This past weekend's activity was driving up to Oakland to see the temple and walk through the visitor's center. We went on Monday morning because Chris had the day off. I'm sad that the weather wasn't very good but it was beautiful. There were gorgeous flowers all over, pretty trees and a great view...well I can imagine anyways, it was so cloudy and foggy/smoggy that you couldn't really get the full effect. It was cool and surprisingly the boys did really quite well in the visitor's center and even watched some of the movies.
This was so cool! I have never seen an engraving like this before.
It was seriously so cold! I wish we had gone on Friday or Saturday because it was in the 70's!!
This year was another low-key holiday, and since I'm still on my diet I couldn't have anything sweet...so depressing!! haha Even still the boys had fun helping to decorate and Parker almost spilled the beans about the big box of chocolates I got for Chris. They woke up ridiculously early which worked out great for us because that just meant they got to go down early and Chris and I were able to have a nice dinner by ourselves. Which can I just say was amazing!! We could actually carry on a full conversation without being interrupted, and it was just so quiet! Definitely will need to do that more often. Anywho, hope everyone else had a great Valentines Day as well!!
Parker's turn for an injury...he slipped on the entertainment center and took a chunk out of his chin...I'm now starting to worry for the next several years with these boys!!!
I could not for the life of me get him to look straight at the camera!
By far my most favorite picture ever!! It's just too bad that it's blurry :(
We are going to try and do something fun and new every weekend, and since there is so much to do and see around here it should fairly easy! A couple weekends ago we took the boys on the light rail train.We didn't go anywhere spectacular because lets face it, the only thing the boys care at all about is just riding the train. We parked at the park and ride next to Chris' office and then took it up to the outlet mall and hung out there for awhile, did a little shopping, had lunch and then came back home. The boys didn't care so much for the mall except for the food and playing on a few little toys, but they loved the train!! And they still talk about going on it and keep asking to go on it again. All in all, first fun outing was a SUCCESS!!
After taking Chris back to work after lunch I decided to take the boys to a park I had seen that's right across the street from Chris' office. It was so nice to be outside and not freeze, as well as let the boys get some "enersgies" (as Parker says) out! ha Luckily I have found bigger and better parks without the sand!!
Well we are all reunited once again and Chris did a great job at finding our new home...at least for now! We are really liking where we live and our apartment. It's a two bedroom on the 2nd floor out of 3. It's just over 1000 sq ft, we have a separate laundry room with a washer and dryer, 2 bathrooms, lots of windows, 1-car garage, balcony, lots of cupboard space in the kitchen, and close to parks, restaurants, brand new gym, freeways, and Chris' work. Our complex is pretty big with lots of trees, well maintained premises with 2 pools, 3 hot tubs and a small fitness center. We have all settled in pretty well. I was really impressed with the level of cleanliness inside our apartment. That is one thing I have found with moving all over the place is that once you leave the bubble of Rexburg it seems the standard of living and cleanliness is just not there. We have been used to deep cleaning with a white glove in mind and some of the places we have lived in just weren't that way. However, when I saw our place here it was spotless!! All the appliances looked like they were brand new, even the drawer under the oven was spotless. The white carpets had no stains, they look brand new too (they may have been replaced, not really sure on that one), the walls had all been re-painted, so there weren't any holes, all the windows and blinds (those annoying mini blinds that I despise cleaning) were all clean, the washer and dryer were again spotless, the bathrooms were also clean and it didn't smell. I definitely have my work cut out for me when we go to move to make sure it looks as it did when we moved in!
We are really liking the area and the weather. Tyler may have even worn shorts the other day because it was in the 70's!! Our ward is really nice too and the boys are adjusting well to primary and nursery. There are several families with younger boys that are the boy's ages which is awesome and we have felt very welcome. We have a massive list of places to see and things to do that will most likely take us all year at least to complete! Chris seems to be liking his new job, even though there has been a lot to learn and figure out. So all in all, even though it is way more expensive to live here and we probably won't be able to buy a house for a while, we are glad that we are here and look forward to getting to know the area better!!
Since I am extremely far behind with this thing and I just keep thinking about the daunting amount of posts I need to do, I decided to just do a brief re-cap of the last few months with a few pictures thrown in and call it good. Then I can finally be "caught" up and just move forward with this year's resolution to do better at staying up to date...hopefully! It still is pretty long, but I tried to not go into too much detail and just give the highlights!
We spent Thanksgiving with my extended family this year with a delicious dinner at my aunt and uncle's house in Idaho Falls. It had been about 2 years since we have been there for Thanksgiving so it was so nice to be there.
(Tyler had a blowout...hence having no pants on!)
1. Decorate Christmas Tree
The boys loved helping put up and decorate the tree this year! I was determined to cover the whole tree instead of the top half with ornaments, especially since where it was situated the boys would have been able to touch the top half anyways, so why not? But mainly because it just doesn't look right only half finished! I think we finished up the season with only breaking 3 or 4 ornaments!!
2. Job Interviews
When we got home from Texas at the end of August we found out that Chris' company was slowing way down and they were goingto have to let him go. So we immediately began more intensly looking for another job. He was able to work with a friend of ours for a few months, which really helped. After many prayers and much searching and applying Chris finally landed 3 job interviews in one week!!!
3. See Christmas Lights
We visited our friends, Nick and Heather in Boise for a few days and we went and looked at some lights in downtown Caldwell. I wish we had prepared better for the cold, or we would have walked around to see more of them, but the ones we saw were pretty impressive and the boys loved seeing all the lights too.
