Thursday, January 7, 2016

November Fun!

Oh my! It’s been a crazy holiday season, so where were we? Oh yes, post-Halloween! Right after Halloween it was time to celebrate John’s birth! He enjoyed getting to help make the cake:

As did the big kids!

Hanging out with the finished product!

Matthew helped build the decorations.

Birthdays are hilarious!

He enjoyed the cake!

And we were so glad Amma and Papa were here to celebrate!

I don’t know what he’s doing here but it cracks me up:

Post-cake bath!

Present time. The big kids were eager to help!

Of course, the big kids were also eager to play with his new toys too:

Contemplating the awesomeness of U2:

And he showed off his new skill of climbing on the crab table. He figured out how to move the bin underneath to use as a step stool. He was pretty proud of this skill and showed it off whenever possible:

We had just a few mornings together while Catherine was at preschool before I taught again so John helped me with paperwork of course:

And then the snow hit! We got a chance to test out John’s new birthday sled and snowsuit! John had fun!

And John also insisted on helping in the kitchen. The big kids are none too eager for this situation but John needs to be in the center of everything of course :)

And this little guy had his one year checkup! We had a little bit of a scare because his giant noggin’ is growing faster than the charts like, but after a couple follow up checks we’re thinking it’s just the giant brain he’s working on.

The next weekend we headed out to celebrate Matthew’s completed book graph. To help him transition to more independent reading we set up a basket and if he could read enough books to fill it he got to choose a weekend trip. He chose Billings for a swim at the waterpark and lunch at Chuck E Cheese. John was less than impressed with his first helicopter ride:

Fun times in the wave pool:

The innertubes made the perfect walkers for John:

John’s first waterslide:

We also got to stop by Toys R Us. Now, our kids have wandered through Target and Wal-Mart’s toy section plenty often but I took it for granted they’ve never been in a large store. Toys R Us blew their little minds, but we were on a mission. We had received a duplicate Lego set for John’s birthday and exchanged it for this camping set! He loves it:

Sleepy one year old:

The next week was Matthew’s first big scout contest with the Rain Gutter Regatta. He made it through a few a few rounds and had a good time.

And then of course, there was the sledding and everything I blogged during our last journal time! Journal time has been taken up by thank you note writing time, but we’ll be back soon :)

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Amma and Papa. They had left after John’s birthday to visit friends in Colorado and then returned to help around the house and join us for Thanksgiving. We played lots of Dicecapades with them. Here’s Matthew acting out angry:

And John helping teach Papa how to use his phone:

And we got another favorite visitor on Monday! He came bearing Darth Vader gear for the little dude:

And more Legos!

Matthew helped Amma and Papa with their crosswords and sudoku puzzles so much that he ended up with his own.

And of course lots of horseplay is necessary with Uncle Matt:

It even got memorialized in Matthew’s school work in his description of how to play couch football :-)

The kids made Amma an Ugly Sweater for her annual Christmas party! They had a blast and we heard Amma won first place!

We kicked off Thanksgiving morning with Turkey Pancakes! John was super jazzed to be included this year.

And we took some family photos since we were lucky enough to all get together:

John of course helped with the preparations:

And Matthew read the story of the first Thanksgiving:

John approved!

And there were more Dicecapades! Papa did well balancing the dice on his nose!

And Matthew was our cribbage scorekeeper:

We got out a few of the Christmas decorations, and John was a master of unpacking the boxes, far faster than we could all repack them!

Though we had hoped to optoutside on Black Friday, the temps were barely above zero so we opted for a brewery crawl instead! We hit up 3 breweries to test out. The first even had a kids area with toys (and popcorn) which helped!

And awesome glasses:

We aren’t really sure why a hoodie has been made with one of the mesh masks in a 12 month size but we thought we’d try it out :)

Stop #2 had a smaller selection but some crowd pleasing juice boxes!

And tickles for an upside down baby:

And finally stop #3 with some of my favorite beers and pizza!

And delicious coasters:

The kids were serious about the activities they had brought!

Then unfortunately it was time to send Uncle Matt off again :(

And back to work for the big kids:

We finished up the bathroom and then it was unfortunately time to send Amma and Papa on their way. We sure do miss having them around!

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