Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day

 Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I broke our my green stash for today and I think everyone still fits the same shirts as last year.  Thank goodness because with it being spring break this week and having sick kids the last few days all my fun St. Patrick's Day plans didn't happen.  My kids are easy to please and didn't know they were missing out on anything.   
 As you can imagine, St. Patrick's Day is not a favorite of Andrew's.  It's right up there with Independence Day.  He did not wear green today.  He did, however, make a green smoothie this morning.  And not just any green smoothie with lots of spinach and kale but one he intentionally added green food coloring to!  When he told me I thought "who is this guy anyway?!".  :)

Well, I hope you wore green and didn't get pinched.  It's been a good one for us.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 Solar Eclipse

Last Summer we experienced an incredible Solar Eclipse and I've been keeping these photos on the desktop, just waiting for me to post them. :)  We didn't get the total eclipse experience in AZ but Chris and Kristy did in Missouri which is amazing!  When the moon covered the sun for a couple minutes it went dark and they could see a faint ring around the sun.  Wish were were there but even the partial eclipse was amazing!  I even got a little emotional thinking about God's creations and His love for us.
Here's the eclipse at it's fullest in AZ through Elliot's sun glasses.  I took the kids out of school to see it.  Elliot and Avery went back to class after its' peak but Zara is half day so she came with Rupert and I to Andrew's work after.
 All the leaves made half moon shadows.  So incredible!
 Here's our homemade cereal box experiment Andrew helped the kids make.  It worked!
One of the teachers had a pair of these special solar glasses we could see the sun with, and was nice to share.  They sold out so fast or we would have had them too.  How did you experience the solar eclipse last year?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Root beer taste test

I follow someone on Instagram named Kelly Jensen that does something she calls a Live List with her family.  It's like a bucket list except it's not really a list of things to do before dying, but a list they make together as a family that has activities and service and things they want to do to LIVE their life now the best way they can.  We've adapted that as a family.

The Jensen family do a root beer taste test every year and Elliot and Andrew wanted to add that to our live list so we did!  We also invited the Waldman family to join us a few hours before and then volunteered to watch the Manning kids two hours before so we had a full house.
We lined up all the different flavors and everyone got a taste of each.  Then everyone had root beer floats.  My favorite ones from the glade bottles were the Brownie one and Bulldog, right next to it.  I think those were favorites among the kids too.  I still don't have much of a sweet tooth this pregnancy and I don't really like soda but a good root beer float every now and again is really good!
 Alice had a hard time on and off because she wouldn't fall asleep.  Bless her!  She did well with Andrew most of the time.
 After the taste testing the kids watched a movie while the adults played Harry Potter Clue.  I love this game and Bradley and I both ended up winning. It was so fun having friends over tonight!  They actually live down the street, and I'm not sure why we don't get together more often. :)
^ ^ The girls tried hard to cheer Alice up. ^ ^
 Also, Avery lost her 6th tooth today!  Two on top and four on bottom now!  Love those growing smiles. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas in England

It's been too long since sharing anything here (6 or 7 months!) but if you follow me in instagram you would know we went to England for Christmas.  All these are iPhone photos so excuse the quality, or lack thereof.

It was a short trip, just over a week, but one we were so grateful to be able to do.  Since we flew in and out of London Heathrow airport the first day and a half of our trip with spent in London.  Then we took a train up to Hull to be with family.  We squeezed in a day trip to Scarborough and York, and loved going to Hull 2nd Ward Christmas Eve but mostly spent time with family, as you should over the holidays!  Andrew's parents hosted us this time.  The last several times we've stayed at Di and Grandma's.
 Elliot and Avery were into making weird faces when this group photo was taken and this was the best one out of the bunch.  Funny enough Carol, my mother in law, requested this group photo be taken.  Normally I'm the big photo taker, but I think she wanted something to put up in her house.  I wish she were more into photos while raising Andrew because he was a very cute boy. :)
 Christmas morning we woke up at Nanna and Grandads!  Millie the dog was so interested in what everyone got. :)  A couple days before Carol took the kids to pick out toys for Millie so she would be distracted but I'm not sure it worked.  Millie especially loved Rupert's new electric toothbrush. ;)
 Andrew grew up with this tradition, which i think is the norm in England, to have all your gifts wrapped and put in one big bag for each person.  So here is everyone with their big bag of gifts.  Andrew's family were and always are so generous.
Seeing Andrew so happy over this trip was pure magic!
 For Christmas dinner we ate at Grandma Freeman's and Di's house.  The smells were heavenly!  We brought stuffing balls and trifle to contribute to the meal.
 Here's my nephew, Oliver, Claire and Rich's son.  He's about 6 months younger than Rupert but about the same size.  I wish Rupert and Oliver got along better but Oliver really loves playing with older kids so it was fun watching him with Elliot, Avery, and Zara.
 Wish you could smell and taste all this!  My favorites were the yorkshire puddings, brussell sprouts, turkey and brown gravy.  I'm salivating just looking at this.
^ ^ All of Carol and Nev's grandchildren! ^ ^
With two more on the way!  It's so exciting being pregnant together again, this time for both of our last children.  I'm due early May and Claire some time in June, I believe.  Elliot snagged this photo shortly before we headed to Heathrow Christmas night since we flew back home the next morning.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  Mostly I'm just grateful my morning sickness has (mostly) finally passed!  The last three weeks have been soooo much better than last several months.

