Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Years Eve 2017

Happy New Years' Eve! We were blessed to enjoy the kids' favorite party of the year again - a big family sleep over at the Felix's Cabin with many of our wonderful neighborhood friends. I was with Daniel most of the evening, Corey with Owen,
The rest of the kids were everywhere and anywhere playing. We all enjoyed a nice dinner and lots of holiday treats. We did the ball drop early at New York's midnight time - 10pm for us. At 10 as the horns were all tooting loudly, I went to check on Natalie and Sophi upstairs. They had been watching old DuckTales episodes for a while - brought back memories of my childhood. Natalie got bored with it early and put herself to bed around 9. Good job Natalie, don't waste your brain on that show, ti's pretty lame. She looked so cute, a little princess in a big bed.
Her cheeks were red and rosy. The room was noisy with the tv on, kids playing foosball, and everyone having fun. She slept through it all.
After ringing in the new year, the older kids did their annual Polar Bear Club snow run around the cabin in their bare feet.
It was only 19 degrees! Much warmer than in years past! Although the kids didn't notice. Poor Wes could hardly feel his feet afterward.
So, with all the traditions taken care of, Daniel and Owen were ready for bed, so I stayed with them and helped them fall asleep (with hopes that we do not have a repeat of last year!) Corey is heading back home so he could get a decent night rest - he never sleeps well up here at the cabin. He's picking up ski rentals for us in the morning, so it's a good plan of attack. The kids are excited to ski tomorrow. School starts again on Tuesday, this break was way too short, boo.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bahr Family Gathering

This morning after chores were done, I took a van full of kids with me down to Utah county for a Bahr Family Reunion. My mom and her brothers get together every year on New Years Day. I haven't made it down the past few years because we're usually up skiing with neighborhood friends on New Years' Day, but this year, they thought they'd have a better turn from the grandkids like myself if they did it on the Saturday before, so yay! I was able to make it! I'm a little anti social, so the bar was pretty low for myself, but I did improve a little bit from my reunion socializing from years past. A cute Christmas card from them from years ago - I took a photo of a video with old photos that was playing~
A picture of my big sister Camilla when she was a cute little kid -
Camilla again, peeking up over the couch - that's my mom with the black slicked back hair.
Making Candy houses. I think these were pictures that Uncle Howard had taken years ago.
Look, there's my dad! Holding my little brother Baby Neil!
We thought he had a bit of a Luke Skywalker look to him.
Another picture of my mom in her awesome gingham dress.
So I watched the video a few times, talked with Uncle Don, Howard, Lyman, and just a little bit with Steve. Lee wasn't there. Some of his kids were. We visited with MaryLynn, and told her we had been in the audience a week earlier when she and her family performed in of Light of the World. I don't think I would have known if my mom hadn't pointed out their names in the program.
The reunion gathering was at a church, and we ate and played in the gym. Adults and big kids were playing games of basketball knockout while Daniel cheated death as he walked around the area where the baskeballs were rebounding and coming ever so close to his little noggin. Wesley brought his drone and flew that around. That almost got hit a few times too. It was fun and we enjoyed eating and visiting until Daniel gave me the sign that it was time to go.... "Mom! I'm about to grab your legs and whine until you pick me up!"
Yup, that's the sign - time to gather up the troops and head out.
It was fun to have the kids meet some of their 2nd cousins on my side of the family.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Wrestling My Inner Scrooge

This morning my mom called and asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with her and my dad.  My dad had read a review of "The Man Who Invented Christmas" and they hadn't heard much about it, but they watched the trailer and thought it looked really fun. So they invited me and any kids that wanted to come to go see a matinee of it at 3:45. I watched the trailer, too, liked it, and decided it would be great to go. Wesley and Lily took my parents up on the invitation with me. It was so good. I also took Daniel to the show, and I didn't see all of it because I of him. but what I saw just totally hit the spot, probably cause it was so similar to how my feelings were about my circumstances today. So I went to see the 3:45 showing with my parents and then, I insisted we go for date night, so Corey adn I both went tonight for the 9:30 show.

So, I'll tell you why I was feeling like I was wrestling with the same things as Mr. Dickens did in the show.

