T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Winter Garden 2015

We go every year. This year was nice because we went with Ms. B and her family. She is the one who watches BB for us while I am at work. It's been wonderful having them in our lives because they are such a wonderful family. We were brave this year and let the toddler run free. I figured with 4 adults there watching her we could keep up. She did pretty good. Only once did I need to carry her and sing the ABC Song over and over. 

The trains were a big hit with everyone as was climbing the hill and ringing the bell. There was a fresh skiff of snow which just made everything that much more beautiful.

Miss M's Visit 2015

It has become tradition that my dearest and longest friend come up to our neck of the woods to celebrate either Thanksgiving of Christmas with us. This year was Christmas and she arrived just in time for Christmas dinner. It was a glorious visit. Actually, we were having so much fun and doing a lot of lounging in our pjs that I barely even took photos. 

What exactly did we do? Eat - whatever and when ever we wanted. Worked out. Played with kiddos - lots of play dough, peanut butter lunch rush (one of the games I made for my kids), pretend tea, etc. I had to work one of the days so she held down the fort for us. She has 4 kids of her own so I think three is a piece of cake in comparison. We had a n marathon of Downton Abbey complete with the series finale. We may have eaten chocolate during such marathons. One day we met my mom and sister for shopping. She enjoys hanging with both of them so I think it was nice for her to also have them tag along. My kids joined along for everything except one night I took her out after the kids went to bed for dinner and dessert. Funny, we didn't stay out late because we wanted to get back and watch more Downton Abbey! We always laugh because we go out and only drink water (or in my case hot water) and we get so giggly it's like we're drunk - it has never taken alcohol for us to be drunk with fun.

I was looking at our photos that are up in the guest room where she stayed. They are from senior year of high school and sophomore year of college. Our high school teachers used to excuse us any time we wanted. She was student body president and she appointed me a seat on the counsel since I was head cheerleader. We would often leave on "official school business" just to bake cookies. The photo I have is of us "ditching school" because we were attending a scholarship luncheon followed by a church event. Yes - we were "wild". Those teachers never worried about us because even if we were off baking cookies we'd bring in some the next day for them. Both of us graduated with top honors and plenty of scholarships. We could have gotten into so much trouble with all the freedom we were granted but we didn't. I am so grateful I had someone to "go wild with" those last few months in high school and again for a time in college. (For the record though, we were friends back in junior high, too, it's just that the most memorable things seem to stem from high school and college.) I think the memories we are generating now could rival some of those.

We've been friends a long time. We've seen each other through many things. We love each other no matter what, forgive each other no matter what. It's a friendship beyond being "best friends". Epic friends is a closer term but I still think it falls short in its description.

It was a wonderful visit. Lots of fun and lots of laughter. Lots of good times. 

We're planning another visit this summer and then again for Thanksgiving 2016. I have to look forward to these visits because it was really tough to say goodbye yesterday. Five days was a great visit and as long as we could keep her away from her family but gosh we already miss her sweet spirit around the house. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

A great morning and a great week. We kept things very simple and didn't go over board with gifts. Most of the kids gifts from us were homemade - things like PJs, purses/bags, mermaid making kits, games, hats, scarves, shawls, stuffed toys (I'm probably missing a few things). You get the idea. I crafted probably a dozen scarves, several hats, more things than I could keep up with taking photos of to post.

We also were able to spend all day at home with the kids Christmas eve which was wonderful because most years we've been running around dropping off gifts and visiting and this year we just stayed home. This was nice because we had quite a lot of snow. We received a ton of cookies and thus didn't have to bake any for Santa. In fact, we left a couple for Santa, as well as some popcorn and tea along with reindeer food. The kindergarteners always make reindeer food so she sprinkled that outside and we were set.

T asked for some Halo minifigures, S wanted an Elsa Build-a-Bear, and BB wanted a ukulele. Everyone pretty much received what they wanted with the exception Santa chose a mini-guitar for BB versus a ukulele (I think because guitars can be played by all the kids of the family and lessons may be in their future). 

It was the most magical year to date, I think, with the kids on Christmas morning. It was also the least stressed I have ever felt going into the Christmas holiday. 

Christmas day we played in the snow, prepared for my friend Miss M to arrive, and prepared for a big dinner. My brother-in-law's long time friend's son is in our area serving an LDS mission and he asked if that young man and his companions could join our family meal. Of course, I welcome all for Christmas dinner and we had quite the grand feast of tamales, tortillas, beans, chili, rice, and homemade chips. 

Here are several photos of our Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

S's First Gymnastics Meet

Aka the Snow Flake Challenge. 

She has been taking class since she was 2 (because dance could not be started until age 3). She loves it and has been very dedicated. Plus, in all honesty, she is a high energy child and a very intense person so 5 hours of gymnastics a week is very good for her as well as her family. 

Finally, she had a chance to show off her skills. What amazing skills she has. I rarely get to stay and watch her practice so seeing her meet was such an enlightening experience. For five years old she is truly amazing.

She won 3 blue ribbons for floor, beam, and vault, and one white for bars (she over did her dismount and went out of bounds but I still think it was the best dismount of her age group). I will admit I am totally biased. See for yourself.

She had a huge cheering section of grandparents, Auntie J, Uncle S, Cousin Dede, Ms. B and her daughter, Ms. K and her daughters, and, of course, her family. Even little BB did great watching her big sister perform. Lots of smiles from all of us.