Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day

Despite some of us being sick, we had a great Valentine's Day yesterday.  We've never done much in years past (some years we've done nothing at all), and I've always thought I'd like to have some sort of fun tradition for our family to show love to each other.  So I was excited when a new idea presented itself (by a local friend) early this week.  We had a secret Valentine exchange.  On Monday night, we drew names, and then I gave everyone a dollar.  We then took turns in the dollar store (some people brought extra money).  On Tuesday and Wednesday we did secret acts of love for each other.  There were several treasure hunts, gifts left on pillows, cards made and received, and lots of service.  It was a really uplifting activity.  The kids helped each other sneak things around, so they helped with more than just the person they drew.  At dinner last night we all revealed who we had (not that there were many surprises...my kids can't keep secrets...ha ha!) and everything we did.

In addition to our secret exchange, Jim brought flowers for all his girls (these roses are mine), and we 'heart attacked' (paper hearts with messages taped all over) some friends houses and Jim's car.  The kids were totally caught at the friends houses, but that made it more fun.

New Countertops!

This project started as a $25 sink replacement.  Our old sink was badly stained, so we decided to replace it.  I found a porcelain/ cast iron sink for $25, so we thought we'd really done well on the cost of this project.  Upon removing the old sink, however, we discovered that the counter was rotten all the way around the sink opening.  Our old counters were in good condition otherwise, but they were pink!  Instead of buying a new matching countertop, we decided to replace all of them.

I was up until 2am doing the prep work the night before.

We saved the big box to use on the stairs as a slide.  They've had so much fun with this!



BEFORE:  This is the original picture we took when we were purchasing our house a few years ago.  Since then we've also painted, installed a dishwasher, added a 'new to us' microwave, purchased a new fridge, and replace the light fixtures.

AFTER: It's hard to tell the color difference because of the lighting, but those old counters were VERY pink. 


Our 'new to us' sink is great!  Not only is it high quality, but it's nice and deep.


Early February

It's hard to tell from the picture, but Abby is asleep on an OPEN tub of Legos.  Her head is resting on the rim of the tub.  The only thing between her body and a pile of pointy Legos is that sheet.  Funny girl!

So far this month we've had a lot of snow and a lot of sickness.  We'd made it all the way to February without getting sick, but someone in our family has been sick every single day this month.  (We still are.)

Our nice deep snow was over a foot!  The kids had fun playing in it.

They sledded right down our porch steps.


Brig went from a cold to a stomach virus.  On Sunday he was almost over the cold (hadn't caught the stomach bug yet), but not feeling the best, so when he fell asleep in the Mother's lounge at church we stayed put...for two hours.

We've had some rough nights with sick kids this week.  My Monday night looked something like this:
-9pm-11:30pm: sick baby who wouldn't go to sleep
-12am-1am: deal with Jim's phone situation (he washed it)
-1:30am: kid with ear infection (Alex)
-2am-3am: glorious sleep!
-3am-5am: up with baby 6 times
-5am-7:30am: puke x4 (Laurel and Abby), up with baby 2x
-7:30am-8:15am: exhausted sleep
-8:15am-8:30am: puke x2 (Laurel)
 Total sleep for me: 1hr 45 min (Did I mention that I also had the stomach virus?)

I thought everyone was finally on the mend yesterday, and then we had two kids puke early this morning.  This little lady's breath was lethal!  I'm thinking it will all be uphill from here.  We WILL be healthy next week!

Ski Trip

My family makes a big ski trip every year with old friends.  They rent a huge house in a ski town, ski for three days, stay up late laughing and eating junk food, sit in the hot tub, and play games.  It is SO MUCH FUN!  We hadn't been able to go for 7 years, so the anticipation was HUGE this year!

We ended up taking almost two weeks for our trip, so we were able to combine a lot of other fun and adventure into our vacation.  We got caught in an ice storm and blizzard partway through Nebraska, visited the Denver temple, saw old friends, went hiking, went out to eat, enjoyed family, played games, visited some museums, went sledding, and, of course, went skiing!  It was the best trip we've had in a long time!

Our gift to our kids this year was a membership to our local science museum.  Our science museum isn't all that great, BUT the membership gives us free admission to other museums all over the country!  We visited a small space museum in Colorado Springs one day, and then spent two days at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. 

(Pardon the terrible phone pictures.  We have 'dumb' phones. Ha ha!)



One evening I found this on my bed.

I was feeling kind of grouchy and it totally changed my mood.  Logan had great timing with that one!

Museum day 2:




I took almost no pictures of our trip, but my sister sent me a few from the ski trip. The ski trip was at the very end of our time in Colorado.  I am in such bad shape!  It was so fun, though.

Left to right: Chelsea, Sarah, Mariah, Me

The house we rented this year had 8 bedrooms and we had 28 people (I think) in our group.  I'm not sure what Logan was doing in this picture, but it looks like fun!

Left to right: Kelly, Terry, Chelsea, Brad, Josh, Dad (my dad that is...), Bryce, Logan, Mariah, Dave, Sarah

While the rest of us enjoyed having a break for lunch, Logan couldn't wait to get back to slopes each day.  It reminded me of my childhood; my siblings and I would pester my dad every day at lunch to get back out there.

Logan was incredible this year!  He only skiied two days last year, so he was very much a beginner still, but he had no fear.  He wanted to cruise down blue runs all day, and he even did his first black!  He also loved the moguls; we could hardly keep him off of them.  He reminded me of a young Josh.  It won't be long before I can't keep up with him!

January

Laurel received underwear for Christmas, and has been rather excited about them ever since.  I haven't ever encouraged her to wear them (or to go potty), but she frequently removes her diaper and decides she's going to be a big girl.  I'm not usually aware of it because she will get herself dressed again right away.  I generally find out about it when she comes to me complaining, "Yuck! Yuck!"  I'm starting to wonder if this girl is going to potty train herself!

Abby chose an outfit worthy of the best pattern mixing fans one day.  Her pants have red dots on them and those shoes are bright red.

I chopped my hair off!  (And I forgot to take a normal picture!)

The kids received a Kiwi Crate and Tinker Crate subscription for Christmas.  They've been so neat so far!



Little miss served herself lunch...ketchup!

Handsome boy in his new church outfit.

This was the temperature reading in our van on the way to visit friends on New Year's Eve.  The final low that night was -21!  With the windchill it was much lower. Yikes!

This was the INSIDE of my van window.

I love these boys.




Blue eyes!





Christmas

We had such a nice relaxing Christmas this year.  During the weeks leading up to Christmas, we enjoyed several service traditions which is our favorite part of the month.  On Christmas Eve we went to church and had some family time with a nice dinner. 

I really love being in our own home and taking it slow on Christmas day.


We took our time with stockings, had breakfast, and cleaned up before moving onto presents.

Laurel was enthusiastic about opening presents.  We had to watch her so that she didn't open anyone else's gifts.






Jim had a full beard for a while!  (This is the only picture I have of it.)


After opening gifts, we spent a long time playing games and playing with new gifts.

Brig passed out.

Eventually, some of us had naps, and later on we watched a movie, had treats, and had a nice dinner.