Sunday, November 18, 2018

September 2018 - House Demolition

I think a good summary of our life right now is the fact that Kyle fell asleep in the carpool line at the kids' school.  Alexa knocked on the window and woke him up :).  Adulting is exhausting.

We are making good progress on the house, lots of demolition.  There was a good amount of tile all over the main level, which was excruciating to get out, even with our neighbor's hammer drill and trailer.

We have discovered lots of good trails around the Jordan River close to our house.  Tyler loves taking Leroy on walks.  And when I say walk they run the whole way.  Here's a video snapshot.

August 2018 - Visitors, Dinosaurs, and Bunnies

When we read scriptures together at night Tad repeats Kyle or I.  However, he has started adding stuff on his own.  Very randomly.  And it's hilarious.  For example, Kyle or I will say "And it came to pass.." and Tad will say, "and it came to pass snakes" or "and it came to pass pancakes."  It's seamless, no break in between the words like he's thinking of something to throw in there.  And with a completely straight face.  He does it all the time!  I don't know where he gets this stuff from.

Tad loves Coco and he is often found singing and/or playing guitar to Liam.  His favorite song right now is Twinkle Twinkle Little Moon.  Here's a darling video capturing one of his jam sessions.  I love how he starts and ends the song with hugs.

We had lots of wonderful guests come through our construction zone house this month, including Marmie and Grandpa Swingle, Todd and Melissa, Brendan and Whitney, and Richy and Megan.

We also hosted Swingle Cousin Camp while Dean was here, complete with a shark bounce house and snow cone machine.

We miss Todd and Melissa and wish they were closer.  Tyler and Dean were attached at the hip.

When Richy and Megan came to visit we tried out the Cowabunga Bay water park and had lots of fun playing with them and the kids all weekend.

This summer has been really busy, so we decided we needed a getaway.  We hit the road and headed for Flaming Gorge.  It was absolutely wonderful to get away from work, cleaning, house projects, unpacking, etc. and just be together as a family.  We played at the beach, ate lots of s'mores and hot dogs, and did a tour of the Flaming Gorge Dam.  We also did a day trip to Vernal to see the dinosaurs at the National Dinosaur Monument.  The actual Visitor's Center was a disappointment and had a general lack of dinosaurs, but you can take a shuttle to an exhibit where a group was excavating and agreed to leave a canyon-side COVERED in dinosaur bones piled on top of each other to become part of the national monument.  It was incredible.  A nearby river pushed all the bones down to the same area and there was a long list of discoveries made there.  Dozens of complete sets were sent to museums all over the world from that specific canyon.

School started!  Alexa has moved up to 2nd grade and Tyler is in kindergarten.  They're excited to get to know more friends in the neighborhood at school.  We've been practicing riding their bikes and they are doing a great job riding the mile together there in the mornings.  Alexa rides her bike home and Kyle picks Tyler up.  Kyle started working at the VASA Gym Kid Care in American Fork at the end of July.  The little boys go with him in the mornings and they are there for a few hours a day.  VASA loves having a guy in the kid care, it's nice for a lot of the kids plus he can easily get everyone's attention when it's time to clean up ;).

Cute baby Wesley Tate was born and Ellie came to stay with us for one night.  He is adorable and we're excited for another cousin in the family.

We got bunnies this month and the kids are in love!  We are slowly building our little farm...  We surprised the kids by picking them up one night on the way home.  I jumped out of the car and came back with bunnies and it was so cute to listen to Alexa and Tyler on the drive home.  Tyler's bunny is a Lionhead and Alexa's is a super soft black otter.  All of the rest of the otter litter was sold for pelts :(.  Tyler's has an amazing mane and on the drive home they talked a lot about how maybe Tyler's was actually really a baby lion pretending to be a bunny, or possibly wearing a bunny costume because he was really a baby lion.  Alexa named her's Bun Bun and Tyler's is Asgard, "after the lion in Narnia."  Who we later remembered is actually named Aslan.  And Asgard is the planet Thor is from.  Haha, oops.  Oh well, the name has stuck.

They are often found laying on the trampoline or swinging next to each other with the bunnies in their laps.  Sometimes going down the slide on our playground.  They will bring them inside and feed them lettuce and carrots or cuddle and watch cartoons.  They have become instant friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

July 2018 - We Moved!

