Monday, February 16, 2015

January Sun and Snow!

While we were in Texas, our town got clobbered with snow! It was piled up everywhere and so thick and pretty.  

As you can see in between the storage sheds and our house, it was knee deep in the yard.  And the roof had several feet of snow.  Of course the business behind us provided lots of great icicles!  

I took this the next morning when I was taking Kanyon to school.  Everything covered in white, but life goes on around here! 

This little fawn (and her mother just ahead of her) walked right by my back window.  It happens all the time and we are right in the middle of town. They actually bed down on our back porch! 

The kids were anxious to get out in the snow so we bundled up and headed out.  J didn't like walking in the snow, so she camped out by the trampoline and ate snow the whole time. The all-you-can-eat snow buffet! 

The snow was about 5 ft. deep on our little trampline. We had to shovel it all out before it turned to ice. It was a big job! Kan had fun digging in there.  

Q was busy tromping through the snow! 

...finding lots of icicle swords!

Busy in the kitchen.  Quinn loves to help cook, Jaylie June loves to "help" cook (as in she is right under me....closer than a shadow ALL DAY), and Kanyon is my head dish washer.  Its fun when we are all together "working". I love having them near me.  I also love how happy Kanyon is at the sink. Its my #1 babysitter.  And the more we learn about him, the more we know its actually good for him. Calming, modulating, and therapeutic! Yay! So that water bill is actually just another therapy bill! :) 

After we got home, the kids got their Christmas presents from us. Me, Sydni, and Kory teamed up to make some teepees for the boys and Jaylie June got a kitchen!!!  You can find her cooking "cakes" all day long! 

KLP is so much fun in the snow with the kids! They worked really hard on this snow tunnel, complete with icicle gates! 

The boys are sitting up on top of what they called "Penguin slides". They loved sliding down the sides like little penguins. 

A better view of the tunnel and gates.

When there is snow on the streets, the plows come through and clear the streets.  It piles the snow up in the middle of the street then they come back through later and haul that snow off. Here is the street right in front of our house.  The snow was piled up almost 10 feet! Look closely and you'll see Q at the top of the pile! 

One of Quinn's drawings. "Its Jaylie with pigtails! And its raining but she has a balloon."

Here is the snow removal team at work on our street.  I love watching this. Maybe all this stuff is just fun to me because I'm new, but I get a kick out of watching it work.  This tractor thing sucks up the snow and then it shoots into the back of the dump truck that drives beside the tractor. Teamwork.  

Just a week or so after all that snow, the sun came out and we enjoyed lots of good time outside.  The boys were happy to be back "at work" at their stumps Uncle Tye and Aunt Rachael gave them for Christmas.  They got their own hammer and nails so they can hammer hammer hammer!  

The snow was starting to melt, but the kids were dying to go sledding. So we went out to the ranch and had some fun on one of the hills.  

Good ol' Dad dragging kids back up the hill (no snowmobiles that day....we missed them!) 

Q ready to go!

Daddy and Q ready for take off! 

Jaylie's first sled.  She was sort of frozen in fear/uncertainty through the whole thing. Ha! 

KLP and klp.  klp LOVES the speed, doesn't mind the snow in his face, and has SO MUCH FUN! He is such a speed junkie.  

Good ol' Hungry Hungry Hippos.  This time Quinn started saying a prayer before the game started...get it??? Praying before a meal??  Haha! I guess he's keepin' those Hippos on the straight and narrow! 

My crazy girl! 
Jaylie June just tryin to stay warm

The boys always go to bed earlier than Jaylie, so that means she sometimes gets to do fun things at face time Uncle Clint and Aunt Rachel....and their CAT! She was soooooo excited (though you can't tell in this picture). 

She got all cozy on her chair and made sure her baby was cozy too.  

