Thursday, December 18, 2014

His 1st Lost Tooth

This little man of mine lost his 1st tooth!
He is the youngest of his siblings thus far to loose a tooth.
He came to me one day and told me how excited he was that his bottom front tooth was loose. When I felt it I was quite surprised how loose it was. I warned if he wasn't careful he'd end up swallowing it at dinner it was so loose.  During breakfast the next morning it popped right out all by itself!

One happy boy!

 He was so excited to discover a tooth fairy dollar under his pillow!
He knows its real because of all the glitter.
Lucky kid lost his 2nd tooth just a few days later. He feels "rich" with all his new money.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Schultz Visit

Our family was so excited when our good friends from Arizona called and asked if they could stay at our house on their way to Idaho for Thanksgiving. We were lucky to have them the following weekend too on their way back home. We have been friends with the Schultz family since their oldest was just a baby and I was pregnant with Emily. It's been a great 8+ years. We have both moved several times over the past 8 years but our friendship remains. 

We took our families into St. George for a little sight seeing and some fun. Our first stop was the "Crack". My kids and most other kids always love coming here! They can run wild and explore the many alcoves this little rock mountain has to offer. 

 Brayden and the St. George Temple in the background. 

Brystol climbing out of one of the many little caves. 

 Daddy and Kylie

 Kevin helping Emily down the last little part. 

Madelyn and Jenna 


Kylie trying to stay warm. 
The sun was setting and our warm temperatures were dropping fast. 

Leaving the crack we went to the St. George Temple.
We were excited to see the Nativity had already been set up.

Trying to get 10 kids to gather and stand still for one simple photo is not easy. 
(9 out of the 10)

Especially when there's always one refusing to cooperate. 
I won't mention names!  

And then that one decides to cooperate but..... one child has already ran to the car and the babies are cold and don't want to leave their parents arms. We tried! 

Gunnar celebrated his 2nd birthday while visiting us. 
Decided to make a birthday cake in celebrating this mile marker. 

Our kids get along so well and really play well together. There was no fighting & no tattling. They were so willing to share and take turns. It was great and really made for an enjoyable weekend. Our house isn't the largest and I was a little worried having 10 kids and 4 adults but we all survived and had a good time doing it.  
Logan, Brayden and Kylie decided to sleep on our bedroom floor.

Sunday after church we decided to have a barbecue. We had the most tender, juicy and most expensive pork chops that Kory has ever made.  

When the pork chops were done Kory decided to turn up the heat and clean the bbq for the next time. All the adults were in the kitchen setting the table and putting the final touches on dinner. Out of the blue Hunter came running inside yelling at Kory to come outside fast. The house was on fire. Hunter continues to yell at everyone to get out of the house, there was a fire! Kory and Kevin ran outside, I ran out to the garage and grabbed the fire extinguisher which has since found it's permanent spot under the kitchen sink. By the time I got outside the fire was out. The damage could have been much worst. We'll have to replace the siding before our 6 month walk through. But it was a good experience for the kids. Our next family home evening we talked about fire safety and how to react in an emergency setting. So glad the kids were outside when the fire started and for the minimal damages. We can fix this! Very grateful that no one got hurt.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Monster Broke the Window

The weekend of November 15 was a cold one!
 Our highs were low 40's and we were dropping below freezing temps during the night. We were experiencing gusts of wind up to 40 miles an hour. The wind was howling through the house, the heater had finally been turned on and kids were sleeping in their winter flannel pajamas. Did we really just move to sunny, warmer weather Hurricane or were we still in Alton where these kinds of temps were the norm? We had just had a wonderful night as a family and mom and dad were getting ready to go to bed themselves. With all the howling going on it was no surprise that at 10:30 pm the kiddo's were still awake. As we were getting ready to crawl into bed Brayden came down saying that he and Emily were scared. There was a monster at their window! My kids have NEVER played this game. We have never had monsters under the bed or hiding in the closets! I walked Brayden back up to his room, turned on the light and opened the blinds to show both him and Emily that were no monsters at their window. It was just the wind rattling their window and making a horrendous screeching noise. They felt better after seeing nothing was there. I lowered the blinds, tucked them both back into bed, turned off the light and got half way downstairs when I heard a shatter. Their bedroom window the still one not the one that slides open and close fell out/was sucked out by the wind onto our driveway. Brayden will still tell you that a monster scratched it too hard and broke it. 

