Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve!

How are our friends the Spendloves so awesome that they offered to host the NYE party we wanted? Tres awesome. Beaucoup. Mucho.



We tried firing the carbide cannon into the houses, but it didn't do much more than blow the back wall out. However, when I slowed down the video frame by frame, I saw the awesome explosion. Those firey orange pipes are not visible in real time. Cool!



After setting off some fireworks inside the houses, we crushed them. There were no survivors.



Tried out the drone's circling feature and got some sweet aerial footage of the destruction.



When we came back out at midnight, we set off the rest of the fireworks to celebrate 2017!





The kids rang in the new year by making lots of noise!



And Russ started the year by working on his new year's resolutions.



Hey kids, it's not what it looks like... that's actually fireworks punk and some Martinelli's sparkling cider. Hehe.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas!

This year we got invited to our first ever ugly sweater party, and boy did I find a doozy of an ugly sweater for Russ!



Christmas Eve we visited the temple lights with cousins.







Our traditional family picture spot!



Kallie was so sweet to make a stocking for Who the owl and leave it out for Santa to fill. Her sweet little heart just melts me. A leash! So cute.



Christmas morning came on a Sunday this year and we had church at 8:30, but the kids were still not allowed to wake us up before 7am. They are so good about that.



We saved our gift opening until after church, but we did let the kids check out what they got from Santa. They didn't complain one bit.





Now you'll notice that there is suddenly a lot more sunlight in the room. After church, the gift unwrapping was in full swing!



Brandon got these cool Lincoln logs made with love by his dad.



After all the gifts were open, I gave them one last gift. Inside the envelopes were Legoland season passes! Fun all year long!



I'm okay with selfies on Christmas when it's Sunday because I'm dressed with my hair and makeup done. That is the one (and I mean the ONLY ONE) good thing about 8:30 church on Christmas.



Santa delivered on the magic tracks. Yes!



Busy assembling her Lego dragon (I crossed two things off her Christmas list with that one - score!).



Oh wow! Just what I wanted! Once I realized I would not be able to take my waterproof camera on our last dive because we were going deeper than 50 feet, I knew I would need a new one for all my scuba diving adventures.



The day after Christmas, Will and Kyle came over to exchange gifts with us. Will!! How long has it been since his picture has shown up on my blog? Did you forget I even have a kid his age?



Later in the afternoon, we headed down to the park with our friends to try out our new drone. It was awesome!



Looks like we have some cool new toys to play with in 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gingerbread Fun

One of my new year's goals for 2016 was to simplify. That meant I could not build a gingerbread village this year, but it didn't stop me from building some fabulous houses! It begins...



Apparently it also didn't stop me from having my husband design one of my houses using CAD software. He did awesome! Hey, at least he didn't have to run the electricity this year (or install any plumbing).



I may have overcooked a few...



The house I made for our family was the same one I made last year for Kallie. I created the pattern from a dollhouse I saw online. So cute!



Just to be fun, I made this mansion for our friends, the Spendloves. I couldn't wait to see their faces when I gave it to them.



I keep a perpetual stash of candy for gingerbread houses. That means you never know how old your candy is, but it sure doesn't stop the kids from eating it!



A few nights before Christmas, we invited our friends over to have dinner and decorate the houses. They couldn't believe I built such elaborate houses for them. I told them that was the only Christmas present they were getting from me this year!







The Spendlove manor in progress.



The Morris chalet.



After the kids were done, the ladies came in to add the finishing touches.



Masterpiece!



Our little cottage.



Proud owners!



Stay tuned for the gingerbread's demise New Year's Eve...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mommy Daughter Date

It wasn't that I didn't invite the other kids to go to the arboretum with us. They just didn't want to go, so it ended up being a special mommy daughter date with my wonderful peace-making little girl.

Please, pay no attention to those sunglasses. I accidentally left my cute pink ones in the rental car in Portland! These are some crappy fold up Ray Bans that we found in a different rental car. I guess lots of people lose sunglasses in rental cars.



Cacti are weird and beautiful at the same time. This one had tiny fruit.



We thought these looked like pineapples.



There were just a few roses to enjoy in the rose garden.



In the children's area, we got the chance to explore the plants using our senses. This one for sight had the flowers organized into colors of the rainbow.



As a bonus, we got to see a beautiful monarch butterfly. Too bad some other kids came over and scared it away.



We got to touch these fluffy plants. And some not so fluffy cacti. The old man cacti were the weirdest.



In the herb garden, we got to experience a variety of smells.



She loved the human sundial.



When you have your parent all to yourself, it's much easier to score a souvenir. She had her eye on this awesome slingshot.



Selfie!



You cannot visit the arboretum without seeing the famous Boojum trees, which are native to a small area in Mexico. These ones were brought here in the 1920s.



Once that was done, we felt our day had been a success!