So before I told my mom I could come, I had to figure out the little kid situation. I knew that Corey was still catching up on consulting hours, after having taken a break for skiing last week and cause of Christmas on Monday. So I knew he's appreciate it if I helped get kids away from him. But he said he'd be okay to take Owen and go to his parent's house, and he was sure Owen would be okay there and he'd be able to get work done. Great, then this will all work out cause I'll just leave Daniel home with the older kids. But then Corey asked me to take Daniel to the movie. I was sure that Daniel would/could be taking his nap at that time, but told him I'd consider it. He insisted again, saying he didn't trust the older kids to take care of him well or to do their music or homework (that they've put off all break!) with Daniel around - they'd use him as an excuse. So, I tried to put Daniel down for a nap at the normal noon-ish time, but he didn't fall asleep. So I got him out and thought now for sure it would be okay to leave him, cause I could put him down right as I left and he'd sleep the whole time. Corey still wanted me to take him. Ugh, what to do... do I do what I want and think is best, or do I honor my sweethearts wish. Oh, fine. So I took Daniel but I was a pretty irritated by it. He seriously fell asleep in his carseat before we'd even turned out of the neighborhood. But I didn't want to take him back home cause I wanted to go by the library to grab a book that had a book on hold (- it's going to help with my New Year Reboot: Organized Simplicity! More about that later) Plus, I'm being a good wife by taking him cause Corey wanted me to. So I called my mom about where to meet, told her I had Daniel, she shared her hesitation with me cause she said she wanted me to be able to enjoy the show. I was 95% positive that he would sleep through the whole thing, since I knew he was exhausted. He slept the drive there, slept as I took him out, slept as we went in, kept sleeping as we sat down. And then... during one of the previews, alertness came upon him and he was wide awake. Oh doh. I wasn't thrilled that he was awake so early on in this afternoon event...
I only had 6 oz of milk and one sucker. Still sure he'd sit and watch the show. So, the movie began. It was way cute. I felt like I could understand the stress Charles Dickens was feeling with work because of Corey's entrepreneurial experience - taking risk, being in debt from the risk, not knowing for sure what or how he would do it but nevertheless determined to figure it out. During this first 20 minutes Daniel finishes off the bottle and is cruising through the little dumdum sucker quickly. Mrs. Dickens says tells Charles she is expecting. Charles is totally stressed by the constant interruptions (YES! That is my dear husband!) The house is a mess as they've just moved in, he has unexpected and unwelcomed company, said company brings a black crow which makes their new expensive chandelier fall and break (which he hadn't figured out how to pay for yet) and when he goes to try and work and come up with a story, interruption and knocks continue. When he does get an idea breakthrough, he rushes into his office, skipping dinner and time with the family (that feels like our life) he's just working all the time and his wife seemed upset by it.
It was around this time that Daniel got squirmy. I really was into it and wanted to stay, so I tried to give him pretzels and tootsie rolls my mom brought but he didn't want them. He wanted to move and play. Ugh, so I stood up and moved toward the exit where I could still see and could stand and hold him. He wanted to get down. I put him down. He went over and was about to bug people, so I grabbed him and headed out to the lobby. Darn it! Ugh, I was feeling so upset. I filled his bottle with water, and he took it and we went back in. He then rejected it. Wanted to get down again, was mad that I was trying to hush and constrain him, back out to the lobby. I was feeling so upset with Corey for insisting that I take Daniel. I texted him "Daniel is not being nice. Will not take him again. Feeling frustrated." He said "I'm sorry." and then "Thanks for taking him" to which I felt a big "Boo!" fume out from my soul. Daniel was running around (unfortunately without shoes, so I was trying to hold him, but he didn't like that" It was 4:25. What do I do, stand here in the lobby cursing Corey and frustrated with Daniel? Or do I just go home? I decided to go. I walked out to the car, changed my mind, walked back in, changed my mind again, walked back out, and went home. I didn't want to yell at Corey or any of my family, so I called Nicole to vent and get it all out. She's such a good listening ear. In my fuming to her, I decided to drop off Daniel with the older kids and home and hurry back. I could probably catch the last 15 minutes or so. I called Hyrum, he was in the driveway ready to save me, and I turned right around, called Nicole again for the 9 minute drive to make sure I'd gotten all my pent up frustration out, parked as fast as I could, and ran back into the theater. I sat down in front of my parents and enjoyed the rest of the show. I arrived at the part where Charles is having his confrontation with Scrooge in some old warehouse thing (didn't know what the place was, missed that part, but I got the gist of it). He's telling Scrooge to leave him alone, but Scrooge won't go and Charles can't make him. I loved this part, and I can't remember the line exactly, but Charles is giving up with trying and cries "Who are you?" Scrooge answers "I am hunger..." and said other stuff like ambition and stuff like that. HUNGER. All this striving and yearing, these things that leave us feeling so unsatisfied and frustrated with ourselves and other, I want to kill that and bury it! And then Scrooge is in the deep grave, ready to die but pleading to live. We all have those weeknesses, but we can do some good before we die. The good things we do are at home with our families - and I feel like I just lived all that - wanting to watch this movie and learn something, being mad at myself that I was feeling so upset at Corey and frustrated with Daniel. Yet they are the people that are the most important to me, more important than a movie. When we watched it the second time, the wife says to Charles "It seems like you love your characters more than your own flesh and blood" (I confess that the negative voices in my head make me often feel that way toward M0vie M0uth). Does that make sense? I'm trying to share what I was feeling and thinking, not sure if this all articulates it properly. But there is my attempt. And the take away was hopeful - his book is a success, the risk was worth it (go Movie Mouth! I sometimes hate you, but I'm still rootin' for you), he's able to apologize for his poor behavior to his wife, parents, children and staff, his wife still loves him, people learn and are changed for the better from his efforts and his book.

