Snow Days/Snow Ball

Story told by: Lainey

We had a great weekend filled with lots of snow!

On Saturday morning, we picked up Ani and went to WSU to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. They had lots of female athletes there. Before things got going, I went straight for the dance team, The Crimson Girls. I want to be a Crimson Girl when I’m in college.

We rotated stations with each team. Volleyball, rowing, soccer, swimming, cheer, and dance team were all there!

Ani is a year older than me, so we didn’t get to be in the same group, but I did get to have Mirabel in my group!

On Saturday night, Daddy and I got dressed up in our finest clothes to go to the father-daughter dance, The Snow Ball.

Before we left, I thought it would be hilarious to pose this picture. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Our first stop was dinner at McDonald’s.

Then it was Snow Ball time!

Daddy says that once I found this mirror, all I wanted to do was dance and look at myself. What can I say? I’m quite entertaining to watch.

We had such a fun night together! Thanks for taking me, Daddy.

While I was dancing, Mommy was at home with this monkey.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to lots of snow. Mommy and Brody got in some snuggles before making the trek to church.

Chloe sat with Brody for the entire church service and entertained him. She’s the best!

While Mommy got to listen to the sermon, Brody messed with Chloe’s hair, climbed all over her, and read books with her. She’s one impressive middle schooler.

Our Supper for Six group was supposed to come to our house on Sunday night, but the snow was getting really bad. So instead, everyone went to lunch at Southfork after church. Mommy told Henry he could have one more bite of ice cream before heading home, and this video captures Henry’s one giant bite.

When we got home, we went immediately out to enjoy the snow.

We got in at least an hour and a half of sledding!

We haven’t had any good sledding snow all winter, so we were thrilled!

That afternoon I pulled out two teeth within five minutes of each other.

Big money is coming from the Tooth Fairy!

I left a note for the Tooth Fairy. I didn’t give her much space to write, but I knew it would be okay because she’s tiny.

Here I told her that my brother is going to lose teeth soon, and she wrote that she can’t wait to visit Henry.

Today we woke up to a very rare snow day! School was canceled! So we first started on a window art craft.

We decided to make Valentine’s Day cookies, so we started by getting the dough ready so it could chill in the fridge.

While the dough chilled, we went outside. We’d been outside for about 20 minutes when our neighbor Rick came over to build us a giant snow pile. He’s the best!!

This entertained us for hours.

We got to color the snow, which was really fun.

After we warmed up with hot chocolate and grilled cheese for lunch, we took turns rolling the cookie dough in sprinkles.

They turned out great! And they’re sooo yummy!

While the snow continued to fall, we watched a movie and Mommy read a book and drank coffee. We were all extremely happy with this afternoon.

Our art was dry enough this evening to hang them on the window. It was a fantastic snow day! We’re supposed to get even more snow this week, so here’s to hoping for at least a two-hour delay!

Boys’ Day, Girls’ Day (Lion King), and Super Bowl!

Story told by: Lainey

We had a fantastic weekend!! The boys had a special day and the girls had a special day!

Mommy and I left early to drive to Spokane, and if it’s just us, our tradition is to stop for coffee!

I had a peach smoothie with lots of whipped cream on top. Yum!

The boys started their day with Henry’s wrestling practice.

Brody put on his shorts because he thought he might want to play dodge ball with the wrestlers when it came to game time, but then he decided he was too scared and wanted to watch his show.

After wrestling, the boys went to the science center.

Mommy and I got to Spokane earlier than expected, so we naturally had to stop at Target.

We initially planned on just browsing, so we didn’t grab a cart.

But then we found games for Brody’s birthday, clothes for me, clothes for Henry, and L.O.L. dolls I bought with my allowance. We quickly regretted having no cart.

In October, Henry and Daddy swung by this pizza place in Moscow to grab dinner after one of his wrestling tournaments. Henry loved the one video game in there, so he’s been asking to go back ever since. Today was the day!

Doesn’t get much better than pizza and video games! After this the boys went home to watch a movie and play even more video games. Sounds like a perfect boys’ day!

I also requested pizza for lunch, so we ended up at MacKenzie River Pizza. I drew the perfect sign for our day.

