Sunday, November 30, 2014

More From November

 Cares brought her class "pet" home for the week and had to document some fun activities he did with her (here he is practicing tumbling...he also played Legos with the kids and watched a movie with the family, simple and sweet).

 We finished up our last lawn mowing day of the year and tried to get up any leaves we could before the first snows showed up.

 Kids are good leaf/grass mashers in the garbage cans!

 We had our primary program and got to have to Grandma and Grandpa come too. Next year all 4 kiddos will be in primary!

 Our Allen cousins were in town for a quick weekend so we snuck in some playtime before school one morning. Love these cute girls together!

 We fit in a little family night too playing at Cec's and grabbing dinner at Cafe Rio.

 Joseph came up to Olivia's Kindergarten class for a presentation on Brazil. He prepared a cute little power point slideshow all about life and weather, animals and food in Brazil. Livs was thrilled to have him as a special presenter in her class. (For my other 2 kindergarten kids I came up to talk about living in Germany as they studied the continents of the world but another mom beat me to the sign-up for sharing about Germany!)
 Running days outside are lovely all winter — even when there's fresh snow. I love the crisp, clean air and the quiet, white world. Since October I haven't been bringing music with me when I exercise and it is surprisingly lovely. I only run 3-4 miles so it's a short outing but I find myself longing for quiet in a house full of crazies and this has been a great way to find it.

 Cold winter game but Bentley, my most loyal Cougar fan, braved it for a chance to cheer on the team and spend time with Grandpa, Max and Ben (same night the rest of us grabbed Rio).

I made these adorable mini-pumpkin pies —tasted like regular old pumpkin pie (not my fave) but they sure looked cute!

 Reindeer baby!

And finally, time to decorate for our favorite holiday. Christmas!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

3rd Annual Turkey Trot

 Here's the crew!

 5 of Joseph's siblings were there with us and we even got Aunt Lisa, Uncle John and cousin William Adams to join in too. Seth was a dear staying in the car with sleeping  Leo and baby Reese (until he got out with Leo for a sec and realized he'd locked Reese in there! Aunt Lisa's AAA membership saved the day and solved things really quick...phew!)

 These 3 guys led the way the entire 5K. Bentley really, really wanted to win and William and Joseph pushed him to go fast but made sure he was officially the first across the finish line :)

 I hung out with this cute crew and we trudged along to finish the whole thing. Cares was running for a while and Olivia rode nearly 2 miles on her scooter but then we all ended up together (and Livs hitched rides off and on with Anna and Anders).

 We had this cozy darling with us too :)

Scooter girl

She ended up on my back for a long stretch too! Cares pushed Luke while I carried Livs and it was still a great workout :)

 Joseph and the Adams

 6 LeBarons together for the race. We always love having Bob and Mary in town!

Wouldn't be very LeBaronish without an ugly picture...

 Turkey Trot #3 for this little gang

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving at the Cabin

We made it to the cabin late Wednesday night after making many stops on the way up for dinner, grocery items, and Luke barfing. Yep, two different stops to let it out which thankfully happened on the snowy sides of the road and not in our car :{ We felt bad bringing a sick baby up but the fam encouraged us to come anyway and we put Luke to bed right away and didn't hear from him until morning when he woke up chipper and bright and back to normal. Our other kids (and even Joseph and I had been sick off and on the previous 10 days or so but I thought Luke had lucked out and missed the bug...) At least he looked cute in my mom's Olaf hat but he would not hold still for a non-blurry picture!

 Thanksgiving morning means lots of work to be done in the kitchen and on the icy driveway!

 These guys were great helpers and Luke just enjoyed kicking it in the snow

Sitting up for our meal we had 3 tables. One for the littlest kiddos, one for the bigger kids, and one for the adults.

 We are so lucky to meet at the cabin where we all fit together so easily.

 Cute sledding girls after our meal

It's been 4 years since this little brother of mine has joined in for family occasions like these. Even though we overwhelm him with so many busy kids and loud personalities I think it's really good for his heart and soul to be with us. He's good at shutting out the things that open his heart and we are good at making sure he does anyway. His road and his battles are hard for me to understand but as we find common ground and build our friendship I think we both come away better people, and better able to see each other for who we really are. 
With everyone around my mom got out her cabin Christmas decorations. This silly little snowman thing plays "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening" and the rest of Winter Wonderland and these children are obsessed! That song will forever remind me of this little toy and sweet little kiddos at the cabin!
 Cares got soaked playing outside somehow so she changed into her pj's before it was even dark outside.

