Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Eighteen Month Old Violet

Violet turned eighteen months on Valentines Day.  She surely does hold a special place in all our hearts.  Recently, Greg has adapted the motto for our kids to "treat each other they way you would treat Violet."  They fight, as all young siblings do, but they are all kind and caring towards Violet, all the time.  Violet took a while to start walking (16 months), but once she did, she just took off!  She is all over the place.  She has no fear of climbing or exploring unknown areas.  She had started saying more words, although she never does them on demand.  She is strong willed, and just plain strong.   She recently had some x-rays (just checking that all is well with her bones since her broken arm was the product of such a slight injury), and it took seven technicians to hold her down.  They all remarked how surprising it was that she has so much strength.  She is a whole lot of personality in a very small body.  This is what is going on with Violet at eighteen months.

She's learned: to walk, to say and wave hi and bye, a couple animal noises (baaa, rawr, woof), to say peek a boo, to blow kisses

She likes: being outside, her family, playing with kids, dancing, Baby Einstein shows, playing on our phones, eating and snacking... almost constantly, baths, slides and other play equiptment, binkies, her two blankies, being held, cheese, apple sauce and suckers
She dislikes: being alone, not getting attention

Things about her/she does that makes us laugh: awesome dance moves, how excited she gets when we understand what she wants and meet her request (huge squeals, her whole body shakes), big toothy smiles, happy giggles and belly laughs

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas with Family

On Christmas Adam, Grandpa Kelly and Grandma Kerri came to town, and the Hess side of the family got together for dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant.  I sadly didn't think to take a picture.  After dinner Grandpa and Grandma came back to our home and we exchanged gifts.  They spoiled the grandkids with some fun stuff like: motorized cars that ride on a track for the younger kids and Google play cards for the older boys.

We spent Christmas Eve night with the Nichols side of the family.  We had a meal of various appetizers and cake (I made caramel praline torte).  The children all received some little gifts sent in a package by Grandma Betty and Pappy, and cards with money.  Grandma and Pappy kindly sent the adults some Christmas money as well.  Then we had a gift exchange, where everyone opened one gift, opened by the youngest up to the oldest.  We ended the evening opening homemade gifts between us sisters.  London gifted service coupons, Sariah gifted homemade cooking extracts and I gifted the game Outburst with a special version of the game with top ten lists based on our family members.  We played the family game that evening.  It was really fun!  I think it's my favorite angel gift I've ever made.

On Christmas evening we went to Aunt Emily and Uncle Aaron's house.  Our kids were all so tired when we arrived, they just passed out on the couch.  Emily made a meal of prime rib, potatoes and other yummy sides.  We brought homemade rolls and scalloped corn.  After some sustenance, the kids perked up a bit and exchanged gifts and played a board game.  Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Randall had planned to join us, but they both were very sick with pneumonia and stayed home to rest.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Twins and Their Extracurriculars

We had a busy Saturday morning!  Archer had his last basketball game and Avonlea had her dance recital, at the same time, in different cities.  We were able to make them both by leaving one event early and going to the other later.  And thankfully Auntie Rie came to the rescue and helped us get out the door by doing Avonlea's makeup as I did her hair and then took Archer to his basketball game, and cheered him on until we could arrive.

Avonlea did awesome at her recital!  It was so cute watching her on stage.  Even before the lights and music came on I could see her silhouette jumping up and down in excitement.  She is one of the youngest in the class, but she kept up great, and danced with a lot of enthusiasm.  She has been taking dance since the school year started with her friend Emily.  She loves dance class and looks forward to it every week.  She loves to wear her dance clothes, and she was thrilled to wear make up for the performance!

This was Archer's first try at basketball and he has been a natural!  He has really loves the sport and asks throughout the week how many more days it will be until his game.  We have all enjoyed going to his games and cheering him on.  He always makes a couple baskets each game.  When we arrived on Saturday, just after half time, he had not scored any points yet.  When he saw us in the bleachers, he became very determined and made sure to get a hold of the ball and then charged his way to the hoop and scored.  As he got his medal he told me he was crying happy tears!  Haha!

 Good job Twinkies!  We're proud of you and your hard work!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Gingerbread Houses

We decorated gingerbread houses.  It is always one the the kids' favorite activities each Christmas season.  Violet was to excited about the gingerbread and dug into hers right away.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Visiting with Santa

The "kids" (I write that with quotation marks for a reason, you'll see why as you look at the pictures) visited with Santa at the Ward Christmas party.  Palmer asked for Santa himself so he could ask for anything all year long.  When Santa said that wasn't possible, Palmer asked for a candy cane.  And when Santa handed him a candy cane, as he was giving all the kids, Palmer remarked that he got his gift already (He thinks he's so smart and funny at nine years old!).  Brody asked for Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.  Archer asked for a PJ Masks Headquarters toy and Avonlea asked for a Barbie Camper.  Violet did not like St. Nicholas!  However, Greg did!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Within Reach: Reflections 2017

The kids rocked Reflections this year!  I'm on the committee, so I usually see a list of the winners before the assembly and have an idea of who is winning what.  But this year, I only happened to see a list of the photography and literary arts winners before arriving at the school.  So I was utterly surprised that all our children won an award.  I was so happy for them; they were so excited!  And if you can't tell from the pictures, it was crazy hair day at school, haha!

Palmer won an Award of Merit in Music for a song he composed entitled "Happy," and an Award of Merit in Photography for a picture he took, "Night at the Fair."

"Night at the Fair" by Palmer Hess

Brody won an Award of Excellence in Film for his short film "Playing with My Baby Sister" and an Award of Excellence in Photography for his photo "Playing Piano."  Both of Brody's entries went on to win Merit Awards at the Council level.

 "Playing Piano" by Brody Hess

Archer won an Award of Merit in Visual Arts for his painting "My Rainbow Hand."

"My Rainbow Hand" by Archer Hess

Avonlea won an Award of Excellence in Visual Arts for her drawing "Ballerinas and Flowers Dancing."

 "Ballerinas and Flowers Dancing" by Avonlea Hess

For sure we have talented and creative kids.  However, I am even more proud of the thought, time and effort they put into their projects each year.  They are pretty cool kids!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

The kids were all on board to be Ghostbusters (and Violet as Slimer) this year.  I had the idea, but wasn't sure Avonlea would go for it; she is so girlie and loves all things princess.  I had asked her first so that if she wasn't interested, I wouldn't get the boys all excited about it for no reason.  She asked if she could be the girl version, and I said of course, and so she excitedly agreed.  They all looked so cute running around with their matching jumpsuits and proton packs!  The kids wore their costumes to the school's Monster Ball, the ward's Fall Festival, the school's Halloween parade and trick or treating. We got a lot of compliments this year on the costumes.

This was the first year that Archer and Avonlea trick or treated for more than a couple streets.  They were getting cold and tired of walking, but they insisted that they wanted to keep going.  They are getting the idea that a little discomfort is worth more candy!  Violet went around with us for a couple streets but then went back home to keep warm.  Greg and I took turns walking the kids around and passing out candy at the house.  The kids trick or treated for a couple hours and gathered A LOT of candy!  It was a very fun, successful Halloween night!