Okay, a lot behind. But at least I am trying!
I'll cover all the highlights for certain...the rest of it will just have to get skipped. I am in the Young Women's at church, and a few months ago we took all the youth to go see Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake before church. It was totally awesome! We had to get up bright and early but it was well worth it. We got to walk around temple square a bit, then hear some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. music. The kids all had a great time. What a great opportunity to be able to do that. It makes me wonder why I haven't gone more.
School happenings are always going on and the most recent was Jacob's Wax Museum. The 5th graders all pick a different famous person--modern or old--and write a report, make a display, then dress up as the person and give a memorized short speech about them. Jake was Meriwether Lewis and he was so cute. He did a great job!
Per the usual, we have season tickets to BYU basketball games. I am Eric's preferred companion (did you even question?) but he does take the kids in turn as well for some daddy-son/daughter time. I think for Joey and Maggie getting a cougar tail (a 2' long maple bar--the best you've ever had) is a bigger draw than the actual sports display but who can blame them. One lucky night Maggie even got to meet the king of Cougars---Cosmo himself!!
Jacob has been doing piano festivals (where you memorize a piece of music, play it in front of judges and get scored) for a while and this time he got to do a duet. The boys looked super sharp in their matching orange neckwear and they played even sharper. Excellent job boys!
Although I typically have a firm "No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving" rule, I broke it this year. But I had a good reason! I have been wanting a new Christmas tree for some time. Believe it or not, we were still using our original tree we bought what feels like decades ago. It was cheap because we were dead broke back then, short because we were living in tiny places, and pretty sparse looking. I was going to wait to buy a tall tree, but when I found a screaming deal I knew I couldn't pass it up. But I got it the week before Thanksgiving. I didn't want to set it up and find out it was a dud and looked horrible (you can never tell from those pictures on Amazon) and then be treeless, so I set it up a few days before turkey day. Well to my happy surprise it looked great! But I had no ornaments for it... I decided I wanted this tree, the "upstairs" tree to look cool so I picked a few pictures from online of different ways to decorate it and then let the kids pick which one they liked the best. They picked an awesome design and off we went ornament hunting! Don't you think the final result looks super sweet and oh so full of holly-jolliness!
So a few days after tree-topia it was Thanksgiving. We had dinner at my house and it was delicious. Everybody made something yummy and it was such a fun time for all. And can you believe how old these 3 teenagers are looking?!?!?!?!?!
The next big event (remember we are skipping the small stuff) was Miss Maggie Bean got baptized! It was so cute because she was getting baptized with 2 of her cute little girl friends too. The three princesses dressed in white!
Maggie was super excited and so proud! And mom and dad were pretty proud too. We missed all the family who couldn't be there!
Our annual Young Women's activity for December (well, this was only the 2nd year but we've decided to make it an annual thing) is we take all the girls up to Temple Square, buy them dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial, walk temple square and go to the church history museum. It was cold so we bundled up. Here's all the fun leaders I get to serve with--they make being in young women's so great!
Maggie had a dance performance as well. It was a Christmas show and since Maggie is in 2 dance classes she was in 2 numbers--a ballet one and a hip hop one. She tolerates ballet, but she LOVES hip hop. It is so cute. But she did amazing in both numbers. She really loves to be on stage and had such a cute personality that shines through in her face.
On a funny side note, the two older boys love seafood--especially crab and mussels. Weird, right? I mean, I love them but for a 10 and 13 year old to love them is fun. Anyway, I found some mussels at Costco and snatched them up, went home and cooked the entire batch in a super yummy sauce. Well look how much the boys ate! Plates piled high. Maggie didn't like them and Joey wouldn't even look at them. But it was a fun dinner for the rest of us!
We had Christmas Eve at Katie's house again this year. A yummy dinner and then opening the pajamas from Grandma Swenson all the way over in Germany! It was a fun night. Always nice to get together with family.
Then lo and behold it was finally Christmas morning! The joy! The excitement! The PRESENTS!!!! The kids were super excited and got lots of fun stuff. We don't go too crazy at Christmas, they get 4 gifts from me and Eric, something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Then Santa fills their stocking and bring one big present. Plus the gifts from grandma and Aunt Carrie and cousin exchange and they are stocked up. It was such a fun morning. And even though Tyler threatened everyone to NOT WAKE HIM UP EARLY to open presents, HE was the first one up and woke up everyone else. Ha ha. Stinker.
Eric had a few days off around Christmastime so we spent an afternoon at the Provo Beach Resort. We played laser tag, did the ropes course, played some arcade games, and went bowling. Dad beat everyone...by a lot.
The highlight (worst part) of winter so far has been ALL THE SNOW!!!! Oh my, I think we spent a week straight shoveling and plowing and blowing snow. So much snow we were running out of places to put it all. This is one early morning trying to clear part of the driveway before school so I could get out of the garage. Probably 2 feet just overnight, then it snowed for another week! I am done with snow for the winter. Maybe a 200 foot driveway wasn't the best idea.....
But along with all the snow we've had some amazing skies. Here are a couple pics from my house. No filters or anything, and these were taken with my iPhone! Beautiful. I feel so lucky every single day I wake up and look outside at my views. How did I get so lucky to live here? Pretty amazing.
Once again Eric and boys have been skiing a lot this winter, particularly Tyler who is getting to be a really good skier. His goal for the winter was to ski every run in Sundance. I think he has gotten to all of them except the 2 or 3 double black diamond runs (which I am not crazy about him skiing down anyway). He was determined to do them, but the weather the past week has been quite warm and a lot of snow has melted so I am not sure he will get to them this winter. Here's Ty...
Eric is in the scouts program at church and planned a snow cave campout. They went up Fairview Canyon and actually dug out snow caves and slept in them! The crazy thing was he hit it at a super cold time and when they woke up it was -12 degrees outside! Eric said he slept pretty warm inside his cave though so I was glad about that. I didn't sleep much that night at home even though I was warm in my bed--I kept worrying about how the boys were doing! This is the entrance to Eric's cave...
This year we went to the Ice Castles in Midway. We had gone a couple years ago, and had tickets to go last year but because it was so warm they closed it early and we never got a chance. But luckily they said they would honor my old tickets this year so we went for family night. It was fun, cold, and totally amazing. I don't know how they can build it like that. The pictures don't really show much because it was too cold and my phone died, but you get an idea. There are tunnels galore, the ice lit up from the inside, fountains, ice slides to go down, walls and rooms 25 feet high, huge icicles....just really beautiful. The kids could have stayed all night but it was late and my fingers were frozen so we eventually forced them to leave.
In addition to Eric trying to get me to be a better skier, he's been working his magic on Maggie and Joey. We put them in a class and they both did really well and had a good time. They wanted to keep skiing after their class so I took Maggie on the green run....
I saw BYU was doing the Broadway production Mary Poppins so I got tickets and thought Maggie would enjoy bringing some friends. So I invited some friends and their moms to come. I was worried whether or not Maggie would like it, but she LOVED it! In fact she wants to do musical theater now, lol. They had such a fun time and it was fun for me to know that Maggie loves the same things I do! Eric and the boys can go fishing and we will go see a show!
One last view from my deck... Seriously, I get to look at this every single day! Try not to be too jealous...... Once I have grass it will be even more amazing. I can't wait!