On Friday, June 19th we left for Newport, Oregon. Derek’s sister and her family moved to Albany, Oregon last summer and we had wanted to go and visit. We got out there just in time to help move them back to Utah! We were glad to be able to spend some time with them, Derek’s other sister and his parents.
Ready to go!
I was a little worried about the 14 hour drive with four boys. But we survived! They actually did a really good job. We left mid-afternoon to beat rush hour traffic and were able to go 3 hours before stopping for dinner. We went to Papa Kelsey’s Pizza and Subs in Burley, Idaho.
So happy to be out of the car!
Jeffery was a better traveler than any of us! He was as happy as could be.
After devouring a couple of pizzas, we found a park for the boys to play in while I fed Jeffery. When their wiggles were all wiggled out, the boys put on their pjs and got back in the car.
We hoped they would fall asleep during the last 2 hours before getting to our hotel in Boise. Unfortunately, Carter was the only one who obliged. Isaac had napped earlier and so he was having a hard time sleeping. Cooper really likes sleeping in his own bed and refused to try and lay his head down to rest. We discovered that being away from home, over-tired and confined in a small space are not a good combination for him (and we were only 5 hours into our trip!!) He was READY to be at the hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites/Spectrum. It wasn’t until we arrived that I realized it’s right across the freeway from the Boise Temple! Seeing the temple is what finally helped Cooper calm down a little bit.
Of course the second we got into the hotel room (around 11 pm), the last thing the boys wanted to do was sleep. They wanted to explore every nook and cranny, try out all of the light switches (woo hoo!!) and stomp back and forth across the room as loudly as possible. We finally got them settled and asleep around midnight.
The twins officially survived their Not-So-Terrible Twos in November and dove head first into the Oh-So-Terrible Threes. There is at least one good thing about this stage: no more diapers. I’ll take it.
Carter enjoys playing cars and trains, pretending and being with people. He has a pretty good imagination and likes to talk to us about all sorts of things. He is sensitive and emotionally expressive…at both ends of the spectrum. 😉
Big brother’s photography skills at work
Cooper enjoys playing with cars, balls and puzzles. He is a pretty feisty little guy and can go from giving sweet hugs and kisses to swinging fists in a matter of seconds. He loves music and can recognize a tune from the first few notes.
The twins are mostly really good at playing with each other. They come up with all kinds of games. A recent favorite is Tractor Tipping. They take Mater, McQueen and all of the tractors they can find into the dark den (because obviously tractor tipping happens at night). Then they get Mater and McQueen to make noise and all of the tractors tip over. They can play this for hours. They also play house, Toy Story and Mario Brothers Soccer regularly. Sometimes they let their big brother join.
They got big boy beds for Christmas and all three kids are now in a new bedroom in the basement. Isaac is very good at reading a few books to himself and then going to sleep. Carter and Cooper are very good at laughing and playing and jumping on their beds. Usually Mom and Dad have to intervene so that some actual sleeping occurs. I am glad that they are such good friends.
These boys are looking forward to being big brothers soon. They think it’s funny to invent names for their little baby. Sho-sha is their most consistent creation. They like to give my belly hugs and kisses and often tell me that they are going to help the baby drink his milk and play with his toys. They are also excited to read him stories and make him laugh. I hope they are not too disappointed by the newborn non-laughing stage. I’m actually really looking forward to all the “help” I’ll have. My last experience with new babies was very much lacking in the helpful sibling department.
Waiting “in line” for a turn on the bike.
The twins graduated from Nursery to Sunbeams at church in January. They love it. They are actually getting better and better at sitting through sacrament meeting too. The amount of times Derek takes them out (roughly 1-5 instances a week) hasn’t changed, but the reasons have changed: fewer tantrums and lots more potty breaks.
They are growing up both too fast and not fast enough.
Happy Birthday Cheesers
I love Halloween. I was feeling ambitious this year and the boys were pretty excited about bats and spiders and things so we spent all month making decorations and costumes.
I should have taken this picture when it was really dark out. Oh well. The witch silhouette was pretty awesome.
For Fall Break my mom invited us down to Palisades State Park for an overnight trip. We had a fun time playing with cousins and the boys loved the cabins complete with bunk beds. Here’s a picture of the littlest boys playing on the big rock.
I love coordinating our family’s costumes every year. My kids are still fairly
easy to convince young so we’ll see how many years I can indulge in matching attire. The boys are old enough to have somewhat of an opinion so I gave them a few matchy options and let them vote. I thought Toy Story would be fun or Monsters Inc. I was also keeping twinner costumes in mind like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum and, of course, Things 1 and 2 were options. The boys unanimously voted for Mario Brothers. I don’t know why that was the top of the list (we don’t play it all that much) but I have to admit I was super excited to make a Princess Peach dress. I was also really lucky to find some awesome tutorials for Mario and Luigi hats and even a Hammer Brothers outfit (adapted from this Bowser costume). Isaac was super insistent on his choice of character.
