Monday, October 31, 2016

The Force is Strong this October

Guys, it has nearly been a year.

Some day, I may get caught up on the past year. There have been some pretty intense downs and ups. It feels like more downs...and that's less-fun to blog about.

You know what IS fun to blog about?
My peeps.
Amelia completed her first season of soccer. She had a blast running around the field with 7 other Kindergartners. Things wrapped up before it got too chilly...oh, wait, as of the 31st it STILL hasn't gotten chilly!
All good things!
Henry had a field trip to the local Krishna Temple. Two words: Llama Races. Tyler chaperoned and a good time was had by all.
Tyler got to meet up with some friends of Latvian origin! They got to visit the "Light of the World" gardens at Thanksgiving Point, which features life-sized bronze statues of moments from Christ's life. You might not be able to see friends from Latvia if you go visit (your loss, for reals), but you can go see the uplifting statues at the Ashton Gardens. Love it!
Tyler got some shots of the kids in front of the gorgeous fall colors at a local park. It was a lovely, mild fall day. I was at the Super Saturday for Women at church. We all had a good time. Heh.
THIS KID HAD A BIRTHDAY!!! It is killing me a little bit that he's already one. ONE. This past year has gone by at speeds of lighting and molasses. I'm struggling with not really having been able to relish the past year. 
But Micah is such a sweetheart of a baby, we'll celebrate that Cole hasn't managed to maul him to death.
He got to try his own little fox cupcake! Micah was not sure what to make of the fire, but he knew just what to do with that cupcake. 
Smart little dude.
 He probably needed a bath afterwards. Micah has mastered the skill of saying, "Mama," "Dada," "Yay!" and "'i!" (which means, "hi"). He took his first steps this month and is really feeling the pressure to walk full-time. Probably so he can get away from Cole's "loving" a little more quickly. Micah eats pretty darn well. He's up to the 19th percentile for weight and the 85th for height. Huzzah for skinny babies!
Amelia celebrated Micah's birthday by losing a tooth! Her very first visit from the tooth fairy was everything she hoped and dreamed. She's been carrying around her silver dollar since then.
Jack had to take a 5 mile hike for Scouts, so I volunteered to go with him.
 I may be totally out of shape (ouch! My glutes!) but the fall views were worth it! The time with my firstborn: even more so. He sure can talk--for hours--about video games, but he has plenty of thoughtful insights about non-video game things, too. It was good for my muscles and good for my soul.
 Jack joined the Strings class after school and plays the bass. This kid has some serious musical talent. His first concert was last week and he rocked it, quite literally. He really enjoys the bass because it is too big to bring home, so he cannot practice every day!
 Sheridan had a Daddy/Daughter Donut Date for her Activity Day Girls activity this month. They had a great time together. She really flourishes with some serious one-on-one time.
Tyler took the kiddos to pick out pumpkins. Jack picked out a new look for himself, while he was at it.
Sheridan had to choose her fancy look as well!
Cole chose a green gourd that channeled its inner Jaba the Hutt. He calls this one, "Spooky Halloween."
No big surprise, Henry modeled his pumpkin after Pikachu (he's a Pokemon...Pikachu is, not Henry).
Jack got his idea for flying, horned eyeball from a video game. The boy got his stunning good looks from me.
 Sheridan decorated her pumpkin for her House-of-Choice from Hogwarts. She is still hoping to receive her Hogwart's letter in the next 2 years.
Amelia's cute little pumpkin is modeled after her favorite stuffed animal, Piplup.
Tyler also carved a pumpkin. His actually was award-winning at our church Halloween party. We have no pictures of that bad boy. Major fail.
Saturday, Tyler also took the kiddos to a concert put on by the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra. They did a variety of Halloween songs and had the kids parade across the stage AND handed out candy. The kids ate it up. Sheridan did not want to wear her costume, but commandeered Tyler's when she realized she really DID want to participate in the festivities.

...And, on to the actual Halloween! I took the kids trick or treating downtown, what fun! Micah is on oxygen right now, though, and the cord got tangled in the stroller wheels whilst getting loaded back into the car, which led to my phone falling into the parking lot (unbeknownst to me), which led to me discovering that I'd lost my phone...which eventually led to a broken phone (yay for living in a city full of really honest people, one of whom contacted the husband and returned it while I was back at the scene searching for it!) and therefore some limited photo ops. Sigh.

Without further ado, this year's cast of characters!
 Rey, as seen in The Force Awakens!
 Queen Padme Amidala (in her Parade outfit from the VERY end of The Phantom Menace)
 R2D2 with upgraded body, as seen in every single Star Wars movie!
 Luke Skywalker as seen in Return of the Jedi!
 Wicket the Ewok, from Return of the Jedi!
Obi Wan Kenobi from The Phantom Menace!
 Their new film, "When Ewoks Escape!"
Star Wars Family Reunion
Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

November Blessings

November was full of blessings!

First up, we got to celebrate the birth of our oldest kiddo. Axel Jack has always been a blessing in our lives...but this past few months, we've seen a lot of maturing on his part. Not only has he grown to over 5 feet tall (!), but he has also been willing to shoulder more responsibilities and help more with LESS complaining.  We love this guy!
 He can be a little crazy (yes, that is his, "I'm crazy about SCIENCE!" face), but he is a smart cookie.
This year, he opted for ice cream sundaes rather than birthday cake! We used brownies to sing to him and provide a base for some delicious ice cream.
 ...And dreams do come true. He was so stoked to receive the Disney Infinity video game (even if it was only version 2.0).

