Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Difference Is In The Pictures

Kenny and I get quite a kick out of watching Tyler and Brynlee play soccer. The program is done a little differently than other places we've lived. They just divide the kids up by age group, but they're playing at the same time. They first do lots of games and drills, then scrimmage at the end. When you see these pictures you'll see why it's so funny to watch them both at the same time. They're quite opposite in soccer. It's amazing the difference two years can make! :) Plus, it's Bryn's first time playing. I'm sure she'll get the hang of it eventually. But for now we are frequently reminding her to "pay attention!" "try to listen to your coach!" "stay focused!" But then again, that's not just with soccer, that's just our Brynners... 

Cheering that he just scored a goal! Don't mind the kid behind him :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Month That Wouldn't End

Every day I look at the date, hoping that somehow, time miraculously skipped a few weeks while I was sleeping so we could get January over with. No such luck. I always have a hard time in winters. As I read back through journals, I tend to very easily slip into bouts of depression during the winter. So I've been trying to be proactive about not letting that happen too often. Sometimes I sit down and just start writing things I'm grateful for to get my mind to snap out of self-pity. Or I plan something fun to do with the kids even if I don't feel like it, or arrange a date with Kenny so I have something to look forward to. But holy cow. It's still January 15th.

Anyway. I realized I haven't blogged once this month, so looking back through my phone pictures helped to jog my memory. Thank goodness for that thing! Here's a little of what we've been up to. And if you follow me on instagram, sorry for all the repeats.

I took the kids to the Anchorage Museum again--Thursday, Jan. 2nd

Such sweet sisters

Constructing with spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. Tyler did the 3 that look like something, Bryn did a shush-ka-bob :)

Jan. 7th: Soccer season started up again! Brynlee's first time playing and she really loves it. It's such a great outlet for them every Tues. and Thurs. evening. 
These two like to stay busy running up and down the sidelines :)

Thursday, Jan. 9th--We went to Bouncin Bears with a large group of homeschoolers (all with IDEA). It was our first time there, and while it was fun, I don't think it's worth the cost. But the kids especially liked this huge jumping pillow

I'm not sure why, but lately I find her in this spot a lot. Just laying on the bottom stair, it's so funny

Can't a mother use the potty in peace?! The answer is No.

Bryn started this whole thing. She wanted me to roll her up "like a cheese taco" and all the others followed her lead.

Cold, but beautiful.

Too hard for these little ones to play in the snow, but the big kids like it

They make a big wet mess, but they love to be my helpers in the kitchen, whether it's cooking or washing dishes. This was actually a really sweet time for me. I love having my kids all around me when they're happy and helpful. They were singing and getting along, and I just wish it were like that all the time! :) Ha!

I gave Brynlee a hair cut for my first time! Thankfully she has curly ends to hide any imperfections

Sat. Jan. 11th--I took Tyler and his friend, Kai, to the Eagle River Nature Center for one of their free Jr. Naturalist Program activities. This week they learned about feeding birds in the winter time, and got to make their own bird feeders! This activity was just right for Tyler, my animal lover. Did you know it's a law here in AK that you can't have a bird feeder out past April 15th or so? You could get seriously fined for it, because it draws the bears, no matter where you live. We had a bear get into ours last summer (we knew it wasn't a bird because it was broken and scattered all over the ground). But we figured it was just because there were bears back behind our house. Now we know better!!

Silly Kelsey keeping herself entertained while I make dinner

Last Friday Kenny was supposed to have it off but ended up working, which wasn't a big deal. But we were bored and missed having him around so we picked up Moose's Tooth pizza for dinner (my favorite!!!) and went to his office to eat with him. We ate down in their cafeteria and the kids thought that was pretty neat.

Also last Saturday we had a big stake youth activity that our ward was in charge of. We had 4 different stations that the groups would rotate through throughout the night. I somehow got wrangled into co-teaching the dance portion of it for the entire 3 hours! It ended up being a lot of fun, and only embarrassing when I thought about it :) So I tried to forget how silly I looked, and just enjoy myself. I do love being in YW, they make me have more energy.

Today we went to a playgroup with our old ward friends and had a fun time catching up! It was at the church too, so we brought balls, bikes, scooters, and roller skates and they had a great time. Anytime we can get out of the house is awesome. :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Few More December Things

Some things that I didn't get pictures of...
One Sunday night we went caroling at a nursing home here in Anchorage. We went with 2 other families and had a good time. Except for when Kelsey tried to steal an old lady's stuffed animal, (literally prying her fingers off of it! So embarrassing!) things went fairly smoothly.

