Thursday, February 26, 2015

All those random pictures from your phone...

 You know how you have a lot of random pictures from your phone of adventures that are neat but maybe don't necessitate a blog post of their own?  Well, here are ours from January and February:
 James and Nathan put together a solar car that he got for Christmas...

Then they made the car battery operated.  This kid loves science projects!
(Hence the space jammies)

 Jack loves playing with this "Toothless", which is James', but both have an untold agreement it seems that Jack may play with it whenever he likes.

 Jonathan has 8 teeth, and is feeding himself some foods, even if he makes a mess doing it.

 He might be the busiest I've had so far at this age, ie. getting into all the cupboards, but he is the happiest!

 He fell asleep while I was feeding him lunch on January 5th!  This is the one and only time he's ever done this.

 I've been training at Crossfit The Club three days a week since last June.  I'm loving it, and Nathan is now coming since January.  I'm working on being able to do a handstand here. 

Back squat PR today(2/25, one year from having a baby) was #125

Walking to together at the gym.  These two literally are best friends.  They do fight sometimes, but not often. Jack has a way he thinks things should go, and James usually goes along with him. This is actually pretty typical.

 James has a few good buddies in Kindergarten with him.  This was with Will and Miles, while we still had a little snow around here.  To actually make a snowman the only snow that would stick together was on the sidewalk in front of the empty lot next to our house.  I shoveled the snow into chunks, then they would come and get a pile to take back to our yard to create a snowman.  We were literally mining the snow!  Then we collected rocks for the eyes and buttons, a carrot for the nose, a weed for the mouth, and Jack found a random Christmas decoration in the empty lot that we used for a hat :) 

 Can you see Jack and Oaklee? 

 Now can you?
These two have quite the imagination together (and mess making capabilities)

 Miles and James built separate lego spaceships, and then they fit together to create a mega spaceship!

So this little dried up worm was on our back bench for a while.  Jack found him outside, and brought him in, because "it's okay mom that he's dead, when Jesus comes back he'll be alive again.  So he can just wait right here".  I love his thinking...he has such faith.  And as a mom of boys, this worm is nothing to cleaning up salamander water from couch. (Yep, that has happened).

 Having some friends over and utilizing the basement for its intended purpose

 Jack and Jonathan have a snuggle/wrestle time

 Jack's bestie Eve, making funny faces in the car.  Neither of these two can make a normal smiley face. 

 Old college roommate from freshman year at S hall (she lived next door) Meghan, and her family have moved back to Utah from Florida.  Someday maybe we can have a reunion of all the friends from that year?

 Will came over and he loves to build marble towers at our house.
Here they are working on it all together.

 Daddy and Jonathan just being cute

 They created a house with a yard for the bear that comes with the Lincoln Logs

 Funny faces as we pick up James from school.
Side not is the shirt Jack has on is his new favorite.  He wants to wear it over or under everything.  And I don't mind, it's a BYU shirt!

 We went on a date with the Beckstrom's and went to a family fun center.  We drove the go-karts, played mini golf, bowled, and played laser tag.  Nathan is the best at that last one, but I am second, and it's pretty fun! 

This is another ice castle in Huntsville.  We headed over there with Papa and Grandma one Monday night because the city actually makes an ice skating arena in a park!  And a big one at that.  You can rent skates then from a BBQ restaurant that is across the street.  So we quickly eat dinner then head over Trapper's Loop to check this place out.  Unfortunately the restaurant is closed on Monday's, so no skate rental.  And it had been so warm that they weren't opening this ice rink.  It is a park, so we still walked on the ice, and went in this ice castle briefly.  We got to hear owls hoot to each other across the park.  It was lesson of still choosing to be happy even if something doesn't turn out the way that you planned.  James had a harder time because he really wanted to ice skate.  But slipping around on our shoes was fun too.

Yep the boys wore helmets just in case they fell to hard.
I can't believe the warm winter we've had thus far!
And the ice rink never reopened because it has been that warm.  What a year to buy a season pass!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Skiing Adventures

 Skiing this year with these two has been so much fun!  Jack has made so much progress!  It was his first year skiing, and he is more cautious than James (which is ironic because he has broken his elbow twice), so it took more time, but he can now go down Little Cat all by himself, I am so proud of him!

 Jack getting a lesson from Erika

 These two being goofy

 James has been doing great this year as well!  He has mastered Little Cat, and when we would get off the lift he'd head down by himself then wait for us by the line for the lift.  He is fast!  He has gone down the next lift Becker, and gets turning great. 
 A good snow day, in December 2014

And his favorite this year: he got POLES!  This is a big step, because sometimes kids will worry more about their poles than their skiing, and then the skiing goes down hill (no pun intended, but that was pretty good)
 First time with poles!!! January 2015

One Saturday just James and I went, what a great ski buddy!

 On the way home we saw two moose!

