Thursday, March 13, 2014

February and a Sprinkling of March

One of the things I love best about living in the south is our state of emergency mentality when it comes to snow.  The prospect of a light dusting puts everyone in an absolute tizzy.  We go into zombie apocalypse mode:  frenzied men and women storm the grocery stores and completely wipe out the bread and milk aisles; we get these dramatic emails from church leaders reminding us to put gas in our cars, have cash on hand, and fill the bathtub with water (I kid you not); and the news has breaking weather updates every five minutes or so.  Once the snow arrives,  everything shuts down.  People, in our case Daddy, stay home from work.  It's fantastic.  You don't have to drive anywhere.  You just enjoy a family day snuggled up inside.  Then it melts a day or two later, before you get sick of it or it turns some nasty, questionable shade of yellow or brown.  We had two big dumpings this year, and since we're wearing the same clothes in all the photos, I can't remember which ones are from which storm.  So here are all the snow photos, in who knows what order! 

Kaden FINALLY got to build a snowman with Chad, which he was beyond thrilled about.  

After his nap,  Everett came outside for a few seconds to take a few photos with him:

 Kaden tried out sledding with our darling neighbor, Sophia (and our slimy house has since been pressure washed, thank goodness!):

Kind of messed this one up, by holding the phone vertically.  Whoops.  I blame not having an iPhone of my own:

 We had a few snowball fights, until Kade got pummeled in the noggin by a neighbor and had an emotional breakdown:

 Kaden snow plowed the entire road with his toy lawn mower.

 A terrible photo of me, but proof that Everett did make an appearance:

 We've started a family tradition of making beignets and bacon for breakfast for the first snow of the year.  We did that for the first storm, and I made Paula Dean's hot chocolate in the cocoa latte.  So divine.  For the second storm, we made sugar cookies, since it was so close to Valentine's Day:

There are some things I don't love about our current home, but I LOVE that our backyard backs to these woods.  No neighbors right in our backyard is a huge plus.  It looked like a winter wonderland, just a couple of months late.  

 Everett, watching from the front door, while Kade and I had a snowball fight:

For Valentine's Day, Chad and I splurged on a new mattress.  Our eight year old Costco special had worn out its welcome probably somewhere around five years ago, but we fought the good fight and toughed it out. After spending Christmas with my parents and sleeping on their new mattress for two weeks, we realized how bad our bed actually was.  We have loved finally getting a good night's sleep (when Everett cooperates, that is).  Now that we have a king sized mattress, I'm not sure how we ever slept on a queen.  Those extra inches of space are pretty fabulous.    

Here's how my boys felt about Valentine's Day around breakfast time this year:

Ha.  Please, Everett, stay your happy, content self for the rest of all time.  

We participated in our ward's "Ring and Run" activity for Valentine's Day.  Basically, you signed up, were given the name and address of a family, and were supposed to drop off a treat or two for them the week of Valentine's Day.  Well, let me just tell you.  We hit the jackpot.  We had the NICEST Valentine's Day bandits in the history of ring and run-dum.  Here's a shot of our loot:  four children's books, jiffy popcorn, Starbucks hot chocolate, Water for Elephants on DVD, two mugs filled with Hershey kisses, and a plate of the most gorgeous sugar cookies ever made.  I would like to publicly extend my apologies to the family who didn't hit the jackpot when we drew their name . . . 

Kaden used his Christmas gift card from Gram to buy a couple great new puzzles.  This one is so bright and fun:

Kaden has become obsessed with taking pictures using our phones.  Since my phone is ancient and exceptionally ghetto, its photos are always less than stellar, but with a three year old behind the lens, they're even more fantastically blurry:

Ev obviously just finished a meal, because we can never button his pants afterwards:

We are UNC fans around these parts, so when Carolina beat Duke, we celebrated in full-on Carolina attire the next day.  Even his shoes were official Tar Heel apparel:

Kaden's indoor soccer class ended, and since we left his make up class until the very end of the season, he ended up attending TWO awards ceremonies and getting two medals.  To say he was excited about double the glory is an understatement.  

