Sunday, October 7, 2018

December Activities

Carma and Jack were thrilled to find a dusting of snow out front one morning and promptly spent a solid hour or two out and about frolicking in it:
Clyde was thrilled that the mild weather in December meant that he and Chuck could get some time in over at the bike park. I was thrilled that Chuck took pictures, everyone came home in one piece, and that my middle-schooler is fiiiinally discovering the magic of midday naps!

I got ambitious and took the kids to the library for their Christmas festivities day. Carma (and her Rapunzel hair!) was in awe of the whole thing, but especially the cute girl elf and the live music:
Carma and Jack made some cute ornaments as part of the craft projects. I told them to get all the glittering out of their systems because I love sparkles... but not enough to actually bring glitter into my home ;).

We waited in line a while to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but clearly the wait was worth capturing this Kodak moment:
insta caption: 

Let's play 'A Penny for Their Thoughts', the popular party game where I guess what the hale my kids were thinking in this classic Santa and Mrs. Claus photo op at the library last week.
Jack: "You sit on a throne of lies."
Carma: "I don't think this camera angle is capturing all eleven bows and flowers I insisted mom adorn my French braid with this morning..."
Clyde: "You got this man. The quicker you smile, the quicker mom delivers on the promise of screen time."
Will: "I can't believe my eyes are open AND I'm looking in mom's general direction AND I'm even smiling. This is going to look amazing on the blog." πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ€ΆπŸΌπŸ‘§πŸ»(+πŸŒΊπŸŽ€πŸŒΌπŸŒΈ)πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»‍πŸ’»πŸ’πŸΌ‍♂️

I sneaked out for some extra girls night group time in December, which brightened my month considerably. Against some pretty decently stacked odds Kara, Paulina, Emily and I hit up the Meridian Temple and it was lovely and the laughs as we approached were worth the whole expedition "Well, you know, we figured this was closer... and cleaner... than a gas station!" 
Here's my slightly more spiritual caption from Instagram: So blessed ☺️to have been able to attend the unveiling of the Nativity scene at the Meridian Temple today with these three ❤️.... aka they happened to be setting it up as we were leaving πŸ˜‰but I'll take tender mercies and chances to laugh however they come πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ˜Ž because both are evidence to me of a Father in Heaven who loves us AND has a sense of humor (hence my existence πŸ˜‚). Be extra kind out there in the world today everyone - it's impossible to say what someone else might be going through or the positive impact your kindness or smile can have 😘.

The next Monday was regular girls' night. Melinda, Emily, and Paulina all came bearing gifts and Kara, Nycole, and yours truly all tripped all over ourselves promising EPIC presents for girls retreat in the spring hahaha.

A few of us congregated for a girls night group afternoon outing in Emily's hospital room! Nycole brought an amazing pastry thing from Trader Joe's that we all got caught up eating and forgot to take a picture until after she left ;). 

Aaaand a few days later, a sweet new girlie joined our group! I have no words for Kaitlyn's perfection and adorableness, just alllll the heart eye emojis πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

The kiddos were thrilled to kick off Christmas break with an adventure with Grandpa Braden! First up was a trip to the movie theater...
followed by dinner at our fave, BK. Ahhhh my dad is such a cute grandpa!!

The kids played a super fun winter-y game - you roll a die to try to steal the winter gloves, then you try to get as far as you can opening up a doodle board... but in the meantime, everyone else is rolling the die to steal the gloves and chance to open it. Clyde ended up as our winner, he got the gloves AND hat on AND opened the toy AND wrote "I love my family" before anyone could steal. Super cute game; the kids were so into it:

 And of course the hat got passed around for some awesome modeling ;).

I got some extra time with my daddy when I crashed his visit with Cody a couple days before Christmas! We don't get a picture every visit, but the Christmas tree was nice and festive so we grabbed one.
 I had posted Cody's address earlier on instagram and fb with this caption: As foretold... by me... my #LightTheWorld follow through has been hit and miss and not always on the right days and all that, but today's prompt is "I was in prison and yes visited me" and I already had plans to visit my favorite brother-in-prison this afternoon! #lucky #nailedit πŸ€— I realize this one isn't as easily checked off by some people, but if there is someone you love who's incarcerated, I highly recommend reaching out to them. I don't believe that it will reinforce their poor choices or reward them for being there, I think it will show love and compassion. 
I was pretty grateful to find out later that a few people had reached out to Cody and sent Christmas cards and letters. Cody was so, so thrilled.  

