Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ode to October

Is an Ode like a poem? Because this post isn't a poem.

October was a glorious, warm month. We were able to go for a few hikes and enjoy the beautiful mountains without anyone freezing their tookus off.

 Hikes with Dad are rad.
 When it's warm it's not too bad.
 It's October-Mountain-Family time.
 Huh, I guess I COULD make this thing rhyme.
Tyler spent a lot of his time in October working on a Rising Star Outreach event with David Archuleta and Lexi Walker. It was an amazing night (and I'm glad the kids' play was postponed so I could attend). 

We got to get all dressed up and mingle with people like the Utah AG. It was crazy I felt like I was getting all dressed up for prom, except I was going with my favorite person in the world and we were taking separate cars. Oh, and there were kids at home after. :)

I spent most of October focused on my big event, Halloween costumes.
The kiddos decided to revisit Peter Pan which was so much fun to sew for!
 Amelia was a darling little Tinker Bell.
 Henry had his heart set on being the Tick Tock Croc. That costume was SO FUN to figure out and make. 
 Sheridan was Wendy and Cole was an adorable Peter Pan. He liked pretending to stab people with a dagger. Sigh.
 Jack was a swaggering, sinister Captain Hook. 
  The Neverland crew was ready for their first engagement of 3! (Church party, Halloween, and a family party). 
 Between parties, the kids fit in a little pumpkin carving. Henry chose an Angry Bird.

Hope your Halloween was happy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Simple September

After the excitement of August, we took it pretty easy in September. Eased back into the habits of the school year and tried to get used to living in a new house. Henry got used to it very quickly--figuring out that he had 2 buddies on the street opened up a whole world of possibilities!

 Examining the gigantic mirror in the entry.

 Art time! Making crowns (Sheridan's idea!)

 Getting to know the praying mantis is less scary than getting to know the neighborhood kids.
 Having the piano INSIDE the house! The kiddos have loved it!

Cole has decide he should start with the keyboard.

 Adventures at Thanksgiving Point!
It was warm enough for the kiddos to play in the water. 
  Cole really got into the art thing....
And a field trip to the duck pond where the swans had settled in!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Another August, Another School Year

August of 2014, Jack, Sheridan, and Henry put on their new uniforms and got ready to head to SCHOOL!

Ready to learn and make new discoveries! Hooray for school!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Out with the Old and in with...

The part of July I haven't talked about was selling our old house and buying a new one. That didn't all happen in July, but the wheels really got moving.

In May, we started looking at a home 1 mile from our old house. My friend set us up with the owners and it had everything we were looking for--a ground-level entry, a main floor bedroom, an open living area, and at least 4 bedrooms. It was in the area of town we love.

So we started the process of buying their home (by owner)...and we started the process of selling our home (by owner). We had a few friends express interest in buying our house and one ended up offering us a really fair price, contingent on the sale of their home.

(Our old house, in case you haven't met it. 7 WONDERFUL years spent here!)

Everything was falling into place!...until it wasn't. Our friends buying our house weren't getting offers on their home. The home we were buying had a title issue (the issue had been dealt with but wasn't recorded properly along the way). We were supposed to close the first week of August but the title problems were making that impossible. Fortunately, our friends got an offer on their house so we could start moving forward on getting our house all squared away for the inspection and appraisal. The people we were buying from allowed us to rent from them for the few weeks until the title was clear and we could sign. And then we were supposed to close on our old house by the end of the August.

A little crazy, but you could follow it, right?

So we moved in the first weekend of August (THANK YOU GOOD NEIGHBORS!!). I spent all weekend unpacking--getting the kitchen in order was priority #1 after beds and basics. I took no pictures of any of that process. Because I apparently don't take pictures.
(This is that kitchen, before we moved in. Our awesome sellers sold us the stools with the house. That island is 9 feet long, Perfect for cookin' up a feast, homework oversight, and art extravaganzas.)

We were able to close mid-August. Woohooo! 2 days before we were supposed to close on our old house, their buyer fell through.

(Our fancy new foyer, with other peoples' stuff in it, but with our kid)

It was funny, I felt so calm when the news came. That feeling came and went over the next few months, but I was grateful for the calm then! We decided to install new carpet at the beginning of September when we figured we'd have to actually list the house. Our friends were still busting their tails in their house, trying to get it sold. I found out I was pregnant during this process, so my emotions were all over the board.

