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.
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.
Labor Day Weekend we went with the Rensinks to Julianne's family cabin in Island Park, ID. It was beautiful.
And our kids are getting slightly easier to travel with, although I am always thankful for Brenden and Julianne being patient with the craziness that we bring everywhere we go.
We hung out lots at the river by their cabin.
Catching little fish, moose watching, canoeing and jumping in the water.
I tried to keep Ruby's cast as dry as possible.
They were the perfect Yellowstone tour guides and it was just heaven following along behind them as they lead us to some of their favorite spots.
The morning was super awesome. It was freezing out (low 30's), so when the steam hit the air it made all this crazy fog.
but, then the sun came out and I no longer felt like a bad mom putting all my kids in shorts.:)
The highlight for everyone was seeing all the Bison.
And of course getting to see Old Faithful.
And exploring the lodge while eating icecream and finishing up Jr. Ranger Books.
The Rensinks also took us to see Mesa Falls and we lucked out with some beautiful rainbows.
I didn't get to enjoy it too much though, because Ruby of course had to use the bathroom right when we got down to the falls. :)
Luckily Julianne and I got a pic in our matching shirts before I ran back up the trail with Ruby.
The kids favorite past time at the cabin was seeing who could hang from the beams the longest.
And I was only slightly terrified of the kids playing outside the cabin with all the wildlife around. But, once they got to a certain level of craziness inside, it was worth the risk to kick them out.
Most of my camera feed is full of pictures of Ruby and I walking to and from the school each day.
And somedays i just cannot get over her kindergarten cuteness.
Telling me she's ready for school. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm going to do when I don't have this crazy 5 year old running around.
There was a common day once this month, so Ruby actually started at the same time as the boys. She was so excited to walk to school with them and Crew told me held her hand the whole way and made sure she could find her class, since they had to lineup inside because of the rain.
He is the best big brother.
Fang and Ruby watch a show together every morning after the other kids leave.
And Ruby is still my errand buddy, which means I we still frequent sodalicious and the mall playround when she cooperates.
Ruby and Reagan also started dance.
and Ruby FINALLY let us take her training wheels off her bike and is now happily cruising around the neighborhood. And yes, we took the training wheels off while her arm was still broken. We are good parents like that.
Fang had an exciting month. He escaped through an open gate in the backyard and went to the kids' school. The principal found him wondering in the first grade hall. He didn't have his tag on (although he was microchipped). Luckily, she is nicer than me and instead of just pushing him outside, she took him into her office. She then sent a picture to all the teachers to see if any of the kids recognized him and then all the neighbor kids ran down to her it was our dog. Then as Paul and I were frantically searching for him I got a call from the school that Fang was in the principal's office.
Best day of his life so far.
Other exciting September happenings with the other kids that live at my house.
Crew had a great soccer season and scored some goals and was much more aggressive than last year. Can't wait for spring season to start.
Macey is pretty busy these days. And when she's not busy, she's hanging out with her bff Makenna.
She also captured an exciting neighborhood moment for me and even gave it a hashtag. :)
Miles caught a snake and then for the next hour took it around to show all the neighborhood kids. The snake ended up biting him (it wasn't poisonous), but paul chopped it's head off and kept it in a shoe box just in case miles broke out in some crazy rash.
Luckily, there is also some calm neighborhood afternoons too.
I also had to document how I now have to wash Raffy, Miles' special stuffed animal. Which is pretty much a rag now with a giraffe head.
One of my proudest moments of the month was when all 3 of us girls showed up to load the car for church and we were all wearing leopard print shoes.
We killed Mom Hikes this month, which also included our first annual retreat, which I will of course be blogging about later.
I even took the girls I work with at church on one of our frequented trails.
and then to Sodalicious, just like Mom Hike.
The month ended with Ruby getting her cast off.
And the primary program!