Yo. This one's for the books. Literally. I'm trying to tie up all the loose ends and remember the little every day things for my blog book, so for the whole 2 1/2 people that read my blog, this one might be a little too long for your enjoyment. Consider yourself warned. Back in December we celebrated Judy's 60th birthday with a barbecue in the park with friends. 60 years young and more energy than I could ever muster, that lady is a legend. So grateful to have her in our lives.
Lazy summer mornings playing Water Boy & Lava Girl
A photo shoot with these rockstars
The boys were recruited to be their body guards
After a rough day of losing my temper way too much, I found this note on the floor as I was cleaning up. I sure didn't feel like an awesome mom that day, but it made me want to try harder than ever the next day.
Jason planned the Young Men's camp and all the boys had the greatest time. He has done such an amazing job as the YM president. We joke that his best friends here are all under the age of 18, he's really grown to love those boys and they really look up to him as well. There will definitely be big shoes to fill when he leaves.
He also organized a ski trip with the youth and a morning of target shooting. No wonder the boys love him so much.
Every morning before the sun comes up, Ryder slips into bed beside me and falls back asleep. I love it. I love waking up to this view. Eyelashes resting on chubby cheeks and his thick lips puckered out.
We had to get the tires changed and Ryder thought it was just about the coolest thing ever. Front row seats to the best show in town, trains to play with and unlimited hot chocolate on tap.
Maddox is still my little lover boy. Not a day goes by that he doesn't bring me home love notes scrawled on the back of his school papers or flowers he picked from the playground. As we were leaving school one day Maddox insisted that I came back to look at something. I was reluctant and acted irritated that he couldn't just wait to show me another day. You can imagine how awful I felt as I walked back and saw this written across the blacktop. I was overcome with guilt for trying to blow him off and with love for my sweet boy that shouts his love for me from the rooftop. And the hopscotch squares.
In February Jason had a snowboarding trip disguised as a business trip back in the States. He wanted to take the whole family, but I didn't quite have the stamina to make that trip again with the little guys so he took Kylie and Jayden instead. I wasn't prepared for the tears that would come when we dropped them off at the airport. I love how much they love each other.
I planned some outings while they were gone to keep us busy. Like the summer open air theater in the park. It was a little toasty hot, but their rendition of Peter Pan was entertaining.
We couldn't waste a single sunny day and ended the day with a pizza picnic in the park. Maddox is always so good to Ryder, I love watching them play together.
We packed up a picnic and went to Hagley Park after church, along with the rest of Christchurch. I just love how the whole city comes out whenever it's sunny.
Jason had a great time with his boys on the mountain. Last year was the first time he's missed his annual trip in years, it's good for him to have a chance to let loose.
Kylie and Jayden had a great time staying the weekend with the Herreras. It was such a quick trip, I think they spent almost as much time traveling as they did while they were there, but flying first class didn't make the travel part all that bad.
The next time they see those mountains they'll be home for good
Jason was sure to spoil us with all the processed junk food that we've been missing.
Jayden had another great experience at his school camp in Okains Bay. Besides his tent mate that snored all night. Maddox missed him while he was gone. I love that Jayden lets him tag along with his friends during recess.
I love this view from our upstairs deck. Love the sea of trees and love that family doing yard work. I despise yard work. I gladly volunteered to stay inside and make muffins instead.
Jayden came in first in all 3 of his swimming races, qualifying him for zones. He showed up for zones in his board shorts and faux hawk to face off with speedo and swim cap clad contenders. He swam his little heart out, but couldn't keep up with those freshly shaved legs. Still so proud of him and the way he puts his whole heart into everything he does.
Maddox is a little sponge. I love all the facts he is constantly rattling off and his questions usually leave me baffled. Once upon a time I had him convinced that moms know everything. So they did a whole unit about trees and every time we would drive down the road he would point out every pin oak and rimu tree. He really wanted to show me all the trees on their playground so I surprised him one day and showed up at lunch to get my own personal arbor tour. He was a pretty dang cute tour guide with a smile ear to ear.
