Friday, January 31, 2014

Basketball, chore charts and other pix

I absolutely adore Nora's kissy face! She makes it every morning when daddy is leaving for work, if someone is crying, when the kids leave for school and if I ever have to go somewhere at night.
 Here is an updated version of our chore chart. Basically the same as the last I made but I actually wrote down the days of the week this time for me to initial. This works really well for our family, in school or out; it keeps the kids motivated and then we all know what's expected of us without having to ask a million times. They get $1 for each day they get initialed so they can get a total of $5 a week if they're on top of things.

 I was blasting music in my front room the other day while I did Zumba and Nora fell asleep in the same room on the couch. I guess she's used to noise around our house; maybe it's even soothing :). Though it's usually not noise from loud music but from 5 kids playing around.
 When I was stretching at the end of Zumba, Jane got right down with me and totally showed me up! Look at that flexibility!
 Charles started basketball this past week. Scott is the assistant coach which makes it even more fun. At this age they practice for thirty minutes before their game and then play thirty minutes against another team. They also have different rules at this age because they're focusing on skills. They are not allowed to steal the ball on a dribble and not allowed to play a tight defense. I had to stop myself a couple of times, mid yell cheer so that I wouldn't blurt something out for Charles to do that was against these new rules :). A bit of a learning curve for the parents but we'll get it :).
 He loved every second of it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Loving Colorado weather

 I had heard many good things about the Colorado weather before we moved here: they have over 300 days a year of sun (HUGE compared to Seattle where I grew up!), you get all four seasons and I've recently learned and experienced that winter is nice because you'll get a snowy day or two and then it'll be 60 degrees and sunny for several days so you can go out on walks and to the park and not be freezing cold. We went to a park Monday this past week,
 It snowed about 4 inches Wednesday and we got to play in it for a couple of days,
 Then Friday and Saturday were beautiful again, 60 degrees and we went to the park to play!
 Loving this Colorado weather!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scott's 33rd Birthday

 Here are some pictures from Scott's birthday. He requested a cookie cake so we baked a large chocolate chip cookie (and a mini one with some white chocolate chips for me since I don't eat chocolate...11 years now!) and frosted it with butter cream icing. We had a granola cereal for breakfast since we had to go into work early. We did more celebrating once he got home from work.
 For dinner we had stuffed shells (canoloni and jumbo shell pasta stuffed with ricotta, herbs, spinach and Italian sausage), Italian bread and salad.
 Then we opened gifts,

 And we ended with cookie cake and ice cream and a round of Headbands (a game for the family).

Happy Birthday Scott! You are the love of my life and all eternity! You bring me so much joy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mormon Temples

If you've ever wondered what Mormons do in their temples, this is a great video with detailed and accurate explanations, pictures and video. It also goes into some of the LDS/Mormon basic beliefs. I watched it while I cleaned the kitchen and really enjoyed it. I'm going to show my family tonight during our Family Home Evening lesson (something we do each Monday night). Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Minnesota = First ever weekend away

Scott and I had our longest trip away from the kids ever this past weekend, and Elisabeth is 9 and 1/2 so it's been awhile. In the past I think we've done a couple of one-nighters away from the kids but I can't even remember the last time we left all the kids for a night; we had Nora with us when we came to CO for a night to find a place to live so I don't think we can count that. It was probably when Krissy watched our kids a few years back for Valentine's. We think it was 4 or 5 years ago. Anyway, this wasn't a really long trip, 2 nights, but like I said, our longest trip away ever and it felt like a good amount of time. Long enough to do some fun things together as a couple but not so long that we were feeling too sad about missing the kids. Though, of course, we did miss them and thought and talked about them often. It made me even more grateful for our sweet little family and all of our wonderful children who bring so much joy into our lives. Anyway, let me go back and give a few more details on the trip.

