Saturday, December 03, 2016


Thanksgiving is here, all packaged up in one big fat blog post. Last year's festivities went down in history as one of my favorites with a house full of family, dare Jenga, girls night at the Nutcracker, whip cream war from the roof and so many inside jokes and memories, that it's going to be a tough one to top. This one was a little more laid back, a little less noise, but still filled with memories and of course good food. For me I relish in all the prep work. A quiet house with Christmas music playing in the back ground while I roll out pie crusts, dry out bread for the stuffing, thoughtfully set out each place setting and arrange the perfect tablescape. The meal itself is filled with the last minute rush to get every dish on the table while it's still hot, wrangling up kids and dishing up plates to cater to the particular palette of each kid and then sitting for all of 6.2 minutes before it's time to clean up. It's a bit anti climatic, but at least there are leftovers for dayzzzz. The holiday festivities kicked off (pun intended) with the 6th graders vs teachers Turkey Bowl. It comes with a funny story. A month or so ago Jayden came home all excited that Donovan McNabb was going to be the referee for the game. Now I don't know much about sports so if I recognize the name of player then that must mean he's a pretty big deal and I recognized the name Donovan McNabb. So the big day comes and there on the field is a big black guy towering over the kids that sure fits the bill of a pro football player. I'm snapping away pictures, posting on instagram and ig story all about how cool it was to have Donovan McNabb as the ref for their game. I'm texting Jason pictures and he responds, um that's not Donovan McNabb. Apparently they tried to get him to come but he was unavailable so instead it was another NFL player from the Cardinals, which is still pretty cool but I was so embarrassed and quickly deleted all the photos and videos. Jayden still had a great time and it was still a cool experience!


Maddox's music class put on a cute Thanksgiving performance (who knew there were so many songs dedicated to Thanksgiving?). He has been so excited for weeks, giving me sneak previews when we're driving in the car and preparing me for the part where parents can participate. He didn't crack a single smile the entire time, unless I could catch his eye then he would focus so hard on not smiling, it was cute how serious he took it. I always love the chance to watch them perform.

I took a break from the prep work to watch Jayden's turkey bowl, then it was back to baking pies while Michael Buble crooned a Christmas serenade in the background. Bliss.

I love the anticipation of guests coming. Clean sheets, vacuum lines in the bedrooms, new scented oil plug ins strategically placed around the house and kids coming in every so often asking when they're finally going to get here. After a morning of marathon cooking, the long awaited arrival of our guests came. Grandma Young, aunt Jessica and James drove all day from San Diego then Tyson and Dawn's family came as well. They pulled up just as the turkey was being pulled from the oven. And just in time for Dawn to make the gravy, because I refuse to do it. She pawned it off temporarily onto Tyson who was determined to make whisking gravy look sexy.

And this man can make anything look sexy ;)

Kylie was thrilled to be at the kid's table. I think it is her duty to give salty looks in every picture I take of her.

Because Dawn insisted I needed to be in a picture with the pies. I love the look Maddox is giving me.

The next day we were planning to cruise around the lake since the weather was so beautiful. We pulled the boat out, packed up lunches then Jason turned it on to test it out and it wouldn't start. He then spent the rest of the day trying to figure out the problem, but to no avail. Boats are a money pit, it's a good thing we love the lake so much. Instead we went for a little hike that evening. The kids weren't thrilled, Kylie was gone black Friday shopping with friends, Jayden refused to go and Maddox only went after Grandma bribed him with a book. They hate hiking. I don't get it, they always end up having a great time.

The rest of the weekend was spent setting up Christmas, going to Magic Noodle with the adults, taking a golf cart ride to look at Christmas lights, picking out Christmas presents with Grandam, church and lots of food. We're so grateful to have family here for the holiday, it's what makes them so special!

