Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Happenings

Here are just a few pictures of things that have been going on around here:

Here's our January.  The blue was a little hard to read . . . and I didn't know that it had 31 days until after I'd drawn it out.  However am I supposed to remember what months have 31 days?!

 This started happening at our house - taking out a slit in our wall to connect our back yellow room with our kitchen.  I've dreamed of this for years - well, actually, I've dreamed of taking out the entire wall - but Ben wasn't for that.  So we comprised with a section of the wall.

This doesn't even show the mess the wall was in - wires everywhere that, according to our friend and remodeler Randy, were totally not to code, old pipes that ran from top to bottom and luckily weren't in use (which meant Randy could just saw them off and take them out of the way), etc.  I bet Randy spent the first 4-5 days rewiring the mess.  :)

Here is what it's looking like now.  We will be putting in (well, okay, Randy will be putting in) a bar counter on this side - and, of course, trimming out the slit.

Here is what it looked like with our old stove.  We couldn't keep it because it had the high back.  So we just sold it on Friday - yippee!

 And here is our new stove.  Ummm, it's great and all, but we still have to figure out how to get it all the way back to the wall (a long explanation that I'm not up for right now).  I love how it opens up the rooms and our home!  I remember the first time walking in and seeing the slit cut-out - I immediately LOVED it.  I'm in the kitchen A LOT and so now I will be able to see the kids as they are in there doing homework, eating, snacking, coloring, crafting, etc., etc.  (I didn't "stage" this picture and so it's kind of a mess . . . )

 The couple that puzzles together, stays together?!  Ben and I haven't done a puzzle just ourselves in like . . .forever?  But I found this puzzle and thought it would be fun.  And it was.  It was also really, really hard.  It took us 1 1/2 months, I think.  1,000 pieces.  But it was fun to work on and even more fun to finish.  :)

Most have probably seen this on facebook, but I think it's amazing.  Miles got a sheet of paper with a haunted house example and "tips" on drawing one.  This is what Miles free-handed.  He's good because he is so detail-oriented.  I was and am very impressed with his artistic skills!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pirate Day

January's spirit day was Pirate Day.  Fun, fun.  You can't really see, but Emmy wore huge hoop earrings (a whopping $1 at Walmart) and Jonas wore a smaller one in his ear.  Fun kids.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter Play

We all like winter around here.  Most of my kids call winter their favorite season (Lucy is the only one that chooses summer - and that's because of her birthday).  The kids have really gotten some good use out of the ice rink this year.  It's been great to see them go out there on their own (well, with at least another sibling or friend - but without us, the parents, going or even telling them to go).  They have gotten some good use of it this year.  Ben had two Men's Hockey Night and had a lot of fun.  The Young Men also came over for an activity and a few of the Old Men (Ben included) played as well.  So far it has turned out to be a pretty great year for it - but it may be close to its demise.  We'll see . . .

The girls got out on the rink on Saturday afternoon and had a lot of fun.  Lucy is our Most Improved Skater for the season.  :)

The kids were off on Monday and so I took them to Ouray.  We had driven by the rope-tow ski-hill and I really wanted to try it out with the kids.  So we did!  I was a little frightened at first because Emmy's bindings were not going to work with her boots and she was crushed that she wouldn't be able to try the rope-tow and ski.  Luckily I was able to change the settings and Jonas used my skis and Emmy used Jonas'.  Which meant no skiing for me.  Bummer.  I was planning on skiing with Lucy - helping her ski down with the waist-belt thingamabob.  So I had to change my plans for Lucy.  She quickly caught on to using the rope-tow and I would stand 1/4 of the way up and pull her off (well, she'd let go and then I'd grab her off to the side) and let her ski down on her own from there.  I kept going higher and higher and probably spent most of the time 3/4 the way up the hill.  Lucy did pretty great at skiing.  More times than not, though, she would mainly just ski straight down the hill - not totally in control.  She had a few runs with some excellent turns and so I know she just needs more practice (the hill is super short, but steep enough to not really be a beginner's hill).  She did get all the way to the top twice - but on her 2nd run she didn't make any turns really and ran in to the hale bales on the bottom of the hill.  So she was done (okay, I was done) with her starting from the very top.