It was great going to watch the whole thing with Corey and without any kids. No offense kids. Corey said on the way there that he was not looking forward to it and still had hours of work to do, I said that was okay. He said afterward that it was really good and he enjoyed it too. We both laughed at Charles frustrations with the constant interruptions. That is so Corey. Cause it takes a lot of mental work for Charles to come up with the characters and develop their personalities, and just when he's got it there's a kid calling for Dad to help him with their math or kids teasing each other about something stupid. I loved the actor. I hadn't seen Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, so I didn't know Dan Stevens was the beast. I'm really glad, or I might have been thinking "he's the beast" the whole time and that would have been a distraction. I'd never seen him before, so it was a really great show, loved it. Here's praying to the good Lord that we can be the kind of parents we want to be, that we won't be frustrated by life's trials and challenges, like Tiny Tim's illness or the stress of providing for our families. That I can have charity for people that make my life more chaotic and that I'll remember what this test on earth is really about -

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business." - Jacob Marley

President Monson shared this quote by Scrooge in his 2011 Christmas devotional talk -

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me." - Scrooge 

Sometimes I call myself a Scrooge when I'm grumpy and negative. But it is good to be Scrooge, because he changed! A new Scrooge was born after that Christmas Eve night, maybe that's where the name Ebenezer came from - . He changed, he was better and was true to his word. I want to be better, I want to be happier and share happiness. I bought this wall decal at Hobby Lobby last week during my holiday shopping spree. I put it on the laundry room desk, where I usually do work.
It's going to be part of my theme for 2018. Be Joyful. I loved this movie, go watch it. We're going to buy it and watch it every Christmas. I'm excited for the rest of my kids to see it next year, or maybe we'll take them when it's at the dollar theater, even if in February and not the right holiday. It was great.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Toys

The kids have been enjoying some days free from school to play with their toys. Thought I'd share that I am very happy with this present I got for Owen for Christmas:
I am quite pleased with myself that this little lion has been so well received. His name is Louie the Lion and get this... Louie is already at the level of importance as Owen's binkie and blankets! That is pretty cool!
He'll leave his bedroom in the morning and say "Binki. Blinki." (which totally sound the same when he says them) and then "Louie" - it's pretty darn cute. 
"You got all your stuff? Ok, you ready for breakfast? Let's go get you some oatmeal, cute boy."
I got a Husky Dog and a lion as stuffed animals as the two options to give to Owen and Daniel. Then I thought of how Owen is afraid and hesitant about most everything. Yes, he's a little cowardly lion. Lion for Owen. I did such a good job. Daniel likes the husky well enough, but is also slightly indifferent. But Owen, I dare say Louie is his favorite present. Downside with that is that comes the pressure to always know where it is so that he'll go down for naps and for bed at night time. Wesley got a drone. It was a few days late arriving. We went and got it at Corey's parent's house today, where it was delivered. 
You actually can't see it in either of these pictures, but I didn't know cause the sun was shining and I couldn't see the image on my phone. But it's a little drone that is cute cause it has a little clasp that can pick up and release things. It also had a gun that shoots little bullets, although "shoot" is too strong of a word... it pops out little BBs.
Hyrum got a drone too. His has a camera and he's been taking pictures. Although he is disappointed already cause yesterday his drone lost's it guard rails somewhere in the backyard so now he's afraid to fly it. And for go reason... these boys go through drones pretty fast. (drone 1 - Wesley's X-Wing fighter didn't work well the day he opened it. Hyrums Millenium Falcon had a few close calls, and Wesley's little mini drone that he bought to replace his X-wing worked well until it got caught in Abi's hair.) Hence, I was reluctant to buy these for them, since I know it's basically like throwing money away. but it was a request and they had emailed both of us with the link, so Corey ordered them. They're having fun!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Nerf War

