Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day

Winter Vacation.
I love this two-week break.  Somedays we spend it doing nothing -- all day in pajamas, watching movies, playing games. Other days we venture out.  And I don't just mean outside, but out of our area.  Like in our local mountains for a day in the SNOW!
We love the snow!
We love tossing the snow UP so that it looks like it's snowing.

We love snowflakes in our hair.

We love making snowmen.

Some of us even get attached to our snowmen and don't want to say good-bye.

Some of us love the clear blue sky and love taking photos of it.

Some love jumping in the snow...

and making snow angels

Some love sledding...

and picking up large chunks of snow.

Everyone loves snacking.

Some like sitting in the snow...

....making perfectly round snowballs

 The boys and their endless snowball fights.

 They just love slamming each other again and again...

and again.
Sometimes the girls just lay low and stay out of the way.

For some reason Rich thought he could bundle up and take a nap on one of the sleds.
AS IF they wouldn't find him.
AS IF they could somehow resist the urge to throw snow on his helpless form.

And as for me...well, me and my growing belly just sat around taking photos of all the fun.
Alex took this photo of me.  Don't I look at least 7 months pregnant?  I'm only 4.5 months pregnant!   And NO I'm not carrying twins!  I must look so big because of all the layers of warm clothing that I'm wearing.  Yeah, that must be it.  It's definitely the clothes!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

who's naming this baby, anyway?

Just two more days until Christmas!    
Today we will be baking and decorating Christmas cookies.  I'll have to do my best not to eat too many ~ I need to watch my weight with this pregnancy, since I was about 15-20 pounds over my normal weight to start it off.  Well,  I consider my normal weight  what I weighed in my 20's.  Maybe I should update what my "normal" weight at age 43 should be.  Or does age matter?  Maybe it's all depending on your height?  In which case, yeah I was about 15-20 pounds over my "normal weight" when I started this pregnancy.  Hmmmm.

This past week was a busy one for school.  Everyone had something going on in their classroom.  On Wednesday I volunteered in A.J.'s classroom to help with a gingerbread sewing project.  

Andrew had his Kindergarten Holiday show....

at the exact same time that Aria had her Preschool Holiday show.

So I had to watch the beginning of Aria's show...and then race over to the elementary school to catch the last few songs of Andrew's show.  I hated to miss ANY of either's show, but what's a mom-of-many to do?  I had to split my time.  I could NOT miss someone's show!  I'd never be able to live with that.  So it was better to see a little bit of each show than to miss one show completely.

We did a Santa picture this past week.  Only Aislynn, Andrew and Aria were into the mall Santa this year.  The rest... have out grown him.  :::sniff, sniff::::
And we have a new addition to the family!  
Introducing....Mr. Bun-Buns!  

We still need to build an outside hutch for him, but in the meantime he has a cage in our house.  We let him out and he runs around the house.  He is litter trained and runs back into his cage when he has to "go" ---  He's been so much fun and the kids LOVE him!  As soon as the larger hutch is built we will be getting a little friend for him (another bunny).  He needs to have a buddy to snuggle with when he's living outside.

As for me, I'm feeling good.  My belly is growing!   I'm almost 18 weeks now.  We are all SO excited for this little boy to arrive.  We've waited so long for our #10.  I feel so blessed, especially during this Christmas season, which always feels so magical, anyway...but it feels extra magical when you are growing a baby :)  

The kids seem to have already named our little guy Aiden.  It's funny because I keep telling them, "Don't call him that. He hasn't been named yet.  That's OUR job, not yours!"  but that goes in one ear and out the other.  They continue to call him Aiden.  I think this is a bit endearing, actually.  If we end up naming him this, we can always tell him that he was named by his older brothers and sisters!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the one where I play catch-up

It's about TIME I come back to this blog!
Seriously, do I have any followers left?  I don't blame anyone from thinking I've just run away...
In a way, I sort of did.
From the blog, that is.  Not from home.
But I have good reason.  Which we will get to later.
(the video at the end can explain it)
For now, let's have a little update, shall we?
Where did I leave off?  October?!!!  Seriously?  Well goes:


My sweet little Alex (who's no longer so little and not always so sweet) became a teenager in October.  
I still can't believe it.  THIRTEEN!  A teenager!  What?  No way.

