2/16/18

January


Oh January - you were a fun filled, busy month.  The primary president was telling the kids how they do a polar bear plunge every January 1st, so I convinced the kids it was a good tradition to start.  They fall for it every year. :)  
They have the roughest life, I tell you!! After getting back from the cabin after Chritmas, the kids spent a good portion of their time becoming best friends with Noah's 'echo dot' (amazons little radios you can boss around to say or play things).  They tell her to read them stories and play them music all day.  Here they were listening to about stories with Ava's disco ball in the back ground.  Rough life!!
My lemon tree only produced a handful of lemons this year, but luckily our friends produced 100's.  I cut them up, zest them, juice them and then freeze it all.  The best lemonade ever!!
Fresh OJ.  The benefits of living in California. 
Grandma Connie's walker has come in handy many times.  I used it when I sprained my ankle and the kids use it as roller skating aides. 
Another bishop's youth fireside at our house. Adam sang the new youth theme song at this and did a fantastic job, as usual. 
Been practicing my bread making.  Making a lot of french, ciabatta and baguettes this month. 
A bat hit the windshield while driving at the cabin and when we stopped to get gas we found him in the bed of the truck.  Weird little creatures. 
Adam and I went on a cruise with 2 other couples from our ward.  It was a lot of fun.  The ship was HUGE and had some really fun water slides.  They also had a fun ropes course (you could walk out onto a plank over the water, 15 stories up). It was a little freaky because it was so windy up there. 
The boys.  Believe it or not, I didn't take very many pictures.  Blasphemy!  
We loved playing shuffleboard.  We ate A TON of food (the food was good, but not great), played lots of games, went to shows, laughed a lot, ate some more....
Our first port was in Roatan, Honduras.   I found a scuba company that came and picked us up and took us to their shop and then took us on 2 dives.  It was awesome.  We were the only ones on the boat and the dive sites were only 5 minutes from shore.  The water was pristine (still not as good as Guam, but I'm realizing that nothing will compare to there, the best diving in the world is hard to beat) and our dive master was great.  
Adam and I with a school of Jacks behind us.  My camera isn't the best.  The other 2 couples had gopros so I'm anxious to see what they got on our trip. 

We did see some cool things (lion fish, spotted sea ray, puffer fish....)  1 couple just went snorkeling because they aren't scuba certified and they even saw awesome things (giant lobster, barracuda, shrimp..) 
We came back to the shop and had lunch at a little street taco place.  One of our friends got tricked into a massage while we waited (you can see her in the blue hat). Ha!!
Went back out for another dive.
Puffer fish.
On our way back the ship our driver took us to this little place where we got to hold all sort of animals.  The monkeys were all over us, jumping from one person to the next, so it was hard to get a good picture. 
Got to hold a sloth.  I've always wanted to see a sloth, so getting to hold one was even better.  Adam, the animal hater, didn't even want to touch them. :/
This was Alex, and they really are as slow and you think.  
Baby monkey.  
Our next stop was Belize. It was a little island off of Belize, so basically a resort for Norwegian, so technically we didn't really see real Belize.  Cruising is great when you have lots of people and you don't want to worry about logistics, but I think I prefer to go somewhere and see how the locals live and experience their culture.  Cruising definitely has it's perks too though.  In Belize we pretty much just hung out at the port.  They had shops and a giant swimming pool and the beach.  We went paddle boarding and did some snorkeling. 

View from our room - pretty rainbow as we were leaving the port. 
This ship was by far the largest we've ever gone on.  It holds 4k guests and 1600 crew members.  It was seriously like a small town floating on the water. 
Next stop was Costa Maya, Mexico. 4 of us went to this water/zip line park for most of the day.  The other 2 went on a mayan ruin tour (we've done those many times, so we didn't want to do it again).  It was surprisingly really fun.  The water slides were really fast.  Some of them hurt a little (not American standards at all), but worth it.  The zip lines were really cool.  I think we did 12+ zip lines over the trees.  There was also a zip coaster (like a mini roller coaster but on a zip line) that was really fun.  
The last port was to Cozumel, Mexico.  Here 4 of us went on a 4-wheeling excursion thru Cozumel and to the beach.  This is an old Mayan ruin that had some sort of significance, but I can't remember. :)
All the while were were off having fun, my kids were getting utterly spoiled by grandma.  
My brother and his 9 month pregnant wife spoiled them rotten too.  They went hunting, sand boarding, basketball games, more hunting, coyote calling, arts and crafts, playing with cousins.......Oh man, they love it. 
Of course Ava played with the cats as much as she could. 
They got to play with the Wilson cousins a little bit too.  