Kanyon got a new pair of glasses just a couple of months ago but they were TERRIBLE.  They were bent and crooked all the time.  So we decided to get new ones.  The lady in the office convinced me to try plastic frames.  I think they're cute....on other kids.  You know when something is cute on some people but you don't feel like it "fits" you.  Well, thats sort of how I felt about these glasses. But we decided to go for it and instead of calling them "preppy"or "hipster" (descriptions that don't exactly fit Kan or us) we think of it more like he's channeling his inner Kevin Durant.  NBA MVP is much more our style.  ha! 

Speaking of glasses, hiding behind these sunglasses is a zonked out little girl.  

So we had all that crazy snow at the beginning of January and then after that we had CRAZY WARM weather! There were no complaints coming from our corner of the world! We spent as much time as we could playing outside and soaking up the sun (without having to spend 20 minutes putting snow clothes on!).

After Christmas break, we changed Kanyon's school schedule.  Instead of going 3 full days a week, he now goes 5 half days.  His mornings are VERY hard. His seizure meds make him super sleepy and he functions best if he gets a little bit of a nap when those meds hit.  Obviously that wasn't happening when he was going to school in the mornings. His school days were long and he was getting very tired.  I think starting his days off so tired and uncomfortable from the meds made it really hard to recover.  So now, he goes to school at 11 in time to eat lunch with his class and carry on the rest of the day. It has been a great change for him and his days have been much more smooth, peaceful, and productive.  All that to say, we have more "school nights" now.  The boys love to sleep in the same bed, but I only let them do that on nights that klp doesn't have school.  So, with this new schedule and all, they look forward to Friday nights when "tomorrow is not a school day" as they say.  It happens all the time, but it kills me every time.  Here are the best brothers in the world sharing that tiny bed. 

The last weekend in January was the Winter Fair here in town.  Winter weather hit that day and it was cold and snowy (for the first time in several weeks) but that didn't stop us from heading out for the stick horse rodeo.  We did this last year so they boys were excited.  

Here's all the rodeo kids. It was actually a much smaller crowd than last year! The boys had fun and as you can imagine there was some major cuteness going on with each rodeo "event".  

And there goes January!!!!!!!  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Christmas in Texas

This post is the one that has paralyzed my blogging.  I kept waiting to make sure I had all the pictures from everyone that took pictures.  I don't.  These are just mine, but I figure I better get going documenting with what I have or else it'll be summer before I get back going on the blog.  Also, this is a very long post.  

This is Jaylie June's version of packing!

This is Bozeman Airport's version of holiday frenzy travel. Awesome.  

The empty airport is a little deceiving.  Travel wasn't that simple. Our plane was late coming in to Bozeman. Really late.  So we were pretty sure we were going to miss our connection in Denver.  We were scrambling trying to figure out what we were going to do. Our flight to Dallas was the last one of the night.  Meanwhile we are waiting, answering "when are we leaving?" questions from all 3 kids, Kanyon is having seizures, we are trying to decide if we should go ahead and book a hotel so we don't get stuck without one.  UGH! It was NOT pretty.  Luckily the guy at the counter went ahead and reserved us seats on the first flight out of Denver the next morning just in case we didn't make our connection.  That proved to be a clutch move.  

FINALLY, 3+ hours later,  we were on the plane! 

The boys were excited and ready to fly! 

My little seat buddy was feeling good too! 

This was Denver. We did miss our connection so they sent us to customer service to figure out what was next.  So, I waited in line with a trillion other people while Kory and the kids waited, played, watched the ipad, had seizures, and ate snacks.  3 hours later we had a hotel voucher and meal vouchers and seats on the first flight out the next morning.  It was a full flight so there is NO way we would've gotten on the flight had the guy in Bozeman not gone ahead and reserved us some seats.  It was after midnight by the time we caught the shuttle to our hotel.  We had no clothes, no toiletries, so it was actually pretty easy to go to bed once we got to the hotel.  We slept for maybe 4 hours and caught a shuttle back to the airport super early the next morning.  

