Monday, December 30, 2013

Does it get any cuter than this?!

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First I ate a camel
And then a tall giraffe
But when I ate the elephant
It really made me laugh
If you think that's funny
That I ate such a meal
It's animal crackers that I ate
And none of them were real!

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile (alligator, dinosaur)
Don't forget to scream!  Aaah!

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas morning was fabulous.  The kids didn't get up until eight-ish.  It was so low key.  We scaled way back on gifts this year.  I think there were maybe a dozen presents under our tree.  Even at that, they were excited with what they got, since lots of though went into them.  And I really think, with all of the other people who buy them presents, they don't need an excessive amount of stuff from us.  And hopefully it will help them to focus more on the giving than the receiving.

Hayley got the Pop the Pig game, a Monster High doll, a Monster High movie, the Tower or Terror movie, and a dance bag.


Jackson got two tractors, some clothes for his Build-A-Bear, the Monster's University movie, and a bike.


Jeremy got new Skechers, that he had seen, tried on, and liked in Vegas, but hadn't purchased.  And a airplane calendar for the new year, but that's a given for him. :)


I got a darling new iPad cover and a lanyard from Brighton for my work badge.  Funny how you get exactly what you want when you send your husband an email with links and recommendations that say "this, or something like this" and "here's the website or the addressed of their local stores."

Such a Merry Christmas, but I have to say it was really stressful to not have the month of December off like I have the past few years when we were year round.  As much fun as it was, I can't say that I'm sad that it's over.  I think it would help if next year I was a little more organized, a little more put together, and a little more patient.  I had a hard time finding the Christmas Spirit when I was so busy rushing, rushing, rushing.  Oh, well.  All's well that ends well and there's always next year!

Christmas Eve 2013

This year at the Bachman Family Party on Christmas Eve, we decided at the last minute to throw together a little talent show.  Hayley gave a little ballet lesson:

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It was kind of loud, so I had her do it again the next day for my mom and Robert and Whitney.  She still goes kind of fast, so here's what she's saying: "I'm going to tell you some ballet words.  Jete (jee-tay) means to throw.  Plie (plee-a) means to bend your legs.  Releve (rel-uh-vay) means to raise up on your toes.  Tendu (taun-du) means to stretch your leg.  Pique (pee-kay) means to prick.

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And Jackson, after being tricked into it a little from Jeremy, sang his Animal Crackers song:

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Okay, so I was going to include Jackson's "practice videos" of his song here too, but there are some doosies, and I think they need their own post. :)

After our show and the required Nativity, we moved on to opening presents.


Hayley hit the jackpot with a cousin gift of a Monster High game and hair markers AND art stuff galore from Grandma and Grandpa including her own ream of paper and three rolls of Scotch tape.


And Jackson.  So I've come to the conclusion that Christmas overwhelms this boy.  We have a picture of him like this every Christmas for the past few years.  I think it doesn't help that we're always up way past his bedtime, and we have to take turns, and there's lots of "We're not going to open it right now..."

Once I got him in the other room, away from the Christmas craziness, and let him play with one of his toys, he was back to his happy self.


Give this boy anything tractor-ish and he'll be happy in a hurry. :)


Hayley drew Payton this year and we got him some Hexbugs and a Hexfish.  He kiddos wanted to try the Hexfish out right away.


Payton later told me that was one of the best presents he'd ever gotten.  Score!  And kudos to Payton for the "thank you" and the compliment.

Fun party, especially when Jeremy surprised me and everyone else by informing us that he was not going back to work after his lunch hour after all.  Merry Christmas Eve to me!

JHE Sing-A-Long



Every year at Jordan Hills we have a Christmas Sing-A-Long the day that we go off for Christmas Break.  Second Grade sang Boogie Woogie Santa and the kids could wear their cowboy hats since it's a bit twangy

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They also sang Holly, Jolly Christmas.  I love that Hayley is on the end so I could totally see her do all the actions. :)

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We've sure missed our school friends while we've been off for Winter Break!