I haven't made too many concrete goals this year, but my word of the year is to be more Proactive, as opposed to reactive.  Now that morning sickness has passed I'm able to be on top of things so much better and I want to be more intentional with my time.  And maybe you'll see more of us here!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tucson Temple Open House

Somehow a couple weeks have passed since I last posted anything here.  I've been struggling with finding a good rhythm and getting enough sleep, but for the most part it's been a wonderful summer.  This week we have a break from Avery's swim lessons and Elliot's summer band ended.  He still has swim team all summer but we've kept this week open for a reason.  We're flying to Missouri Thursday night!  Lizette is getting baptized this Saturday and we are so excited to be there!

In the mean time, here are a couple pictures from the Tucson Temple Open House we went to a couple weekends ago.  We met the Mannings there, although not pictured, and ate at In-N-Out before heading back.  The temple isn't very big but it already had a special spirit there, even though it hasn't been dedicated yet.  Such a beautiful building.
^ ^ yum! ^ ^

Saturday, June 10, 2017

swimming and date nights

 I'm playing catch up a bit from the last couple days.  Thursday was Avery's last day of swim for the first set of lessons.  Next week she'll likely have a new swim coach and they also recommended her to bump up to level 5.  She'll miss Miss Sabrina.
Zara keeps insisting she doesn't want to take swim lessons but she's already such a great swimmer!
 Rupert does this thing I call lip snuggling.  He's not a thumb or finger sucker like my other kids but when he's tired he does purse his lips and do a sucking motion on his pillow or, preferably, by neck.  It's kinda my favorite thing.  We have a special bond.
I took the kids to get Thrifty's ice cream cones for the first time.  Overall we decided we prefer Zoyos because frozen yogurt is better for you than ice cream and mostly they love picking their own toppings but they all loved Thrifty's.  Their flavors starting with Avery are rainbow sherbet, circus animal, chocolate. chip cookie dough, and cotton candy.
Yesterday we swam at Sara's parents for the first time this year!  I think this is our 3rd or 4th summer of memories here.
Tonight Andrew and I went on a double date with our good friends Brooke and Dan McKay.  We looked around Floor and Decor so they could make some tiling decisions.  They're in the process of remodeling both bathrooms, doing the kitchen  and installing flooring in their whole house this year.  This is something we hope to do in a couple years so it's nice learning from them.  Afterwards we had dinner at Fudruckers, an old favorite burger place of ours.  So good!
After dinner we watched Wonder Woman since Andrew and I have heard good reviews and we liked it!  I loved the beginning part that sets up the movie and think the premise is really creative.  I guess it's a lot like the comic but I went into this movie fresh, never having seen the original movie or even seeing the trailers so it was all a surprise.  It is now midnight and I'm biking and swimming in the morning so I better get some sleep!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

summer slumber

I am fortunate to have good nappers.  Zara and Rupert both take naps most days which is great for being a 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old.  Elliot and Avery napped until kindergarten and even occasionally afterwards.  I loved seeing Avery zonk out on my bed this afternoon.  Later she asked me why she fell asleep and I told her sometimes our bodies just need to catch up!  Swim lessons, cousins over, and bedtime being more loose all lead to a little nap every now and again.  Love my sleeping babies.  Watching them sleep never gets old.

One of our goals this year is to improve our curb appeal.  Several weeks ago we had our big dying tree in the front yard chopped down.  We finally got all the wood cleared and I started watering the grass like crazy because it was yellow and brown and so sad looking.  Next is getting a gate on the side of our house.  Bro.  Lopez is helping us make that happen.
We can't wait to have a gate so the younger kids can play in the backyard and jump on the trampoline without me worrying about them going out in front or on the street.

Our next curb appeal plans include removing our boulders, taking down the older planter and putting two new ones made of brick, repairing the sprinklers, and finally planting some greenery!  It's time. :)