Thursday, December 22, 2011

the magic forest at opportunity village

so, living in vegas now, i'm totally excited to start our own holiday traditions, and this for sure is going to be one of them.  opportunity village is a charitable organization that assists handicapped adults with employment & being more self-sufficient.  at least as far as i understand.  totally something i can feel good about supporting.  apparently so does the entire las vegas community.  companies in the area sponsor & decorate trees in the magical forest and it's so fun to walk around & see all the lights & cute displays.

my sweet boys.

and, bonus, because it's vegas, it's nice & warmish and they have all sorts of carnival rides.  so you walk around, see the lights, the gingerbread house displays, ride the rides, play a little put-put and it's a totally fun night for everyone.  we can't really plan things, because matt gets home at such random times, but I'm way glad he got home early one day & that we took the chance to go here, it was so much fun.  a must for next year for sure!

Sawyer was terrified to go on this ride.  we tried resoning & bribing & threatening because we KNEW she'd love it once she got on it.  plus we'd paid extra for her to have the unlimited ride pass, so by dang, she was gonna use it!  Matt finally got her on it by telling her how there would be butterflies in her tummy.  Oddly enough, that did it for her, and the first thing she said to me when she got off, was "Mommy! I felt them! There were butterflies in my tummy & I felt them!!"  Then I had to go with her & it was so much fun! We had a riot screaming like idiots & giggling together.
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this is how we do

by the time matt gets home each day, ususally about 6:30 or 7 if we're lucky, the kids are so super sick of me.  they're excited to see matt & listen carefully for the front door to open so that the craziness of "ATTACK DADDY" can begin.
Sawyer goes straight for the legs, while Abram is generally too excited to stick to any one thing, so he alternates between riding on Matt's legs and running around the house screaming.

Then the wrestling on the bed portion of the evening begins.  And yes, that is a king size mattress & box springs in my front room.  You got a problem with that?  How else are we supposed to wrestle daddy & sleep under the tree?

Speaking of the tree, this is it. And that concludes the Christmas Decorations 2011 tour.  I was not about to sift through any boxes just to decorate a house that I barely care enough about to sweep.  Plus, we are in Utah for Christmas, so it's kinda just gonna have to be enough this year.  As it turns out, it is.  Christmas decor is actually not the life or death situation that pinterest would have you believe it is.  For our family it's the music.  Oh, and we've got music.
and cookies.  They are essential.  We've been making cookies about every day it seems like.

 and doughnuts. 
Doughnuts are kind of my Moby Dick. I will get them one day, I swear it.
 Not this day though.  See how gooey that big one still is?  So I kept making them smaller & smaller, and although they just kept getting cuter & cuter, they did not become less doughy inside.  Well, maybe a little bit, but no one seemed to mind.  I mean, geez, they're cinnamon buttermilk doughnuts.  How mad at them can you be?
 These little gingerbread buddies were a total hit.  I saw this recipe & had them baking in the oven about ten minutes later.  No lie.  Plus it uses whole wheat flour and molasses & honey instead of sugar. 
 or as Meredith puts it, "basically they're just really festive vitamins".
 the crap dollar store canned frosting however, not so much.  ew i hate using that stuff.  but it does help me not eat whatever i let the kids put it on.
 see, it's making my kids go retarded.  damn two mile long ingredient list.
 to distract abram from the cookies we gave him the rice crispie treats we had made the week before.  yeah, the week before. i make my kids work for their sugar, yo.  it was probably like gnawing on a rock.  but he kept at it long enough for sawyer to decorate all the cookies.
 'cept this one.  I did this one.  That's my very special Charlie cookie cutter Grandma Susie got me & I get to decorate my Charlie cookie whenever we do cut out cookies.
these ones are sawyer & abram holding hands.  how sweet is that?  ohhhhh I love my kids!

my baby turns six.

Sawyer's birthday was November 9th, she was very excited to turn six, and for some reason that seems like way too many years to me. Five was just a kid, but six seems like a little girl, a young lady, if you will. And she is, she is the best little girl that I have ever known. She's so thoughtful and sympathetic and kind. She's about the best big sister I've seen, too. She shares like a champ and would rather do without something than have Abram be sad. She loves to go get him up from naps & in the morning, she has a whole routine worked out so that if he's having a hard time waking up that it's easier on him, she explained it to me one day & I about died with how thoughtful she is. If Abram is having a fit about something, having to hold still for a diaper change or some other injustice, she knows just how to calm him down & get him laughing again. No wonder he's such a perma-happy boy, his sister sees to it!

annnnnd she's a goof. A total goof. She is in that kindergarten phase where she makes up jokes that are completely stupid, and laughs like a maniac at herself. She's starting to pick up lines from movies that are just sassy, and I can't help but laugh when she tells me things like "well, duhhhhh".

