may part 1 - snow canyon & school ends
May is normally an insane month with lots of performances, soccer games, field trips, volunteer hours at school, and non stop playing in the sunshine.
Crew drew this pic of Covid-19 - "I hate C19"
This May was a bit different, but I can't say I missed the craziness too much. Covid has taught me so much, main one being I do not miss the extra things and having to be places. I just miss spending time with my people and adventuring. Luckily, we were able to slowly introduce some socializing and adventuring back in May. And May still turned out to be an awesome party.
We started out May with a trip to Snow Canyon
. We originally had planned to go Spring Break, but the park was closed to us. The moment the park opened up to people outside of the county it resides in we snagged a reservation.
Scooter and Gerald all hooked up and ready to go.
We had to snap a picture because everything we own is apparently a perfectly coordinated grey.
and Covid bonus, we could leave on a friday afternoon because Paul works from home now and Gerald makes it so much easier to pack!
It felt amazing to get out and explore somewhere new. And to kind of forget about Covid for a few days.
We barely saw any people.
All the hikes were shortish, little elevation gain, and non stop rock scrambling. Perfect for Navasard Kids.
Plus, slot canyons and lava tubes to hide from the sun in were an added bonus.
After each trip with Gerald we add to our list of what we need to make the next trip better, this time we almost had it perfect.
Gerlad is now well stocked with games. The favorites being Mexican Train, bocce, and Kube.
and the kitchen had everything we needed to prepare our gourmet camping meals.
One thing we discovered that we need to bring on every trip though, even when there's no water in sight, is bath towels. These kids were covered head to toe in sand and had to share one towel between all 4 of them.
We started wrapping up school. In reality though, Miles and Ruby were done with school work before May even hit. Macey and Crew pushed through until the end though, with very minimal help from me.
Here's a typical Kindergarten day and a day where, once again, I could get Ruby to do zero work.
We tried to fill our time with some other learning activities that were masquerading as playing.
We did manage to get in a few rounds of sight word bingo during the month.
She still passed kindergarten though and I am praying every day for all of next years first grade teachers. :)
I tortured Miles by making him do at least 20 min of school work each day, often with a Sodalicious in hand.
It only took 3 days to get him to pick a quote about hope, type it up and pose for this picture for a Hope Squad slideshow. I have always been impressed with Miles' teachers, but now I know they are miracle workers and I do not posses the same powers as them.
Crew on the other hand finished every single assignment, often while babysitting Ruby's babies.
Macey finished 7th grade with a 4.0, so I had to take her to Sodalicious to celebrate.
One thing I learned during online learning is I am a horrible personal assistant and my kids barely made any of their zoom meetings. Luckily, they caught on fast to this and learned to keep track of their own schedules.
But, this was how I felt every time I was in the room during one of their meetings.
I kept myself sane during the last weeks of online learning by organizing.
And not pictured, kid's closets.
Also, thanks to homeschooling, I was finally able to settle on what table I wanted in the sunroom. I ended up getting a table that was a foot shorter than I originally wanted, because I realized I wanted more space between the door and the table for kids to run in and out. #benefitsofhomeschool
The long awaited reverse parade finally arrived and we finally could stop feeling guilty about already living our best summer life.
It was fun riding our bikes through so we could talk to our beloved teachers a little bit better.
Miles of course wouldn't stop for a picture with Miss R.
I am still mourning that these 3 didn't get to finish the school year with some of the most amazing teachers we've ever had.
But we were past tears at this point and ready to party and put this school year behind us.
The kids were worried I wouldn't do our normal "Welcome to Summer" stuff, but I pulled through.
Since we couldn't do our normal last day of school stuff, I rented the kids the same blowup we got at spring break. But this time we turned the water on and invited friends over in shifts for a fun filled day.
We also did a Welcome to Summer picnic with The Rensinks up the canyon.
These might be my favorite first and last day of school pictures yet. The hair, the bathing suits...everything. Macey 7th GradeMiles 4th GradeCrew 2nd GradeRuby Kindergarten
I could not be more proud of these kids though. Life has been crazy and stressful and they have desperately missed school and friends, but they did it and hopefully came out stronger than they were when all this started.
The theme for January was Basketball.
It is one of my favorite ways to pass a cold January Saturday.
The boys both played every Saturday and luckily, never at the exact same time.
And sometimes it was too cold to practice outside, there were lots of dribbling drills in the living room.
And don't let this picture fool you, Miles has been loving basketball this season. He just kills me with pictures, always worth over paying when i get a keeper like this.
