop all over the place. We got a good solid 3 weeks of homeschool in and then it was hit and miss after that.
This is me every single day since March 18th.
Here she is with a story she wrote about Fang, opening up a gift bag her teacher dropped off (highlight of her month), Drawing a portrait of Fang (she puts him in "place" and then moves him all over to get the proper angles), and lastly Olaf is a common homeschool companion.
Crew sits down every morning and just goes through his daily assignments like a boss.
I have no pictures of Macey doing her school work, because the other 3 kept me so busy running between them, I never even had to give her a glance. And if she did have issues (which she did from time to time), we just waited until the other kids were in bed and Paul was done working to help.
Kitchen helper of the day still going strong and hopefully added some learning to the days where I could get nothing else out of these kids. The long hours between school and bedtime:
We spent a solid week delivering bunnies around to our friends, it proved to be an amazing way to pass some long afternoons and get some miles in on our bikes. Thank you Nana Navasard!!
The girls and I took an entire afternoon to dye our hair. It made those after 2:00 hours fly by.
Are you even in quarantine if you don't do something drastic to your hair?
There was a fly over of fighter jets. It was a very exciting few minutes. So grateful for the all the people trying to keep these kids entertained and happy. Crew found a nice comfy seat while waiting.
I tried my hand at custom doormats. It was fun and I'm always trying to find new sayings to put on my next one.
Kids have been getting in on the craft action too, when I have the patience to let them pull it out.
So many games. We had to buy new games, since Paul and I could no longer mentally handle playing the games we already had. We got Ticket to Ride, Dominion, and Carcassonne.
We can often be found at the school, but never on the playground equipment. :) Ruby likes to look in her classroom window. And we've had so many good kite flying days.
The kids have pretty much turned into wild animals who always wear their pajamas and never comb their hair.
so many scraped knees, elbows, and toes that almost need stitches.
The absolute best part about quarantine has been that these kids have become best friends again. No neighbor kids, nothing else going on.
Crew and Miles have always had a complicated relationship. This has been nothing but good for the 2 of them. They have bonded over Animal Crossing, Beanie Boos, Pokemon, and basketball. They are constantly coming up with new ways to entertain themselves and I have loved watching it.
And these 2. I feel like Macey has gotten to extend her childhood out just a little bit longer. She spends her days organizing games, producing movies, breaking up fights, and hosting dance parties with her siblings.
I pray this is the main thing they remember about this crazy time.
And even though Paul is working extremely crazy hours, he still takes the time to make us some awesome breakfasts. Always a great way to start these crazy long days.
Constant trips to Sodalicious to keep ourselves fueled. Fang has also developed an addiction.
We've tried to be really good with social distancing, but sometimes you just need to talk to your friends in person.
trying out our new masks and catching up with some favorite neighbors.
Sometimes a driveway car chat does the trick too.
Of all the kids Macey has had the hardest time with the social aspect of this and these small interactions helped her push through some very hard days. Grateful for good friends.
And one evening this group of long lost friends got together and very were patient with me constantly coming out to check that they were keeping 6 ft apart. :)
And I of course have had my share of social distancing meetups that have kept me sane through all of this.
I have learned about a million things during all this, one of the main ones being, my village is huge and amazing and I am glad I am not in this all alone.
I hiked and hiked and hiked.
Macey found my old orange BYU sweatshirt from college that was a perfect fit.
And sometimes Crew looses patience with Ruby and kicks her out to go live in the closet under the stairs. Surprisingly she listened and hauled all her stuff down there.
It finally got warm enough to play in the water!!
and life got much better after that.
We had a fun filled day with a bounce house. We were sad we couldn't invite any friends over to play with us, but these kids managed to have a blast together. Weekend Warriors
We have still been trying to take advantage of our weekends together, since everything is more fun when Paul can hang out with us. And it's been nice going back to simple things, like finding ways to entertain ourselves without spending money, since there's no where to go and spend it.
Picnics and baseball in the mountains.