Probably going to send these pictures to Supercuts to see if they want to use them for a marketing campaign πŸ€”πŸ’‡πŸΌ‍♂️πŸ™‡πŸΌπŸ‘€πŸ’°πŸ™ŒπŸΌ. I guess I should be grateful he doesn't have much of a poker face? The funny thing is that Will wanted a haircut, he just wanted Chuck to do a buzz cut like normal and I forced him to get a "real" haircut at the haircut store. My favorite of his many protests were "But if I get a haircut like Clyde then people won't be able to tell us apart even more!" and "Maybe I would try a different haircut if mine goes out of style. But it's still in style!" πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

 Suuuuch a cute finished product though! Ohhh man I love this kid.

Of course we sneaked in lots of time at Grandma Pam's house throughout the month. Queden made a quick trip up early in the month so that Eden could co-host an AMAZING baby shower for her sister Aubrey and Carma was thrilled to play with the dollhouse with Leila:
Carma and Jack may have talked Grandma into a teddy bear picnic at one point... I'm not entirely sure it was that hard ;). 

Jack's Christmas wish was fulfilled early in the month with a lunch date with Dad to Jade Garden! Jack loves that place and doesn't understand why we aren't there EVERY Monday when kids eat free. He's tried to sell the other boys on it by raving about the jello, but as of yet to no avail haha.
 So obviously D.I. trips aren't exclusive to December, but here are a couple from this month anyways. Two D.I. truths: Carma will ride every skateboard she finds and Will will play every piano he finds.

One cookie Wednesday was a donut Wednesday and it was lovely:
 Dan the Man embarked on a brave adventure in December so as a show of support I wore my Reese's shirt and sent him this picture. I thought about mailing him some Reese's but then I realized a) they would melt once they hit Texas and b) if I'm going to go all the way to the store to buy Reese's, there's no way I'm giving them away. I generally eat at least three before I leave the parking lot. SO this picture had to suffice ;). Let the record show I'm a great friend hahaha.

December: PARTY time

People who host parties in December are crazy. I can barely like keep up on laundry in December, and even that's iffy. BUT I love people who host parties in December because sometimes they invite me and I can go and have fun without having to host one! 

Lindsay and Aaryn hosted a couples ugly sweater party... I failed on both accounts. Chuck had to work so I showed up late... alone... and with an afghan decorated with ornaments draped around me haha. The party was super fun though, I walked in and everyone had different names and then I had a different name and then I may have volunteered to be a guy and I DEF had the body language down. Ask anyone who was there... too bad I don't know many of their real names haha:

Grace and Jason also hosted a party! Pajamas and hot chocolate and watching Home Alone - and the Curtises? Four of my favorite things!

Chuck's work party is a guaranteed good time - how can it not be, with this crew of yahoos? Sean and Melissa hosted (ahhh for the last time at that house!) and as always the potluck dinner was fantastic and the kids had a blast:
I'm not sure exactly what was going on with this Angry Birds game? But Clyde was entertained so it worked for me ;).

Melissa had super cute Christmas crafts for the kids to work on and Carma loved hanging out with the big girls as well as her little twin Jaylee:

Ummm Veronica is the freaking cutest. Love her.

The big event is always the white elephant gift exchange. I love how every year we have to double check the order of seniority (aka the order of opening gifts). Write it down or something people! ANYways, I think this year's funniest gifts were the Roto-Wipe that Chuck opened (mostly the sixty seconds it took all of us to stare at the box to figure out if it was real or not haha...) and Sean opening Chuck's almost empty whipped cream from the break room fridge (let the record show I'm on Team Miss Diane for this one; Chuck only wrote his name on it like five times. I feel like six or seven would have made it more clear hahahah)

And the official portrait ;). Love that Amari made his way into the picture too!

Randomly found this picture of Jack from his school Christmas party; Ms. Crane emailed it to me. Such a cute shy kindergartner! 

 Zumba on a Saturday is a party, right? ;) Only if I'm with these cute girls! (Aleesha, Karlina, Jenn, Bridget)

The ridiculously cute Walker kids hosted a Christmas break party at the dance studio and it was pretty epic: pizza, bounce house, snowball fight, games, dance lessons... basically the coolest shindig ever. Perfect way to end a month of parties! 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

December: Deckin' the Halls

Step 1 of decking the halls chez Izatt this year was gettin' a tree. Our beloved artificial Charlie Brown tree gave up the ghost last year so we decided it was time for a real Charlie Brown tree haha. We took our tired, not dressed for the weather children to a tree lot on the boulevard and set a record for how quickly we picked a tree because... did I mention everyone was tired and cold haha?
Carma Junie was the self-appointed window decorator. She took a very abstract approach and we were thus treated to floating pieces of Santa Claus and reindeer and snowflakes every time we gazed outside.  

