Kevin was gone for part of Labor Day weekend, so Monday was our only day to do something as a family. We headed up to Lake Tahoe to meet friends. Despite it being the last holiday weekend of summer, the beach was pretty empty. Could have been in part to the wind, or the fact that the air is still filled with smoke from the massive Rim Fire. Either way, we had fun. We made some rootbeer once we got to the beach. Molly tried her best to get it out herself.
The dads and boys headed out to the rocks to dive for crawdads. They dove till their bodies were numb and ended up with about 50. Jameson was a little nervous to pick one up, but Molly had no fear. We had to keep her away so she wouldn’t get pinched.
We had BBQ and the boiled up the crawdads. They were a lot of work for the amount of meat you get from them, but not bad tasting. Ella enjoyed watching everyone eat them, but she was not about to touch them.
After a fun filled Saturday, Sunday was Mother’s Day. Last year, I was out of town with the kids for Mother’s Day. This year was a little better. Kevin got up early and made me breakfast. He made me waffles, which he doesn’t like, and cut up a bunch of fruit. He even arranged it nicely on the plate, all decorative! He had to wake up the kids (they were still exhausted from Saturday), and we all had a nice breakfast.
Then, Kevin had to pack and get ready to catch his plane. He had to leave again to do testing for his project. So, I got to haul everyone to church by myself. Luckily, the kids did pretty well. Ella went to nursery with her nursery leader so I didn’t have to deal with her fake crying. Jameson was supposed to give his testimony in primary, so I went with him. The whole morning we were talking about what a testimony is and what to say. He wasn’t thrilled with the idea, and kept telling me he didn’t want to. When we got to the primary room, he said he needed to sit in the front to give his testimony. When it was his turn, I was helping him, but trying to help him come up with something on his own. I asked him why he loved Jesus and his response in the mic was, “I don’t know.” So we wrapped it up pretty quick after that. After church, the kids had Mother’s day presents for me. They had drawn on kitchen towels for us. So cute, and useful.
Jameson wrote his name, a tree with apples, a fence, grass, and I think it was a wolf. His teacher also helped him make me a cookie. She told me he wanted to make me a big cookie. That he did.
Ella’s towel had her hand prints on them plus some doodles.
The back had a quote about motherhood. I’ll have to update that later, though. So even though Kevin was gone, it turned out to be a nice day.
I think I am finally motivated to catch up on our happenings. April 3rd, we had a small egg hunt at the church with our playgroup friends. We gathered all the kids together for a before picture. We were really surprised at how cooperative the kids were for this picture. It only took a few minutes to gather them and have them all sit down. Surprising, right!?
We each brought eggs and hid them throughout the primary and relief society rooms. We let the younger group get a head start with easier eggs to be found, and then let the older kids attack. Ella figured out there was candy inside, and that only motivated her to find a few more eggs before cracking them open and digging into the candy. I never saw Jameson until after all eggs were found. I was lame and did not provide my kids with eater baskets. Who knows where ours were from last year, and I didn’t feel the need to buy new ones. We wouldn’t be here for Easter anyway. So, Jameson used his “Rescue Pack”… a lion pack back his Grammy bought him, and Ella used a bag. Neither one cared they didn’t have a basket.
The kids each got their candy fill, and couldn’t be more excited.
We had a cookie swap about mid December. I attempted to make these “melting snowman,” but my turned out to look rather sadistic. Or hulk-like. Maybe I shouldn’t talk on the phone while attempting frosting. Plus, I’m not a fan of sugar cookies, so I didn’t know if they were good or not. I heard the cookies were good, though. At least they tasted good, because they didn’t look like it.
Once we swapped cookies, the next day, the kids and I took them to the neighbors. Jameson and I got about half the neighbors while Ella took her nap. This year, they knew who we were. We even met one that I’ve only seen a few times. One neighbor even gave us a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates in return. We scored there! The new wagon made our adventure even easier. Later that night, we finished up a few neighbors with Ella in tow.
She is not a great helper. Some of our baskets were missing cookies. Ella!
A friend and I made a trip to Ikea for a few Christmas items. She needed another bookcase, and the girls decided they needed a ride. We each had a cart, plus one hand pulling them. Yah, we’re awesome shoppers.
