October: Chapter 1
October was a great month around here, as it should be.
Paul's work hours have been a bit crazy (nothing too new), but we took high advantage of our weekend hours to make up for not seeing him most of the week.
There was Touch a Truck
Free lunch. Prizes. And a ton of trucks for the kids to climb on and horns to honk.
They "drove" a city bus, explored the back of a vacuum truck, walked through an ambulance, watched how they use robots to find blockages in pipes, and got to see how big a stop light really is.
Orem is pretty much one of the coolest cities ever and all of the city workers were amazing and kind. Love supporting local events like this. The mountains
. One Saturday was spent exploring and seeing the changing leaves in the mountains.
It was perfection.
Everytime I cross a bridge I am always dealing with those pesky trolls under the bridge. Every. Single. Time.
We of course had to find our "secret spot", it's not quite as fun when you don't get to play in the water. But, I am just glad my kids have their traditions with our hikes and are really starting to love it.
One day I will make it past this meadow! But for now, this is always our stopping point.
It's a perfect place for hide and seek.
Seriously though, those trees, Utah really likes to show off sometimes.
We convinced Paul to come home at 5:00 on a Friday and we hurried over to the Children's Museum
We are hoping to send more cold evenings here and it's always better when Paul is there to entertain the kids.
And we can't forget our monthly cold weather trip to Scheel's
And Ruby finally wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel, so i got to go on my first ride. It was slightly terrifying, but i held it together for the kids. :)
Paul and I got tickets to listen to The Minimalists
It was awesome. It helped me refocus on what I love about living a minimalist lifestyle and reminded me that not all minimalism has to look the same. In the next few weeks I cleaned out my closet, craft drawers, kid's school files, linen closet and toys.
We are starting to see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel that is Sunday's
The amount of time we've had to take these 2 and Miles out to the hall has lessened drastically. They still all have to go out at least once, but it's not a constant struggle.
Getting Miles ready for church is still quite the process, with finding proper clothes and dealing with his screaming fits about going to church. But sometimes he gets his own row and all is right in the world again.
And this girl, I have to dress her cute to help me when the screaming comes. :)
We keep busy during the week with our normal things:Thanksgiving Point
We went right before the Scarecrow festival started. It was amazing, all the scarecrows were up, but no crowds and no bounce houses to deal with.
So much drawing
for these two.
Not used to having kids want to color and cut and draw, it's been pretty nice.
I got to go on Crew's first field trip to the Fire Station
One of my favorite field trips ever. I forgot how much I love kindergartners.
Crew skipped school and we went to Coconut Cove
with Lottie and Liam. It was perfection. Kids were so well entertained, Michelle and I actually got to sit and talk without too much interruption.
Errands with friends are always better.
We've been doing less electronic time around here and it is helping things to run much smoother.
I just have to survive that first 15 minutes of whining, screaming and crying (mostly Miles) until they figure out a better way to spend their time.
Love to see what they come up with.
And this girl, she likes to be ready for all situations. She can never leave the house empty handed, even if it's just out front to play with friends.
We also had a house divided when the Texans played The Seahawks.
This was our theme for September.
Macey did not think it was funny. :) #truth
The reality is it's pretty much chaos around here all the time, but usually it is the good chaos. Well, until 5:00 rolls around, then it's usually the bad kind.
Crew and Ruby are my constant companions and I am just trying to remind myself that they will never love me more than they do right now. So, I try to enjoy being constantly climbed on and talked to and followed. Luckily I still enforce quiet time to give me some time to recover.
And reading with this kindergartner is one of my favorite parts of my day.
The highlight of the month for Ruby was starting dance class
with Hailey and Izella.
She's been dying to have a teacher of her own ever since the kids went back to school. She was always asking me "What my teacher name? My teacher going to like me?" Her long awaited day came and she now has a teacher of her own, Miss Jenn.
She loves dance and I love watching her. I am also shocked by how calm she is in class, not what I expected. And after her first class she fell asleep on the way home (11:00 am), obviously there was a lot of pent up excitement.
One of the best parts though, is Ashley, Traci and I actually get to workout for 45 min during their class. It's one of the highlights of my week. September was full of friends.
