Thursday, January 12, 2017

XC Snowshoe Adventure

We planned our cross country snowshoe day on 'free winter access day,' so the kids wouldn't have to pay for anything except renting the snowshoes. I was watching the weather closely, and it looked like the cold spell was going to be gone by the time we went. We woke up to negative temperatures that morning, and I was so disappointed! We postponed the trip for an hour, so it would have time to warm up. The weather showed that it would be in the single digits by the time we started, which is doable. When we were 15 minutes from Harriman Park, I checked the weather again, and it had dropped significantly. We talked to the rangers, and they said as long as everyone had good gear, we were good to go. When we started, the temperature was -20 degrees! The crazy thing is, there were tons of people out skiing and snowshoeing in it! I thought for sure we'd be the only crazy ones out there. The other crazy thing is, we actually got hot! Before we even made it to the first warming hut, we were unzipping jackets! 18 of us went 5 miles in very, very frigid weather, and we had a great time! These kids are tough!

Getting started in -20 degrees!
Our hair and eyelashes were covered in frost within the first 5 minutes! Holly looked like an ice princess!
Mark was looking a little frozen!
Bailey and Mason

We stopped at a warming hut to have lunch. Inside the hut with the fire going, was only 5 degrees! Most of the kids just stayed outside to eat.
The Tetons!
Holly and Bailey
A few snow angels! Mason, Bailey, Holly, and Dylan.
Harriman Park is so pretty in the winter.
We survived! Grace, Hannah, Rachel, Justin, Hannah, Dylan, Ezri, Mason, Gilian, Coen, Mark, Eric, Natalie, Heather, Porter, Tricia, Holly, and Bailey.
Bailey's Gatorade was frozen!
The waters that were in our packs were frozen. We had to wait for them to thaw out in the car on the way home before we could drink them. Crazy stuff!
 These kids are so fun, and I'm sad I only have one more year of this before Bailey is off to college. Hopefully next year will be a touch warmer!

A Boy & His Dog!

I LOVE this picture with all my heart! Sawyer got Reeses for his 13th birthday, and they've been best buds ever since! You can see in this picture just how much she loves her boy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book of Mormon Challenge #3

Every year the seminary program at Bonneville issues a Book of Mormon challenge over the Christmas break.  Bailey got off to a slow start this year, and just like every year, I wonder how in the world she'll be able to finish it. But she always does! This year she finished it in 12 days! She picks a word to focus on each year, and this year her words were JOY/HAPPY/GLAD, and words like that.  She makes me proud! I'm not sure if a mission is in her future, but if she does decide to go, she will be very prepared!

Happy New Year!

We had our annual Stake New Years activity at Starlight Skate this year! All the kids in the stake skated for a couple hours, then we went back to the church for lunch, and the introduction of the 2017 mutual theme. 

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with wind and tossed." James 1: 5-6

Bailey, Madi, Emily
Our cute Eastview girls at startlight Skate.
Mike, Michael, Madi, Ben, Bailey, Andrew, Leif, Emily
 That night for our New Years celebration, we had a nacho bar, played games, and then toasted in the new year at midnight.

Cheers to a great 2016, and lots to look forward to in 2017!

We have some exciting things planned for 2017! Can't wait!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
We had a great Christmas! Bailey woke us up bright and early. She was a little miffed that Mark enforced the 'no earlier than 5:00' rule. She was up well before that, but she stayed in her room and opened her present from Mason. It was a nice and relaxing day until it was time to clear the driveway! It snowed so much that they even canceled church. And guess what.....the snowblower died!

Santa came! 
Hahahaha! This is one of Bailey's presents from Mason! Sadly, it's perfect for her!
Sawyer wore the ugly sweater, AND his cookie monster jammies! The look was fantastic (insert eye roll)!
After the kids opened a couple presents, the dogs would start crying until we brought over one for them. They did that the whole time we were opening stuff. Good thing we got them lots of stuff. They LOVE Christmas!
That should last her a couple days!
The only thing she asked for for Christmas was the complete series of Psych, and a water bottle. Santa came through!
Workout shoes!
Now she's all set for The Wizzarding World of Harry Potter over spring break!
Brian Regan tickets!

After presents we had sticky buns for breakfast, played with presents, got ready for church (which ended up canceled), watched movies, ate lots of food, and relaxed!

Snuggles for Oreo!
Making popcorn in her new popcorn maker!

