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 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.
October: Chapter 1
October was a great month around here, as it should be.
Paul's work hours have been a bit crazy (nothing too new), but we took high advantage of our weekend hours to make up for not seeing him most of the week.
There was Touch a Truck
Free lunch. Prizes. And a ton of trucks for the kids to climb on and horns to honk.
They "drove" a city bus, explored the back of a vacuum truck, walked through an ambulance, watched how they use robots to find blockages in pipes, and got to see how big a stop light really is.
Orem is pretty much one of the coolest cities ever and all of the city workers were amazing and kind. Love supporting local events like this. The mountains
. One Saturday was spent exploring and seeing the changing leaves in the mountains.
It was perfection.
Everytime I cross a bridge I am always dealing with those pesky trolls under the bridge. Every. Single. Time.
We of course had to find our "secret spot", it's not quite as fun when you don't get to play in the water. But, I am just glad my kids have their traditions with our hikes and are really starting to love it.
One day I will make it past this meadow! But for now, this is always our stopping point.
It's a perfect place for hide and seek.
Seriously though, those trees, Utah really likes to show off sometimes.
We convinced Paul to come home at 5:00 on a Friday and we hurried over to the Children's Museum
We are hoping to send more cold evenings here and it's always better when Paul is there to entertain the kids.
And we can't forget our monthly cold weather trip to Scheel's
And Ruby finally wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel, so i got to go on my first ride. It was slightly terrifying, but i held it together for the kids. :)
Paul and I got tickets to listen to The Minimalists
It was awesome. It helped me refocus on what I love about living a minimalist lifestyle and reminded me that not all minimalism has to look the same. In the next few weeks I cleaned out my closet, craft drawers, kid's school files, linen closet and toys.
We are starting to see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel that is Sunday's
The amount of time we've had to take these 2 and Miles out to the hall has lessened drastically. They still all have to go out at least once, but it's not a constant struggle.
Getting Miles ready for church is still quite the process, with finding proper clothes and dealing with his screaming fits about going to church. But sometimes he gets his own row and all is right in the world again.
And this girl, I have to dress her cute to help me when the screaming comes. :)
We keep busy during the week with our normal things:Thanksgiving Point
We went right before the Scarecrow festival started. It was amazing, all the scarecrows were up, but no crowds and no bounce houses to deal with.
So much drawing
for these two.
Not used to having kids want to color and cut and draw, it's been pretty nice.
I got to go on Crew's first field trip to the Fire Station
One of my favorite field trips ever. I forgot how much I love kindergartners.
Crew skipped school and we went to Coconut Cove
with Lottie and Liam. It was perfection. Kids were so well entertained, Michelle and I actually got to sit and talk without too much interruption.
Errands with friends are always better.
We've been doing less electronic time around here and it is helping things to run much smoother.
I just have to survive that first 15 minutes of whining, screaming and crying (mostly Miles) until they figure out a better way to spend their time.
Love to see what they come up with.
And this girl, she likes to be ready for all situations. She can never leave the house empty handed, even if it's just out front to play with friends.
We also had a house divided when the Texans played The Seahawks.
This was our theme for September.
Macey did not think it was funny. :) #truth
The reality is it's pretty much chaos around here all the time, but usually it is the good chaos. Well, until 5:00 rolls around, then it's usually the bad kind.
Crew and Ruby are my constant companions and I am just trying to remind myself that they will never love me more than they do right now. So, I try to enjoy being constantly climbed on and talked to and followed. Luckily I still enforce quiet time to give me some time to recover.
And reading with this kindergartner is one of my favorite parts of my day.
The highlight of the month for Ruby was starting dance class
with Hailey and Izella.
She's been dying to have a teacher of her own ever since the kids went back to school. She was always asking me "What my teacher name? My teacher going to like me?" Her long awaited day came and she now has a teacher of her own, Miss Jenn.