4. Book Advent Calendar
I had found a cool idea on Pinterest about doing an advent type thing using Christmas books and having the kids open a different book each day. I loved that idea and bought a few more books to add to our collection as well as got several from the library. The boys loved opening up a gift every night and reading a new Christmas book. Parker was even able to practice his number recognition since the books were not in numerical order!
Due to being out of town we were a few days behind so the boys each got to pick a book for the first couple nights.
5. Holiday Crafts
I had seen an awesome tree skirt tutorial floating around on Pinterest and really wanted to make one this year. It took a long FOREVER to make, but I LOVE how it turned out!!!
6. Gingerbread Train
The boys picked out a gingerbread train to make this year instead of a house. It was perfect because we had Chris' brother and family over to help make it and there was something for each boy to decorate/eat because lets face it, that's way more fun!! It never did make it to the final stages of construction, but the boys had fun and that's all that matters right?!
Chris' Brother and his little boy, Kaydon!
On Christmas Eve we took the boys up to Kelly Canyon to ski and play in the snow. Chris was so excited because not only has it been forever since he has gone skiing, but it was the first time the boys got to go and he was excited to teach them! We got up tot he mountain a little later than we were hoping to so the boys only got to go down a couple times each, but they still had a blast and Parker has even decided that he wants to try snowboarding instead (only because he some some other kids doing it!) We originally were only going to have Parker go down but since the boys are only like 1 shoe size apart we only rented one set of gear and just swapped them out so Tyler could go too. Hopefully we can take them again next year!!
The helmet cracks me up!! It makes their heads seem so much bigger! ha
Despite his expression he was really excited!
Makes me so sad that it came out blurry!!
8. Christmas Eve
We went over to my grandparent's house in Idaho Falls for a delicious dinner and then headed over to Chris' brother's house where we spent the next few days. We wanted to do Christmas together and thought it would be fun for the boys to have a sleepover on Christmas Eve and then wake up early for presents. It was a blast!!
Apparently the only pictures I can remember to take are at the table! lol
The best one we got of all the boys and the pajamas they got to open up for Christmas!
We were up pretty late on Christmas Eve finishing up the last few things for Christmas morning so we were hoping we could sleep in a little, wishful thinking with my boys, I know! Well, no such luck, they were up around 6:30 or 7 and ready to go! We opened up stockings first and then had a delicious breakfast, complete with cereal brought by Santa and fresh homemade cinnamon rolls that I had made the night before...definitely my favorite!!! Then it was present time...we tried to have the boys open a gift one at a time, but weren't very successful...oh well! One of Chris' other brothers stayed the night too and then his mom and aunt came over for dinner.
You may be thinking it's just a huge pack of normal sized peanut butter cups. Well, you would be wrong...in fact it's just 2 cups at a 1/2 lb each!!! When I Santa found this it just couldn't be passed up knowing how much Chris loves Reese's (notice the Reese's cereal behind him that is also his! lol)
Best friend's forever! It is so nice and fun that they all get along so well!!
Of the three job interviews Chris had earlier in the month one of them offered him a really good job in California!!! Yay! We weren't all that excited about moving there because of the much higher cost of living, but we started getting excited about it when we started learning about all the stuff there is to do. And we are still somewhat close to all our family, compared to living on the other side of the country! He was to start on January 2, so the two days right after Christmas was spent packing and cleaning. I know fun right? Especially when you consider that I had gotten sick on Christmas night and was not able to do much the day after. However with the help of Chris' amazing brother and his wife with packing, cleaning and watching the boys we were able to get everything else done in two days!!! We packed literally everything into our storage unit and left for Boise on the afternoon of December 27. The boys and I flew out to Seattle bright and early on the 28th and Chris drove our car down to California. He stayed with an old co-worker who lives down there, which really helped us save money on a hotel, while he started his job and looked for housing. I was in Seattle with my family for 4 weeks before heading down to start our new life in California.
This was the first time all of the cousins on my side were together and the first time that I had met my little niece, Aurora...she was adorable!
2. New Years Eve
The boys and I went out for lunch with my sister and brother in law and their little boy to McDonald's so the boys could get some energy out. That night we just stayed home, Bri, Mike and Drew came over for dinner and we played some games, started a puzzle and just hung out. Pretty low key.
3. Learned how to drive a stick shift
While learning to drive when I was 16 my step-dad tried to teach me how to drive a stick but it just didn't go well and I hated it and was really okay with just not knowing how. Well while we were there he made me learn and had Connor be the one to teach me. Nothing like having your little brother who only has a permit teach you how to drive! haha It went really well though and it only took a day before I got it down!!! I still prefer an automatic over the stick, but at least now I can check that off the list!
4. Bounce It Up 360
Briana told me about this could bounce house place that she likes to take Drew too sometimes so we decided to take the boys there on Martin Luther King Day. They LOVED it!! That's all they talk about now and they want to go back so bad! My mom came with us too, and I may or may not have left the lights on the car the whole time causing it to die! All I can say is I'm used to having automatic lights!
Pretty much sums up how Parker went down the slide almost EVERY time! He would stand at the top and jump/fly down! He's probably not supposed to do that, but it was so funny watching him do it!
First time really playing air hockey, at least by himself...turns out he's a pro!!
There is no question that the slide was also Tyler's favorite!
Cousins! I had to post the one below because it makes me laugh and really highlights the boy's personalities!
It was fun to spend so much time with my family, however it was really hard being away from Chris for so long. My parent's had fun having the boys around too. Some of the other stuff we did was go to the mall, go to the barn, watch Connor's wrestling match, play games, go on walks, visit with friends and hang out!