The engineering firm Scott works for has an office get together every winter for couples and every summer for families. Office headquarters are in Minnesota which is where the majority of the employees reside. But they also have a small Colorado office and since it's new and they haven't met a couple of the new guys they offered to fly out the CO team and a guest for each and put us up in hotels. Scott and I didn't think we'd be able to make it work, what with us just having moved here in August (we don't want to damage new friendships :)) but when Becca offered to babysit if we flew her out we jumped on it! So we got our tickets, planned our trip and a week later Becca came out for three nights and four days, one to spend with me and the other two to watch the kids. We are so grateful to her for coming and to Blake, her awesome hubby, and Bella, her lovely 7 year old daughter, for allowing us to borrow her for a few days. My kids loved spending time with her. They played games, watched movies, went to parks, ate at McDonalds, baked a cake and more!
I took Becca out to Cinzetti's Thursday night before we left . It's an all Italian buffet that is huge and amazing! That night we also went and got my Last Will and Testament notarized by a friend in our ward. Thanks Merrills! We need to be prepared!
Friday morning Scott and I dropped the three oldest kids off at school and then went to the airport. We had a 1050am flight and we were there by 9, but due to maintenance difficulties the departure time kept getting pushed back. First by twenty minutes then to 12, then to 2, then to 4pm but then they came back and said they thought 230pm would be about right and they moved us to a new gate with a new aircraft. I don't remember the last time I just sat around doing nothing for so long, I felt like I was going to go crazy, so part way through our long delay I walked fast laps around the terminal, for around 45 minutes. Once we were finally able to board the plane we sat on the plane, on the ground for an hour as they looked for and then loaded luggage. We finally took off at 340 and arrived in Minnesota a couple of hours later around 630pm their time. So a total delay time of about 5 hours. We checked into our hotel and then went straight over to Mall of America to look around for a little while and get dinner.  We took this picture with Sponge Bob for my brother Luis :).

  And a picture with some Star Wars Lego sets for Charles.
We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. They had a pretty decent salad bar and Scott enjoyed some fish tacos.

Scott needed some new athletic shoes so we picked some up at DSW while I chatted with the kids on the phone before they went to bed, and then we went over to MAC so I could get some long lasting bold red lipstick I had been wanting for a long time.
Nice and red! And it really did stay on all day! I put it on before breakfast Saturday and it was still on after we finished skiing that night even after eating 3 meals, one of which was a wrap I had to bite into. Magic lipstick is more like it!
I forgot to mention that Friday night after dinner we came back to the hotel and watched "Austenland". It's a movie based off a book written by Shannon Hale. She wrote one of my favorite books, Goose Girl. Saturday morning we exercised, and I have to mention that I ran 3, 9-minute miles which is a record for me! Wahoo! Then we got ready, ate breakfast at the hotel and went back to Mall of America. First on the list was Sea Life. So cool! The sting rays brought back memories from our honeymoon when I was stung by one in my foot!
There were so many fun and interesting things to see. These looked like tiny little snakes coming out of the sand. I'm trying to remember their names, maybe garden snake eels?
The jellyfish made me feel like I was in some sort of fantasy dream world. The way they float and move reminds me of a beautiful and graceful dancer.
The sea horse was fun to watch move around and wrap their tail ends around plants.
We took this in a tunnel they have running under a large aquarium. This is the underside of the sting ray. looks like a little face under there with eyes and a mouth!
Scott watching a shark.
The sawfish had a cool looking face too!
Big turtles and sharks swam around the tunnel we walked through as well.
We loved reading all the interesting facts about all the many sea creatures. I liked this fact about the rainforest and cancer. Mom, thought you might find it interesting too, eh? I guess we need to eat more foods from the rainforest...or at least learn about their plants and how to use them.
Scott checking out the alligator that was just chillin', so still, body floating in the water, head sticking out of the water.
After Sea Life we walked around some more, got lunch, then I got a pedicure while Scott searched for basketball shoes (seriously I felt so spoiled this weekend! Kinda felt like I needed an excuse like it's for my birthday or mother's day, but alas, I had no such excuse).

LEGOLAND had some awesome displays! Charles would have been in heaven! I loved that they had a little lego playing area for kids.
After spending hours at Mall of America we came back to our hotel and got our snow gear together for the work holiday party.
The company gave us the choice to ski or go tubing. I'd never skied before and felt like this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Scott hadn't been for 15 years or so but he agreed to go with me (he was a little reluctant and probably would've rather gone tubing). He was a great teacher and we had a blast skiing down the Easy hills. And as it turns out this was both me and Scott's favorite part of the trip, well this and Sea Life and just spending time with the two of us. But I always love spending time with Scott. We skied for about an hour and a half and then came in for dinner with the group and we got to visit and meet a lot of new, very nice people and visit with our friends from the CO office and Brett and Shannon who I'd met once before and loved. Once we got warmed up inside we did go out and ski once more just for a couple of runs. Scott could've lasted longer but I was so freezing cold and my chin was getting numb so we came in and warmed up by the fire again.

By the way, if you're wondering where my ski poles are, I didn't have any. The front desk at the ski lodge recommends that if you're a newbie that you just try and get along without the poles. Which was all good and fine for down hill but any time we hit a flat area or needed to go up a slight incline I really had to work it! Good times!