Then it was time to head to the First Interstate Center for the Arts for our big event (and my delayed Christmas present)…LION KING!! We were a little early, so we had time for me to request a picture with this beautiful ballerina.

We also had time to buy an overpriced Simba, and we didn’t regret the purchase one bit!

And finally at 2:00, it was show time! There are no words to describe how much we loved this show. Mommy cried happy tears in the beginning, a huge smile was on my face most of the time, and I was laughing really hard multiple times. It was INCREDIBLE!!! I said it was the best date I’ve ever had! And Mommy agrees! We want to bring the boys back to see it in a few years. After this we grabbed a quick dinner, and then drove home. Such a great day!

After church on Sunday, we made hats to support our chosen Super Bowl team. (We don’t have a huge preference between the teams, so us kids made our choice on which team sounded the coolest and the adults made their choice on who the underdog was.) I chose the Patriots.

Henry also chose the Patriots. And is modeling his new skill of crossing his eyes.

Daddy chose the Rams. And is copying Henry’s new eye-crossing skills.

Brody chose the Patriots.

And Mommy chose the Rams.

A house divided!

We had lots of yummy snacks for the game.

In between snacks, we made it really easy for Mommy and Daddy to watch the game.

Getting comfy for the last quarter to cheer on the Patriots.

The game didn’t turn out how Mommy and Daddy wanted it to, but we were thrilled with the Patriots win!

End of Illinois Trip and New Year’s Eve

Story told by: Brody

The days after Christmas were filled with lots more fun!

One of Henry’s new games he received was “Rhino Hero Super Battle.” We love it!

By noon on the day after Christmas, I’d already played my new game, “Yeti in My Spaghetti,” at least 30 times. Here I talked Gpa into playing it with me.

Everyone gathered in the kitchen for pie before we had to head back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Thanks to Gma and Gpa for hosting this busy, loud crew for Christmas!!

On our trip back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we had a bathroom break where Henry found a head warmer.

Graham (and the rest of his family) came back with us for an extra day!

Before we left for Illinois, our neighbor gave us some fun “Elfie Selfie” items, so the adults made sure to put them to use after the kids went to bed.

The adults also played Heads Up.

After Graham and Hazel had to leave the next morning, I did some coloring with Uncle Jar Jar.

But I was a little opinionated on which crayon he would get.

It was a really rainy day, so we went to Jumping Jax to burn off some energy.

Next we came home to watch “Prancer” together. Henry and I wanted to watch a different movie, but Lainey enjoyed it.

Lainey especially enjoyed Grandma and Grandpa’s pets.

We had been requesting Chuck E. Cheese all trip, and it was finally time! Uncle Jar Jar and Aunt Ericka got to join us. (This face is my “it’s almost show time” face. No one understood it. I didn’t really either.)

After we ate our pizza, it was time for games! We each picked game helpers. Lainey picked Uncle Jar Jar and Aunt Ericka.

I picked Grandpa.

And Henry picked Daddy. It was a successful night!

On Friday morning, it was BOWL GAME DAY for the Cougs!!

We made sure to represent!

That morning Mommy and Grandma got to slip away for coffee and a Yankee Candle shopping date.

Then everyone went to a Chinese buffet for lunch. Henry said, “I just want to stay here all day and eat until it’s dark.” He and Daddy are definitely cut from the same cloth.

Mommy couldn’t stop laughing at my fortune. “You constantly struggle for self improvement – and it shows.” She thinks it’s pretty perfect for a three-year-old.

Hand-in-hand with Uncle Jar Jar.

After lunch we all went bowling.

I was insistent that I wasn’t going to roll the ball down the ramp. I wanted to be a big boy.

After a close competition, Uncle Jar Jar won and Grandpa came in second place.

Grandma and Grandpa have the best big bath tub, so we had a bubble bath in it on Friday night.

The bowl game started after our bed time. And the Cougs won!!!!! That gives the Cougs an 11-2 record, which is the best in school history. Such a fun, memorable season. Go Cougs!!

On Saturday, we sadly had to head home. It was such a fun vacation!! We can’t wait to see Grandma and Grandpa again in April!

We flew from Chicago to Salt Lake. This layover was three hours, and it didn’t start until 7:30 p.m. So we all got giant ice cream cones simply for something to do and keep us happy!

