Sunday, August 3, 2014

2013 the middle of 2014????

I've said it a million times...I need to keep up this blog better than I have been.  I'm getting worse, not better.  Here it is the beginning of August 2014 and I haven't even done a recap of 2013 yet.  Let's hope I can remember the important stuff that happened in 2013!

January 2013

Started the new year off at home.  Bailey flew in from his dad's house on the 31st and after getting up super early to make it to Denver in time for his flight to land, and driving 8 hours round trip I was just happy to be awake to ring in the new year.  I started school back up at Casper College.  Had a mix of online and traditional classes.  Thankfully James' parents were here to help me with the little boys when I was in the classroom.  A gallon of gas was at $2.36 the middle of January, hadn't seen it that low in a LONG time.  Found a new favorite TV show, Nashville, hope that show sticks around for a while.  Casper decided to show us just how cold it gets here.  There were some days we barely reached single digits and other days when it was in the 40s.

February 2013

The first of the month started out with a BANG!  Jadeth and Manda had thier first baby girl together (Jadeth's second daught), Maylee.  That makes the grandbaby count up to 3, - girls 2, boys 1.  I also started a 80 hour practicum class the first part of February.  I was a little nervous about it at first, but soon realized what a blessing it was to watch these little children learn and grow.  I was lucky enough to be placed in a kindergarten classroom in Willard Elementary school in Casper, WY.  On the 9th we celebrated James' 45th birthday.  We didn't do anything very special,
but James and I were able to go out, just the two of us for dinner.  We tried out the new restaurant, J's Pub, and it was SO GOOD!  By the end of February Asher had learned to write his name.  Such a little smarty he is!  The end of the month brought a lot of sickness to our house.  Seemed like everyone had caught a cold with a bad cough.  Pretty such I spend $200 on doctor visit co-pays and half that on prescriptions!

March 2013

The beginning of March was spring break for Bailey and a week off work for James so we decided to take the family to So Cal to thaw out and have a little fun.  We spent a few days in a hotel in Anaheim going to Disneyland and the beach and then we spent a few days at my dad's house in Riverside.  It was so fun to hang out with family and enjoy the warmer weather.  Connor really didn't enjoy Disneyland very much, but Asher, Bailey and I had lots of fun while daddy and Connor watched us :)  The best day was when we went to the beach, rented bikes and rode around.  The boys really enjoyed having James pull them.  Another exciting thing this month was Asher starting preschool.

He was really nervous but after a few days he loved going. James and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on the 20th, but I'm pretty sure he was working so we didn't really do anything special to celebrate.  On the 21st we had a crazy snow storm in Casper, but don't worry, schools were NOT closed.

April 2013

This is pretty much how we all felt about springtime in Casper, WY.  And so Casper got back at us by dropping 10" of snow in one night and closed schools for the day.  The boys enjoyed their day off. 
At the end of the month James bought me a new car.  The car I've been wanting for several years now.  It is the best car ever.  Of course, a coupe of days after James brought it home he borrowed it to drive down to Grand Junction for a week...NOT COOL!
I also finished my 80 hour practicum at the end of April.  I was sad to be leaving the class of amazing kindergartners but it had to be done.

May 2013

The 3rd of May I got an email from Bailey's math teacher telling me that he had scored the highest in his math class on the NWEA testing.  Yup, I am a proud mommy!!!  Spring, the spring that this So Cal girl is use to, finally came to Casper the beginning of the month.  I was so happy to see the weather app on my phone showing 70 degrees in the forecast.  The first week of May also was finals week for me, and of course Connor got sick, making it really difficult to study, but I ended up with all As so I guess it didn't effect me too much.  The whole world (or pretty much all of the west side of the USA) watched as Jodi Arias was convicted of first degree murder, for murdering a boy that I went to school with, even though I didn't know him, a lot of my friends did.  Once the semester was over I was pretty bored at home so I started running, which I was loving with the spring weather.  For Mother's Day we took the family, including James' parents to Outback Steakhouse.  It was a lot of fun.  The 14th was Bailey's 15th birthday and the 19th was Connor's 2nd birthday.  My kids are going way to fast!And because I was so completely bored after the semester was over I started decorating sugar cookies again.  Here are a few batches I made in May.  Bailey and Asher finished school and then Bailey flew off to Indiana to spend a few weeks at his dad's house.