A story from the last time we went: it was a Saturday and the first time that Nathan went with us.  We did two runs down Little Cat, both boys doing great.  We saw friends there, and all had a little one James' age, and they said they had gone up the gondola, and were able to take the easy road down.  So James and I went up and Nathan and Jack stayed and kept going up and down on Little Cat.  We got up that and we saw our neighbors.  James rides his bike to school with them, and they have a kindergartener.  I knew James could take the easy way down, I just wasn't confident in finding it, so I asked how their daughter gets down.  "Oh she just flies down" he told me.  I wasn't clear that I didn't know the way, and was becoming less confident that there even was a way.  But alas, we started out, and found the first part easily enough.  Then there was an "easy way" that crossed a run, but we were headed across and not down.  I told James to follow my tracks. When I turned he wasn't right behind me, but was still waiting,  and then I'm not sure how, but his skis got turned so he was facing uphill, and he started sliding backwards!  This part of the mountain was very, very steep!  I was yelling for him to just crash, and he ended up running into a kid (about 12yrs old), both lost their skis, and it was at the beginning of the terrain park part! I got down quickly (it wasn't far, just steep) and we got his skis and hiked back up to the "easy" part.  Well, that had rattled him, and even sliding a half an inch sent him into a meltdown and tears.  We were never going to get down the mountain at this rate.  We kept on, but he wasn't trying anymore, he was scared.  I stopped, and asked if he was scared, which he said yes.  I explained that Heavenly Father can help us when things are hard, and if we are scared, all we have to do is pray.  So on the middle of a slope we prayed that he wouldn't be scared anymore, that he would remember how to ski, that we would make it safe, and that we were grateful that he had been kept safe from the first misfortune.  I can say that has got to be one of the best parenting moments yet.  He did really well the rest of the way.  I would watch and he did wonderful turns, and we were making it down just fine.  Once we made it down we found Nathan and Jack right away sitting by the lodge.  They were done, and James had had enough skiing for the day too.  They both have come so far this year, but for the rest of this year James would like to stay on Little Cat and Becker.  He said next year he'll try the gondola again :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ice Castles at Soldier Hollow

In January James learned about a place in Japan that creates ice castles, and everything in them is also made of ice including pianos and tables and chairs.  He wanted to visit them very badly, but we told him that it was too much money.  Well, a few days later a piggy bank that we've been filling since we were married broke, and coins went everywhere.  I had James pick them all up and fill up a quart sized baggie.  He brought them to me and asked "Is this enough money to go see the ice castles now?".  Melt my heart {no pun intended!}.  I decided to look up when the ice castles would be open in Midway that they do each year.  With the unusually warm winter, they were only going to open for one weekend only on Jan. 23rd-25th.  We had to go!  Midway is next to Heber, so I asked the Parks' if they wanted to come too, and so we made a fun overnight trip of it!  We went on the 23rd, a Friday, the first night they opened.  I'm glad too because with as many people as went I'm sure the castles took a beating.  Parking was tricky, but it was worth the wait.  While waiting for a parking spot I helped the boys get into their snow gear.  Jonathan too.  Nathan was in charge of his own clothes, and currently doesn't even own snow boots.  Let's just say he wasn't as toasty warm, and his toes were freezing. 

We found Elsa and Anna!

Walking around and admiring the ice!

Some examples of the ice structures

The ice didn't disappoint!! James loved it! We took pictures to send to his class to share too!

In line for the ice slide!  
Yep, that was Jack's happy face:)
That is one thing that both my boys asked if they had, and I was so glad (sigh of relief!) that they had in fact made a few ice slides. The railings were made of pebble ice, the slide of ice blocks.

Jack headed down

James' turn.  They both went about three times

Quinn's turn!

Aubreigh took a turn

My turn!
Unfortunately my tailbone hit so hard at the bottom of the slide that I did see stars.

Nathan with precious cargo.  
Jonathan was bundled, then had on a bear fuzzy snowsuit (which was a 3-6mo we had for the other boys when they were little, but I'm too cheap to buy another so we are squeezing him in, barely).
This was a "slot canyon" made of ice!

James and mommie selfie and James' ice he wanted to carry around

There was constant music and lights changing

Sometimes purple...

...sometimes blue.

Bennett getting a ride with his daddy

A family picture

Looks like Queen Elsa had been there.
Actually I asked her if she had made this castle, but she said this wasn't her castle and she wanted to see who else had ice powers.

As we were headed toward the exit, some people were cordoning off an area for a fire show.  I did try to talk to one of the guys, but he seemed a little weird, but hey you probably have to be if you want to swing fire or breathe fire.  So this was to be a "fire and ice" show.
Getting ready

Fire breathing demo
Aubreigh talked to one of the officials from the ice castles, and it turns out the fire people were there last year, and were paid to be.  This year however they were not hired, and they just showed up and started doing the show.  They did know they weren't getting paid from the ice castle and so put out a hat in which to collect donations.  It was just a bit odd because they were really pushing for donations. Anyway, we enjoyed a little of their show, but Nathan headed to the car because his feet by this time were freezing.  He was the one cold, and all my littles were warm and toasty, even Jonathan didn't cry!  

Watching the fire show

Jack was a little worried about the fire, which is a good thing because fire is dangerous and I wanted them to remember that.  At least the fire demo people always cautioned to not try any of their moves at home.

The Parks' Family

Daddy, Mommy, and three J's

We headed to the Parks' home after seeing the castles, and then had hot chocolate and a snack.  We stayed up late talking about the cruise that we will be taking together in May, then spent the night and got to play the next day with them too! We went on a date out to eat and played bowling, laser tag, and mini golf.  The boys all stayed with a babysitter at their home, then after our date we headed back to our house.
Overall this was a grand weekend.
This is their "Cool Running's" impersonation of making a bobsled and then practicing :)
(That is also a new movie (new to them!) that they like based off a winter sport)
Yeah for ice castles, and this whole weekend being based off of seeing something he learned about in Kindergarten!