Lots of BYU games.
Crew finally graduated to being old enough to bring a friend. Lucky for me, he picked Liam, so then I got a friend too. :)
It was Liam's first BYU basketball game, so we pulled out all the stops. Cougar Tail, Getting on the jumbotron, and BYU won. Pretty much perfection. They can't wait to go together again next season.
These girls danced the night away.
and Paul and I got tickets in Domo's suite for a Jazz Game. My favorite kind of date night.
Next up was Snow.
Erin and I found these footprints going between our houses. It was determined to be Miles, although all 8 of kids are crazy enough to walk barefoot in the snow.
I hiked and hiked and hiked in January.
Kacie and I started our own hiking group.
some days were rather frigid, but it didn't stop us.
Although, we were almost stopped by a blizzard. We ended up going to breakfast, but the weather calmed down, so we just headed out for a walk around the neighborhood so we didn't feel like too big of wimps.
- The kids still walked to school or the bus stop (further) everyday, that's just the kind of mom I am. :)
- We finally got some good sledding in.
And Soldier Hollow with the Goodwins.
it was crazy. We'd never been before when you went so fast down the hill. There was lots of crashing into people and the safety barriers, but luckily no one from our group was involved.
Fang turned one!!
I even made him a homemade peanut butter cake with banana frosting.
He didn't quite know what to do when everyone was singing him Happy Birthday.
He just wanted to get to his cake.
This is one well loved dog.
Fang is always living his best life.
Even when being tortured by Ruby.
One of the best parts about Fang though is he keeps the kids company on sick days.
And there have been so many sick days this winter, so at least that helps him earn his keep.
Crew caught the worst of it, with a nasty case of croup. He had to sleep in our room so I could monitor his breathing, meaning I didn't sleep, but luckily he did. After lots of steamy showers, midnight porch sittings breathing in the cold air and a dose of steriods, he finally started to feel better.
- Ruby had her 100th day of school!!
- Macey made it into her school's Geography Bee and did awesome.
- and the rest of January was survived with lots of puzzles, play dates, and book reading under blankets.
Might of actually been one of my shorter January's. February on the other hand seemed to last about 58 days.
december part 2: Winter Break
We flew to Texas for Christmas.
It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be to travel with 4 kids and lots of luggage the week of Christmas. It was a long, but manageable day.
Luckily, we've got this flying thing down. and Renting a mini van and beach house made things much less chaotic.
The kids top, number one, thing they wanted to do when we got to Lake Jackson was go to Chuck E. Cheese.
They have been sad since ours closed a few years ago and this filled the holes in their hearts.
My top, number 1 thing, to do was hang out at the beach.
Not a bad way to spend Christmas Eve and get out some energy.
Crew was the only kid that wanted to build a Sandman with me.
And we were the only people on the beach that actually went in the water, pretty sure everyone else was locals. : )
I could of spent days just like this, but sadly we just got the one day.
Luckily, Paul and I did get a few beach walks in during the week.
- Christmas Eve at the beach house.
Everyone was very impressed with my christmas tree and our house decor even added a nice finishing touch to the tree.
Got my Christmas Eve tree and stocking pictures, like always.
Ruby also lost a tooth Christmas Eve, which just added to the excitement of it all.
- Christmas Morning!!
Waiting on the deck cheering Opa on as he climbed the million stairs up to the beach house.
I didn't take many pictures this year. But, we nailed it in the present department. Every kid was happy, grateful, and had a toy to play with.
then it was onto Paul's parents house, where the cousins finally came into town!!
This is it, the only picture I took Christmas Day. But believe me, it was awesome, kids loved being with all The Navasards, and it was very magical.
We spent the rest of the week eating good food and hanging out family.
Brooklyn proved to be the best toy there was.
Some of our favorite food:
Asels, where Crew ordered a donut burger.
So much Shipley's, but yet not enough.
Got takeout from El Torro.
We spent the day after Christmas at Keema Boardwalk.
Another day visiting the museums in Lake Jackson.
Then we did family pictures before we had to head up the airport hotel in Houston.
Kids said it was their best Christmas Ever!
After a very delayed flight home, we picked up Fang with 20 min to spare.
Fang was crying, kids were screaming. it was quite the reunion.
And here's Fang's report card. :)
Kids were also happy that Santa stopped by our house and filled up Fang's stocking. Proved to the younger 3 that Santa is for sure real.
