Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thanksgiving, and everything since...

Thanksgiving was a blast with my parents and sister Sarah and her family visiting!  We all squished around our table for the big feast.  The food was outstanding as usual.  I think Grant wins the prize for the most roll consumption.


 


 
Yummy pies: pumpkin, apple crumb, lemon cream, berry.

My parents brought 30 lbs of fresh mandarins from Loomis with them on the plane!  Crazy, you say?  Trust me when I say they are out of this world.  You can buy them from roadside stands in Loomis and the stuff we can buy in the stores  here do not compare.
 
Grant holding little Anna.  Our two year olds got along much better than a few months ago, but the babies'  lack of sleep combined with parents staying up too late resulted in some exhaustion!  We are so glad Sarah and Jeremy made the effort to come.
After Thanksgiving it is time to get the Christmas decorating done!  The kids were great helpers this year with the tree.  
While pretty mild weather during Thanksgiving week (we played basketball outside) the weather turned cold quickly.  When we went to pick out a tree it was snowing and blowing an icy wind.  Needless to say we weren't too selective with the tree this year.  I did not even get out of the car, choosing instead to stay inside with the baby.


Elise keeping warm in her blankets through all this frigid weather.
 
 

The kids were happy it snowed the following weekend.  With our cold temperatures that snow is still here.
 


 Yikes!  This is what we woke up to on a Monday morning.  I was pretty disappointed they didn't cancel school.  This is by far the coldest we have experienced since living here.
 
When it warmed up in a couple days the girls had some fun.

This weekend we had our annual Gingerbread House decorating night.  We had a tough time finding a free night to do it this year.  
 


Between making the icing and dealing with a fussy baby I did not get much of a chance to participate.  I attempted to decorate a little of Sydney's house but she would just pull off whatever I put on and eat it so I gave up. :)
 
 
As usual, Rob's house is a masterpiece.  He had to leave partway through and visit some people so he finished after the kids (and I) were in bed.  His is worthy of a picture from several angles...

 


 


 


 Here Sydney put some of Elise's pants on.  I was impressed they fit around her waist!
 


 Merry Christmas!
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Russell Turns Five

Russell has to wait through a lot of birthdays in the family before it is finally his!  He was so excited and felt he should have the birthday placemat everyday that week.  He is especially happy for this birthday because he knows he has to be five to go to kindergarten.  Sorry, Russell, you still have a long wait.



 
When Rob and I went shopping for the birthday boy we weren't sure what to get him.  After strolling through a few toy aisles we found some ideas: anything Ninja Turtle.  Ever since we gave Grant a $5 DVD of some Ninja Turtle episodes for his birthday our boys have been obsessed.  So Russell got a Ninja Turtle bandana and plastic sword, and a TMNT card game, and TMNT coloring pads... all wrapped in TMNT wrapping paper.


In fact, while at the store I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party invitations which prompted us to go ahead and have a TMNT themed birthday party.  So I got online to find ideas I could copy (what I do best!) and had a lot of fun planning it.
 


 

 
When the kids first arrived they got to decorate an oblong Chinet plate with elastic stapled onto it which served as their turtle shell.  Then we put masks on, drank some green mutagen (green punch) and they became Ninja Turtles.  They then went to Ninja Training where they learned to throw some punches in the air, and kick, and talk like a Ninja Turtle.  (making sure to remember that Ninja Turtles never hurt each other, of course).  Now, for you old school Ninja Turtle fans, take note that "Cowabunga Dude!" has been replaced with "Booyakasha!"

 
We had a guest Ninja Turtle visit for the party, also known as Grant.
I made a Turtle Cake (I gave up on a Ninja Turtle cake).  It is a fun cupcake cake. (I have always wanted to make one of those!)


 
We played other games like Turtle, Turtle Shredder (Duck, Duck Goose), and a version of musical chairs with empty pizza boxes (because TMN Turtles like pizza).  They also got to practice their Ninja moves with a pinata.  
 

It was a fun party and I wasn't even exhausted afterward!  Here is a picture of the decorations after the party (they have been a little trashed by this point).
 I think Russell felt special.

Living here for five years means we are starting to get quite a bit of leaves on the ground in the fall!  I love it.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fantastic Fall Part Two

Russell's preschool class took a field trip to the pumpkin patch. I realized a few days before that it was during our fall break so I would have a few extra kids tagging along. They were good sports and enjoyed it. Brenna took charge of taking pictures as I was busy with Elise. Here is Grant playing in the cornbox (think sandbox but full of corn kernels.)

Russell was very nervous on the hayride and clung fiercely to big brother Grant.
 

Brenna always loves the petting zoos.  We saw some adorable bunny rabbits and a cute runt pig in a sweater.


 

Sydney has no fear and enjoyed this large tube slide.  Russell wasn't sure he wanted to try it but eventually did.
 



 

One afternoon the kids caught this creature down in one of our window wells.  The neighbor kid informed me that it is a salamander.  What was it doing there?  I do not know.  They put him in a box but he left that night.  This was the same day our neighbors had a coyote in their backyard!
 
Little Sydney exhausted after an afternoon of church (no nap)


 
Grant has professed his desire to play baseball in the Spring.  Dad has begun teaching him to catch with a mitt.  Of course Russell wants to play, too.  Grant has caught on very quickly!


 


 The week of the BYU/BSU football game Rob decided to take the boys down to Provo to watch the game.  His dad and brothers and some cousins came along, too.  What a fun outing!

It was a great game (fortunately)
 


 
Seth was seated elsewhere with some cousins which is why he is not in any pictures.

The girls and I had a fun weekend at home (well, as fun as possible with a two year old and baby!)  Brenna spent some of her birthday money at the store.  Here is Sydney's crazy hair Saturday morning.
 


 

Saturday afternoon we went to the ward Halloween party.  Our ward usually just has a Trunk-or-Treat and it is just outside- no one goes inside the church so there is no cleanup.  This year they had lots of carnival type games.  It sounded like a lot of fun until it dawned on me that we have 200 primary kids in our ward and it might be total chaos!  We braved it anyhow and it was worth it.
 

 Brenna wore her aunt Melanie's clogging costume.
 
 Sydney was a vet (costume made by Grandma Weaver)


 


 And our cute little pumpkin.


 


 When the boys got home from their adventure they had BYU gear for all!
 


 

Seth, Brenna and Grant  performed in their teacher's piano recital.
 

Happy Halloween!  We carved pumpkins that afternoon...
 

then went Trick-or-Treating.  Our cut-off age for Trick-or-Treating is 12 so Seth stayed home and watched a movie with mom and the baby.  He is such a good sport, though, and had fun putting on a funny wig and handing out candy to the handful of kids who came to our door.
 


 
 

The next morning...