We went to our ward Christmas party and had a great time

Kenny had 2 work Christmas parties because he's a contract worker. One with the company he actually works for (Udelhoven) and the other with the company he actually works at (BP). BP's party was the night of the ward party, so we didn't go. The other was the next weekend and we had a babysitter and were all set to go. We were dressed up nicely and everything. But then I realized in a phone conversation with him as he was on his way home from work, that he was not going to know a single person there. He doesn't actually work with anyone from Udelhoven, and I thought that was going to be a super lame night. So we still got the babysitter, but changed plans. We went and got dinner at the Pita Pit, and saw the Thor movie. It was a fun night together, and I was so glad we didn't spend it making small talk with people we'll never see again :).

NEW YEAR'S EVE! I'm pretty bummed I didn't get a single picture of our new year's eve but we did have a great time. We hosted a little get together with the Sponsellers and the Allisons. Sarah Allison was actually roommates at BYU-I with Kenny's sister, Shariane. Small world, huh? :) I made some cafe rio pork salads and everyone else brought snacks and goodies galore! We talked and played Mexican Train and had fun together. Everyone ended up leaving around 10 p.m., and we put our kids to bed. Tyler woke up later that night around 1 or 2 a.m. throwing up a bunch. I thought we were done with the stomach bug, but apparently not. Then Kelsey and Brynlee got it too after him. I would just like to know why no one can be sick during the DAY?!! It always has to be at night, when I am the most tired. Anyway, we had a really fun new year's and were grateful to celebrate it with friends.

I also read the entire Divergent series (by Veronica Roth) in the same week. They were good, quick reads.

And some pictures:

I love this little face so so much!
Always wrestling and rough-housing with daddy
 These two=best buds

Kelsey actually playing nicely and getting along with cute Anja--the girl I babysit

Making and decorating a graham cracker house. Kelsey especially enjoyed eating all of the frosting and candy as fast as she could. The other three were pretty serious decorators :)

Creative daddy stayed up at nights making his graham cracker castle! Unfortunately he never got around to decorating it before I just couldn't stand it sitting on the counter anymore. So we took some pictures and threw it away. He takes his traditions very seriously. P.s. I know he's going to hate that I put that picture up  of him, but it serves him right for always being such a ham when I try to take his picture! :)

Brynlee helped me make some gingerbread cookies. We like to do our family out of gingerbread people and they each decorate themselves. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Our Christmas!

Christmas Eve: That morning the Sponseller's called wondering if we could watch sweet little Alina for a little bit while Sam went to work. Carmin and David were both super sick with a stomach bug. Kenny took the older 3 to go see Frozen, and said he was getting a stomach ache too. By the time he came back he was feeling much worse and went and laid down. He was pretty much sleeping or throwing up the rest of the night. I spent most of my day cleaning and making our fabulous Christmas Eve dinner. It was a little more lame than usual. I was just so grateful that the kids and I didn't catch the bug, as it seems everyone in the country was sick over Christmas. I asked Kenny to please sit down at the table so I could take one picture and he could call on someone to pray. He did, then went and laid back down on the couch. :). That night we opened Christmas pajamas, per tradition. This year I didn't make a single thing! Normally I sew at least matching pants, but not this year. Truth be told I have nowhere in my house to set up a sewing machine even if I did have time. It was nice to not worry about it. We talked some more about the birth of Christ and watched some of the clips on The kids all slept in the same room and went to bed full of excitement for the next morning! Christmas is always so fun and magical for children, and it's hard for it not to be contagious. 

Christmas day: Tyler was up a little before 6 a.m. He woke up the girls after a few minutes because he couldn't contain himself :).They were all thrilled with what they got, and gave, and it was a great day together. We also did a google chat with EVERYONE in my family, including Tim in France!! It was such a great time together and we were all in tears by the end. Amazing how the spirit can be felt even through computers when we're all spread out across the world. I sure love my family.
Kenny let me sleep for like 2 hours! I thought I would lay down for like 20 minutes, and 2 hours later I woke up. Yikes! I didn't realize how tired I was.

Brynlee put these roller skates on shortly after she saw them, and I'm pretty sure she only took them off to sleep (because I made her) for the next 3 days. :) 

Nativity Scene Reenactment

On Monday, Dec. 23rd we went over to the Sponseller's for a re-enactment of the nativity scene. Traditionally, we do it on Christmas Eve, but I was grateful for friends to join in with. Kelsey left for costume on for approximately 2.6 seconds, long enough to snap one picture :). But the rest were relishing in their roles and really enjoyed themselves. What a fantastic story! I never tire of hearing/reading it. 

Sam was gracious enough to play a donkey for Mary-Brynlee. Tyler played Joseph.

Our cute shepherd/wise man Madison