We then had a perfect, mellow, New Years Eve with the Rensinks.
There was Soda Pong.
Just an overall goodtime where kids were asleep by 10:30.
And then we spent the rest of break being lazy and playing in the snow.
Typical Utah kids: the moment the sidewalks and roads are semi clear they are back to bike riding, scootering, and playing basketball.
Paul brought out the water balloon launcher to aid in the neighbor kid snowball fight.
Not a bad Winter Break.
I felt a bit guilty about how happy I felt as all the kids went back to school after break. I got over the guilt pretty fast though. :)
One of the biggest, and most dramatic, things that started in January was Basketball with Miles.
This kid loves basketball and was dying to play. I dropped him off at practice and prayed for the best. 10 min later I got a phone call that Miles was in the corner crying and wouldn't respond to anyone. so, I ran back over to the school. The next 3 practices went much the same.
Luckily, he loved the games, and through many conversations and worst case scenarios, we made it through the season. The last game he even attempted a few baskets, got some rebounds, passed the ball, and did some defense.
While it turned out to be one of the more stressful parts of my January/February, I am glad we powered through and it turned out to be a positive experience for him in the end. And he can't wait to play next season.
The kids have not played in the snow here like they did at the Town Houses. I think it's because there isn't always a constant flow of children coming and going to help you build your forts.
So, we invited the Johnson's over and the kids actually played in the snow for hours.
Still lots of trampoline jumping. Snow or sunshine.
A highlight was going to the Jazz game with The Everett's. Good friends, good food and no kids. Pretty perfect evening.
Completed my first real french braid. Macey was pleased with my effort.
We have yet to have to use our snow shoes this winter, but our spikes have proved very useful.
Battle Creek has become one of my favorites!
Hiking in the snow really is the best and helps me to appreciate and enjoy the snow and cold more.
Gets me through things like shoveling our massive driveway in the morning.
We read The Magic Art of Tidying Up a few years ago. But, the netflix show finally convinced me to fold my socks in the Kondo Method. :)
I don't know why it took me 3 years.
And I'm finally teaching Ruby the Mario Kondo Method (I taught the other 3 when Ruby was a baby).
She's getting pretty good.
Other Ruby Happenings:
Non stop dressing up and Barbie playing.
If she sees you sit down or talk to another child, she comes running over demanding to be cuddled.
She's been teaching Crew the fine art of finger sucking.
She is a social butterfly and is always requesting to play with her friends.
we got lucky this month and got to hang out with Roman and Izella a few times.
And she got to go to Hailey's Unicorn themed birthday party.
I don't even know what I'm going to do when she starts kindergarten next school year.
Other January Happenings:
We completed Macey's most complicated puzzle yet! There was a few days where I didn't know if we were going to be able to do it, but we pushed through, and it was well worth the effort.
Miles requests soup every day for dinner and eats bowlful after bowlful when I do make it. Sometimes he even licks the pot.
and we of course have been taking advantage of our aquarium pass.
Phew, another January behind us.
December Part 2
Christmas Break was amazing and relaxing and very lazy.
Our first Christmas Miracle happened when all kids wore the clothes I picked out for them and then smiled for this picture.
2nd Christmas Miracle was that all kids loved their Christmas Jammies. My kids are very picky with PJ's and we often have at least one kid pouting about the PJ's I picked out.
Not this year. And The kids maybe changed out of their Onesie PJ's 3 times total all of break. That is Christmas Break perfection right there.
Christmas Eve was another late night, but well worth the effort.
Patiently waiting for us to say "go" at 6:30 am Christmas morning.
Santa brought Pop-A-Shot
We all had sore arms from playing so much.
Ruby asked Santa for makeup and jewelry. She was quite pleased with her haul.
Miles is hard to please, but totally worth it when you actually figure out what this kids wants.
The rest of the morning was spent playing with toys, shooting baskets, and playing video games.
The Rensinks came over for dinner Christmas Day. It might of been the most relaxing Christmas ever.
The only pics I got was playing Holiday Soda Pong.
To recover from the festivities we went on a hike the next morning.
Tajen came over for a late night. And shocker, Macey wanted to play soda pong.
More proof my kids pretty much lived in their onesies, unless I was washing then.
Paul and I did our annual New Year's Eve hike.
It was beautiful.
We had the O'Neal's over for New Years Eve.
and surprise...We played Soda Pong!
Everyone loved it.
and it's not New Years Eve without a crazy dance party.
Then we had a few more lazy days until school started again!!