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October and Halloween

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.

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I should have taken this picture when it was really dark out. Oh well. The witch silhouette was pretty awesome.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Summer Activities

We have had a really fun summer so far. It has been really BUSY! Up until this year the summers haven’t really felt any different than the rest of the year since our kids aren’t in school or anything yet. Also, the boys weren’t quite big enough to fully enjoy (or, let’s be honest, for ME to fully enjoy) more than a trip to the park or a play date.

This year we have been to the Springville splash pad with our Nevada friends.

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We went to the Tracy Aviary with cousins.

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We ran in the irrigation water at Grandma’s.
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We have been to the Ogden Dinosaur Park.

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(Had to document this rare photo of Uncle Nate with his tongue IN his mouth)

We enjoyed Lagoon. Twice. (Thanks Great-Grandpa Hitchcock AND rain-out day!)

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We have been utilizing our Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes at the water park.2014-07-09 10.27.39

We went to the newly refurbished Bean Museum. (Happy Birthday cousin Otto!) Apparently I don’t have any photos of this event. 😦

We have been camping. Isaac and Derek went for Father and Sons’ Outing.2014-06-27 20.40.462014-06-27 18.57.55

We went to a parade with Grandma and Grandpa Christensen. (It was hot and sunny…)

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We went camping with Great-Grandpa Merrill at Schofield and he took us fishing on the boat.

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We have been to the aquarium.

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We rode the Dinosaur Train and ate at the “train restaurant” in Heber.2014-06-28 15.02.162014-06-28 15.52.13

We made popsicles and ate them on the front porch.2014-07-16 15.39.38

We have played in the pool in the yard.

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We still have plans to go to the zoo to see the new African Safari exhibit, a rodeo, a REAL game (Pass of all Passes!) and we’d also like to go camping as a family.

I love summer with my cute family!

 

**When did those boys get so big??

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A Nerdy Thirty Birthday

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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)

2014-05-10 14.20.03We 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:

ImageImageImage2014-05-10 13.31.38These two… We sure are going to miss having these cousins around.Image

2014-05-10 16.20.07Aunt Linda was the favorite! I’m not sure how many books she read but the kids just kept them coming!Image

I think he had a good time and felt loved. Thanks for coming everyone!

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Airplanes

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…

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Happy Birthday Christian!

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X, Y and Z

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

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Y is for you (and Yo!)

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Z is for Zoo

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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.

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Road Trip

While Derek tore down wood paneling and put up new drywall, I took the boys on a trip for a week to visit my best friend from high school, Kim, and her family.  Her husband is the park ranger at a reservoir in the middle-of-nowhere-Nevada so we don’t get to see them as much as we’d like.  We had so much fun and it gave Daddy and Grandpa some time to get work done without little “helpers” running around.

We had kind of a rough start to our trip.  We woke up late, started late and ended up having to stop 4 times before we even got to the freeway.  Isaac choked on a fruit snack and threw up so we stopped and changed clothes within two miles from home.  After eight stops we finally made it to the state border for lunch (not even half way there!).  We ate at McDonald’s because I was sure they’d have a play place.  I was hoping the boys could get some energy out.  Unfortunately, I had found the least kid-friendly McDonald’s in the country.  They didn’t even have high chairs!  Luckily the boys were so tired after lunch that they slept almost the rest of the way and we only had to make two more quick stops for gas and diaper changes.

The first thing we did when we got to Kim’s was play with the animals.  They have a dog and two cats.  Josh was also taking care of his boss’s horses so we got to go help feed them.  The boys were in heaven.  I didn’t even think about bringing allergy medicine and more importantly the nebulizer with their albuterol.  I was worried they’d have a reaction and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.  Isaac had a hard time breathing that night but I said a prayer and found some Vicks to rub on his chest.  Within a few minutes he was breathing easily again and didn’t have any other problems all week.  Such a blessing and a relief.  We had dinner, let the kids play and ended the night with glow stick dancing.

The next day we spent down at the river.  The boys didn’t do much swimming but they played in the dirt and were happy as clams.  A couple of Kim’s friends brought their kids down to play too.  Josh stayed up at the house while the kids napped so Kim and I could have some girl time with the other ladies.  It was really lovely.

Day three we were planning on spending swimming again, this time in the reservoir with more of Kim’s friends and their kids.  The boys had had a rough night though and wanted nothing to do with it.  I took three wailing boys back home and let Kim, Josh and the girls play with their friends.  We spent the afternoon lounging around, watching movies and playing in the yard.  IMG_6746 IMG_6702

After dinner, Kim and I drove into town for a relief society meeting and left Josh with the 5 kids.  I was a little worried for him but he popped a huge bucket of popcorn and they watched a couple of movies until we got home.  The youngest three even fell asleep for him.  2013-07-08 19.29.05

He handled dirty diapers and even some Isaac barf (that kid is the pukiest kid I know).  Kim and I had a nice girls night out.  Wish she lived closer so we could do that more often.

The following day, we all piled into the Pilot (first time I used all of the seat belts!) and took a trip to Reno so that Kim and Josh could go to the temple.

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I had told them that I wanted to watch the girls for them while I was there so they could go on a date.  They live so far from anyone that they aren’t able to get sitters very often.  They decided that rather than leave me at home with the kids all day, we’d go to town together.  We went to the park at an elementary school for a couple of hours while Kim and Josh were in the temple.  I found the Kindergarten playground that was totally enclosed and was able to herd the kids pretty easily.IMG_6693  IMG_6683 After the kids went to bed that night Kim and Josh and I played my all time favorite game which Derek hates: Boggle.  I won, of course.  😉  Actually Kim was killing us the whole time and I barely won the last round because she was falling asleep.

Our last day with Kim and the girls we went to Safe Haven Rescue Zoo.  They house wild animals that have been injured or confiscated from people who were trying to keep them as pets.  They have tigers, lions, bobcats, coyote, foxes and a tortoise.  Isaac knew we were going to the zoo so he kept asking to see the monkeys and elephants.  Ha.  We had a picnic lunch in the park in a cute little town/settlement called Unionville.  The boys took a three hour nap that day while Kim and I just talked away the afternoon.  Have I mentioned that I wish she lived closer?  Game night that night was Tripoley.  I lost miserably.

Our drive home was much less eventful than the ride out.  We only stopped twice!  Once for lunch in Wells (we bought Burger King and ate it in the park) and once for gas.  We got home so early that Daddy, Grandpa and Uncle Lee weren’t ready for us yet and we had to play outside for awhile.  It was good to be home.         IMG_6704IMG_6718

I am a better Momma for having taken the boys on our trip. I played more with them than I do at home because I didn’t have to worry about cleaning or making meals or being in charge.  IMG_6751I got to watch Kim and Josh be awesome parents to their girls and learned some lessons about how I can be better.  I gained more confidence and motivation to be a good Momma.  I relaxed.  It was just what I needed.  Thank you, my friends, for taking care of me and my boys!  I miss you already.