The other night when I caught Audrey up playing, the closest thing to take a picture on was Amos' iPad. After I sent the picture I took on it to myself, I got caught up in browsing all of the pictures Amos has been taking and treasuring. They were amazing! I couldn't help but love him more as I swiped each police car, fire truck, and sibling pic only to find another one. I'll spare you all 281 of them, but here are a couple of my favorites:
And, there was a video:
That boy is such a good soul. Being his mom makes me a better person. (And in case you're wondering, a "manunga" bar is a granola bar. Not one of my kids can say it right).
Seeing Maggie wearing her "Frozen" dress in the last post reminded me that I never blogged about her birthday. For Maggie's 5th birthday, we took her and her best friend to see Frozen. I'd wanted to go just us three girls, but Maggie insisted EVERYONE come. It was a great time, the big kids loved the movie, Wardie loved the popcorn, and Eric loved browsing his cellphone ;)
We don't usually get into costume for the movies, but since it was a birthday party we made an exception. It was a good flick, I am sure I'll get to see it a million more times once it comes out on DVD.
I often dream of the day when the kids will be able to pull their weight around here. Turns out, while I was daydreaming about it, it happened. One random day in December Maggie declared that doing the dishes was her job. She loves it. She sprays and scrubs and demands no one wash the dishes but her. It's cute. And helpful.
Of course, once Maggie made it look like fun, Auds had to get in on the action too...
Such a pleasant development. Now, how do I get them to fold laundry?
We love all of the new friends we are making in Washington. People have been very welcoming and accepting of us and all our crazy ;) Back in December, the kids and I set about making Christmas presents for our new friends. I'd seen some super sweet mason jar snow globes at Anthropologie for an astounding $48 a pop! I was sure I could do better, and in the end, even my kids could do better. The kids loved glittering the trees, painting the bases, adding "snow," and assembling the jars. The hardest part was finding jars without some annoying logo/measuring guide/decoration on the side of them.
We had a great time making them and an even better time giving them to our friends.
Audrey and Wardie are a really fun little duo. Today, Auds put her fairy wings on Wardie. Which, is incredibly generous of her. She loves them. He loved it, and started a funny little routine of not being able to stand up because they were too heavy. We all got a good laugh. Then, he popped up and started spinning crazy circles. Then we got a great laugh!
Thanksgiving was the day before we left for Disney World. It's really no wonder that it somehow got overlooked in the posting. Combine that with the fact that I forgot to get the pictures off Nan and Pop's camera, and I am really not doing well at documenting this Thanksgiving that was quite like no other...
Sometime this summer Eric had the idea to raise turkeys for Thanksgiving. Once having had the idea, there was no other choice but to move forward with it. So, he raised turkeys. Eight of them.
You might remember this phase:
By the end, they looked like this:
Huge. Just huge. That was really the most difficult part. They got a little too big and were hard to store and cook. Ours barely fit in the over. And by barely, I mean barely.
Eric came through and "processed" the turkeys like a champ. He didn't love it, but should civilization crumble taking grocery stores with it, the Hornes could still have turkey dinner.
This is as close as I got to the action:
As you can see, Amos and Maggie are down there with Eric. We kept the kids away for the killing, but they were just so curious, so we let them see the cleaning.
Not that kids haven't grown up on farms handling this type of thing forever, we just weren't sure we should go there.
Eric ended up processing 3 turkeys before Thanksgiving. We kept one and gave two away, to two unsuspecting families ;) I think one family ended up naming it "turkeyzilla."
Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, and with the exception of a few browned spots (from being so close to the top/sides of the oven), the turkey was perfect!
The kids had a battle over the turkey legs, poor Maggie was so bummed.
Post-Thanksgiving 5 turkeys remained, and with the help of the missionaries, Eric got them all processed in one day. The sister missionaries from the other ward even stopped by to help with the "service project." We had a turkey on New Year's Eve and gave another 4 away. As far as I can tell, everyone who was blessed by the turkeys of 2013 (ourselves included) still have turkey to spare. Next year I need to be seriously ready with some turkey freezer meals. Or something. And, yes, God willing, there will be a next year.
I remember loving the start of a new year at church when I was a kid. Our ward was pretty small, so not much really changed, but it always seemed like it did. So far, it seems like it will be the same for our kids.
Amos moved up to the CTR 6/7 class. His class is all boys! And they have boy (men) teachers!
(Not pictured: Amos Horne. He's become very disagreeable as of late.)
The next row down in junior primary you'll find Miss Maggie in CTR 4/5. She has Amos' teacher from last year, and still has her bestest most favorite friend Megan in her class.
Rounding out junior primary in the Sunbeams is my brand new primary girl, Audrey! As she said herself,
"I'm in a big girl class, I don't go to baby class anymore!"
Because, in baby class (nursery) is:
Wardie! He's a few weeks away from being official, but since it's only him and one other little guy for right now, we managed to sneak him in. They won't notice an extra baby, right?
On January 1 we went to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. I am still not sure where we were/where it is, but I do know we were in the car for a couple hours...
Generally, I don't go on these outings with Eric and the kids, but I was feeling all "be a better person-y" with the new year and all.
The only time I was warm enough to take pictures was at lunch:
And on the way out of the park. Good one of the girls:
And, good one of Wardie:
In spite of it being really, really cold, it was a pretty cool place. Maggie LOVES to see animals. The other kids love to run around like hooligans. We didn't bring the stroller into the park, so Wardie got to walk a lot. He loved it.
I am still trying to think of a reason for why we might need to go back, but I don't have one. It was something to do once, I suppose. Nope, wait, it just came to me. They have ziplining! We (as a family) should be good for that in about 11 years. See you in 2025 Northwest Trek!
2013 seriously blew by me. January started out with a secretive trip to Seattle to interview with a little company called Amazon. They called Eric, and it really seemed like a big joke. On us. We took them up on their offer for a free trip to our most favorite city anyway. Turns out, Amazon doesn't joke. An agonizing month later, we'd made a final decision and were making plans to completely change our lives. We snuck in a family vacation with the Hornes, welcomed my parents home from their mission, and took one more trip to Seattle (as visitors). In March Eric started work while the kids and I tied up loose ends in Utah. Eventually, strangers came and packed up all of our earthly possessions and took them to their new Washington home. We reunited with Eric and took up residence in temporary housing in Bellevue, WA where we logged an unreal number of hours at the park.
May took us to our next new home: Duvall, WA. I'd never heard of it. Certainly didn't know where it was. In Duvall, the kids and I enjoyed one last magical summer coming and going as we pleased with little responsibility. All the while, Eric worked hard. So very hard.
At the end of August, we took a trip to Eagle, ID to visit the Shaver side of the family and then it was time for SCHOOL! Amos was thrilled to start kindergarten. He has impressed us endlessly with his hard work and excitement for learning. Maggie is having the time of her life in Pre-k. Ward and Audrey are loving being king and queen of the castle for a few hours each afternoon.
In Duvall we were welcomed with open arms by our new ward, and were quickly put to work. Eric is the young men's president and I am the activities counselor in the Relief Society presidency. Add in soccer for Amos and dance class for the girls and the Hornes are a family in motion.
Reading this back, it really is no wonder I've felt tired for a year ;) In spite of all that's different, there is one thing that is exactly the same as it was one short year ago. Four little people and one amazing man are my entire world. In any state.