Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter started off with the kids receiving an Easter package from my parents a few days before Easter.

Inside was a handmade bunny for each of the kids from my mom.  How cute are these?  All of the bunnies for the girls were made with material from the quilts my mom made for all of them when they were babies.  I love that!  For Mitch, she did him a blue one to be a Seahawk bunny.  He was all over that.

They love them!

Mitch sleeps with his almost every night.  He had it propped up on a pillow next to him one night.  It was so sweet.

All of our flowers outside bloomed last week, just in time for Easter.  There is so much color right when we walk out of our front door- we love it!

Ben got home from his business trip on Friday night, just in time for the Easter weekend festivities.

Saturday morning was our neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  The kids look forward to this all year. 

We gave the twins a pep talk- go fast or go home.  (Just kidding, but not really). 
Lexi went out and picked up lots of eggs, but kept looking back and smiling at us.  It was cute.  Leah stayed focused.

There wasn't as many kids this year, or more eggs- I don't know which one.

There's Lexi again, looking back for a smile at the camera!

Both girls filled their entire baskets up to the top.  That has never happened with any of our kids before.  (Why we give pep talks). :)

And our neighborhood gives out good candy- snickers, milky ways, peanut butter cups, butterfingers, etc.

Livy watched it all from the front pack.  That girl is getting heavy for that.

We gave Mitch a good pep talk- he is known to run as fast as cold molasses. 

There were tons of kids for his, so he didn't get as many eggs as he would have liked.  But he ran (as fast as Mitch can) and stayed out and searched until we went and got him.  His threat of "stay out there until your basket is full" really impacted him.  Ha! :)

All ready!

There are lots of kids for Chloe's hunt as well.

Opening the eggs and dumping out the candy!

We came home for more fun- Ben had brought home some small gifts for the kids from his trip to Turkey.

He brought the three big girls bracelets with the Turkish "Blue Eye" on them. 

The Blue Eye is thought to absorb all the bad things around where it is hung.  It is seen as a good thing when it breaks because it represents that there are no more bad thoughts- it broke because it was so full.  

Livy got to play with some fruit Mentos Ben brought back.  When she started chewing through the wrapper, we had to take them away.

Ben said it is hard to find non-jewelry souvenirs, so he brought Mitch back his own Toblerone chocolate.  It is yummy!

He brought me a hand-painted, decorative Turkish plate.  It is very pretty.

He always gets lots of fun knickknacks on his business class flights- eye masks for sleeping, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, chapstick, lotion, etc.  He saves all of those and brings them home for the kids.  Leah and Lexi each got a little bag full of these things this time and were thrilled (minus the razor, of course).

Next we headed to The Old Cannery, a nearby furniture store that always has lots of fun things going on for Easter.

We stopped by the petting zoo.  This girl is holding a cute little baby pig that the kids all petted.

The camel was very friendly.  So was the miniature donkey he shared his pen with.  There were rabbits and turkeys and gerbils and all sorts of other animals.

There was an Easter Egg hunt in the store as well, but the line for that is always super long, and after a egg hunt earlier that morning, we figured we didn't need to stand in line for that.

Instead, we stood in line to get a picture with the Easter Bunny.  The line was longer than it has been in past years, but it became an even longer wait when right as we were just 3 people away from being our turn, the Easter Bunny went on a "carrot break."  They promised he'd only be gone 15 minutes, but it was almost 30 minutes before he came back (yes, I timed it).  One of our kids mused that the reason it was taking the Easter Bunny so long was because "he must have choked on his carrot!"

With free popcorn and lots of comfy couches to sit and wait on, the kids did really well with the long wait.

With no criers and everyone being willing participants, our photo session took just a minute.  We have a few pictures over the years and it's fun to add to the collection.

Easter Sunday: April 20th

We set out a few small things for the kids in their baskets that morning after Ben and I got up.

Everyone got a new pair of flip flops for the upcoming warm weather.

Leah received the "Lion King" DVD.  We have this DVD, but it got scratched badly enough that it no longer worked.  It is Leah's favorite movie and she has been asking for a new one for almost a year.  She was thrilled!

