Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekly Digest, May 31, 2015

For Memorial Day we had a Crusader Reunion at Adam Sidwell's house.  Maxine pulled out all the stops and made three amazing pies - banana cream, coconut (with lime whipped cream) and a cherry pie made with fresh cherries.  Each pie was pretty much perfect.  She also used two different kinds of crust for the pies.  Because she's an overachiever like that.

Ellie wanted to dress up so she donned her ladybug costume, cape, Captain America shield, and pirate sword.  She was pretty much ready to take on the world.

Yesterday Ellie got to go to her first ever birthday party for a friend! She had a blast after her initial warming up period.  She also got her very first sunburn from being outside in this cute dress.  The boys also went to our neighbor's superhero party but we didn't take any pictures.  Silly us.

On Friday we had our monthly team-building exercises.  One night a couple co-workers were drunk and bored and decided to build a water bottle rocket launch pad and hooked it up to an air compressor.  That pretty much decided our activity.  This is my pathetic excuse for a rocket.  Some of them were pretty involved.

Maxine sold this amazing cake for her bakery yesterday.

 NOT PICTURED;
This week was actually pretty busy but we didn't take a lot of pictures.  We spontaneously decided to watch Star Wars this week so on Wednesday we watched "A New Hope" and on Thursday we watched "Empire Strikes Back" although the boys really just wanted to watch the battle scene on Hoth.  Holy cow they love that scene.  They play it over and over on Lego Star Wars.  Sammy actually bought a miniature Lego AT-AT with his birthday money.  

On Thursday the kids went to the dentist for the first time in years. Isaac had no cavities and he still hasn't lost any teeth although a few weeks ago his teeth collided with a schoolmate's head and they're very dark and bruised but not loose or anything.  Sammy has two potential cavities forming so we've got him on a flossing regimen each night.  

Also Thursday was the first warm day we'd had in a while (SO MUCH RAIN LATELY!) and we decided to go swimming at the Lehi public pool.  The kids of course had a wonderful time and Isaac is getting really good at swimming.

On Friday we went to the brand new Lehi hospital open house and gorged ourselves on free hot dogs and ice cream.  We did a tour of the maternity ward where Maxine will give birth and the rooms are huge!  

Yesterday Grandma Coco came to visit and we went out to Viet Deli for Vietnamese food and stayed up past midnight watching "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".  We had a blast.

Today was super hot so we broke out the water guns and let the kids go crazy in the backyard.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures!  But it was a really nice day.  It was in the upper 80s/low 90s and was our first truly hot day of the year.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Weekly Digest, May 24, 2015

On  Thursday Whitney gave birth to our new niece Gwen!  We're so excited to go and meet her as soon as the sickness is all gone from our family!

Last night we had our friends Joe and Celeste Butler over for dinner.  I'm kinda bummed we didn't take any pictures of the families but I did take a picture of Elinor playing with their son Johnny.  The kids all had a great time together - Elinor adored Johnny.

This week Maxine made chocolate-dipped macaroons and 1/4 pound chocolate chip mint cookies.  To say they were delicious just doesn't do them justice.

Elinor is a goon.  Or a gollum.  Isn't she precious?

Leftover chocolate icing!

Today we drove up to Alpine looking for a place to hike.  We happened upon a trail head at the bottom of the canyon behind Alpine.  This has been our favorite hike to date.  It felt like we had the entire canyon to ourselves - we only saw one other person on our way back down.  The trail branched off in many directions so we got to choose our own adventure.  And the weather was perfect - cloudy and slightly cool.  We chose to follow the sound of water and ended up by a river.  The kids were delighting in all the bits of nature to be found along the way: cicadas, snail shells galore (some occupied, some empty), moss-covered rocks and trees, giant ants...
The boys found a bunch of great rocks for their collection.
Of course, no family hike would be complete without snacks and throwing rocks in a river.  :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Digest, May 17, 2015

Maxine already posted about Sammy's birthday yesterday but there are a few more pics and videos to share.

Elinor has recently discovered that she's just big enough to ride the big wheel.  It's been amusing watching Isaac and Ellie attempt to share it.  Mostly Ellie hogs it while Isaac pines for it.  :)

Maxine made Sammy this countdown calendar back in April and each night before bed he's been crossing off a day and excitedly announcing how many days were left.

Maxine's baking mania continues.  She spent most of the week tweaking a new banana bread recipe to perfection.  This one has ground up hazelnuts and chocolate chips and is absolutely by far the best banana bread any of us has ever tried.  Each time she made it the neighbors quickly bought up whatever they could.  Plus her brownies were fantastic (of course).  Three kinds of chocolate, including Callebaut and Scharffen Berger.  Insane.

Earlier this week I saw Sammy helping Maxine out in the garden.  It was a really cute moment.

Also, Sammy's eye-crossing skills continue to improve.  He's now able to cross only one eye.

With the rainy weekend Sammy didn't get a chance to try out his bike until today.  He learned to ride with a balance bike so his first time on this bike was smooth sailing.  He and Isaac spent a good hour circling the cul de sac at top speed.

Some more fun pics from Sammy's Birthday:

Here are some fun videos from this week:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Samuel turns 5!

Happy birthday to my goofy, cuddly, intelligent Sammy, who five years ago came barreling into this world at break-neck speed, ready to take on life and all its challenges with an unflappable attitude and a rascally grin. His middle name is Toa, Maori for "warrior" (he was supposed to be born in New Zealand), and I can't think of a more fitting name. We love you, SimSam!
Per our tradition, Sammy decorated his chocolate cake himself: a rocket ship on top and a truck below.
He's been planning his birthday since the day after his last birthday.  No joke, I can't actually count how many times I've heard him talking about exactly what kind of presents he wanted for this birthday, what flavor cake, how it would be decorated, which activities he would do, etc. He even made sure we knew to get him three balloons so that each of his siblings could have one as well.
We started the morning with presents and doughnuts from Lehi Country Bakery (and chocolate milk to wash all that sugar down - breakfast of champions!).  He took his time opening presents because he needed to play with each item for a bit before moving on to the next one.  He really loved everything he got, which included a 14" bike, a color shifters Hotwheels playset, an r/c helicopter from Grandma Coco/Grandpa Bruce, a gem mining kit, Legos, and a hotwheels custom building set (create your own custom hotwheels car!).

Sammy is such a generous kid.  He had no problem sharing his new toys with his siblings, and they all played pretty happily together for some time on several of his presents.



After breakfast and some play time we went to Jump On It, the trampoline park that has become a birthday tradition for each kid.  They love it so much! (Collin will post pics and video of that on his weekly Sunday post.)



We followed the jumping extravaganza with a simple lunch, a boys' trip to the theater to see "Home" (a movie about an alien), Sammy's favorite dinner of banh mi from Viet Deli, and lots and lots of video games.  So, pretty much the perfect day!  He went to bed so completely satisfied tonight.  Happy birthday, dear Sammy!