Wednesday, May 4, 2016

january

Gus and Nora are such great little buddies.  They are always doing cute things together, like for example, pretending to be turtles...
This is why it was extra hard to Nora to see Gus go off to preschool two days a week.
He, however, was thrilled about it and had his buddy, William, going with him...
 The little sisters were left behind, but at least they have each other to play with...
 It also means I get to have just Mom and Nora time.  This is usually how I would stop her from crying on the first few days we left him.  I would say, "It will be just girls."  It kind of worked and eventually she got used to him going, but she still tells me she will miss him.  However, she also just really loves missing anyone she isn't currently with.  Sometimes she just says in her saddest voice, "I just miss everyone in the whole world."  She is a bit dramatic, but I know she really was sad to see her buddy go even if it was only two days a week.  It means I play with her a lot more.  We have lots of tea parties...
 Our weather was quite beautiful for most of January, but we did get a big hail storm which they kids thought was super fun.  It is the closest thing to real winter weather we can expect.  I like that it is novel and then the sun comes back out.
 January is also prime citrus season in Phoenix.  We have one orange tree that is slowly dying and stopped producing fruit and one grapefruit tree that is still very small and only give about 3 grapefruits.   However, so many neighbors have fruit and were happy to part with it.  The boys had been begging to have a lemonade stand since they are saving up to buy their own tickets to Disneyland.  I told them they would have to do most of the work themselves so they juiced lots of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons...
 Despite all my talk, I did my fair share as well.  Our kitchen was a huge sticky mess after all this and my arms were actually sore from hand juicing, but we had a lot of juice to sell.
The kids set up their stand on a lovely Saturday morning and stayed until the late afternoon...
  I put a notice about our stand on the neighborhood website and everyone told me to charge a dollar which I thought was steep, but they said people are happy to give money to kids and you won't have to deal with change.  Well it was good advice and we had tons of customers.  I couldn't believe it, but they actually made $90!  We had a lot of generous neighbors who gave donations when they heard the kids were saving for a Disneyland trip, but I was still astounded that they made that much.  One lady gave them $10 and said, "I love to see young entrepreneurs."  The kids split the money and put it into their Disneyland fund.  Jimmy was excited that he now had enough for his ticket and Gus only had about $5 more to go.   Once I knew that Disneyland was really happening, I started planning a trip for Zach's spring break.   I was probably as excited about it as them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

first WVU football game

West Virginia University was playing in the Cactus Bowl against Arizona State this year so Nano thought the boys should get to go.  It was their first real football game ever and they were beyond excited.  Baabee got to go, too, but he prefers ASU...
They took the light rail to the stadium to make the adventure even more exciting...
However, it meant they got to the game extremely early...

It was a very late game, but the boys were troopers and had a great time...
I am sure they will always remember it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"boxing day", new year's eve, and epiphany

The day after Christmas, we cleaned up a bit and the kids sorted out their piles of toys to pose for their traditional Christmas toy picture.

We normally also celebrate Boxing Day by having my whole family over for our big holiday meal, but we postponed it this year since my sister was coming in the next day.  Sadly, she had to cancel those plans, but the dinner was already planned so we kept it that way.  This gave us time to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Uncle Danny instead.  The kids also got to open presents from him since he had gotten in late on Christmas night.  And who doesn't love Uncle Danny and more presents?
Gus might have thought this day was better than Christmas...
On the 27th, we celebrated "Boxing Day."  We feasted and the kids broke poppers...
Then we tried out some sparklers outside.
Sometimes these pictures turn out a little bit haunting...
Nora was so thrilled to have a big girl like Lucia around to play with her and especially to be an Elsa to her Anna...
She also like all the candy around the house, but having Nano and Nana come visit was probably a close second to the candy.
There was lots of candy...
Uncle Danny helped the kids make a gingerbread house...
In his usual fashion, Baabee helped add Reindeer poop...

On New Year's Eve the Kerstings came over along with some other old GP friends of Zach's.  We did a 10:00 midnight with confetti poppers and noise makers.
Then we took the kids outside to send off a floating lantern...
Then some more sparklers because we still had so many left over...
Then we watched the floating lanterns in Tangled...
Then we let the kids demolish to gingerbread house...
We played games...
And then somehow it became real midnight before we got any kids into bed.  Whoops.  This is a nice picture of Zach and I probably right before everyone decided to meltdown into a pile of tears.
 We kept our decorations and dead tree up until the Epiphany.  We usually have one last night of reading Christmas books by our fireplace, but this year we added an Epiphany tradition of chalking our door as and saying a blessing.  I hope to keep doing it.  It was a nice way to bring closure to the season.  I never really want it to end, but it nice to get back to a calmer life... because that always happens, right?