Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Our Thanksgiving weekend was busy and filled with great family memories.

Full of gratitude for my own little (big) family . . . 

And for my parents, siblings and their children . . .  

The boys kept the tradition alive by starting off Thanksgiving with an early morning Turkey Trot 5K.  Ryan is still the one to beat.

And once again, I forced the kids to pose by the turkey before heading to my parents’ for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Love all of the cute artwork and crafts that come home from school during the holidays.  Mia has discovered a love for drawing.  She spends most of the day drawing or coloring pictures.  This stage of drawing is always my favorite.  Look at her cute pilgrims and Indians.  Griffin is doing so well in 1st grade and loves to read and write.  And is thankful for his ‘loveing family.'

Feasting with my family.

My grandma always had Santa come to her house on Christmas Eve and surprise her grandchildren and now that she is now gone, my mom decided it was time for her to start the tradition with her grandkids.  She did some calling around and found out that the ‘Real’ Santa and Mrs. Claus were available to drop by for a visit.  I’m not sure who enjoyed this more--my mom or the kids.

The grandkids didn’t know Santa was coming and were so surprised when Santa walked in the house with his bells a jingling and a few “ho, ho, ho!”s  Morgan couldn’t stop giggling and Mia and Griffin just couldn’t believe he was really there.  We sang a few Christmas songs with Santa and then he had each one sit on his lap as he looked through his notebook of 'Naughty and Nice' lists that his elves had put together for him.

We ended the evening with Santa sharing a Christmas story that tied in the true meaning of Christmas.  It was the perfect way to end our Thanksgiving weekend and begin the holiday season.

And now it’s time to pull out all of those Christmas bins and get the house ready for the Christmas season.  Mia can hardly wait.  She’s already been digging through bins in the storage room and bringing up several things each day that I find randomly placed throughout the home.  My favorite was finding  my “N-O-E-L” blocks set up on a bookshelf out of order, “O-L-E-N”.

Wishing you all more “OLEN” in your holiday season!

Friday, November 23, 2012

sKyfAlL biRthdAy pArTy

Ryan wanted two things for his 14th Birthday:   the new iPod5 and to see the new James Bond movie with his friends.


He was so excited to wake up and open his presents and find the new iPod5 in a gift bag.  He also asked for his own bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos and Ritz Crackers with cheddar cheese spread.  He doesn’t like cake but that didn’t deter his dad from making a cake.  Everyone else in the family enjoyed a piece of cake for breakfast.

He got to check out of school for a Birthday lunch at his choice location.  Jimmy John’s.
His birthday party wasn’t for a few days so that night he helped out his dad with the Allstate premiere event of Breaking Dawn part 2.  He and Jack went and both got to take a friend and even though none of them were initially excited about seeing it, I think they ended up having a fun night.  Ryan said on the way home that he felt like he had already had his birthday party. 

A few days later it was time for the ‘real party’.
The party guests (minus the only girl invited, Adi.  She came right after this picture.)
Tate, Hunter, Truman, Ryan, Daniel, Jackson, Tanner and Griffin

Ryan loved all of his gifts . . . money, iTunes gift cards, and a BYU shirt

We got to the movie a few minutes before it started.  Unfortunately it was sold out so we bought tickets for the next showing.  The kids didn’t seem to mind.  They hit the video arcade and spent 30 minutes playing video games.

I picked them up several hours later and they all gave the movie two big thumbs up!

In honor of his 14th birthday, 14 fun facts about Ryan:

1.  He got his new iPod taken away a few days after his birthday for being disrespectful.  Ohhhhhhh, the joys of teenage boys!

2.  A few days before the 8th grade 1st term ended, he was stressed that he was ‘failing’ school.  We got his report card a few days later. . . 3.810 GPA

3.  He’s athletic and enjoys football and basketball.  He plays tight end and wide receiver.  He had one of his best seasons and his team went to the final championship game.  They got to play in a snowstorm and lots of fresh powder.  They didn’t win but Ryan had his best defensive game of the season.

4.  He loves to ‘hang out’ with his friends.

5.  He was ordained a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood last Sunday.

6.  After taking a year off of piano, he started piano lessons again this past summer.  It’s a constant battle.  He asks every week if he can quit piano and we both can be happy--no piano for him, no money wasted on piano for me.

7.  He is 5’3” and weighs 90 lbs.

8.  He’s supposed to get his braces off next month.  He’s also supposed to be wearing 3 elastics at bedtime and one during the day.  He did that for the first week after his last orthodontist appt.

9.  He loves Doritos Locos Tacos and Flaming Hot Cheetos

10.  He is a BYU fan!

11.  He likes to make people laugh.

12.  He’s quiet and shy at school.

13.  He loves being with his cousins-- Noah, Cole, Layton and Will.

14.  His favorite TV show is Survivor.

Happy 14th Birthday, Ryan!  We love you!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Let It Snow!

Fall delivered this year.  The past few months have been filled with beautiful, warm weather, trick or treating in 70 degrees and short sleeves, raking leaves in flip flops and choosing slurpees instead of hot chocolate at 7-11.  So when we got our first big snowstorm this weekend, I was ready.  Unfortunately it also happened on the weekend of Ryan’s championship football game.  They were the first game of the day and got to play in thick, fresh powder,blizzard conditions and 30 degrees.  It was so cold!  They had to high step as they ran through the snow and it only took a little push to get knocked over.  