Grandma and Grandpa Izatt sent us a super fun Lego Star Wars advent calendar and it was so fun! We opted to bust it out every three days and let each of the boys open a window at once. 

Early in the month we also brought out our Lego Christmas sets to put together again. Perfect Sunday morning activity! 

On a different Sunday Will and Jack accepted a challenge to create their own Christmas lego masterpieces:
Ahhh Christmas lights on our house make me so happy! As does a little wreath on the front door! And a blurry lit Christmas tree! 

We (finally) made it out to Caldwell to see their Winter Wonderland Festival- soooo pretty:

I can't even imagine how much work goes into this but we sure loved it! Thanks Caldwell!

We didn't necessarily have specific plans to go see the Scentsy lights but a few nights before Christmas the kids and I were driving home from hanging out with Grandpa Braden and we made a spontaneous right turn and I'm so glad we did! It was the perfect evening for it- snow was falling and it just made it that much more magical:

 And then my ridiculous children (one of whom may or may not be a bank robber, yikes) insisted body sledding down a hill haha. I told them they could as long as they didn't whine about being cold and wet on the drive home... you can guess how well they kept up their end of that deal ;). 

Friday, September 28, 2018

December: Church (Specifically Ward) Things

There's a chance that Jack... and Carma... know exactly where the Bishop keeps his candy stash. There's also a chance that they avail themselves of it every Sunday and can often be found leading other children to it haha.

Random Sunday in December - cute Carma, cute Carma and Jack, bulletin board I made, Clyde hiding while I tried to take his picture during primary, and Amy always having my back and getting a shot of Clyde and texting it to me ;). 

Cub Scout field trip to the fire station! Always a good time:
Our Pack Meeting activity was making fun Christmas cards for the youth to take around to ward members along with little food baskets - I loved watching my little Scouts (and their families) being so sweet and creative and thoughtful.

Our ward Christmas party was super fun, as always. The Primary sang songs as ward members acted out the Nativity - I had my eye on one shepherd in particular ;).
The choir sang and then Sister Hyer led the entire room in a rousing rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - watching each section act out their 'day' was sooo funny!! 

A newer 2nd Ward tradition at the Christmas party is a piΓ±ata courtesy of the Fuhrimans - here are some cute Izatt boys taking their turns:
Jack appointed himself photographer at one point - maybe when Chuck was helping serve dinner? Also I feel like all my kids chatted with Santa, but definitely only got pictures of Carma and Will... I guess we'll check wishlist accuracies on Christmas morning?! 

I mean, sometimes it's a Sunday night and you force Karlina to do the Light the World thing with you by dropping off water at a shelter... but then their sign says they're in need of milk... so you break the Sabbath and grab milk at the gas station... and then sketchily drop the milk off at the shelter in the dark... and then your co-conspirator refuses to take pictures with you haha:
It's cool, Karlina is more apt to selfie it up with me on Sundays after choir apparently ;). Also pictured: cute Carma getting to sneak out of nursery for the last few minutes of primary and also me and Troy. That picture got sent to Dan, lucky guy hahahaha. 

Clyde and Chuck got to head up to McCall for an 11 year old Scout overnighter in December:
Of course, winter campouts are much more comfortable when your leader has a cabin for y'all to stay in ;).

Okay, so mid-November Grace said she wanted me to sing. In public. Without lots of people also singing. Just with one other person singing. Aka a duet. I laughed. And then I realized she was serious.
So I did it! Madison (who has a gorgeous voice!!) and I sang a duet at our stake baptisms the first Saturday in December. I was legit terrified but I practiced and practiced and made Grace help me practice and I did it and supposedly we sounded good. I'm so so grateful for Grace and her confidence in me and her willingness to challenge me and encourage me and teach me. She's so, so cool. Also I'm so, so glad it's over hahahaha.

Sister Hyer ambitiously hosted the members of the bishopric and families for dinner and festivities one night - the Izatt and Nelson children had the BEST time decorating cookies and possibly cleaned Janell out of sprinkles entirely haha:
 Meanwhile, the adults played Relative Finder in the other room and came up with all sorts of connections. I'm generally between 8th and 10th cousins with anyone I've tried this with - usually members of the church from this area.... which is why it was so fun to find out that Tasha and I are third cousins once removed!! That's crazy close! I mean, it makes sense considering we're a day apart from being twins... I haven't decided if I messed that up and came a day early or if Tasha came a day late ;). It was such a fun, lovely evening, and Janell yelling at anyone who tried to help with cleanup or dishes was just one of the many highlights haha.