Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gymnastics Christmas Party

Dear Kate and Riley,

The boys take a little gymnastics class and they have a Christmas party every year. It is just a big crazy gymnastics class with Santa making an appearance at the end. Both of the boys were excited but both had a little bit of a hard time with Santa. We were glad this was only the warm up Santa visit.

First they got to play around and Brady had a blast, no pictures of Z because he was off with his own group

Brady was NOT very excited about Santa. But he did like the candy cane he got from him. Now he will tell anyone who will listen "Santa, candy cane"

Zach got really shy with Santa and wouldn't talk. Afterward he was sad but was glad he'd get a do-over later that week.

We were excited for a kick off to Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Part 2

Dear Kate and Riley,
Back to Thanksgiving....

We spent Thanksgiving day at Papa Frank and Grandma Geri's. It was a nice low key afternoon with lots of yummy food.

There was some serious bananagram playing going on

And puzzle doing

And later back at Uncle Clint's lots of rock band playing

And we even got to video chat with Papa Ross and Grandma Janice

The day after Thanksgiving we went up the canyon to go sledding. For a couple of kids from California it doesn't get much better. The kids were in absolute heaven. It was so fun.

Brady was a little bit of a fashion victim since he only has girl cousins to borrow snow clothes from! But he didn't care.

First hill of the day and right after this pic they totally wiped out. Brady got a fat lip but recovered quickly.

Dad was a better sledding partner

Everyone loved going with Uncle Bret, he is so cool

Ali would just cover her face the whole time and hope for the best. I'm pretty sure this one resulted in injury as well. We decided after that Zach who is much bigger had to go in front so that in case of a crash he wouldn't land on top of someone smaller than him.

I'll admit to being a little nervous!

Brady had the best gig. He loved being pulled up the hill as much as he loved going down.

My favorite picture, look at his face! Pure joy.

I can't believe I didn't get a single picture of Summer or Ali's faces! They both hid their faces every time they went down.

Our last night we went to temple square to see the lights. It was really crowded and cold but still beautiful.

No one wanted their pictures taken, sigh. We tried!

And one more just for fun...

It was so much fun and I can't believe we're going back for Christmas!


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday

Dear Kate and Riley,
How have five years passed? How has it been so long and yet gone so fast? This year we had to remember your birthday a little early because Dad was going to be out of town on your actual birthday. We went to the cemetery on Saturday with the boys. I had to laugh a little at the crazy scene we were. Thankfully there was no one else around because they probably would have been a little put off since your brothers seem to think it was a park and not a cemetery. But I was happy to have them to chase around and to see how much our lives have changed in five years time.

Zach tried hard this year to understand. It's hard to understand that he has sisters but that they are in heaven and not here. He asked some real, serious questions and I could tell it was on his mind because he asked me again the next day what his sisters names were and if you would come back to life like Jesus. I told him, yes that you, too would be resurrected but not for a while. I told him we'd all be together again some day. I look forward to that day when we are all together.

I wonder often what it would be like to have you here. You would be so big and ready to start kindergarten next year. That seems so strange. I do feel those pangs of sadness sometimes when no one wants to watch Disney princess movies with me or sing songs from musicals. I know there are things I'm missing out on not having you here. But I just have to remember that somehow in all of this there is a plan and a purpose, whether I understand it or not. I am so thankful for the reminder you are to me of the promise of eternal families. You keep me grounded and in check. You help me to appreciate so much more immensely the atonement that was made for us, for our family to be able to be whole again.

Loving you and missing you always.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Thanksgiving in Utah! (Part 1)

Dear Kate and Riley,
It has been a while since we were in Utah for the holidays. So this year we decided to join the entire O'Farrell clan and most of the Hansens and head to Utah for some good times (and good food).

We stayed with Uncle Clint but Mom and Dad got a little alone time while Aunt Amy watched Zach and Brady. We went up to Park City for two nights and had fun just getting a little break from the kids. It was much needed since we haven't had a night alone since Italy and that was almost 3 years ago!

First up was the O'Farrell family Christmas party. Dad made lasagna for everyone (yum!) and we did a cousins gift exchange. We had so much fun, I think Zach and Brady disappeared into the basement as soon as we got there and we barely saw them after that!

Brady is good at giving "lubs"

Zach opened this basketball and then ran around the room cheering "BYU! BYU!" we are surprised Aunt Stacy could bring herself to buy it!

Zach loves hanging out with his older cousins.

Park City
We took the kids out to Grantsville to spend some time at Aunt Amy's. I think both Dad and I were nervous that they would be scared or sad or have a hard time. That was definitely not what happened. They ran upstairs with Decker and could barely break themselves free to say goodbye. Considering the fact that at least once a day now Brady will tell me "Amy House" I think they had a good time.

We didn't really take any pictures except of our impressive room. We got a deal on line at a nice hotel and then there was a coupon for a room upgrade. I couldn't believe when they told us they could put us in a "cottage". It was one of the nicest hotel rooms I'd ever stayed in, complete with 3 fireplaces and our own jacuzzi! We had fun just hanging out in Park City, shopping, eating, movies. It was so nice to reconnect.

The balcony and view from our fancy hotel room

Turkey Trot

Aunt Stacy's neighborhood put on a turkey trot. It was great! A 10k for the grownups, a 5k for some of the older kids and a "kiddie k" for the kids. Zach has been asking for months to do a race so he was SO excited for this race. He talked about it all week, told me he needed to eat healthy for his race and was talking trash to all of the kids about how he was going to beat them!

the littles just hung out and tried to stay warm, it was pretty early

C seriously rocked the kiddie k. Zach was actually really mad that she beat him (she beat him bad!)

Zach was so cute. I ran with him but his racing style needs some work. Basically he would sprint so fast I could barely keep up with him and then burn out and walk/cry then he'd start again. He told me at one point that he had no air. The best part was when he started talking trash to a little girl that he passed and then about 2 min later she passed him back. It was pretty funny to watch. We'll have to work on endurance training I guess. It was so fun to run a race with him and I can't wait until we can do it again.

More to come!


Preschool Thanksgiving Party

Dear Kate and Riley,
Finally catching up to Thanksgiving and happy to do it before the onslaught of Christmas activities begin.
Zach's preschool class did a cute little Thanksgiving program and had a "feast." It was fun and we love hearing Zach sing all the songs he learns in preschool.

Brady loves coming to preschool, he gets to feel so big

He was so excited to see that Dad came!

The good/bad/funny thing about being in an in home preschool is that they don't worry too much about being politically correct. The "little Indian" song was adorable but might not fly in public school these days.

Politically correct or not it was the cutest--
"I'm a little Indian on the go,
Here is my arrow, here is my bow
When I go hunting hear me shout

The "feast"


Friday, December 02, 2011

Halloween (finally!)

Dear Kate and Riley,
Ok, we are getting closer to catching up here! On Halloween evening we stayed in our little neighborhood and had a ton of fun trick-or-treating with Lexi. Brady was a crack up, he got really in to the idea of trick-or-treating but he wouldn't leave anyone's doorstep. So, as adorable as he is, he'd just stand there and people would keep giving him candy. I think he ended up with twice as much as Zach.

Someone "booed" us earlier in the week and we saved the fun foaming drink they left for Halloween. The kids thought it was cool!

Brady the turtle, Lexi the horse and Zach the cowboy. We missed Isabel this year, the first year of Zach's life that he hasn't trick-or-treated with her!

the blue pumpkins are what is left at Wal Mart a few days before Halloween. Maybe next year I'll be on the ball enough to get orange ones.

The loot. Also known as "nandy." We had lots of tantrums about "nandy" all week.

Zach scored