Winter break was full of the laziest of days, and I loved it. These boys made it a little tradition (per Maddox's request. of course.) to lay in bed in the mornings and talk about what they wanted to do that day. As much as they drive me crazy at times, I love these two.
One cold morning they woke up before everyone else (which isn't too hard to do, considering the other half of the Young children sleep sleep until noon) so we went for a bike ride. It was a fun morning with these boys.
And we finally got a chance to go for our first family bike ride since the gifting of the Christmas bikes. I specialize in photos of riding bikes from behind. As you can tell.
We were gone for hours exploring, and breaking for Dunkin Donuts and model home tours. I loved this day. And I also realized how much I love this phase of life, having the kids older so that we can enjoy family time like this. I still feel like I'm going to lactate when I hear a newborn cry and my ovaries quiver whenever I hold one, but as sad as it is to close that chapter I am finding the good in this new one we're in.
That evening we had two of our favorite NZ/AZ missionaries over who have since come home. We had such a fun night reminiscing about our time over there together, it's still so weird to be on the flip side with them.
I had a coupon for roller skating. It was a fail. Nothing but tears and bruised butts. My back is still out of whack from getting pulled down on that concrete one too many times. Oh well, you win some you lose some.
I stepped out of Little Caesar's with Ryder one evening and witnessed the most magnificent sunset.
And by the time we got to Redbox it was even more incredible. Every where I looked people had their phones pointed to the sky and were pulled over on the side of the streets to admire God's handiwork. My instagram feed was filled that night with shots of that sky, it was a beauty to behold.
By my fourth kid, I'm getting really good at disguising errands as fun outings. The pirate ship at the oil change place, lunch at Costco, the treasure box at the orthodontist, walking to Chic-fil-a while the tires are getting rotated, popcorn and slushees at Target.... But the weather is gorgeous right now and this is the last year I get my baby home all to myslef. so I've been trying to make a point to spend a day or two each week just doing things he loves, with no ulterior motives. This day was the train and skate park at Freestone with friends.
And this day was a picnic and riding bikes around the riparian preserve. He had to check out the saguaro cactus' (cacti?) in hopes of finding the elusive elf owl like the Kratt brothers promised. Another sure tell sign he's the fourth kid is that everything he knows he learned from the TV.
He loves his little friends. Every time one of them comes over he quickly runs to his cupboard and pulls out a special present to wrap in paper and send home with them. A cut up credit card, black tubing he found in a parking lot, a penny....all his prized possessions. Sweet boy.
We hit up another skate park. Ryder had no qualms chilling with these older boys. They were so sweet to let him tag along. I bought them a soda from the vending machine as a thank you.
Poor Jayden had to get two of his molars extracted to make room for his braces. It was a lot more brutal than I thought, but he handled it like a champ. It broke my heart and I felt so helpless seeing him laying there. But homemade milkshakes and sitting on the couch together all afternoon watching HGTV together (his favorite. mine too.) was just what the doctor ordered.
Ryder had a preschool field trip to the library. He was a little disappointed. Somehow he was confused and thought they were going to California instead. Half way through the reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" he turned to me and said, "this is actually fun!". Such a funny kid. On the way over he also told me he was so happy that I would never turn into a grandma since I eat healthy. He is very concerned about me growing old. I love our conversations in the car. The other day he told me he doesn't believe wishes come true because he wished on a star that he wouldn't be chubby and he still is. He is so funny, he has this awareness of body types and is very self conscious of his cute little squishy tummy. I have no idea where it came from but I hope he knows he is absolutely perfect the way he is.
The kids had a celebration of learning night at their school. I loved Maddox's diagram he made, the details, creativity and heart that he put into it. I'm glad he's enjoying school now. He had a little bit of a hard time making friends at the beginning of the year and that was really hard for both of us. He would spend every recess just swinging all by himself. Thankfully he has made a really good friend and things are going so much better. He has such a big heart, willing to give away his birthday money and Halloween candy (yes he still has Halloween candy left) to anyone who wants it, and is always the first to jump in and help when Ryder can't find his blanket or Jayden is too lazy to throw away his wrappers. He makes me laugh the way he makes bucket lists for everything and how he loves to wear his hair in a pony tail. I love this boy and his big heart and am so glad he has found friends who can recognize and appreciate that too.
Of course we had to stop by and see Mrs. Moore, Kylie and Jayden's kindergarten teacher and one of our all time favorite teachers. We are so excited she has moved to the new school and are keeping our fingers crossed that Ryder gets her next year too.