She loves dance and I love watching her. I am also shocked by how calm she is in class, not what I expected. And after her first class she fell asleep on the way home (11:00 am), obviously there was a lot of pent up excitement.
One of the best parts though, is Ashley, Traci and I actually get to workout for 45 min during their class. It's one of the highlights of my week. September was full of friends.
Cora came to town to visit, so Macey got to spend almost 2 days with the Rensinks and we borrowed Peter for a late night.
bottom left pic: The Everett kids were locked out one afternoon and my kids were overjoyed to find them sitting on the grass out front. They instantly tackled them and forced them to play until Gina got home. :)
Funny story with this picture:
Ruby was napping, so I decided I'd take a nap. I told the kids they could play Wii and to stay inside. I woke up to 4 O'Neal kids playing the Wii with my 3 kids. One of the many reasons I have learned not to nap.
Trips to Thanksgiving Point
Paul always has to make a Ninja Warrior course on the playground for them and then has to be the announcer as they run it. #iseeyouBYU games
We got football season tickets this year. The season has been extremely disappointing, but the games are still fun.
And enjoying every moment of the cooler temps, before the cold actually comes.
face painting, balloon animals, carnival games, unlimited food trucks, blowups, train, unlimited popcorn & cotton candy
aka the best day of their lives
and they had a photographer there that captured some pretty awesome shots.
Chalk the Block
Macey had a blast helping out Emmie and Julianne with their Harry Potter themed spot, until they got rained out. She made me promise to sign up with them next year.
These were our 2 favorite entries. Link and Batman...no surprise there.
I could never get a picture of Ruby because she never stopped.
For one of our Activity Days this month I planned a little back to school party.
Love these cute girls.
And lastly, we replaced Macey's full bed with a twin.
It's been amazing, she had no floor space before and now she's been having non stop dance parties with her new found square footage. And she's loving the more tween look. Now to just get the walls decorated.
September was a great month. lots of warm sunshine to enjoy, friends to play with, and finally being back on a schedule!
3 seasons in 1
In November we got a little bit of every type of weather, it was perfection.
Gotta love after Halloween clearance. Picked up this sweet Kylo helmet for $2! And notice the tank top and shorts...in November!
We had a few glorious weeks in the 60's and even low 70's.
We pretty much made the kids live outside, since we didn't know how long it would last. And we didn't even eat dinner or do homework on most of the those days, because I just could not bare the thought of making them come inside when there were friends and sunshine to be enjoyed.
Very slowly the leaves started falling and we got to have many jumping sessions.
These kids are well trained and instantly form a line once the pile is ready and there are always "pile keepers" who will build the pile back up before the next kid can jump. :)
There was lots of burying of kids in the leaf pile and then videoing them in slow motion jumping out. It was highly entertaining.
Michelle and I ventured to BYU.
Always fun to be on campus, especially when it's with one of my favorite Roomies.
We wanted to stand in the quad and yell at all the students to enjoy this time, they will never get it back, soak it all in!!! But instead, we probably just convinced them not to have children too soon.
notice, my shoeless child in November, in a public place, in bare feet. Good parenting right there. It's all about survival.
And lucky for us the weather held until we were able to make it Orem's new All Together Playground. I have a thing with crowds, especially at playgrounds.
It was awesome. We were only able to find the boy's fence posts, so we will go back once the snow melts to find Macey and Ruby's.
Then finally, the last few days of November, we got our long awaited snow! It's no fun playing outside when it's cold, unless there is snow on the ground.
The first snow day there was about 20 kids playing out front! I would of gotten a picture, but I had 6 kids out there (we had 2 school friends over) and that kept me quite busy with dressing, undressing, fixing gloves, throwing snow balls and distributing hot chocolate.
Macey and Carmen's Snow Caterpillar
And even the snow couldn't keep Ruby from doing her chore of taking the garbage to the dumpster.
Bring on Winter, I might actually be ready for you this year.