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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Day Photos

Jeremy takes just too many great photos to include in regular weekly post.  Here is our Christmas morning in detail:

Allison has been asking all year for a mesh garbage can.

Jasper really, really likes his new toy.  After the first night of listening to squeaky noises all night long we now hide it at night time.
Macho got a can of cat food.  He thinks this is how is life should always be.
Allison wanted a giant pillow pet for Christmas.  Don't ask me why.  She has been sleeping and laying on it ever since.
Spencer worked all year to save up for a laptop.  With is money plus Christmas gifts he had enough.  Allison played Santa and made him wait for the very end to open up the laptop he picked out weeks ago.
I asked for this book for Christmas.  I need it in my life!
Robyn spent most summer nights trying to learn how to ride on Allison's ripstick and wishing she had her own.  Now thanks to Grandma and Grandpa...
Have I mentioned all the shoveling?!

Sunday evening we made gingerbread houses.  Allison had won a preassembled gingerbread house at school and the rest of us made do with graham crackers.  Taylor was cheerleader and Jeremy was photographer.  Spencer really didn't want to participate...and then we started using all his candy.  So he decided to make a hobbit house in self defense.

Christmas vacation started off with a bang with Spencer getting his wisdom teeth out early Monday morning.  I was hoping for some great video as he came out of sedation but all I got was, "Spencer, what girls do you think are cute?", "Never going to tell you Mom, not going to happen".  The next few days were full of pain pills, chipmunk cheeks, TV binging and some grumpiness.  He was very sad not to be able to eat nachos for Christmas Eve but made do with tortillas.

We spent the week getting ready for Christmas.  All the girls got their hair done.  The house got cleaned up.  We watched a Star Wars episode every night and laughed in all the wrong places to get prepared to see the new Star Wars this week.  Don't ask Robyn about this.  The three old movies are PG and she loved watching them with us.  The new Star Wars is PG-13, she is not happy about staying home for that.  Allison worked on a sewing project to hold her personal progress book and I worked on a scripture bag that she asked for, for Christmas.  We went to Petsmart to buy pets Christmas presents and Jasper would not stop watching his stocking from that point on, eager for his new squeaky toy.

For Christmas Eve we met up with cousins for sledding, nachos, eating truffles, playing Morphology and watching Elf.  Everyone was cozy in new Christmas PJs and enjoyed time with family.  Sledding was a usual full of fun and laughs and a bunch of tears.  Brynn hit a tree and Jeremy hurt a knee and ankle pretty badly.  For some reason I didn't have on hand a Costco size bottle of ibuprofen.  I now know that is a necessity.

We stayed up watching The Christmas Story and the huge snowfall outside.  Kids prayed hard for snow and we got dumped on, a whole foot in one night.  Christmas Day after stockings, french toast and a leisurely morning of presents we spent two hours outside shoveling.  It was so deep you couldn't push the snow you had to move it a shovelful at a time.  (We decided we need to go get the battery for the quad this week, it would have been very helpful) We all got some good exercise and mostly enjoyed working as a family.  I think I got the easier job of shoveling with kids while Jeremy took kids out after for his part of teaching Spencer how do drive in the snow at the church parking lot!

Then we spent the evening at Jason and Kelly's eating and enjoying time as a family.  I am glad they live so close.  We even got to go cheer on Garion playing soccer Saturday.  Then Jeremy spent the afternoon assembling Robyn's new desk with the girls.  Spencer had to work and Jeremy took the girls out to dinner and then me out to see The Martian.

It was an awesome week.  Very laidback and relaxing and full of family and just hanging out.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The hustle and bustle

School is out!!  I have loved the past few weeks but I have seriously been counting down to Christmas break.  We have had lots of fun and lots of busyness which seems to happen every December.  There is always one week that seems a little over the top no matter what best laid plans we have made.  To sum up the last two weeks:

We have had many concerts and rehearsals for the girls.  Robyn was in a school choir and then Allison and Robyn both had a performance for their theater group.  I had to miss the school choir concert as it was the same night as a class and Jeremy's work party.  So a neighbor took Robyn over early, Allison met her there with camera in hand and Jeremy was able meet her for the last half of the choir concert.

We were both able to go watch the girls theater performance though.  That was super fun with the girls loving being able to perform.  They thought getting JCW shakes afterwards was just the ultimate night.  Allison played in sacrament today for the Christmas program and has been playing her song over and over to practice it.  Robyn had her grade Christmas program as well and I was able to go over on my lunch break and see it.

We had parties.  We had a ward Christmas party and Jeremy's work party.  Girls kept needing white elephant gifts for different activities and parties.  I got to meet three different groups of friends for get togethers to catch up.  I have decided that meeting up for lunch etc is a much better way to celebrate than giving out little presents.  It was wonderful to catch up with people.  Spencer had his first work party and learned how fun it is to go to work parties: feast, treats, prizes and games. 

