Thursday, December 6, 2018


A few years ago, Grandma Lexie decided to give Reed a lego advent calendar for his birthday. His birthday is the PERFECT time to get an advent calendar because you don't have to wait long to open it! He loved the calendar. Asher also loved the calendar, so the next year he asked for an advent for his October. We got him one and he patiently waited until December 1 to start it. Last year, both boys got advent calendars again and Ryan and I decided to give Lila an advent calendar as an early Christmas present because she was feeling a little bit left out!

This year both boys asked Grandma for advent calendars again. And Lila not-so-subtly reminded me that she loved her advent calendar last year and would love to get an advent calendar again. As December 1 approached she'd comment, "If you are going to give me an advent calendar I think you better get it soon!" Or, "Mommy, pleeeeeeeease get me an advent calendar."

On December 1 the boys opened their calendars and ran in to show them off to Ryan and I. I stealthily put Lila's calendar under a blanket, on top of Ryan, and when she came in I suggested she give him a hug. She did...and at first didn't notice anything. Then she started knocking on the box and Ryan made a joke about his "rock hard abs." Finally, he pulled back the blanket and revealed her gift! She was pumped. 

We are just about a week into December and everyone is excited every day to open their advent and build their lego thing. Reed has the Lego Star Wars Advent, Asher has the Lego City Advent, and Lila has the Lego Friends Advent. (The boys take turns being the receiver of the Star Wars version.) I guess you could say we're a Lego family.

Double Digits

Reed's birthday started out with the hunt for the Birthday 5. I put Ryan in charge of hiding the 5 and he took his task seriously. My two favorite hiding spots Ryan chose were above the light fixture in the bathroom and inside the microwave! The microwave item in particular took a few hints. After he'd found his five, Reed decided to open his gift from Asher and Lila--mainly because Asher was fit to explode if Reed didn't open it up soon. They gave him a new nerf gun. Upon testing said gun we learned it fires with a LOT of force! Reed is pretty pumped about that. He also opened his gift from Grandma Lexie and Grandpa Jack which was his traditional Star Wars Lego Advent. He'd already received AND spent his gift from Grandma and Grandpa Hambly. They'd given him a target gift card, which we ended up combining with Mom and Dad's present to buy both the Harry Potter Whomping Willow Lego set and the Harry Potter Grindelwald lego set. You could say it was a good day for Reed!

After an intense inner struggle (seriously), Reed decided to go for a BIG party this year. The compromise was that Ryan and I were only going to give him one gift. Hence the struggle. But I daresay Reed was ultimately happy with his decision--because his BIG party was at Get Air Trampoline Park and it was awesome!

We had his party on the actual day of his birth, which was also kind of exciting. Ryan took Reed out of school early that day to go see the new HP world movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald. After the movie, they went to a local gaming shop, Natural 20, where Reed was introduced to Magic the Gathering. He is now obsessed with "Magic." (Apparently the real Magic fans only refer to the game by Magic. I'm learning.) More on that later. Maybe. Anyway, after the game shop they swung by Carson Gifford's house to pick him up and then headed to the PARTYYYYYYY!

Meanwhile, Lila and I packed up the last few things we needed for the party, then went to pick up the Chess Club contingent from school. We picked up Ryan Whittaker, Cooper Hastings, Jackson Gage, Brooklyn Campbell, and (of course) Asher. We then dropped Brooklyn off at the Walkers' house for music class and picked Reed Walker up from the Walkers' house for the party. And then it time to PARTYYYYYYY! 

The kids had a great time at the trampoline park. (Side note: in addition to all the kids we drove, Reed's friends Gavin Allred and Alann  met us there!) In addition to the regular trampolines there was a huge trampoline slide, a ninja warrior course, big green bags to jump into, a foam battling thing, a balance rope, and a climbing wall! Everyone was kept busy and Ryan and I walked many laps to watch everyone show off their skills. 

Eventually it was time for pizza and cake. This year Reed decided to attempt a cake that looked like a donut. We made the cake together and I daresay that it looks very donut-like. It was also very tasty. The kids ate an impressive amount of food (Cooper later told me he ate a ton in hopes that he'd throw up and not have to go to school the next day. I told him that was an idea of questionable judgment.), Reed opened his gifts, then everyone went back to play for the last 30 minutes of our party block. We ended the night sweaty and tired, but happy!

Birthday 5:
Glow sticks
Huge smartiesGumModeling clay Pens

What we love about Reed:
Asher: if I’m ever missing a piece of a lego set he comes and helps me find it
Lila: he’s a really good brother
Dad: I really like his sense of humor (After Ryan said this, Reed commented, "I really like my sense of humor, too."). We get each other
Mom: I love the "head hug" Reed gives me (When Reed is upset he comes and wordlessly rests his head against me. He doesn't wrap his arms around me or anything but it's his signal he needs me to give him a hug.) And chatting at bedtime--he's so fun to talk to.

