Thursday, February 11, 2016

the littles' hiding spot

Several weeks ago the littles were playing hide and seek or some such game that required them to find small spaces to fit into - maybe it was just to prove that they could fit into little places. This spot is on the edge of the dining room squashed between the hutch and the stairs. Samuel just turned five and is getting almost too big for this space. He and Ezra were in there together but I couldn't get a picture of it.

You can see that small shadowy space to the left of the hutch (yep, that's a nice build in that came with the house).

Ezra was actually the first one to hide in there. At two and a half he has plenty of room. 

Happy face Ezra...

Sad face Ezra... This pictures amuses me. :)

babysitting the cousins

During the second week of January we ended up babysitting our nieces Grace and Sarah since Shari had a potentially serious medical issue come up. When they dropped them off, Sarah, who is just over two years old, walked over to the stairs, sat down, and avoided eye contact with anyone all the while making this sourpuss face. She always makes this face - it cracks me up. Terry and I laughed and he even took her picture. "Not impressed Uncle Terry."

It was a last minute sort of deal so we adjusted our pizza movie night plans. I made an extra pizza and the kids had to sit upstairs at the table to eat and wait to watch a movie until afterwards (as opposed to sitting on the couch while watching like we usually do). Shari ended up being absolutely fine and they picked the girls up just before bedtime. 

I hadn't noticed initially, but when I looked closer, Sarah is totally making that face again below...

Yeah... HA!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

flying turtles at the lake

Two weeks ago at the end of January we had a two day stretch of beautiful unseasonably warm weather. The first day, the kids and I went for a run to the park down the road. The next day we went to Canyon Lake Park to walk and roll.

Noah and Evie wheeled around on their flying turtles, Samuel rode his Strider, and I pushed Ezra in the stroller. We live on a little bit of a hill so they don't play with them as much as they used to (or when we had an unfinished dungeon). When Noah was little he used to roll around Gburg so much that his sides got sore from the motion of the thing.

This portion of the sidewalk is new and very smooth so the kids were excited to roll down it. It used to be steeper. The first time Evie went down it on the Strider bike, she totally wiped out. 

This is a video of them flying down the hill. 

We stopped at the biggest playground in the park along with like 20 other kids since it was so nice out.

Awww, Evie teeter tottered with Ezra.

Big homeschooled kids on the slide...

One woman who looked like Zooey Deschanel brought her son and ferret to the park. It was cute and intriguing...

We finished our time off by swinging maniacally on the tire swing. This was my favorite playground activity as a child. My dad used to swing us so violently I thought we would all fall off and die. We never did. 

when daddy's not home...

A couple weeks ago Terry had to leave us to go to Denver :( But at least it was just a day and a half.

When daddy's not home...the kids don't smile as much...

When Daddy's not home, Ezra is extra snuggly...

When daddy's not home you eat enormous pizzas while grocery shopping at SAMs, because, well, we all deserve a pick me up (or down, depending on how the pizza really makes you feel)... 

When daddy's not home you read and watch Star Wars at the same time... 

When daddy's not home, mommy has to take over the silly activities...

world's best cookies

My mom used to have a go-to cookie recipe when we were little. I remember she added wheat germ to it. But then she found the motherload recipe - Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies. We were smitten with them and never made another kind. She even upgraded her Kitchen Aid mixer in order to better handle the massive amount of cookie dough this recipe makes. Thankfully she gave me my very own Kitchen Aid mixer for a wedding gift and I can carry on her tradition of delicious cookies. 

I'll even go so far as to share the recipe if you want. Just facebook me :D

Thursday, February 4, 2016

silly littles

I have some silly kids, especially those littles, Samuel and Ezra. 

We were at a stoplight a couple weeks ago and I turned around to see Samuel hiding under his blanket.

Peek-a-boo! I love my Sah-muel.

Here is a short video of the sillies waiting for daddy to come home one night and working their ab muscles. Ezra does whatever everyone else does. 

Samuel speech update

Samuel has been steadily improving his speech in the last year and a half since he's been in speech preschool. This is a short video of Terry and Samuel going through some speech homework one morning before preschool. 

Honestly he's made so much progress. Nearly everyone can understand him now. Of course he still has very far to go but I'm hopeful it'll work itself out as he grows. He just turned five this week and I'm a little nervous about starting Kindergarden next year. We will just take it slow and see how he does though.

sliding down a hill in snow

Two weeks ago I was heading to work on a snowy Saturday morning feeling secure in our 4 wheel drive Envoy. I was going slowly down the very steep hill behind and beyond our house, but apparently slow isn't slow enough when your tires are nearly bald, even if you have 4WD engaged. My brakes locked up and I proceeded to slide into the curb of the concrete island at the bottom of the hill. 
The google map truck must have been driving through during the Rally... Anyway, the island curb I hit is directly in front of this biker with the trailer.

Once I came to a stop I tried to keep going to work, however, the tires were making some flapping noises. I parked the Envoy and got out to take a look and discovered there was no way I was going to make it to work in it. I had flattened my tire.

I called Terry approximately ten times and once he finally heard his phone ringing he came to my rescue. He put the spare tire on and let me take the van to work. My hero! I was only a half hour late so it could have been worse. It was crazy busy that day too!

When I returned home that evening he took the Envoy to Bargain Barn to have it checked for damage. Thankfully there was none - no problem with the tire or rim. I must have hit only the tire so it came cleanly off the rim. Plus they said the tires were down to 15% tread. Terry was going to Denver the following week in the Envoy so he went ahead and bought new tires. Now the thing works like a 4WD vehicle should. Before the new tires, our van handled better than the Envoy in 4WD. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

my Christmas gift

Zoom... See it yet? 

