Thursday, January 29, 2015

More From January

Matt and Lizzie were in town for a family wedding so we stole a Saturday morning with them and met for breakfast at Corner Bakery (with all of our 16 kids :) Always a funny and happy time with all these guys.

Luke is a Sunbeam!! He is really young for this class (makes the deadline by 10 days) and it shows but "lucky" for me I am one of his teachers and can help wrangle this monkey boy. He is a sweetheart and very smart but 3 hours of church together is testing our limits, plus he is not nearly the listener or obedient boy for me that he is for other non-parent adults. It's been a hard transition but we're working on it. We do have church really late (1:30) so about every 3rd week he is pounding out a nap and just sleeps right though it all and I still go and just wrangle other little monkeys without him :)

On the other hand, Bentley's primary class is the bomb. They had the lamest teachers a while back who just never really showed up or called anyone in advance to sub for them. This went on for the whole year these guys were 8 and turning 9. Joseph subbed for that class at least once or twice a month and always loved teaching them. Other parents taught too but we just wished these kids could get someone who was consistent and prepared. And then last year, they finally got the best teachers — this awesome young newlywed couple who just jumped in and taught and cared about and loved these kids. Bentley and his friends were so sad when December ended because they loved those teachers, so this cute couple had a big end of year party at their house where the kids played wii games and watched a movie and had pizza and snacks and soda. I had to grab picture when I dropped by to pick Bean up. This is only about 2/3 of their class but they are all great kids.

I have so many friends, neighbors and family members having babies (a lot of these are Joseph's young cousins) so I decided to do some sewing and make gifts for them. The animal print one is a diaper pouch I bought when Luke was tiny and I still keep it in my purse with a pair of spare unders and a ziplock bag in case we have any accidents. I copied my own pattern and have since rounded the edges and made it better (after making about 9 of these in just the past 2 months).

Bean had a fun scout outing to go ice skating — his Webelos leader sent me these pics.

Mommy Muffin Morning up at the school. I truly love having my 3 elementary kiddos together at school!

 Kendama love has taken full force at our house! Bean and his buddy Noah are such pros. I always love games and hobbies that aren't digital in any away ;)

Fun selfie with my girl outside of Bentley's basketball games.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another SG Weekend

Heading south on I-15 the Thursday night sunset was lovely.
We ran away for another weekend in St George for Joseph to run the St George half marathon that Saturday. Things with Joseph's work have been pretty crazy lately (a whole story in and of itself) and since last summer we haven't been sure if/what changes would be happening. We didn't want to plan a big family vacation knowing Joseph might be on a job hunt or between jobs as his company was being purchased by new owners. As a result, we have only fit in quick weekend getaways. I suspect we'll have to plan something big in the late spring or fall once work issues are all settled but for now we just head south! Luckily for us SG was perfectly beautiful in January this year with lots of sunshine and 60 degree temps.

 FRIDAY: we started the morning with the kids' 2 favorite things: McDonalds breakfast and swimming!

While Luke napped I snuck in a ride over to Tuacahn — a new route for me and a good one. Just before the new year I signed up for a 100 mile bike ride in early May which means I have got to get loads of saddle time in during the next 4 months. Ideally I should be riding 100 miles a week come April so I'm working really hard at fitting in outdoor rides at least twice a week during winter along with spin class and time on my spin bike at home if the weather is just too crappy. I usually ride about 60 in a week during spring/summer so this will be a huge feat!

Later in the afternoon we popped over to Maggie's to play. Joseph and I took Bentley shopping for new jeans while Mag kept our other kiddos and they had a ball. (In other news the jeans we got Bentley were a skinny cut from Old Navy in size 8! Somehow those are still a great length and then fit his mini little waist just right :)

 Rollerblading and trampoline fun — totally felt like spring!
We ended up grabbing pizzas and eating dinner with Maggie and Justin too. So fun to get to spend time with them!

SATURDAY: I dropped Joseph off at his race around 8:00 am and then went back to the house to feed the kids breakfast and get us all dressed and loaded up so we could cheer our guy on at the finish line. It was a brisk morning starting out in the 40s but it warmed up nicely with the sunshine out.

These cuties ran him on the last 50 yards or so to the finish line.