Is it just me, or is this kid as handsome as all heck?  Stop-traffic-and-stare handsome, right?  Yeah, he is.  Don't even try to disagree with me.

This is a birthday Alex had been looking forward to for quite a long time, and it had nothing to do with turning 13, but all to do with the VERY COOL DATE that this day fell upon:


Alex thought it was very cool that he was turning 13 on 10-11-12 because that makes it 10-11-12-13 for him.  I guess that IS pretty darn cool, if you think about it.  I mean, what's the likelihood of that ever happening with your age?  To fall in perfect order like that with the date?  No, it just doesn't happen for the Average Joe, does it?  But it does happen for the not-so-average kid like my Alex.     

So I made this cool sign for him to wear all day at school on this very cool birthday of his.

And to top it off, he had balloons to carry around all day, too.  And you bet everyone "asked him" what 10-11-12-13 means.  All. Day. Long.  Yeah, he had a good time with that ... for maybe the first ten minutes.  Then it got OLD very fast.  But he kept the sign on all day, just like I told him to.  I wasn't worried about him looking ridiculous because he's a cool kid and I knew he could pull it off.

Happy 13th Alex!

I took these three to the pumpkin patch in October.  Why only these three?  Well, there's two reasons for this.  
1) All the other kids are in school during the time I can take them, and 
2) All the other kids find the pumpkin patch boring.  Can you imagine that?  The pumpkin patch...boring?  No way!!

But, this is only to be expecting as they grow up.  
I suppose my 9, 11, and 13 year old would find these rides a bit.... well, less then thrilling.

And I suppose my 17, 19 and 21 year old would look a bit silly posing on the haystack horses.
So that only leaves the youngest three for my Pumpkin Patch ventures.  Ah well.

We had a few hot days in October.  Perfect beach days.

Andrew was always climbing and jumping off the rocks.

my sweet six year old

Aria enjoyed finding the sea life that hid in the tide pools.

This fall our 9 year old was a soccer star ...

AND a baseball star.

Playing on two teams in two different sports made for a very busy fall season for A.J.  (and mom & dad!)   Both seasons are over now and for the next two months we have a break.  Yay! With two practices per sport per week, plus games for each sport on the weekends, it's an understatement to say that we are all enjoying this much needed break from A.J.'s sports commitments.  Time for him to do his homework after school, and then just playing outside with the neighborhood kids and his siblings.  And time for me to catch up on laundry, among other stuff.


Now we are at the end of October.  And we loooove Halloween!  And carving pumpkins!

 And getting our hands all yucky with pumpkin guts!

 Waaaay too much candy, as usual.

In addition to A.J. playing soccer in the fall, Alex played soccer, too.

and Andrew

and Aislynn


Andrew is a Pilgrim during his Kindergarten feast.  A Pilgrim wearing a Monster Energy Drink t-shirt.

 Love this shot of Andrew with his Kindergarten friends!

And here is how we spent our Thanksgiving Day .... with Rich's side of the family.
 Can you count all the kids?  Only half are ours, I swear!


At the end of November we took a trip to Sedona.  It's so pretty there!  All I wanted to do was take a hike with the kids.  That was my goal: to go on a long hike in Sedona with the kids.  And that's just what we did.  

We hiked all the way to Bell Rock.  It took us nearly two hours to get there, and then another two hours to walk back.  The kids all did great, hardly any complaining at all.  Well, maybe just a little bit of whining on the walk back!
 We saw a lot of cactus along the trail.


Aislynn celebrated her 8th birthday at the end of November.  She wanted her party at our local candy store.  It's a cute little shop, kind of old fashioned.  What I loved is that I did NOTHING to prepare for this party.  We just showed up and the staff took care of everything!  Now, that's MY kind of birthday party.

 All the girls got a glitter tattoo to start things off.

Then they got busy making all the candy projects!

 Happy Birthday to my 8 year old!


Not too many photos for December yet.   But here are a couple of the decorations we have up in our house.

love this little guy!

And now that I've caught you all up, here is a little video for you to enjoy.  Merry Christmas!

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