Friday, December 19, 2014

it's all about the ethan

 Ethan's beginning band put on a Christmas concert, and they actually sounded great! I think it's because she has the beginning band classes divided up by instruments. Ethan's class is ONLY saxophones and clarinets, so they get lots of time to perfect their own part before coming together as a big band.

 Ethan also asked to join a youth basketball team, which surprised us. He's never been interested in it before. The other kids on his team have played for several years, so he's just learning the rules, but they are patient and nice enough that he's having fun learning the game.
 Chris went camping with the scouts (all two of them that came, plus two other leaders), and it looks cold, but Ethan had fun.

Friday, December 12, 2014

even more thanksgiving pictures!

Chris's dad is really into rappelling, and he likes the kids to learn to rappel, too.
The little dudes rappelled right off the balcony.
Josh didn't like it. The wall cut his knuckles.
 Grandpa also has a funny little motorized bicycle he likes to drive around and give rides to the kids.
 Ashley filled out most of these leaves on the thankful tree. I guess she's more thankful than the rest of us. She has such a sweet heart.
 The turkeys were amazing. Both were soaked in brine over night, and one was grilled while the other was cooked in the oven. They had two distinct tastes and were delicious!
 Chris looked like the wicked witch of the west when he rode his dad's bike. I'm pretty sure he even cackled or something as he sped by.
 We took a walk through the neighborhood after our big dinner. The kids love the gross blue waterfalls.
Sad this is a blurry picture, but it made me laugh. It was a cousin pile-up. 
This sight made me so happy. I love that Chris's mom loves spending time with the kids, and I love that Ashley loves spending time learning from her grandma, too. Ashley's learning to crochet.
 I feel amazingly blessed to have the in-laws I lucked out with! They are such talented, fun, loving people and I'm thankful every day that I married into this family.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

first official family portraits in years

 So, while we were at Chris's parent's house, his mom really wanted us to get our pictures taken so she could update some frames. We're really really bad about getting our picture taken. It happens sporadically, and we're never ready for it. Like this day. We weren't planning on having a lovely family picture taken, and our kids had shaggy, uncut hair, and all Ethan had was a loud gator shirt.

But my sister-in-law fearlessly took on the challenge of taking our family pictures (and even loaned Ethan a sweater), and she did a great job with what she had to work with! :)
 The park we went to was a bit of a challenge because we didn't know there had recently been a flood. Lots of broken trees and mud. But we liked the graffiti!
 I love this colored picture of the kids. We were in a dead, dry wooded area, and Wendy somehow managed to make it look like an enchated forest behind them!
And my favorite picture. A little piece of art I like to call Punk Never Died. Our kids tried to be punks. Obviously we aren't raising a bunch of punks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

a thanksgiving hike through desert sand

 I'm slow getting thanksgiving pictures up. But here are a few of them. On Thanksgiving morning we decided to take the big (and getting hyper/crazy/roudy) kids on a hike just outside my in-laws neighborhood.
 There were dead animals everywhere. Just kidding, someone paid to have this in their front yard.
 You can't tell in any of these pictures, but the entire hike was through deep, soft sand. So even though we didn't walk very far, it took us a few hours.
It was nice to get out of the cold and feel the sunshine again. We love warmth.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

pinewood derby

So, our family is cursed when it comes to the pinewood derby. Our cars never make it to the end (Ethan says his made it once, but Chris and I are pretty sure that's just wishful thinking). Luckily we've only had to do it three times now (once for Ethan, once for Ashley, and now once for Josh).
 Josh's is the third car (truck) from the left. He designed it himself, Chris had a friend at the museum cut it for him, Josh worked hard for days sanding it down, and he chose blue spray paint and then drew a guy in the window (which you can't really see).
 He was so proud, and he just KNEW his car was going to win. Or at least reach the end of the race.
 As you can see, the first time down, it stopped far from the end. Josh fought back his tears, and then gave Chris and I a few dirty looks because we'd warned him that the cars we help make never make it to the end.
BUT! The man kept racing Josh's car, and at one point, his car slowly...slowly...rolled to the finish line. It was great because everyone threw their hands up and cheered when it made it to the end. 
 It's a blurry picture, but this is Ethan and Josh watching the car slowly go toward the finish line.
 He won the award for the Best Design, and proudly accepted his red pinewood derby hat! Even though he didn't win, he was so proud of his truck and had a fun night anyway.
All the winners lined up for a winner's picture. He broke our family's curse, and I'm pretty sure he'll proudly wear that hat for a long time.