Santa arrived at our house! Sunday morning, guess what we woke to? You would think it would be our kids excited about their new toys that were delivered. Nope. First, at 7:30 am, my sister called to ask something about what she was cooking. At least, I think that’s what it was. After I got off the phone, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Then, a little after 8 am, my Mom called. They were done opening presents, and she called to say, “Thanks.” She was a little confused that she woke me up. Umm, yes. My kids are still asleep, why would I get up. I know what they got from Santa. Merry Christmas to us, we got to sleep in, except for the phone calls. After her call, we debated about waking the kids up, an instead, Kevin got my stocking for me. Who else get firearms in their stocking from Santa? Anyone?
He did a pretty good job tying the bow, though. We’ll see how it shoots soon. About 9 am, we heard Ella, and went into their room. Kevin woke Jameson up. At first, he wasn’t very successful, until he told him Santa came. Then, half awake, Jameson jumped out of bed. They went to the living room to find their presents.
Ella received a little stove my grandpa made (we picked it up while in Salt Lake), along with accessories. Jameson received a bow and arrow, along with a cross bow and more arrows. I figured Kevin would need one to fight back with.
Jameson was so excited. He started right away at the box to get them out.
Ella went straight for her new collection of plates and cups.
My mom thought I was mean for making my kids wait till after church to open presents. But really, they only got up at 9 and church was at 10. I had told Jameson all week we would open presents after church so he knew what to look forward to. Church was only an hour long, but every 10 minutes, Jameson asked if we were done. That was also partly because there were lots of musical numbers, and he started asking after the second song if we were done.
I was a mean mom, in the fact that I made them take a picture once we got home, before opening presents. When I sent out Christmas cards, I realized we don’t have many family pictures from this year. They pretty much only went to family, so don’t feel like I ignored you if you didn’t get one. The picture was not the greatest either, but we made do. So, if it had been taken sooner than Christmas day, this could have been the picture on the card.
(I’m realizing my camera may have been dropped too many times. All my pictures are just slightly blurry.)
And this is what we looked like while trying to take this picture.
After, we played till everyone was changed, and then we started into the presents.
Jameson was the official present passer outer. He recognizes our names, so he got almost everyone the right presents.
Jameson was very proud of his tree this year, and I’m not sure I ever got a picture of it. I sent him to take a picture of it. His tree was full of my old ornaments.
After naps, friends started showing up. Our family while we are away from family. We made a prime rib and rolls, along with some banana orange slush. They showed up with all the other goodies. We had a great dinner, and then gave the kids their presents. I think this year our goal must have been to give the most annoying gifts possible. I found some knock-off dolls that look like strawberry shortcake characters. Bad part, they had battery packs. Only one had batteries, which, after purchase, proved to sing her songs in spanish. It was hilarious. So, once the dolls were opened, Kevin started putting batteries in all of them. I told him it was a bad idea since the dolls were being given at our house. We didn’t have to put up with the chaos from the dolls long. But I do feel bad for sending them home to other houses with batteries. The funny part was, all the other dolls sang songs in english. They are confused dolls though. They sing like 5 songs, and each time they announce a different name. Pretty funny. By bedtime, the kids were exhausted. We had a wonderful Christmas, with lots of love sent to us. Merry Christmas to all!
Christmas Eve, I told the kids they could open one present. Of course I had them marked, which ones to open on Christmas Eve that is. We always opened pajamas Christmas Eve, so that’s what I had wrapped for them. Kevin is as bad as the kids, and wanted to open one, too. Actually, this year, we both messed up. He ordered my present online, and I was the one who received the package. The box was labeled with what it was. Then, I waited all week for his to be delivered, and Friday, I left the house for about 2 hours. Guess what came while I was gone. His box was also labeled with what was inside. So, we both knew a few presents. Oops.
This is our tree, Christmas Eve, with all the packages from family stacked behind it. The mail is always so much fun in December. It also takes about half the presents out from under our tree, because we have to ship our family presents. In the past years, our tree was overflowing, just because we had so many presents for family and friends.
Jameson dug right into his presents…
Kevin had to help Ella at first, but she figured it out.
Ella got some reindeer polk-a-dot pajamas while Jamo received some lego Star Wars pajamas. He was so excited, since he and Kevin play it like every night. Since I had been taking pictures, Jameson wanted to take some. He turned to me and said, “Say cheese.”
Then it was Dad’s turn for a picture. He pulled his “cool” pose.
Then, Dad told Jameson to look as cool as he can. Like a superhero.
What am I to do with this boy? We got settled down, and put the kids to bed. Once we were sure they were asleep, Santa made a visit.