February was a drastic improvement upon January, thank goodness!!!
We got snow!
Probably my favorite Saturday morning of the year thus far:
No one else was on the trail. The snow makes everything beautiful and muffles all sound. Heaven.
And even some sunshine.
Afternoons are always better when they want to play outside after school.
I was forced to go on the 2nd grade field trip to The Museum of Natural Curiosity, as no other parents had signed up to go.
Always a thrilling time.
Sometimes I make dinners I want, knowing that no one else will eat them. This minestrone soup being one of them. This is Paul's crazy busy season, so he isn't ever home for dinner, so I was prepared to face 4 whining kids just so I could eat this yummy soup.
Instead it was lots of laughs as everyone did their required "Thank you bite". Luckily, some of neighbor moms came and scooped some out, so I didn't have an entire crockpot full of soup leftover.
Miles and Crew were home "sick" on the same day. It actually worked out great. They played mario kart and mine craft most of the day together. At dinner that night they actually wanted to sit by each other (Miles will usually only sit by an adult or Macey) and then even made up their own "best brother secret handshake". Glad they got some bonding time in.
The kids favorite outing this month was a trip to the mall to ride the animals.
There were a few crazy drivers, but luckily the mall shoppers were light on their feet and no one got ran over.
Other things I want to remember:
- Ruby wanted to match me with our "kitty vests" for church.
- Crew is always wanting to do science experiments.
baking soda, food coloring and vinegar...always seems to do the trick.
- After hours of hard work Macey finished her 750 piece cat puzzle.
We have never owned a puzzle with more than 45 pieces, so this was quite the undertaking and was so proud of herself when she was done!
- Cub Scouts. Don't know how I feel about it yet, but when Miles wants to go we go. When he doesn't want to we don't. :)
- Macey took Tajen and Carmen to a BYU game.
puzzles, puppets and Crew painting a portrait of Ruby. :) Sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do when we loose Crew to all day school next year.
Not that I will be bored or anything with this one to entertain me.
- Mario Kart with TJ
Way better than January!
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.
We started off the year with a snow shoeing expedition.
The first 5 minuets weren't too bad, but then the melt downs ensued. I don't think Miles stopped crying the ENTIRE time.
We had some 2nd thoughts about starting 2016 this way. The crying, whining, falling.
Luckily the scenery was gorgeous and we all survived.
And this kid was actually a dream boat, a slow, but happy hiker.
And how Ruby ends every winter adventure.
To end our 2 week break with Paul home we took the kids to Nickel City. It was loud, crazy, and busy, but the kids were in heaven.
and it made me remember how much I love Nickel City too, so we got the Rensinks to go back with us, no kids this time.
And yes, Paul won me a jackpot. True Love right there.
And yes, that guy there at the register, he's wearing the same toupee as he was when Emily and I used to rock the ticket games back in 2000.
We decided to give snow shoeing with the kids one last shot before we gave up on taking them anywhere in public again.
Since their bff's were there, they stepped up their game and there was very little whining involved.
Gosh, I love these mountains.
We then did a little sledding while Ruby and Julianne hung out in the protection of the car.
Perfect winter morning.
While most of January was spent indoors, we did spend a few more moments outdoors, when it wasn't completely freezing.
And there was even a day when the snow melted and the kids actually got to try their christmas presents outside.
Since we have experienced an actual winter this year, there have been many, many, many crazy hours stuck inside the house.
there's lots of star wars, fighting, wrestling, card games, and running around like wild animals.
And Ruby is still constantly getting into everything, climbing on everything, tackling everyone, and constantly has a nice bruise on her forehead.
We also all got croup, which sucked. But, it made for some pretty quiet afternoons, so I couldn't complain too much.
Being the good mom I am, I fell asleep while reading with Miles on one of our sick days and he snapped this sweet pic of me. If you know me, this means I was feeling pretty crappy, because I hate naps. Other January happenings:
Crew started Sunbeams.
Macey made her first Science Fair Project for the (not so simple) 3rd grade Simple Machine Fair.
M&M rocked their parent teacher conferences. Macey's teacher said she has a kind heart and is inclusive to everyone she meets.
and Miles is finally settling into kindergarten like a pro.
I might of shed a tear when I was expressing to his teacher how much I appreciated her kindness, patience, and gentle pushing she has given this kid. He is capable and she knows it, and I know my prayers have been answered as she has been able to navigate the difficult waters that are Miles.
We also got the privilege of attending the Provo City Center Temple
While we were far from the most reverent group there. I am grateful for the kind temple workers and the beauty and spirit my kids got to experience. Even if Miles was wearing one of Ruby's shoe covers as a hat the entire time. :)
And because some days are long, hard, and Paul works through bedtime a few days each week, sometimes a run to Sodalicious right before bedtime gives me the renewed energy I need to get through the last hours of the day without completely loosing it.
So, yay to surviving another January!
We soaked up as much of the Decemberness as we could.
Even cleaning was more fun in December, due to Macey singing and dancing for me.
Getting out the Christmas books is always exciting too and it is insane how many I have collected.
I got to take the Activity Day girls from church to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at BYU. It was very cool.
We've been enjoying having 4 tickets to the BYU basketball games this season.
We did our typical visit to the Riverwoods and to see Santa.
And while this girl didn't love Santa, she does love the snow.
And I love it when she's all dressed up in Macey's old clothes.
The highlight of the month though was Nana and Pop-Pop's visit.
We were non stop busy.
Ruby was quite taken with both of them. And pretty much wanted nothing to do with Paul and I the entire time.
There were about a million games of "Go Fish" played.
We had the christmas sing at school and they got to help me in both Macey and Miles' class parties too.
We of course decorated sugar cookies.
Opened Christmas presents.
We took a ride to the North Pole.
Macey and Miles were in complete heaven. Singing songs, playing games. visiting with the "elfs", and of course getting to talk with Santa.
Ruby proved to be a complete pain most of the ride, but it was worth seeing the other 3 have so much fun.
We had plans to snowshoe, but decided to sled instead, as it seemed much less trouble. :)
It was the right choice.
Ruby pretty much wandered around in the snow the entire time and was as happy as could be to have complete freedom.
Pop-Pop and Paul made us a jump.
It was a pretty perfect afternoon.
The highlight of Thanksgiving Break this year was getting to see The Bartletts.We went on an epic sledding adventure.
First, we had to get all the kids and sleds up and over these rocks.
then, we had to make our way across a thin icy trail, that ran along of the edge of a reservoir.
We finally made it to our destination with everyone still alive and uninjured.
Don't really know if it was all worth it, but it was a sledding experience to remember. We showed them the ropes at The Children's Museum. Hung out at Michelle's. And ventured out to eat dinner in public with all 7 kids.
Never a dull moment.
We had a perfect low key Thanksgiving across the grass at our neighbors. We had great food, good company, and I loved being able to run home to grab anything I needed.
We also hosted a 2nd Thanksgiving, so Paul could eat more of all the Thanksgiving foods he loves.
Then we decided to take the kids snowshoeing.
Don't let these pictures fool you...
It did not go well.
Crew eventually refused to move from this spot.
Once we finally got all the cold and crying children loaded up, we discovered there was a tanker blocking all lanes of traffic and we could not get home through Provo Canyon.
Luckily we found an amazing kolache shop and got to do some shopping in Park City, before heading home through Salt Lake.
All in all it ended up being a pretty good day.
I also did some Thanksgiving night shopping with some of my favorite ladies and of course could not pass up this leopard print vest. Now, I just need to find it in my size.
It was a very successful Thanksgiving Break.