Tuesday, October 20, 2015

spring, summer, and a bit of fall 2015

 Time has really flown and I am way behind so there is a lot packed in here since our last post.  Back in April we had a super fun Easter celebration with family and got to enjoy Easter with a big sleep over with the cousins.  The kids loved looking for their Easter eggs and Gretchen kept saying "happy Easter hunt!"  The kids loved the time with their family and all their fun treats.  We actually found the last egg about a month ago...  
After Easter we prepared for our family vacation and went down to California for our (my) Disney fix and some fun in the sun.  
Our trip to California was so much fun. We stayed the first night with my Aunt and then went the next day to Balboa Island and had a picnic on Newport beach.  We then checked into our hotel by Disneyland and went swimming in the pool there. We went to downtown Disney for dinner. It seemed like we had to drag the kids away from everywhere they were having so much fun. Didn't want to leave the beach, the pigeons, the swimming pool...  They had a blast at downtown Disney dancing to the live music and then playing at the Lego store.
Gretchen loved looking at the big Lego sculptures (especially the Hulk) and Julian could not get enough of the Lego races.  His race cars were especially aerodynamic and he won almost every single race.  After that we walked home and got ready for the big day:). We have always gone one day to Disneyland and it seemed like plenty but this was the first time that we had so much more that we wanted to do that we didn't have time for.  The kids loved "exploring" on Tom Sawyers Island and after an hour we had to drag them off that. I think that they could have spent the entire day there.  They loved seeing Mickey, playing in toon town, Tarzan's tree house etc. Julian got to ride his first roller coaster and went on the big Thunder Mountain with his daddy and Grandma.  His favorite ride however was the teacups! I think we rode them 4 times.  Gretchen's favorite was the carousal which we also rode 4 times.  She kept saying, "that's my horse mommy, I love my horse!"

all tuckered out on the way back to the hotel...

The ride I thought they would like to ride the most was the buzz blaster because that is there fave Disney movie but as soon as we went in I realized I'd made a mistake. Gretchen covered her eyes and put her head down.  At the end she was like, "that was fun but I was a little bit scared."  She now talks about Buzz everyday. "I want to go see Buzz mom." I think she likes being a little bit scared.  The other cute thing was we walked by the Jedi training spot and all the little kids were fighting Darth Vader and Gretchen was like "ah!! Mom! Take a picture! Take a picture!" She is so funny. They had a lot of fun all day and probably could have spent the entire day at Tom Sawyer's Island "exploring."  We may have to hit up more  than a day next time since they are wanting to spend more time on things.  That night we walked back to our hotel and then the next day we went out to our little beach house to enjoy another few days at the beach, getting yummy ice cream, having picnics, boogie boarding, and playing in the water.  
We also go to meet up with my brother and his wife and spend a day with my other brother.  It was so nice and such a lovely vacation.  The kids love being at the beach so much they love the picnics, the sand, the water, and the wienie roast at night!! We finished up with one last picnic at Laguna Beach and an amazingly yummy ice cream stop right across from the beach there.

I thought I was all ready for anything when we got home but when we got home we had picked up some mysterious bug that was a mix of stomach bug, cold, crazy cough, and fever, that would not go away for 6 weeks.  On top of pregnancy morning sickness I thought I was going to die but we got through it, a little less optimistic and refreshed than after our vacation:(.

After coming home we went to the Payson temple open house.  The kids were sooooo excited to go inside and loved walking around for the tour.  Gretchen's favorite part was the pretty crystal chandeliers and the "scary" statue of Jesus.  She was really afraid of it but then could not stop talking about it.  She still talks about "the statue."  The temple was really so beautiful and they cannot wait to go inside and see the temple again.    
After recovering from our sickness we enjoyed lots of summer time activity.  The kids loved going to the "beach" nearby to play in the water and the sand as well as swimming in their own backyard.  They enjoyed backyard camping, camping for family reunions, and for Bridger.  
Every time we went Julian would ask if we could stay for a hundred days more and Gretch still always asks if we are going to go on an adventure and go camping. These kids love their mountains and adventures:)  They also love their garden.  The kids and I really enjoyed gardening and eating all the yummy food that grows in our backyard. For three straight months we picked a pint or quart of strawberries, then raspberries, and then blackberries.  We still have a few trickling on but they were so fun to just go pick and eat every day.  
We made lots of spaghetti sauce, salsa, and tomato soup from all the tomatoes and pickles from the cucumbers.  Julian and Gretch love cucumbers and pickles. They also loved the cantaloupe, watermelons, and their pumpkin patch!

