Our sweet past neighbors fed the kids' Star Wars addiction by giving them new puzzles for Christmas. Zack couldn't resist. He ended up finishing all of them I think.
Football Legos - they spent an entire day playing with these.
This man of mine is so incredibly fun to hang out with. We got to go on an unexpected date when Smith and Emmy got invited to a playdate. He chose to go get a warm drink and play chess with me. Then, we went and got him fitted for his new baseball uniform for his spring season. Such a sweet morning.
Em is loving Girl Scouts. We let her try it because 4 of her best buds were on a troop together. She's embraced it and is doing a lot of cool things with them.
This is our small group. The people we do life with. Some of my best friends. So thankful for them...
I took Zane and Emmy to their very first ski lesson in Keystone. It was weird leaving them in someone else's care on the mountain all day, but they really did have a blast and learned a ton. Emmy did burst into tears when I picked her up bc her toes hurt so bad, but other than that they had a good day.
Emmy's in the bright pink pants.
I had to sit around all day, drink coffee, and read and work on my computer. Tough times.
Zane is on the right, riding the chair lift with a friend.
Proud of these guys...
Zane qualified to be in the spelling bee this year at his school. He was so nervous and cute up there. He made it through 3 rounds and then got out on a word that he accidentally said one wrong letter and immediately went back and fixed it but it was too late. Way to go Zaney!
Smith was teaching Molly to play chess. Hahahaha.
I got to have some practice days watching all the kids. Emmy was home sick this day, so I got to hang with these four.
My sweetie pie niece Gabby is smiling like crazy.
Em took these pictures of me and Gabby.
Em was helping burp Gabby
And here's Smithy holding sweet baby Delaney. Our two new cousins are so fun.
Big haircut for Emmy - I finally talked her into it. She had grown her hair out forever. She thought she wanted to donate it, but once she got into the chair and realized it would have to be above her shoulders, she changed her mind. ;)
I think it turned out super cute!
More girl scout pics
Zoo trip - we have had such a mix of crazy snow and amazingly warm weather. We've even had some days in the 70's!
Christmas break is the best. Ok, besides the kids being together so much that they argue and fight a TON, Christmas break is the best. The slow mornings, the anticipation for the holidays, the chances to give to others, family, games, fun outings, good food. The best.
This Christmas looked different because of two new babies in the family. In the past, we have always stayed at my mom's for days surrounding Christmas, but this year we all stayed home. Jord and Ben hosted since they had a new born, and little did we know, Janelle and Anthony ended up having a baby on Christmas Eve!!
For breakfast this year, we also gave up our lifelong tradition of pancakes and switched to casseroles and cinnamon rolls, to try to make it a little easier in the morning for everyone, so we could spend more time together and opening gifts.
We actually spent a few hours that afternoon putting stickers on our mailers for Paramount. The whole fam pitched in and helped.
Thousands of labels on mailers!!!
Julie, Emmy's new American Girl doll, Emmy, and Molly watching a movie.
Emmy painting Molly's nails.
I took the boys on a date to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Smith combined his Bat Cave, the City Sewer, and his new Millennium Falcon to make a whole big city.
Swimming at the rec
Zack got a record player for Christmas. We have loved having it. Emmy loves listening to the Wizard of Oz, an old record from Grandma Fran.
For New Year's we went to a magic show and celebrated a countdown for "Noon Year's Eve." Jord and Molly and Gabby were there too.
New Year's eve, we also went bowling as a family. It's such a fun family activity because all of us like it.
And we made homemade calzones and had a movie night - we watched Pan. Then we did our New Year's countdown at 9:00, three different versions on Netflix.
We found a brewery that had great drinks for Zack and also fun things to do for us. We played Clue, and lot's of Foosball.
One day, we visited the Art Museum. They had a cool room with lot's of hands on activities.
I love this picture because Zane did not want anything to do with all this paint and S and E didn't hesitate for one second to get messy.
Writing names with oil pastels and water
Making postcards with stamps
More art. The museum was really cool to see, but honestly really hard to be at with three kids who can't touch almost anything. A little stressful.