Cora came to town to visit, so Macey got to spend almost 2 days with the Rensinks and we borrowed Peter for a late night.
bottom left pic: The Everett kids were locked out one afternoon and my kids were overjoyed to find them sitting on the grass out front. They instantly tackled them and forced them to play until Gina got home. :)
Funny story with this picture:
Ruby was napping, so I decided I'd take a nap. I told the kids they could play Wii and to stay inside. I woke up to 4 O'Neal kids playing the Wii with my 3 kids. One of the many reasons I have learned not to nap.
Trips to Thanksgiving Point
Paul always has to make a Ninja Warrior course on the playground for them and then has to be the announcer as they run it. #iseeyouBYU games
We got football season tickets this year. The season has been extremely disappointing, but the games are still fun.
And enjoying every moment of the cooler temps, before the cold actually comes.
face painting, balloon animals, carnival games, unlimited food trucks, blowups, train, unlimited popcorn & cotton candy
aka the best day of their lives
and they had a photographer there that captured some pretty awesome shots.
Chalk the Block
Macey had a blast helping out Emmie and Julianne with their Harry Potter themed spot, until they got rained out. She made me promise to sign up with them next year.
These were our 2 favorite entries. Link and Batman...no surprise there.
I could never get a picture of Ruby because she never stopped.
For one of our Activity Days this month I planned a little back to school party.
Love these cute girls.
And lastly, we replaced Macey's full bed with a twin.
It's been amazing, she had no floor space before and now she's been having non stop dance parties with her new found square footage. And she's loving the more tween look. Now to just get the walls decorated.
September was a great month. lots of warm sunshine to enjoy, friends to play with, and finally being back on a schedule!
Paul took 2 weeks off, with one of those weeks being over the kids spring break. We took some time to play, Paul and Macey went to a tech conference in salt lake, and then Paul and I started our demo/remodel when the kids went back to school. Bryce Canyon/Kodachrome
Bryce was cold and muddy, but fun and beautiful as ever.
We lost a few shoes in the mud and had a few slips, but all the mud dried by the end of the day and everyone we saw had dried mud covering their shoes and legs too. It was just part of the adventure.
I am in awe of Byrce evertyime.
kids were great hikers.
I really hope they remember all these adventures!
We camped at Kodachrome, which has turned into one of our favorite Utah places.
Lots of exploring to do.
Ruby just climbed right up this cliff without any trouble.
The kids spent most of their time playing in this dry creek bed behind our campsite.
Crew's is always the child who's legs get too tired. I've gotten pretty good at carrying this beast of a child on my shoulders.
and then we woke up to snow the next morning. So, we packed up early and headed home. Yes, I am wearing a beanie and 3 hoods. Still cold and wet.
enjoying a lovely camping breakfast.
Thank goodness for ipads in times like these. Kept everyone busy and out of our way while we packed up in record time. I can't remember the last time my hands were so cold.
Kids were so involved with their ipads we got to make a few stops along the way home.
In the end it was all worth it and we eventually got everything dried out in our tiny backyard.
Spring Break was pretty low key after that.
We ate dinner in public. Rare occasion, but it went fairly well.
Visited Thanksgiving Point
Pond with friends
And my porch constantly looked like this.
Paul took Macey to NG Conf in Salt Lake, where she again had the time of her life.
The highlights were all the swag, swimming in the pool, eating all the awesome food and getting to meet the makers of her favorite Battle Bot, Witch Doctor.
Miles is really hoping he can get things together to go next year. :)
Every year we get 3 days off in October and I usually go a bit crazy with our adventures. So, I tried to pace myself this year and just had one fun thing planned each day. Worked like a dream.Day One:
Made the kids do chores (insert screaming, whining, kicking) and then when they were done I braved the crowds and headed to a pumpkin patch.
I rarely make public appearances during fall break, as most of the state has the same days off and I don't enjoy large crowds. But, I was feeling brave and the weather was perfection.
No one got lost, the kids listened, no whining, and only one incident with our wheelbarrow falling over and our pumpkins rolling all over the parking lot when I was trying to load Crewby in the car.
I'd say it was a very successful trip. And yes, I was finding corn in the house for days, especially in the washing machine. Day Two:
Scarecrow Festival and Michelle's house (where she worked on my halloween costumes)
I was actually very impressed with the Scarecrow festival and we will be back next year for sure. Macey and Libby were the photographers and took pictures of EVERY SINGLE Scarecrow, so we could then vote for our favorite one.