Scooter Gang Rides
Everyone took many turns down the hill to get their tricks just right.
Lots of Bocce Ball.
This has become a new family favorite and has yet to involve yelling, crying, quitting, or bad all around sportsmanship. A miracle of a game.
Gerald is extra exciting. And these 3 had a blast camping out in him in the backyard, while we were suppose to be camping in Snow Canyon for Spring Break.
Lots of bikerides! Paul finally got me this sweet helmet, since we have now ventured out of our 1 mile neighborhood radius and can be found riding in bike lanes on actual streets. #safetyfirst
I couldn't be more proud of my flower pots (my boxwood trees didn't survive the winter). Makes me happy every time I go on my porch and they are still alive and growing!!
Turns out S'Mores at the fire pit without friends is almost as fun and not nearly as stressful.
And a few times Paul and I have abandoned kids at home on a Saturday morning to hike.
Easter is one of our bigger holidays with big egg hunts and lots of friends over for dinner.
Everyone was a little sad the night before, but luckily nothing is ever boring with this group and it turned out to be an amazing holiday together.
My parents sent us this Easter Sack Race game.
It was amazing and entertaining and extremely exhausting. Made me realize that I am in the worst shape of the 6 of us.
Paul's parents sent confetti eggs, which is always messy and entertaining.
And I was able to find everything I needed for dinner and baskets.
And our backyard proved to be a great place to have an egg hunt.
And i still got my porch picture!!
Plus, it was a million times easier because I didn't have to get everyone in church clothes and hair combed for church.
It is going to be a harsh reality when I actually have to get this group in church attending shape. One thing I have not missed for one single moment is getting everyone ready and out the door for church. :)
It was an amazing day, where I wasn't stressed, and I just got to enjoy the holiday with the people I love most and talk at our own pace about our Savior and all he has done and is doing for us.
We also played The Newlywed Game with my family over Zoom. It was super fun and Paul and I were the big losers and realized we should spend our quarantine time getting to know each other better. :)
And that is kind of what our quarantine days looked like for the month of April, but with lots more crying and yelling and swearing and stress eating.
Don't want anyone getting the wrong idea out there.
Typical weekly grocery haul minus all the soda that is stored in the garage.
We started the month with this girl's birthday.
Weird to have a teenager and I might of shed a few tears that night when I went to bed.
This year was a much more mellow birthday than last year (Crew's arm) and we were happy we were actually all there to have cake this year.
Macey is everyone's favorite. And most
days I don't know how I got so lucky to get her.
She is a lover of Harry Potter and Survivor and can't wait to apply for Survivor when she turns 18. She loves school and her friends and I still haven't heard her say anything mean about anyone ever. She's our favorite babysitter and cookie maker.
She even planned to pay for her own birthday party at The Space Center. But, she ended up letting us pay instead. :)
She has made some amazing friends this year and I hope she stays close to them through the craziness that is Jr. High.
And The Space Center was just amazing. Paul and I dropped them off and came back 2 1/2 hours later to pick them up. Heaven.
Their mission was Invasion. and it was hilarious watching them on the video cameras getting attacked by aliens and trying to save another planet. Lots of screaming and laughing. They all have big plans to pool their money and do the 6 hour mission this summer.
Macey and Miles are still the best of friends and get super wild together. And we still call her The Miles Whisperer.
The boys finished their basketball seasons and Crew scored his first basket!! I didn't get a picture of course, but it was adorable.
There is still constant basketball being played out front.
Always makes my mom heart happy to see Miles and Crew find something that they actually both like!
We took the kids to their last BYU game of the season, since there was no way we were risking this sort of attitude at the Gonzaga game.
Then we ended our BYU basketball season in the best way possible, by beating Gonzaga.
Best home game since the Jimmer Era. Can't wait for next season.
- Lots of Valentines Day Excitement.
- We enjoyed lots of time with the sun streaming in through the windows, but it was still too cold to go outside to play for too long.