Hayley the Baby Mouse

A bunch of the girls in my class last year were in Mountain West Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.  Hayley and I and some of my friends from school were able to go and watch them perform.  I loved it, and after talking to some of the moms loved how it was organized.  It's a community ballet theater run mostly on volunteer work from the families of the dancers.  Dancers try out, but everyone gets a part.  Then they continue taking a ballet class at their home studio, and then have rehearsal once a week for their part in the production.  I was really excited when Hayley decided to try out this year.


She really wanted to be cast as a Bon Bon (the little girls that pop out of the lady's big skirt) but instead got Baby Mouse.


She was a little disappointed, and it took a little convincing, but she decided to accept the part.


 It's a good thing, since she was the cutest little baby mouse there was!


It was great for her to make some new friends with the other mice, and also with some other girls from our school.  These are all of the girls from Jordan Hills that participated in The Nutcracker production.  Two of them are former students of mine, but it was so fun to get to know the others (and their moms) a little better.


She was also very excited to invite pretty much everyone she knew to come and watch her.  I only got a few pictures, but thank you so much to all of you who supported Hayley by buying candy and popcorn from her fundraisers, and/or coming to watch her perform.  She loved seeing you all.


I'll tell you what, this is one loved little girl!


Mountain West Ballet is performing Cinderella in the Spring.  I really am hoping that she decides she wants to do it, especially since you have to be eight years old for that one (you only have to be six for Nutcracker) and the auditions are on her birthday, so she would barely make the cut off.  It's like it was meant to be!  Either way, just doing something kind of new has been a great experience for her.

Kearns Christmas Celebration

We've been to the Kearns Oquirrh Park Christmas Celebration before, and this year Hayley saw the ad and really wanted to go again.  I was torn, as it was so crazy busy the last time we went, but we ended up going.  We got there right as it started, and I was thinking we'd get in line first thing to see Santa.  When we got there at 5:30 however, there was a sign that said Santa was arriving at 7:00.  That meant we had a bunch of time to kill.


So we took some pictures with the mascots...


And had the clown make us some balloon creations...


And then about 6:40 we got in line for Santa and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Apparently Santa got stuck in the snow, and was going to be indefinitely late.  After 40 minutes of standing in the same place trying to keep my kids somewhat still, we decided to bag it.


Of course, about ten minutes after that Santa showed up.  Not like you could miss it when they started playing "Here Comes Santa Clause" over the loudspeakers for everyone to hear.  We did get a shot of Hayley and Mrs. Claus as she came by.

Hayley wanted to get in line again, but I was so done, and it was so past Jackson's bedtime by then.


We did do the tractor ride on the way out.  It had been the only thing that Jackson wanted to do all evening.


Fun, but oh my gosh, it was sooo cold that night!  Plus snow and wind.


Maybe we'll try again next year.  Maybe Santa can be a little more punctual, eh?

The Santa Visit

When I told the kids that we were going to see Santa, they were both really excited.  Yes, even Jackson.  This is the first time that he had not been adamantly against the idea.  I thought maybe his bravery would falter as soon as he saw the jolly old fellow, so you could imagine my surprise when he ran right up, hopped on Santa's knee, and did this:


Yep, he's smiling with Santa.  Don't die of shock.  It's been a long time coming.  When Santa asked what he wanted he said, "A present and a candy cane." Pretty easy to please.


This one knows the deal and smiled like a pro.  She's been figuring out about Santa though.  The other day she said "Mom, I think I saw Jackson's bike downstairs before Christmas Day." "Hmm, maybe Santa dropped it off early." "Mom, that candy that was in our stockings? Wasn't it sitting on the counter?" "Hmm, maybe Santa shopped at WalMart too." The funny thing is she hadn't come right out and asked, or I probably would have told her.  Then she just said, "I'm going to ask Dad. I'll figure all this Santa nonsense out." By the time Jeremy got home that day, she'd forgotten, or just decided not to ask.  I'm kind of hoping I don't even have to tell her straight out, but if she asks me directly, I'll tell her.


