Zoo Day

Nate's 3rd grade field trip was to the zoo. This worked out fantastically for me because I just showed up with Luke and Briggs, didn't have to be in charge of anyone or ride on the very loud bus, and still got to hang out with Nate.

His group was only four kids and they wanted pictures at the most random times. Like by the giant macaroni and cheese noodle:

Nate has some interesting poses:

Of course every time the big kids posed for a picture, the little boys wanted one too.

 Photo bombed:
It was fun to go with Nate and spend some time hanging out with him. He wanted to make sure he was always by me or I always following him. We also went to a few parts of the zoo that I never visit including the snake house which the little boys LOVED.
One of the rules of the field trip was the kids weren't allowed to do anything that cost extra, so as soon as the kids were suppose to be back on the bus, we headed straight for the Carousel since Luke was dying to  ride it.
It was the perfect field trip!!



Thank heavens for so many holidays during the second half of the school year. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter I always start researching homeschooling and wondering if I can convince all of my friends to start a home school coop with me because while I might be able to teach other people's children I most certainly cannot teach my own.

Sunday night before President's day, I stayed up late with my kids watching season one of Get Smart.
When we lived in Austria, my aunt Kristine sent us a tape of a Nick at Nite Get Smart marathon and I've loved the show ever since. I ended up buying all 5 seasons for my kids to watch in the car when we go on car trips, but I couldn't resist watching them. They are totally un-PC, but still as hilarious as I remember and my kids love them too.

The next day I took the boys for our movie date. I wanted to beat the crowd and go to a 9:30 am movie thinking no one could possibly be up that early on a holiday. Well the movie was actually at 9 and the theater was 75% full when we got there at 9:02, but we still managed to find good seats together and have a good time. Everyone also mocked me because I am a fanatic about being early to movies, but the world did not implode when I got there late.

Sadie has been dying to have an American Girl playdate with Avery, so we had her over to play.

Meanwhile Nate went over to play with Parker. It might be February, but it's still close to 90 most days, so the boys took a little polar dip.
And I guess it wasn't so little because they stayed in there for hours.


Valentine's Day

I *heart* Valentine's Day. Sadie needs a box to put her cards in? Oh yes, we will make that.
 Sadie picked out the hot air balloon idea we found on Pinterest.

You want waffles for breakfast? Done -- I will make them in the shape of hearts and put strawberry jam on them.
I actually called my sister and asked her when Valentine's Day had become almost as time consuming as Christmas? It probably didn't help that Sadie went to school and announced to everyone that her dad got her an American Girl Doll for Valentine's Day. Parents all over Arizona now think we are ridiculous over the top parents. I should point out, that it's the Target knock off and cost the same as a box of chocolates.

The boys did in fact get boxes of chocolates and tickets for a Lego movie date.  Ellie got a new pink polka dot shirt.
I sent my kids off to school with lunches full of Valentine puns and in free dress clothes. And yes, Sadie picked that outfit all by herself.

Ellie wanted little gifts for all of her girlfriends. I'm a big believer that Valentine's isn't a boy-girl holiday, so I said, "Let's call Aunt Lola and ask her to make us a printable." She literally whipped these babies out.
Everyone is jealous of my personal graphic designer. I sometimes wonder how I lucked out too.  Especially since all she gets from me are hand me downs and Activity Days spiritual message ties in to the activity she has planned.

Dustin, Luke and I went out for breakfast, and we ended up with Lottie too, so I'm pretending it's their first date.
 Luke and Lottie. Does that not have the best ring to it?

Then there was playgroup and one last group of friends to take through the temple. That night we celebrated with 3/4 of our kids. Ellie was off at a girlfriend party.
I asked the kids if they wanted a fancy dinner or a red themed dinner and they opted for fancy, so we ate filet mignon, potatoes, an assortment of veggies and *two* desserts (sugar cookies and brownies with sea salt caramel gelato).

I seriously love my family and I loved every little thing I could do to tell them how much I love them.


GALentine's Day

February 13th is probably in my top 5 favorite days of the year. I have no idea what order they go in, but I love Christmas, Christmas Eve, my birthday, Valentine's Day, and Galentine's Day best of all. Wait, I forgot Thanksgiving.  So scratch top 5 and let's give it a solid 6th favorite day of the year.

Galentine's Day was introduced to the world by the hilarious Leslie Knope on Park and Rec and if you're not celebrating it, you should be. Basically, it's a day to celebrate all of your fantastic girlfriends.

This year I celebrated with my girlfriend's at Kristin's house watching Austenland and eating delicious and fattening foods. Austenland is another thing you're missing out on if you haven't seen it.