Every playground needs good climbing trees.
Maddox found a rock that looked just like an egg. I showed it to Ryder and he was totally confused, he didn't think it looked anything like an egg because it was white not brown. Kiwi life is all this boy knows.
I promised Kylie I would take them back for a photo shoot at the street art exhibit.
Then we killed some time at the Imagination Station. An entire room filled with legos is probably about the best idea ever.
We snuck out for a date night with the Toveys. Dinner at Nandos then cleaning the church, ever so romantic.
We have managed to squeeze in some date nights to our favorite Thai container and Little Taipei. It took us a while, but it was fun to finally have "our" places.
Ryder and Maddox are always Kylie's willing subjects in her music videos. They've got some pretty entertaining ones, but this get up was my favorite.
I love spending my days with this boy. If I ever ask him what he wants to do, he always responds "skate park!". He struck this pose and requested a picture.
Morning date to the mall for a dollar store toy and bakery cookies. That smile and side way glance just kills me.
Wednesday runs at Hagley Park are my favorites, especially during the changing seasons.
Come April our park days were getting numbered. A moody sky against those greens is one of my favorite color schemes.
A foggy start to the morning is just dreamy
Maddox always brings home treasures he has collected from recess. I love seeing what he considers to be treasures.
Plenty of days are spent inside watching one too many Epic Toy Channel You Tube videos, but some days we spend at the park having leaf and stick races in the pond.
Jayden came in 3rd place at his cross country meet and qualified for zones. And earned himself a meal at McDonalds.
I just love Ryder's Kindy. Their "hot news" on the information board made me smile.
And I also love the primary school. I love the walls that slide right open to let the sun in and I love that his teacher walks around barefoot.
Maddox was so excited to bring Teddy to school for their stuffed animal day. Most of his filling has fallen out and his body is held together by hand stitching, he is one well loved teddy bear.
Jayden did great at zones, so proud of him for always giving his all.
The only decorations we ever hung on the walls. It was my favorite wall in the house and I was sad to take it all down.
I found all sorts of treasures when I packed up Maddox's room. I love this pottery that he found back in the woods and labeled it "made from Maori",
Jason got a little aggressive while de-icing the freezer and poked a hole in the pipe. Maddox was Jason's trusty side kick and wrote out this plan to fix the freezer. My favorite was the back that said "it failed". And the head lamp that made him official.
Instead we scored a fridge on TradeMe for $50. The only problem was that we didn't pay attention to the dimensions on the description. We called it the hobbit fridge. Ryder thought it was the best thing ever. I felt like I was playing Tetris trying to fit all the food in there.
And hide-and-go-seek took on a different meaning.
It seems like these two are always at odds. I found them reading old journal entries together one day and had to snap a picture to remember that they really are friends at times. They were not too happy about that.
My last Hagley Park run. Sniff.
Kylie had her track and cross country races. I wasn't allowed to go watch, she said it would make her too nervous. She came in third for the 60m and qualified for zones. A girl of many talents. Then it was Maddox's turn for cross country and he carried on the Young family running legacy coming in third as well. So proud of these kids and the chance to reminisce about my own days of cross country.
Jayden enjoyed another season of basketball. They won only one game, but Jayden was quite the star on the team. I can say this because I'm his mom, but he totally carried that team.
A week before we moved, Jason just HAD to go to Fiji for work. The mainland is a little more third world, it's not the luxury island resort life you think of. It ended up being such an incredible experience for him, though. The people are so humble and kind, he formed some great relationships in the short week that he was there. They loved having him there and tried to convince him to transfer there for a few years. It was tempting! He also got to fly first class again, lucky duck.
He also happened to be there when they won the Rugby Seven's world championship and got to be a part of the big parade. He face timed me while he was there and it looked like quite the party!
He ran into the missionaries at the airport who were leaving for transfers. It's so different seeing them in sulus and sandals instead of suits and dress shoes, but they're lucky they get to stay cool. Phew, all caught up with those odds and ends!