Anyway, it was a fun night, even if it wasn't with THE Santa. :)

Vegas Vacation

It was time again to use our Vegas time share week. We opted for an afternoon flight, which was kind of weird since usually we try for the first flight out.  Like everyone was all ready and just hanging out, and then we went to Arctic Circle right when it opened, and ate, and still just hung out...

 

Finally it was time to head to the airport.  Even though I think it gets easier each time we do it, it still stress me out a little to fly with the kids.  Maybe it's the whole uncertainty with the standby thing, that maybe we'll get on the plane, maybe we won't, and maybe we'll get to sit with each other, maybe we won't, and maybe the kids will behave and be a good reflection on the company, maybe they won't...

I figure having the kids look cute and a little matchy-matchy can't hurt anything, right?


I really shouldn't have worried, as we made it on the first flight we wanted, and sat right next to each other.  And the kids did great, as usual.  Like I even got to read part of a magazine. :) My sweet cousin Kim was so nice to not only pick us up from the airport, but get Jeremy and the kids to the hotel, and then take me to WalMart to get groceries for our week-long stay.

This rock sculpture lizard was quite the hit for the kids to climb on.  Fine with me since they needed to get their wiggles out and Jeremy was busy playing Clash of Clans on his phone.  My views on any of those addictive games: be smart, don't start.


 Plus, he was game for all of my planning of our events on the strip, even though I think he may have been just as happy to swim or relax in the room.

 
 We rode the free bus from Tahiti Village to the strip and then walked over to The Flamingo to see the flamingos.  it was kind of cool to see some birds and other animals... like Tracy Aviary, but surrounded by hotels and casinos.


This parrot was pretty cool.  They were having it perch on people's arms too.  Hayley wasn't that adventurous.


The temperatures were cooler than the other times we've gone in October, so most days our "pool time" didn't start until later in the day.


The kids still had a blast though.  Hayley met two little girls (twins!) the first night that were just one year older than her, and we ended up seeing a lot of them and their family around the resort.


Jackson could have done this all day, every day and been perfectly happy.  Jeremy was sorely disappointed that Jackson now had no interest in cuddling with him in a tube on the lazy river.  It's fun to watch how much our kids change every two years between our visits here.

Halloween Fun

Halloween was super fun this year!  Hayley was a bride, and looked super cute in her costume that Grandma Heidi made.  It was a big hit in the school parade.


We had this darling little doggie costume for Jackson.  We actually bought it last year, but he hated it!  Like we'd put it on him and he'd cry and whine and wiggle and squiggle until he got out of it.


Although he still wasn't super excited about wearing it, he was a good sport, and wore it to preschool for their little Halloween party.  He talked all about how his teacher dressed up as a cowboy.  Not a cowgirl as I tried to correct him.


We headed to my mom's for the evening for soup and breadsticks and then trick or treating.  Jackson was excited to show everyone his costume, even if the ears part didn't last long. :)


I couldn't get a natural smile out of Hayley for the life of me.  This was actually her least pose-y picture of the evening.


An action shot of trick-or-treating.  Jackson "got it" a lot more this year.  I think that made it more fun for Hayley too.
 

The best surprise of the night was Stacey and Matt showing up to hang out with us for the evening.  I'm not even sure when the last time is that the three of us have been together for Halloween.  Not since we were kids, probably.
 

These pictures were taken in front of the neighborhood spook alley.  Last year, we didn't even try it, since I was pretty sure it would be too scary for Hayley, but this year she really wanted to go.  I stayed outside with Jackson.


Hayley made it about two minutes before she was running back out the entrance, crying, yelling, "That just ruined my entire Halloween!"  Yeah, apparently still too scary.


But nothing that holding Grandma's hand couldn't fix.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fall Fun

Just some cute pictures to remind me of some of our Fall happenings.


Here's Hayley outside of the garden store.  We did a garden this year.  Sort of.  The church has some garden plots, and we got one, but didn't plant anything until pretty late.  We were just starting to get some buds and shoots this Fall when it got too cold.  We'll do better next year.  This year was like our practice garden.


