Tuesday, January 16

mlk jr day

like everyone else, the kids had yesterday off school for martin luther king jr day. we hadn't planned on doing anything, but around 9:30 on sunday night, the kids had two invitations to go play at friend's homes. so rather than picking one over the other, i invited all the kids to our house for a couple hours instead. this was a pretty easy decision since all of these kids are super well behaved and they get along pretty well.

they played board games for about 20 minutes and then, despite the frigid temps, spent the rest of the time outside playing tag on rollerblades and skateboards.

they had a great time and i actually had fun too because one of the mom's, jenny, offered to take owen to her house while the big kids played at our house. i love that boy, but he is even more hands on than dealing with 9 older kids at once! he had so much fun also, so it was a really good afternoon for everyone! plus, chris was able to come home around lunch time, so that made it extra special! 

jenny sent me a video of owen at one point, driving a small side by side they have (they have lots of fun toys at their house and our kids love going over there). he's with his buddy Marlie and its just the most adorable video!

its a good thing the weather was bearable yesterday because today's high is only 21 degrees!!! when the kids got to school this morning it was only 13 degrees and my weather app said it felt like 2. the weather guy on the radio said it felt like -10 with the windchill. those are cold, cold temps for these parts! if only we could get snow for a day or two... and then have it all melt away :)

jesus wants me for a sunbeam

how cute is this face!?!

pretty darn cute!

its hard to believe that our baby isn't much of a baby anymore. 
owen talks about going to school with his siblings every single day, he rides bikes, he cooks scrambled eggs (with mommy watching on and helping), and he even keeps a tube of chapstick in his pocket at all times. 
and to top it off, he graduated from nursery at church. 
its crazy!

but, he still has a little bit of baby left in him and I'm going to hold on to those things as long as i can! his speech is still only understood by mama, he's got plenty of back pudge around his underwear elastic (my favorite!), he always needs a hug, kiss, and a bandaid if he gets "hurt", and he still has to fall asleep with mom or dad close by.

owen became a sunbeam two sundays ago and he absolutely loves going to primary! part of it has to do with the fact that they just put chris in as the sunbeam teacher, but i think most of it is probably because he thinks he is a big kid so in his mind it makes sense that he goes to class with the big kids. he's doing so well and tries hard to listen and be reverent. i thought it would be the opposite and i actually worried quite a bit because those that know owen know that he never sits still! but chris says he's doing super duper!

last week they asked him to read the scripture and he couldn't wait! he even took his scriptures up with him and waited with his hands folded in his lap till it was his turn. very cute to spy on in the back of the room! when i asked him if i could come help him he said "no mom, no, owen do it!"

 his proud little wave in the video is for big brother charlie :)

Monday, January 15

piano recital

ellie and jack were able to participate in their first piano recital last saturday. we are thrilled with how far they have come since starting piano lessons the beginning of september!

their teacher moved here this summer from florida and we feel so lucky to have her teaching jack and ellie! she is extremely talented, both as a pianist and as a teacher. she is very understanding, but also has high expectations for the kids and doesn't let them slack. i think it's a good combination for both the kids. she required each student to play at least one song from memory but challenged them to play both from memory, which jack and ellie did.

they did an amazing job at the recital! there were quite a few people there, so they were both extremely nervous, but they did awesome! one funny thing that isn't in the video (thank goodness!) but that i dont want to forget (although ellie wishes everyone would!) is that as ellie walked up to the front, the bottom of her skirt was tucked up and her backside was showing hahaha! but she had leggings on so it definitely wasn't as bad or as embarrassing as it could've been!

saturday was a really busy day for us, between a basketball game, the recital, cleaning the church building, baking treats for the recital, and the list goes on. but the kids found some time to relax and have fun. i took these pictures when i looked over and saw my two artists working with their favorite mediums: pencil and legos :)

Monday, January 8

2 weeks off

chris has to schedule his weeks off way in advance. each november the CRNA's meet together and pick their weeks off for the following year. so if he wants a day or two off here or there, it can't happen. he has his weeks and thats it (unless someone else wants to switch weeks, they can arrange that). so chris scheduled the week of christmas 2017 off back in november of 2016. in november last year, he asked for the first week of january 2018 off. so he had two weeks in row off to hang out at home. 
it was heaven!
i know sometimes having your spouse home for an extended period of time can throw some people off their groove. i can see how that could be an issue. but its the complete opposite when chris is home. our home is a much happier, smoother running place when chris is around. and i know the kids feel the same way i do. we didn't do anything major (besides the holidays and all that entailed), just our normal day to day things. 

basically what I'm saying is, today is the worst case of 'the  mondays' ever. 

