Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Budding Artist

Josh's art skills have taken off this year! He loves that they have indoor recess everyday because he can sit with his friend, Sadie, and use the markers. I love opening his folder everyday to find these little gems:

My favorite is the penguin! I need to frame it and put it somewhere. The one he drew of Cora says, "I like Coco and I like to play with Coco." He is my precious, sweet, big hearted guy and I want him to stop growing.

Friday, December 26, 2014


The last week of school before Christmas break was so busy. I was trying to get all of our shopping, wrapping, etc. done before the kids got out. I also volunteered to help in each of their classrooms for their holiday parties. Maya's party landed on Thursday which was also PJ day at the school. The kids each decorated a sugar cone to look like a Christmas tree then they had a gift exchange in the gym with the entire 2nd grade.

This was the only picture I got from that day.

Josh's party was the next day. The kids rotated between 6 stations then had a snack at the end. I didn't get Josh's group until the very end of the rotation. Every chance I got I would look up to try and find him and he would be working at his station but also keeping an eye on me. I love that little sweetie and his little shy smile.

Nick took 4 days off before his company shut down for a few weeks, so he was able to be home while Cora napped. I felt very grateful for that. He has been working hard on our kitchen remodel. All of the wiring is basically done, except the lighting. Hopefully by the time he goes back to work we will be ready for the drywall guy to come. This is such a long process and I'm starting to go insane with all of the clutter. I feel fortunate that the kitchen is still usable though.

Christmas was nice this year. We had no commitments and kept it simple. We made homemade pizzas on Christmas Eve and had a party in the basement with the kids. Maya planned everything of course and kept us busy with music and coloring. We also had tons of goodies and treats to snack on. The kids opened their pajamas and got to bed at a decent hour -- but Maya and Josh had a difficult time falling asleep because they were so excited. I remember the same thing happening to me on Christmas Eve!

Love these little sleepy faces! Maya was good and didn't wake everybody up too early. We told her to stay in bed until 7am.

Cora is getting into Frozen! So cute to see her play dress up.
My mom and dad sent Cora this Elsa baseball hat that has a long braid coming out of the back. She refuses to wear it so Nick wore it while putting her baby stroller together! Classic and creepy. Hopefully she'll like it eventually.

Josh's favorite gift was this Coast Guard Lego ship. It took him about 45 minutes to put it together with no help from us. He is one amazing little guy!

Maya asked for an African drum. She's pretty good at it but, man, my ears are sore....

Annnnnd, more random pictures for your viewing pleasure: (If you're wondering about Maya's appearance...she got a face painting kit as a gift.)

I love my family and feel so very blessed this Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fall Festivities

A few days before Halloween we carved a few pumpkins. They had fun but Maya was the only kid willing to help clean them out.

It was a cold, wet, and windy Halloween this year. Josh was sick and had stayed home from school that day but felt good enough to go to a couple of houses.

We recycled Maya's old Dorothy costume this year for baby Cora. She was cute! I was so bummed about the weather because she took to trick or treating super fast. She'd march right up to the door and yell "TRICK TREAT!" and as she walked away she'd say, "Fink you!" for her treats. Sweet girl.

Maya and Nick stayed out the longest and got quite a haul! In and effort to get rid of their candy fast, our neighbors were giving our handfuls at a time. I can't believe how much junk the kids brought home. On top of this candy they also got more from school and our ward Trunk or Treat. Crazy! We saved some of it to use on our gingerbread houses for Christmas. (Yes, it is Christmas Eve and I am blogging about Halloween. Oh well, it could be worse.)

We love our neighborhood...I hope the weather is better next year. The last few years have been terrible and now here we are in December with NO SNOW and it's in the 40's today. Knocking on wood. Finally, this picture sums up our trick or treating in Michigan this year. One of our neighbors didn't even want to venture out to her front porch. :) Smart!

Oh, Cora. So very precious.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holland, MI

For the past 3 years we have visited a different part of Michigan. This summer we chose to vacation for a long weekend in Holland. Michigan is so beautiful! I wish we would have started this tradition sooner. The drive took us about 3 hours and the kids were happy eating snacks and watching movies. We drove straight to a little amusement park called Michigan's Adventure, which is actually in Muskegon and around 30 minutes away from where we were staying in Holland. Our kids aren't daredevils by any stretch of the imagination. We did the ferris wheel together then we split up. Nick took Maya on the "Wild Mouse Ride" and I took Josh and Cora over to the kids area. An hour later, Maya and Nick come find us and Maya looks completely terrified and states she doesn't want to go on anything else. The amusement park was kind of a bust, but I did get Josh to go on a rollercoaster with me. He was so brave! We stayed another hour or two after that.

Our fearless leader checking out the map

After the park we took off for the hotel. Cora was being an absolute stinker and was crabby/mean because she didn't get a good nap in. She fell asleep in the car but it was nearly long enough! The kids were excited to stay in a hotel. We got settled in for an hour then decided to go check out Lake Michigan because the next day was going to be rainy. The lake was gorgeous! I couldn't believe we were still in Michigan. It felt like we were near the ocean -- such soft and clean sand, and the water was clean and fun to play in. I wish we could have stayed a bit longer but it had already been a long day and we still needed to find something to eat for dinner.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel then we went swimming for a few hours in the pool. Poor Josh had a terrible reaction to the chlorine and ending up with itchy hives on the back of his legs. It looked so awful! We gave him some Benadryl and Nick bought some cream which seemed to help him right away. Cora needed a nap so Nick took the big kids to this little shaved ice hut and they went back to the beach while it was clear out. Later that night we walked around downtown Holland and let the kids pick out a toy at the local toy shop. What a cute area! After dinner at Red Robin we went to a frozen yogurt place that offered, not one, BUT two dairy free alternatives! Josh was thrilled he got to "go out for ice cream". It was his first time. We had some great family time on our trip. It's not easy traveling with little ones, but I'm grateful we decided to go and make special memories together.