 Our neighbor (and home teacher and friend :) Miles lives diagonally across the street from us and he ran this race too. He trained a bunch with Joseph last summer as they both prepped for marathons and then Miles has really stuck with it running almost daily since his race this fall (he did the SG marathon). He also works at Thanksgiving Point in a building near Joseph so the two of them have met up at lunch for a couple runs along the trail near work. Miles was a bit faster than Joe but he waited to around to find my hubby and congratulate him.

 Luke was thrilled about this picture :)

Another big event that happened that day, Olivia lost her very first tooth! It was getting super loose so we packed her tooth fairy pillow along with us just in case she was wanting to pull it out. That Livs was so brave — no tears and just a little shriek of surprise and she had her tooth. Love how proud and excited she was about it :)

 I rode again Saturday, we played around the house, and in the evening we went out for dinner and then went night swimming up at the clubhouse before bedtime. Per the kids' eager request we also drove out to the dim edges of Sunbrook and had our Sky Full of Stars dance party like we'd done in November :)

SUNDAY: Luke was up much of Saturday night with a horrible chest cough and fever (probably croup) so he and I sent everyone else to church over at Maggie and Justin's ward and we tried to relax and let the Motrin kick Luke's fever. When the family got back Luke was feeling better so we drove over to Snow Canyon to spend some time soaking up the sun.

 We hiked along the Lava Flow Trail for just a bit until we came to the lava tubes we've passed many times but never been prepared for with lights for the dark caves. This time around Joseph packed a headlamp for each kid and one for himself and down they went while Luke and I hung out building towers and cities with small lava rocks.

 Luke found a tiny little cave to hide in which he thought was the coolest.
A long while passed before everyone was back and as we gathered up to head back Joseph told me fell trying to climb out right at the end and had landed on his lower back right on some jagged rocks. He seemed relieved that he wasn't too badly hurt —his fingertips were bleeding from getting sliced up on the lava rock but he thought he was mostly going to be pretty bruised up. As soon as we were back at the house his back had the craziest bump that kept growing and filling with fluid all while forming a huge, colorful bruise :( He iced it off and on for the rest of the day and loaded up on ibuprofen. Gosh he can be such a risky adventurer but I'm so grateful his fall wasn't worse.

 We met up with Mag and her kids and Johnny and his 3 little kids that night up at the Dixie red rocks to watch the sunset and climb and play (Joseph was banned from anywhere but the ground :)

 How'd my kids get to be such posers? ;)


MONDAY: Miles and his family went on a fun adventure Sunday over to a place we'd never heard of called the mica mines just across the UT/AZ border east of SG. He'd posted some cool pictures on Instagram about it so we called him and got the details on how to find this place. We were wanting an adventure for Monday morning but didn't want to hike anywhere too far with Joseph's hurt back. After following some sketchy dirt roads, calling Miles for better directions, and driving into serious nowhereville we found them — just these random mounds on the side of remote roads that seem to sparkle in the sun.

We brought a hammer to chisel out some of our own pieces but the ground is so completely scattered with the clear rocks that we didn't even need to bring it (although the kids loved chipping away at it). I loved sorting through the piles of rock and finding my favorites. We ended up gathering way more pieces than we'd ever need but it seemed too hard to choose just a few!

After the mines we drove up to the Green Valley Spa for lunch with Miles and Michelle at a yummy spot called Breakfast at Tifany's.

Back at the house I fit in one last ride (3 rides in 4 days felt pretty tiring so early in the year!) and then we packed up and cleaned up and headed back home. We always love our time in SG!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ringing in the New Year

Super chill New Year's Eve with John and Krista's family. Papa Murphy's pizzas and sparkling cider  along with festive hats and horns and balloons. With 9 kids those blowers sure lasted all of 10 minutes before we had to steal them back again (too much noise!!!) but it was a fun night hanging out and ringing in the new year nice and early at 8:00 pm :)

Livs enjoyed playing with Finn and entertaining him for a bit.

 The darling December "twin" cousins (except how huge is Luke compared to Anna? Only 8 days older too. Oh gosh my enormous boy!)

 These two...

 Little Anna had just had a big surgery on her burned hand (I think just the day before) and had quite the wrap over it to protect her new skin graft. She was such a good sport anyway and very sweet.

cheesy new year's kiss ;)
Oh and earlier that day I got my hair cut —chopped off any remaining color from my ombre last fall. Of course now I want some kind of color again but those appointments take so long and I hate paying for them :) Maybe sometime this spring I'll change it up again.