Monday, January 25, 2016

Seth and Itty Bitty Ball

Seth was definitely the smallest boy on his team!
Once our boys hit three years old we sign them up for Itty Bitty Ball. Itty Bitty Ball has classes for different sports to help the little ones develop their skills. This class was working on basketball. Mark and Dax LOVED Itty Bitty Ball and when I told them that Seth was participating, they were jealous and wanted to go back. Luckily this encouraged Seth to want to go because he was kind of dragging his feet before that.

Seth likes to play basketball at home every once in awhile, but he is not as involved as his two big brothers. I haven't figured out if that's because the older boys monopolize the sports equipment, or if he just isn't as interested. So I was hoping this class would fill him with energy for basketball.

I think that it kind of worked. He loved to shoot and play defense, but he wasn't very interested in dribbling or passing. When they practiced those skills Seth would sometimes sit on the floor. He was on a team with his cousin, Aiden, by random chance and Seth did like to see Aiden. He also loved all the extra things they did like the parachute, or the obstacle course.

When I asked him what he liked best, Seth said that he loved running! They ran at the beginning to warm up and at the end, and Seth was all smiles when he was racing around the gym. Maybe he'll be a runner!
Seth is a good little shooter.
Seth knows how to play good defense--he's watched his big brothers in lots of games.
He never let anyone get by!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Eve

Natalie had some really great activities laid out for New Year's Eve. Since we don't allow the kids to stay up until midnight, we celebrate throughout the day. The first thing the kids noticed when they woke up was ten bags labeled 3:00, 3:30, every half hour all the way up to 7:30. Here's a rundown of the activity in each bag:

3:00 Round-Robin Reading: We drew another family member's name and had 10 minutes of reading time with that person. Since there are five of us, someone got 10 minutes of private reading time, too.

3:30 Year review: We went through 2015 on this blog and looked at all the entries. The boys loved watching videos and looking at all our fun times-- even though it took 45 minutes!

4:00 Champagne Celebration: Well, actually vinegar and baking soda with food coloring celebration. The boys really liked this "science experiment" which bubbled over the glass in celebration of the New Year. As a bonus, it only took 10 minutes and put us back on schedule.

4:30 Goals and Mad-Libs: Mark and Dax set five goals each on Sunday, so we printed a tracking sheet and reviewed the goals before they start tomorrow. Then we did a Mad-Lib, which they have been loving lately.

5:00 Dinner: Natalie made a really nice ham and white bean soup with leftover Christmas ham. Three-fifths of us enjoyed it, if you count the half a bowl Dax ate.

5:30 Roll the New Year: Mom modified a dice to have skip, reverse, and 0. Then we tried to roll "2016" for the win!

6:00 Make Treats: The boys helped Mom make snickerdoodle cookies for later after they're in bed and our game guests (the Alders) come over.

6:30 Ring Out the Old Year: Actually we mostly stomped it out. We covered the floor with big bubble wrap, armed each boy with a pot and a wooden spoon and cranked up our favorite dance songs. There was dancing, popping, and even a broken spoon! (We really ring it out around here.)

7:00 GlowStick Hide-n-Seek: It's just like it sounds. Fire up the glowsticks, turn off the lights, and hide. Only Dax and Seth demanded to be accompanied because the house was a little too dark for them.

7:30 Ring in the New Year: We blew up balloons and used party horns to ring in the New Year!

It was a great way to celebrate the New Year-- and get the kids to bed on time....

Stephanie's Baby

Katelynn is a sweet baby!
Natalie's sister Stephanie had a new baby girl, Katelynn Tillie, on December 21. We wanted to use Christmas Break to go see her, so we picked a time between two storms and made the drive to Idaho Falls. We left after church on Sunday, December 27 and got to Grandma's in Blackfoot right at bedtime (thanks 1-4pm church!). We were happy to stay at Grandma's house because we hadn't seen them for Christmas due to the weather.

Monday morning we headed up and saw the thirteenth cousin on the Daniels' side (45th cousin for our boys overall). Katelynn is a really cute baby, and one time she almost opened her eyes! The boys were excited to see her for about thirty seconds, and then they were off to play with Abby and Raymond. Mark came back and held the baby for a few minutes, but neither Dax nor Seth could be convinced to get too close! We didn't get to spend too long, but we enjoyed our hour or two with Katelynn.
Randy was excited to hold a baby if he didn't have to change the diaper.
Oldest and youngest grandchild on Natalie's side.
Katelynn was very sleepy so it was fun to snuggle her--
even if she does look a little annoyed by us!
Seth and Raymond played Star Wars the entire time!
We headed back to Grandma's where we spent the rest of the day. That night Mom and Dad played Grandpa's new crazy dice game Tenzis: "Now with 77 different ways to play" until far into the night (or 10:45, whichever came first). It was a short trip to Grandma's, but we were happy to see the baby.

