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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Blah

We spent Sunday celebrating this cutie turning 8.  We made Mexican haystacks for dinner and played with cousins all day.  On Monday, there was no school so more cousin playing time and going out to lunch with her dad.  Jeremy had to send me a photo to point out that she chose spinach salad from the pizza buffet.  She wore her sparkle shirt so she could be a human disco ball as they drove in the convertible.  It involves lots of singing loudly while posturing with her stomach.  Spencer pointed out that birthdays around here last a lot longer than one day!

Cousins left Monday afternoon and everyone had to return back to their normal routine.  I wonder if kids will look back and remember the fun they had or the fact that I came down with a cold.  Halfway through this week Spencer asked why I kept going to bed right after dinner.  He had no idea that I felt bad and just thought I was loosing my voice and coughing so much because I had been cutting onions recently or something.  I obviously need to be more vocal in my demanding to be given some TLC when sick.  So I spent the week cleaning something, then watching part of Sherlock or staring into space for an hour and then repeating the process.  But luckily it has left me and gone over to Spencer.  So now he is laid flat by the fire with a fever and is making up for any silently suffering I might have done.  He is not a quiet or patient sick person.  Hopefully all these microbes leave our house before family comes this week or I will handing out anti-microbal wipes as they enter.

So this week was pretty slow.  Jeremy had a photo class he hosted Friday and Saturday that he went to.  Friday night he rushed home to wisk me out to dinner while Spencer and Robyn did a Merlin marathon.  And Saturday night after being gone all day he rushed home to join us to go to a BYU men's volleyball game.  One of our favorite sports to watch.  He is always so good about remembering family things.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Family Near and Far

For Christmas I asked Jeremy for a plane ticket to go visit my family in California for a weekend...and the solo dad duties that would go along with such a trip.  So last weekend I flew off to my parents to visit them, my sister, and my two brothers and their families.  My brother Peter called before I left to see if had cancer or something and that was why I was coming out so I could break the news.  I guess I need to do quick solo visits more often.  It was wonderful to catch up and just talk with everyone.  I even got to go breathe in the beach air.

And indulge in some sourdough and clam chowder.

And I got meet my new niece who is not so new anymore but still the cutest thing.

I love my family and always so motivated and impressed by the people they are and what they do with their lives.  And then I was back Monday just in time to meet Jeremy for lunch and get the low-down on the weekend and pick kids up from school.

This week we were gearing up a bit for today with Robyn turning 8.  Hard to believe that someone who had a rocky start and was labeled as failure to thrive is now this big!   Jeremy made her some cute treats to hand out to her classmates.

On Saturday Robyn had her birthday party.  She invited two of Allison's friends to come help and had 11 of her friends over.  The played games:

She blew out her candle on some popsicles - her choice instead of cake.

And then it was off to the pool for a few hours of mayhem and fun.

Robyn is really happy here -she was just trying to look cool

Great time by all.  Spencer, Taylor and their cousin Garion spent the afternoon with Fudgsicles and computer games so everyone was happy.  Cousins had come to spend the weekend with us which meant a late movie night with brownies, Sunday morning of games:

Robyn came down sobbing that we had forgotten her birthday but once I explained we were just playing while the cinnamon rolls rose so we could bring her breakfast in bed she quickly ran upstairs with smiles, put her PJs back on and waited for us.

She is having a great birthday. 

The rest of the past two weeks have been spent with the ups and downs of life.  Reading about Abraham Lincoln and how he said when he lost an election he felt like the little boy who stubbed his toe in the dark - too big to cry yet it hurt too much to laugh.  Hopefully we remember to laugh most of the time.  Our water heater broke so we had to replace that.  Our van had to be taken in get the heater fixed.  And then they had to order parts so we brought the van home a day later and will have to go again.  Allison tried out for her play and got assigned her parts over which she is very excited.  Macho is still urinating blood everywhere like bathtubs and laundry baskets and beds.  I am giving him another week and then its vet time.  Jeremy had several photo events that he had to juggle.  I seriously underestimate the amount I place on his shoulders sometimes.  Friday we were able to go the temple with our ward.  Jeremy went after rushing to finish a job and pick up Spencer with a hurt rib that Spencer tried to push into place while putting all his weight on Jeremy's bent finger and seriously spraining it, wasn't time to have dinner, gets to the temple and its an hour wait because the sessions are full.  And he still managed to get up early the next day to take Allison out to be tested for the junior high at 7 am.  He juggles a lot with a smile.  Currently trying to figure out why his new thermostat (his birthday present from my parents) won't stop blowing cold air.  There is always something.  We did however finally find a cabinet supply warehouse that had our hinge for our broken cabinet.  Only took us a few months but it is now fixed!  So that is life, ups and downs and everything in between!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 - Slugs and a Rabbit

I am not sure how we will handle tomorrow and the end of vacation.  This week we have turned off alarm clocks and become slugs around here.  Robyn and Spencer are in a close race for how many hours of sleep they can get in one night.  Movies have been caught up on along with lots of late nights laying around on couches.  It has been wonderful.  Christmas decorations are put away and paperwhites are blooming to remind me that a New Year has started.  I always remember spring and paperwhites at my mom's house growing up.

