We had a fun NeONBRAND Christmas party! Kenny and Kurt have some fun employees and so I like when I get to hang out with them too.
The kids had school all the way up until December 22. We did lots before school was out, though, and throughout the month of December. Kenny, Kayli, and Beau went with some of Kenny’s family to see Star Wars. Kenny introduced the kids to Star Wars a few weeks before so they’d be ready and they were super interested in learning all about it and they liked the movie too. We also went to Macy’s to drop off our letters to Santa. Afterwards we thought we’d go by the Apple Store and see if we could see Taylor (he’d been working there while he was here in December and we saw on Find Friends that he was there). The kids turned the corner right as Taylor turned another corner to go home so the kids took off running yelling for him. He looked back and saw them coming and the kids were yelling that they just dropped off letters to Santa! Taylor said he was like “do your parents know you dropped off letters to Santa? Where are they”? It was pretty funny. Especially when Taylor tells it. We caught up to him eventually. Man, we loved having Taylor in town!
The kids and me went to my mom and dad’s house to make Christmas cookies. We came home with lots of yummy, pretty treats!
That night was also our ward party. This is the first year that the kids were all ok with seeing Santa-except we didn’t get Sami in the picture! Our ward Christmas party and Relief Society Christmas dinner were very much centered around service. We heard so many stories, most anonymous, of how people have been served by others in the ward. The stories were so awesome and I loved hearing about how much good is going on around us. I loved Light the World and how every day we could focus on serving like Christ. It was so fun to get the kids involved and to serve and be served by those around us.
We had an elf come to our house again and the kids named him Snickers. He brought a warning letter one night about how the kids needed to be on their best behavior. Apparently, Kayli found the letter one morning before anyone else saw it. She read it, got scared, and decided to hide it so that mom and dad wouldn’t see it. When we asked where the elf was that morning, Kayli showed us where he was but didn’t mention anything about the letter. We kept asking her if he had brought anything or done something that morning and she kept saying no that he was just sitting there. So apparently the next morning the elf brought the letter back and on it it said “Kayli, show this to your parents this time”. That scared her and so she showed us and we had to ask her if he had brought the letter a few days ago and what happened to it. She said yes he had brought the letter a few days before but she was scared and hid it from us-finally telling us the truth! She was laughing and what’s so funny is that obviously there’s more to the story that won’t be written down here but it sure had us laughing for a few days! She had even been telling us that she thought she was on the naughty list. We’d ask her why and she’d just say she just thought she was. It’s going to be a great story to talk about in a few years!
We got to see Josh and Mandy on their way up to Utah. They stayed out our house Friday night but had to leave Saturday for Utah. We hadn’t seen them in almost 6 months so I’m so glad we got to see them even if it was short. The kids have a lot of fun playing together and we love chatting until so late! We made Santa pancakes with the kids in the morning (we do this every year when they stay with us at Christmas time). Mandy is due in May with another girl so I’m excited that we’ll have baby girls to be best friends!
We had a special get together with the Taylor side on December 23. Taylor spent a lot of time preparing a special night and the kids did awesome presenting the Nativity.
We spent Christmas Eve with my family. Emily and Scott got to come but Kim and Austin were in Hawaii (lucky ducks). The kids and Kenny, Russ, and Alex acted out the Nativity there. Even Charlie was part of it! I loved Beau (he was literally the star) and Trey was a very reverent shepherd! The guys made great Wise Men too! We opened gifts with everyone and played lots of Corn Hole. Rachel and Russ made dad a BYU one and it turned out so amazing!
Christmas morning was so much fun-we tried to stay really simple and only get what kids really wanted or needed. Between Santa, grandparents and cousins they get plenty of stuff. The most exciting things were Santa brought Beau an XBOX (he’s been wanting video games for so long… I was not excited to join the video game train but man he was excited!) and Trey got a new kitchen. The kids also got hockey sticks and so it’s been fun to play that out in the street with friends. We went to Kenny’s parents’ house for brunch and did presents over there and then to Grandma Taylor’s house for a late lunch and after that to FLIPnOUT. Tracy invited both the Eliason and Taylor side so it was fun to see everyone there too. It’s always fun to catch up with Andrea and Brandi also came and Rachel and Russ’ family so it was a lot of fun! It makes me miss my extended family so much! I wish we could see them at holidays too!
After that we had 2 weeks off of school but Christmas was over. I wasn’t sure what to do every day with 4 kids. I knew I couldn’t take them anywhere other than the park by myself. Kayli and I went shopping the next day to try to take advantage of after Christmas sales and return stuff. We had fun walking around Downtown Summerlin and the Christmas music was still playing and the decorations were all up so it was so nice! We also let Kayli and Beau stay up late most nights and we played games or they watched a movie and slept in the loft.
Kenny got out old iPhones again so the kids could iMessage family for a few days over break. Kayli and Beau each had one and they love messaging us, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They love when people respond back and they send us the sweetest messages. One day we were cleaning out the garage and riding bikes and I got a message from Beau saying I was a good mommy and he loved me-I loved it so I sent him a message back saying that and then since he was on his bike not too far from me I saw him get the message on his phone, read it, and then smile so big! It was the sweetest thing! As soon as I sent him the message I got my camera ready and snapped a picture of him reading my message. It was fun letting them do that for a few days!
We went to the Linq and rode the High Roller. Kenny had free tickets and we had never been before. Sami got to come too! We took Mike and Erin and the view is pretty cool! We got Sprinkles after which was so exciting because that’s the only one in town and I love the Red Velvet cones and ice-cream and right as I ordered they ran out of Red Velvet cones! Anyway, it was a fun night and I’m grateful we are able to still get out sometimes with 4 kids and that we have awesome kids real close to us who are willing to babysit.