I was working on costumes until the minute we walked out the door for the ward trunk or treat. I still had finishing touches before Halloween night but I think they turned out pretty cute. At least they were a fun challenge for me to make. (Derek is a good sport to put up with me.)
We went down to Jaker’s in Springville for a pre-school field trip. I should have gotten a picture with all of the boys but here’s me and my boys at least.
My friend Anna from high school invited us to go to Cornbelly’s for a family date night one Saturday night. I forgot jackets but it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun.
Our friends hosted a Halloween party the week before Halloween. Look at all those boys! We forgot to get a picture of the kids before all of the families with girls left.
On Halloween night Derek took the boys around the neighborhood trick-or-treating while I stayed home to hand out candy. I should have just gone with them. We only had two groups of kids knock on our door. That happens every year. You’d think I would learn… After trick-or-treating we went down to Springville to show off our costumes to Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins.
If you know Derek, you know how appropriate a nerdy thirty party was. It was even his idea…. kind of. 🙂 He wasn’t a big fan of the bow tie but he was a good sport.
Here’s the Invite I sent out: DerekBdayInvite (2)
We had Derek’s favorite snacks: Doritos, popcorn, Red Vines and on the other table we had nachos and soft pretzels with soda.
My three smallest nerds:
These two… We sure are going to miss having these cousins around.
Aunt Linda was the favorite! I’m not sure how many books she read but the kids just kept them coming!
I think he had a good time and felt loved. Thanks for coming everyone!
We got to celebrate our cousin’s 2nd birthday last weekend by visiting the Hill Aerospace Museum. We went there last fall as part of Isaac’s potty reward but the boys were way more excited about it this time. Everything is more fun with cousins! They love the movie Planes and I was impressed at how quickly they recognized all of the different types of planes. We saw a Chupacabra and a Skipper and jets like Echo and Bravo. I don’t think I would have made those connections if they hadn’t pointed them out. It must be a boy thing…
Happy Birthday Christian!
We bought a family pass to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium back in December (when it was due to open in January) and have been anxious to take the kids. I met up with a friend and her two boys there yesterday. It was a little busy (still new, Spring Break, school field trips…) but we had a lot of fun.
The boys loved the Nemo tank, of course, and the penguins and sharks.
We’ll definitely be going back soon!
One of the smartest decisions we made in our travel plans was to leave home at 4:00 a.m. I didn’t think it was so smart when my alarm actually went off, especially since we were up late doing last minute packing and final preparations. I changed my mind, though, after being able to drive the whole 4 hours to St. George with three peacefully sleeping children and zero stops. Win!
We stayed at the Best Western Coral Hills and they had GREAT service. I called to see if they’d let us check-in early since I’d be at my conference all day leaving Derek alone with the three terrors (who’d be hungry and still in pjs). I was thinking that at best, they’d be able to get in around 1:00 p.m. and that they would have to improvise all morning. Derek dropped me off at 8:00 a.m. and the hotel already had a room ready for them. The guy at the front desk remembered us and was very accommodating and friendly. The rooms were clean. The breakfast was good. And it was pretty inexpensive. Win again!
Derek took the boys to the (FREE!) Children’s Museum that morning after breakfast at IHOP. They were sufficiently entertained until lunch which they ate back in the hotel. They all got a good nap in before coming to pick me up for dinner.
Day one of the conference was good for me. I spent the day with my sister-friend, Cary and got reacquainted with some old college colleagues. I enjoyed all of the classes and just being able to develop the “professional” side of me again. I haven’t attended this conference since I quit teaching so listening to the presenters from the “mom” perspective was a new and interesting experience.
We did some swimming before bed. I was a little nervous because Cooper (who has never been super comfortable in the water) had a bad experience at the end of the summer that left him (and me!) a little traumatized. He had a hard time even taking a bath for several months. Lately, baths have been more enjoyable for him so we thought we’d try swimming on the trip. We talked it up for several days beforehand and he was actually looking forward to it. When we finally got in the pool he was a little nervous/cautious but
he didn’t scream bloody murder he actually enjoyed himself. It was such a relief and a lot of fun!
My parents offered to bring Mitch down to meet us so they could play a round of golf and enjoy a little bit warmer weather for a change. They arrived that night and we got to hang out with them and Cary after the boys were in bed.
Here are some birthday photos from last month.
Presents with Grandpa Curtis
We did the last three letters over the past month in not any particular order. Here are some of our activities in picture form
because I’m not feeling very wordy tonight.
X is for Xylophone
Y is for you (and Yo!)
Z is for Zoo
I must say, our timing was pretty good! We can start at the beginning again with the new year. I’ve been reviewing letters off and on this week with Isaac and am happy to see that he knows about half of them. Not bad!
One last picture to make you smile.