Monday, January 30, 2017

Monster Snow Storms

PURE JOY!

Here she is, in all her frozen glory. Our backyard!

I spy, with my little eye, a pretty horse!


"Hey Elsa...do you want to build a snowman?"
Andrew has been busy creating some of the best memories of his children's childhood.
When he is in this mode, I do my best to give him room to create, 
try and ignore the giant mess 
he sometimes usually makes
and see what I can do to make myself useful 
(such as: I document said memories and make the hot chocolate).

In case you missed my last ten posts,
we are in the midst of enjoying an incredibly snowy Winter. 
When these storms coincide with a weekend,
magic happens (while household chores/projects go undone).

First came the sledding hill.
Following that, came the igloo.
Each activity required hours of his time.
The days following their completion, he continues to make adjustments...
We cover up his true motive by saying what an adoring and doting Father he must be.
But really, what I think it is (wink, wink); Andrew never grew up. :)
(which is why Daddy and Forrest get along so well!)

Up first is the sledding hill:


If the snow is fresh and fluffy, the kids aren't required to wear helmets.
On days when it's icier, they are. 
Off topic for a moment,
last week we had a big storm.
Henry came home from school and, without being asked,
volunteered to shovel the driveway. 

Love him.

I have no idea where his work ethic comes from.
Oh wait, yes I do. 
This past Saturday, Andrew decided to gather the dozen moving boxes
that he felt inclined to save (we have had them in our basement for five+ years)... 
to help him create an outdoor igloo.
It makes him happy when his hoarding tendencies evolve into something cool.
It wasn't long until he ditched the coat and was working in short sleeves.
He was drenched by the time he finally came in. 
Ta-dah!
Since then, he has removed the boxes and all other "supports" because it's frozen solid.
He assures me it is super safe. 

We don't mind January too much, eh?
A quick note about Eliza:
This girl mailed in the money earned from this year's bear sale.
She raised $525.00
Her Aunt, Liz Green, showed her video to her activity day girls in NYC.
They decided to do a fundraiser to help send kids to school too.
Their combined totals was enough to send 19 kids to school!!
As I said on instagram,
Many thanks to those hands that helped us sew,
for those who purchased bears and cheered us on another year.
THANK YOU!

And last but not least,
I have to highlight one Henry's best friendships.
Scarlett has been his pal since Kindergarten.
This year, they have become even better friends.
They spend most every recess together.
He keeps me up to date on Scarlett's life:
"She was checked out early today to go skiing, Mom!" or
"She got braces. I hope they don't hurt her too much."
They exchanged Christmas gifts this year too.
It is so sweet.
When she accepted our invitation to come sled, Henry was all smiles.
The doorbell rang and as the younger kids announced  that she was at the door,
he couldn't even go to greet her because he was struggling to wipe the goofy grin
(read: the cutest smile I have ever seen!)
off his face!

Despite his younger siblings fighting for her attention,
I think they had a total blast.

Also, Scarlett has a super cool Mom.
She is so great and I feel lucky that I get to visit with her while they play.
It's a win/win situation, if you ask me!

Here are a few videos of some of these crazy, winter productions:


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chasing those January Blues Away

There will likely come a point where I grow weary of winter. Some people are already there. They are done with the cold and are in pursuit of a sign of Springtime. And while I understand where they are coming from, I am still enjoying the beauty of the snow. I check the weather forecast throughout the day, keeping my eye on approaching storms. I plan my grocery trips around them and other family outings. To be clear, I hate driving in the snow. If I had to commute in it, I would be singing a much different tune. 

While passing through these cold months, I prefer the beauty of the snow to muddy, wet brown hills and soggy patches of grass. This season has been good to us. The children have had ample opportunity to outfit themselves in their winter gear and play until they've frozen themselves into human popsicles. I feel that January has a bad reputation so my intention today is to highlight some of the fun things we've been up to.

Forrest had the opportunity to bring home "Little Lamb" for a few days.
It was his job to keep his preschool pet entertained and cared for.
He was eager to give Lambie a ride around our backyard. 

They also had story time inside of Forrest and Lottie's tent!

Another positive from January is that we had a five day weekend because
the end of the school term coincided with Martin Luther King day!
That weekend, Aunt Katie and Bubba invited us to go to Utah's Natural History Museum.
It isn't a billed as a "children's museum" so I didn't know know what to expect. 
We nearly didn't go; which would have been sad because everyone had such a great time.
It's a neat place with lots of cool things to see and do. 
Thanks to Bubba and Aunt Katie for inviting us.
It's always fun to make memories with cousins.

A few weekends ago, I dropped all four my children off at the church for a
Primary pancake breakfast party!
It was surreal to drive home by myself.
I find myself alone in the car more and more.
To be honest, I am not sure if I love it or hate it.

Eliza will be in young women's next year,
so yes, I am trying to enjoy this sweet chapter of having the four of them in Primary together.

We said "Goodbye" or I guess I should say, "Aloha" to our sweet neighbors
Miss Nancy and Mr. Scott. They left to serve a mission in Hawaii! 
We already miss them a lot. 
They are such a special part of our community and ward family. 
When my water broke with Forrest, they were the ones we called until our parents could arrive.
The same thing happened when Andrew was in his car accident. 
They love our children so well and will be dearly missed!
We found Forrest asleep with Henry's Tweedle Dee hat on.
It gave us a laugh.
I like this picture because he looks like he is having a happy dream.
Eliza's instagramming more and more.
I liked this photo she took from the back seat of our car while on her way to Nana's house.

Speaking of Eliza, her love of Harry Potter hasn't dimmed since completing the books.
While going through my mail the other day, I found this tucked in between the envelopes. 
If you can, enlarge the photo and read her headlines. 
They look intriguing, yes?! Ha ha!

I also discovered Henry's New Year's resolutions for 2017.
If I had to choose one word or phrase to describe Henry it would be,
"Pure in Heart." 
He is an incredible son.  

And here's another one of Eliza's recent photos from insta.
She is likewise so special.