Thursday, November 21, 2013

Veterans Day

"Mom! I don't have school on Monday!" Scarlet informed me last Friday.  You don't?  Oh yeah!  Veteran's Day!  I have been very behind on my holidays this year, they have all kind of jumped up on me.  I haven't taken my kids to school on a holiday yet, but I've come close.

Within hours of finding out both of my kids didn't have school, I had our day trip planned and ready to go.  I have been wanting to go to Zions for a long time, even more so since Courtney and Curtis moved to St. George.  Utah decided to be super unpatriotic and not take the day off so Curtis didn't get to join us but Courtney headed up the canyon and we went a hikin!

We took the Emerald Pools hike and it was gloriously beautiful.

The kids scurried up rocks, shimmied through caves, and even walked under waterfalls.

Jude was a dream baby.  He spent the entire hike in sleeping cozily in the sling
He woke up briefly at the final waterfall, ate, and then slept again for the rest of the hike back.

My kids picked their own hiking clothes, the neon colors came handy, they were very easy to spot at a distance.

I love this picture.  My brave adventurers taking on the world.

And we reached the upper pool!

"Okay guys, new pose!"  This is what they gave me without any further prompt.

The day really couldn't have been better.  We drove around a little bit more into the park and then ate a delicious dinner in St. George before heading home.  We pulled at 6 p.m. and had all of our kids absolutely zonked in their beds by 6:20.  A perfect day trip.

Pomegranate Time

Bert and Charla got to hang out for a few days following Jude's blessing and brought along several delicious garden treats for us to share.  Kiwis, tomatos and lemons topped the list but what our children were most excited about were the pomegranates.  

Peeling has become an outside activity only... especially since Asher has mastered the art of squeezing the seeds until they squirt juice on the nearest passerby.

There was one terrible incident where I spilled a whole bowl of freshly plucked seeds.  But my kids proceeded to eat most of them straight off the patio.
Stained from head to foot?  Totally worth it.


Jude had a very impressive turnout for his blessing date.  I am sure its because you are so universally loved, not because it was the first weekend in November and the weather was exceptionally lovely...

Grandpa Dave made a rare, but always enjoyable visit.  He and Jude had some serious bonding time.

The rest of the crew included Jon's parents, his sister Krista and her husband Bill, and all of my sisters and mom.

We had a great weekend.  Dixie State was playing UNLV that weekend so everyone got to go see Curtis play, and they even had the courtesy to win their exhibition game.  I'm sure it was mostly in honor of Jude.  We watched the kid's soccer game Saturday morning and then the boys spent the afternoon golfing.  We then took everyone out to dinner at the tapas restaurant, Firefly, that evening and rounded out the night with Krispy Kremes.

And what weekend would be complete without teaching your youngest sister in law how to smash her first pumpkin?

I planned on blessing Jude in the baby tux his two brothers and worn previously.  It fit Asher perfectly and it was a squeeze on Rhode, but he was two and a half months old.  I thought we would be safe... but no.  My little chubster was much too thick for the unstretchy attire.  So this soft and stretch white cardigan outfit fit the bill.  

The blessing was exceptionally beautiful and we all felt very loved and supported surrounded by so much family.

Monday, November 18, 2013

October In Review

October was a blur of a month.  I am sure something happened in between all of my delirious non sleeping and baby nursing, but I am not sure what.  We will just have to let the camera guide the way...

Oh look, I took the kids to a pumpkin patch!  See, I left my couch on occasion.  We went to the McKee Ranch this year and it was pretty entertaining.  There were animals, a very short and sweet hay ride, pumpkins everywhere (not actually growing in the ground, it's Vegas) and playground equipment galore.  There was a homemade merry go round that was in an octagon shape.  I spun the kids with all my might, and then one of the many corners gave me a good old whack on the back of the calf and I got to hobble the rest of the visit.  The bruise was killer ugly.
And the only two pictures I got were of a pony and the back of my children's heads.  Classic.  They had a photographer on site that insisted on taking photos of my kids.  They dressed them up in flannel and cowboy hats and took pictures of them with Fall props.  Some of them turned out pretty cute, but it was a lot of money to own shots of my kids dressed like farmers...

I caught this pre-bed storytime moment with all of my boys.  Might be one of my favorite pictures ever.

Jude had his first bath!  I expected a lot of screaming, based on his dislike for being cold and naked.  But he kind of seemed to enjoy it in his two week old way.

Rhode took a selfie...

Scarlet continued to occupy all of her free time with her baby brother.  He doesn't totally appreciate her yet but I appreciate her enough for the both of us.

Scarlet also turned into a zombie for her first dance team performance of the year at the Halloween Hoopla.  
And I learned an important lesson.  I DO NOT know how to pouf hair.  Seems like being related to Kylie it should just come naturally to me...

I got to get out and about for almost everything I wanted to... except for Jon's St. George Marathon run.  But, Courtney and Curtis stepped up and made it to the finish line to watch him cross.

3 hrs 35 minutes, even with beard wind resistance.