And then it hit 50 degrees and the kids thought it was summer and requesting we turn the sprinkler on.
- The snow of course came back and since Paul works insane hours in February, it was up to Ruby and I to shovel our massive driveway.
- Luckily, I also got to do my favorite winter activity to help me stay sane. Hiking.
and julianne and I even had to pull out our snowshoes for the first time this season. It took us a very long time to get them on without our husbands help, but we did it!!
- House updates
And sunglass storage art. Love things that are useful and make me happy.
- the kids had a random day off of school, so we went to Costco together, just like old times. Made me almost
miss the days when my cart was full of little kids and i couldn't order my own hotdog because I was too busy trying to corral kids. Now it's only slight chaos.
- I feel like February was constant kids and it made me very excited for warmer weather so all social gatherings can take place outside.
- Fang update. Everyone is still obsessed.
Biggest excitement of the month: Classic Skate Night.
I never go. Paul's been so busy working, it was cold out, the kids convinced me we should go. It was a moment of weakness.
Ruby had the time of her life with her gang of kindergartner friends. Crew had a pretty great time. Miles got dog pilled on in the bounce house area 5 min after we got there.
He came running to me saying he thought he broke his arm. In my classic Kelsey response I said, "looks good. Go get some ice and then go back to play when it feels better". 10 min later he was back jumping with his friends. Then he came back, we iced it for a few more minutes, I had all my friends look at it who agreed with me and I sent him to the roller rink. This went on for about an hour until he finally said it hurt too much.
So, I rounded up the kids in the complete chaos of school skate night (I had no Paul or Macey to help me) and got them loaded in the car to go home after lots of tears, a kindergartner peeing her pants, and a kid that couldn't walk because their arm hurt too much.
Broken. I couldn't even believe it. I then had to text all my friends I was with the night before to tell them I was wrong, once again, and it really was broken.
Miles in a cast went about as good as you probably think it did, which means horrible.
Life did get better when the hard cast got on though. He could at least run wild and didn't have to wear the sling anymore.
It doesn't look like it, but really having Miles in a cast has been a challenge. He wakes up already reaching his sensory limit and then just yells and stomps around for most of the day. Thank goodness for some sunshine days.
I thought February was a tough month for me, little did I know what March had in store.
december part 1
The gathering of snow clothes is always the most stressful part of a snowy day. Luckily, I figured out before it was too late that Ruby needed some new winter clothes for walking to school, here she is happily modeling what I picked out.
Since Trina and TJ didn't make it for Thanksgiving, they sent the kids a package to help ease the sadness. Kids of course loved every little thing Trina picked out for them.
I felt like we didn't have as many performances as normal this December and it was weird. Part of that I suppose is because it's the first time since 2nd grade that Macey hasn't done The Scera classes.
The 3 little kids did have a Christmas concert at school, but I took no pictures. You'll just have to believe me it was adorable.
Ruby had a little dance recital.
And Macey had an Orchestra Concert.
and that was it. No stress at all.
I blew up a potato in the microwave. Everyone found it very entertaining. Except me, because i had to clean it up and then had no dinner. :)
Fang is still living his best life.
Finally got him his first pup cup from Sodalicious. He's hooked and now loves Sodalicious as much as the rest of us.
Got a car wash between snow storms and the kids thought this was pretty hilarious.
Ruby got Student of the month for November. They take their pic and get to have a catered lunch with the principal. She loved every minute. And she really has worked her little kindergarten butt off and earned it.
She came into kindergarten a lot behind and has worked hard to pay attention and try when things are tricky. And most importantly, she is kind and respectful.
Finally found the perfect Christmas puzzle for us. We sadly lost 3 pieces in the process of putting it together and everyone is blaming Fang.
We took the little kids to Starwars (Macey went with her friends). Miles and I waited in the hall for the previews to be over. They are always too loud and intense and scary for this one. Who knew the previews for Starwars lasted 30 min!!
Macey threw a wild and crazy Christmas party for her friends.