Miller tradition states that the birthday girl/boy is entitled to their very own box of non-generic cereal. No one else is allowed to eat it. But she shared with Abes of course. Also she taught him how to howl like the Cookie Crisp wolf. A good skill to have in this life.
After Daddy got off work we headed to the strip to see what fun there was to have there. Circus Circus is a joke, someone please tear the place down. But Sawyer loved the rides & had a blast with her unlimited ride wristband.

I love this picture. She went on that ride like 5 times & it took me that long to get the metering to even this point. Dingy lighting + fast moving train = crap for pictures.

Every ride Sawyer went on she met a friend. Which was good because Matt & I were too cheap to buy ride passes of our own. Its so fun to see how little kids just automatically are friends if they are near the same age and doing the same things. She & another girl just went from ride to ride to ride for about an hour together, they were so cute, holding hands & all. After she had riden every ride she wanted to a few times, we went to the Excalibur in hopes of seeing a princess, I swear they had roaming knights & ladies there when I was younger. Not so anymore, now they have skanky barely dressed wenches & guys in chain mail/mesh shirts. I don't know what they were supposed to be. But the buffet there was fun. We walked through the Bellagio & looked at the art, the blown glass & this awesome pastry/chocolate shop. She's so artistic she really gets into stuff like that. It was so nice to just have an evening as a family to explore our new city, we loved every second. Happy birthday sweet girl!!! I love you more & more everyday.

Cabin trip with the Willams' & Cellas!

We were able to go on kind of a last minute trip up to the cabin over Conference Weekend this October with our good buddies the Williams' and the Cellas, some of the people who occupy the majority of my missing now that we've moved to Vegas. Annetta and Angie have been like sisters to me in Layton. You know those kind of friends that you can count on to do just about anything anytime and they'll do it with a smile? Those kind of friends are awesome.

Also awesome is the view from the cabin in the fall. It's totally one of my favorite places to be. Even my parents came up, we had so much fun all together.

Dad & Abes

Sawyer practicing her high fashion, high attitude pose.

They're here! They're here!!! Matt was down in Vegas doing his final interview with Goode Surgical for the first part of this trip.

Abes on his first hike. It was so much fun to have my friends & their sweet kids there.

Max even let Sawyer use his blankie while we were hiking. That's love.
He is such a sweet boy.  The sweetest, craziest, you never know what he's going to destroy next boy.
I seriously love these kiddos. sorry about the poor orientation on this'n Davis.

Abram loves him some Jenna!

It's so pretty up there.

Sawyer would probably be a better hiker if her mother dressed her properly.
Two of probably the best people on the planet
there were so many beautiful wildflowers, we couldn't resist picking a few.  Then we got down to the base of the trail and there was a ranger who read us the riot act (nicely) about not messing with the delicate ecosystem.  ooops.  totally busted. 
Posted by PicasaWhen Matt finally got there he had great news! He got the job in Vegas! It was so cool to come full circle at the cabin.  This whole hairbrained idea to change careers & move started on a cabin trip at the Oakley rodeo in July.  It wrapped up (kinda) in October at the cabin over conference.  Kinda cool the way things  work.

 Abram discovered the fun that is grandma's lipstick. Sorry mom.
 It was Bella's birthday, we all love her so much & it was fun to be able to be with her.
 Abram was constantly playing outside, I love that it was still warm enough to leave doors open & breathe in the fresh, mountain air.
 watching conference.  i love that angie girl.  she was working on homework for her masters program all weekend. (masters program! with four kids! she's amazing.)

See Davis right there? One of my favorite kids on the entire planet.  Homeboy is the reason Sawyer isn't afraid of boys anymore after being exposed to too many crazy boys at the gym & preschool.  He is such a sweetheart.
Well, that's the end of that.  It was way fun & I'm so blessed to be able to go to such a beautiful cabin and take my amazing friends with.