A good neighbor installed some nice new carpet (why did we not do that earlier!?!? Oh, because we have had lots of little kids making messes and potty training the whole time in that house and we didn't want to ruin new carpet). It took a few weeks in his spare time, but it got done. So it was time to list it, right?

Wrong! Our friends got buyers! We were going to close at the beginning of October! That process ended up being drawn out on THEIR buyer's end and I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks that made everything in the process even more traumatic. In the middle of November, though, we finally sold our old house and were the proud owners of only ONE home!

This celebration calls for leaf hats and a BBQ with cousins!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There and Back Again

So, the Summer of 2014 was a little different from our usual summer trips to NJ. My dad and stepmom had moved out to the DC area in 2013, so we had 2 sets of Grandparents to visit! We were also able to see my brother and his family and my stepsister and her family. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but so glad everyone was able to fit us in!

We stopped by the Washington DC temple on our way down to visit Grandpa and Grandma Carla. Tyler and I visited during our Honeymoon and at Melanie's wedding, but this is the first time the kids visited. First stop? Visitors' Center!
 I love this image of Christ with his arms stretched out to everyone! The kids were still cooperative.
 DC in July is muggy. The kids were feeling it when we stepped outside, but it was beautiful.
 Cole was less-impressed by the quiet atmosphere of the Visitors' Center. I finally took him for a walk and we wandered the temple grounds. The flowers were going gangbusters and so was Cole!

Onward! We spent the evening with Grandpa and Grandma C and the next day took the kids to The Mall. Until Tyler and I got married, I thought that "The Mall" was a really big shopping center in DC. Maybe the original one. Turned out, The Mall is the location of the major monuments and landmarks in DC. Hee hee!
We started out at the Museum of Natural History. THE KIDS LOVED IT!!! Honestly, their favorite part!
 Henry was stoked to find a Penguin on display! He adores penguins,
 After lunch we dragged the kiddos through the heat all the way to the Lincoln Memorial.
 Jack studied the Civil War in 3rd Grade, so he was very touched by this stop. We read the speeches engraved on the walls and both got a little choked up.
 Amelia wasn't feeling the choked up.
 Aw, family cuteness! They were done after that, but we still dragged the kiddos through the Vietnam Memorial and on the the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. Then we sent the husbands off for the cars! 

The next day, we were able to meet up with my stepsister and her family further south. So fun to picnic and let the kids play together. We were able to meet John and Leslie in Germany a few years ago, so it was fun to meet up again with all our kids. 
Yay family!

Sunday, we pulled out of Virginia and headed to Delaware to visit my brother and his family. Due to scheduling conflicts (ie, scheduling with my brother rather than my sister-in-law--I should know better!!) we were only able to see them for lunch and church. It was so GOOD to see them and spend some time together, though!
 By the end of church (who ends 1-4 pm church with the Sacrament meeting!?!) the kids were DONE.
We drove back to NJ that afternoon to finish out our trip. It was a whirlwind, but we're so glad we were able to see so many people we love!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stop! Grammy time!

Well, really, it was really Grammy AND Pop AND Aunt/Uncle/Cousin time, but that isn't as fun a post title, is it? There were lots of family dinners,
swimming in Grammy's pool,
 dodging rain showers, visiting Tyler's cousins close-by, reuniting with old friends at Church, 
junk food galore, 
4th of July with cousins, 
(including a patriotic play narrated by Sheridan, "Thousands of years ago George Washington took his army across the Delaware River in a boat. a few years later they reached the other side.")
fireworks at the beach to celebrate Independence Day,
stories and snuggles,time in the playhouse,

 a trip to the zoo, walks in the neighborhood, 
and park trips, 

Grammy also directed a Play on the Porch. Who doesn't love some nursery rhymes? 
Really, what Vigue grand-kid doesn't love performing?
A trip to Grammy and Pop's house means a trip to the Ocean City Boardwalk, 
where flip flops reign supreme.
Like every other child we've known, Amelia LOVED the boats. 
Cole loved them, much that we had to remove him after 10 seconds in because he was trying to get into the water.
 All 4 older kids enjoyed a submarine trip. 
 Cole enjoyed his first time on the carousel. What's not to love?
 Sheridan declared the wild animal carousel her favorite ride.

Henry preferred the Log Flume. 
 Just thought I'd leave you with a picture of the curly-haired almost-twin cousins. They are about 2 months apart, but boy are they two peas in a pod. Trouble and More Trouble.