Then our plane was delayed from a departure of 10:15 p.m. to a departure of 11:30 p.m. This was the face of every single parent in the airport that late at night.

While waiting to board  in Salt Lake, Mommy and Daddy came up with the Freeze game. But I lost immediately.

We arrived in Spokane at 12:30 a.m. I was sound asleep, so Mommy had to carry me. Lainey and Henry weren’t far off.

Fortunately we had already booked a hotel room near the airport, so we crashed there for the night, and woke up to swim in the pool the next morning.

Then we checked out a yummy restaurant for breakfast!

Grandma and Grandpa bought Mommy a new ottoman for Christmas, but they had it shipped to some local friends. They delivered it to Mommy on Sunday evening, and she loves it!

Daddy went to work on Monday (New Year’s Eve), but the rest of us stayed in pajamas all day. We did a hot cocoa craft, and naturally had to have real hot cocoa with it.

We played some of our new games during the day.

One of Lainey’s new favorite games is “Sleeping Queens.” It’s really fun!

Once Daddy got home, we started our New Year’s Eve tradition of games!

At the top of each hour, we would play a new game. Our 5:00 game was “Sleeping Queens.”

Then we ate a yummy dinner of snack food/appetizers!

Our 6:00 games was “Sequence for Kids.”

After that, we had a tower-building competition.

It was declared that Lainey was the winner, but we later realized that Henry and Lainey had actuallly tied!

Our 7:00 game was “Rhino Hero Super Battle.”

Daddy and I were on a team together.

Next up, some intense dance parties.

Our 8:00 game was “Yeti in My Spaghetti.”

After that, we went downstairs to get ready for our countdown to the new year (which for us was going to be 9:00 p.m.). I couldn’t quite make it.

But Lainey and Henry did!!

After we went to bed, Mommy and Daddy poured themselves some wine and played games!

“Ticket to Ride” is one of their favorites! Happy New Year!!

Christmas, 2018

Story told by: Henry

Christmas was fantastic!! We woke up at 5:30 and immediately said, “Happy Birthday, Jesus! Did Santa come?”

Santa did come, and he brought some great presents!

As is tradition in Quincy, we had to wait on the stairs until everyone was ready. (Mommy and Daddy made us wait until 6:30 before we woke all the adults.)

When we came down, we first checked out the letter Santa had written to us thanking us for the cookies. He loved them!

Then we were allowed down to see the big-wish item Santa had brought for us.

EXACTLY what we wanted!! A car wash car track for me, a “loopty-loop” car track for Brody, and a watch for Lainey.

So cool that Santa took a selfie on Lainey’s watch!

Next up, stockings!

Mommy was pleasantly surprised to find these in her stocking!

And now the kids got to take turns opening presents.

This was one of my favorite presents from Mommy and Daddy!

Brody got multiple games for Christmas because he loves them so much!

I got a couple of awesome LEGO sets. I can’t wait to put them together!

Brody and I got some awesome St. Louis Cardinals robots from Grandma and Grandpa.

Gift cards from Uncle Juncle!

Lainey explaining her new toy to Gma and Gpa.

Perler Bead Batman!

Lots of LEGOs this Christmas.

We took a break once the breakfast casserole was ready. I can’t eat it because of the eggs, and Brody doesn’t like it, so we got some yummy sugary cereal. We were very happy with this choice.

This is Lainey’s favorite breakfast ever (and Mommy has to agree)!

Lainey took a break to make her magical LOL SURPRISE dolls appear in water.

Gpa helped me to transform my transformer. Mommy didn’t know that she bought the advanced transformer for me, and it requires 21 steps to transform. (After four adults had a hand in transforming it, they finally figured out how to transform it long after I went to bed on Christmas night.)

We opened one last present from Grandma and Grandpa. New scooters!! We were all SO excited!

Time for adult presents. Lainey used her allowance money to buy all of us presents. That was really sweet of her.

Uncle Juncle got an awesome Coug sign for Mommy and Daddy!

Mommy surprised Daddy with tickets to see his favorite band, Switchfoot, in April.

After present opening was done, we got outside to enjoy the great weather! Brody used his new walkie talkies.

We spent a lot of time racing our scooters. To Mommy, it looked much easier than it was.

In the afternoon, Uncle Matt and his family arrived. Here is Mommy with all three of her younger brothers.

