Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015: week 3

Mike and I spent a few days in Puerto Vallarta.  It was heavenly.

I chose this restaurant because of its amazing colors and because it was right on the beach.

We read and slept and went on walks.

A woman on the beach discovered some newly hatched baby turtles.  Then a bird swooped down and nabbed one.  They rescued the others.

My favorite part of the trip was going to Rhythms of the Night.  We went when we were in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago.  You take a "booze cruise" across the bay to a cove called Las Caletas.

We had a great dinner right off the beach and then rested in a hammock.

Then we watched the amazing show.  It has music and dancing and acrobatics...a little like Cirque Du Soleil.  Then we got back on the boat to head back.

On a certain section of the beach, it looked like God had sprinkled glitter along the shore.  It was so pretty.

We enjoyed lots of drinks.  The bar had cute names for the drinks without alcohol.  My favorite was the Scooby Doo.

We had checked out of the hotel when I remembered that I had forgotten a bag of sand for my collection.  Mike ran back into the hotel and out to the beach to save the day.

I had forgotten my neck pillow, so before we left the airport in SLC, I bought this zebra one.  I should have maybe bought something more unisex.

We made it home for all of the kids' activities. Christian's Jr. Jazz game, Drew's Young Men's basketball and Bev's soccer game.  Her team is divided into two teams for indoor. The two teams played each other and it was a good, close game.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015: week 2

I always struggle in January because, well, the party is over.  The party that is December:  gift-giving, parties, treat-making, family and friends, Christmas movies and lights.  December is also stressful--so many to-dos, but I love it.  The thing I love the most is the the time I have with the kids and Mike.  Two weeks of no school means we play games and watch movies and stay up late and get up late and talk and play.  As my kids get older, I find myself hanging on to these days of togetherness.  I just really like being with them.  I love having teenagers.  I love their spunkiness and growing independence. I love their personalities and humor.  Jess and Kiki are at fun stages too.

So, to manage my January blues, I try to make a plan.  This year the plan includes going to Mexico so I can avoid my January problems at home.  It also includes a big to-do list.  My basement needs attention in a serious way.  I have some professional development and licensing stuff I need to do.  I have some reading and learning to do.  I have an exercise plan to get going.  I have to overcome my desire to sit with a blanket over my lap with my heater blowing warmth while crocheting and watching Downton Abbey with Charlie Cat by my side.  (I actually did that one was heaven and I felt like an 80 year-old.)

I made these for Mike for Christmas.  We have never owned coasters...with all the Diet Pepsi consumed around here, I decided it was time.

She got her braces off.  Her gums are really swollen, and she is getting used to her permanent retainers, but she is thrilled to have them off.

This is called denial:  January 10th and we still have our Christmas trees up.  Saturday came around and I enlisted the help of the family to get Christmas taken down.  We then took them out to dinner for their hard work.  It took all six of us 4 hours to get it all done.

I also finally took down the "40" in pictures I did for Mike's birthday...

And the Christmas cards on the cabinets.

Drew had been sick, so Bev made him his own contaminated glass.

Jessi was practicing when Mike came home.  He sat down across from her and listened.  Every time she made a mistake, he made a funny face and she started to giggle.  It was so cute.

The three oldest, along with cousins Jack and Luke, are loving ski lessons.  I get Christian early from school and take him to the middle school where a bus comes to get them.  Bev said that Christian is doing great for a beginner.

Christian wanted to play Mindflex with Mike.  Charlie was so curious about it, he wouldn't leave them alone.

Then later, Charlie wouldn't let Christian do his spelling.  He first walked all over the paper, then rubbed on Christian and finally kept putting his paws all over the page.  Christian said, "I don't have the heart to kick him out...he just wants to be with me."  Charlie sleeps with Christian every night.

Bev's hair is out of control.  A trim is in her future.

I had it with kids leaving their shoes and backpacks and miscellaneous crap everywhere, so I declared that I would be charging 50 cents for each infraction.  Christian then asked if he could pre-pay for his mistakes.  He said he thought $10 would cover him for a month.  Bev then made this sign on the garage door, to hopefully remind everyone to put their shoes on the shoe rack, not on the floor.  If it doesn't work, I am going to be a rich woman.

Saturday Mike and the three youngest went with our friends to a hockey game.  They got to watch it from the suite.  Drew was at a party and I was at my friend's party.

My friend, Amee, did a "Favorites Party."  It was great.  Everyone brought a favorite food with the recipe along with a list of other favorite things.  I had some great take-aways.

Sunday, and we were having dinner at Camille's.  Christian and Mike rode bikes, in the winter, in the dark.  Mike is a good sport.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015: week 1

I love that over the holidays, we have time to play a three-hour game of RISK.  RISK is a sad game where the whole point is to take over the world and wipe people out.  But, for some reason, we love it.

I found these in my wallet.  A few days after receiving my new calling as the Primary Chorister, I opened this fortune. I think the fortune says it all...

Mike got his fortune.  He is not known for being the most happy and peaceful.  I want to frame this for him.

