Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's in Ut

Happy 2016!  We had a fantastic trip to Utah over the holidays, visiting family and just having lots of plain old fun.

The first day we went to church with my parents and after church Asher was given the rest of the banana cream pie.  What a way to start the trip and yes, that crazy kid ate it all and happily.  That night we visited Temple Square and besides being ridiculously cold, it was magical.  The lights were beautiful and snow blanketed everything.  We all warmed up while looking at exhibits and art.  The kids thought the old tabernacle was fascinating too.

While we were there we also hit the aquarium, which was packed with people but really cool...the otters were everyone's favorite I think.  We visited the Thanksgiving Point Children's museum too...again, packed with people but the boys always enjoy this place.  In-n-Out (YUM) was a must, as was Ikea for a few odds and ends.  We also ended up either visiting or calling every sporting goods store withing 20 miles searching fruitlessly for boys snow boots so we could go sledding.  Scheel's was a fun trip with the must-do ride on the huge indoor ferris wheel with Grandma and Grandpa, but even they couldn't hook us up with our much needed boots. So sad!  In the end, a friend of my sister's lent us some boots...what a lifesaver!!  Sledding was #1 on my kids' list of things they wanted to do, and at first it seemed like such a simple request.  We thought about buying some boots for the boys before we left but figured that Utah would be a better place to buy them.  Nope, because everyone in Utah actually needs them.  That will NOT be happening again, just for the record.   The sledding trip was great though.  There was a park nearby with a hill that was good for littles and our more adventurous big kids too.  Beckett even tried a trip or two down the hill on Koleson's little snowboard!  The boys love their cousin time SO much, and the love sledding SO much so the whole evening was a win win.

The actual night of New Year's Eve, we ate a bunch of treats and food at my parents house, and really just hung out talking, watching movies, laughing and sort of working on a giganto puzzle (only finished up the edges and a little chunk before we left, darn!).  The biggest shocker was that the boys (and the majority of their cousins) stayed up til midnight!  What?!  Clever Beckett made New Year's hats for everyone in the form of paper bowls with writing on them (check out photo below).  I think he made 20 of them.  Totally the best!

While we were there we also celebrated our Asher's birthday with everyone (another post).  What a wonderful trip full of snow, playing, memory making and relaxing.  Here's to a New Year with new adventures and memories ahead.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Asher's 10th

Happy happy 10th birthday to my Asher!  He was really anticipating this one since it put him squarely into the double digits.  Best of all he was touting his new status as a "pre-teen" to anyone within earshot.  We all cracked up over this one.  He is really, really, REALLY excited to be a pre-teen.  And now I'm also a little scared.  Anything with the word 'teen' in it strikes a little ping of fear into me. Ouch.

We were in Utah for his big day this year, and so we celebrated with extended family too, which is always a treat.  Asher chose to go to Chili's for lunch.  He had fond memories of doing it a year or two ago and loves that the staff comes and sings!  After that it was presents and a chocolate chip cookie cake (again, Asher's choice) at Grandma's house. Yum!  He had fun opening presents and blowing out candles, especially since some of the cousins were there.

That night all the boys went to a Jazz game for Asher's big day.  FUN.  This boy is a sports NUT so it was total awesomeness for him to hit an NBA game.  They had a great time too.  They came back with a t-shirt, and a ball that they somehow won. Impressive!  All in all they had a fantastic time at the game and now I think we have some converted Jazz fans, ha!

Happy Birthday to our Ash-man.  We sure do love this boy and can't believe the amazing person he's growing into.  This boy is kind hearted, loving, funny, smart, athletic, creative.  He's also an awesome big brother who plays with his younger brother and helps out all the time.  Lucky us that he's ours.  Love you lots buddy!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Bliss

Christmastime!   So many great times this month.  I love Christmas and all it offers.  I love the religious heart of it all, the spirit of giving, the time taken to do things with family and friends, the memories made, the smells, the foods, the music, the traditions.  I love it all.  This year is Dawson's first Christmas, and although we kept him away from the tree for the most part, he loved the lights, ornaments and presents...a lot!  Next year will be crazy!

This year we made it out to the River of Lights at the Botanical Gardens.  We all cozied up, drank cocoa and strolled through the luminescent gardens filled with lit up shapes of all kinds, and I mean ALL kinds, not just Christmas-y ones.  Santa was there too, so the boys let him know what they wanted, gladly accepted a candy cane and they humored me as we snapped a picture.  It was a great night, minus the mysterious missing mitten.  We got off the bus and couldn't find that thing anywhere!
Corey had a nice chunk of time off with us all so we went to the Zoo , had some fun in a little snow that fell, decorated the tree and drank cocoa, did our traditional advent box calendar with the boys, put together a 500 piece puzzle together ( a new tradition that I just love!) and most importantly celebrated our Savior's birth together.

