Tuesday, December 31, 2013


John and I celebrated 12 years of marriage on the 29th! It's hard to believe that it's been 12 years! 

My parents decided to come for a short visit, so we got to take advantage of free babysitting services which doesn't happen too often around here. We started off going ice skating (my first time! And by the end I was able to actually skate around the rink, which I consider to be a success!), shopped, grabbed a little bite to eat, saw Ender's Game (not impressed with the movie. I would've hated it if I hadn't read the book.), and finished off the evening at a Mexican restaurant (not our favorite one, but it was still good!). 

But the best part was just spending time together, uninterrupted, doing whatever we wanted. Because he's pretty fun to hang out with. :)

We have definitely been busybusybusy. Last night we had a surprise birthday party to go to, which was also great adult time, and tonight we will be celebrating the new year with some other friends (along with our kids!). After that, I feel like I should be entitled to a nap, but we have Preston's birthday tomorrow (although his party will be in a couple of weeks). 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We had quite the eventful Christmas this year, mostly due to one of the boys' Christmas presents: a new puppy! Ender is a tiny (so far) lab/blue heeler mix who is only about 7-8 weeks old. She is sweet, cute, and loves the boys.
(Above: Ender's first walk on Christmas Eve...no snow! Woohoo!)

Last night we went to the Christmas Eve service at church last night, and then did our Christmas celebration with John's mom. This morning we woke up bright and early (5:30!!!!!!), the boys opened their stockings, we has breakfast, and then opened presents. Ender loved all of the excitement, and she especially loves the wrapping paper and bows! 

The boys spent most of the day playing with their gifts of course. The favorite gifts being skylanders (for all of them), spy kit (Preston), roller skates (Bryton), and Jake & the Neverland Pirates playsets (Arch).

And one of my favorite presents:

I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with my little family. It's so nice to be able to just focus on spending time together and not feel pressure to split our time in a million different directions. We seriously relaxed the entire day today! The boys cuddled with the pup, and John even cooked dinner! And I may or may not have played my fair share of skylanders... :)

Next up...12th anniversary celebrations in 4 days, and 8th birthday of the oldest on the 1st! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Program & Snow

Preston's school had a Primary Christmas Program last week. It was crazy crazy packed, but the kids did a good job and had fun. It was just 1st-3rd graders, so B didn't get to participate.

It was so hard to get a good picture! There were so many people and we were at a weird angle to the stage, but I managed to get one where you can tell it's Preston anyway!
In weather news, we got our first real snow (a couple of inches) last week. Bryton made snowmen all over our yard! It was.so sad the next morning when he realized that they had melted overnight. But a happier aspect of that is that we no longer have snow! It lasted for literally ONE day! That is my kinda snow!

Spontaneous Getaway

This weekend we got to have a little spontaneous getaway! John and I love to take spontaneous trips...in fact most of the smaller trips we take are impromptu. 

Our friends were having their work Christmas party at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, and one of their employees had to cancel at the last minute, leaving them with an empty, already paid for, room. So they invited us up to join them! They have 2 boys who are the same ages as our older boys, so our kids got to entertain each other. 

We went hot tubbing (and the kids alternated between the hot tub and the big pool) outdoors in the snow, the kids played lots (and lots of chess), and watched movies. John can't ski yet, so we just hung around and relaxed. My favorite! It was a fun way to spend the weekend, and it was even more enjoyable to be able to spend it with friends.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The North Pole

(...and temperatures to go with it!)

Last night we took the boys to the North Pole. This is something we try to do every year, but I think we have missed one year since we moved here. They get the cruise ships all decorated for Christmas, go past the Christmas light display (which included a fire breathing dragon this year - with REAL fire - the boys were enthralled!), and the Grinch runs alongside the boat trying to stop it. 

We journeyed out to the North Pole where Santa & his elf read "the list" with all the names of the kids on board. My cynical children, however, proceeded to announce that their Mom or Dad must have told the elves their names. I guess we need to talk about keeping their lack of Santa belief to themselves again!

But they enjoyed it, and we enjoyed it too. One thing I am NOT enjoying is the frigid weather. We have lows coming up in the negatives, and highs in the single digits. Right now it is hovering around 12, and it's supposed to get colder, and colder, and colder...

We also had Santa come by our house the other night! First a fire truck with lights & siren alerted us to go outside, then Santa in his sleigh came by while the elves handed out candy canes.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Celebrating awesome parent-teacher conferences for the big boys!
Little guy eating a big cinnamon roll
My grain free pies: apple & sweet potato. The crusts got burned but they were still pretty good . Plus, John got to enjoy "pumpkin" pie for the first time in many years!
My 4 favorite people, all ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
Decorating the tree amidst a little snowstorm.

So thankful!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Knee

Since my last post, I've decided that I think this is actually knee surgery #4, not 5. My mistake.

John is almost a week post-op, and he's going back to work tomorrow. I think it will be a harsh wake-up call for him, but we'll see. So far his recovery hasn't been spectacular, but that probably goes without saying given the number of knee surgeries he has had.

The boys are definitely enjoying the extra Dad time though, and they have been playing lots of games, reading books, and watching movies together. The last knee surgery was when Archer was just a few months old, and this time has been a lot easier with the kids anyway!
Playing cards
Surgeon P operating on A's knee

Thursday, November 14, 2013


John and I got back from a Vegas mini-vacation last night. I say "vacation" but technically John was working. Technically. 

Anyway, last week he went to part 2 of a dental implant course in So. Cal., then he had to fly straight to Vegas. Given that I have been solo-parenting for quite a bit over the past month (Vegas was work trip #3 for John), and John is scheduled for knee surgery today, my parents took pity on me and came up to stay with the boys while I joined John in Vegas. 

I've said it before (like last summer when we went to Vegas for another work trip), but I really do not get the Vegas appeal. It stinks like smoke everywhere, everything is LOUD, and there are crowds. Buuuuut, the weather...it was between 75-80 degrees every day we were there. I get the appeal of that! I read by the pool, soaked up some vitamin D, and relaxed while John was busy with work stuff. 

In the evenings we got to...
night #1: see cirque du soleil, Beatles LOVE. 

Night #2: eat at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant (yum!), then see David Copperfield. 

Night #3: go to "The Bash" put on by the conference John was there for. We got to see Brian Setzer Orchestra, and then Big & Rich, along with Cowboy Troy! B & R put on a great show and it was a good way to end our trip. 

I also took some random pictures of things that I thought the boys would especially like to see. Despite the amount of families with young children there, I don't plan to ever take my kids there, so pictures will have to do!
At the Rainforest Cafe in our hotel
Harley Davidson store
New York New York & the rollercoaster
Jelly Belly Statue of Liberty
Excalibur (or the castle, as we told the kids)
The dragon store
Tornadoes/whirlpools (?) 
Ice Columns
And finally...John and his friend/coworker who spent the entire flight home huddled over Candy Crush. 

We came home exhausted and still on Vegas time (going to bed waaaaaaay too late), but excited to see the boys, who were up bright and early this morning of course!

It was a nice getaway, but time to get back to reality - and preparing to take care of John after knee surgery #5.