This last week, Jer went on a business trip to Florida. In the mornings before his conference, he went beach combing and brought back shells for the kids. He found some really pretty ones. At home, I got to take the kids to the Live Nativity at the University Mall. That was so fun. They had a camel, donkey, sheep, and goats for the kids to pet. Unfortunately my phone battery died and I didn't get any pictures, but Ada and Seth ADORED the camel. Seth was the same height as the camels' neck. He stood right under its' chin and would giggle every time the camel moved. Ada just sat and stroked it. I rather liked the donkey with its' winter coat.... it was fluffy like a sheep. We got there towards the end, so I let the kids stay and watch the animals get loaded into the trailer. I had the kids all stand by me and watch the camel stand up. All the handler said was, "Hup.", and the camel was smoothly up on it's lanky legs. Then we walked through the lights and watched the water show that they put on at night.
Sam has been working hard on his scouts. He spends about 1/2 hour on it ever couple of days and is making good progress. He's also progressing really well with his piano. I think he's going to be one of those pianists that can see the music and play it on sight. Ada is opposite, she mostly plays by ear. It will be interesting to see how they grow.
Last week we took them to the German Christmas Market at This is the Place State Park. I was getting my phone fixed, so I stole a bunch of pictures from my Mom and Janelle. It was just right for getting us all Christmasy.... and it was fun to see Elder Uctdorf. The pictures of the event also have the candy bomber in them, but I must of missed him. Apparently the Uctdorf family was very instrumental in setting up the Market. Besides Sam wandering off and getting lost briefly, I very much enjoyed browsing in all the fun shops. Seth LOVED getting to ride the train that runs through the park. We also stopped off in a booth with our kids' art teacher. She had some marvelous paintings. She was in my oil painting class at BYU... and she's sure perfected her style. I'm glad that I have someone like her teaching my kids. She gave us one of her prints for free. I chose her nativity scene painting. The St Martin's parade was fun. They had a Roman soldier at the head of it, lots of German things like an angel in white with gold wings, kids with star lanterns, missionaries, live music and some General Authorities and their families. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdI8MVinS5Y
My parents also watched our kids while Jer and I went to the Symphony with Judy and Jim. It was Sam's turn to go with us, but Jay is in town doing part of his residency here at Utah Valley Hospital, so Sam gave his ticket to Jay. I like Saint-Saens before, but hearing his organ symphony in person was amazing! And it ended up that they were recording it, so it was better that our learning to sit still Sam wasn't present. My brother and sister ended up taking the kids to see Coco while we were gone. Evelyn especially liked it.
After two weeks without a dishwasher, the guy came and said that it had an internal breaker that had flipped off. Joy. I now have a dishwasher again! Yay! I also bought some of those laundry balls with the spikes on them to use instead of drier sheets... Sam saw the packaging and tried explaining what they were to Ada... "You put them on top of your towels and it makes them softer." Almost, but not quite.
Seth has been helping me wrap presents. After we were all done he said, "Now we open them!" I told him that we were going to open them at Christmas time and with Dad there, so when Jer got back from his conference Seth said, "Now Dad's here, we can open it!" He also saw one of his presents that I was trying to hide, he was ecstatic and now he picks up all the packages and says, "These are my cars!" I asked the kids to make presents for each other this year... They were pretty excited to do it. We're now running out of time, but they're happy to make things for each other. I love it.
Saturday, we went up to North Ogden for Emma and my Mom's birthday party and dinner to celebrate all our December birthdays... It was fun. Sharon had made a disco dance party with dress ups and glow sticks. We celebrate 5 birthdays in 2 weeks, so it was fun to recognize everyone anyways.
I have a bunch of pictures to post, but they're in two different spots, so I'll have to do that later... but man are these kids cute. I can't get enough of them.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
This is my Aunt Beth and Uncle Son. They are amazing people. Son is so fun to be around and Beth is always kind and is my personal birthday buddy. Son did our wedding pictures when we were married 12 years ago. He used to do a lot of pictures in the 70s-80s... I turned around from taking pictures of their son and he had posed them in this tree, so I went with it. Love these guys.
This is Aliesha and Mateo. This first grader is surely loved. Mateo was adopted by a family not too far from Aliesha's parents. They let her take him to the park, take him shopping, and take him to family gatherings. It's been good for all of them. He gets the stable home life he needs and contact with his birth mom. She gets to see her son and let him know he is loved.
I think this one is my favorite of them together. Sweet faces.
I felt a little intimidated here. Sarah here is a photographer. I have always struggled with presenting my best self when confronted with someone that has talents and abilities that I don't perceive me having. I like to take pictures, paint and sculpt... if anyone that I know does these well I just freeze up. I know that they don't have expectations of me, but I almost have more of me because I'm around them.
This is Daniel, Sarah, Leah and I'm not sure what their baby's name is. I just can't get enough of that Leah. Too sweet!
We had to hurry with Nate and Meri's family. Emerson and James weren't too pleased to have to smile. I tried to do it fast. We did get a couple that looked good, but they were a little hard to edit. I'm just hoping that they are good enough.