Christmas Eve we read the nativity story with the boys and sang some songs, then set out some gingerbread we'd baked up for Santa, opened up new pajamas and sent the boys off to bed.  Christmas day was filled with lots of fun....cinnamon rolls and cocoa for breakfast (and loads of stocking candy the boys kept popping into their mouths), opening gifts early in the morning (although we made Beck wait til 6:30 to wake Asher to go down), a little nap, playing with new toys and spending time together.  It was a wonderful day.  Merry merry Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2015

9 Months

Woo-hoo! This boy is growing too fast.  At 9 months...

  • He loves to stand up against...a couch, a chair, my leg, anything he possibly can!
  • He can point to noses (mine or his), and mouths, and has started to point at things in general, too fun.
  •  His top two teeth came in!  Yowser, those ones had to hurt, and they were teasing to come in for a while now but they are finally here!
  • D loves to play peek-a-boo.  I'll sit him on my lap facing me and he after I say 'peek-a-boo', he takes my hands and places them on his cheekies, like he wants in there too. It is PRECIOUS.
  • He's sleeping in his own room at last.  I prolonged this one unecessarily partially because we had company or he'd get sick, etc, but I honestly didn't mind. It was fun to have our little buddy around!  Corey and I are happy to have reclaimed our room for ourselves though and I bet Dawson is happy to have his own space too.
  • He had his first cold and his stuffy little nose and cough just broke our hearts!
  • He started using the sign for "more."   He's not doing it all the time but when he does it's his own style and just so cute.  
  • He can climb the stairs.  We keep him gated away from them for now, but the other day I let him at them just out of curiosity and ta-da!  Up he went on the first try. So, now I know, and will likely keep him off of them til I can teach him to go down.  Yikes!
  • He scoots backwards.  He's a speed demon going forwards, and now he scoots himself in reverse too. Fun to watch for sure.
  • This boy loves loves to take off his socks, particularly his left one.  Most days, after I put him in the car, by the time we get to the store he is missing his sock.  The left one.  I think there's a small pile of them off to the side of his car seat, ha!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

More fall fun!  It's November and that means Thanksgiving, and the annual turkey dinner with the boys at school. They always get so excited for me to come, but then gobble up their food and rush out to recess.  Too funny.

This year we headed out of town since the boys had a whole week off from school.  We went from chilly New Mexico to still warm Arizona for some food, family and fun.  We visited with Corey's parents, but on the way in to town we were able to hang out with my awesome sister for the afternoon!  She and her kids were so much fun.  We found a unique park to play at, threw in some pop sickles and a little trip to Bass Pro shop and the kids were happy happy.  It was great having a little catch up time with her.

We found some fun things to do for the rest of the trip.  FlipSide was a great place to spend an afternoon.  The boys played laser tag, bumper cars, bowling, and arcade games to their heart's content.  The adults played too (Grandpa even came!) and had a blast.  We will definitely come back here again. 

Beckett had fond memories of swimming in the neighborhood pool (in the summer) on our last visit, and was determined to relive that memory on this trip.  We tried to explain to him that it was much colder and in no way pushed the matter, but being Beckett, changing his mind was not a likely option, and when Grandpa Reitz jumped on the bandwagon too, it was a definite go.  So, off we went to the pool...Beckett and Grandpa suited up and the rest of us there to watch and wonder.  Beckett started to doubt his awesome idea the second he dipped his toe in the pool, but Grandpa bravely forged onward and set the example.  Beckett did get in, after coaxed by Grandpa to take a 'ride' on his back.  In and under he went, and then right back out.  Brrrr.  He didn't want to swim after all.  Grandpa was awesome though and took the opportunity to swim a few laps before easing out of the frigid waters!

The Phoenix Zoo was a fun afternoon excursion.  The boys really liked the monkey area and posing with the various desert animal statues.  Ok, we may have all gotten in on the fun, but really, who can pass up an animal (real or not) that lets you sit atop its back while you snap a few pictures? Even at our zoo at home, I hear "mom, take a picture" every time we pass the tigers, seals and iguana (all statues).  Good times.

Thanksgiving dinner (unfortunately not pictured) was delish and being Dawson's first Turkey Day, we had fun feeding him all the new foods.  He loved the rolls.  The older boys absolutely LOVED the pumpkin pie, eating as much as Grandma would let them.  What a fun AZ Thanksgiving!