Here it is. When Terry asked me what I'd like for Christmas, I told him I'd love a mother's birthstone ring someday, since we were done having kids. I gave him many other ideas too. I didn't think he'd do it right away, but he did. 

I really liked the rings, but they were a little cumbersome since there were four individual bands. We went back to the store and looked at other options.

Nearly a month later, it was completed. I LOVE IT!!!  
1. Noah - April, diamond/white sapphire
2. Evie - March, aquamarine
.3 - Samuel - February, amethyst
4 - Ezra - May, emerald

4H shooting club

We are doing 4H different this year. Instead of monthly meetings we opted to have just Noah participate in 4H shooting club weekly on Monday evenings. It's a little messy because our high school bible study is also that evening, but I'm able to be back for half of it and the kids have mostly behaved for daddy (except for Ezra's nasty poopy pull-up incident on the first night...). It's a good outlet for Noah and it's cheap. Win-win.

Here are the kids listening to one of the instructors the first evening go over the rules. 

Noah probably wouldn't be interested if his friend next to him, Moses, didn't do it. But I'd like him to learn and maybe even shoot with my dad someday. Right now they're just using BB guns from 15 feet. They've learned to shoot two positions so far - prone and sitting.

We bought him a BB gun a couple Christmases ago but he hasn't really used it much. This way he can really improve. This target is from the third evening and is a practice "sider." He can take as many shots at it before he fills up the other ten scored targets with one shot per target. He's improved a lot.

Grampa and Samuel

Not a lot to say for this grainy photo. I just snapped it real quick several weeks ago when Grampa was reading to Samuel. It's cute!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Noah's "new" room

Noah's room isn't technically new, not since he and Samuel first took up residence two years ago. However, he does have sole use since Christmastime when we moved Evie upstairs to the old nursery and Samuel and Ezra began sharing a room. 

It took a couple weeks, but we finally got him a little more settled in. My sister Stephanie gave me this lovely painting she made in college. It's based off a picture she took of baby Noah and I when the three of us had gone hiking near where Terry proposed on the ranch. It looks great in there!

Noah was quite thrilled to move all of his Lego things onto the ledge around his room. They've always been put away in a closet so the littles couldn't play with them. But now they're so much more accessible and he's getting more use out of them. I don't think he needs more Lego's...but he does.

In the corner by the closet we put his larger Lego sets and his new Christmas beta fish from Terry's folks. 

Meet Montana.

first sleepovers

Somehow our kids got it into their minds that they wanted to have a sleepover; had to have a sleepover. We obliged them on New Year's Day

Evie went to Elle's house where they were incredibly silly and made no sense at all.

And Asher came to our house, ate beef stroganoff, and was probably equally as silly.

They played this random game the next morning.

The following weekend we made a switch and Elle came here. 

They just had to sleep under the loft because it was so magical and fun. Well, that only lasted ten minutes before they realized they were uncomfortable and slept together on top.  

Noah went to Asher's. 

The following morning the girls did some sledding.

And then had hot chocolate.

While Noah and Asher had a dart fight.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

the snowy Mick ride

On the second day of the year, some of our students started the new year right - toiling through snow/sand on their bikes on the Mickelson Trail. There has been some debate as to whose idea this was. We all blamed Jazmin but she said it was Jana's idea. We'll just say they're equally to blame for the pain that was endured. 

Our friends Paul and Jana have fixed up a cabin on the Mickelson Trail south of Custer and the idea was to park 11 miles up trail (or so?) and ride to the new cabin and hang out. Terry and I did not participate for the biking part. We were still recovering from New Year's Eve. Even though most of these students had stayed up all night, after a presumably good night's rest, the following day they began their trek. 

Terry, the kids, one student (Luke), and I drove to the cabin just to hang out with them all. We spotted the group just outside of Custer and parked at the first available area and ran down the trail to surprise the group. We hid behind a tree and then jumped out at all of them as they passed. It was kind of a fail. No one screamed or was scared at all. No one even wanted to stop! Afterwards we found out the reason for this was that they were so exhausted from peddling through snow that felt like loose sand.

All smiles from Jazmin and Denise however. Denise was borrowing Paula's new fat tire bike that had considerable more surface area and tread so she was doing well. Of course she is in fantastic shape and bikes all the time. She shared the bike around to everyone.

Here's the group unhappy to have been stopped by Terry the photographing maniac.

You can see the girls in the back trying to get enough grip to start moving again. Darn it Terry and Eva. David is an old pro and is popping a wheelie...

Really?! I mean, seriously?! On snow?!

Forgoodnesssakes! I went biking with him for the first time last weekend and he's out of control good. Ridiculous!

After this we left them to it and headed to the cabin. It's beautiful, of course, because they do amazing work. Here's the collective kids enjoying some nachos.  

The mature adults. 

We waited what seemed like forever for the bikers to arrive. It probably took them close to another two hours from where we saw them to travel the few miles to the cabin. Poor kids. I'm not sure who was first. I know Prae is in white...

Landon and Denise.

First I took a spin on the fat tire bike and then Terry did. I was ashamed that after a one minute cruise around the land my quads were sore the next day despite the working out I had been doing. Snow is hard to peddle through, even with those tires. Poor kids had hours of it. 

Zoe collapsed when she finished.  

The last in were David, Emma, and Jazmin. 

They were all ravenous and devoured those nachos.  

We hung out for a while and then Terry, Paul, Dan, and I went to get everyone's vehicles for the riders. Paul hit a deer ahead of me on the way back. It was quite the eventful day!