And before the final shave, the kids captured this fantastic Spanish Conquistador look.

Ha ha!  He is going to kill me for posting these...

Soccer Season

It was a great moment when I realized Rhode was finally old enough for his own extracurricular activity.  That kid needed some energy burning time badly.

By the way, can you believe the view from his soccer field?  It was a fantastic park.
Rhode's team was called the Dragons.  It was mostly compiled of a group of friends with a few stragglers (we were in the straggler group).  But they were a great group of people and there was always a lot of fun chatting to be found during practice/games.  Which is a very good thing when watching 5 year old soccer.

Rhode was picked as Most Improved Player on his team, which I think was really well deserved.  His first practices included a lot of fake falling down and the always enjoyable 'sitting in the middle of the field during a scrimmage' stunt.  His first game included pretty much no contact with the ball.  But by his last game, he had moments where he definitely looked like he knew what he was doing.  I am not sure we have a pro soccer player on our hands but he is looking forward to playing again next year.
Scarlet also played again this year.  The league did a very annoying thing and put the five year old games at a different park than then other soccer teams.  So not only were Scarlet and Rhode's games not on the same field, but they were usually at the same time.  There were two weeks when Jon and I had to handle two simultaneous games without each other and it was pure craziness.  Most weeks we just had to split up.  I was kind of always gearing to get to go to this girl's games.
Scarlet's team, the Fireballs, was GOOD this year!  We had the same coach as last year and he put the kids to work. We had a few kids that were really fast and one kid who had some serious ball handing skills.  We went undefeated (in the non scoring league :) and some games had a clean sweep.

Scarlet definitely improved this year and even scored three goals this season.
She is great at the running and sticking with the ball.  Her team was even really good at spreading out and taking control of the field.  She had some great big kicks down field.  Now we need to work on dribbling!
Soccer season is great at the time, but no sadness to see it end.  Yay to having our Saturdays back for awhile!

I'm a little crazy, but in a good way

When the Earl girl cousins first started throwing around dates for a reunion, I was planning on having a baby in October.  So September seemed perfect.  Finally, I could go to a reunion without having to bring along a baby.  And then it turned out I was not very good at math and I was due the week before the reunion was scheduled.

This reason alone is probably why I was so anxious to have Jude ASAP (that and pregnancy being extremely uncomfortable and all).  So when he was born only six days before the reunion, I thought my chances of getting to go were gone.

But then I came home from the hospital and sat around my house for 5 days while my mom handled everything.  And then I realized my mom was driving home.  And then I did a little logical thinking.  When my mom leaves, my activity level is going to increase.  I could stay home and pretend to rest while my children were either A) begging at my feet or, more likely, B) doing something naughty out of my reach, or I could hop in the car and continue my recovery time with some of my favorite people on the planet.

Hopping in the car for 5 hours a week after having a baby is not the most pleasant experience, but guys, seriously, it was totally worth it.

I spent the entire weekend sitting while my family entertained me.

I got to hand over my new little guy to his aunts every time  he wasn't hungry, and even a few times when he was hungry.  He got in some great naps laying on one of these ladies shoulders.
Plus I got to spend some time with Jules.  Every time we get time to chat, I find myself realizing how awesome I think she is and how perfect she is for Brad.  I like this whole new sister thing.

Funny Story:  So we took a little trip to Costco before heading up for the reunion and I had Jude in the sling (like I do in the picture below).  While in the checkout line, the lady in front of me turned around and asked, "What do you have in that little bundle of yours?"  "Umm... a baby?" I answered, very confused as to whether or not she was kidding, but she was genuinely shocked.  After looking at this picture, I kinda get why, he was still a pretty tiny thing.

It was such a fantastic weekend with all kinds of unforgettable moments.  I stayed up way too late and the flight home was all kinds of miserable but it was so very much worth it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013 - The Minimal Year

I almost ditched the family theme idea this year.  What can I say?  I'm tired.  The thought of putting even more than the minimal effort into Halloween made me even more tired.  So, I figured, what would be the harm in just letting the kids dive into the costume bin and walk out the door in whatever they find?

And then, we went through the costume bin.  And lo and behold, the fates aligned.  A theme developed right before our very eyes.  Without further ado, I introduce you to our 2013 Halloween Theme:

The Villains

The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland

 Captain Hook from Peter Pan

 His "Evil Face"

Shan Yu from Mulan

 Shan Yu is a little heard in two year old speak, so instead when people asked him what he was, he hit his best Power Ranger pose while shouting, "I'm Tiny Ninja!"  Close enough.
 Jon calls this picture his "Asian Eyes"

Shan Yu was my choice after I vetoed Jon's suggestion:

And the ever menacing, the ferociously frightening...

Shere Khan from Jungle Book

Aren't they terrifying?

That much evil must have been spawned by some dastardly devils, namely:

Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmations


Gaston from Beauty and the Beast

"Let's Kill the Beast!" face

Even our pumpkin got into the villain spirit this year.

 Happy Halloween!