Sunday, November 30, 2014

We love our Christmas tree!

One of the traditions we love in Oregon is going to a Christmas tree farm and finding the perfect tree!  On the first day back from our trip to Cody (we got back at 1 am), we were up in the morning to get our tree.  All the kids participate in the search, quickly choosing their favorite trees.

We found our tree, put it up the same day, lit it and decorated it all before November ended!  We love the look, the smells, and the feeling having a Christmas brings in welcoming the Christmas season!

Christmas Ornaments

Kate's Elsa ornament is the beginning of a very Elsa Christmas, and was a perfect sign of her year of being a princess.

Jacob started piano lessons this year (first from Claire, then from Andrea, his piano teacher) and has been pretty excited to play.

Over the past few months, Claire has become completely engulfed into the world of Harry Potter, so we found her a sorting hat ornament (which we discovered talks, too!).

We had the hardest time finding an ornament for Liam.  Our first thoughts were to get him a Godzilla ornament would be best (he was at a high point of a rather destructive year), but we settled on a "Where the Wild Things Are" ornament.  Liam making mischief of one kind or another, threatening to "eat you up" and getting in trouble - kind of perfect!

Torin got a little glass ball with a rubber duck in it.  For the family, we got a Killer Whale (for the San Diego trip) and a Santa mail box.  We love the annual ornament tradition!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Snow time in Cody

One of the exciting parts of going to Cody is when there is snow!  For us, living in Portland, we don't get to be around snow very often, so when we get the chance, we tend to spend a lot of time in it.  When we arrived in Cody, there was a little bit of snow left from a previous storm, and Claire, Jacob, and Kate (and Liam joined later) immediately set off on constructing a snow fort (to defend against snowballs).

Jared went and joined, too, looking great!

The next day, it snowed, so we packed everyone up and went to a park in Cody to do some sledding.  

We did a couple sides of the hill and ultimately found one with a few little bumps.  Kate won the award for most uncomfortable-looking ride down the hill!

Torin was really sweet and hung out quietly in his carseat while the rest of the family played in the snow and checked in with him on occasion.  Given that we don't really experience the snow and cold much in Portland, we really don't have much cold-weather gear around, so we layered and improvised.


We went home and finished the snow fort, though it was a little tough because the snow was not very good for packing since it was so cold.  We sprayed water around it to make it icy (in theory).

The next day, on Thanksgiving, we woke up to strong winds and 50 degree weather, which made the snow start melting quickly!  We went to work and built a snowman out by the shop (which Jacob made a Pilgrim hat for), then started rolling snowballs in the back yard.  The snow, which was 3-4 inches deep the night before, was barely an inch deep, but it was so dense that the snow balls were super heavy!  Jared managed to build the snowmen taller than him!

Jacob built a snowman as well and decided he was a baseball player with hat and bat.  We were able to build 5 pretty good sized (and very wet and heavy) snowmen before we needed to come in for Thanksgiving dinner.  By the end of the day, nearly all of the snow from the grass was gone.  The next day, before we left early in the morning, all of the snowmen had tipped over, and by the end of the day, all of the snow had melted!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving in Cody

We drove to Cody for Thanksgiving.  The trip to Cody was a really wet one - except the hour it was snowing!  It really was one of the wettest drives we have ever had.  We stayed in Missoula and made it to Cody mid-day.

We spent some cousin time at the bowling alley.  

Breckin and Brighton took turns taking the kids out on the 4 wheelers around the yard.  They had a great time!

Treycen and Torin enjoyed some cousin play time.

And the kids got to have some great time with their grandparents.

Travis went hunting on Thanksgiving day and came back with a bunch of birds.  He was outside cleaning them when the kids went out to investigate.  I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but they seemed to be okay with all of it.  Liam did declare that he likes food chicken much better than the animal birds.

The kids had a lot of fun with their grandparents.  One of the favorite activities was reading time.
They loved helping in the kitchen, helping Grandpa make apple pie.  Really, the kids just liked helping out in the kitchen!

Kate particularly loved her reading time.  She found that Heath was a very willing reader (in exchange for snuggle time!).

Kate and Bentley were both really excited to see each other.  They love video chatting with one another and have talked about seeing each other for weeks.  When we arrived, Kate walked around the house looking for Bentley and was sad to hear that she would have to wait to see her the next day.  When Heath and Bri arrived with their kids, Kate came bursting up from downstairs, thrilled to give Bentley a huge hug... until Bentley says, "woah woah woah woah" - she needed to take off her coat.  Then when they finally did hug, Bentley said, "Okay, that's it" meaning that the hug was done.  The girls had a great time together after that, but it was a funny start to their week!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bathtime at Grandma's

Ice skating

We wanted to do something a little different with the whole family, so decided to give ice skating a go!  They had some great supports to help the beginners.  Kate and Liam would hold on to the front, and we would push them around the ice at full speed.  Liam loved it right from the start!  Kate had to be persuaded to give it a try ("look, Kate, there are pink dots on the ice... let's go find some more!")

Grandma gave it a try too.  She learned they are designed for people a little shorter!  Jacob didn't spend long behind his, and he and Claire were skating tentatively all around the ice by the end.

Grandpa John helped keep the kids company when they needed breaks.  Kate needed frequent breaks! 

When we left, the manager gave Liam some kids' ice hockey gear.  He was really excited!

All in all, it was a big success!