Thursday, January 15, 2015

What a Crazy Year - Part Three!

Here is the final installment of our yearly update from 2014!

September 1 was Labor Day, and we spent it with the Stuarts!  We all went to the splash pad (Jackson's favorite place all summer), and then back to our house for a BBQ.  

On the 3rd, we moved Parker into his own room.  Since we only have two bedrooms upstairs (ours and Jackson's) and we weren't quite ready for the boys to share a room, we converted the office into a makeshift nursery.  Parker did okay sleeping in there the first few nights, but has been a champ ever since!

On the 10th my diploma came in the mail!  I am officially a master now :)

The first Friday in October, Shawn's parents received a call to serve a mission for our church.  They were assigned to serve in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City for 2 years, and were to report in the beginning of November!  We were excited to be on the phone while they opened their call to find out the good news.  We have loved having them nearby, and have more adventures with them to come!

On October 16th we took our annual trip with the Stuarts to the Red Barn in Santaquin to get pumpkins!  We finally got to enjoy some apple cider donuts (they had been out the last two years we went), and the boys had a blast in the maze, on the giant slide, and perusing the pumpkin patch.  Tommy is a master at mazes and Jackson loved chasing him through.  

Tommy wanted to sit on the hay instead of on the bench
... and didn't want to look at the camera ;)
This was actually the best picture of the four of us on the hay ride :)
Jackson running after Tommy in the maze

Even though he doesn't look like it, he really loved going down the slide himself!

Parker had a diaper blowout, which explains the pants and one sock missing.
But his onesie was pretty cute!
On the 18th, the boys and I flew out to CT to visit my family and a couple of friends for 10 days.  I was a little nervous about flying by myself with the two boys, but overall they did pretty good.  We got to my parents' house really late on Saturday night, but Jackson was so excited to see the dog, cats, auntie Kara, and all of the new toys and books that we didn't end up getting him to bed until about 1 am!  
Jackson loved having his own backpack at the airport!
We had a lot of fun while we were visiting!  My sister Merrie and her kids Kaliah and Dante loved having Jackson and Parker around.  
Checking out Nana's toys

Cuddling with Kaliah
Merrie loved Parker!

Playing with Papa!

On the Monday after we got to CT, we all went to the mall and got pictures taken of the kids with grandma and grandpa.  My boys were a little cranky and tired for the pictures, but they had fun playing at the carousel and play area in the food court afterwards!
Cousins waiting for pictures!
In line for the carousel 
It doesn't look like it in this picture, but Jackson actually had a blast!
He went on twice, once with Merrie and once with me.
Parker and Grandpa
The next day we checked out one of the local parks that was recently renovated in town with Merrie, Kara, my Dad and the kids.  They did a really great job on the park!
This was probably Jackson's favorite thing in the park ... two really big xylophones!  

Kaliah and Kara climbing
He also loved the really big wind chimes 

Later in the week we visited Stew Leonard's and Jackson LOVED the animals on the little farm!  He saw cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, goats, and sheep.  

On Saturday the 25th, the shops in downtown Newtown hosted trick-or-treating for the neighborhood kids.  So we got the kids dressed up in costumes and went downtown to get some candy!  They also had the Newtown Fire and Rescue there, and let the kids climb into a Fire and Rescue truck.  Jackson was very excited to drive the truck!  And he had a blast getting candy!
Our little dinosaur!

Jackson driving the fire truck

Tigger getting some candy :)

The day before we flew home was my mom's birthday!  We decided to grab some lunch and take it to the park for the afternoon.  Then we all went out to dinner that night to celebrate.  It was fun being in town for mom's birthday!

A couple of day after we got back to UT, Shawn's parents arrived to get ready to report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, just in time for Halloween!  On Halloween, I took the boys over to Shawn's office to show off their costumes and go trick-or-treating.  One of his co-workers was dressed up as The Man in the Yellow Hat with his daughter dressed as Curious George.  Jackson was really excited to meet The Man in the Yellow Hat and talked about it for days!  

