Tuesday, January 29, 2013

December

December was a super busy month that seem to fly by! Here are some of the things we did in between getting ready for Christmas, school, work, homework, etc.
 
 Jason and I went to watch one of Jason's friends, Kameron, at a motocross race. It was an indoor race, so it was super loud, but really fun!
We went to Thanksgiving Point to see the Reindeer and drive the Christmas lights there.


It snowed again.  A lot.  The first day it snowed, Austin got creative with his skate rail and a snow shovel and found a way to ski in the backyard!
 
We put the shovel to use a few days later when we had Austin shovel the walkway before we had visitors.  I love so many things about this picture.  I'm glad my camera was near by.  I love the newness of  the snow and the new experiences it brings. 
I love Austin in his church clothes helping out. I love the mountains.  I love my neighbors that live in the house across the street.  I love the colors of the sunset and I love that my neighborhood looks like neighborhoods I've only seen in books or pictures.  I'm enjoying the new experiences I'm having.

However, the next week as I was coming home from dropping the kids off at school in the morning, this beautiful view coming into my neighborhood made me sad.  It still isn't familiar or feel like home.  I felt like I should be on vacation visiting this beautiful place and all my friends would be in a cabin or condo as I pulled in, just getting ready to have a fun day!  I pulled up to my house and it was just a house.  No cabin or condo.  My friends weren't here and the only thing planned for the day was laundry and dishes and homework.  It was a sad day.
Paige fell asleep somewhere other than her crib, which is a small miracle!  It wasn't bedtime or nap time, but I will still take that as a victory and progress!
We still get excited when we look out the window and see the deer.
Ashlyn still feels like she needs an appropriate outfit for every occasion.  She decided she really needed work out clothes to go with her running shoes. Oh! And don't forget the glasses!  (Nope, she doesn't have a prescription!  Just likes to wear them.  Jason popped the lenses out for her so she doesn't hurt her eyes.)
I was worried about her being the baby princess and not knowing how to work because she is so spoiled, but she LOVES to help!  If I'm doing the dishes, she often asks if she can do it for me.  You can't really say no to that!
Paige is Ashlyn's little shadow!  She loves Ashlyn!
I stole this next picture from Lauren's phone.  I think my kids take more pictures of Paige than I do.  I love how they all adore her.
And I was called as the 1st Counselor in Young Womens.  I am over the Mia Maids.  We have 15 girls in our class, but had only half on the day we took this picture for the outgoing leader.  (There was a big missionary farewell that day)
My Grandparents came by for a visit.  I love my grandparents!!  I feel so lucky to have them. 


All the kids got Grandpa's famous Do-De- Doot.
Even Austin wasn't too cool to play along.

With all the snow we were getting, Austin couldn't wait to put his ski pass at Park City to good use.  The parents had been taking turns diving and picking up the kids until the ski bus would take them every Saturday starting in January.   Jason and I took our turn and made a stop at the Park City Outlets on the way home.
I always buy more stuff when I'm with Jason.  He laughed at me when I told him I felt "wild" carrying all those bags!
 
Jason's step-brother lives about 15 minutes away and we were able to go to his son's birthday party.
They did a really cute pirate theme party at the Living Planet Aquarium.
 
I think that gets me through Dec 15th!  See? Busy month!

The Living Nativity

The first weekend in December, there was a Living Nativity here in Alpine.   We invited another family and went to see it. 
 
It was really cool how they had it all set up!  It was just on the edge of town and I think it crossed over a few different properties.  It starts at the bottom of a hill on a dirt path that you follow all the way up to the barn where the nativity was.  Along the way, they had shepards watching over their flock,
 
 and animals that would have been present, like donkeys and camels, and people dressed up, walking along the path with you or standing by a warm fire.
They even had HUGE men dressed up as Roman Soldiers!  Some were walking around and a few were riding big horses.  I have no idea where they found these guys!  They were some really big men! The costumes were amazing!  It took quite a while as we traveled along the path with hundreds of other people that had also come to see "baby  Jesus".
It was COLD!!!!  I don't think any of us had ever been so cold! 
But it gave us a good excuse to cuddle up!


About half way (It had already been over an hour), our friends decided it was too cold for their little ones, who were also starting to get tired, so they left.  We looked ahead at the line of people and wondered if we should call it a night too.  Ashlyn was very upset and said, "You mean we won't get to see Baby Jesus?!".  Jason and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows and knew we couldn't leave.  We took her frozen hands in ours and continued on our little journey.

It made me wonder what it might have been like for those that followed the star to find the Christ child.   I imagine it wasn't so cold, but I'm sure there were times that  the journey was hard or they questioned if they should go back.  It made me grateful for the experience and for Ashlyn's sweet spirit.

Towards the end of our journey we came to a big barn guarded by two huge Roman Soldiers.  They let a few people in at a time so it wouldn't get too crowded.  Inside was what looked like a small village.  There were the Three Wisemen,

Little shops set up with workers, and more animals.  It was really cool!!  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I couldn't feel my fingers by then!
Across the way we could see the barn where we would find Baby Jesus, but we still had to travel around to the back side of the building before we could go in.
We passed a beautiful choir singing Hark The Harold Angels Sing!, Silent Night, etc.  It was so peaceful and a temporary distraction from the bitter cold.
 
At last we were able to enter the barn and feel the sweet spirit of the living nativity scene.
 It's definitely on the list of things to do next year if we are here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pieces of November

November seemed to have come and gone so fast!  Here are a few pieces to fill in the blanks.
 
We are still in awe when we look out the window and see the deer in our backyard!

Lauren had crazy hair day at school.


She also sang in a Veteran's Day program that was really a great tribute to our Veterans.  Local Veterans were invited to come and were introduced.  It was really neat to see and hear their experiences.
Jason and Austin spent some quality time working and playing on the go-cart.

We made lots of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that made me miss Clovis.
Ashlyn went on a "date' with Kristin to the movies.

Paige doesn't like to be left out when it's time for chores so I gave her a job!

Ashlyn is just cute.  No idea who took this picture or what she was doing, but it was in November so I thought I'd throw it in!

Jason and I picked up some treadmills after being warned about Utah winters.

We were using them pretty regularly until we got sick.  That's me sick.  Don't ask me why it looks like I'm smiling.  I felt like death warmed over.
After sending the kids to bed one night, I went up to check on them and found both Jessica and Ashlyn doing this:


To which I responded by taking a couple of pictures, shrugging and being glad they were quiet.  Some days are just like that.
 
I worked in the basement some more. I made a pretend window using mirrors and hung up some more curtains.  I love having a fort!  We had an extra mattress and some bedding, so I put them in the rock wall room just in case we needed an extra bed when family came to visit.
And I decided to hang up the extra pictures laying around on the unfinished wall of our unfinished basement, just because.  Why not? 
 
Jason brought home a huge white board.  We set up another homework station.
And finally hung some blinds in the basement and got the rest of the "walls" up down there.
And we decorated for Christmas and got an early start on wrapping presents.