Macey's favorite: Harry Potter
Crew's Favorite: Jack Skeleton
Miles' Favorite: All of them
Ruby's Favorite: Elsa.
The boys like pretending to be scarecrows.
We walked through the "I am the Light of the World" exhibit. it was very cool and of course only something you would find in Utah County. Crew broke out singing "Gethsemane"
when we found a sculpture of Christ praying in the garden. :)
At the end was the scared grove
and yes, Miles instantly ran to Joseph Smith and started hugging him.
Putting Michelle to work making a peter pan collar for my costume. Day Three:
Bowling at BYU with the Rensinks & getting our fridge delivered (we didn't have a fridge for 10 days. We lost all our food. it was very annoying and I am so grateful for modern day appliances.)
We had the bowling alley to ourselves. Boys on one lane and girls on the other. It was great. And Ruby impressed us all with her ability to pick up the ball with no help and put it up on the ramp thing. This girl is tough stuff.
It was great having the kids home for a few extra days, but I can't say I was sad to send them back. :)
We got a little bit of everything in April. Rain, snow, and sunshine. No complaints from me, I love a little variety. Which means we also got to do and go on all sorts of adventures.
After we went to Bryce with my parents, we mostly just hung out around the house, went shopping, and put Pop-Pop to work on little projects.
It was perfection.
We stayed home for spring break
this year, while most of our friends went out of town.
Miles had a tearful goodbye with Peter at the park the Friday before break started. He didn't know if he would survive the entire week without his bff.
Luckily, he did. :)
We started off the break by taking a day trip out to Antelope Island
It has become one of our favorite places.
One of their favorite things to do is climb around on rocks, so Buffalo Point is pretty much heaven to them.
And for the first time we actually ventured into the Great Salt Lake.
It did not disappoint. Macey, Crew, and Ruby could of stayed for hours.
Miles, on the other hand, did not like the salt getting in all his cuts and scratches and spent a good amount of time crying and complaining.
Once he settled down though, he had fun playing in the sand. Crew informed us that he likes "the beach with houses better". aka texas. :)
Once everyone dried off, we were all covered in white...there is a lot of salt in that lake!
The only other place we ventured was City Creek
, so I could do a little shopping at Anthropologie and Sephora.
Why, I did that when I had to have all these kids in tow is beyond me? But, it turned out to be a success. And you really can't beat the view at City Creek.
The rest of the time was spend hanging out at home.
We've been reading "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", so I did a lot of decluttering and organizing while the kids kept themselves busy.
It's always nice to have Macey around to help keep them entertained.
Plus, she is the best train track builder around.
We released Macey's butterflies.
Watching these butterflies go through their life cycle was awesome. The kids were sad to say goodbye to Late Larry (we released him 2 days after the others), Miles Junior, and the other 3 butterflies, whose names I can't remember. :)
Crew was a bit upset one morning, because even though it was spring break, I still wouldn't let him have popsicles for breakfast.
And what's spring break without hanging out with our favorite neighbors.
Love these people.
So, even though it was a bit lonely without some of our bff's in town, I know it was a successful spring break because every night the kids feet were black. Always the sign of a good day.
This month the kids started to remember that they actually do like hiking
There's always tears and whining when we load up them up to go, but usually the moment we are in the mountains they are just happy to be free.
And they actually get along and help each other!
We even took the Everett's up one weekend to make S'mores.
The kids loved showing them some of their favorite spots.
Can't beat hiking with your best friend.
And this rare moment was also captured. These mountains have been good to us this spring.
We also took the kids kicking and screaming to the tulip festival.
Like always, Paul and I were right, and they ended up having a great time.
In the spring there never seems to be a shortage of kids
Makes the afternoons pass much more quickly when there's friends to keep you entertained.
We also got the pleasure of going to the Temple with 2 of our favorite people.
Holly at the Payson Temple.
Trina at the Draper Temple.
And Jenni and I got to throw a very fun filled bridal shower for Trina.
To end the month Macey had her long awaited Musical, Aladdin: A Tale Told Inside Out.
She played Magic Carpet. She had a few lines, acted in many scenes, got to sing at the microphone and danced in 4 or 5 dances. She LOVED it.
Although the weight of her costume pulling on her neck got to her by the end of the 2nd performance. Hence the face. :)
Love this family of mine and all the adventures we get to share.