Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Museum of Curiosity

On Friday, December 30th I had a lunch date with five of the best women I have ever met! 
Peter was a trooper and entertained the kids by taking them to the Museum of Natural Curiosity! They were so excited because their cousins had told them all about it. I was excited because my Perot Museum Pass got them all in for free! 
Grandma Rabner was a trooper too because she tagged along to help Peter with the kids and enjoy a little more time with them before our trip was over. 

These are those amazing women I mentioned above: L to R: Lora Jean (Bennion) Buss, me, Rachel (Ray Bushman) Biesinger, Paula (Hatch) Kremser, Wendy (Brown) Johnson, Heather (Heb Blanchard) Wihongi. These 5 women were my assigned room mates in Carroll Hall during my BYU days.  The Lord gave me one of my greatest gifts then, these wonderful, talented, smart, faithful, loving, wise, listening, prayerful, full of laughter, patient, inspiring women. 
We were really just girls when we met but we have become women now and have gained the experiences that accompany life and aging and womanhood.  They all live close enough that they get together once a month for a book club with a few other room mates that came along through the years.  What I would not give to be able to go to those each month.  In the few hours I had to spend with these women that day, I was fed mind, body, and soul! They lift me and love me. They were a fresh start when I did not know that I needed one and they loved me with all of my imperfections (which are easy to find when living with each other). These are my lifelong friends and there better be a way for us to get together in heaven or there is something wrong with the universe. 

Ice Skating

This little girl asked if we could go ice skating while we were on our trip and so we made it happen.
 She quickly realized that ice skating is harder than it looks but she did a great job! 
 Some of the Bird cousins came along- Jon and Parker are taking a break. 
 Joseph so focused! 
 Arabella the beauty! 
The crew! My kids loved being around their cousins!
Samantha did not come- she had been running a fever still and had quite the cough.  Grandma Bird was so kind to help out.  Peter did not make it either because he was lucky enough to go out riding with Uncle Ben- yes on bikes and yes it was super cold. 
But even with the cold, we went for ice cream at BYU Creamery because the kids wanted to. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Skiing and Temple Square

So there was that one day that we took the train to Salt Lake to see the lights at Temple Square and go to the Church History Museum with the Rabner Family. We were in a rush to get out the door and I forgot not only the actual camera but my phone as well.  It would be okay though because Peter had his phone, but wait... we discovered his phone battery hated the cold and so we ended up with no pictures.  Uncle Ben has some and I will get those soon and get them posted. 

Then there was Wednesday.  It was the day to redeem the big kids Christmas gift- ski lessons.
It was so beautiful up the canyon.
Peter's dream is to live in a cabin in a canyon with a stream near by or better on his property.  He wants to chop wood and have snow and after driving in these beautiful mountains I say sign me up! 
 The picture below was taken during the lunchbreak. We survived ski rental and getting the kids off on their lessons.  We then enjoyed a few hours of skiing and snowboarding for Peter.  It took me a bit to remember but it came back pretty quick.  Peter looked as if he had been on the slopes the day before. I must say he looked pretty hot cutting it up on the slopes on his board.  
We then took the kids in the afternoon and enjoyed the bigger runs.  Jon was struggling by the end but I told him that I was going to make sure he made it down the mountain- I started to encourage myself that I too would make it helping him- my skiing not being the problem but my dwindling patience.  But, make it we both did and hopefully he will be willing to try skiing again one day. 
Joseph and Arabella were doing really well so Peter and Uncle Ben (he was such a help going with us) were able to get in another run while I was helping Jon.  
We ended the day with dinner at Brick Oven with my parents and Lily and Samantha. 
It was such a fun day! I hope it is not another 14 years before I get to ski again. 

Christmas Concerts

It is the holiday season and with that comes holiday concerts. 
 Joseph started us off with his orchestra concert. It was really good.
The beginner orchestra starts things off and then it progresses through the different levels of the middle school orchestras and ended with the high school orchestra performing and they were amazing. Joseph played two really fun Christmas pieces. He is getting so much better. 
 They were allowed to add holiday accessories to their all black uniforms. 
 Next up was Jon and his choir and Jagspiel (percussion group). He has been working hard learning lots of songs for both. Most of the songs they sang were in a foreign language. I was really impressed by how well they all did with the words and music. 
During this percussion piece they rolled these different size drums out and built a snowman. 