We had the Wengers over for New Years Eve last minute and it was fun to hang out with them! They live a few houses down the street and are the greatest neighbors. Stu comes down and babysits for us a lot and Owen and Stu ride bikes with the kids. Grant and Trey are starting to play together and Royden and Heidi bring down yummy baked goods a lot and we help each other out a lot. It was fun to have them all over at the same time and to play games with Bradley, Stu and the adults. Grant and Trey were too funny trying to play Guess Who and Owen and Beau loved playing XBOX all night. Everyone made it to New Years! I didn’t get any pictures of that though!
The weather has been so great here-so warm for December and January! The kids are outside playing all the time and the neighbors or other friends end up down here with us a lot too. They love riding bikes, playing hockey and other sports and playing all kinds of make believe. On New Years Day Kayli, Alexis, and Owen even planned a parade and then went and knocked on everyone’s doors to come watch the parade. Kenny didn’t know that’s what they were doing and I wasn’t home but when I turned on to our street I was thinking “wow I love our street! Everyone is out! It’s so much fun!” The kids were having a bike parade and throwing suckers for everyone. I didn’t know what was really going on. I don’t know if neighbors were annoying or thought it was cute but they were all so nice and supportive!
Kenny and the kids went off-roading of course.
We went to two movies over break-Coco and The Greatest Showman-which we LOVED just like everyone else. We are obsessed with the soundtrack and it’s on repeat over here. Even Trey is memorizing the words.
I took the kids to SeaQuest and met mom, dad, and Kelli there. The funniest part is when mom and Kelli took the boys into the bird cage. The boys did awesome in there and then said they wanted to feed the birds. I went and paid for that and when I came back mom said I could go in with them and she came out (I didn’t really need to do that-I don’t love birds!) Trey held the cup for a second and the birds came and he fed them but then one landed on my head and flew into Beau’s head so that freaked us both out. The boys got scared and left and so Kelli fed the birds. She had 3 birds perched on her arm eating the food while other birds just kept landing all over me! Beau and Trey also got to touch starfish but wouldn’t touch anything else. And Kayli liked looking at everything but wouldn’t touch anything.
I am playing soccer again and we’ve only had one game but we’re in second place! Dad loves to come to the games and he’s our biggest fan. If the games are early enough the husbands and kids come and they love running around with each other. It’s funny because we are the mom team with tons of kids!
Kayli started playing on a volleyball team and Kacee who is our good friend and also was Kayli’s primary teacher is her coach so that helped her be extra excited to play! She was so excited that Milani and Kyla were on the team too. She is the youngest one on the team and some of the girls are almost 10 but she has been waiting for probably 4 years to be old enough to play. It’s fun to see her be so excited about it and she looks forward to practice and games so much. She’s never wanted to do classes or play sports (she surprised us when she just did baseball). They had their first game last Saturday. She couldn’t stand waiting all week and she was so excited that morning. I could tell she was a little nervous out there but she was also so happy and smiled thru it all. She did great too! She got most of her serves over (they serve from the 10 foot line). She is the cutest thing in her uniform too. I love it! She had lots of fans come to watch her and she loves to go outside and practice with me. It’s fun!
Kayli has so many great qualities about her and is very talented and yet at the same time she struggles with things that are hard, she’s really anxious, she’s stubborn and high strung. She had a really hard time going back to school yesterday morning. She went in screaming so they even let Kenny come in with her. He said she threw a huge fit in front of her class, and she doesn’t even care. I’m glad first graders are forgiving and I hope by time kids aren’t so nice that she will be over this. I don’t want people thinking she’s crazy! Her teacher is always so great with her and they are good friends. She let us know that Kayli calmed down really quick and she had a great day. The other day I found that Kayli had written this: I thought it was funny but I also wondered if this is normal for a 7 year old?! “I am not that person but like how do they not get mad?” Haha. She breaks down easily and we haven’t seemed to figure out how to help her with that. It seems like we’ve tried so much but nothings seems to work. We’re also trying to help her see the bright side of things and to be more positive.
Beau is really good at hockey and is learning new tricks on his bike. He needs his sleep. He is brave and funny. He has a “dad’s home” dance he does every night in the driveway when he hears Kenny coming home. Kenny loves it! He’s a goofball.
Trey is still crazy. I really wish I could hear what goes on inside of his brain, like what makes him think to do the things he decides to do… he is still so sweet though too. He loves going to church and seeing everyone he loves there. He loves going to Grandma’s houses and he loves to play with his friends. He wanders off though, he gets into everything, he takes things into his own hands most of the time and he is talking better every day. We sure love him even if he keeps us on our toes! I try to get pictures of his crazy shenanigans because one day I am sure we will laugh about it all! Some new things he says are “I not ready for my nap” , “I have a question”, and “why”? He’s in a big boy bunk bed with Beau now. He’s done great. When we were figuring out beds and had the crib up in his room for a bit, I noticed his door open during nap time. I went in there and saw he wasn’t in his bed or hiding in his closet. I didn’t know where he was. I looked upstairs and couldn’t find him. I went back in his room to look under the bed and noticed he was asleep in the crib! He had put all of his books and stuffed animals in there, climbed in and went to sleep. He loves nursery. He also always moves my kitchen rugs so that he can pull the barstools over to the counter and get up in the cupboards. Drives me crazy. I really need to put the barstools in the garage during the day or something… I came down one day and he had all the ingredients for making cookies out on the cupboard.
Sam will be 5 months on the 19th. She is still the smiliest little thing but still not sleeping great at night. She is such a good fourth baby though and is so content most of the time and just goes with the flow a lot. I love her sweet little spirit and smiles! (I realize she looks like a boy in some of these pictures-she wears a lot of Trey’s old pajamas!)
More pics of the kids…