I thought for sure that the glass would be scattered by morning. It's awful to admit but I was kind of hoping it would be so that we didn't have to clean it up. It was so cold and windy I really didn't want to have to deal with it. To my amazement it was all still there. I guess glass is heavy enough not to be carried away by the wind. 

We went the rest of the weekend with an open window. The kids slept down stairs and we kept their bedroom door shut with a towel at the base trying to keep the frigid temperatures out of our living quarters. On Monday the repairman came and taped a cardboard box to it. Jones Paint and Glass was called, they showed up the following day to take measurements to replace it. As they were leaving I was told  "we'll be back". Lucky for us the temperatures rose and my kids were back to wearing shorts to school. A week later and still no window I called Jones Paint and Glass. Apparently their  plant had been shut down and with Thanksgiving coming up I could expect a 2-3 week wait. Being it had already been a week I was not happy! Apparently "we'll be back" doesn't mean anytime soon. True to their word 4 days before our one month mark I came home to a new window! Just in time for another winter storm to hit that brought us 3 day's of what felt like constant rain. Grateful for the rain but more grateful for a window that didn't allow all that rain into the kids bedroom. 

Basketball Season

It's basketball season! 
Every single Saturday we are privileged to attend 3 different games, not to mention the different practices held throughout the week! Our Saturday's are no longer clean the house, run errands, kick back and relax day. It's become quite the go, go, go day.

Hunter's team consists of 5th and 6th graders (He's in 6th). We have an awesome coach who plays all players for basically equal amounts of time. This team is so much better than the team he's been on for the past 3 years.  

He is loving it! 

  He was pretty proud of himself during the 1st game when he scored 10 of the 22 points earned. Our first 4 games these boys have won every game by quite a bit. This past Saturday they met their match and were hopefully humbled just a little bit. They lost by 3 points.

Emily has participated in basketball camps the past 2 years. 
This is her 1st real season playing games. She is on a 2nd and 3rd grade team (she's in 2nd). 

These girls are so funny to watch. They don't really run down the court. They seem to do a little hop, skip and a little jumpn' down the court. They don't show quite as much aggression as the older boy teams. 

 She made a basket! Yippee! She's #43

Her wonderful coach reminding them who they are suppose to be guarding. 

This is Brayden's 1st year playing basketball. He's on a Kinder/1st grade team. (He's in Kinder)

 The 1st half of the hour the kids practice dribbling and doing some basic drills with the 2 coaches that are there with their teams.
 During the last 1/2 hour they play against each other. Although it seems that whether it be practicing or game play they spend most of the time chasing after the ball.  
What's important is that he is having fun learning something new. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Red Ribbon Week 2014

For the past several years I have been in charge of Red Ribbon Week. It was my favorite school activity to be in charge of. When we moved I new it would be one of the things that I would miss. When I looked at my calendar at the beginning of the month I couldn't help but notice how I had marked this particular week as red ribbon week months ago. Although I didn't miss the hectic, and sometimes chaotic week that red ribbon week was for me I did miss the fun events and the helium balloon releasing that I had planned for a few years now. Talking to some friends from Valley it sounds like red ribbon week missed me too! 

Attending a new school gives us new opportunities. On Monday the kids all wore red. They wore their new lego land shirts I made them and I didn't snap a picture of them. On Tuesday they wore their sports affiliated clothing. Again I didn't take a picture. Wednesday was dress like old people.
We borrowed 2 night gowns from GG. Madelyn wore her hair up in a bun and Emily chose to put curlers in her hair. Brayden was quite the stinker. It didn't help I let him sleep in and then had to rush him. He refused to let me fill his belly so he looked bigger and refused to look at the camera

Thursday was dress like an occupation. Madelyn went as a surgeon, Emily a baker. 

Brayden wants to be a cowboy when he grows up. 

I try..... but there's always one! 

