Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Year's Day Tennis

We went to Centennial Park to ride bikes and play tennis on New Year's Day. What a fun, active way to start the year!

Chloe rode her scooter all over in her pink boots and Minnie Mouse helmet, so she was happy.

Dave and Spencer played a real game (or at least more real than everyone else).

It was close, but Spencer won. He's enjoying getting back into tennis at school - he's varsity this year!

Everyone else had fun playing around; they even got the ball over the net a few times.

Dave and the boys used to like to play hockey at this park, but the city converted it to a pickle ball court. We're still sore about it. At least we have tennis and the flying turtle!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


We told the kids they couldn't wake us up until 6:30 Christmas morning, but I think they were up quite a bit earlier than that! The big kids even had time for showers. 

Spencer made a Chess set out of nuts and bolts for Tyler and Dallin. It turned out really cool - I'll have to get a picture of it all set up.

Tyler and Dallin got Spencer a dart board. It's been played with a ton. There are a few tiny holes in the drywall, but no one has gotten hurt.

Chloe loves her pink boots and dress-ups!

Santa brought her a doll house. It's still in the living room because she plays with it so much!

Levi got Tyler a R/C helicopter. We had some years ago, when they were relatively new. They've really improved (easier to fly, more stable), and they're a lot cheaper now. 

Tyler got Dallin this cute Minecraft bow and arrow. It works surprisingly well, and he loves it.

So for their gifts to each other, they drew names, and then Dave took them all to Target one night (when all the toys were 20% off) and had them look around and point out things they liked. Then they all hung out in the Christmas section while Dave took them one at a time to buy a gift for their person. But Spencer still wanted to get a little something for everyone, and that made Tyler and Dallin want to do the same. Most of the things were small but thoughtful. I love my generous boys!

Tyler got an Irish violin book, and Dallin got a Star Wars trumpet book. Do you see how threadbare Tyler's Santa hat is? It's his favorite.

Hey look, there's me! My camera has been having problems focusing recently, so it's a little hard for other people to use it successfully. Most of the pictures of me from Christmas are really blurry, but this one turned out okay.

I really don't like microwave popcorn that much, but I love homemade popcorn. We usually just cook it in a pot on the stove, but this little guy is easier. 

Kerplunk from grandma! 

Levi loves art & drawing. He especially loves that the art kit came in a fun little briefcase for him to carry around. Sorry for the blurriness, but it's a cute picture.

Brennan has been wanting a watch for awhile - he was thrilled! I'm impressed he hasn't lost it.

Tyler loves cool hats. The Greek fisherman hat was a hit.

Matching Washington Capitals hats! Do you realize they are ranked #1 in the whole NHL this year?! We are taking the 4 oldest to a game next month. Go Caps!!

Those are some happy gift reactions! The older you get, the smaller your presents. He was excited to get a Bluetooth speaker and a shock ball (like hot potato, but it shocks you).

Spencer, after receiving these from grandma, as well as a pack of funky striped socks from us, "Mom, I will never wear boring white socks again."

Brennan and Levi both needed new blankets (since theirs were lost at the church Halloween party - they were used in the zombie room and never made it back home). So I bought an extra large king size comforter that was on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond, cut it in half, and sewed the edges to make 2 matching twin-size comforters.

Total cost was $15/each, and that included 2 pillows and 2 shams. Sweet! And it's not Christmas without at least 1 sewing project for me.

Spencer gave Levi a Wubble Bubble. It is so fun! It did finally spring a leak, but we can replace it for the cost of shipping. Actually, it lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. Levi especially enjoyed inflating/deflating it himself with the pump.

We didn't know how much Chloe would play with her scooter, since she isn't that big into riding toys. But she LOVES it. She rides in the house, outside, at the park, wherever! She still thanks us for it ALL the time!

Grandma warned us to have whipped cream on hand to go with her gift to Levi. 

It's pretty funny!

Brennan loved his soldering kit. 

Turns out the soldering iron also works great as a wood burner, which is cool, because we have tons of scrap wood.

This nice cowboy made us breakfast the next morning.

They were excited to have their cousins come over the next day to show them their gifts. Levi's parachute is perfect for big groups. 

 They rode bikes for awhile (Dallin got a bike with gears!), and then we went to see Star Wars

We got a few new board games for Christmas. I think my favorite one is Things, because it isn't stressful and there's no score. They always like to play games on Sunday, and they used to have a hard time agreeing on which game to play until we came up with a fabulous solution. Each week Dave takes one of the kids on a date. So whoever's date week it is gets to choose the game they all play that Sunday. Let me tell you, this has been great for reducing weekly arguments.

I love gifts that help them develop talents and creativity. 

A Ukulale for Tyler, a trumpet mute for Dallin

Spencer is quickly learning to play Waterfall, and the boys love the stop animation kit from grandma and granddad. It was a really fun Christmas!!