Besides that we have all been surviving the pregnancy together and Aaron being super bust at work.  Surviving has meant lots of mess making while I take a break.  The kids love to create and I am glad for their creativity but it always means a huge mess! They are really doing better at picking up huge messes though so I am just grateful that they like to paint, cook, glue, color, draw and create all kinds of things.  They love to create and build all the time...as well as crush huckleberries and paint their playhouse and the porch outside.  Julian also likes to write his letters, make them out of legos, and try to make words.  They both love to make up games to play together like hide and go seek, tag, and fetch (that's where Gretch pretends to be a dog and Julian throws a stick for her to catch and she brings it back to him in her mouth).  They really are so cute playing together all the time.
Speaking of busy at work, Aaron has really enjoyed his job and brought back presents from a trip to New Orleans.
The kids always miss daddy when he is gone.  The kids also enjoyed trips to the natural history museum and the dinosaur museum.  

Gretchen kept saying the shark likes you from the dinosaur museum.  She is so funny and likes to make friends with all kinds of things that you think would be super scary for kids.  My favorite thing at the museum is Julian and Gretch running to all the all the plaques at the museum and asking me to read them to them.  
They love to learn and love to know the names and everything about the dinosaurs.
We had a lot of fun celebrating the Fourth this year.  We had the unexpected pleasure of getting to see Aaron's parents who have been home temporarily from their mission for some health stuff.  They came home just in time for the holiday so we went to breakfast with them and Aaron's family and watched the local parade.  Julian and Gretch got to play with their cousins and then after that we came home and had a huge barbecue with my family and then we watched fireworks from our front yard while we roasted marshmallows on the fire pit.  It was awesome!

We had fun doing activities with family and friends and we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  We went to Sundance to eat and stayed over in Midway.  It was so lovely and it is the first time we have been away without our kids, together, ever.

It was very romantic except for the morning sickness and crazy insane allergies I had while we were there.  Mostly it was so nice to get away and so beautiful and of course the best part was that I got to spend the time with Aaron.

The kids are ready to see their new baby and every time I go to the doctor now Julian asks if the doctor is going to take the baby out of my tummy.  Gretchen always says "is your tummy getting bigger, is the baby getting bigger in your tummy?"  She is very excited to be a big sister and says that she is going to take care of the baby.  Her and Julian picked out an adorable little musical bear to give to their new baby brother when he comes and are excited to welcome him to our family.  

Some super funny things that I keep meaning to write down is that Gretchen has a British accent from all the peppa pig and ben and holy she loves to watch:)  She also asks if it is Christmas Eve all the time.  I tell her Christmas will be closer when we get a Christmas tree and now she asks if we are going to go buy a big Christmas tree.  When she would cry (earlier this year) Julian would start singing "you better not pout, you better not cry, Santa Clause is coming to town." I thought it was pretty clever on his part. But right now they are mostly excited for Halloween and talk about that every day too.  Gretchen says "we are going to go trick or treating, and we will get, candy!!" I made Julian a wicket costume that he requested and Gretchen insisted on being a monkey, after trying to decide between Spiderman and the Hulk.  We inherited that so that made things a lot easier.  We have had fun decorating, making caramel apples, cookies, and doing fun Halloween crafts.  
Aaron and I have also been working on getting the downstairs bedrooms finished before the baby comes but we will see how that goes.  We are almost done but we are running out of time and energy.  I hit a wall a few weeks ago and feel like it is so hard to just walk and Aaron has been so busy lately but we have had a lot of help and we are so close so hopefully we can get it done. We are scrambling to get ready for the baby who is due in two weeks.  Here are some more random pics, enjoy!
I love those lazy summer days.  Julian and I played stratego and he actually beat me!