I ALWAYS think life will slow down after Christmas and I will do things like clean my house and organize my closet and read a book...but, as usual, that did not happen. So once again, my faithful readers, you get a mammoth post, since I don't want to forget the details of our little family.
Macey got braces.
Julianne and I threw Tara a bridal shower.
I planned Miles' class Valentine party, this was my favorite station.
Crew tried out all my games before hand so I could see how things would actually go with all the crazy kindergartners.
The beginning of February was ROUGH weather wise.
First, I got back from California and had to run errands in the snow.
Then a nasty inversion settled in and would not leave. Meaning the kids had to stay indoors, which meant indoor recess at school too. This equaled a lot of craziness and pent up energy.
We tried to keep things under control with lots of game playing, moving the Wii to the boys room (best decision ever), doing a manageable amount of crafting, hanging out with Peter & Julianne, visiting the Dinosaur Museum, and eating lots of good food.
And how grown up are these boys, eating their lunch and playing Monopoly Junior. :)
Paul's dreams as a dad did begin to come true, thanks to lots of time stuck indoors, as the kids have actually become fairly competent at video games.
daily group hug. No one likes to get left out.
We could no longer take the inversion, and for our sanity, we decided to skip church and head up to SLC to the Children't Museum.
The kids were running wild and it was perfect.
Their favorite part was the helicopter and hospital. It was hilarious watching them take x-rays of each other and trying to figure out how to talk on a real telephone.
The inversion cleared up and we have been soaking up as much sunshine as possible.
We hit up the zoo.
The scooter bandits reunited.
Ruby has been running wild outside, enjoying her freedom and sometimes needs to grab a little rest in between activities.
And we have been spending hours everyday out front with our neighbors.
There's lots of super hero action, star wars, and battling.
roller skating and mud pie making.
chasing and playing in, what is hopefully, the last of the melted snow.
And I have spent HOURS in the sunshine talking with some of my favorite ladies. Heaven.
We have also renewed our love of our tiny backyard.
The moment Ruby finishes her breakfast she is at the back door crying "Side! Side! Side!" until one of us unlocks the door and she can escape to her retreat.
Crew and Ruby spend hours out here each day playing ball, sneaking snacks, yelling at neighbors through the fence, and seeing how many toys they can get out there. In other thrilling February News:
Ruby wore pigtails for the first time. Adorable.
Crew and Ruby are becoming bff's. Ruby still bullies Crew a bit, but there is usually more laughing than crying involved.
Macey put all her roller skating practice to work at the Roller Rink and the Ice Skating Rink. I think she was happy to see all her hard work pay off.
Ruby went to her first BYU basketball game.
It was a horrible idea on our part.
She did get a few min in of adorable cheering and dancing, which got put on the jumbotron. Sadly, Miles was cut out of the shot and this was his reaction. I guess that's what happens when you're used to getting on there every game you come to.
Lastly, Macey and I got the chance to do a special Bride and Sealing Room tour at the Provo City Center Temple
with other women in our ward.
It was so awesome to get to go inside this temple again and with so many people we love.
I loved seeing all my activity day girls there too and it made me so happy that Macey gets to be friends with these awesome girls.
I know this is something these girls will remember and strive for.
To the end the month we got to enjoy our last basketball game of the season.
Phew. That was a tiring month.
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 started off Christmas Break with attending Domo's swanky Christmas Party.
I love getting to dress up all fancy once a year.
I tried to get the kids fancy looking for the Sunday before Christmas and they were adorable.
They of course didn't cooperate for pictures, but believe me they were the cutest kids around.
We did lots of playing, which is pretty much what you should do over any break from school.
We took them to Nickel City for the first time and they fell in love.
And since Paul was off the whole break too, we made sure to get out and enjoy the snow too.
We tried taking the kids snowshoeing again.
This time Crew was awesome and Miles cried the entire time.
We tried to enjoy the scenery amidst the whining and crying.
We got a babysitter and finally got to go snow shoeing without the kids.
We let Alex come with us, only because he promised not to cry.
It was breathtaking.
And thanks to the decent down to the water fall I got a lot of laughing in too.
And who can resist making snow angles in untouched mountain snow?!
I always love New Years Eve.
It's a good excuse to eat good food, play games, laugh, and stay up late.
We played Mt. Dew Pong and Flip Cup (with Mt. Dew). :)
The boys also played egg roulette. Hilarious.
It was a great end to a pretty great year.
We stayed home again this year.
It's a bit different than what we are used to, but fun all the same.
Christmas Eve day we went sledding.
It was a great way to use up all that energy!
We have found a perfect hill for us. I think we went sledding here 3 times over the break.
Navasard's Perfect Hill = not too busy, all the kids can walk up the hill unassisted, the hill is long and not too steep, we have yet to see anyone else there, and close to home.
We then decorated sugar cookies and had our, now traditional, ham and cheese soup for dinner. Once kids were in pjs, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.
Thanks to sledding for hours, the kids didn't go to bed too horribly. But, they of course couldn't find it in their hearts to give me a decent Christmas Eve picture.
Notice the lack of ornaments and presents under the tree? That would be due to Ruby. I have never had a child as destructive and curious as this one.
Paul and I were pretty excited when it started snowing late that night as we were getting Christmas ready. We've lucked out and got perfect Christmas Snow 2 years in a row now.
The kids obeyed orders and didn't come up until 7:30.
Things were pretty typical after that.
Everyone got exactly what they asked for from Santa.
Macey: Giant Beanie Boo Giraffe
Miles: Robot Spider
Crew: Chewbacca Mask with Button
Ruby: pink scooter
Lucky for Santa they were easy requests to meet.
Usually we open presents at a leisurely pace, taking time to eat and play in between.
This year though, we had Ruby. The moment she sees a present she must unwrap it. There is no stopping her. It doesn't matter if someone else is already unwrapping it, she will rip it out of your hands to finish the job.
Needless to say, we had to open presents pretty fast.
We did take a break to refuel.
And then when Ruby crashed, the five of us went to play in the Christmas snow. Which is obviously the best kind of snow.
Don't worry, we let Ruby outside to play when she woke up.
The Everett's invited all of us over for "Orphan Christmas" later in the afternoon.
We ate good food, chatted, played games, made a mess, and by the end of the night the kids were spread out in between all of our houses. I love these neighbors of mine.
It was a great day.
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.