 He had a great time doing soccer and met some sweet new friends.  Hopefully he learned something.  I think that he did.

Kaden gave his first talk in Primary.  I was so proud of him!

He continues to love Primary.  Here's a cute shot of him with his Primary class, watching a robotic fish swim. The topic of the lesson was, "I am thankful for water."

He's been learning his Articles of Faith.  He has the first four memorized and is working on number five.  We don't push this at all!  He is just loves memorizing (maybe he got some of my past life high school/community theatre genes).  This is a video purely for the grandparents, who I know will want to watch.  I love his version of "I Will Follow God's Plan for Me" at the end:  

I got to go with two of my favorite people to one of my favorite places:

I sure love these two forever friends!
 They drove from Virginia for the day so we could go to the Raleigh, NC temple together.  Are they amazing?  Indeed.

After the temple we hit up Guasaca for Venezuelan food for lunch.  It was my first time eating there, and I have already been back again.  So fresh and delicious!  

Everett started sitting up to splash while in the tub.  To make the evening bedtime routine less physically exhausting (with Chad getting home around the time we have to start putting Kaden down, I pretty much have to do dinner and baths by myself before he gets home), I've made an executive decision to combine the boys' bath time.  It's been received rather well.

Despite our snow storms, we have had a couple of beyond beautiful days that trick me into momentarily thinking Spring has arrived.  
Liam joined us for a bike ride/scooter excursion one day:

 Mia loves to be Everett's babysitter when he goes to her house on the days I teach Joy School.  Jamie snapped this photo of the two of them together, before putting the sunshade back down.  
 Out jogging with the boys is great, because Kaden likes to stop for frequent breaks to toss rocks in the water, and for a snack or two along the way:
And pushing Everett in the jogging stroller is SO much easier than it was to push Kaden as a toddler the last time I was using it. 

Stopping for a snack break on a jog out with Daddy:

Everett has discovered the baby swings and thinks they're OK:

Chad was traitorous and went to a Duke game with our friend, Andy, who had free tickets.  We may not be Duke fans, but we are big Jabari Parker fans, who is a member of our faith and an all-around exceptional young person.  Like a star struck teenager, Chad waited around after the game to try to meet him, but he didn't get a chance to.  When Kaden saw this photo on Chad's phone, he was NOT happy about not being invited along for the fun.   

While Chad and Andy were at the game, I had a blast watching all our kiddos, who get along great and are exceptionally adorable in their pajamas:

Everett loved the new sweet potato recipe I fell head over heels for as much as I did:

And he continues to prove his diaper leakage talent will not be stopped, after wetting through an overnight diaper, lined with a maxi pad, and covered in plastic pants:

Chad discovered that, like crocodiles, Everett has a grab spot that makes him go limp and drop.  I don't know why, but I find this incredibly hysterical:

In March, I taught the letter V for Joy School and we had lots of fun learning about vegetables, volcanoes, and violins, among other things.  The kids used watercolors to uncover secret numbers (written in white crayon) and identify what they were:

 We had a vegetable eating contest.  By Kaden's expression in this photo, I think it's safe to assume he wasn't the winner:
 At least he drank the water?  I am trying to convince him to love veggies.  It's hit and miss.
 Racing our vehicles down the stairs:

 Our number line, which was dismantled before the photo was even taken.  Tyler, Jack's big brother, was our special helper for the day while their mom attended a funeral.

After school was over, I let these boys snuggle on my bed with some popcorn to watch Monsters University:

We took Kaden to Laurel Hills Park for a quick lunch play date with Daddy on a day he was working from home.  It's right by the doctor's office where Chad has to go for his blood work, and happens to be Kade's all time favorite park:

Everett, has gone from this:

to this:

He's pretty much mastered the backwards scoot.  With that hands and knees rocking, it's only a matter of time before life as we know it is over.  

One of these days I'll try to write some of the specific things the boys are doing and saying, but for now a quick photo and video update will have to suffice.  

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