The crazy, lack of sleep, insanity of the day before made for the perfect recipe for a peaceful early morning flight.  Both boys were zonked out. 

And so was this sweet thing.  

Considering the circumstances and the amount of stress and frustration we were all dealing with, the kids did a great job.  The only major bummer was that we had Kanyon scheduled for a Dr. appointment in Dallas that morning.  We missed that, but were able to reschedule for later on that week.  

Clint and Rachel left us a car at our hotel (that we never stayed in because we were stuck at the dad gum Denver airport) so we hopped in the car and headed to Gilmer where our Spencer family was celebrating Christmas. While we were driving, Kanyon asked me how to spell Nolan, so I told him one letter at a time not having any idea if he was following along at all.  When I finished he showed me this! A sweet little "nolAn". Smart boy!

So, Jaylie does this thing when she's traveling....  When she's done with a toy, book, etc. She puts it behind her head.  Here she is with several magazines, a book, a notepad, and a blanket all behind her head.  Weirdo. 

We got to Gilmer the afternoon of Dec. 23 in plenty of time to enjoy the family.  Here is cousin Jay "roasting feet" with the little ones.  They get such a kick out of it. He pretends their feet are all different kinds of food roasting over a fire.  Its some pretty cute stuff.  And that freaky baby on the couch isn't real.  

Clay "holding 2 girls" as they say.  (June and Ellie)

Nanny Lou with all of her Great Grands. 

Nanny with all of her Great Grands and her Grands that were there.  We were missing John Richard's family. 

We stayed in Gilmer til Christmas Eve afternoon then we drove to Paris and went in to Christmas Eve mode! Including a late night Mule ride to look for Rudolph! 

Christmas Eve with Gay Gay.

Paw Paw read T'was the Night Before Christmas.  My 3 can be a tough crowd, but they made it through. 

One last Christmas Eve rock before bed! 

Christmas morning! My 3 waiting in the exact spot where I used to wait! Jaylie is holding my baby doll I got for Christmas when I was about her age.  

Santa brought this little Mommy a baby with a bottle. She was VERY pleased.  
Here she is waiting for Paw Paw to get the baby out of the box.  She could hardly stand it.  

Mommy and baby had no trouble bonding.   

Santa heard Q wanted a BB Gun and sure enough he brought one! I think Q was a little disappointed that it didn't make a loud noise when it shot, but he was pretty proud of his new "real" gun.  

A few lessons from Dad.  Shooting into the water was fun. Its impossible to miss the target! We think Quinn is right handed but left eyed...yikes.  We've gotta figure out which way he's gonna shoot.  

I think one of Santa's jobs is to bring ridiculous things that no one  NEEDS.  Enter: light up mohawks.  My kids have been obsessed with mohawks for a couple of months, so it only made sense .

Here is klp with his new hospital.  He loves to "play Dr." with his guys.  Someone is always needing a Dr. and he gets a huge kick out of the whole hospital/Dr. thing (appropriate I guess, considering his life events).  He went to town taking care of patients.....while wearing a mohawk no less.  

Later that afternoon the whole gang came over to celebrate.  Here is our group picture.  Sure do love these people.  We had so much fun all camping out at Mom and Dad's.  Kids played non stop, parents had fun together.  It was a blast.  Though we have TONS of kids in one house, they all are big enough now and play really well together. But the noise level is incredibly loud.  

The "little girls" table at our big Christmas lunch with Nanny Betty's yummy dressing.  

We let the kids open their presents that afternoon.  But not before a group picture. 

After a long, fun, exciting day all these little PJ matching kiddos hit the hay so us adults could open our presents. 

 Dad got this gun video game thing. We all enjoyed playing while the kids slept.  

Mo (and baby) were unstoppable. 

The day after Christmas,  Cousins and friends came over.  Us three girls have lived our entire lives together.  Now we are raising babies together. It was so fun to all be together even with all the insanity! 
Me and June, Julie and Natalie, Alison and Miles.  