Friend Gifts:
Ryan: Two nerf guns
Jackson: Fridge Robot Building Kit
Gavin: $20
Alann: $30
Cooper: HP Aragog Lego Set
Reed W: Remote control car
Carson: Brick Headz...Harry Potter and Hedwig
Reed used the cash to buy the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Lego set! We now officially have all the new HP sets except the castle, which is $300 and thus not going to happen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Odds and Ends

One night we had hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies. Lila decided she didn't like hot chocolate and convinced me to put whipped cream on her cookie. She was quite pleased with herself.

Asher started scouts! He's pretty excited.

Lila asked Ryan to help her build the space pod. Apparently what she meant to ask was if Ryan and Asher would build it haha. Anyway, once it was up she spent a few nights sleeping inside the pod. One morning Reed came to cuddle with her and I had to get a few pictures.

We call this "B for L" (best for last)

It's GREAT to be EIGHT!

Asher's baptism was the first weekend in December and we were lucky to have both sets of Grandparents and Lynnie's and Kayla's families as well as my Auntie Sue with a few of her grandkids there with us! Many friends also came to support Asher, including the Whittakers, the Walkers, and the Turneys.

The day started with a quick trip to the stake center to set up chairs for our luncheon. There was a group of guys there playing basketball, but when they saw us they wrapped up their game then helped us set up chairs. What would have taken us a good 20 minutes was accomplished in 5! Thanks, guys. Next we headed to Lila's soccer game. It was her very last game of the season and she had many spectators cheering her on. The game ended with a medal that she was very proud of.

And then it was on to the stake center for the main event! Asher got to share his baptism day with Bella Gardner, a girl in his primary class. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photo of the two of them together. Asher was so pumped to get baptized and was even more jazzed, if possible, when he was dressed in his whites. He listened to the talk on baptism, then happily went into the font with Ryan when it was his turn. I got a little emotional watching him get baptized. I'm so proud of the young man he is becoming! After he got baptized, Asher was confirmed by Ryan. 

After the baptism and confirmation, we gathered to eat lunch and celebrate Asher! We sure love our eight year old.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Everything Halloween

On Halloween Costumes:
We've started a "Family Economy," so this year the boys were in charge of paying for half the cost of their costumes. Asher decided to be a banana--we already had that costume. Sidebar: I have been dying for someone to wear the banana for Halloween since we bought it on super clearance two years ago. Dreams came true. Asher looked awesome. Reed found an awesome day-of-the-dead mask at the 99 cent only store and paired it with a dope hat and a lace poncho (that we referred exclusively as Lace Pancho Villa throughout the month) also from the 99. Total cost for him: $1.50. I loved his mask SO MUCH. His one downside was that everyone thought he was Coco. Lila wasn't in charge of buying her costume (due to rules of the economy), but she chose a costume we'd bought on clearance last year--Rey from Star Wars. They all looked great!

On Halloween at school: I got to help in Lila's class (FINALLY, according to her. I help in Asher's class weekly but her teacher hasn't helped yet) while they did "Pumpkin Investigations." They got to measure pumpkins, weight pumpkins, see if pumpkins float, make a pumpkin craft, count pumpkin seeds, etc. My center was the pumpkin dessert--we made pumpkin pudding cups and they were pretty tasty! After centers I got to go to lunch with her and meet her "peanut friend" (she sits at the peanut free table and that's pretty much exclusively how she refers to another girl that sits with her). After lunch, we had the costume parade, woohoo! It was a little hot and a little hard to track everyone down, but I got to say hi to everyone. And finally I got to hang out with Lila during her party. 

On pumpkins: For FHE, we carved our pumpkins! Both boys decided to use a pattern from the book. I helped Reed with just a few tricky parts. Ryan helped Asher on a few tricky sections. Lila teamed up with Ryan to plan a face, then he carved whilst she gave directions. Their pumpkins turned out really great! One amazing thing we tried this year was using a drill to scrape out the majority of the guts--it was effective and awesome!

On field trips: Reed's class had a field trip to the Smith Center to see the Las Vegas Philharmonic on Halloween Day! Crazy, right? At Forbuss we'd already celebrated Halloween, though, so it was a fun way to spend the day so we didn't have to do any school work. I got to go with Reed as a chaperone. The Philharmonic was AMAZING. They were incredibly talented. And the director was amazing with a crowd of kids--he taught us a few things, explained a few things, and got us involved in the songs. The kids all got to sing along to "This Land is Your Land," which they've been practicing at school. We had a great time. After the field trip, I pulled him out of school early and he and I went to IHOP for a lunch of free scary face pancakes.

On trunk-or-treat: Our trunk-or-treat was on Halloween night! We did a new variation of our monster car: a SHARK CAR! We made our customary teeth but added a dorsal fin, tail fin, and eyes. We also played a variety of Baby Shark Songs. IT WAS AWESOME. We got to feast on hot dogs, chat with our friends, and start our night off right with at least half a bucket's worth of candy for each kid.

On trick-or-treat: After trunk-or-treat, we went to Huntington to trick-or-treat! Per usual, there were scads of other people trick-or-treating with us. We walked and tricked and treated until we were exhausted, then drove home. Upon compiling their candy (they'd left their trunk or treat candy in the car while we trick or treated), they each realized that they had more than a full bucket. Daaaaaaang.