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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Utah State Capitol Building

Saturday afternoon we had some free time in Salt Lake and decided to head up to the State Capitol building.  The kids think it is so exciting to be in the city - everything they know about city living comes from Curious George and he makes life look pretty great.  Ruby always calls the Capitol the rolly polly building because she thinks that the top looks like a rolly polly bug.  It seemed like they should probably get a close up view to discover what it was all about.  When we pulled up, we just planned to wander around on the grass a little and maybe take a few pictures on the stairs.  As we walked up the kids kept asking if we could go inside and we were surprised when the doors were actually unlocked and we were able to wander in.   As we walked we were shocked to realize that I had never been inside the building and Tim had been there for prom.  It's really quite sad that we didn't make it sooner because the building is incredible.  Tim and I were impressed with the architecture and design and the kids were awed by the size and grandeur of it all.  We explored each floor, including the elevator which was awesome.  Luke was a little disappointed that we didn't get to go out on the outdoor balconies, but otherwise, they loved everything about the building. 

There was a great exhibit about how to "tell your story".

Honest Abe

I think the kids are convinced this is the real Liberty Bell

After we finished at the Capitol, we hiked down the trail and spent some time at Memory Grove.  There were at least as many dogs there as people, so the kids were in heaven.  We had the best time exploring and making friends with new dogs.  After a day full of fun, we finally headed home, tired, but so happy to have created so many fun memories.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Disney on Ice....Follow Your Heart

We have gone to Disney on Ice for the past two years and when I saw the advertisements for this year's performance I wondered if we should make it an official tradition and take Luke and Ruby for a third time.  Right now it is pretty tough to turn down any type of fun like this because the kids have such a great time and are still so impressed by all of the magic.  Their excitement started Saturday morning and continued all the way through the end of the show.  They had so much fun dancing and singing and watching some of their favorite Disney stories - even better that it was all on real ice.  Yesterday they thanked me and Tim several times for taking them, and then this morning Ruby walked in sleepily and said that she was still thinking about Disney on Ice and how fun it was.  In other words, we definitely made the right decision to continue the tradition. 

Watching them watch the show is my very favorite

There were some amazing aerial stunts on the ice

And of course Olaf was a crowd favorite
The ending is always the best when the entire cast comes out for one last number

After a lot of thought, and trying on a few other costumes, Ruby settled on her Anna dress to wear to the performance.  The first year we went, we didn't know that kids dressed up so we just took Luke and Ruby in their regular clothes.  When we got there and saw so many of the kids in costumes - imagine thousands of tiny little princesses - I was a little sad we hadn't realized that dressing up was a thing.  We definitely learned our lesson and now we approach Disney on Ice as if Ruby were truly getting ready for a fancy ball.  Luke has not been as interested in wearing a costume - last year he did wanted to be a pirate, but this year he was more interested in choosing his favorite shirt and boots. 

After the show, Grandpa and Grandma took us to Little America Cafe for lunch.  Tim and his parents told a lot of funny family stories which the kids loved - I think their favorites were of grandpa playing basketball on a donkey, Tim falling out of a hammock that had broken and landing on his grandma who was sleeping underneath, and of the time their cat got locked in the camper for several weeks.  I'm sure my kids have no idea how lucky they are to be able to make these great memories with their grandparents, but I know that one day they will definitely realize how blessed they really were. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

February Miscellaneous 2018

February is rough....every may be the shortest month of the year, but it always feels eternal  Despite all the gray and dark days, we somehow we made it through this year, and even managed to have a little fun along the way..

Luke got a new cut which looked fantastic
His hair gets so shaggy, so quickly.

The kids had their first experience at the ballet when we went to the BYU Theater Ballet Carnival of the Animals.  We invited Grandma Broadbent to come with us and we all loved the performance.  The first half was very traditional ballet, three dances that lasted about 10-15 minutes each.  I was amazed at how well Luke and Ruby did considering it was their first real exposure to ballet or anything similar.  They watched quietly and were pretty enthusiastic in their applause.  After intermission, the second half was a circus type performance with various dancers and a lot of ballet numbers that mimicked the feel or movement of various animals.  It was really beautiful and made the entire experience so accessible for kids.  Sometimes I get sad that Luke and Ruby are no longer babies, but then I remember how much fun it is to take them on big kid adventures like going to the ballet, and them growing up suddenly seems a lot more fun.

There were several activities for kids before the ballet began including jugglers and plenty of art projects.  Both Luke and Ruby worked very hard on their masks and loved being a part of it all.

We actually had a lot of culture during the month of February.  Ada, Miles and Gain have been practicing for months to be a part of the Spanish Fork Youth Theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  We all had so much fun watching the play, and of course, Luke and Ruby loved pointing out every time they could see one of the cousins.  

The day after seeing Joseph, Ruby and her preschool class went to see the play Little Red at Scera Theater.  I was lucky enough to get to go with and we had the best time together.  When the play first started all of the kids around me were pretty nervous about the wolf.  Luckily he had a lot of silly parts and they figured out pretty quickly that he wasn't really a bad wolf.  
Image result for scera theater little red

Ada always makes Ruby look so beautiful.

Just  normal Saturday morning. 
Ruby played music while I ran on the treadmill

Blue bath bombs

Luke and his friends have recently discovered BeyBlades and they are obsessed.  Luke had kept us informed on his progress and he has quickly gone from knowing nothing, to being a BeyBlade "trainer".  There have been lot of battles and way too many conversations about which BeyBlade is the most powerful, and the benefits of various types of rippers.  It is really so fun to watch these boys growing up together, we are lucky to have so many great friends in our neighborhood.

Grandma Whitesides brought back surprises from Canada

Yes, these photos were taken in February...there has been almost no snow this year and we have taken full advantage by spending plenty of time outside.

Tim and I loaded up the little kids then drove to Ogden, picked up the big kids, and headed even further north to Crystal Springs.  I couldn't believe how many different pools they had and how fantastic it felt to be swimming in the middle of winter.  Luke and Ruby love any chance they have to spend with Erika and Brycen, but this was especially great.  The water was kind of brownish/orange, and had a kind of funny smell, but it made your skin feel great and was the perfect temperature.

It finally snowed, and was even on a day that the kids were out of school for President's day.  I had been really sick, so after getting the kids in their snow clothes, I stayed home and napped while Tim took them sledding.  It was super windy and cold, but I don't think they even noticed because they were so busy having fun.  

Luke's Kindergarten class has been preparing and practicing their play The Wolf's Chicken Stew for the last month or two.  We have loved hearing the songs Luke has been learning and seeing his excitement and putting on a show for everyone.  His teacher, Mrs. Arney, asked if he would do a speaking part and of course he was thrilled to participate.  He practiced all week and by the day of the play, our entire family knew his line..."then late that night, the wolf made a hundred scrumptious donuts and left them on the chicken's porch".  On the big day, Luke was thrilled when he walked into the auditorium and saw all of his cheering squad.  We are so lucky that our kids have such incredible support from their grandparents - they were all so sweet to take the time to be there for the play.  I absolutely loved watching Luke's excitement - his waves to us, the way he sang each song with total enthusiasm, and his general love of learning.  When it came time for his part he was a little nervous and rushed a little but it was still adorable.  He told us after that when he looked out and saw so many people, it made him get a little shy.  We just loved that he got to be a part of the play, it was such a fun production, and we have been singing the songs around our house ever since. 

Sunday dinner is even better when we get to celebrate
Happy Birthday Cory

And Miss Juniper turned four!
Ada made the unicorn cake and it was amazing!

By the end of the month, this is definitely how we all felt