Here's Jackson doing what he possibly loved the most all Summer and Fall long: playing in the sand.  This playtime was kind of a surprise.  We were at Eastmont Middle School for Hayley's tryouts for Nutcracker, and had an hour to kill, so we were just walking the field when Jackson spotted this sand pit from almost clear on the other side of the field.  We went to check it out, and sure enough, it was like a little private oasis for Jackson.  It just so happened we had the sand toys in the back of the car.  He was one happy camper while we waited for Hayley.


And one more of Jackson "helping".  Because what little boy doesn't love some demolition, right?  And in your shorts and snow boots?  Even better!  Having already replace the upstairs toilet due to water leaking under the lineoleum, we knew that the downstairs toilet was the next to go.  And although technically the project could have been take off toilet, reseal underneath, and put toilet back on, that's just not how Jeremy rolls. He thinks, "Why do a project when you can do a PROJECT?!"  So instead he decided to rip up and the lineoleum in the bathroom and re-tile.  Which led to ripping up the lineoleum in the attached laundry room and re-tiling in there.  Which led to buying a drain for the washer to sit in, just in case it ever floods.  At this point, Jeremy actually asked me if I thought we should rip up the linoleum in the attached hallway and re-tile there too.  My response? "Well, of course we should.  If we don't you'll have tile-ers remorse every time you walk through that hall." It's true, he really would.  And I would have to hear about it.

So the toilet/lineoleum/tile project is completed.  Jeremy then decides we should paint the bathroom too.  Well, of course we should.  Why not?  So one day I come home and the bathroom is painted.  But it's painted the most ugly shade of yellow-beige I can imagine.  I wanted it to look good, but it just really, really didn't.  Even Hayley came in and burst out with, "Why is our bathroom that weird yellow color?"  Jeremy then turns to me and asks, "Does it look yellow?"
Me: "...Yeah.  Kind of."
Him: "Does it look okay?"
Me: "Did you bring a swatch of the tile with you to the store?'
Him: "Yeah."
Me: "Did you let the employee help you?"
(Now, I'm treading lightly here, because Jeremy actually is color blind.  On one of our first dates, I teased him that his socks didn't match.   To which he replied, "Do they really not match?  I'm color blind."  Yeah, that wasn't awkward or anything...)
Him: "No, I thought this looked okay.  Does it not?"
Me: "......"
Him: "Should we go buy new paint?"
Me: "Yeah, maybe."
Him: "Kids, get your shoes on!  We're going to the store!"

Once there, I take the tile swatch, and go pick out the color I would do.  He says he thinks it should be darker and picks out a paint swatch too.  He also picks up the yellow-ish swatch from earlier and mutters to himself, "How did I think that matched?"  We then head over to the employee, who compares a few more colors to the tile we brought, and then picks the color that I had picked.  That's right, I'm a super-duper-paint-picker-outer.  Anyway, they mixed it up, we bought it, headed home, and Jeremy repainted.  Looks tons better!  I wish I had taken a picture of the ugly yellow, as it would have been funny now, but I was too distraught. :)  Anyway, now that you know how much of a PROJECT the bathroom was, feel free to come over and check it out anytime.  I really am happy that my husband is willing to do so many things to improve our home.

But from now on, I pick the paint.

Cabin Trip

 What makes a trip to the cabin even more fun?


Bringing a friend of course!  Hayley's friend Aisly headed up to the cabin with us for a long weekend, and boy did these girls have fun!  We started off at Swiss Days, and then they played in the treehouse, and watched movies, and built a huge hut upstairs.  They even waded in the creek, and went on a long hike with Grandma Heidi and Grandpa Bob.


This little boy was happy too, because having Hayley busy meant that he mostly got Grandma and Mom all to himself.


 He loved the creek too, but he mostly likes to stay to the side throw rocks in the water.


 Or dig in the dirt.


Really anything that gets his clothes nice and dirty. :)