We loved having cousins there. Hazel (age two) and I were good buddies immediately.

Henry and Graham (age six) were good buddies as well!

Gpa took everyone on a tractor ride again!

Then it was time for the Steck family to open presents.

Back outside for more scooter races!

Cousin picture!

Next up, Lainey had a fantastic idea for an afternoon variety show. She roped Grandpa in as MC and lined up seating for everyone. We all ended up loving this so much!

I provided the intermission entertainment.

And we ended with a finale! This variety show was easily Mommy’s favorite part of the day.

Then Lainey and Hazel had some nail painting time with Grandma.

Brody got to try one of his new games, Yeti in My Spaghetti.

And we ended the night with a flashlight tractor ride.

Such a fantastic Christmas!!

Christmas Eve (and a few days before)

Story told by: Lainey

We had a fantastic Christmas! I’m a little behind on posts, so I’ll catch you guys up over the next few days.

Right after I finished school on the Friday before Christmas, we drove up to Spokane to stay in a hotel so we could catch an early flight.

We woke up at 3:30 in order to be boarding the plane by 5:30.

Brody fell asleep on our flight to Minneapolis.

We found a festive Snoopy in the Minneapolis Airport while waiting for our connecting flight.

On the flight from Minneapolis to Chicago, Henry volunteered to sit by a stranger. He was actually pretty excited about it.

Unfortunately on the flight to Minneapolis I threw up everywhere. Fortunately Mommy had a change of clothes for me, so I was able to change. Here is a picture of me sleeping from Minneapolis to Chicago with a vomit bag in hand. I wasn’t feeling well all morning, and since I only threw up that one time, Mommy thinks I was just nauseous from getting up so early. (This used to happy to Mommy all the time as a kid when waking up early for flights.) After this nap, I woke up feeling MUCH better!

Henry was relieved to finally arrive in Chicago!

Grandma and Grandpa drove us two hours to their house, we loaded up both cars with Christmas presents, and then we drove another three hours to Gma and Gpa’s house in Quincy.

We arrived at Gma’s house at 10 p.m., and she had cookies and ice cream waiting for us!

Early on Sunday morning, Henry pulled out Trouble to play with Grandpa and Brody. Henry and Grandpa must have played at least 15 games of Trouble over the course of this vacation.

That afternoon, we went to see “Mary Poppins Returns.” Mommy was so amazed at the ticket prices, she had to take a picture. Super inexpensive!

While flying the day before, Mommy and Daddy invented a game called “World’s Best Traveler.” We all ended up receiving the same amount of points. Our reward was getting to pick out candy AND popcorn at the movie theater. We were pumped!

The whole crew! (Mommy’s cousin Ryan is sitting in the middle of us, and Gpa, Gma, and Mommy’s Aunt Lori are behind us.) It was such a fun movie!

Since Mommy had shipped most of our presents via Amazon, these ladies had a marathon wrapping session that afternoon.

While they were wrapping, Gpa took us on a tractor ride.

So much fun!

We ended the night with a Christmas movie.

Brody got to snuggle with Grandma.

Mommy got a back rub from Grandpa.

And then I got some snuggles in.

After the kids went to bed, the adults played Mexican Train.

And then Daddy showed off his Etch A Sketch skills.

Elf traveled to Ilinois (and I made him this handy house), so we woke up on Christmas Eve to this fun message from him.

While Mommy, Grandma, and Gma did some Christmas Eve food prep, Daddy and Grandpa took us to the mall to this climbing structure and an arcade.

While we were at the mall, Uncle Jar Jar and Uncle Juncle (our newly-picked name for Uncle Jeff) arrived.

When we got back from playing, I put Uncle Juncle to the test with Kanoodle.

The weather was in the upper 40’s/low 50’s, so we were able to get outside and have some fun.

Then Grandpa took us on another tractor ride.

Gma had eight dozen cookies for us to decorate, so we had to get to work.

Uncle Juncle and Henry worked together.

Uncle Jar Jar did all the frosting.

Daddy was Brody’s helper.

Uncle Jar Jar shoved my face into a cookie. He’s so silly.

Brody went heavy on the sprinkles.

Next I tried to stump Uncle Jar Jar with Kanoodle.