The ruler she is holding went all the way under the snow!
Good thing she loves to shovel the driveway!

Mark worked on the snowblower for a long time, but couldn't get it to work.
All done plowing!
We love a white Christmas!
 We hope everyone had a great day! We sure did! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

We stuck with all our usual traditions on Christmas Eve. We had a big dinner, watched The Grinch, read a couple Christmas stories, and threw reindeer dust. 

Gotta love the clothes! 
Christmas Eve dinner!
 We let Sawyer and Bailey pick their favorite Christmas stories to read this year. Bailey picked the Crippled Lamb. That's been her favorite since she was little. Sawyer picked Olive the Other Reindeer, and read it to us with an accent.

The Crippled Lamb
Sawyer read his story with a British accent. 
 I'm pretty sure they'll never be too old for reindeer dust! Most of the pictures were too blurry from all the jumping around. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Fun!

We had so much fun leading up to Christmas!

BYU-I Christmas Concert:
We found out David Archuleta was the special guest at the BYU-I Christmas concert this year, so we got tickets. The show was so good!

Mark, Tricia, Sawyer, Mason, Bailey, Hannah
David Archuleta and Nathan Pacheco. They were so great!
Ice Cream at Freddy's with the Hoplas after the concert!
 Decorating & Ornaments:
We added a few decorations this year. I did the entry way table, and Mark added some lights to the front yard.

When it was time to decorate the tree, Bailey went downstairs to put her elf pjs on. This is how she came back up! We were dying!
I tried for a long time to get a good picture of them in front of the tree, but this is the best they would give me. Bailey thinks the head wearing a Santa hat should qualify as a decoration, so I keep finding it in random places throughout the house. 
Their new ornaments for the year were fun! Bailey got a giraffe, because she got to feed them during spring break this year. Sawyer got a Texas ornament, in honor of his trip back to Texas to visit his mission. 

I think it's so cute!

This one is so cool!
We love this tradition, but we're starting to run out of room on our tree!
 Friend Party:
I love my annual Christmas party with Lesa, Becky, Michelle, and Misty. We've been doing it for years, and we have so much fun! Michelle broke her ankle a few weeks earlier, and can't have any weight on it, so we partied at her house. We all brought food we love durning the holidays. We ate, exchanged gifts, watched a Christmas movie, and talked till late into the night. Good times!

Misty, Tricia, Michelle, Lesa, and Becky
Ugly Christmas Sweaters:
Sawyer had an ugly Christmas sweater day at work, and Bailey had one at school. Bailey and I picked Sawyer's out when he wasn't with us. We got the most hideous one we could find. Sawyer totally embraced it! We found Bailey's lovely 3D sweater on Black Friday, and she loves it!

Bailey's Baking:
Bailey loves making Christmas treats! She decided to learn how to make 4 new things this holiday season. She made gingerbread cookies, Oreo pops, shortbread cookies, and she will be making us a pumpkin roll on Christmas eve. They have all turned out great so far!

Gingerbread cookies
Oreo pops- she made these for Sawyer's work party, and they won a prize, so now he has to take her to Chic-fil-a with the gift card he won!

Christmas Lights:
Kim and Russ came to visit for a few days because Jessica and James were graduating from BYU-I. The temperatures dropped to below zero, and it dumped a ton of snow. They got to experience an Idaho winter for a few days. We had fun playing games, watching Home Alone, and looking at lights.

Loaded Question
Sitting with Santa at the Festival of Lights.
Russ, Kim, Santa, Bailey, Tricia, Mark
Horse and wagon ride in the freezing snow!
We loved the horses!
We went to the Bellnap Christmas house in Iona. It has flashing Christmas lights and plays to music. Super cool!

Gingerbread Train:
We made the cutest gingerbread train!

Getting started!

The train is all built, now for the decorating!

Mark decorated the trees!
Finishing touches!
It's so cute! We're practically professionals!

We're pretty proud of our cute creation!
For mutual, we had a young women Christmas/winter sock exchange. So Fun!

I love all my cute young women and leaders!
We finished a puzzle over the Christmas break. This was a fun one that brought back lots of memories! We got this puzzle when Sawyer was just a baby. We did it at the bar of Grammy and Papa's old Lakeside house. It was a great one to pull out again.

We haven't played Rock Band for years! Now that the basement is finished, we found all the parts, and hooked it back up. Good times!


We've had lots of fun this month! Now bring on Christmas!