 The next blessing we received in November was a visit from Grandpa and Grandma Carla! (We were having so much fun, this was one of the only candids we got--and it failed to include Grandma Carla! Fail.)

While they were here, we had little Mr. Micah's baby blessing at our church. 
I cannot believe our family has grown so much. I mean, I know I grew them all, and I've been raising them for the past 11 years, but 6 kids...it's a lot. It has kind of snuck up on me/
We were blessed to have Tyler's sister and family down from Salt Lake, as well as some dear local friends. What a blessing to have such wonderful people in our lives to join us in celebrating the addition to our family.  
 I'm gonna toot my own horn. I made those cute little overalls that Micah is wearing.
 I also made his shoes. And I kinda made him. Crafting for the win!
The day was gorgeous. The guys were handsome. There was all kinds of love and happiness.
(Micah at 4 weeks)

Then, we were blessed to have Jack complete his science fair project and turn it in on time. He even got an honorable mention for his grade! The real blessing was when it was OVER. Preventing apple oxidization is a real thing, folks. The moral of this story: if you don't want your cut apples to brown, but Fujis. You're welcome
.
 Jack was blessed to celebrate his birthday (11 years!?!) with a few of his friends. We got our Harry Potter on. We did the coolest invitations with these owl balloons holding scroll letters. Pintrest for the win!
When the guys arrived, we did potions class. Tyler subbed for Snape and made a flesh-eating slug (or Santa's Toothpaste, depending on hoe Muggle you are). They practiced casting spells with a wizard's duel (throwing small balls at each other) and honed their Quidditch skills (dodgeball). Fortunately, it was gorgeous fall weather so they could do all the activities outside.
Good news with a Harry Potter party: Hagrid's cake from #1 make the cake decorating easy. Dare I say, easiest cake EVER.

 This blessing just keeps getting bigger!
 In fact this is my view every day. Sure, I don't get a lot done, I have to type one-handed, and I have permanent baby-sweat-halo on my chest...but it is heavenly.
 Tyler was blessed to have 2 work trips this month...yeah, that was fun. But he squeezed a trip to the Oakland Temple in, so it was ok. 

Just before Thanksgiving, we celebrated the birth of our second son.
Henry cracks us up. He is definitely our quietest kid, but he makes friends like nobody's business! He is one of the biggest kids in his grade, but he is a friendly, kind, and sensitive guy. The only kid I know who would rather be the soccer goalie than the star forward. He is imaginative and smart...and he has killer dimples.
 This kid also loves Harry Potter (see his glasses for proof!), but he loves Pokemon even more. In the spirit of simple cakes, we went with a Pokeball cake. 
 And yes, that cake is correct. The kid is SEVEN.
(I just love this shot).

Right after Henry's birthday comes Thanksgiving. One of my favorite days of the year! I just love the food and spending time with family. I love that Tyler has the day off. I love watching the parade with my family. I love that it feels like opening day for the Holiday Season. Pumpkin pie, stuffing with bacon, turkey...yeah, it's my kind of holiday!

We joined the Martin family up in the Salt Lake Valley for the delicious meal. We love spending time with their family, along with Tyler's Grandpa Larry and Grandma Diane. With the kiddos in school, we don't see our SLC family nearly often enough!

 The food was wonderful, the kids were great, the company was perfect. It was a great day.

Henry recently had his birthday party (it actually got pushed back until December, but we'll recap here. This post isn't long enough yet. I mean, you're still reading it).
Shockingly, Henry went with a Pokemon theme for his party. We started out having the kids draw their own Pokemon (either real or imagined) and we were amazed by how intent they were on this project. They took it pretty seriously and would have probably worked on that the entire time if we hadn't interrupted with other games!
 Who knew their attention spans had matured so much? Maybe only for Pokemon!
We also played "Pin the tail on Pikachu" (pretty self-explanatory) and "Pokeball tag." Pokeball tag combined dodgeball and tag and some questionable rules, but Jack was running the game, so who's complaining? After cake, ice cream, and presents, the kids wanted to go back outside and play! Hooray for another sunny (albeit, chilly) day!
I probably should have rotated this picture, but I think we're all ready to move on from November by this point of the post!

Jack's Favorite:
Color: Green
Food: Tacos
Treat: Lemon Meringue Pie
Animal: Griffins (for the record, he did ask if it had to be a real animal. At least he knows the difference, right?)
Class: Science
BFs: Gabe and Caden
Career aspirations: a computer software designer
Hobbies: Video games with friends, reading, percussion, piano, computer time, banner-making (I don't know what banner making is, but that's what he says...)

Henry's Favorite:
Color: Light blue
Food: Sausage Pizza (funny story--he asked for bacon pizza only to realize after I made it that he meant sausage. I guess we don't have breakfast meat regularly!)
Treat: Brownies
Animal: Penguins
Class: PE
BFs: This changes often. Graham! Andrew! Harrison! Jack! Kyle! Preston! Camden!
Career aspirations: An artist (that's the last one he told me, I may have to edit this)
Hobbies: Video games, soccer, piano, playing with friends, reading, Pokemon battles, making pretend weapons