We celebrated Jeremy's birthday with grits in bed, and a delayed birthday feast.  For his actual birthday night the girls had rehearsal and I had a final but his thoughtful brother took him out for a Jazz game which he enjoyed.  And then Jeremy and I got to go on a 24 hour date while Jason and Kelly took our kids.  Jeremy fought the holiday traffic to get us up to SLC where we enjoyed Mongolian BBQ and got to walk around down town and see the lights and get cheesecake.  We had hotel reservations up there.  We walked into their beautifully redone historic lobby to find out that our redone room had accidentally been given away and they offered us one of their non-restored rooms.  Jeremy walked in and said wouldn't you rather just go home than stay here?  So that is what we did.  I cannot tell how much I had been looking forward to sleeping in for just one day!  So that is what we did and enjoyed an awesome brunch and finished up some Christmas shopping.  It was great even if my plans didn't quite turn out!  That is usually how life turn out around here!

We had tests.  Robyn tried out for archery and didn't make it.  She was sad about it but is resolved to practice and learn so she can be better for next year.  Spencer took the ACT and felt good about it.  He and timed tests are not friends as his anxiety sky rockets.  But he said he got further in the questions than he has previously before time was up and he just had to guess on the rest.  I had the end of my classes which meant assignments being all finished and 3 finals to do.  Did pretty well on everything and I was super glad to be done for awhile.  I am done with school till January 11.  I got my practicum assignment which will be for three months starting at the end of January.  I will go to a middle school and work in a classroom there every morning for an hour and a half.  I think it will teach me a lot.

We had appointments.  Allison persists in doing early morning dentist visits which truly does make life easier although the wake up calls are tough.  She got her bottom retainer our and now has a removable one to wear at night.  Jeremy has had appointments galore as he keeps taking on side projects and studio rentals.  He is working super hard right now and we try to give him opportunities for naps as much as possible.  Spencer got his first suit this week.  His church pants were an accident waiting to happen!  He wore his suit today and fidgited with it the whole time as he gets used to it.  He is happy in this picture but he was trying to look James Bondish.

We cooked.  We made a bunch of pumpkin bread and fudge and kids ran them around to people and ate a bunch in the process.

So it had been a full December and most of the time went pretty smoothly thanks to some awesome kids and husband pitching in.  We had a few hiccups but they were able to pull it together usually.  For example, one afternoon was going to be busy.  I had told Robyn to stay at school and Allison would meet her there.  I was even proud that I had thought to write here a note to read before archery try outs.  I get a call at work from Robyn.  She was at home and crying.  She didn't know what she was supposed to do and she had lost my note.  While I am talking to her she is telling Spencer don't hit me, I didn't do it.  Spencer grabs the phone to ask me where all the ham was that he had saved from the ward Christmas party.   He was sure Robyn was the one who had eaten a bunch!  My coworkers let me leave a few minutes early and I come home expecting drama.  I come home to find that Spencer has pulled dinner together for Allison and Robyn to take to their theater rehearsal/performance and was leaving in the truck to pick them up.  I take his place and go to pick up the girls at Manilla where Robyn had ran back over to.  Allison had met her there and had been her "parent" for archery tryouts and the choir party.  Did her make up and hair and they were all ready to go to the theater for their practice and later performance.  I was grateful they were able to work everything out together.  Its a messy and sometimes loud process though!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's beginning to look like Christmas...

It was wonderful to have my sister here for a few days.  She helped me with all my Christmas shopping, wrote up a knitting pattern for Allison, went with me to the temple and to my favorite restaurant and even froze with us looking at the lights at Temple Square.  She even put up with a very stinky rabbit sharing her room.

Taylor was not a fan of the cold.  He started smiling and perking up soon as we were back in the car.

People must have been staying home Sunday night eating leftover pie as the place felt super empty which was wonderful for walking around it.  Jeremy got to spend time taking pictures for the church and got a bunch on the church news which he enjoyed.

We have had a few other Christmas festivities this week.  Sunday we decorated our tree and decided it truly is our last year with this tree.  It is currently being held up with fishing line ingeniously tied to the shutters by Jeremy.   It has had too much kid help with it over the years.  Jasper has been in heaven with all these new toys dangling in front of him and we have found a few ornament casualties as he is learning not to touch.

Monday night was our lighting parade where we walked up and down the street with neighbors and then had a fire, treats and hot chocolate at the end.  Spencer was pooh pawing going but he was out there freezing away in a sweat shirt and having a great time.  Robyn disappeared with Jasper and some little kids and we saw her at the end.  Saturday we got to go to the live nativity in Alpine with Jason and Kelly's family.

Spencer and Jeremy ended up having to work and Allison had a babysitting job so we made a girlie trip out of it.  We were the first ones there so there were few lines.  We have always gone at night when everything is lit by fires and lanterns but the lack of crowds and non-freezing temperatures were a great trade off.  Then everyone met back at our house for dinner with the missing parties joining us.  I am trying to be more flexible about family activities as I know I get way up tight about them.  With everyone's schedules we do what we can with everyone and the rest of the time with whoever is able to.

Thursday we had some excitement when I was told by an aide at school that there were shooters at PG High and that it was on lockdown.  Seemed like it took forever till I could get to a phone.  They were in a lockdown for 2 hours because of a hoax by a kid saying that they saw a person with a gun.  200+ policeman, SWAT, homeland security, the works.  Lots of rumors.  Spencer says he wasn't scared at all and finally texted me an "I'm fine" an hour into it.  I am thankful for a seminary teacher who stayed with them in the dark and emailed all the parents to say kids were all safe and locked up.