We drove back to my parents' house from Bear Lake on Saturday morning,
and that evening my mom and my sisters and I had a girls' night to see Little Women.
I thought it was a lovely depiction of the book.
We spent that night at my parents', and the next morning we headed down to Grandma Sue's for Church.
After Church, we had a lovely lunch of carbonara together (she makes the BEST carbonara!),
and then, after Sam and Joseph got back from visiting their aunt who has cancer,
we had another Christmas and opened presents!
The boys were thrilled about their presents which included a wooden STEM basketball game, a set of snap circuits, and our own set of play snowballs. So many generous gifts!
That evening we headed over to Joseph and Hillary's house, where we would be sleeping for the next few nights.
They bought a house back at the end of the Summer and they have done a great job fixing things up!
It was fun to see the work they've done, and they set things up so nicely to accommodate our large family.
Highlights over the next few days:
Ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong!!!
Sam and his brothers played endless games of ping-pong while growing up,
and they racked up dozens of games while we were together during this trip.
Sam had the most wins, but it was stiff competition!
He was on Cloud 9 and it was so fun for me to see him play.
Talmage also learned to hold his own pretty well!
Lots of Mario Kart
Since we don't have a gaming system, the boys are always so excited when they get to play some video games while visiting. Joj and Hillary have labeled their family room in their basement the "fun room," so it has the TV and a nice big sectional in one half and the ping-pong table in the other half. So Sam could play ping-pong with his mom and brothers while the boys were fixated on Mario Kart and I tried to keep the little ones from destroying the house. :)
New Year's Eve
There was a nice spread of snacks to enjoy on New Year's Eve! Unfortunately I had a substantial headache, so I went to bed early with the boys and missed watching Sam and his brother play "California Games" from their childhood. Very, very old, retro video games at their finest!
Cereal for Every Meal
We are so lax about what our kids eat when we're on vacation. We are just glad when they have eaten a meal that isn't 100% junk food and we don't push them to eat what is served. Therefore, they were happy to eat many, many bowls of cereal. They are definitely their mama's boys in this way!
The Community Center
While Sam and his mom and siblings played racquetball and basketball,
the kids had fun exploring the kids' play area in the community center!
We also loved doing a bit of rock climbing afterward.
We couldn't use the harnesses so we didn't go very high, but it was a blast regardless.
Sam's sister Amanda and her family flew in from California, so we got to be with them for this activity and some others! The boys were so excited to see their cousin Ivan again.
We followed it up with lunch at Cafe Rio, a Utah classic!
I have been hearing about Clank! for some time now, and I was very excited to play it! It did not disappoint. It is a really fun, innovative game in which you descend down the board game into the dungeon to steal treasure from the dragon and try to escape before the dragon kills you.
Very fun and suspenseful!
I'm thinking we'll want to add this to our own game collection before long.
We had a pretty decent snow storm, so we picked up some sleds and headed to a nearby hill for an hour or two. It was fabulous!
We also loved just sitting around visiting, snacking, and watching adorable exchanges between Walter (Joseph and Hillary's son) and Benson, who are just a few months apart.
***Today's Tidbit: It is 68 degrees and SUNNY today! The boys and I went on a bike ride this morning and hit the recycling center, Costco, and Kroger later on. I don't know what it is about grocery shopping, but it always gives me the greatest sense of well-being. I love walking the aisles with my little ones and methodically restocking our pantry and refrigerator at home. And I kind of feel like a rockstar at our local Kroger, because people are always so excited to see the boys and do nice things like give them enormous Mylar football balloons left over from the super bowl. Thank you, sir! You made two little boys very happy!