It was suppose to be a pajama party, but I guess only I read the actual invitation. So Kristin and I toddled around in our pjs while everyone else was beautifully dressed.

Last minute I decided I needed to bring a galentine's day gift for everyone at the party, so they ended up with this:

I have absolutely, hands down the best girlfriends.
(some of us where I am wearing actual clothes)


Two Very Good Sports

Nate and Sadie are very sweet siblings. Out of all of my kids, they probably get along the best.
They also tend to get suckered into being part of some project Ellie has dreamed up in her head. For instance, the Sunday afternoon play:
This is probably my favorite picture of all time. I still laugh looking at it. Even though that hook to my kitchenaid never made it back to any identifiable location after the play.

The Superbowl created this
And then there was Ellie's school project where she needed an 8 and 9 year old model to play the same girl.

I would say Nate was amazing for putting on a girl wig, but he's always been eager to play dress up!



Now that the football season is practically over, I should probably put a picture up here. This is Nate's first season playing flag football. To be honest, his team is not stellar and I don't think he's particularly gifted in it either. BUT, he's playing with two buddies and having a lot of fun, so we'll call that a win and leave it at that.

This week he scored his first ever TOUCHDOWN (and also the only touchdown his team scored that game). I cannot even begin to tell you how much I screamed and how happy he was. That smile was etched on his face for the rest of the day.


Luke-y Love

Luke has officially changed his name to "Lukey," which is funny because when I was pregnant with him I told everyone if they ever called him Lukey I would slowly slit their throats.
One day at Preschool he informed his teacher that she forgot the "Y" at the end of his name on his Valentine's day envelope.

I have made no secret that I'm not ready for him to leave me in just 5 months. He gets a lot of attention from me. We go on lots and lots of lunch dates.
I was telling my sister how impressed I was that he was so European that he dips his apples in cheese instead of the toffee dip.

He also gets just about everything he asks for -- including this super awesome hat.

I am also getting the dreaded, "What are you going to do with all your free time," question all the time now. Magically I think everything I do during the day right now will still need to be done. With the exception of eating all those fun lunches by my lonesome little self.


Ode to Sadie

Sadie is the Star of the Week this week -- HOORAY!  This means there are lots of things I have to do, including a letter from home -- Uhhhhhh. . . 

The second I realized I had to write something about Sadie I started to panic. I am not the writer of the family, so naturally I called my sister and begged her to write something for me. Sadie had requested a funny story with her in it and since Kathleen is hilarious I thought it would take her no time at all.  Instead, she talked me into writing a poem myself. It's not perfect (I had about 30 minutes), but it's from my heart and I mean every word of it.

How can I capture all that's special about Sadie?

We knew she would shine even as a sweet baby.

At the hospital, the nurses came to stand in awe

Of the deepest dimples they ever saw.

She loved to wink and suck her thumb

And learned to walk before she was one.

Next up were somersaults and then onto climbing.

She still only eats fruits and veggies when dinning.

I think you all know, she's creative and funny

That brown-eyed girl really gives us a run for our money!
One night, when everyone was sweeping the floors,
Sadie cut cucumbers and made a spa to get out of chores.

On her very first day at CTA Liberty school

She pulled a stick for breaking the "no talking" rule.

When I asked her why she wasn't being very kind,

Sadie replied, "Mrs. Wilson didn't seem to mind."

Never fear, she quickly learned how to obey
And now she stays on green each and every day.
Whatever she does, she gives it her best.

She reads third grade books and aces each AR test.

When she's not here at school, she’s got lots to do:

Drawing or creating and using all of my glue.

There's also piano, soccer and climbing up trees,

You might find her at cross fit or off on some skis.

In our family of six, Sadie is definitely unique.
For starters she thinks wearing shoes is for the weak.

Out of us all, she's the only one with blonde hair.

To be so gorgeous just doesn't seem fair!!!

When Sadie giggles or smiles, no one can frown,
And her squeezey bear hugs are world renown.

I may be biased but I think she’s the best

And with Sadie around, our family is blessed!
How could you not love this girl? 
Can you tell who my girls were rooting for in the Superbowl? 

At the end of the week she got a list of compliments from her classmates. I thought they were pretty thoughtful and spot on



I Love to See the Temple

We have been watching and waiting patiently for two years as our Gilbert Temple has been built. I can hardly believe the Open House is finally here.
Every time we drive to the soccer fields, Costco, or our friend's house I would tell the kids how I couldn't wait to take them inside. I was so grateful for the opportunity for all of us to be inside the temple together as a family.

During the Open House anyone from the general public can come and see the inside of our temples before they are dedicated for worship.  I was so honored that so many of my friends were open to coming with us as well.
Hopefully all 4 of my kids will take their endowments out there one day and we'll all get to be inside together again.