Over Thanksgiving, I was able to steal away for a couple hours to take pictures of one of my favorite families. This is my cousin, Tiff and her boys Ronin and Theo. I haven't edited everything that I took, but these are my favorites.
Jer took some money over to Alan's house to pay him for picking up chocolate for the dipping party we do every year. Their annual sale was while we were in Colorado. Alan works developing things for Virtual Reality programs, so he has this set up and invited Jer to bring all of us to check it out. Every single one of us loved it. Sam kept asking if we could get one... (Jer checked, cheapest we could go was $350... zing). Evelyn didn't want to have anything to do with it. I told her she should at least go look in the goggles to see what it looked like. That's all it took and she was hooked. After playing, we had pizza and apple pie together, then we went to watch a movie in their newly finished movie theater. I'll tell you, I really like the feature that they added that when you press play on the movie the lights automatically dim. That was kind of them to use their entire afternoon playing host. I'm sure that they had plenty of other things to do, but I very much enjoyed chatting and catching up with them.
I told Seth that when he didn't have any accidents in a day that we would go to the Dinosaur Museum. His voice got all high and he clasped his hands, "The Museum! The Dinosaur Museum!" And we did. Saturday, between the fencing competition in the morning and visiting Jer's Uncle Alan's house, we went. It was a very fast run in and run out thing... but he had fun. I took him back yesterday too. He LOVES it. Yesterday he wanted to keep walking around the room that was dark and had "stars" in the sky. Saturday he kept asking me the names of all the dinosaurs. I'm getting pretty good at trying to pronounce them.
The day after Thanksgiving, we went and chose out a pretty Christmas tree from Baum's. The kids refuse to buy the flocked ones, but we like the green ones well enough... Seth kept saying that he was going to buy a little tree for him and I needed to get a big tree. Then we went back home, set up the tree and played games with my brother Seth and our neighbors', the Komens. They bought a game based on the Mistborn world. It was fun, but I like cooperative ones a little better I think.
So here's Ada at the X-Ray room. To get the whole picture, you have to visualize me balancing Seth on my shoulders, trying to take a one handed picture while keeping Seth from pushing any of the buttons on the other side of the safety wall.
We're on a tighter budget than normal because of all the repairs going on, but we were able to surprise Ada and Sam with their own foils. They were pretty happy about it. They also participated in a "learning" tournament. It was for ages 8-12, unsanctioned... but they had a real referee. The goal was to teach the kids what a real tournament requires and feels like. Sam won a bout, Ada came really close. Maybe after we get financially caught up with things we can bet them the rest of the equipment they should have.
A little more than a week ago, this girl broke her wrist. She has grown up so much in the last year that sometimes she's a little more clumsy than normally. She was running across the playground, tripped, sprained her right wrist and broke her left one as well as hitting her head on the concrete. She thought it would go away, but an hour later it was still really painful. She called me and I came to the school. I brought some children's ibuprofen and something to wrap her arm in incase she had sprained it. She could move it, but as soon as I touched it to put the wrap on she was cringing. Usually I have them sleep on it to see if it's really broken or not... but I had a feeling this one was really broken. I asked my mom to watch the kids and took Seth and Ada to the doctor for the millionth time.... (Seth was sick the day before, I took him in for a sinus infection... then me in for my foot and a sinus infection the day of.) He said that it looked broken, but he wanted an x-ray... we headed to the hospital and got an x-ray done. Seth was done by then... 4th doctor's appointment in one day. Ada was a trooper though. She was brave and just cheerfully chatted with me or Seth while she waited. Then we went home to bed. Ada's doctor was out the next day, but I called the on call doctor to see what the x-ray said... yes, she had a buckle fracture in one of her wrist bones by her thumb. Luckily the casts are water proof... not recommended to really get wet all the time, but when we accidently get it wet when I help her shower.... not a big deal. Since she has one hand available... she teases me by saying things like, "I'll go wash my HAND." and if I ask her to give me a hand, "Sure, but only one." She's loved having everyone sign it... most of the little notes have the word Moo in it. I drew a cow on it for her and it just rubbed off because we didn't use the right marker. She'll get her hand back a week before their piano recital. Likelihood that she'll have her left hand for the song done in a week?
For Thanksgiving, we went to both my parents' and Jers' parents houses. For both, we were asked to bring pies... so we had one job and we were going to do it well. We made 4 gluten free pies, 4 apple pies, 8 pumpkin pies(4, but I had to remake them because I forgot to put in the sugar the first time), 2 strawberry and bought a pecan. It made for a long day the day before Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving was more restful.
Thanksgiving with the Wilcoxes. Probably the last one at their house for a couple of years. I was glad to get to spend it with them.
We have had colds and been super busy, so we haven't visited with the Hansen cousins much. It was fun to see all of them. Ada has been missing Mariah fiercely.
These nuts got their own table. They thought it was pretty good and they're all old enough that there was only one spill the entire day. That's not bad for a house full of kiddos. Evelyn was so excited to see Millie that she made a whole bunch of paper fans to share with her. She kept saying, "I hope Millie likes them."
This was the first day that Seth went without any accidents. I was very pleased and amazed that it was Thanksgiving of all days.
This was my second time meeting Walter. He's such a cute little smiler. The food was delicious and the company was something I'm grateful for.