June 2013

The first week of June we took James' parents back down to Cedar City for the summer and decided to make a mini vacation out of it by meeting up with my dad and Kimmie in St George.  After driving through Evanston, WY the Excursion decided it had had enough traveling and decided to breakdown on us.  We ended up spending an unplanned night in Park City while it was fixed.  I love Park City, it has to be one of my favorite places.

It was so hot in St. George.  I know I complained a ton about how cold it was and how sick of winter I was in Casper, but let me tell you, I would never be able to live in a place that gets as hot as it does in St. George.  I'd rather be cold than burning out, James thinks I'm crazy, but I'm not!  While we were in St George I started summer semester, which was all online and only 4 weeks long.  I was done by the end of the month.  It was a grueling 4 weeks but so worth it to get 4 more courses out of the way.  On the 20th Asher turned 5, we went bowling and the boys had a blast.
A few days after Asher's birthday I experienced my first tornado warning, we had sirens going off and everything but all we got were some winds and dark clouds, no tornados thank goodness.  At the end of the month we decided it was time to take another cruise so we started planning another Thanksgiving cruise.  I love vacation planning!

July 2013

4th of July was just me and the little boys.  James was out on a job and wasn't able to make it back in time for fireworks.  The boys and I spent the day having red, white and blue pancakes for breakfast, hotdogs from Sam's Club and then watched the fireworks from the inside of the car since it was raining!  

The next day we went to the fair, which was so fun.  We rode rides and had funnel cakes.  The boys had a blast, especially since James was home and able to go with us.  I decided to do a little makeover to our front bathroom the middle of the month, it went from boring white to red, white and blue.

I'm pretty proud of it.  We also had the National College Rodeo Finals come to town in July, the boys weren't really sure about it at first but loved seeing all the animals and cowboys.  July was really a busy month for us.  Bailey came back from his dads on the 16th and my dad came to visit the same day.  In fact I drove to Denver on my own to pick them both up, it was a very long day.  Jared and Kimmie came to visit that weekend also from Vernal.  My dad came up to help us plumb the basement of our house.  We also went down to the river one night to do some fishing, no one caught anything though.

James also got the new engine in his truck this month, he had been broken for a few months.

 I also did some work on my kitchen and created this cool light with the help of my wonderful husband. After visiting with us for a week my dad flew back home and then a week later my mom flew up for a visit.  While my mom was visiting we went to the Hot Air Balloon Glow in downtown Casper, we went out to the lake one day, we took the boys to see the movie Turbo and just hung out around the house.  It was so fun having her up here.  Can't wait to have everyone visit again next summer!

August 2013

Another really busy month for us.  My mom left the first week of August, but not after having a ton of fun with us here in Casper.  A few days after she left we headed back down south to Cedar City and then on to Vernal to see Jared and Kimmie.  Along the way we stopped in Provo Canyon to test out our new bikes with a fun bike ride through the canyon, I love that canyon!!!!  We went to the dinosaur museum in Vernal with Jared, Kimme and McKennan.   If you can't tell by now, I also got this new app on my phone that let me make these really cute picture collages.  I might have been over doing it with the collages.  Once we were back home things started to calm down a little, but the boys and I had had so much fun at Alcova Lake when my mom was here that we went back a couple of times.  One time we had a little visitor while we were eating lunch.
 I think he might have been hungry since he (or she) ate bread right out of Bailey's hand.  August also meant back to school time.  Asher started kindergarten.  He was a little nervous at first but his teachers were amazing and made it as easy as possible on him.  By the end of August he was loving school.
He went to Park Elementary school, his teachers were Mrs. Wintz and Mrs. McCleary.  Both amazing teachers.  The picture to the left is of Asher walking off to play on his school play ground on his first day of school.  Boy was that a hard moment for me.  

Bailey started his sophomore year at Kelly Walsh High school.  I still can't believe I have a son in high school!

September 2013

The month started off with us all in Salt Lake City so that Sabelle, Bailey and me could run in the Salt Lake City Foam 5k Challenge.  What an experience!!!  I had so much fun.  We got wet and muddy and just had a blast.