We got the kids more than a few Nerf Guns for Christmas. Tonight they destroyed what organization was left in the basement to make barricades and set up their opposing fortresses. I was a bit in shock as I saw the mess. "We promise we'll clean it up." Hyrum is usually true to his word, so okay, I'll try to just not look. I didn't play with them and decided to get in my workout during their war. They got Corey to come down and join them.
It was Girls plus Dad vs. Teenage Brothers. It got a little out of hand, but not too much.
Thankfully Corey was there to break the rules and defeat the boys, little sisters win! (Let the girls win, Hyrum, just pretend.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Party at Uncle Mark's House

Yet another Christmas has come and gone. True to form, I was ready to continue my "the day after Christmas" tradition of taking down the tree. And I did. Just the one in the front room. Honsetly, I was so excited to get the ornaments put away and out of reach of the kids and to vacuum the front room. Yay! And it's not because I'm a Humbug Scrooge. It's cause I celebrate Christmas all year long and I don't need a tree in my house to have the spirit of Christmas in my heart, hah! So there. I'm not a Scrooge. Although I was accused. The kids woke up and were surprised at my efficiency. Kids, I'm really excited for us to get back to achieving goals and "making-something-of-my-life" mode and out of "it's Christmas-break-and-I-can-be-lazy" mode. Before Christmas, Ethan had said that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to be able to sleep whenever he wanted for as long as he wanted. No waking him up early, like at 10 or anything, no waking him up from afternoon naps. Children, I realize that you guys won't be producctive until you are forced to go back to school, and I will accept that, but that doesn't mean that I can't start to try and kick things back in gear. So, even if you all don't want to say goodbye to December yet, I am okay to take down the tree. (I counted it as my workout today.)

A little more about Christmas Eve - on Sunday, after church, we headed up to Corey's brothers' house for a Wride family party. It was great. We enjoyed a yummy taco bar and other appetizers and desserts. I gave in to the cheese ball which was really tasty with the sweet potato crackers. I'll be getting back on the plant based wagon as soon as the holidays are over. Highlight for the kids was the saran wrap ball game. We played this last year and it was the highlight then too. When Uncle Mark announced it was time, they all cheered.
Daniel was a little curious/confused as to what could be the cause of such noise and excitement.
I took a video, but it was so loud and there was so much screaming (mostly Ethan being obnoxiously loud on purpose) so I'm not uploading that one.
I will, however, share a video of the highlight of my evening - Sophi and Owen dancing their little interpretation Tchaikovsky's nutcracker music. 
It was so cute. I love these little people.

The kids played their musical instruments like last year, and they all gave a go at Karaoke too.
Ethan and Hyrum did an interprative dance to George Michael's "Last Christmas"
You boys are funny. The kids enjoyed time with their cousins and with their cousins' pet lizard.
It was starting to snow when we headed home. Thankfully it wasn't too bad but we did see a few accidents on the way. That would not be fun to be in an accident on Christmas Eve. But the kids were glad to have a little bit more snow before Christmas day, it's been a very mild winter. They are hoping to sled before the break is over. Not much yet though and nothing in the forecast. Unfortunately it's a pretty short break from school this year, they might be out of luck, we'll see.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

Natalie! You made it! Today is CHRISTMAS!!!! 
Merry Christmas little girl! She's been waiting and counting down the days on the calendar on the fridge for a whole month. Now it's finally here, time to cash in! She was probably the funnest one to watch. We went for the shock and awe with a big present first - one from Costco that earned a lot of bragging rights last year when Sophi got one (Dori last year) - a big coloring set with crayons and markers - Disney princess this time. Natalie and Sophi both got one. They were the "biggest" presents, so they were quite pleased. This should keep them busy for a week or so.

