Monday, January 31, 2011

The Greatest Snow on Earth!

During the ten days we were in Utah, they had a few big storms that dumped snow! The kids LOVED it! Not only did we (mostly Joseph, with a little help from mom and big helper Malea and Cooper) build a big snow fort - but, also this HUGE snowman "Goliath". He had to have been 9 feet tall!
Love the hammer holder!
This was at the end of our late night snow fort building! Just call me "Princess Eskimo!"
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... and Malea wins the award for the spending the most amount of time in the snow. She and her cousin Audrey played in the snow at least 2 hours longer than anybody else
(maybe except for dad)!

After all that - the kids were exhausted!

Movie Night on the Big Screen

One of the nights we were in Utah, my brother Alan invited all us all over for a movie night at his house. He has a major bachelor pad complete with a projector in his basement! The kids loved snuggling with their uncles, watching Toy Story 3 (which we had not yet seen) and eating papa's famous caramel popcorn. Thanks Alan!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Temple Square Visit

You know how sometimes you have this vision in your mind of how something will go. You try to think through and plan for all the obstacles so it will go as smooth as possible ... and then it still just turns out awful! Well, that was how our trip to see the lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City went! I just wanted it to be a beautiful, quiet, reverent experience for our little family! But, unfortunately although it was beautiful, our evening was not quiet or even reverent!

Although I brought treats, bundled the kids with layers of clothes, and attempted to go early to avoid tired babies - I didn't account for the GAZILLION other people that might also try to see the lights for FHE, nor did I foresee the uncontrollable little bundle of joy, who was either screaming, running around trying to get lost, or on the pavement meowing like a kitty. She was a piece of work! I have to say, she did get the stomach flu the next morning - which somehow made things a little better for me. At least she had some excuse for her insanely frustrating behavior. Oh, and did I say that Tate wanted to be held the whole night too? Needless to say, even though I was meeting a friend that I hadn't seen in 6 years - we didn't stay long!
This is the happiest Talee was ALL night, and this was walking into the Square! The rest of the time she was like this:
or this:
and Tate was mostly like this:
...although, this picture still turned out pretty nice! (we missed you TONS Tricia)
For those who haven't met my family - this is my mom and dad and my 2 brothers, and sister Sara. My sister Tricia wasn't able to make it from back East.

One of the reason we went to Temple Square was to meet up with a friend I haven't seen since I worked at Nu Skin 6 plus years ago. Jen, thanks for coming to meet us, even though we didn't get to say more than 10 words to each other - and my daughter screamed the whole time, and probably got your girls sick (well - it probably doesn't spread that fast!). It was still worth the night to see you! Thanks!

The evening was far from perfect - but, I have to thank my family, including my grandmother, for wanting to attend and spend the evening together. I should have just stopped for a second (although I might have lost my daughter) and realized where I was. I think that would have calmed me down, given me perspective and really helped me. I know that the temple is where you find peace!

Spencer's Homecoming

On Christmas morning we woke our kids up at 5:30am and headed to the airport to catch our flight to Utah. After 2 flights and 12 hours of traveling, we arrived safely (and exhausted) to my parents house in Mapleton. It was a fun reunion, especially to see my brother Spencer who just returned from serving a 2 year mission in Alabama. He left the month that the twins were born, so it was fun for them to meet for the first time. We enjoyed a yummy Christmas dinner, and then called it a night! (Winder family you were GREATLY missed!)

The next day was Sunday and full of food and friends! Spencer spoke in church, and then invited many over for lunch. It was fun to see many family members that we haven't seen in a while!

This is our sweet grandma great Whitaker that is living with my parents right now.
And this cute kid ... he just needed a big picture of him! No other reason then that!

Time 4 SNOW!

Our little Eva is always in her little gymnastics leotard (as you may have noticed in other posts). If we go out she always changes as soon as we get home, and sometimes (much to her mothers frustration) she puts her clothes on over her leotard. She thought she was getting away with it this time - but, I caught her!

Christmas Morning

Our Christmas this year was Merry and bright, and a day early! Santa was kind enough to visit us the morning of the 24th so we could catch an early plane the next morning to Utah. We had a wonderful and relaxing day. The BIG trampoline that Santa set up in our living room, was a BIG hit!

and as you can see ... so was the candy ... even after baths and clean teeth!

Visit from Santa's Helper

At our ward Christmas Party this year we had a special visit from Santa! Or ... Santa's helper we soon discovered! The kids couldn't believe that he had asked "THIER DAD!" to help! What an honor! We all loved it!

First Piano Recital

Kiah and Malea had their first piano recital the morning after our fun trip to the Nutcraker. They both practiced for months for this special recital and played GREAT!

Kiah played "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Away in a Manger".
Malea played "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" and "Silent Night".
This is their sweet piano teacher Nicole Gneiting. She is the best teacher any little girl could ask fun. She is fun and happy, and always encouraging and uplifting the girls. She has great games and incentives, which helps the kids practice (even when they don't want to!). Thanks Nicole!

I am still trying to get their videos to upload so come back so check this out again soon so you can hear them!

The Nutcracker Ballet

We had a special Christmas treat this year, and not the kind you eat! A very special family friend gave our family tickets to the Pittsburgh Nutcraker Ballet.
This was so kind, and we just LOVED it!
We had fantastic seats. We sat on the front row of the terrace over a doorway, so there were no heads in front of the girls to block their view! Very thoughtful!

Then daddy treated us to Ice Cream! The perfect way, to end a great TREAT!

Thanks again Brother Reading!