Friday, December 02, 2016

Little Things

Life has been pretty chill lately, November has been pretty uneventful so far. Our big outing this month was going to be to the Gilbert Days Rodeo. Since my dreams of going to the Ute Stampede fell short this summer, I was determined to take the kids to see some bucking broncos this month. I've had it on my calendar since July. So I bought the groupon early to ensure that we would get tickets. The only problem is that I bought it so early that I got the days mixed up and we missed it. And then it got sold out. And then we were out $38 and no rodeo. We did order Moreno's take out and eating that smothered bean and cheese burrito on the back porch was a pretty good consolation prize. So instead of the rodeo, my camera roll consists of pictures of Christmas gift ideas on store shelves and that's about it. But here are a few random moments in the past few months that are worth noting. With the start of kindergarten comes the start of birthday parties. I swear Ryder has a more exciting social agenda than I do! Here's a party for his cute friend Major that he went to. It was an Olympic themed party at a public pool, I was a little bit nervous since he's just learning to swim, but he had such a great time!

A beautiful start to soccer season. There are few things in life cuter than 5 year olds playing soccer. I love going to his practices, but I slightly love carpools even more. Wednesday nights are hectic with dance, cub scouts, young men, young women and soccer so it's been nice having some friends on the team to carpool with.

A girl's night to dinner and the women's broadcast. This age is so tricky, sometimes she opens up to me and tells me every detail of her life and sometimes it's like pulling teeth trying to get her to talk to me. Tonight was one of those nights, but it could have been due to the fact that it was homecoming for another school so groups of kids were there eating with their dates and she was all dressed up eating with her mom. I get it. Not so cool to look like you're going to homecoming with your mom. It's almost as embarrassing as your dad asking you and your friends if you want him to take you to Fry's to buy some "cool teenager food".  Okay, so we may be dorky at times, but no one was complaining when they were eating sour patch kids and drinking Mexican sodas.

They had a company sleepover for dance, according to her snap chat story they didn't get much sleep that night. Those are the best kind of nights when you're young and can come home and sleep the rest of the day. I forgot what those days are like.

We had a beautiful Young Women's night about temples and marriage. They had all the girls dress up in wedding dresses that belonged to their mom or other ladies in the ward (unfortunately mine is up in Utah). Kylie was not too thrilled about the idea of putting on a wedding dress, but she looked beautiful and I had to catch my breath seeing her like that. It won't be long before she's all grown up and picking a wedding dress of her own.

I had a nasty cold one morning and so in lieu of chicken noodle soup and rest, these boys dressed up and did the haka dance for me. I seriously love these boys and the way they love me melts my heart.

General Conference weekends are an excuse to lay around in our pajamas, eat cinnamon rolls and do puzzles but Maddox was so excited for an excuse to wear his suit. He was up bright and early all dressed to the nines and ready to go. Love him. Even when he does stand up in the middle of the bishop's office during tithing settlement, bends over so that Ryder is in his direct line of fire and then commences in letting out the longest fart. Like we're all sitting in stunned silence then he squeaks out one more. I could have literally died right then and there, although seeing the bishop trying to gain his composure and hold back a laugh was pretty priceless. Oh boys.....

Kylie has an intense fear of clowns, sparked by an uprising in creepy clown sightings. She finally got over her fear when she realized a lot of these sightings were people just having fun. The AZ Clowns would post on Twitter where they were going to be and everyone would go on a clown hunt and try to find them. Seems a little sketchy to me, but she had fun with her friends. Jason and I found ourselves at Ross on a date night when we came across this clown and debated for a good 15 minutes if it was worth the $20 to buy it and put in her bed when she came home. We didn't end up getting it, but we sure cracked ourselves up.

We loved having Grandma here for Maddox's baptism, the golf cart ride down the big dirt hill was one of the highlights. Love seeing the adventurous side of mom come out!

School breaks are just as exhausting as they are fun. I love having the kids around, but I equally love having a quiet house once they're back. Inhale....exhale.....I survived. We may or may not have bribed the kids with starbursts and movies to let us nap one Sunday.

Maddox started cub scouts and it is right up his alley with all the projects and merit badges they get to work on. And we all know how excited he gets about uniforms and special clothes, so next to getting his suit this was the highlight of his year. He sure looks handsome and I love his enthusiasm. His first activity was the rain gutter regatta, and even though his boat didn't win he still had a great time.

