January 3, 2017

To Utah We Go

When Nora finally felt better, we left for Utah and stopped in St. George to see my dad and Jan.

They took us hiking up Sand Canyon and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the gorgeous weather.


Ahh, the joys of Christmas with kids!

A few days before the big day, my mom came into town to stay with us. The kids were so excited that Peter started throwing up right before we left for the airport. Ugh. Then on Christmas Eve, just as we were putting the finishing touches around the tree and ready to put ourselves to bed, Nora woke up and proceeded to barf all over me the entire night. Double ugh. So excuse our exhausted faces, Christmas was a blur of baths, laundry, and little sleep.

This kid keeps losing more and more teeth - not only did Santa visit on Christmas Eve, but so did the Tooth Fairy!

Traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my mom, Lisa, and the Novaks. Sadly, Greg was also down with a bug but Barbara and Meredith brought Christmas crackers and all was right with my kids. For days, Benji wasn't asking when it was Christmas, he kept asking when Barbara was coming with the crackers.


 Christmas morning was a decidedly subdued affair, but at least Peter wasn't up at 2am like he's done on previous years. I should know, I was up with Nora!

Nora rallied to open a few presents and immediately fell in love with this Elsa doll. But her first comment was, "She not blue though." 

Grandma checking out her loot.

Nora got really excited about the new balance bike she got but then spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on my lap.

The boys and Grandma went off to church looking very handsome while I stayed home with the sickie. Nora refused to let anyone else hold her or sleep anywhere but my arms for two days straight. Which is so unlike our busy girl but was actually kind of nice. I got to watch the Anne of Green Gables DVD I got for Christmas and read two books. So, really it was the best sort of Christmas for me!

December 22, 2016

Mammoth Mountain

For Christmas, Peter put two things on his letter to Santa this year. 1. 6 feet of snow (everywhere) and 2. And infinity dollar gift card to anywhere. 
Kid has it all planned out apparently. Since #2 was out, we decided to tag along with Travis' co-worker up to their condo in Mammoth for the weekend where they had just gotten 4 feet of fresh powder. 

After the meltdowns of the previous year, I spent quite a bit of time on gathering heavy-duty snow clothes for the kids. Luckily, all the hard work paid off and everyone had a blast playing in the snow (even Miss Nora).

The kids sure liked the sleds, but Nora and Benji liked just sliding down on their bums.

Sunny, fresh snow, and cool, clear air ... we couldn't have asked for a better weather!

Mammoth Mountain was also hosting their Night of Lights and we all went up to the resort where they had a big fireworks show and skiers wearing glow-in-the-dark suits dancing on the hill. It was pretty amazing but also about 5 degrees to butt cold freezing. The kids were done not long after we got there. 
After Peter got a snowmobile ride, we hopped on the gondola to take us home and caught the final firework show -- which was really the best place to watch it -- high above, in a cable car.

 Because this little snow bunny is too cute.

Sometimes it's hard to take a picture with your little sister...
 But this gorgeous snow could make anyone smile!

We enjoyed a perfect weekend of sledding and beautiful weather and I think Peter was okay with the fact that no snow actually fell at our house.

December 12, 2016

Kindergarten Christmas

For weeks Benji tromped around the house singing Christmas songs at the top of his lungs in preparation for his school's holiday program.
Our little elf did so great!

Checking out his class afterwards.
 Benji and his fabulous teacher, Mrs. Larsen

Nora with her little friend Charlotte Dunn after the program.

The kids (and Travis) all begged to get a real Christmas tree and this year Peter decided he needed to set up a ginormous train track around the tree. Peter used to be obsessed with trains but they haven't seen much play since he discovered Legos. It was really fun to see all the kids play with the trains over and over again.

Just before Christmas, I took the kids to see The Nutcracker at LPAC. Nora has been obsessed with Ballerinas lately and was beyond excited. She kept pointing to the stage and saying, "Look at they dresses, Mommy! Look at they feet!" It was pretty adorable. Especially since she's been dancing around in this little dress and shoes pretty much nonstop.

We hosted Travis' co-workers for another gingerbread house making party and these are the boy's creations. Peter had definite ideas about how his should look and told me he was making it look like Fort Dunmont from WWI. Perplexed, I asked him to explain some more and finally figured out that he was talking about Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France. He had read about it and got the shape pretty darn close and even made a 'hotwizer' (howitzer), guard posts, and sharpshooters. That kid is too smart for his own good.

My little lumberjack catching some zz's.

December 5, 2016

Odds and Thanksgiving-ends

Only way to make it through an early morning soccer game.

For Veterans Day, we took the kids up to the Base to mess around on the rock climbing wall there.
 For some reason, all of the kids would rather free climb than use the harness and ropes. They still got pretty far up on their own though.

 Unless Travis let them swing and then they were all about the harness.

Travis was able to take some time off over Thanksgiving and since we opted not to go out of town this year, we took them down to the Discovery Cube for the day. Travis likes to stay sharp and so practiced his lock picking skills on the way down. Crazy man. Don't tell Peter but he is getting a lock pick set for Christmas too (Travis' eternal mini-me).

 They had a Lego exhibit and of course, my kids were in heaven.

We enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving Day with just our family enjoying good food. I even got a wild hair and saved all the turkey bits to make several gallons of turkey stock. 

And lastly, Travis and I at his work Christmas party - it's always a good excuse to get fancy especially with a masquerade theme this year.