Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 The last few months have been so busy; I didn't realize how behind I was though on my blogging.  I'm so glad I finally have some time to catch up.  The photo above is a fun activity my friend Julie and I did with the activity days girls (age 8-11) last fall.  We took them to the temple to clean the outside; our friend Emily is part of the grounds crew so it is easy to set up time to come help.  I love serving with the activity days girls; it is a lot of fun and I love being with Julie.
Here are some other photos from the fall:
 B on his bike.  Me walking Jones behind.
 B and Beckham
 Getting a fun Halloween package form Nana
 Some brimstone rolls I made for our Halloween dinner with Eric's family
 other yummy treats that were made by Annie and Mom

 Playing games after dinner

 Eric wanted me to go mountain biking with him for his birthday.  It was a brisk fall day and we had the trails to ourselves.  They were a challenge for me; trying to juggle climbing/downhill with some technical parts of the trails.  It was fun to be with Eric and we had a great time.
 views from the top

 park-ing with B
 going to see the Lion King with the Ritters; what a great show!!!  Thanks Mom for the tickets!
 J in his triceratops costume
 just down the street from us...isn't it pretty?
 Sash and James came out to visit in October and I asked Sash if she'd take some photos of us with her fancy new camera phone.  I love how these turned out!

 I love all the leaves on our front porch in October
 trick or treating with the girls (we're at my friend Josie's work)
 zoo time

 B saw a friend from school there
 raking/playing in the leaves
 Eric went up to McCall with some buddies (Rob, Matt and Ryan) for "Man Weekend".  They got out on their mountain bikes and went hiking; they stayed at the cabin up there.  Eric always looks forward to his yearly weekend with the guys.
 Scentsy party
 From Eric's hike.  I may need to put this in a frame....
 dragon, dragon, cat
 B wanted to waste his money on a claw machine at WinCo one day.  Eric and I told him it would be better to take his money elsewhere and he probably wouldn't get anything.  Well wouldn't you know he got this awesome dino on his first try!  So much for life lessons.....
 Finally it was Halloween!
 As always, we had a wonderful time walking through the neighborhood with friends.

 O's 8th birthday.  We took more video than photos this year.  He wanted this whale and shark (among other things) because his cousin Lucas has them and he enjoyed playing with them at his house.

B and I visited Oakley at school on his birthday.  As soon as he left to play outside Aspen and her friends came to the cafeteria to eat.  So we got to see both of them, which was fun.  Here's Roo with her good friends Araleigh and Carmen.
 Roo made this cat on the bathroom counter.  I found it there and thought it was so cute.
 Roo got a retainer in November; she will eventually get braces but this is a first step.  She was actually excited to get them!
 I loved this day with the kids; they were out of school for Thanksgiving and we were getting ready to head to Utah in a few days.  Gotta do laundry first!
 Eric and I have tried to take the kids to the Bean (nature) Museum in Provo on BYU campus for the last few years.  We went about 6 years ago but then it was remodeled and every time we tried to go again it was closed for some reason.  It is a really fun place; lots of stuffed wildlife of all kinds.  We finally made it on our trip last November and had Mom and the Egglis with us.

 The museum is free and we spent a lot of time there.  It looks really great with the remodel.
 Afterward we walked around BYU campus and went to the bookstore.  The campus looks so beautiful in the fall; I always loved it when I was there.
 The following day, Thanksgiving day, poor Roo woke up with strep throat.  We were of course so disappointed that she would be feeling so crummy over the break!  On the upside she got a lot of alone time with Nana, who cared for her like a nurse only better.  Also she just got to watch TV and movies and be sequestered form the boys, which she didn't mind either ;)
 We managed to get out I think that evening or the next day and went up to Provo Canyon to Bridal Veil Falls.  Roo was resting.  It was a beautiful, brisk day and was so nice to get out and on a walk.

 The boys
 My beautiful sis

the boys and me.  My shades are super creepy here

 We swung by Sundance Ski resort (Eric used to work there; we love it there) before heading home.
At some point Sash, Eric and I went to the store.  Eric waited for us in the car outside Mom's townhome and when we came out we found him asleep ;)
 Going to the Provo City Temple has been on my bucket list ever since it's been completed.  Mom watched the kids for us one evening so that we and the Egglis could go.  It did not disappoint!  It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in.  It's old fashioned architecture and pretty, small details really add to its charm.  There are two entrances; one ground level and one underneath with a parking garage.
 We entered from the parking garage.  We had such a wonderful time there and it was even more special being there with Sasha.
 When we left it was dark and we exited ground level to a beautiful fountain.  I'd like to go back in a year or two when Aspen is old enough to go.
 Roo finally got to feeling better and before we left was able to play in the snow that fell on Mom's yard that morning.
 I really like taking Jones for walks in the evenings at dusk.  It was especially pretty when the neighborhood was lit up in Christmas lights.  Evenings are a busy time and I enjoy popping out of the house for a bit to go on a quiet walk.
 My friend Zhami is in the Boise Women's Choir and we went to her Christmas performance.  It was held downtown in a gorgeous Methodist Church; what a great way to start the Christmas season!  When we got there and parked it was snowing.  The music was lovely and so was the setting.
 Roo took this shot of her friends in her room doing a project together
 at the Eagle library
 O's snowman that he made with his gingerbread house
 One morning, after hours of dragging my feet, I finally took B and Jones out and went for a run.  B was in the stroller, and Jones on his leash.  When Jones got tired of running I'd stick him in the stroller with B.  It worked really well.  This day I was so glad I had chosen to get out; it started snowing as I ran; I had one of those "I'm so happy I'm alive in this moment" moments.
 At the Scentsy lights
 Until recently I had never picked up a Captain Underpants book or any of Dav Pilkey's books.  Oakley will only read graphic novels so one day at the library I found this and checked it out.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard while reading a book.  I read it to Aspen and Birch one morning, then to Oakley again that evening.  Lots of laffs from everyone ;)
 More Christmas lights
 O and A in the church nativity.  Roo was an angel and O a wiseman (I don't think I got him in this photo though).  Roo's part was a last minute thing and she memorized a large part in a few minutes.
 50's day at school
 B matches our pillows!
 caroling with the activity days girls.  My friend Jenn snapped this photo of us (Jenn lives in our rental, so this shot is taken from my old front porch).
 80's day.  O had a music program so didn't dress up.
 Eric bought the kids BYU snow hats because Aspen and Oakley went with him to a BYU game here in Boise with his dad, brother and sister.  B and I hung out with cousins while they were gone.

