I always get nervous to leave the kids, so before we left for Fiji I made sure to plan lots of fun outings. Ya know, in case our plane crashed then their last surviving memories of me wouldn't be just laying on the couch while they played minecraft. But of course there was some of that too. I checked the forecast for the warmest day of the week. Lies. All lies. It turned into the coldest. But we made the most of it.
Jason recently got called as the Young Men's president and his first matter of business was scheduling a youth snowboarding trip. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows him. So while they were on the mountain I took the little guys to a street carnival. Maddox's idea of a street carnival was more on the scale of Disnyland, but hey, they had free popcorn. And a photo booth. And an art exhibit where the curator let out a sigh of relief once my boys and their buttery fingers left.
We spent another frigid day at the park with friends. They really do have the best parks here, and ya know, we've only walked away with two broken arms because of them. It's a small price to pay.
These kids were crazy to get in the springs, the water was ice and the wind was wicked. But kids are resilient and they couldn't say no to trying out the sinking quicksand.
We did a pancake bar for breakfast one morning. Which is really just a fancy way of saying that the kids had free reign to put whatever they wanted in and on their pancakes. Sprinkles, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate chips...pretty much just dessert for breakfast.
We tried an adventure day. We flipped a coin and if it was heads then we turned right and if it was tails then we turned left. After 20 flips we had to find something to do wherever we ended up at. I was just keeping my fingers crossed that we didn't find ourselves in the middle of a sheep pasture.
We just so happened to end up at a cute little bakery, Subway and an interesting church. We never go out to eat here so it was such a treat for them.
The kids thought the church was a little creepy, but I'm so fascinated with exploring different churches. Even if their depiction of Christ on the cross gave the kids nightmares.
We rented kayaks from the Antigua boat shed at Hagley Park one day. The kids loved it. Except for Ryder. He was a nervous wreck that we were going to flip over and drown in the 2 foot deep river. We packed a lunch and had ourselves a right lovely afternoon.
Before I had kids. Before I was even married. I had pictured in my mind the kind of mom I was going to be. I was going to be the fun spontaneous mom that would stick the kids in the car in their pajamas and take them out for ice cream just 'cause. I've been a mom for 12 years now and have never once done that. But tonight Jason fulfilled all my wildest fantasies. We were packing up for Fiji and were getting ready to take the kids over to Julie's house (the saint who watched our kids while we were gone) when out of the blue Jason announced "everyone get in the car, we're going out for ice-cream!". The kids were a lot more concerned about going in public in their pajamas and a lot less concerend about what cool parents we were. But it was sort of a perfect way to spend our last evening together before we left. We sat on the front lawn of the school next to the dairy eating ice cream cones and getting all sentimental. Kylie was nervous about us leaving and never coming back. But once she learned they would live with Aunt Janessa if anything were to happen to us then she got all excited and started planning her future life with out us. I felt so loved.
And then of course this happened. In case you forgot.
Before Jason could even unpack his suitcase from our trip, he was turning around and heading back to the airport with Kylie. Each year during the school holidays our stake heads up to the north island for a temple trip. They fit a year's worth of temple work into one week and I hear it's a pretty incredible experience. We couldn't all go up, but I'm grateful Kylie and Jason were able to have a little one on one time together. They were only there for two days but the majority of the days were spent at the temple. Kylie walked away with a greater appreciation and love for the temple and the work that's done there. She's anxious to start doing some family history work so that she can take some names of her ancestors next time.
While Kylie and Jason were gone I took the boys to Timezone. They thought they had died and gone to heaven.
We may get Christmas a day early, but we have to wait an entire week to watch conference. Kylie tediously took pages of notes (she's an angel, I have no idea where she came from) while the boys played legos for two days straight.
The talks were all inspiring (truth be told, between getting milk cups, making lunches and breaking up fights, I didn't get much out of it while we were watching, but I have really enjoyed listening to them while I clean the house). After the 8th hour we had finally reached our breaking point and had to get out of the house. We went hiking around Victoria park and rediscovered our favorite little grove of trees. Jayden and Maddox built huts while Ryder and Kylie played hide and seek. It was so nice getting some fresh air and letting all that built up energy run loose.
It was a great spring break. I loved spending time with the kids (because surprisingly they get along better during the school breaks), having no schedule and enjoying the long lazy mornings. One of my favorite things of the whole break was listening to the kids at night. We let them pull out mattresses and have a sleepover in Maddox and Ryder's room every night and I loved hearing the giggles and whispering long after the lights were turned off. These are the things they're going to remember. So grateful to have a front row seat to watch their cute relationships grow.