Wednesday, January 21, 2015


We arrived home from Utah just in time to go to one of our favorite holiday traditions--the Blank Christmas Eve singalong. We had a riveting time as always.
Christmas morning started too early thanks to Jonah's sleeping being way off. When I finally got up, John went back to bed and I made a big breakfast of french toast, bacon and eggs.
Rick and Jess flew in the night before and stayed with us for the week. Rick went to pick up my dad, we all ate breakfast, then started opening gifts.
The boys caught on quickly to opening presents.
Jonah just liked ripping open everything. 
John and I received lots of nice things, too.
Jonah was so excited about this Van Gogh book Jessica let him open.
The kids were pretty cranky. Being out of town right before Christmas was really hard. They were tired and then overstimulated with the excitement of company and presents.
Scott wanted to play with every toy and read every book and watch every movie. 
John and I talked about it after last Christmas and decided we could take our time. As the only kids, it didn't matter if Scott and Jonah took all day to open presents.
So they played and we'd eventually direct them to move along.
They received SO many toys, though. Lots of vehicles.
I'm not sure where the hacky sack came from. Even going slowly, I couldn't keep up with who gave which kid what.
Scott took a break and did a puzzle.
The Planes puzzles he wanted to do right away, too. Rick and I split them up (there were 3 in the box) and he did all 3.
Jonah was thrilled to find bubble wrap.
My dad in his new slippers from Amanda and Russell.
Jessica started her book. I love her sweater and hope Mrs. Weasley makes me one someday. 
Jonah showed Amanda how much could fit in her new baskets.
Russell came a little later and found a stash of presents waiting for him. We all received Disney gift cards for our upcoming trip to Disneyland and are really excited to go!
Scott with his new best friend.
Russell crashed. Perhaps it was too much excitement for him, too.
Jonah took a nap and woke up happier and ravenous.
Scott couldn't bother stopping to eat because he had so many fun toys to try out.
I think Ricky liked the toys just as much as the little boys.
We started dinner and my siblings took the kids to the park while I made several pies. It was a nice, leisurely day at home together.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Utah Trip II

Tuesday morning we took family pictures. This is everyone except Nate, who had to work.
 We got a family picture with all smiles!
 Sweet Jonah and his poor split lips.
 Scott was not in a smiling mood.
 Impromptu brotherly hug. Probably huddling together for warmth.
After pictures, we went grocery shopping and took the boys to Cafe Rio for lunch. Then we cleaned the kitchen, cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen, made cookies, cleaned the kitchen and ate dinner and dessert.
On Wednesday, we wanted to give the boys a chance to get some exercise and fresh air. 
Alan wanted to geocache, so we waited to tag along with him. A mere hour and a half later, everyone was ready to go! Karen said something about inertia . . .
Meanwhile, John distracted kids by "going on a bear hunt" and I washed our bedding and packed up the rest of our things.
 Scott built one last train track and then we went to a nearby park.
Other than during the night and long car rides, Jonah was very happy in Utah. His gums were bulging with teeth, he had a chronic crusty nose and his lips kept cracking despite his love for chapstick, but he was smiley.
Lots of the dads came to the park to let the kids play.
Paige kept sticking her tongue out/licking her scarf? It was cute.
Scott was very serious.
Jonah was happy to be held.
Stori was cold.
Madoc found sticks.
Dallin was happy to play, too.
Bret and Asher
Found one!
Jonah exploring
Having a little race
Another treasure!
I love the mountains in the background. It was a clear and beautiful day and I'm glad we had a chance to spend some time outside.
Joseph drove us back to Provo and we were flying back before we knew it. Scott was absolutely perfect on the flights.
He entertained himself and I even slept for a few minutes . . . until Jonah's screaming 2 rows ahead of us woke me up. He cried through at least half of the trip, but luckily it was a short flight.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Utah Trip I

John's parents rented a cabin in Utah for a week and we went to go spend time with everyone before Christmas. We flew Allegiant to get cheap flights (not recommended unless you're desperate to save a buck) and Joseph picked us up at the airport and shared his car with us the whole time so we didn't have to rent one.
I was not looking forward to traveling with Jonah, because he'd been a teething beast the previous several weeks, but we were so excited to see everybody. Terri came and held babies, Sarah did hair, Jonah found a little crawling baby to talk to.
The cabin was enormous to accomodate everyone and it had a nice, spacious kitchen. 
Julie and Christian brought a train set that Scott commandeered. 
He didn't mind other kids playing with it, but whenever someone destroyed his track he lost it. Luckily that was the only trigger for him acting out the whole trip.
The big boys on their electronics.
Sweet little Annabel and her tired mom.
Woody and Buzz working on their train.
Amelia likes being held and she was in the right place for it--lots of aunts and uncles took turns holding babies.
Great Grandma came to see everyone and asked John for a picture with her.
Jonah was smitten by the "baby" and kept asking to hold whichever baby I had.
The main living room accomodated lots of people, plus there was an upstairs loft play area and big basement room with more seating.
Stori always ready with a smile
Scott also liked the little ones and came to me very upset whenever a baby was crying. He watched me soothe Annabel with a pacifier and then copied me the next time she fussed. It was really sweet and surprisingly helpful, but unfortunately with 4 babies I think she shared germs from all her cousins' pacis Scott gave her.
Dallin came over and asked me to help him get his pajamas on and put him to bed. How can I get Scott to do that??
We didn't have anything planned Saturday or Sunday. We took the boys to church and they both went to nursery without a hitch. It was a blissful 2-hour break.
On Monday, we went out to see what snow stuck from the previous night.
After lunch, we went to ride the Heber Creeper to the North Pole.
We were told to arrive at 1:15 and were on time, but the train didn't leave until 2, so we had a lot of time to kill.
Of course I spent it taking pictures. How do you not with all these sweet baby faces around?
Jonah was in desperate need of a nap, but fought and fought it.
His cousin Logan was sleeping peacefully.
And Bennett.
And Annabel.
Three of the sisters and their bundled babies.
Scott doesn't know anything about Santa or the North Pole, but he was ecstatic about getting on a train.
We took up most of the car.
I think there were 28 people plus little kids.
Ryan's eyebrow is my favorite.
Jonah waved bye-bye to everyone.
Scott's favorite part was probably the hot chocolate--heated to the perfect kid-safe warmth. We each also got a chocolate chip cookie.
Jonah eventually crashed and slept the rest of the ride. We went to dinner afterwards at a nearby train-style place that was fun.
I've always wanted to see Temple Square with the Christmas lights and decorations and thought going Monday night was perfect for family home evening.
Nobody else wanted to come, so it was just our family.
It was pretty cold out, but both boys liked walking around. Jonah kept pointing and saying, "light! light!"
We saw the nativity displayed and heard the story of Christ's birth accompanied by beautiful music. After a busy month I felt like December was passing us by and we didn't get to feel Christmas coming.
Going to the temple was the perfect remedy.