Livy got some baby puffs and the movie "Frozen."  The kids were super happy with that!

Mitch and Lexi got new fishing poles, in anticipation of their favorite kiddie fishing weekend coming up in a few weeks.  These kids love to fish!

 We weren't able to take pictures before church.  Mostly because Ben had to leave early for some meetings and Livy was napping.  Never wake a sleeping baby...

There was plenty of time after church in the beautiful sun!

My boys!  After convincing Mitch that it's totally acceptable for boys to wear pink ties, Ben went out and found as close to matching of a pink tie as he could.  Mitch loves looking just like his dad.

Love these boys!

Our pink tulips were the same color as the girls' dresses!

Best buddies!

The three matching dress girls!  Livy was the loner out on this one.

My handsome little boy. 

Livy Lu

Mitch desperately wanted a picture with Olivia.  Her dress was very slicky and he had a hard time holding her. 

Our Easter feast!

After dinner we watched a beautiful church video on the Savior and his atonement and resurrection.  The kids had lots of questions during the movie and we had a nice discussion afterwards.  How grateful we are for the Savior and his gift of the Atonement and his promise of forever families and eternal life.  I can't imagine not being with my sweet family for anything less than eternity.

Then it was time for the big egg hunt!  Ben and I stuffed eggs and hid them outside.

The kids did the finding.  I loved as the kids would find them and shout "That was an easy one!"

Counting and dumping the eggs afterwards.

No candy or egg hunts for Miss Red this year.

We are excited to have her tag along and running behind everyone next year!

Happy Easter!  We had such a fun weekend celebrating Spring and it's fun traditions and remembering our glorious Savior and his eternal sacrifices and gifts to us all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break, the Finale

The second half of Spring Break was a little more laid back.  From Thursday on, we had no big plans.  Ben's parents left Thursday afternoon, after graciously watching the kids that morning while I went to my eye doctor appointment by myself. 

I came home to find a happy Livy and Nana.  

Livy showed Nana her "I want to crawl" skills. 

This is a 6 month old who desperately wants to be mobile.  She can easily get up on all fours and does it multiple times a day.  She rocks back and forth and then can "crawl" backwards, but not forward.  She can get herself all over one side of a room, until she's backed herself into a corner.  I've never had a baby this mobile this early.

It was a sunny day and the kids were excited to eat lunch outside.  I was happy for no crumbs inside!

After dinner, the kids played a game of Twister.  Most times that we play it, it ends with someone in tears, so we warned the kids that we'd be done when the first person cried.  Sure enough, within 5 or 10 minutes, we had a crier and we were done. 

Lexi was a hoot to watch.  She is our flexible little girl and had her little self stretched out all over that mat.

After the 3 little girls were in bed, Ben and I hung out with these two knuckleheads.  It's fun having big kids!

Ben took Friday off.  That was always the "last minute" plan for the week, but we were extra glad that he was still able to, as he found out Tuesday afternoon that he would be leaving to Turkey that week for a business trip.  It was pretty urgent and he thought for a minute that he'd have to leave Wednesday or Thursday, but we lucked out and got him for the rest of the week.

Friday was a gorgeous day.  Ben took the 4 big kids outside with him and they all spent most of the day out working on the yard.  

Ben installed (dug) a French drain into our yard. 

It worked! 

Our Daisy dog- she hung out and watched all the action in the back of the truck. 

Ben needed to move the truck from one side of the yard to the other.  The kids hopped in for a 2 minute "ride" and Leah thought she was in heaven with the wind in her hair!

In the late afternoon, once the work was done, we headed to a nearby park to play baseball for a little bit.

On our way home, we stopped and got donuts at a nearby shop.  They are always AMAZING!

Saturday, Chloe and Mitchell both had baseball games around the same time, so we had to split up.  The day went quickly and then it was time for Ben to leave town.  The kids had a hard time saying goodbye and Chloe and Mitchell cried for a good 30 minutes after he left. 

I stocked up on the good stuff that day, knowing I'd need it to get through the long week of being a single mother.  (It was actually on a GREAT sale.  I always stock up when it's on their best price).

What a great Spring Break!  Lots of fun adventures, sun, and some good food!