Jord treated us to a day at the Jurassic exhibit up in Greeley.
An evening at the park, scooting around. It wasn't as cleared off as we thought it would be, so it made for a good obstacle course.
Zack and I got to get away for two nights to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We stayed downtown at the El Teatro Hotel. It was great. We took our time, ate good food. walked around in the snow, visited some record shops, and got some needed rest and relaxation.
Gigi and Dennis visited for a couple nights. They stayed at the Art Hotel. We ate dinner with them there one night, and got to hang out outside for a tiny bit by the fire. It was good to see them!
Smith could have light saber fights all day.
A bunch of 1st grade moms from the kids' school went out together. We painted and got to get to know each other better. Fun group of ladies!
Emmy and I finally figured out her new sewing machine she got for Christmas. We made two little pillows for her two dolls.
Backing up in the season, here are some pictures decorating the tree. We had the record of the least ornaments broken. The kids are growing up! They actually did a ton of them - Zack and I didn't do very much this year at all.
Smith wrote a note to Santa and he got an actual note back in the mail. It was super cool.
Decorating Gingerbread cookies.
Our checklists and flashlights for our Christmas light scavenger hunt. Its a fun tradition to drive around and find all sorts of lights in nearby neighborhoods.
Sweet newborn Gabs and her fam went out for a drink and dinner with us at the Old Mine.
The kids and I spent some extra time downtown before we went to church at Paramount. Its so fun when it's all decorated.
Rode the carousel one night downtown with Grandma and Grandpa
Gift wrapper extraordinaire!
We found a new gap in the door when we got one of our huge snow storms. It just piled right into the house.
Mountain of food for Christmas week - covering Smith all the way up.
My baking buddy, Emmy, is such a good help! She really does know just what to do. She feels so loved baking together.
One morning I came into the boys room looking like this, after they had done some huge project. Grr. Pretty much sums up what happens when we are home a bunch!
Zane's Christmas party at school
At Emmy's school party, the kids got to read with parents and have hot chocolate and snacks. So Zack and I split up - I went to Zane's and he went to Emmy's.
We took the kids to see the new Star Wars movie on OPENING NIGHT. We couldn't believe there were seats still available when we bought tickets online and it turns out, they were open because they were front row seats! LOL. We basically had to look straight up to see the screen. haha. Once I got over my grumpiness of sitting so close, it was really fun.
We bought each kid a new Star Wars shirt to celebrate. It was a really fun way to end our big Star Wars movie marathon.
Trying on yoda backpack
The new Children's museum is so much fun. The water area is great.
We went to visit Santa...I always look around and feel like maybe we should dress up or something but never do. LOL. Smith and I had gone once before, just the two of us, and Smith chatted Santa's ear off for 5 full minutes. Smith asked him all about if and when he was going to see the new Star Wars movie. He couldn't wait to bring his siblings back with him to see him again.
The all made the nice list. Wow!
Christmas with Grandpa Jack and Grandma Kris!
New Darth Vader mask - so cool.
Our tradition of playing Left Right Center. This picture makes me so happy overtime I look at it because of all our expressions. What a fun night.
Enjoying new sharpies from Grandpa Jack.
Kids table for Christmas eve dinner.
Christmas morning, hanging with Pappy.
Christmas morning, it was JUST THE FIVE OF US for stockings gifts from each other. We have never had that before, so it was so weird, and so nice in a lot of ways. We took our time and just played and had the best time. I did miss having family there, but it was great because we got to drive 5 minutes over to Jord and Bens later and spent the rest the day with everyone.
Here's the kids finding their gifts from Santa, and then opening stockings and gift from each other. The older they get, the more fun it is for them to shop and wrap gifts for each other. They were so thoughtful this year.
Their faces... Smith couldn't wait for Emmy to open up her new Star wars clothes he picked out.
Princess Leia costume
Yes, she got make up, a purse, and lot's of nail polish!
new Star Wars Monopoly was a hit.
And each kid got their own new iPad from Gigi. Sucked in right away!!
What an absolutely amazing holiday season we had. I was honestly sad when the kids had to go back to school. Thankful for my family.