Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving in Moab!

We were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving in Moab this year! Dave's Grandpa Plastow and Aunt Suzy's family live out there, so they invited everyone to come for the festivities. Dave was able to get work off Wednesday, so we headed out Wednesday morning. We got into town around 11 and decided to immediately hit up Arches.

It was a good temperature, most of the time we were hiking Wednesday we just used long sleeve shirts, but we did end up getting out our hoodies for Sand Dune Arch (which is in the shade and always super windy).

I haven't been to Arches too much, and I was impressed by the great scenery along the trails. I don't remember the whole park being so beautiful!

The boys had a blast hiking! Even when I was uploading these pictures they kept telling me what a fun the hiking had been in Moab. I think it was a big success.

Brooklyn did great too! We switched her to the baby backpack that went on Dave's back rather than the one on my chest. She's a lot younger than when we moved the boys over so it was a little adjustment, but she figured it out eventually. She's just so chubby, I couldn't see lugging her around on my front.

 Wednesday night we went swimming at the pool, ate at Wendy's and called it a night. It was a great day and the boys crashed pretty easily after all the physical exertion of the day.

Thursday morning we woke up, ate breakfast and headed out to arches again! We were able to get in 4 more hikes before having to head back to the hotel for lunch and nap time. Dave's brother Jon & Anisa and their daughter Caroline joined us too.

It was great to get some more hiking in, especially with a cousin to explore with! It was significantly colder Thursday, but we fortunately brought our heavy coats.

After naps we headed over to Suzy's church to eat a late lunch/early dinner (yup, there were that many people there!). It was fun to talk to all of Dave's extended family that we don't get a chance to see very often. The boys had a blast playing with their cousins and second cousins too. And the dessert table... it was fabulous! We sampeled tons of different pies and a berry and whipped cream mixture that was to die for!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel for some much needed swimming with Grandma Linda & Papa Bill. Then off to bed for another quick night of sleep.

Friday morning Dave woke up early and went on a run with his Aunt Tina and a few of his cousins. He said the trail was gorgeous! I'm not a runner, so I know he loved having someone to share his passion for the trail with. The boys and I packed up the hotel and went swimming one last time with Papa Bill.

When Dave got back we headed over to his Aunt Suzy's house for a BBQ before hitting the road again. It was good to get to visit last time before leaving and very nice to not have to stop on the road for lunch.

When we got back into town my parents dropped by. They brought Zupas for dinner and we visited and opened early Christmas gifts before they had to get back onto the road. They were in town for Thanksgiving but had to get a construction project started before the weekend was out.

Saturday and Sunday we played it pretty easy. It was nice to have a few days to unpack, do laundry and recover before work started again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grandpa's Funeral & Catching Up

It's been a busy November (and I was doing so well at keeping up to date)! In the end of October my Grandpa Yoder passed away. His cancer spread quickly and he wasn't in pain long, so that's something to be grateful for. Dave was able to get the day of the funeral off so we woke up really early and drove down and back in one day. It was a long day, but I'm really glad we got to go and pay our last respects. The talks were great and the whole event was well done.

Grandma Yoder sent me home with bags of clothes that were Grandpa's for the refugees in my Stake. I went through them and couldn't help but miss Grandpa in the process. She sent his church clothes, sweaters, socks, coats, and all kinds of things I know the refugees will be so grateful to have! Taking a trunk full of clothes to the home of the woman that collects everything was a good experience. Driving over I knew Grandpa Yoder would be glad to have his clothing go to people in need. It gave me a sense of peace to be able to do one last service project for him.

The night before the funeral was Halloween. Had it not been, we would have left town the night before and rented a hotel in Hurricane, but I digress... The boys had a great Halloween! We all dressed up as the Avengers for our Church party, and the boys continued to dress up as Iron Man and Thor for the rest of our Halloween events.

We carved our pumpkins on Sunday. The boys drew their own spooky faces this year and Dave made a silly one up for Brooklyn. Logan's is in the front, Dustin's in the back right and Dave/Brooklyn's is back Left. They had so much fun designing and helping carve. I cooked the seeds and Dave and Dustin devoured them!

For Halloween Logan's school had a parade and a class party! It was a fun day for the kids.

Dustin just HAD to dress up for the parade too. Everyone that complimented him on his costume got this muscle pose. Doesn't he look so strong? 

Logan said this was probably his best day of school yet! Hopefully there will be more fun ones to come. 

Part of the reason why we've been so busy is we've been trying to tame our yard. The weather finally cooled down, we've gotten our first frost and snow, and as a result have raked up 10 bags of leaves so far. We generally get 14 to 16 bags of leaves, so we're just waiting for the last leaves on the trees to drop. It's a pain, but I love the shade all year long so we're willing to pay the price for it.

Another reason we've been busy? I've been purging and reorganizing the house again. I did this right before we had Brooklyn, but it was some how time again! This time the focus was mostly our toys and art supplies. All art stuff is now organized in crates on top of the fridge with coloring books and paper stacked neatly beside the fridge. I donated 2.5 bags of toys to charity, and have re-organized how everything else is stored. We've also implemented the one type of toy out at a time rule. All these changed has really helped the house stay cleaner. I was spending all my free time picking up, but now I really just have to focus on the Kitchen since the Living Room and boys room is pretty tidy. We'll see how long it lasts.

Saturday was Dustin's 3rd Birthday! Leading up to it I asked him what he wanted for gifts and meals. His answers? Jello and a whole can of olives to himself. Since I couldn't get him to give me more than that, one of his gifts was Legos Jello Molds and 6 big boxes of Jello (we've gone through 4 so far). We had blue Jello and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

He had a blast making and eating it! Dave and Logan have enjoyed them too. We made a 2 box batch of Blue on Saturday for Dustin's Birthday, a batch of Grape on Sunday, and a box of Orange on Monday. I'm Jello-ed out so maybe we'll take a few days off before we finish the last two boxes. 

Since it was Saturday, we let Dustin open his gifts first thing in the morning. He and Logan had so much fun playing with each new toy all day long! Even Brooklyn got in on the action from time to time. She can grab things and loved stealing the new Duplo guys Dustin received.

This week has been busy so far prepping for Thanksgiving. I made 4 dozen crescent rolls (two dozen are already consumed by the boys and Dave).

And while I was rolling... Dustin got a hold of my flour. It took longer to clean up this mess than it did to make the rolls. Sigh! So I'm on my 5th load of laundry for the week...

Between that, packing, doctor's appointments, working out and errands this week has been pretty busy. Oh, I've started working out again. I joined a Beach Body group to complete their Core de Force workout program. It's a Mixed Martial Arts DVD series and so far it's been as fun as exercising can be. They require 6 workouts a week but they're only about 30 to 45 min a piece. They give you the schedule to follow for "success".  Hopefully between that and eating more healthy I'll be able to get back in shape before Christmas.

I'm supposed to wake up early to work out, but it just hasn't happened yet (Logan's been waking up with night mares and Brooklyn is still waking up once a night for feedings). So Dustin has been my workout buddy. He joins me an the kicks, pushups and "starfish" pose. When he's not working out he's giving me super cheesy advice "Come on Mom, you can do it! We can do hard things.", "Don't give up! I'll give you extra fruits and vegetables for energy when you're done!" And if he doesn't think I'm working hard enough? He climbs on my back or piles stuffed animals on me for extra weights "This will help you get stronger.". It's pretty cute and funny. I don't know where he gets this from.