 My mom loved snuggling Stanford and Luke thought he was the cutest, tiny man too!

 Hot-tub fun with Joseph (he's seriously so patient and willing to go in and make sure everyone remains safe and above the water!)

 My mom also got snuggles with this not so tiny grandson —but he is very willing to cuddle up and share loves.

 All the grandkids before bed on Thanksgiving. With so many kinders it's impossible to get to get a good shot of everyone but this was my best after taking 8 or 9! Brigg was not happy about this picture being taken can you tell?

All of us mamas realized we were all in plaid later in the evening and wanted to document. Stacey's version looks the most comfy :) Littlest sis, we missed you!!! Maybe one year you can join us too?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More from SG

After our long day in Zion we had dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then went night swimming! It's a fun little thing we hadn't done since our trip to Hawaii and the kids thought it was very exciting. We brought PJs to the pool with us so that when we were done swimming we could shower everyone off and wash hair up in the locker rooms at the clubhouse. Then we drove our car to the outskirts of Sunbrook as far as we could on the dirt hills and got out of the car to look at the brilliant night ski while listening to A Sky Full of Stars cranking from the car. It was chilly but not cold and a lovely little family moment I think I'll remember forever.

 Saturday morning we met Maggie and her 3 oldest up in Snow Canyon 
for a hike along the Butterfly Trail
 Luke and Maisy are just too little to amble up the big rocky mountains so they hung out with Maggie and me while Joseph helped the others explore.

 Luke did get to explore a very tame lava tube with everyone else.

 Pretty Livs against a perfect SG backdrop

 Later that day Joseph and I biked up and down Snow Canyon 
(hey we'd already paid the fee so we were making the most of it!)

We ended the day with a late afternoon swim and couldn't believe we were still swimming outdoors at the end of November! They had heated the pool but the air was warm as long as the sun was out.

 It was so lovely to spend 3 nights in St George this time around and soak up the lingering fall, glorious sunshine and beautiful Dixie.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh Zion!

 Picture fest coming up! We returned to the south the weekend before Thanksgiving and since we had a whole, long weekend we spent all of Friday over in Zion. And it was spectacular! (and calm and empty and quiet and perfect).

We got there fairly early in the day and up Zion Canyon we were just waiting for the sun to hit us and warm us up. We entertained ourselves along the river for a bit.

 We set out briefly on the trail headed to the Court of the Patriarchs. Luke and I were much slower than the others but I had them turn around for a picture while they were way up the trail. Can you see them as a tiny group dwarfed by the patriarchs?

 This is why we were so much slower. Sand is too tempting for little boys :)

 Fall in the park was just ending but still colorful. I loved all the leaves all over the trails.

We drove up to the Temple of Sinawava to hike along the River Walk. My kids were excited to use their hiking sticks even though it's a paved trail the whole way. See what I mean about the park being empty? Of course we passed tourists along the way every so often but it was lovely to have space to ourselves so often too.
 I guess the hiking sticks were more for fun posing than anything else :)

 We packed our lunch to eat along the river and found this great spot for our afternoon picnic.

After we ate Joseph felt adventurous and wanted to wade in the seriously ice-cold water. I knew as soon as he was in there that my kids would be too! Oh gosh. They all took off sock and shoes and rolled up pants (or took them off entirely (Luke)) and tested the river. There were many shrieks and giggles and frozen feet but they loved it.

 My crazy cool kiddos!

Luke was losing a little steam after playing in the cold river and Olivia was scared out of her mind by a fearless squirrel who was very bold and wanted to share our lunch quite badly. We had to get going away from the critter so Joseph took the littler kids and started back on the trail to the car while Bentley and I ventured just about a 1/2 mile farther to the end of the river walk where the Narrows trail begins. It made me excite to head up that with my kids when they are a few years older — I loved that experience when I was younger!

 Bean is such a good boy. I love hanging out with him and getting lots of quality time to chat and listen and just be with my boy. He's so smart and curious and silly and brave. I adore him.

We caught up with the others just before the trailhead and found some good rocks for climbing and exploring — just what the kids needed before we packed them up and headed back to the SG house.

November might just be the perfect month in Zion.