We even got shocked by electric wires as we crawled under them through the mud.  Never in my life would I have guessed

I would've done something like this, but I can't wait to do it again!  Asher lost his first tooth on the 14th and had his first flag football game on the 16th.  It was a busy month for him.  On the 26th I had to turn our heater on for the first time and the morning of the 27th we woke up to our first snow fall of the season.
 I have decided that September is way too early for snow to be falling!

October 2013

The first week of October proved to be almost more than this family could handle.  This is just a fun picture of me because it seems like I never post pictures with me in them.

Anyway, first, Bailey got his driving permit, yeah, it was scary for all of us.  Then we got hit by a huge snow storm
that canceled school and to top it all off Asher came down with strep throat, all within the first 4 days of the month!  Lucky things calmed down after that.  Asher's last few flag football games came and went, thankfully it was over by the end of October because the weather was turning really cold and by his last game Connor and I were done freezing our butts off watching him play.  Bailey's first driving experience was in James' big monster truck to the pumpkin farm about 20 miles outside of Casper.
Notice how I'm NOT in the truck.  I had to let James help him with his first driving experience, wasn't sure I had it in me to do it.  He did awesome though, for his first time behind the wheel (officially).

The rest of the month past by, nothing special to really note.  Asher's class had a Halloween party and of course he begged me to make his class a Halloween cake so of course I did!
He was pretty proud of the cake, which made me pretty happy I had spent so much time making it for him.
For Halloween Asher was a vampire bat (yes, he specifically asked to be a VAMPIRE bat) and Connor wanted to be a ghost but he didn't want to be a white ghost, he wanted to be a black on, so that's what he got.  Crazy kids!

November 2013

Of course, November started out with both little boys being sick.  I say 'of course' because our cruise was in 15 days and both boys were feeling awful.  Luckily it passed just in time to board the boat, but the day before leaving for vacation Bailey came down with an ear infection.  I swear we get even close to a vacation and someone always ends up sick!  On the 17th we left Casper for warmer weather!  We flew from Denver to Ft Lauderdale and then on the 18th (aka my birthday) boarded our cruise.  I'll have to do another post all about our cruise, but just know we had a blast.
Our friends from Casper, Michell, Al and Brooklyn, came along with us, Sabelle and Chad and my dad and Kim.
I love vacations like that, some many great memories.  I was truly blessed to spend my birthday with all these wonderful people on a cruise in Miami!

The rest of the month seemed pretty boring after that vacation.  When we got home James' parents had come back up to stay with us through the winter.  Thanksgiving was quiet, we had just our family and James' friend Lamont, who had recently moved up to Casper from St George to work for Halliburton.

December 2013

The first of December Gordon, our Elf on the Shelf, showed up again for another year of crazy antics.  You can see the post here about all the crazy stuff he did over the month.  The month of December was another cold one.  We had days that the high was -13, yes that's a negative sign in front of the 13.  Fall semester ended for me, which was entirely online.  On the 19th of December we had a lot of snow, but the worse of it was the icy roads.  Travel in and out of Casper had been shut down, they were advising people to stay home, of course, James and I were out Christmas shopping that night.  It was a little scary but James drives really well in the snow so I wasn't too worried.  On the 23rd we left Casper and headed south, to So Cal, for Christmas.  The roads were really icy and James had been working all night, I was too afraid to drive in it so James had to do it.  He is amazing!  After getting about 2 hours of sleep he drove through some of the worst road conditions I have seen for 5 hours.  I finally felt ok enough to drive once we were half way between Rock Springs and Evanston.  It was a long drive but we finally made it to California the next day where the sun was shinning and we were happy to be thawing out for Christmas.  The last two weeks of the year were spent in California.  I loved every minute of it and I'm so grateful James agreed to have us all go down there.  My sister and niece were at my dads house as well and it had been a very long time since we were all together for Christmas.  My mom had come down to visit my grandparents and I was able to see them as well.  We spent time with family from my dad's side on his birthday.
I was also able to get together with some old friends from high school new years eve night.  We were even able to get a day in at the beach where we were able to ride bikes, play in the sand and just enjoy everyone's company.  The last morning of the 2013 we drove up to Big Bear where we had breakfast with a lot of family ( Jennifer, Danny and Sadie, Jerry, Layla and their kids, Brannon and Cailin, Dad and Kim and us) and we checked out my dad and Kim's cabin they bought.
While we were there we also took some really awesome family pictures.  I love this one of all of us.