So, Corey and I didn't head to bed until 5:30 this morning, so we slept in and kept ignoring requests to get up until 10:45. When we came out, they gave us their presents from under the family tree in the front room, where they slept. That room was trashed - wrapping paper, MnM's, you name it all over the floor. Then we headed into the side room where the gifts from Corey and I were. Since we didn't get around to putting names on them last night/this morning, the kids picked up presents one by one and formed a line by Corey and his laptop, where he informed kids who the numbered gift was for.
Me on my 8th trip out to the garbage can. Daniel wants me to hold him. 
Another highlight of my Christmas was watching these two play with their wood cars and floor mat.
Cute cute little guys, you can hear them zooming and vrooming their cars - too cute.

Lots of art kits for kids, papers and pens and markers. A few electronic things. A Forks Over Knives cook book for me from and a subscription to Purple Carrot, which I'd never heard of before, but he said it's like Blue Apron, but plant based. Cool! I'm excited
After all the opening was over, Daniel was just laying on the ottoman in an almost drunk-like stupor
It was like he was just basking in the overdose of it all, made me laugh.
The kids did their best to find an open space on the floor where they could park and spread out their loot.
Front room and side room are trashed, but the girls found an open spot in the kitchen. It's getting hard to walk around here...
Daniel found someone's chocolate from their stocking - I held him at arms length until he was safely in the tub to be properly un-chocolated. Sorry, don't mean to make you sad, but don't touch me!
So it's just been a big messy Christmas explosion all day, which I guess is how it should be. Kids are happy, no one feels slighted that I'm aware of. I think a great Christmas memory was delivered to our family with help from lots of Christmas angels, you know who you are, thank you. I think the kids would all say it was a good day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Tradition

I'd say that one tradition that we are consistent with is that of sleeping under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. (You can see Natalie there telling Ethan to go to sleep so Santa can come...)
Sleeping around the tannenbaum isn't something that Corey or I did growing up. But the kids did it in 2007 and they're the ones that deserve the credit for keeping it up through these past 10 years. Here are those little kids in 2007

Sophi ready to have visions of sugar plums dance in her head.
This year they wanted Owen to join them. And it was a lesson learned. Sure, he seemed to snuggle up fine, but it did not work out well for Santa's helpers.
Note to self for when they want Daniel to sleep over with them next year: Just say no.
It is now 3:00 a.m. Christmas morning and we're not done yet going through gifts or wrapping them. Owen was still awake at 1:30 (cute little face) and so was Wes. 
Wes was reading but said Owen was the one to blame for keeping them both up. 
Owen liked Lily's dog Bunky Bunky.
Lily! Go to bed! Taking one last picture at midnight and saying goodnight for the last time (I wish) 
So at 1:30 I took Owen upstairs and we lay down on the floor with him in our room. (He doesn't want to sleep in the crib anymore, so he's kept with the toddler tradition of sleeping at the foot of our bed on the floor - like Sophi and Natalie.) I set an alarm for 20 minutes, enough time for Owen to fall asleep and for me to not be too deep in sleep and unable to get up and finish our Santa work. Corey is still wrapping things and taking photos and putting them on the computer. We both bought stuff, he took it all and wrapped it at his parent's house, and took photos along the way then put post-its on the presents. He's almost done wrapping I hope, and then we'll go through it all and make sure things are equally distributed.

Update - Picture taken at 4:45 a.m. At 5:30 we were finally done and headed to bed. 
Corey asked if I thought we should go through and take off the post it notes with numbers and replace them with the kids' initials or name. I said no. That would seriously have taken us another hour. Let's just go to bed.
I hope we work out a better system for next year, cause I'm too old to pull all-nighters. Unfortunately Santa had to resort to the sugary carbs via the plate of cookies left out for him to keep his energy up until the job was finished.
I hope we get a nap tomorrow. To all a good night.
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