I love these new friends she's made since our move.
Our main goal for this holiday season was trying to find a way to serve our community and get our kids involved. Plus, buy our kids less. And we finally did it. We only got each kid one present and there were just fine with it.
We decided to adopt some families in our area through United Way.
It was a bit stressful shopping for an entire Christmas for 3 other families, in addition to ours. But, all worth it in the end and we were able to find the things on the kid's lists.
The kids were a bit nervous when we started delivering the presents to the families. but, it was good for them to talk with these moms and see families in different circumstances than ours, but that these families were still kind and nice. Plus, all the families had a little treat for the kids, like hot chocolate or brownies and they just thought that was the nicest thing ever. We will for sure be doing it again next year.
Nana and Pop-Pop came out to visit.
- We had a gingerbread making competition. boys vs girls.
The boys gingerbread house had gingerbread men pooping. machine guns. they wrote Die in frosting on the roof. It was hilarious and wild.
these kids are never boring.
We went to 2 BYU basketball games when they were here.
We went to Christmas in Color again.
It was pure chaos in the car switching kids in and out of the sun roof, but we did it and no one got hurt.
I took my dad hiking.
It was so fun to share something I love with him.
We made Nana's dreams come true by taking her ride the animals at the mall.
We did our Early Christmas.
The Nerf guns they got the boys were huge hits.
And everyone had a chance to wear their Christmas best.
Next up...Christmas Break.
November was one of our more mellow months this year, it was much needed and appreciated.
- We spent a few sunny afternoons at a new park
with our friends.
- We all passed many hours enjoying Disney+
- So much BYU Basketball
. We have really enjoyed having 6 season tickets this year.
- Crew got glasses
- Holly went to Grandparent's Lunch
at school with the boys. They've never cared about not having grandparents to join them all the other years, but this year, they cared. Holly to the rescue.
- Working with the youth at church
always keeps me busy. We did a movie night and I couldn't resist doing a soda bar for it.
We also had YW's in Excellence. All the cute girls in our congregation.
- We took our last trip to the aquarium
before our pass expired.
We really will miss coming here a few times a month.
- I of course went hiking
every friday with my people.
- Chewbacca Crew
made a lot of appearances this month.
is still the most popular member of our family and likes to be in on all the action.
- We had our last cub scout pack meeting
!!! They did a cub-a-polis.
Miles got 2nd place.
- Miles also had a surprisingly adorable and not too unpolitically correct Thanksgiving performance
- Miles turned 10
!!! Pretty crazy that he's already 10.
He had an awesome birthday party at Nickelcity. I told him he could invite 10 friends. He wanted to invite 14. So, he decided if we didn't get him a present, he could invite 14 kids to his party. Done.
Love all these kids.
His actual birthday was pretty mellow, just the way I like it.
He nailed his 10 year photo shoot.
Miles is my most social child. He is always planning play dates with his friends and searching the neighborhood for kids to hang out with.
He is sweet, a hardworker, cuddly, funny, and just one of my favorite kids in the whole world.
Miles loves all things basketball. Favorite teams are BYU and The Rockets. Favorite players are TJ Hawes and James Harden.
He also loves Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, riding his bike, and playing the switch.
He's a keeper.
there were a few tears before Thanksgiving, because Trina and TJ couldn't come because of the crazy weather. Luckily, we were able to pull out of our sad rut and ended up having a really good and lazy Thanksgiving.
The snow helped out a lot.
We went for a walk before we ate. The kids built their first snowman of the season.
Had to have a soda bar with Thanksgiving Lunch.
We ended the day with seeing Frozen 2, which ended up being way better than any of us expected.
- Normally for Black Friday
we make our kids go on a hike. Lucky for them, the snow meant we went sledding instead of hiking. #optoutside
It was a pretty great sledding trip...which means there was very little whining and mostly lots of laughing.
- We ended Thanksgiving Break by decorating for Christmas
and going to Christmas in Color.
the new sunroof was a huge hit.
It was a good month!