We got to play for 1 day before flying back to California, so we got to see them sand sledding.  Noah is pretty coordinated and went down standing up first try.  We said it was because he knows how to slalom.  :) 

1/9/18

December

 The view from my bed every morning at the cabin. 
 Adam taught the kids how to finger knit and for about a week that's all they wanted to do.  We have hand-knitted snakes everywhere now. :)


 I feel like pretty much from the middle of November until now has been a blur.  It went by so fast.  We had a great holiday season and had a lot of fun doing good things, but as usual, it flies by.  The kids decided instead of making presents for each other they would earn money and buy presents for a family in need.  They wanted to do a shaved ice stand, so that's what we did, along with hot chocolate and lots of baked goods.  It was a TON of work on my part, but worth it to show the kids how fun it can be to serve. 
 Ava making the faces for the snowman marshmallows.

 All ready to go at their stations. 
We sold out within about an hour and made $180, thanks to our awesome neighbors and friends.  Adam and I matched their earnings and we were able to buy Christmas for a family who really needed it this year.  So fun!!
 Grant started scouts (he was so excited) and received his Bobcat award.  Noah was in charge of taking pictures, thus the blurry picture. :/
 Did some caroling with some friends.  

 Crammed a bunch of friends in the house for a dinner and to assemble gift baskets to deliver to those in need of some holiday cheer. 
 Had the bake sale on Saturday, bishops youth fireside at our house Sunday, friend dinner on Monday and sprained my ankle on Tuesday.  I was just finishing cleaning the house from a week+ of preparations and went outside to water my plants.  I thought I was on the bottom step, so when I stepped back to what I thought was the ground I fell a few steps and heard a loud pop.  I fell to the ground, the hose still on and soaking me and to top it off I had really bad laryngitis and had absolutely NO voice to yell for my neighbor.  It's a hilarious visual now, but at the time it was not funny.  I crawled into the house and started to sob from the pain, and then called Adam.  He came home and took me for X-rays.  Luckily it wasn't broken, just a really bad sprain.  It's been almost a month and there's still a few spots on my ankle that hurt and a few range of motions I can't do.  I couldn't walk at all for about 4 days.  Oh man, it was rough.  Can't believe how long it's taken to heal, but glad i am slowly regaining mobility.  And THANK HEAVENS for Amazon!!!  
 Did a pear tasting a couple weeks ago with the kids. 

 Had fun helping with Grant's holiday party at school. 
 Have seen a few movies since getting out of school.  
 Went to our friends house for Christmas Eve (the kids huddled around watching NORAD - the santa tracker)
 Decorating cookies for Santa - and a few for themselves. 

 Came home and opened Christmas Eve pajamas.  April always makes the kids pajama pants every year.  She's so nice. 
 The excitement Christmas morning is overwhelming. :)  The kids fell asleep quickly, so Santa came early, I think.  All three kids came into our rooms and climbed into bed anxious to go downstairs.  After a few minutes of them being fidgety Adam looked at the clock and realized it was only 2 AM!!  We sent them back to bed.  They came back in a little after 6 am and they rubbed Adam's feet to work off minutes to go down earlier.  We made it downstairs around 6:30.  Christmas is even better as a parent getting to watch your kids be excited about everything. 
 Ava and Grant got ezrollers from Santa.  They're really fun. 
 Noah testing out his flint and steel.  
 Grant with his loot. 
 Noah with his loot.  He got a trick scooter from Santa. 
 Ava with her loot. 
Adam was anxious to get to the cabin to try out his Christmas present, so we left around noon.  We've all been enjoying his present. :)
 Our friends came up with us and spent a few days at the cabin.  We had a lot of fun. 
 The kids went from the hot tub to the tire swing pretty much all day.  Heaven for a kid.  The tire swing has been a huge hit.  It goes really high now and each kid has only had about 1 minor incident on it.  If they let go too soon they have quite a fall -  they learn that lesson once. :) 
Found another pretty waterfall.  All three kids are there, but Grant's face got whited out for some reason.  We loved having Adam home for the entire week after Christmas. We've had a great holiday season.   It's been busy, but the good kind of busy.