I'm having chris withdrawals in a big way. 

chris cooked so many yummy foods while he was home. he always helps me with dinners and makes planning them and cooking them much more interesting than when I'm doing it solo on his late days at work. plus- sous vide. he's getting darn good at it.

he played with the kids soooo much.
jack and owen especially love to play with chris because they are all way into sports and thats definitely not my forte. i try, but its not the same. plus, its just so dang cold outside that i can only last a few minutes. so soccer and football and baseball were played each day, not to mention all of the bike riding. sometimes football and bike riding at the same time! and then board games were usually pulled out here and there through out the day as well for all of us.

my workout partner. we were able to do several workouts together and, surprisingly, it made it much more fun. i typically like to do that on my own, but this was so nice for me and kept me motivated.

we had a few really great spiritual discussions with the kids. not that this doesn't happen here or there normally, but without having time constraints due to work or school, chris was able to focus more when those opportunities came up around scripture time and fhe... plus, he didn't doze off haha!

he just makes everything better.

i really meant to just post a couple pictures from the first week of january, but somehow it turned into a tribute to chris. i guess thats whats on my mind this morning. while dad was home, we took the older kids on some dates. owen gets lots of one on one time with me and chris, so we focused on the big kids this time around. chris took charlie bowling while i took ellie to get our nails done. santa gave us each a certificate to get mani-pedis at "nails by susan". jack babysat while we went last Tuesday.

ellie really loves to get her nails done at the salon, but this was only her 2nd or 3rd time going. its definitely a special occasion thing! she loved getting her legs rubbed with the warm stones, just like me. and she also had a hard time picking her colors, just like chris does when he has too many choices in front of him for things. ha! she's a good mix of the two of us i guess.

charlie did pretty darn great for never really bowling before. he scored an 80 and chris scored a whopping 150!

then on saturday jack wanted to go bowling like charlie, so i was able to take him before ellie's basketball game. jack's first game wasn't as hot as he thought he would do (ie he didn't beat charlie's score of 80), but his first turn of game two he got a spare which started things off really nicely. he ended up with a score of 125! he had a blast during his second game. I'm sure it had something to do with beating his mom's score of 115 lol!

ellie's basketball team had a great game on saturday! they won by almost double and ellie had 5 points. they are 2-2 so far this season.

later saturday evening chris took jack to our local amphitheater up on a hill to take pictures and write observations of the sunset for a school assignment. 

i didn't ask chris or ellie if i could post this, so hopefully it's ok that i am. but when we went to bed on saturday night, we found this note to chris from ellie. it pretty much sums up how we feel about our daddy-o!

it was a nice, relaxing first week of 2018. and now we are back to real life with the kids in school and daddy at work again. things are almost too quiet at home during the day... but you won't find me complaining about that! if only daddy could figure out a way to do anesthesia from home...

Friday, January 5

new years eve 2017!

on new years eve we partied hard!!!
as hard as you can party with 4 little ones and with colds all around, anyways.

for example, owen and daddy wore matching socks to church... and throughout our celebrations.
see what i mean?
partying so hard.

right after church owen helped me make some super yummy cinnamon rolls.

i am cutting out sweets for a while and knew that i would miss baking. baking is kinda like therapy for me. i love the process and i love the results. its calming for me to be able to start something and actually end up with a finished product. so making the cinnamon rolls was kinda like my last baking hurrah of 2017. and they were probably the best I've ever made.

we played some games and then had a fantastic dinner of appetizers! 
i made my first ever cheeseball. cheeseballs are kinda one of those things that i would never try at a party cause you never know what someone put in it and you certainly never know if they formed the ball with clean hands. you assume they did! but you never know! but i love cheese and chris said he likes cheeseballs, so i made one (with gloves on) and it was super good.
enough about cheeseballs!
we had fruit with dip, jalapeƱo poppers, the cheeseball, chris made wings, and sausages. then, of course, cinnamon rolls later in the evening for dessert.

after dinner we sat down and each person told their favorite story from the book of mormon. we finished it again as a family and i had intended to make that the focus of our dinner conversation, but forgot. so after scripture study and prayers we took some time to share with each other. 
afterwards we watched some rhett and link and waited for the new years countdown! at 9! with kids, thats about as late as we willingly let them stay up haha. so we counted down to 9, blew our party horns, had a toast with some sparkling cider, brushed teeth, and tucked kids in bed. and maybe chris and i stayed up till midnight for a new years kiss or two ;)

ellie is a total party girl and its super fun... 
for now...

for a little boy that doesn't like juice or soda, owen sure enjoyed his sparkling cider!


monday we took down our christmas tree,  packed away the lights, and did several loads of laundry. 
it felt good! 

we're ready for you, 2018!!!