Friday was Halloween. Emily dressed as Edith from Despicable Me. Brayden as an evil purple minion. We started off our morning bright and early with an 8:20 doctors appt. for Madelyn who hadn't been feeling well all week. She had strep. I laughed out loud when the doctor told me what he thought it was. This is the girl who has never had strep in her life and has had her tonsils removed (supposedly lessens the chance of strep). She hung out at grandma's all day while I was at the school helping in class parties. Our dad didn't make it back in time for trick or treating so again Madelyn stayed at Grandma's while I ran the kids out by myself. Playing single mom I didn't pick up my camera once. Oops! Good thing we went to our trunk-or-treat the previous weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trunk- or -Treat

Our ward put on a trunk-or-treat last weekend. The kids have been planning for months now for our family to be characters from Despicable Me 2.  Over the past several weeks we have been collecting pieces of our costumes. 

Dad as Gru
Mom as Lucy
My trench coat use to be tan but I dyed it teal using 3 bottles of RIT.

Madelyn as Margo
Emily as Edith
Kylie as Agnes 

Hunter as a minion
Brayden as a evil minion

Not wanting so spend a fortune on everyone's costumes we went to DI several times looking for our pieces. We don't match the character's exactly but we did the best we could with out spending a fortune. In the end the kids loved their costumes and everyone knew who we were trying to portray.

Kylie finally realized what she was collecting.

One family instead of handing out candy from the back of their car set up a "fishing" line. 

Another family was making cotton candy for everyone to enjoy. 

It was a great night getting to know the members of our new ward a little bit better in a more relaxed setting. And oh how we loved the weather! For the past 3 years the kids have been dressed up warm and sometimes have had their costume covered up with a heavy coat. This night Kory could hardly stand the heat of his mask and being in a long sleeve shirt. I ditched my trench coat and was thankful I was wearing a teal colored short sleeve shirt (made me look still in costume). Madelyn complained several times about how hot she was. Poor girl was wearing 3 top layers. It was still quite warm even though it was 8 p.m. My kids are always dressed up in Halloween shirts the whole month of October. This year they all wore them once and decided it was to hot to wear long sleeve shirts. I guess I'm going to have find some short sleeve shirts on clearance this year for next year. 

Fall Orchestra Concert

Last year Hunter was able to begin playing a string instrument at school. He really wanted to play the cello but there were none available at the time so he started out with a violin. The violin had a huge crack through the bridge and after a few months the bridge finally broke completely. He then spent a few day's on a broken but playable viola while waiting for the school's new shipment to arrive. He was delighted when he was told there was a cello for him! Although he only played half a school year he picked it up pretty quick. At the beginning of this school year, now at the Intermediate school,  he chose to sign up for orchestra and to play the cello. After playing in front of the teacher he was placed in Intermediate Orchestra. He was ecstatic. His teacher told both of us that he has to much knowledge and plays to well for the beginning class but he's not quite were he should be to be placed in Intermediate Orchestra. But she thought with a lot of work and practicing he would be able to "catch up" with the rest of them. He's done well. He loves this instrument and is always willing to practice. A few weeks into the school year and he has "caught up" with the class. 

We had our 1st Orchestra Fall Concert to attend this week. Hunter did very well.

The concert took on a spooky theme and so played some songs that matched the upcoming holiday.
They did a great job!

Madelyn is participating in a early morning Orchestra program put on by the school district since it is not offered during the school hour. She chose to play the Viola. Her concert followed Hunter's but these young kids were to dress up in their Halloween costumes.

Fearing that no one would recognize her as Margo from Despicable Me she chose to wear last year's clown costume.

Such a large group of 1st year elementary orchestra students. 

Madelyn is enjoying her time in the orchestra. However, she doesn't have the love for the strings like Hunter does. She doesn't want to quit orchestra but she's thinking maybe while in 6th grade she'll try her hand at a band instrument like the flute.

Both kids did a superb job! All that practicing at home really paid off. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lego Land Family Vacation

Our family just spent the most amazing 3 day/4 night stay in Carlsbad California. We spent 2 days at Lego Land and our last day at beach. In preparation of our big trip I made everyone matching t-shirts. Our shirts were a hit in more ways than one. We did get a lot and I mean a lot of compliments on them. I worked hard on these and all those compliments made me feel good. It doesn't hurt to have your ego boosted every once in a while. However, the best thing about them was how easy it was to keep track of our family. Although it is the off season for Lego Land there were still a lot people around. It was great to be able to scan quickly and be able to account for everyone while milling through a crowd.

Lego Land opens at 10 am. We were there waiting in line with everyone else. I was told by several people that to avoid the long lines at theme parks you should head to the very back first and then make your way to the front. We tried it and it worked! 