The kids had a blast.  We were the first ones there and the last group to leave (though I'm sure some came after we left).  I loved just watching them go up the rope-tow - it was so quaint to see them doing that.  :)

Here are some pictures and videos of our fun day:
 Emmy going up for her first time!

She loved it!

Thankfully the kids would often at least try to help Lucy if she fell at the bottom of the hill.  Sometimes they could help her up, other times, not.  I did a lot of hill-climbing that day!

 Lunch time.

There were a few fun jumps there that the kids really enjoyed.  Let me just say - thank goodness for helmets!  :)

Emmy, Miles, and Jonas coming up the line.  :)

A cute boy after hours of skiing the hill.  SnOw fun!

And lots of videos (I took tons - per requests):


Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Cone of Shame

Well Brigham got neutered yesterday.  Poor guy!  He's doing okay, but has to wear the "cone of shame" for 7 days!  Aiyiyi.  And he has to mainly be confined inside; when he gets to/has to go outside, he needs to be on a leash.  He isn't supposed to run, jump, or play for these 7 days.  I was able to take him on a walk today - without his cone of shame, since he wouldn't be licking his site while walking . . .

Anyways, here are some sad pics:

 Brigham, cone of shame, crate, and a "get well" note from Lucy.  :)

Poor guy.  He was still a little out of it when this picture was taken.  He's doing much better today!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

January update

I finally erased December's calendar - I started erasing December and then remembered to grab a picture.  :)  I was going to fill in those blank, no-school days with what we did do, but I obviously didn't.  Whatevs.

Here is a little update on people and probably pups:

Ben - is no longer the transient bishop (the bishops in our area share this responsibility for a year at a time).  I'm not sure who is happier - me or him?  He looks handsome with his beard - although Emmy doesn't like the scratchiness of it.  :)  He had a men's hockey night on Saturday and had a great time.  Wtih warmer temps, it might be the one and only for the season.

Me - nothing really new with me.  Probably the most exciting thing is that I ordered customed-fit jeans.  I had to send in my measurements and everything.  You won't get this if you've never had to hem your pants and have nothing ever really fit you well (I'm as short as a 4th-grader, yet weigh twice as much as one!).  We'll see if they actually fit me well. . .  I've started forcing taking my kids on Sunday-date walks.  Each week, a child has to gets to go on a walk with me.  First up was Miles.  He refused to go.  So I went.  Then he ran after me and caught up with me at the park.  Next up was Jonas.  He moaned (that's why we nicknamed him Monas - Moan-is - ).  Miles told him, "No, it's actually kind of fun.  Mom just asks you questions and talks to you."  I think he had fun.  Emmy was up last Sunday.  Ben was actually home (!) and came along.  She complained, too, at the first but ended up liking it.  I think it's grand.

Miles - started a new semester/quarter at school, with new classes of art, choir, and science.  His pet gerbil, Pepper, died.  We are not sure when exactly - but his death was discovered by Miles on Monday.  Ben and I think he 1.  suffocated under all that bedding the boys had put in the cage (you know, rather than dump the old and get new - they just covered the old stuffing . . .) and 2.  was buried so much under all that bedding and couldn't get to the water.  Miles doesn't agree.  Of course.  Lucy, Jonas' gerbil, began eating Pepper.  Which is totally normal - if you're a gerbil.  Gerbils are gross.  No tears were shed.  No burial - as Ben told them, "The ground is frozen."  Let's hope Ben doesn't die in the winter-time; karma might come back to him.

Jonas - his "real" teacher is back teaching!  She had a baby a few weeks after school started and took 3-months off.  Let's just say that Jonas wasn't the biggest fan of the long-term sub and is thrilled to have his regular teacher back.  He loved the new Star Wars movie (as we all did - well, except for Emmy, who said it was too sad) and bought a few little Lego Star Wars sets.  I couldn't stand his long, ugly hair on his neck and so I cut it off the only way I know how to cut neck hair - with a straight razor-cut.  Ben was the first to point out it was totally done wrong.  Whatevs, I was just glad to have it not crawling down his neck!  He'll get a "real" haircut tomorrow afternoon.  :)