Randy's Birthday

Happy Birthday dad!
Randy has his birthday the day after Christmas. We love trying to make it a special day for our amazing dad. This year, we did not get Christmas down before his birthday because Natalie fell asleep at 9:45 on Christmas. Oops! 

But the day was still a success! First, we let dad sleep in. Then, we made dad his favorite breakfast of eggs with ham, cheese, and mushrooms. Next, we let him open presents. Randy is a good gift receiver. He puts the shirts right on, as well as the protective eyewear we got him. He also got a new ladder so he won't fall off the roof when he puts up the Christmas lights for Mom. My sister stopped by and brought a present from my family--bird Legos. So we spent the afternoon buildling them. 
He always acts like he loves all his presents!
We had a lot of fun putting these Legos together.
Laurie and Glen came out and watched the boys so Randy and Mom could go see Star Wars VII...again! It's so good we had to see it a second time. After the movie we picked up a LOT of pizza because the Alders and Grandpa Ockey joined us for dinner, games, and dessert. Randy requested pumpkin trifle for his birthday. 
We LOVE Star Wars!
Glen and Laurie had found a Buffalo Bills helmet signed by Jim Kelley for Randy for his birthday. He was pretty excited about it! Mark put it on, and it looks super fun, but then it was stuck on his head. Mom had to pull pretty hard to get it off. We didn't let anyone else try it on after that.

We hope that our dad had a happy birthday! We love him so much!
Randy has hitched his wagon to the Buffalo Bills who seem to always disappoint lately!
It looks fun now...but there was a little bit of worry later when it wouldn't come off.
We had fun with these crazy kids!
Pumpkin trifle--it looks pretty and it tasted pretty good, too.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


We had a wonderful Christmas this year.

One of the things we try to do is break up the opening of Christmas presents so that the boys appreciate their gifts a little bit more. So on Christmas Eve, we opened the gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Daniels. The boys were pretty excited about all of the gifts. And it was fun to have some new toys to play with the day before Christmas. We also opened up new pajamas and tracked Santa for awhile before we headed to bed.
Seth was super excited for these cars, but he especially loved the pirate ship grandma got for him.
Dax is WAY into Star Wars right now so this was a great gift.
Mark got a set of these last year and was excited for set #2 this year!
Just checking on Santa before bedtime.
Christmas morning began with 10 inches of snow when we woke up. We had already had a little bit of snow a few days earlier, but then we got a really great dump of snow on Christmas Eve. The boys were so excited and after we opened some presents, we spent time shoveling and playing in the snow.
Christmas morning snow!! 
We loved the hat on our light post!
It was a lot of snow to shovel!!
Dax just rolls in the snow and eats it all day long!
Dad piled this huge mound of snow for the boys to make a fort.
Mark worked really hard on the fort.
Seth was a tiger hiding in the snow cave.
The boys were pleased with all of their gifts. Santa was able to bring most of their wishes. After we looked through stockings and Santa gifts, we had breakfast before opening the other gifts under the tree.
Seth really wanted these Rescuebots. 
Dax wanted a new race track. 
Mark asked for batting gloves. He got those, plus a new bat!
The racetrack has been popular with everyone in our house!
Dax has the true spirit of Christmas in his heart. Every year he makes gifts for us. He is so thoughtful and makes sure everyone has equal number of presents. Dax made Mark a baseball bat out of a paper towel roll and baseballs out of paper and tape. For Seth he made a hiking stick out of a wrapping paper tube and a coloring book with the numbers. He made his Mom and Dad nice cards and books, and a cute snowman ornament. Most of the presents, I am involved in making, but he surprised me when Mark opened a parachute man created out of a grocery sack and a cardboard man. Dax created that all on his own. This is my favorite part of Christmas--Dax Christmas.
Dax with all the gifts he wrapped for us.
This is Mark's bat and baseballs that Dax made for him.
Seth using his hiking stick.
I loved this coloring book. Dax made all the bubble numbers. 
This was such a fun gift. Dax is so creative!
Later, Grandpa Ockey came over and we opened the gifts from Grandpa. It's fun to have Grandpa come over, and he had come for clam chowder on Christmas Eve as well. The boys love him! He stayed and played a game of Baloney with us before he headed over to Amy's house.
We love Grandpa Ockey!
For dinner we had a delicious ham and all the fixings! We have fun getting out the china and the fancy tablecloth for Christmas: our once a year time. I think I might pull it out for New Year's this year as well just so it can have a little more use.
Fancy Christmas dinner is one of my favorite parts!
Seth gave me this cup for Christmas. Randy told me that in the store, he saw it and said,"I want to give Mom this trophy for Christmas for being the best mom!" So Randy let him buy it and they wrote Best Mom on the cup. I will always treasure it!
Randy loved his ping pong set.
These three boys are what make it all worthwhile. They are the best and I'm so glad they are mine!

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