In the late afternoon, Mommy’s friend, Courtney, surprised her by stopping by! Such a treat!! Courtney used to live right next door to Gma and Gpa (her parents still live there), and they would play together when they were little girls every weekend Mommy visited Gma and Gpa’s house. Courtney now has two twin girls (they’re two years old), so it was great to meet them. Thank you for stopping by for a visit!

Then it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve church service! Brody looked extra handsome.

All of us in our Christmas best.

At Gma and Gpa’s church.

After we got home, we found that Santa had left us two presents to open on Christmas Eve! He must have snuck in while we were gone!

He brought us new PJs and Christmas books!

We always do our big dinner on Christmas Eve, so we next enjoyed ham, rolls, potatoes, green bean casserole, and much more!

And after the ladies of the house messed up their attempt to adapt a stuffing recipe to the crockpot, we also enjoyed stuffing soup.

While the adults finished their dinner, I helped the boys change into their new PJs.

And then I brainstormed a fun parade for them to enjoy while they ate their pie.

We read our new Christmas books with Daddy.

And before going to bed, left out cookies and milk for Santa. We were SOOOOOO excited!!

After we were sound asleep and all things were taken care of/assembled (whatever that might mean), Mommy and Daddy got to enjoy some time in the hot tub. We can’t wait for the morning!!!

The Magic of Christmas (Part III)

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve had another great week of Christmas celebrations!!

Brody made a present for Mommy and Daddy at preschool. But instead of wanting to give it to Mommy, Brody argued the whole way home about how he made the present for himself. After arguing with him for 25 minutes, Mommy finally called Brody’s preschool teacher so she could settle this debate. And Mommy won. (Thank goodness for forced gift giving.)

Mommy and Henry went on a date last week. His first request was to get a Happy Meal.

And then he was thrilled when Mommy suggested they go play arcade games at Zeppoz. The games were Henry’s favorite part, but Mommy’s favorite part was when Henry told her that she was his best friend in the whole wide world.

Mommy had a lunch with the preschool board and preschool staff on Friday. Henry ran around with Desmond and Elijah, but Lily and Brody had fun hanging out. As they were getting close to leaving, Brody said to Lily, “I’m going to miss you, but you’re my best friend.”

On Saturday morning, it was time for me and Mommy to have a date. I requested that we wear matching scarves for our girls’ day.

We played cards while we waited for our food to arrive.

Next we met friends for Canvas and Cocoa at Wild at Art.

We were given a little bit of instruction, and then we got to work.

My finished product! I really enjoyed doing this!

Me and Dez.

Me and Cece.

The whole crew! Such a fun morning that I definitely want to do again next year!

After painting, Mommy and I grabbed a quick lunch, and then did some Christmas shopping. (I brought my allowance to buy presents for the boys and Daddy.)

And no girls’ day is complete without a stop at Starbucks!

On Saturday night, Mommy got to go out with her friends!

They had a “Favorite Things” dinner. Each woman picked a favorite thing, and then brought three of those things. They gifted them to each other, so each woman went home with everyone’s favorite things. Such a fun night!

Liz demonstrating how she can use everything that was gifted all at the same time.

Some of Mommy’s closest friends right here!

On Sunday morning, we had our Christmas pageant at church. It was all about Jesus being our superhero, which was really fun! The boys were Hulk and Black Panther, and I got the coveted role of Mary! I was so excited!

Hulk could not have been more perfect for Henry.

They had some interviews with preschoolers in the church bulletin. The question asked was, “What does the Christmas star mean?” Brody’s response is above. Makes complete sense.

Here are some highlights where you can see me saying the lines I memorized, Henry acting out some parts, and all of us singing!

After the pageant was done, we spread out to enjoy the treats from our goody bags!

Yesterday afternoon we all joined in together to make some yummy treats!

Then we put on pajamas, piled in the car, ate candy canes, and drove around to look at Christmas lights and deliver our Best in Show award.

These houses were some of our top choices.

This house was the winner from last year, but we made a rule that the same house can’t win twice in a row.

So we declared this house in Colton our winner!!

Unfortunately they weren’t home to receive our award, so we left it taped on their door. Thanks for some great Christmas decorations!

We ended the night with games, Christmas movies, and pizza.

Another fantastic weekend of Christmas activities!