Taylor had two days of throwing up which was not so cool but is back to his usual happy self.  I think the highlight of his vacation has been laying in a beanbag next to the fire while his massage therapist has worked on him.  If you threw in a beach there somehow he would think he was in heaven.

Allison has been busy rearranging her room (again), and buying a rabbit named Oakley to replace Midnight.  Bonus is the Oakley does not give her hives like Midnight did.  She is very cute.  Allison has spent a lot of time working on her science project with her friend Samantha and window shopping at the mall.  Seriously when did she get old enough to want to be taken to the mall with friends?!  One day we went to Classic Skating and burned off some cabin fever.

For New Year's Eve the kids wrote down their summary of the year and goals for the next.  Robyn had the hardest time trying to think of a goal that didn't require any work on her part.

Spencer Hall - 6'1 7/8" - favorite book: Enders Game or Divergent, Favorite food: meat, Favorite color: blue or black, favorite activity: reading, video games, cross fit, greatest lesson learned this year: staying in shape, hardest thing this year: starting cross fit, favorite memory: getting an ipod for Christmas, what he loved about 2013: having lots of fun, wants to learn: all the stuff to get his eagle, wants to get better at: crossfit, goal: save $180 and do crossfit all year

Allison Hall - 4'91/2" - favorite book: all of them, favorite food: stuffed shells, favorite activity: reading, greatest lesson learned this year: patience, hardest thing this year: midnight dying, favorite memory: going to Lagoon with cousins, what she loved about 2013: getting into Algebra, wants to learn: French, wants to get better at: kindness with siblings, goals: stay caught up with math, keep desk organized, read scriptures daily and finish 3-4 goals in Personal Progress

Robyn Hall - 4'41/2" - favorite book: Matilda, favorite food: Nachos, favorite activity: reading, greatest lesson learned: learned she can do hard things, hardest thing this year: swim team, favorite memory: Montana, loved about 2013: having fun, wants to learn: how to knit, wants to get better at: science, goals: going to sleep better, getting baptized, making people happy

After our traditional dinner of fondue New Year's Eve, Spencer had his first big dance party to go to.  He had the composure to ride with two Chinese exchange students and had fun playing games and jumping around.  Allison and Robyn threw a New Year's Eve party in the basement with friends.  None of Robyn's friends could come so she loudly made sure she was included in Allison's friends and they were very accommodating.  Lots of treats, minute to win it games and running around at midnight banging pots and pans.

New Year's Day kids decided they were too cranky and it was too much effort to try to go skiing.  So instead Spencer chose to go bowling with me while girls played with Jeremy.  Then sledding as a family.  Then Spencer watched guy movies with Jeremy while the girls and I went to Color Me Mine.  Everyone was happy and I was tired out by 8 and sent everyone to bed.  And these next few photos were obviously taken by Jeremy:
Spencer wanted to know why I was having such a hard time sledding with him - I was trying my hardest to just stay on the tube!
Allison still sticks her tongue out while concentrating.  She has since she was a newborn.  And she has a big tongue...I am talking giraffe size here.
And just to prove that Jeremy really was at these events, I took one of him:

Jeremy has spent the week fixing all those things that break around the house and need repairs.  Throw in making stuff for Primary for me and playing with kids and he has had a full week.  Last night we got to go out to a play together and just relax.  It had been nice being able to stay up late with him this week and just hang out.  And he even showed Spencer how to take down the Christmas lights!

Maddie has gone back home so our house is a little less pet crazy.  Rocky has been in mourning since she left, he really thought he got to go to Jason's house too.  Our cat Macho has taken to peeing blood everywhere - laundry baskets, showers, clean laundry neatly folded on the counter...TWICE.  So he is living in the garage.  I think he is going to be just fine as he is acting healthy, probably just some trauma or kidney stone got him.

I am excited for the alarms to go off tomorrow and schedules and routines to start again.  We have had a great time together but there were definite hiccups like Spencer convinced his bowling was being messed up by a misshapen ball or Robyn giving me a whine free day and loosing it at dinner time so she had to give me another freebie or Allison plugging up the bathtub while cleaning out her guinea pig cage or standing by the van catching throw-up in my hands while Spencer wants to know exactly what kind of towel he should grab.  Good time.  Although seriously they were good times just with the hiccups that I choose to overlook.