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.
November can and went way too fast, well most days at least.
Remember when you were a kid and it seemed a lifetime between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? I guess it makes me officially old, time is going by too fast sometimes.
We lucked out and got one perfect leaf jumping
day in before the snow hit and it got too cold.
I love it when the kids start to do something fun outside and then the other kids notice and slowly start trickling outdoors to play.
It got even more exciting when Paul joined the fun and made a giant leaf pile that the kids took turns hiding in and scaring people, before they could no longer contain the urge to jump in it.
We got a good hour of leaf jumping in before the metal rakes came out and I deemed it too dangerous for my kids to continue to be outside. :)
The valley got it's first snow
Which meant Paul got off work early and we went sledding with the Rensinks at our new favorite mountain sledding hill.
Nothing like a first snow.
And it was our first sledding experience, post kids, where someone didn't cry.
It was a sledding miracle, which I don't foresee being repeated. Miles
has decided he wants to be a scientist
. Which means he is always doing some sort of experiment.
Whether it be figuring out how to get cars into Ruby's crib. Or mixing things like mouth wash, toothpaste, and soap together to see what he can create. Or putting random toys or food items in the freezer to see what happens.
It's been messy and exciting around here to say the least.
I got to experience quite an exciting day this month too. Nothing terrible happened, just lots of super annoying things.
It started with Crew peeing his pants in the Carl's Jr. playplace and discovering this by the fact that it dripped onto the table where Julianne and I had just placed our drinks. I then had the walk of shame to go tell the workers what happened.
The "Pee Ball" and the table we were originally sitting at :)
Then when leaving the parking lot I got in an accident, which caused me to be late for kindergarten drop off. After returning home Crew had a poop accident. In order to get that cleaned up I put Ruby down for a nap. When she woke up 2 hours later I discovered she had removed her clothing and dirty diaper, and had flung poop all over the room. I seriously could not stop laughing. There were a few other things that happened that day, but I think I've already tried to block this day from my memory. The joys of motherhood.
This was me when I got to sit down for the first time that day at 8:00, it took me another 30 min to convince myself to get back up and tackle the war zone that was my house.
Luckily most of our days and outings are "boring" compared to that.
And I am even willing to attempt to take them swimming without Paul. The locker room afterwards always attempts to break me down, but we are getting better.
And sometimes I have energy left over at the end of the day to babysit neighbor kids and feed them dinner too.
And then there's this girl.
She of course has her moments, but when I really need her, she's there. Whether it be doing her homework without having to be asked, helping with dinner, cleaning with me after the little kids go to bed, and even seen here typing a talk for church without any assistance from me. bless this helpful and independent 8 year old.
Ruby is still getting into everything and stealing everyone's stuff.
And Crew is always walking around with some sort of injury.
But these 2 are playing together more and more each day. and I am sad they only have a few more weeks in nursery together before Crew moves up to Sunbeams.