2013 was an exciting year for our family.  It was busy.  I had not realized how many vacations we had taken until I sat down to write this recap.  I'm grateful James has a job that allows us to do so much with our family.  A job that allows me to go to school and be home with the boys.  I'm grateful he works so hard for our family.  I'm so blessed!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Gordon, our Elf on the Shelf

This is the first year we have had an Elf on the Shelf in our house.  During this Christmas our littlest boys were 1 and 4 years old.  I figured they were the perfect age for Santa to deliver an Elf on the Shelf.  Gordon, the name Asher came up with for our Elf because he is currently loving Thomas the Train and Gordon is his favorite train, was mailed to us from the North Pole 4 weeks before Christmas. Below are the fun things Gordon did the 4 weeks he was with us.

The day he came, Bailey, our 14 year old, checked the mailbox on his way home from the bus stop.  (Ok, so I had the post office boxes hiding in the car and asked my teenager to pretend he checked the mail!)  Of course I didn't get pictures of this because instead of taking pictures I had the camcorder out so its a big long video of grandma reading the box to the little boys and then daddy helping them open the second package with the Elf in it.  It didn't take long for Asher to come up with the name and I think we all loved it, maybe not at first but it grew on us.  Some of us called him Gordie or Gordo but both the little boys loved having Gordon visiting us!

November 28
The first morning we found Gordon drinking maple syrup straight out of the syrup bottle with a note from Santa telling the little boys to feel better soon (both of them were sick!)

November 29
Gordon was hanging from the ceiling fan wearing a cape pretending to be a superhero
November 30
Found Gordon in the kitchen making snow angels in the powdered sugar
December 1
Santa delivered Christmas books to the little boys via Gordon
December 2
Hanging out in the stockings
December 3
Having a snowball (marshmallow) fight with some of the other toys
December 4
Climbing up the garland around the TV
December 5
Playing in the cereal, at least he got out the red and green bowls and spoons
December 6
Sitting on top of the microwave with a long note from Santa telling the boys how good they have been
December 7
Playing with new Matchbox cars
December 8
Cirque De Gordon, hanging from the dining room light
December 9
Hanging out with the rosters on top of the kitchen cabinets
December 10
Boys made gingerbread houses, Gordon and some other friends decided it would be fun to play with them
December 11
Repelled himself down the sliding glass door and wrote a note on it.  You can't really see it in this picture but it says "Merry Christmas Asher and Connor, Luv Gordon" (by the way....its still there, I keep forgetting to clean it off!)

December 12
Santa send Gordon back home with a puzzle of the United States.  Asher loves puzzles, Santa is so smart!
December 13
Mission Impossible: Gordon style
December 14
Mrs. Claus sent Gordon home with reindeer cookies...yummy!
December 15
Drinking hot chocolate, he sure is a messy elf!
December 16
Gordon switched out all the stockings for Asher's underwear....thank goodness they were all clean!
December 17
Crazy elf drew funny faces on our family pictures with an erasable marker
December 18
ziplining down Christmas lights
December 19
Toilet papered the Christmas tree, the boys LOVED this one.
December 20
Turned the milk green (note: my little boys wouldn't drink it after it was green so make sure if you do this that you do it when your milk is almost gone!)
December 21
Brought home magic seed and magic soil and told the little boys to plant them and see what grew!
December 22
The magic seeds grew plastic candy canes filled with candy!
December 23
We spent the night in Denver but when we got home we found Gordon hanging on the closet door near the front door with a note that said he missed us and that Santa would be coming soon.  (I forgot to take a picture of this one!)

December 24
Our last morning with Gordon.  He wrote all over my organization board, spelled out a message with red and green M&Ms, decorated the kitchen table with a Christmas table cloth, left fun Christmas plates and instructions for Asher and Connor's mommy to make them red and green pancakes for breakfast.

December 25
I didn't get a picture of this but Gordon left the little boys a note on the Christmas tree telling them that he would miss them over the next 11 months and that he would think of them every day until he came back to visit.

Doing the Elf on the Shelf was a lot of fun.  I know some people don't like it or thinks its crazy but I enjoyed watching my little boys' excitement each morning as they ran through the house looking for Gordon.  I loved how Connor would randomly run up to where Gordon was sitting throughout the day and point and laugh.  It was a lot of work but it was so worth it.  I'm already trying to come up with some awesome ideas for next Christmas!