Drew and his friends went to a movie and lunch and then came back and played Just Dance.

The kids planned an outing to Airborne.  Bev got halfway through the Ninja Warrior challenges.

Mike got this waffle maker for his birthday.  He makes breakfast on Sundays. Now with 9:00 church, we may be having waffles for lunch.

Set to get her braces off tomorrow, and she has been obsessively checking her midline to make sure it is straight.

For Mike's birthday, we surprised him and took him to brunch at The Grand America.

She ate a few other things, but primarily focused on crab and shrimp.  She loves it.

She had the challenge from her orchestra teacher to get several extra hours of practice in over the holidays.  She worked her way through the Primary Songbook.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

week 52

I got our card designed weeks ago, but didn't print enough.  They did get delivered before Christmas, but not much before.

Their first day of Christmas break, and these two came to help me sort and deliver class t-shirts. I couldn't have done it without them.

 I started the cookie factory at about 3 pm.

I needed powdered sugar.  Not sure what I will do with 50 pounds... I guess Costco was out of the little bags.

 I stayed up until about 3 am getting 100 cookies done.  They are so. much. work.

This year I did Christmas trees.

The kids helped me deliver cards, popcorn and cookies to our friends, neighbors and my PTA board.

It was a few days before Christmas and out of the blue, Christian said, "when are we doing the gingerbread houses?"  Um, I guess I had forgotten, or thought we could skip it.  So, I found a few at Target.  They were not as good as the Costco kind.

Not that my craft room is ever tidy, but I can barely walk around in there.  Christmas stuff everywhere.  This room has been off limits to the children for the last few days.  Santa's workshop needed a cleaning.

This darling kept following the sun.

The sun would move and every half hour or so, he would adjust to be in the light.  Have I mentioned that he is the sweetest little thing and we adore him?  Because he is, and we do.

We finished the puzzle and not a day later, this happened.  Not sure which cat is to blame.

We stopped at this beauty in Draper.

Christian helped me make cookies for Christmas eve.  The kids get to decorate them and make one for Santa.

To Grandmothers house we go...

As I am now in the business, I brought some singing activities.  The kids and then the adults did some songs with handbells and then we sang The Friendly Beasts. I think everyone but Max enjoyed it.

Just a day earlier, Grandma got out of rehab for her knee surgery.  Tradition is she reads the nativity story.  The kids love it.  I love it.

Christmas eve after Grandma's house and the kids opened their Christmas jammies.  Christian does not wear jammies...he wears underwear...even in the winter.  He wanted a "soft and fluffy" robe.    The kids then wanted to give their gifts to each other.  Drew had them play a game to see who got what fancy drink.

Bev got Drew cheese balls, made Christian a sign and made Jessi a duct tape purse.

A few days before Christmas she got on Pinterest and found this project.  She asked Mike for some wood and nails and then disappeared to her room for a few hours.  She is a crafty one.

Waiting for the fun to begin.  Drew opted out of the group sleepover this year.  The other three slept in Christian's room.

We don't really have rules about Christmas morning.  The kids always sit at the top of the stairs and wait for Mike and I to get the lights on.  I get the cameras and he gets garbage sacks and Diet Pepsis for us.  Then the kids come down and always open their stockings first. They then take turns opening order..they are so good to each other and are always excited for each other and the gifts the other kids get.


New phone.  I kept telling her she wasn't getting one.  I love the surprises Christmas brings.

Ute fan.

Y fan.

When I saw this shirt with his nickname on it, I knew he had to have it.

She hugged each gift.

 She got her wish...a karaoke mic.

Christian was hoping he would get ski lessons with Drew and Bev.  Drew and Bev found their envelopes, but Mike hid Christian's envelope.  He saw them open theirs and frantically looked for his.  It was with great excitement and relief he opened his.

The mess.

Charlie and Freddy just parked themselves in the middle of the festivities.  They got cat and dog treats for Christmas.

We got to participate in a fun Christmas surprise for our friends and neighbors, the Varner family.  They had decided to adopt a cat, but wanted it as a Christmas morning surprise. We kept her for a few days and then got to deliver her to them on Christmas morning.  She is a sweetheart.

Late Christmas morning and everyone in the house except Jessi was looking at me like, "What have you done buying her that?"  I could listen to her all day.  #amazinggrace #starspangledbanner

Jones cousins.  My kids are lucky to have these people in their lives.

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Peels.  We always meet Grandma and Grandpa Jones there to open gifts and visit.

The day after Christmas I told the kids I had a bit of work to do. When I got to my computer, this is what I found.  Sweet Jessi was responsible.

Post-Christmas dinner with Mike.  I hadn't had my precious Rio in literally weeks so he got me some.

Whenever there isn't school the next day, the kids usually end up staying up late watching a movie and falling asleep.  Mike came downstairs to find Tiger keeping Bev warm.  Tiger sleeps with Bev every night.  Bev likes sleeping in the big chair and doesn't look too comfortable to me.