One nice thing about school holidays is having a break from all the schedules. The first day back was a reality check, especially since Jason was gone and I was shuttling kids back and forth for hours on end.

And you know you're from Arizona when you get unnecessarily excited about winter grass. But oh, it is just so lush and green!

My favorite little corner of the house. Usually used to sit and play video games, if we're honest. But we had just got this lamp the night before and Ryder was anxious to try it out with a book one Sunday morning. This boy still continues to make me laugh. One weekend Kylie was out with friends, Jayden was gone to a scout camp out and Maddox was at day camp so Ryder got to be the third wheel on our date night (piping up with an "awkwaaaard" whenever we tried to sneak in a kiss). We took him to Barro's so he could play in the kids area while we enjoyed a somewhat romantic dinner and conversation over pizza and a meat ball sub. We even splurged for candy from the quarter machine and a walk across the street to the dollar store to spend approximately 28 minutes walking up and down the toy aisle before finally landing on the perfect toy. Which of course broke within 5 minutes of coming home. But my favorite part of the night was when he told me all about the love of his life, Sophia. He already asked her if she would be his girlfriend when they're teenagers and then get married after that. She agreed. Just the other day he confessed that he kissed her on the cheek. After everyone went out to recess he stayed behind with her and said he needed to tell her a secret but instead leaned in for kiss on her cheek. Um, I'm not condoning this behavior because he is way too young to be chasing after girls.....buuuuuuut it is about the cutest thing ever. He's got some pretty smooth moves, we're going to have to watch out for this one!

Feeling a sense of pride that our Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe float is going to be the best dang float in the nursery rhyme parade. This is what my life has come to.

Love working with these other room moms. I lucked out to have a team of room moms in both classes so I'm not holding down the fort alone. 

October but it still feels like summer. Pumpkin waffles and hot chocolate on an 80 degree Sunday morning, just wishing Fall upon us. Although I say I can't wait until it gets cold, and then I walk by the frozen food section at the grocery store and think I'm going to die. I do love that it reaches the perfect temperature in the evening, the precise degree where the air feels like nothing. No slight chill or heat, just perfect nothingness. We've been enjoying more evenings dining al fresco on the patio. I made a big pot of lasagna soup and warm homemade french bread one night. The kids couldn't be bothered to stop playing long enough to eat, so Jason and I had ourselves an impromptu date night under the stars on a Thursday evening. It was quite dreamy.

Endless summer with sprinklers, trampoline, goggles and undies. Quintessential childhood.

Homework and candy bartering the scene across America the day after Halloween. And I love my boys with fresh hair cuts.

I voted. Such a crazy unexplainable election. I'm not going to go into it on here, but for the record I voted and I'm grateful for that right. God, (please) bless America.

We introduced Tyson and Dawn to our favorite shaved noodle restaurant. They were dreaming of it ever since and of course we were quick to oblige when they asked if we wanted to go again. We're always looking for an excuse to go to the Magic Noodle.

The scouts have the opportunity to earn money by putting flags up around the neighbrohood on national holidays. Although we had to get up a little earlier than I would have liked, I loved watching the image of Jayden holding a flag silhouetted by the sunrise (which I didn't get a picture of, but is etched in my memory).

The thing I love about the weather cooling down is that all the neighborhood kids come out of the woodwork. Instead of coming home and vegging in front of the tv, they run in throw their backpacks down and head outside even before they have time for a snack. Unless I make chocolate chip cookies, then they'll pause long enough for that. I love this view out my window every evening while I make dinner. If they're not on the tramp they're riding bikes or continuing their on going nerf tactical mission where they want to use old mp3 players as walkie talkies and lids to my pots as shields. Boys. We finally got all our bikes ready so we can resume our traditional Sunday evening bike rides. The only problem is that these dang bougainvillea bushes in the neighborhood with their evil thorns keep popping the kid's tires. We got one bike ride in, illuminated by the light of the Supermoon, it was pretty special. And then we've replaced 4 tires since then and still currently waiting to replace yet another one. Please explain why no one has come up with actual puncture proof tires that really work. And then came Thanksgiving, which demands a post all her own.