Cara had a Great Eighth birthday! She is such a fun child. I took advantage of "birthday season" to take the girls out on a few dates. If you, like me, measure a good time by the quality of the food then the girls and I had a great time!
Cara has been asking very regularly for at least a year if she could get her ears pierced. I've been putting her off until her birthday. She must have asked me 100 times if it would hurt. I tried to discourage her by telling her that it would, but she was undeterred. She was ready to get her ears pierced. My little girl is growing up!
She has a fun birthday. She is so different from Caleb. I told her she could invite 8 friends. She chose four, and was perfectly content. She is happy having a few close friends.
It was great to have a small group! We took them swimming and enjoyed and easy going and spontaneous evening. Cara has great friends!
Ali is so easy to love! Being her mother is such a joy. She is so sweet. She is obedient. She sings as she plays. She loves to mother her little brother. (Even though he is bigger than she is.) She is always so grateful and satisfied. She was so happy with her family birthday party. I wish I could freeze her in time because she is PERFECT!
Caleb should give lessons on how to get the most out of a birthday. He has a way of starting the celebrations early and making them last. He turned 10 this year and celebrated like a champ!
The celebrations started with a night out to dinner, the night before, to Hu Hot, with is favorite family of boys, the Lows. We used to think going out to dinner with the kids was crazy. Now will 11 children between the two families we get the party room and we are a party! The kids were so good though making it doable.
School was out on Caleb's birthday so we went skiing for the day. Josh's knee has been hurting so I took Caleb, Isaac, and Cara. The weather and the snow were beautiful. The boys, especially Caleb, improved so much. Cara was scared and struggled, but she was still trying to convince me to buy her a season pass for next year on the drive home.
We've settled into the every other year birthday party routine. Caleb had a "late night" with his friends. They mostly played football in the basement although we had a move and games available. They had pizza and candy. I love the late night concept (no slumber parties) and it was so much easier for me than a theme party. Maybe I'm getting old and tired, but we were all perfectly happy having the boys choose their own adventure.
I was amazed at the generous birthday gifts. Caleb associates with wonderful boys and I am grateful he has friends to bless his life!
To celebrate the conclusion of the 2014 Winter Olympics I took the kids skating. They loved it. The purpose of the trip was two fold. One was of course for the kids to have a fun experience the other was to video this beauty of my dear friends, Dave and Erica, returning to the ice! Dave and Erica On Ice
I feel fortunate to have traveled to many beautiful places in the world, but one place I've never vacationed is the scenic Oregon Coast. Josh and I haven't left our kids to vacation together since our cruise three years ago. So this winter we decided we would take a long weekend and visit my BFF, from childhood through college, and beyond, Misty and her husband Chad who now live in Oregon for a weekend at the coast.
When we flew in it was record braking cold for Portland, but we enjoyed a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts (a place that brings doughnuts to a whole new level!!)
A stop at the temple
And a tour of an amazing century old mansion.
We made it to Salem where Misty and Chad live and that is when the snow began. With no snow removal equipment and 6-12 inches of snow the roads became unpassable and we spent our scenic weekend snowed in at the Bingham's house.
There is nowhere I'd rather be snowed in, but it was ironic that the usually mild temperatures of Oregon threw us a curve ball and kept us from the coast. In fact, it was so bad that we had to buy chains for our tires to get to the air port. My commitment to travel tropically has been strengthened, although I very much enjoyed spending quality time with the entire, adorable Bingham family. (I wish I had a picture!)
As a mom there are a lot of moments when I wonder, "what the . . . " (I don't fill it in with a swear word. I mostly just think "what the.") Here are just a few from the last few weeks that I've captured.
I've heard of children using stamps as stickers, but until now I hand't experienced it. Ali not only stuck them on her toys but she tore them to fit. I still have partial stamps saved wondering where the rest could possibly be.
Yes, I walked into the bathroom the other day and John was soaking his feet, shoes and socks on. He had figured out it wasn't a good idea, but appeared stuck. Luckily he chose a toilet that was flushed. You never know with five kids around.
Ali turned herself into some kind of Q-tip creature.
I'll include Caleb's competitive basketball experience in the "what the" category. He had a wonderful team of boys from fantastic families. He had a dedicated coach, Dave Low, who had the best interest of the boys in mind. The "what the" part was the other teams. To say that Caleb's team was the underdogs would be a huge understatement. The other teams must be practicing 10 hours a day year around. I could not believe how fantastic the 4th grade boys were at basketball. It was very eye opening to me how dedicated people become to one sport very early. It was a great experience, enough to learn that we will stick to rec basketball and maybe even become more of a skiing family.
The fact that I've been incredibly busy can be part of my excuse for not blogging for about 10 weeks! We have had some fun times and some memories I'd like to preserve, starting with some winter sledding fun at my moms house.
Going to "the farm" isn't the same without dad. Sledding, or really doing anything recreational, at my mom's house, makes me wish at so many levels that my dad was around. If he were there he'd insist on doing things his way. He'd want us to lay down and he'd give us all big pushes. Then he'd decide to fire up his flat bed truck and tie the sleds to the back of the truck and drive up and down the road. He'd do 90% of the work doing his best to insure that everyone had a good time. He may have taken us to Cub River to a spot where he'd believe we would have more fun. I sure miss him.
It was a beautiful day of sledding, and he has taught us all well. I tend to be a party pooper and I even got into it for quite a while. How could I not? The sun was shining and the snow was perfect! Josh, Cody and I were out there for 1-2 hours longer than the kids. Sledding is so nostalgic for me.
Andy had his own idea of how it should be done on his own sled. My dad would have been happy to see him out there although he would have tried to convince Andy that there was a better way.
John loved being out in the sun even in his stiff snow suit.
We got out the four wheeler so we wouldn't have to walk to the top of the hill. (That may be why I got into it for so many hours.) John rode back and fourth in the basket. He loved that until he tried the sled, then he insisted on going on the sled.
Cara is always up for a good time. She put her helmet and goggles to good use. She is so competitive and couldn't stand it if someone went further than her.
Ali looks serious in this picture (all of the others her hat was covering her eyes) but she was a happy camper playing in the snow.
Unfortunately in January Caleb was really sick he spent weeks sleeping. We had a hard time getting him better so he didn't participate. He spent the day laying on the couch.