Sledding in Utah

When there is that much fresh snow, you must go sledding.... it is some kind of law! 
Gratefully, there was this great hill at a nearby elementary school and we met up with our cousins and had a fabulous time. It was cold but not too bad especially once you were hiking up the hill carrying a sled or a child or both. 

 Due to the powdery nature of the snow, we had a hard time getting some of the sleds to go very well down the hill. Once it was packed down it was better but it took a bit to get it there.  
Arabella and some other family members discovered that you could go really fast on this one sled if you knelt down and went backwards.  

 Samantha the queen of the hill! 

Peter spent some quality time building a jump and the kids were more than happy to go over and over and over it to pack it down as he added more and more snow until it was a nice little jump. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Christmas 2016

I am not going to caption each picture here but it was a wonderful morning! 
We actually woke the kids up about 6:30 am so that we could get presents opened and get ready for church - we went with Grandma and Grandpa Rabner and Uncle Ben. I honestly think the thing that made me the most excited was that we went to bed about 11:30 and it was just starting to lightly snow and when we awoke there were inches of snow on the ground! It was so beautiful! 

 Grandma and Grandpa were troopers. 
 New Ken dolls and Ken clothes- they were so excited. 
 Wonder at each other's new treasures. 
 Samantha was ready to get dressed right then. And wanted to instantly play with each toy she opened. 

 These three were given the gift of a half day ski lesson and a half day of skiing with us while we were in Utah. Those pictures and that story are to come but I do believe they were excited. 

 Not a great picture but Peter's sister Kelsey sent us Chicago Blackhawks clothes so that we can wear them to the Hockey game that we have tickets to in February Blackhaws vs. Dallas Stars.
 The other mega nerf gun with interchangeable parts to go with the one he got for his birthday! 
 This tent and sleeping bag combo were the gift of the holiday though.  Samantha instantly loved it, wanted to be in it and actually slept in it the rest of the trip.  It was set up in the living room and even with lot of people over she would climb in and zip it up and fall asleep. We called it her tent of solitude or her sanctuary.  She ended up being sick for a good part of our trip and so extra sleep was definitely needed and somehow this is where she found it.  She is still sleeping in this tent about 50% of the time at home.  It is easy to kind of fold up and we keep it behind her crib and can pop it up anytime she wants it. 

 I told you there were inches of snow! 
This is Joseph using the snowblower, which may have been his most favorite Christmas present. 
When we first woke up the kids we told Joseph it had snowed and we had to shovel before we could open presents.  He flew out of his bed and was so excited to get started.  We did not in fact make them do that, we opened presents first. 
 After snow removal, we got ready for church and went to church. It was lovely! I love Christmas on a Sunday. As Mormons, we do not do the midnight mass or Christmas service thing unless Christmas is on a Sunday.  It seems like it is the ideal day to worship our Savior and partake of the sacrament and reflect upon his life! So thankful for Him. 
 After church, we went back to my parents house to change, removed a little more snow and returned to Peter's parents house. 
 We opened gifts and the kids had a great time the rest of the day playing with the things they were given. We also ate some delicious food! If you are ever invited to eat at my in-laws, you should say yes. They ALL know how to cook wonderfully! 
I wish I had taken more pictures but I just enjoyed the day really.
I wish I had a picture of Max (Grandpa Rabner) with his snowblower or snow shovel.  For as long as I have known my in laws, they have done snow removal for at least 4-5 people every storm.  I remember Peter telling me about doing it as a teenager for the widows they home taught and getting up super early before school to get it done.  This was something Peter was taught by example.  He was taught to do it happily, willingly, and without hesitation.  He was taught to do this by his Dad. When I learned of this action (and the countless Sunday meals I have seen plated and delivered by Max over the years often before eating his own), I knew that I was marrying into a good family. I knew that I was marrying a man that knew and understood what service was and that it is never ending. I am so thankful for his parents who taught him what it was to love and serve as our Savior did and does. Yes, Christmas was a great day!