We have so much more stuff than I realized...but we eventually got everything to the new house in Lehi.  We're ripping it apart at the moment, but will eventually throw up some photos of the work we're doing and layout of the new home.  We had a last-minute issue where Lehi City wouldn't let us move in because there was a lien against the house that their broker didn't disclose, which pushed back the move-in date.  We cut a deal to move in a week later, but still couldn't get under contract because the utilities weren't switched over and approved by the city.  The house was on sewage, well water, and propane but had to have everything switched to city utilities before we could officially transfer ownership.  So we "rented" our new house for a couple weeks, and scrambled to move in on a Wednesday night because we had to be out of our house in Orem by that Friday.  It was really bittersweet to leave the keys and say goodbye, we have had so many memories in that house.  Including three cute little boys who were born there.  We moved in when Alexa was 4 months old, so all of our kids have grown up there. 

We hurried on laid a new layer of shingles as part of the selling and moving process in Orem.  It was hot, long work and made me grateful for really good friends and neighbors, as well as the fact that I am not a full-time roofer!

We are in love with the new home and space.  We have all enjoyed going out and running around in a huge backyard together and playing tag after dinner in the evenings.  Nothing beats a great backyard in the summer.  We have wonderful neighbors and the kids have made friends quickly, although Alexa still cries occasionally because she misses her old friends.  Our kitchen table was ironically one of the last things to come over, so we ate our meals on the front porch for a couple of days.  Honestly, it was heaven.  The first day we moved in our sweet Alexa found some wildflowers and unprompted put them in a water bottle to put on our "table" outside.  We sat there eating in camp chairs and I was overwhelmed with how blessed and happy I felt.  We only have neighbors on one side and they're on the far end of our rectangle-shaped 0.60 acre lot.  We ate outside in peace surrounded mostly by horse fields and dirt.  Eventually that will change because the area behind us will be developed into 1/2-acre lots, but for now we are really enjoying the space to ourselves. 

We will spend the fall and winter renovating some of the inside of the house--rebuilding the stairs, new flooring on the main floor, repainting, rebuilding some (or all?) of the kitchen, putting in an office / guest bedroom, and building out a new pantry.  Kyle demoed the stairs within the first couple weeks with Quinn's help (thank you!), so we climbed up to the second floor using a ladder for a couple days.  It was fun holding baby Liam in one arm, his bottle in the other hand, and then climbing a ladder to lay him down for a his crib on the second floor.  The kids thought it was the best house ever--climbing a ladder to get upstairs was awesome!!

Before the move...we had fun celebrating the 4th of July.  The kids convinced me to take them to the parade, which was fun and full of princesses much to Alexa's great joy.  Tad loved all the horses.  Alexa woke up early that morning and made a sign to decorate the door so she could wish everyone a Happy 4th of July. 

Casey and Jess also invited us out on their new family boat.  It was beautiful weather and a busy day at Jordanelle.  Alexa was the only kid who wanted to go on the tube, Tyler had absolutely no interest whatsoever.  Kyle was feeling sick so he stayed home with baby Liam.

We are happy, healthy, and grateful.  And Liam discovered Cheetos and black beans.  He says they are both delicious.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

June - Playing in St. George

We were happy to have Grandma and Grandpa Sweeny here to visit in June!  We played lots and enjoyed time together at Snowbird, in St George at Peggy and Paul’s new place, at the Ludlow family reunion, and the Thunder Junction park.  We saw lots of deer at Snowbird and loved the outdoor pool and game time.

Thunder Junction is a free city park in St. George and it’s incredible!  It’s free to get in and has a dinosaur splash pad, “active volcano” (that rumbles and shoots out smoke every 30 minutes), tons of playground equipment, and a working train ($1/ticket).  The kids loved it so much that we went 2 days in a row.

We recently discovered the skate park near our house and have enjoyed throwing bikes, scooters, and popsicles in the car to go play there together.  I laughed that despite all the toys I brought Tad thought it was more fun to just push Liam all over the place in his stroller :).

Tyler's big news is that he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels.  It was the craziest thing, we literally unscrewed them and he just took off!  No looking back or Mom and Dad holding on.  What an amazing kid!  I have never seen someone do it without practice like that.  I was so impressed.

We celebrated Father’s Day with the best dad ever!

I put Liam down for a nap in his car seat and looked down a few minutes later to see that I was highly successful--

Sure do love these boys.

Kyle and I were asked to speak in church and the Bishop also asked Alexa to speak as the "youth" speaker (normally 12 years+).  I have never seen them call on a 7-year old to speak in sacrament meeting.  She did GREAT.  She was a little nervous and wanted me to go first, but she rocked it.