Ryan played one of his best defensive games of the season.  Tackling everyone in his way.  You would have never known he felt claustrophobic with the snow all in his helmet and face on each tackle.  The pictures from the game were great.  Most of them with players buried in the snow.  This is Ryan after being tackled on a run.

Mia has been so excited to build a snowman.  The past few days, with each light sprinkling of snow, have been filled with snowman talk.  I spent most of the afternoon seeing patients while Gavin played in the snow with the kids.  Making all of Mia’s dreams come true!

Morgan’s favorite part of building the snowman was “pulling everything off the snowman” right after Gavin put it on.

Morgan swiping the scarf off of the snowman and Griffin going to tattle tell on her.

Gavin coming back out with the scarf and skateboard wheel eyes for the snowman.

All of the kids had a great time in the snow.  Jack made his own snowman.  Hadley made a couple of snowmen in the backyard with her friend.  And the boys finished off the day with a snowball fight in the dark.

Now it looks and feels like Christmas is around the corner!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scooby Doo Halloween

Unlike other years, Halloween was here and gone.  We got back from Mexico just in time to dig through the storage bins to find our costumes.  The same ones we wore 8 years ago when Jack, Ryan, Hadley and Morgan were all little.  Figured it was good to get two uses out of them and the kids were excited to dress up as Scooby Doo and the gang.   

Morgan doesn’t like to have anything extra on her face or body.  Won’t wear jewelry, hats, hair clips/headbands, etc.  So I wasn’t sure how dressing up as Velma would work for her with glasses and a wig.  She put up a fight until she saw how cute she looked in the mirror then she was excited and kept telling everyone “I be Velma”.  She wasn’t happy when she saw me get in my costume and that I was stealing her thunder with also dressing up as Velma.  “Mom, I be Velma!!!”

The excitement of the glasses and wig didn’t last long.  About 15 minutes into the ward Trunk-or-Treat she took off the glasses, then the wig and said, “I just be MORGAN!”  And that is exactly who she was for the rest of the night.  My cute Morgan!

Griffin loved his costume and made the cutest Scooby Doo!

Mia’s wig didn’t hold up too well in the storage bin but she didn’t mind.  She loved her costume and dressing up as “Daph-a-ny”.

Hadley didn’t want to be part of the family theme since she had already dressed up as Daphne when she was 3 years old.  She decided on this cute costume (Thank you Jenni!)  Spaghetti and meatballs.

Ryan tried to quickly throw something together a few minutes before trick-or-treating.  Utah Jazz jerseys with his friends.

The kids got to wear their costumes to school for the Halloween parade.  Griffin walked the entire time with his arms folded until he saw me, then he posed for my camera, then immediately re-folded his arms and continued in the parade.

Morgan with her amazing teacher, Mrs. McBee

Hadley and her friends from her 6th grade class

Morgan with her team--her teacher and morning/afternoon aides.  She loves this group of teachers!

Mia had a Halloween party at her preschool too.  
Mrs. Wilkinson and her friends all dressed up.

I borrowed a few things on Halloween night to throw together a Shaggy costume for me.   That way Morgan could shine as the one and only Velma in the gang.  Not sure if you can tell but Scooby Doo was mad and didn’t want to be part of the group picture.

Morgan and her friend Paxton.  He asked if Morgan would trick-or-treat with him earlier that day at school.  He was so cute and ran right up to her, as we parked our car, and asked her if she still wanted to go trick-or-treating with him.  They stuck together the whole night, going house to house together.  Things like that melt this mama’s heart.  Some kids just get “it”--inclusion, acceptance, love, friendship, differences--and Paxton and his family have always gone out of their way to look out for Morgan.

We started the night off with the traditional neighborhood hot dog roast and hot chocolate around the bonfires.  We didn’t really even need the bonfires this year.  It stayed warm enough that no one needed coats and many were in shorts.

Jack and his friends didn’t dress up this year.  First year for one of my kids to not wear a costume.  He went to a Halloween party at his friend’s house.  I’m hoping he’ll dress up next year since it doesn’t really feel like Halloween without the costume.

We were able to fit a few things “fall-ish” in between the trip to Mexico.  We made it to Hee Haw farms with United Angels Foundation (UAF).  This is always such a fun family night.  Morgan’s favorite wasn’t the slide this year but was the big box full of corn.

Pumpkin carving and a few frustrations when some designs didn’t quite work out (Hadley and Ryan).  Jack stuck with the Batman theme from his birthday.  Ryan wavered between carving the Utah Jazz logo or BYU.  Of course his loyalty to BYU won.  Hadley attempted the most difficult pattern of a cemetery but after an hour of carving switched to a pumpkin face.  Morgan, once again, enjoyed putting the seeds back into the pumpkin more than taking them out.  Griffin wanted a “Gryphon”--a flying dragon.  And Mia loved her kitty cat pumpkin.  She sat next to it and said, over and over, “Oh I love you buddy cat!  You’re my best buddy, I love you so much! You’re a punky punkin!"

And all of the cousins made popcorn balls with Grandma!

Happy Halloween 2012!