Here's the cousins (Scott and Taryn, Julie and Sam's kids) and Friend like family (Alison) kiddos. 

Lifelong trio.  

As you know, there are LOTS of Mule rides around Mom and Dad's house, but at Christmas time they take it to the next level.  There's a big cedar tree that they decorate. Here they are after they hung some ornaments on it.  They sing to the tree every time they drive by it.  

Jaylie June and Marion. 

It was COLD.  But Paw Paw and Gay Gay are troopers and bundled the gang up for a Mule ride. 

The weekend after Christmas, we drove to Longview for church. It felt so good to be back at our church with our people.  It still felt so normal.  It is truly home to us.  Miss Kinsey was still home from college we were SO HAPPY to hang out with her! 

We had a great Sunday with friends, then kept the fun going and spend the night with  Uncle Steve and Boozie (my aunt Mary Lynn).  I forgot Jaylie June's PJ's so she had to wear one of Boozie's old CDR Staff shirts.  I was dying from the cuteness of this.  

This girl followed her Boozie around...even supervised her make up application. 

We had a blast in Longview. There is never enough time, but we are thankful for the time we had and the friends we did get to see.  

We got back to Paris just in time for our dentist appointments! 

Silly [toothless] Landry Lou wearing Uncle Kory's boots! 

Usually there are at least 37 kids in the bathtub at once, but somehow these two managed a nice, calm, peaceful bath with just the two of them.  

Baby girls fresh out of the tub. 

Sweetness with their Gay Gay. 

Gary and Sharon were out of town while we were in Longview so they came to Paris! It was SOOOOO good to see them! Its always a blast. We just love them so so so much.  

New Year's eve, Mo and Clay brought their Wii over to play their new Mario Kart game. It was so much fun. Adults and kids had a blast! 

We took the kids to the movies one afternoon...

played a little dress up.  Not sure what Marion is so ticked off about.....

....and had good ol' cousin time. 

Kanyon has a complicated body in a lot of ways so there are quite a few systmens that aren't normal for him.  He has to spend about an hour a day on the toilet (I'll spare you the regiment explanation/details). While he's sitting there he gets to watch the iPad so his cousins all gathered around to watch with him.  Nothing says "LOVE" like keeping you company while you're sitting on the toilet!

Ro Ro did this drawing of Jaylie June.  It's on point. 

A little reading with Aunt Rachel. 

Juney had to help Paw Paw with the fire wood (while wearing Uncle Clint's hat) 

The hat killed me in this picture! 

Christmas= boxes

Decorating their cars. 

It was beyond awesome to be home and be together with family.  A big thank you to my brothers and their families who pretty much put their life on hold and move into my parents house while we are in town.  Nothing beats being together. 

We headed back on Jan. 6.  Kan had a Dr. appointment that morning, then we headed to the airport. All was well with our departure.  When we landed in Denver, I got a text that said our flight to Bozeman had been canceled.  Seriously?! So we started scrambling and headed back to our all too familiar customer service line. Another 3 hours later, the best we had was a flight booked the next day that would take us from Denver to Seattle to Bozeman....a FULL day of travel AGAIN. There were no more direct flights from Denver to Bozeman for 2 days. UGH.  Not cool.  There was one more flight to Bozeman that night but we would have to be on the standby list.  So that was our best bet....trying the near impossible feat of getting all 5 of us on a standby flight. I was sooooooo over it.  We got to the gate and we were something like #18-22 on the standby wait list.  Pretty much no way we were going to make it.  But they started calling names one by one.  We started gathering our stuff thinking we were about to have to figure out a hotel.  Then they said "Phillips Family, please come to the door.  Fast." So we did! They pushed us through the door with no boarding passes and we jumped on the plane!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!! I have NEVER been so relieved.  I did NOT have it in me to do another full day of travel.  We got to Bozeman late that night and stayed with Clint and Sydni. We were so so so glad to have that trip behind us! SHEESH!