Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The First Winter

The boys seeing their first Utah snow:

Then began the Christmas decorating frenzy.  We had been warned, long before we ever even moved into this house that the neighborhood takes Christmas decorating very seriously.  In fact, every year they have a Lights On party, ceremoniously going house to house as a neighborhood and ooh-ing and aaahh-ing as each house flips on their Christmas lights.  They enjoy hot chocolate and goodies together, and on some occasions, have even helicoptered in a Santa Claus for the event.  Yep.  (This didn't happen to be one of those years however.)  So we knew the pressure was on.

I knew, being our first year ever in a house and decorating it, that I wanted it to be something magical for the kids. I love classy and clean decorations, but I thought while I have young kids I wanted something fun and whimsical.  I started thinking of reading Hansel and Gretel with my kids and remembering how excited they were about the witches house and how they kept saying they just wanted to eat it!  I thought, hmm, that would be so fun to have a house like that!

Then I saw this when I walked into Michael's one day:

I thought - that's what I want my house to look like!  So I tried to brainstorm how to make that happen. I looked and looked for giant candy pinwheels but had no luck.  So I set about making my own.  I would have loved to make them bigger but I think I ended up making about 50 of them and wanted them to fit through my laminator so I didn't have to take them all somewhere to be laminated on a larger scale - although in retrospect that would have been definitely more awesome.  When the actual thing was done, it didn't have quite the effect of the candies I would have liked - I probably would have had to make 100 more to get that look all along the roof line, but the overall effect in the end was still pretty fun:

Let this not go without a shout out to my husband for the death-defying task of putting up those dang lights.  We knew that most everyone in our neighborhood paid people to put up their lights.  How boring and un-festive we thought.  Then we did it.  And said - ah, they all must have done it one time.  That's about all it takes to realize you should just pay someone rather than potentially die in the process!!  I seriously had to keep checking details with Ryan about our insurance policy as he was up on the most gigantic ladder we could find trying to get up to those high peaks and I was standing at the base practically hyperventilating with anxiety. And pregnant.  But he did it.  And lived to tell the tale.

I had found the cutest little decorations to go along with my whimsical idea and thought they would make for some funky window boxes.  Like I started to think of kind of a Tim Burton-esque gingerbread house.

They were a little hard to get a good picture of though.  And the one thing I did learn though from this first year was that all the stuff I had gotten was so cute individually when you looked at it, but from the road you really just needed BIG.  You couldn't see all my cute details from the road.


The family we rented from had left some of their decorations for us, like the wreaths and this (somewhat frightening when it was in our house for a few days and would scare the heck out of me every time I walked in the room) musical Santa Claus.  Apparently in years past they have had him skiing or repelling off the roof, but after getting on that ladder for the lights, we decided just standing there handing out candy at our Sweet Shoppe would be sufficient.

And I was excited to find such a gorgeous, perfect-looking Christmas tree for our first one!!

A few days later when I pulled out the small one to put up in the boys room, they couldn't believe when I told them it was the one they had always used all their life in Miami and the only one we'd ever had.  Noooo.  The one we had in Miami was way bigger. No, funny enough, just everything feels bigger now - big house, big tree... hard to believe we lived on such a small scale there!

Ah, a touch of snow makes it just right.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Other random pictures

The final joys of last summer:

Watermelon.  In whatever way you choose to eat it.

Smoothie mustaches.

Warm summer evenings at movies (or Just Dance) in the park.

Popsicles with the neighbors.

Floating boats down the stream at the BYU duck pond with cousins.

Must have been a hard day defending the galaxy:

Roasting marshmallows in the neighborhood.  Amidst gorgeous Utah sunsets.


The funky, dislikeable feeling after getting a cast off.  Although just in time to start Kindergarten.

Love my baby brown eyes.

Discovering the joy of Nutella.

Ok, now this is just weird.  There must be some instinctual, territorial thing about our front porch.  Apparently birds and small people alike love to poop there.  ????  Multiple times after we moved here did I find large amounts of bird turd out there.  But then...I kept not being able to figure out where Diesel was ditching his dirty diapers.  Until I'd walk out on the front porch hours later and realize that must have been an enjoyable sight for anyone in the neighborhood who happened to be watching.  And certainly a charming welcome for visitors.  So WEIRD!


First day of the new school!  Waiting for the first bus ride to school.  

First day starting off in Spanish immersion!  They actually start it in 1st grade, but since Cash had had it in Miami (although not at an immersion level), he was able to test into it, which we were really happy about.  

And while it looks like lots of smiles, Cash possibly had the hardest adjustment of all of us.  It was ROUGH being the new kid at school (and probably not understanding a lot of what was spoken in the Spanish class for a while).  In Miami everyone commuted to our charter school, so since no one really knew each other, they just all made friends.  Here everyone lives in the same neighborhood, goes to the same church, and has been on the same soccer or basketball team for years.  It was much harder breaking into than I anticipated.

The onset of cooler temperatures and being so happy my kids could finally wear SWEATERS to church!  Fall was my least favorite season in Miami simply because you wanted the weather to cool off, and wanted it to cool off...and it never did.  There was no anticipated change of wardrobe or breaking out of the jeans and boots there.  Yay for seasons!

And since actual decent-looking pictures never happened...

Oh well, that looks about right for our household.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hiking the Y and Halloween

Hey, I waited so long to post this (from last year!) that it's in season again!  :)

Excited to have such gorgeous fall days, we set out one morning to hike Y mountain with the boys.  We doubted their ability and thought it would just be a lot of whining, but they did great and it was really fun.

Alright, well this one didn't exactly climb up by himself.

Kindergarten field trip out in the pumpkin patch.

Probably about 5 seconds after they got home from their field trip when they were so "not tired."  

Halloween school parades and class parties.

I loved the teachers/principal costumes for Halloween:

Visiting dad at the office:

Our confused 2 year old costume...

Trick-or-treating downtown Provo with cousins. 

We had a Halloween party at our house, and can I just say how lucky I am to have found a couple of really great families to hang out with here?  I think I stalked them for a bit when I heard they both had 4 and 5 boys - and their boys lined up exactly with the ages of mine and had the same teachers. AND happen to be just nice, good kids.  Lucky for me they took us in as friends.  :)

Guess that's when the built-in table for 12 comes in handy.  

A successful Halloween season.