This was our first ride at Lego Land. It takes you up and then drops you. It takes you up again, drops you a little, takes you back up some more and then drops you again. The kids loved it. Madelyn thought she might be sick at first but that quickly went away and she too enjoyed it. Kylie was to short for this ride so her and I got to stand by and watch.

Several of the rides had these lego tables set up. The purpose is to give kids something to do while the parents wait in line. Being we were some of the first ones in line we didn't have much of a wait but the kids enjoyed the hands on play. 

Lego Land has something called a parent swap. Because Kylie was to short again (which really was a joke for this ride) her and I got to wait at the exit for the rest of the family to come out. When their car came out Kory got out to watch Kylie, the kids stayed in and then this time I got to do the ride with them. It's kind of nice for the kids because they only stand in line once but get to ride twice.  

This ride Brayden and Kylie were to short to ride on. Dad waited with the little ones while it was my turn to ride with the bigger kids. It spun us around and around and around. 

 This was a fun boat ride. Again Kylie was to short so her and I got to watch from the fence. 
Brayden rode with dad. 

Here's Hunter. This ride took you in a big circle. Periodically large spouts of water would shoot up and get the riders a little wet. 

Those spouts of water was caused by buttons that the onlookers could push. While waiting Kylie got quite a few of the rider's wet.

The girls were able to ride together and took turns at the wheel. 

All throughout Lego Land there are lego figurines. They are actually built out of regular sized lego's. The worker's are pretty knowledgeable and could tell us how many lego pieces it took for each life size figurine. 

We came across a Duplo Lego room. This room was perfect for Kylie and Brayden too. There are buckets and buckets full of lego's. The kids could build whatever they wanted. It was a great chance for mom and dad to sit and rest our legs while kids played. 

While the other kids were building with these larger sized lego's Hunter went around and collected all the car pieces. He built a train with them all. When other kids came in they oohed and aahed at his creation. It was kind of funny to see the other's reaction's of something so simple. 

Right next door we discovered another hands on play area. In this room kids built cars and then raced them on a track. We signed our name on a sheet of paper and was able to check out the base of the car that had 4 wheels. The kids then had many different tubs full of lego pieces that they could build with.

When your car was built you put it on the track and waited for someone to race against you. Or you just push the button and see how fast your car can go.

The track reminded me of the pine wood derby tracks only much better. The kids loved seeing how quickly there cars could move.

On the other side of the room they had these huge plastic/foam legos. Daddy and Kylie spent time there building things.

In the end it became an upside down pyramid. Dad wanted a picture of everyone's face in a hole but Kylie refused to cooperate. There's always one...

Here's lego batman.....

Madelyn wanted her picture taken too.

The kids really got into the roller coaster's. This is one that Brayden was too short to ride. So just the 3 older ones and Dad rode it.

But this one Brayden was able to ride. He loved it! 

Brayden thought it was pretty cool he could stick his head in the lion's mouth. 

Driving time.
Hunter and Madelyn passing each other on the road. 

 Miss Emily

Hunter again. 

While the older 3 were on one track Brayden was on another. He like everyone else thought it was pretty fun to be able to drive all by themselves.

Emily with the Friends line of lego's. 

I loved this sweet ride. It helped that Kylie was allowed on it to. Our family took up two boats as we floated down Fairy Tale River. We saw the 3 Little Pigs, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstock, Pinocchio and many more all made out of lego's.

 It was a great surprise to discover Lego Land has a huge splash pad. We knew they had a water park but that it was only opened on Saturday's. The kids wanted to do some more roller coasters before the park closed so dad took everyone and left me with Kylie. She loves going to the park at home and loves to swing. She was quite o.k with being left behind. 

They had a little water shooting out underneath the swing. She loved kicking at it. They have 2 splash pads. One in the shape of a ship for the older kids and then next to it a smaller one for the toddler's. 

Kylie loved the water fun.

By the time our dad and kids came back to get us she was soaked. Definitely planning on bringing swimsuits the next day.

The other kids seeing how much fun she was having jumped right in.
Madelyn purposely stood under the bucket to get drenched.

We had some very happy and soaking wet kids by the time we had to leave the park. 

Our 1st day at Lego Land was a success. We could hardly wait to come back the next day and have some more fun!