Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Long, 2015

We squeezed in a few chilly walks before the weather turned too white. 
On one of those walks, I bribed the boys with suckers. All of them. This was Lincoln's first sucker ever. He was cracking me up as he seemed to have a difficult time initially getting his tongue and his sucker in the same place. 
He thanked me for his sweet treat with smiles and giggles the rest of the way. 
Warm winter weather often means one thing -- a ginormous snow storm is on its way. Sure enough, our neighborhood was blanketed in white in no time. The boys love "playing" in the snow. By "playing," I mean shoveling. That's their interpretation of playing in the snow because Jeff and I are not big snow fans, so that's all we've ever done with them in the snow!

It should be noted that I did aggressively try to put pants on Eli, which he more aggressively refused. 
As I was finishing up shoveling our driveway after the storm, Eli insisted we go out and shovel the neighbor's driveway. I couldn't say no to that! While we were over there, Eli looked at me and said, "Mom. Is this the Christmas spirit?" It was so sweet. 
Carson spends most of his time in the snow like this:
Lincoln spent his time in the snow bundled up in the stroller offering coos of moral support. 
Upon realizing I had so far never taught the boys how to build a snowman, we decided it was time to change that. 
Only problem was, the snow was pure powder and crumbled every time we tried to pack it into a ball. 
We ended up sweeping a teeny patch of snow into a cone shape, stuck a carrot and some chocolate chips into it, and called it good.
They accepted our mini man with smiles. 
At the same time we were struggling to pack together enough snow for a 2-foot snowman, Ben and Haley were packing together enough snow for a life-size igloo. I still don't understand how they pulled this off, but we enjoyed admiring their work. 
As far as I know, my dad hasn't made any snow creations this year, but he did whip up a nice prime rib for us on Christmas. Since my mom had just had both of her feet operated on, she was out of commission. My dad was the sole planner and preparer of Christmas dinner. When my mom prodded me and my sister to ask my dad what he was planning on serving, he proudly said, "Prime rib!"

"Oooooh, aaaaaaaahhh," my sister and I replied.
"Ask him what else he's serving with it," my mom urged.
"Potato chips!" my dad beamed.
"Ewwww. Uhhhhhhh," my sister and I moaned.

We stepped in and brought carrots, bread and herb butter to accompany my dad's meat meal which turned out wonderfully!
Linker Lou has been promoted to cart sitter. He's pretty proud of his new position.

He enjoyed the newfound freedom of rummaging through the cart all through the store.
Lincoln cracks me up when he eats. He's showing off my two favorite habits of his: 1) wedging his feet under his tray for the duration of his meal. 2) piling all his scraps onto the top of his cup, then removing scraps from cup, then endlessly repeating.
Silly baby!
Lincoln FINALLY broke in his top four teeth. All at the same time. Ouch! Just as those broke through, his bottom two teeth started emerging. He's getting all of them at the same time, and he's not too happy about it. This picture was taken pre mouth upgrade, in less painful days. 
Jeff and I hired our first non-related babysitter of all time so we could sneak away to see Star Wars over Christmas break. I was surprised by how much I liked the movie, but I enjoyed the mini getaway part of it even more. 
Lincoln spent the entire month of December like so:
He loved laying under the Christmas tree, kicking his little legs up at it until ornaments would fall down for him to play with. 
When he wasn't doing that, he was sliding under the dishwasher for mechanical repairs.
Eli spent Christmas break standing on the kitchen table working on the timed sight word assignments his teacher had give him. Jeff would read him a word and Eli had to sound out all the parts of the word. All while standing on the table, jumping with each syllable. 

My best Christmas neighbor gift to date was this year. I gave my neighbors a jar of cookie dough with this tag. It was a hit!
On New Years' Eve we had some friends over. Eli made this sign so they would know where the PRDE was.
The boys must have caught the New Years' Resolutions bug because they woke up on January 1st all gung-ho to do a workout with me for the first time ever. When asked why he was so eager to workout, Eli replied, "Because I have to be strong to be an electronics worker (computer engineer)."
Here's to a lean, mean 2016!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Panguitch Tea and Recital

Just because the founders of The Annual Excell Family Christmas Tea and Recital had abandoned us for a mission didn't mean we couldn't pull the event together on their behalf. Laura offered her house for the festivities which had my boys more excited about their upcoming trip to Panguitch than they were for Christmas!

Our first day there was spent subjecting ourselves to the well-below freezing temperatures of Panguitch, cruising through the snow on sleds.
I asked Laura if I needed to bring anything special for our trip. "Just snow clothes!" she replied. As luck would have it, the boys had just gotten their first snow pants for Christmas. I happily shoved their new snow clothes in a plastic bag and threw it down our stairs to remind me to grab it on the way to the car as we were packing up for our trip. 

Unfortunately, I did not take into consideration how much a trash bag full of brand new snow clothes would resemble a trash bag full of trash -- which I also chuck down the stairs in similar fashion.

On our way out the door, I saw the trash bag, forgot about its contents, and swiftly chucked it into our garbage can.

As we were getting ready for our big sledding day, I excitedly reminded the boys about their awesome new snow clothes as I scrambled around the house looking for that trash bag I was certain I'd packed. The mistake suddenly became clear as I asked Jeff if he ever put a trash bag into the car and he answered no.

Boo to a day in negative degree weather without all our warm clothes! Yay to Laura for saving the day with supplemental snow gear.
Eli's become quite the little daredevil snow bunny. He bravely cruised down any hill his cousins persuaded him to join them on. 
Carson on the other less adventurous. He courageously agreed to plummet down the slopes with some fear evident on his face:
He reached safe ground, proudly proclaiming, "I did it!" Then he marched back to the car and stayed there until Jeff convinced him to go on a 4-wheeler which Carson loved!

That evening we gathered round for the big show! We even had some guests of honor join us through FaceTime. It felt like they were really there!
We started with the pianists.
Then we moved down to the basement. 
Jeff solved a Rubik's cube in 1 minute. He was debating whether to do it in 1 minute or 1 minute 15 seconds. I convinced him to go for the 1-minute timer, which was awesome because he threw the solved cube down just as the buzzer rang.
Eli and Carson showed off some of their recent Star Wars drawings. 
Followed by an epic Star Wars reenactment. 
Ben showed us a video he made of a trip he and Laura took to Hawaii. 
I made cinnamon rolls for my contribution. 

Everyone rotated through chatting with David and Mary as we finished up. Yes, that one making a crazy face for unknown reasons belongs to me.
Laura surprised us by continuing Mary's tradition of making jammie pants for all the grandkids. So cute!

The next day was filled with lots of playing and cousin time. 
Then we went to David's sister's house for lunch where everyone was anxious to meet Lincoln!
These boys were OBSESSED with these stairs. They are the perfect jungle gym for a bunch of boys!
Lunch was yummy, and it was fun to see everyone we don't get to see often. 

I love Louise's yard. It's such a fun yard for the kids to explore. I took the kids out back to play monkey in the middle.

All too soon, it was time to head home.
Which resulted in the meltdown of Eli's life. It wouldn't be a trip to Panguitch without Eli sobbing in the back seat for the whole first hour of our drive home because he's so sad to leave his cousins.

It was such a fun trip. Thanks for hosting us and continuing on with the Christmas Tea and Recital tradition, Cox Family!