Emmy - was invited to "pre-team" at gymnastics right before Christmas break.  Truthfully, I was sort of surprised.  She's good, but her skills are way below those girls in the pre-team/team class.  Plus, those girls are old - there is one 5th-grader, but the rest are junior-high and high-school girls.  Well, actually, another girl from her class was invited to pre-team and she's a 3rd-grader.  Anyways, it was still super exciting and she had her first class tonight.  She's got a lot to learn, but I think this will be great for her!  She'll go twice a week, 2 hours each class.  That's a lot! (Just a side-note about Coach Kirk - he's not just interested in raising good gymnasts.  He's interested in raising good kids.  And it shows.  The older girls are kind to each other and super supportive.  Sure, there are issues.  But the Coach actually deals with them and sits down with the girls and has a chat, etc.  He's pretty great.)  We've been reading the new "Annie" book and it's been fun.  When we finish, Emmy (and most likely Lucy . . .) will get to watch the movie.  They have seen the old one, but not the new one.  She thew a good fit the other day.  I can't remember what it was about - she was dealing with Ben on this one.  It was a doozy, though - but, luckily, no running-away occurred.

Lucy - what's up with Lucy?  Oh, she threw the biggest screaming-fit of her life on Monday when my friend Csilla was over.  Some mix-up with trading legos, etc.  She just screamed and screamed and screamed.  I had to spank her - I think that was my first time spanking her.  She was out-of-control.  She eventually settled down and did tell me, on her own, "I'm sorry Mommy."  It was pretty nuts.  Other than that, she's a great girl!  She really is, though.  She's a good little gymnast, too.

Wilson - he is old.  He'll be 14 this year!  He has cataracts in his eyes, his hearing is going, and his fatty lipoma thing gets bigger and bigger.  Other than that, he's great!  He gets to go on our Sunday walks - that's why I need a kid to come (so I tell them . . .):  one to walk Wilson and me to walk Brigham.

Brigham - he's a good puppy.  7-months old.  He's not perfect, but is really good - especially for a puppy.  He's only chewed up one thing - my "Sunday flip-flops," i.e., Sunday shoes.  He loves to eat socks for some reason - but then barfs (or poops) them up.  Other weird things he likes to eat: apples, bananas, raw butternut squash, broccoli - both florets and stem, carrots, potatoes, cranberries.  He loves most fruits and veggies!  The only things he hasn't loved are celery (too stringy, I think) and lemons.  :)

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Eve and Day

 So we let the kids stay up until midnight . . . We played a lot of hockey that night and came in around 9:30.  Lucy had come in a bit earlier and had fallen asleep.  But re-awoke as everyone came back in.  We let the kids watch a movie and pulled out the hide-a-bed for them.  Ben and I went up around 10:45.  :)  Everyone but Lucy made it until midnight.  They heard all the neighborhood noises and then fell fast asleep I'm sure.

Then for New Year's we had decided to go cross-country skiing.  We had a really fantastic time.  Our three oldest did awesome on the skis and just seemed to love it and didn't complain at all.  Of course they fought with each other, but no complaints on skiing.  So cool.

 So Brigham got in lots of pulling today!  He didn't seem to mind . . .  It was super fun for the kids and made the adventure all the more neat!

 What a dog!

 How cool is Jonas in his awesome second-hand find?  80's anyone?  I love it and so does he!

 Lucy's ride.  She was super spoiled.  She did really great on her skis, but was a little slow and wanted to ride.  It worked out great, really.  Well for me.  I didn't have to pull her!

 We convinced Randy and Kay to come with us -  they are super people and friends and it was neat to have them with us!

 As we were getting ready this morning, we decided we needed "something" to help out with Lucy.  We just knew she wouldn't be able to keep up with us . . . So Ben gathered a bunch of stuff and came up with this awesome contraption.  He's totally Father of the Year in my books - as well as Lucy's.  :)

 Brigham loved just playing with the kids and going wherever they went.

Emmy enjoyed a rest at the end of our adventure . . . she's pretty cute!

 Our family, January 1st, 2016.

Jonas getting pulled.

Emmy's turn.

And Miles (his video isn't very long b/c Ben wanted to get an actual picture).