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.
An Actual Vacation
Before January gets away from me, I have to record the rest of our awesome Christmas Vacation with Paul.
Paul's office was closed for the break, so it was pretty much his first real vacation where he didn't work at all. T
here was no one else at the office to call him with issues or questions...it was amazing. Plus, not traveling and being on our own schedule, made for a very restful break.
Paul took advantage of being home and got a lot of projects
down around the house. The main one being finishing the closet under the stairs in the basement, that my dad and him started last year. Or "The Hideout", as the kids refer to it.
All 3 are in love with The Hideout and have already spent many hours playing in it.
And I am happy to have gained an extra 30 square feet to help us get through winter in our tiny (but loved) house.
- After Paul finished his work around the house, we had lots of time left over to play
. We went swimming, to the Bean Museum, SLC, byu basketball games, sledding, lots of playing out front, braved public restaurants, and ran lots of errands.
One particular snowy day we took the kids down to Rock Canyon
to sled on some bigger hills. It was snowing hard, so there was lots of powder. I took Crew down after Paul and M&M had made a track, thinking he wouldn't get too much snow in his face.
We ended up covered in snow, he was completely white from head to toe and screaming about how a big snowball
got him. I could not stop laughing and screaming (due to all the snow that went down my clothes).
Crew and Miles spent 75% of the time crying and pouting. Paul, Macey, and I spent 100% of our time laughing at them and having a blast in the crazy snow storm. I was just glad we had dropped Ruby off at Holly's.
While Crew was crying in the car afterward we asked him if he'd want to go sledding again and he answered between sobs, "Maybe Later". We were rolling. :)
-We had New Year's Eve
with The Browns and the kids all behaved exceptionally well...meaning they played in the basement and left us alone. :) We even had time to learn and play a new card game while the 6 big kids entertained themselves downstairs.
Crew and Liam were pretty hilarious all night playing together. They only got in "trouble" one time, when they locked themselves in Michelle's cold storage to build and then knock over towers of soup cans.
We put on a fake countdown just after 9:00 and then had all our kids tucked in bed and fast asleep by 10:00. It was a perfect evening.
-There were also lots of movie nights
. The favorite being the introduction to The Princess Bride. All the kids loved it. Crew would hop up and sword fight right along with them.
We were sick with the flu the Sunday before Christmas, so I tried to take a picture of the kids in their Sunday Christmas Clothes the next week.
This is all I could get. Typical.
We also got babysitters, a lot.
We are back to real life now and I am actually ready to face it.
So, Christmas was pretty much the best this year. But, I suppose that's how it should be with 4 kids 7 and under.
The kids enjoyed their Christmas Eve cheese soup fireside, courtesy of Netflix.
They were given explicit directions not to come upstairs until 8:00am.
As you can see from the pictures above, I was slightly worried about the whole going to bed thing.
But, they did surprisingly well, and we had to go get them at 8:00 as we were the ones up and ready to go.
Did I mention it snowed?! As in our first real snow fall of the winter? The kids went to bed with little hope of snow that night and woke up to lots. Yes, it made for a pretty magical Christmas Morning.
And after we did stockings, we just had to go out for a min. to enjoy it before breakfast.
We opened presents in many shifts and just enjoyed the morning, as we had no where to be until 2:00. And even then, we only had to trek 2 doors down.
Miles' efforts to be good paid off and he was thrilled Santa brought him exactly what he asked for...Zoomer Dino.
Santa put Gerber Puffs in Ruby's stocking and all the kids had to take turns to giving her one. She was not a fan at first. :)
The first thing Crew said when he came upstairs was "Where my Buzz?". Luckily Santa delivered and we had one happy 2 year old.
Another popular present of the day was when all the boys (paul included), got new swords. "Fight" is a popular activity around here, and we now have plenty of weapons so everyone can be adequately armed.
In between present opening we pulled out the snow clothes and went and played for a little bit.
Then it was off to The Everett's for Christmas Dunch and games.
While we were eating we all decided we couldn't pass up a perfect Christmas snow and decided we had to go sledding.
There was no crying and complaining about being cold...it was an actual Christmas Miracle.
Ruby even loved it.
It really was a perfect Christmas where we got to just enjoy each other and the spirit of the day.