 before the game
 We wanted to buy Oakley a suit for his baptism and to wear to church.  He had chosen to be baptized and we wanted to give him something special to wear.  This was SO fun for me.   And boy did he look cute trying on suits!  He told us beforehand that he wanted a suit with a vest, and we found two that he liked.  This black one was the second he tried on and we both really liked it so that's the one we chose.  I can't wait to do this with Birch!  Aspen got a white dress for her special day.
 Oakley's art
 We went up to McCall to celebrate Christmas with the Ritters.  We stayed in a cabin up there that would fit us all.  It was on a large, quiet lot with lots of possibilities.  We snowshoed, built a fort, and did some sledding on the property.  It was really beautiful.

 Snowball fight

 Danny and Ellie
 B & B.  Birch really wanted some footie pajama's for Christmas.
 The bunk/play room with slide.  The kids played in here for hours.
 Christmas Eve spread
 Eric, the kids and I took an afternoon to ski at Brundage up in McCall.  It was a beautiful day and it was pretty cold.  We had some amazing views.  I had forgotten how long the runs at Brundage are.  They go on forever, which I appreciate (less time freezing on the lift).  We got a good workout!
 That night we met up with the rest of the family at a hot spring, which felt oh so good.

 Beckham's hulk hands ;)

 Eric got me this for Christmas.  I've had the same diaper bag for the last 11 years.  I've loved it; I got it from Dad and Lisa for Christmas.  But it was beginning to dilapidate and I knew it was time to move on, hard as it was.  Eric found this cute red bag and I took the plunge.  I love it.

 The weekend after Christmas (as in Christmas week), the Cornelius family came up for Oakley's baptism, which we had that Saturday, the 29th.  It was a bit crazy planning and prepping and hosting right after Christmas, but I wouldn't have done it any other way.  Everyone (except for Demri and Eric, who we missed a lot) was there, on both sides of the family, and we had a lot of fun celebrating.
 Refreshments for after the baptism.  Doesn't look like much in this photo!  But there were a lot of cookies there.

How cute is this boy?  I love him so much.  He just gets more and more adorable to me as he ages.  We were so proud of his decision to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to follow the Lord's example.
 Everyone afterward

 playing with the cousins
 Hanging out at our house afterwards.  We had pulled pork for dinner, then went and took everyone to Scentsy to see the lights.  A great end to a great day.
 B skiing with his dad
 Eric has been working on gates for the sides of the house.  When we moved in the house didn't have any, and now that we have Jones we need them so he doesn't wander out of the yard.  It's a work in progress since it's been cold and we started right before the holidays, but he's been working really hard and he's almost there.  It will be so nice to let Jones go outside and just explore the yard without fear of him escaping.
 Love this photo of Roo.  Nana knit this headband for her.  She is also teaching Roo how to knit.
 As a post-Christmas gift to ourselves, Eric and I bought our first brand new living room set (couch and love seat), plus large prints for the wall.  Our living room is finally complete after almost 3 years in the house.
I have to admit, however, that having brand new furniture is somewhat stressful!  Our previous furniture was a craigslist find; leather and worn and easy to clean up.  If anyone sat on it and ate, or spilled it was no big deal.  Now we have to have rules about those kinds of things!  Oh craigslist furniture, it was so much easier having you.  If you hadn't gotten an unpatchable hole in your cushion, you would still be ours. ;)
 hanging with the kids
 As a last goodbye to the holidays, we took the kids to a nearby town to look at their lights.  We had heard that their display was amazing, but had never made it out there before.  We were really impressed!  They had so many lights, and lights displays on the river, and even a fire breathing dragon made of lights.

 We will be going back next year!
 My friend Leslie (center) has a birthday just a few weeks before mine.  I thought it would be fun if we had a girls' weekend to celebrate up at the cabin.  Our friends Amanda (right) and Sara were going to join us, but at the last minute Sara had to change plans.  We missed having her with us!  We had a really great time.  We got up there about mid-day on Friday (Jan 11) and did some snowshoeing at Ponderosa state park.

 That evening we went to Zim's hot springs, and then stayed up talking until 2:00.  We had brought up some games to play but had so much fun chatting we never got around to them.  The next morning we feasted at the Pancake House (we each got a bunch of food and shared) which was delicious!  Then we did some window shopping before heading back home.  I'd never done a girls' weekend before with friends, and am so glad I finally made it happen!  It was so much fun and so therapeutic.

 While I was gone Eric took the kids skiing.  Roo ran into her friend Carmen, so they ended up skiing the day together.

 took this of the boys the other day.  chuckle.
 We went up to McCall again this last weekend for the MLK weekend.  We had some things we needed to do up there, and no one had booked the cabin so we got to use it!  Here's B at the lake with Eric.

 We did some snowshoeing at Bear Basin, which I'd never been to in the winter; it was gorgeous!  I liked it better than Ponderosa.

We also played games and had dinner with some friends up there.  It was a great weekend!

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