After dinner that evening, Shawn's parents and the Kaouks came down to our house to show off the kids' costumes, and then we took the boys  trick-or-treating.  Jackson was great at it this year!

We spent the first part of November recouping from all of our fun in October and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather!

The last week of November, the week of Thanksgiving, my sister Beth and her fiance Donovan came to visit!  They went and saw a lot of the different sights in Utah.  On Thanksgiving, we also had the Kaouks and Shawn's parents down at our house for dinner and dessert.  We had a ton of good food!
Grandma and Grandpa loving all the time with grandkids!

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to the zoo with Beth and Donovan.  Jackson LOVES the zoo!!  We had a great time, but didn't take any pictures with Beth and Donovan :(

Stopping for lunch

This was the first time we've been back since the train was working again.
Jackson loved it!
December was a busy month with lots of Christmas and family activities!  Jackson and I made a Christmas countdown chain at the beginning of the month, and Jackson got to rip a link off each night before he went to bed.  

On Friday, the 5th, Shawn and I got to go out for an evening to Shawn's work party.  We got a sweet popcorn bowl and a build your own tardis (from Dr. Who) at the annual white elephant gift exchange.  
Monday, the 8th, was Shawn's dad's birthday, so we went out to dinner at Olive Garden with his parents and the Kaouks.  

Wednesday, the 10th, was our Christmas party with our church.  We had a nice dinner, visited with friends, enjoyed a nativity program performed by the kids, and got to see Santa!  It was the first year that Jackson didn't cry!  

Jackson loves Christmas lights, so we took every opportunity we could to see Christmas lights.  Often when we drove home at night, we took an extra loop through our neighborhood to check them out too.  We saw the lights at Salem Pond, the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork, and we went up to Salt Lake City one night to have dinner with Shawn's parents and see the Christmas Lights at Temple Square.
Salem Pond lights
Temple Square

Grandpa and Grandma with the boys at Temple Square
Our family at Temple Square
Jackson loved having Grandma show him all of the different lights
He especially loved the luminaries 

On Christmas Eve we had Shawn's parents come down for a lasagna dinner and stay overnight to be here when the boys opened presents the next morning.  Jackson was a great big brother and "helped" Parker open most of his presents.  After the boys' naps that afternoon, we went up to the Kaouks' house for dinner, dessert, and games!  It was a great, relaxing, Christmas.  I even made my very first homemade pie crust!  I had some issues with it falling apart when I put the top crust on my pie, but after it baked you couldn't tell and it tasted great!
Our stockings on Christmas Eve
Our Christmas tree
Checking out his stocking 
Parker enjoying his new teething ring
Helping Parker open presents

Jackson even helped Grandpa and Grandma open their present :)
Parker kind of getting the hang of it

The t-shirt quilt Shawn is making me
Grandma reading to Jackson, his favorite thing to do

My pie before I baked it ... 
and the finished product!

I got Shawn a 2-man tent for Christmas to take camping with the scouts if they go backpacking.  We set it up in the basement the day after Christmas and Jackson had a blast playing in it!

Shawn's birthday this year was on a Sunday, so the night before we went out to dinner at a Mongolian grill called Hu Hot in Spanish Fork that was delicious!  Then we had Shawn's parents and the Kaouks over for dinner and cake on Sunday.

On New Year's Eve, we had our annual sleepover with the Stuarts at our house!  We visited and ate homemade pizza and other delicious food.  The Stuarts boys were impressive and made it all the way until midnight!  The next morning we had breakfast burritos, and the Stuarts offered to watch our boys so Shawn and I could go on a date to the movies.  We saw the newest Hobbit movie, and loved the chance to get out.

Overall, we had a pretty busy and crazy year!  It has been fun to look back at all of the fun things we did this year.  Hopefully this year I can be better at blogging so I don't have to write about the whole year at once ;)

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