Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bear Lake

Okay, so some quick background on our friends who own the condo:
Ben and Conni Lewis have been married few years before us.  (I think 11??  But that might be too long--not sure.)  They have three children: Aisley who turns 7 at the beginning of February (I taught her CTR 5 class when we first moved in to the ward, so she and I are good friends), Breckin who is Kaden's age and they are in the same Sunbeam class, and Rylin (not sure on the spelling!) who is around 19 months old...maybe a couple of months older, but close enough to Ari's age that they are buddies.

The Lewis's started fostering kids back in September and have had one adorable little boy staying with them up until a couple of weeks ago when he went back with his mom.  BUT three or four days before Christmas, they got a call that there was another little boy (Hayden, who is 2 1/2) that needed a home like rightnow so they had four kids for Christmas!  :)  All in all, we were outnumbered: 7 kids - 4 adults.  
(And, yes, having a "Hayden" and a "Kaden" was super confusing-for both the adults and kids.  "Hayden NO!"  Kaden, "What did I do?"  Yeah...good times.)

Anyway, Sunday evening (on Christmas) we finally got all the kids to bed and then the adults stayed up playing games.  Kaden and Lexi got to share a blow-up mattress, which they loved.  It was hilarious to hear them giggling until all hours of the night.  That is exactly why they don't share a room.  Ari was in a pack-n-play in our room as well, but we drugged her so she went to sleep without too much crying.  ;)

So cozy!  We definitely need to invest in an air mattress or two.  They are so handy!
 After playing games for a few hours, we were all exhausted...some of us more than others...
Ben, Conni's hubby, so tired!

Conni!  She and I were willing to pull an all nighter, but the boys wussed out on us.

This was our room for the night.  It was huge!

This was the view of the living room from our upstairs bedroom.

A view of Bear Lake from the patio.
 The Lewis's motto during their week vacation every year is "Eat well, play hard."  And do they ever!  Conni told us when we arrived that they have three huge meals a day, plus snacks, and she wasn't kidding.  Breakfast was SO good and would easily put IHOP to shame.  After eating until we thought we would burst, it was time to break out the Wii for some dancing!

That's Aisley in the front in her cute p.j.'s.
 We played that for a while and the kids played in one of the back rooms, then we bundled up and headed to the playground nearby.

 As I was taking pictures, these deer ran RIGHT in front of me:

There were 12 all together-and a couple of babies.  Kaden said, "Mom!  I see Santa's reindeer!!"

Shane carrying Ari to the playground.  Nice.


Shane didn't realize there were bumps on this slide and this was his face as he hit the first one.  "AH!!"  hahaha

Conni had the brilliant idea to have the kids go sledding down the slide instead of driving through the canyon trying to find a decent hill.  The kids loved it!

 It was such a gorgeous day!  I got hot enough that I took my coat and scarf off, so Kaden copied me.

You'll see in a minute why he's wearing a swimming top...

Conni got in on the sledding action

She went the furthest...   ;)

Conni and Aisley

Kaden, Lexi, and Aisley on the merry-go-round thing.
 When the kids were done playing, we headed over to the hot tub!

Breckin walking behind Lexi and Hayden on the sled that Conni was pulling. warm.

Can you see Kaden and Breckin sitting on the stairs?  They are best buds.
Kaden and Breckin are both surrounded by girls at home (now Breckin has Hayden on his side, but it hasn't been for long), so they became brothers quickly and loved having another boy around.

Shane and Ari
The hot tub felt EXTRA hot, but that might have been because it was so warm outside.  We all stayed and played for a while, then headed back for some lunch!

Poor little Ari ate two bites of lunch, and then passed out.  I purposely didn't put her down for a morning nap so that she wouldn't fight taking one like she had the night before.  It worked!

She was so out!
 The rest of the day we played games, ate and ate and ATE, and played some more.  My kids were in HEAVEN and didn't want to leave.  Aisley kept asking why we couldn't stay longer.  It was adorable.

Kaden watching Breckin play Angry Birds on Conni's phone.

Lexi loved all the "baby" toys.  :)

After a really delicious dinner (which, P.S., Kelly, I am going to make for you sometime--you guys will love it!), we packed up and headed home.  All three kids were fast asleep within five minutes.  :)  That's my kind of vacation!  We were also given an invitation to join them again next year and stay longer if possible.  I'm thinking this is definitely a Christmas tradition I could get used to!  :D


The kids woke up bright and early (okay, their usual time at 7:00) and found out that Santa came!  Woo!

Santa found these cutie patootie little guys--they were great to help keep the stockings straight (as far as whose was whose).

Shane loves having his picture taken early in the morning.



And Santa brought Ari a fun sounds and shapes computer.
After presents, I made a yummy breakfast (it was a cinnamon bun sticky ring thing that's been all over Pinterest and it was SO good!), then everyone got ready and we headed to my mom's house.  I was a little too busy there to take any pictures, but it was still fun.  :)  After presents there, we headed to my grandma's house for Christmas dinner.  It was delicious, as always, and fun to spend time with family.

We had to leave a little early because we were heading to Bear Lake that evening!
A friend of ours from the ward texted me on Friday (the day before Christmas Eve) and was like, "So, can you come to our condo?"  I was really confused and asked her if she sent that text to the wrong person.  She wrote back saying something like, "Of course not!  Didn't you get my email two weeks ago?"


Anyway, she (Conni) told me that she and her family would all be up at Bear Lake from the 23rd to the 30th and we were welcome to come up and stay as long as we can.  Since Shane just started this new job, he doesn't have time off yet, but he did have Monday (the 26th) off.  I told Conni we would just head up early Monday morning, but she said to just come late Sunday after we were done with all of our family stuff and that way we would have all day Monday to play!

Since it was dark by the time we headed up, I had to drive.  I hate driving through canyons even in the daytime, so I knew it would take us a while.  Thankfully, though, the weather was fine so the roads were dry (and basically empty) and the canyons weren't bad at all.  We got to their condo (it was a timeshare that her family has had for years and years) around 8:30 PM (I thought we'd be there at 10:00, so it was perfect).  The kids played and played and wore themselves out for Monday!  :D  I'll post about the rest of Bear Lake later today when the kiddos are all down for naps.  :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

The morning of Christmas Eve was spent baking, baking, BAKING!  I learned that no matter how "heat resistant" a plastic spoon says it is, it LIES!  (I'll explain in another post.)  After Ari took her first nap, we headed over to my dad's house for what we were told would be "finger foods" and presents.  Apparently, to my dad, "finger foods" means anything involving chocolate.  They put out some meatballs, too, so that there would be something there with a little substance.  ;)

Lexi went over to the tree and decided which present she wanted.  It didn't matter whose name was on it.  :)

Caught!  Ari was sneaking everyone's cookies when they were busy with their new toys and gadgets.  haha

These girls are my step-sisters.  Becca is on the left in pink and that's Jessica chowing down.  haha  I needed a blackmail pic.  ;)
Ari loves her new elephant ball popper toy!  I think she'll enjoy it even more when we get batteries for it.
We headed to Shane's parent's house straight from my dad's house.

After chowing down, we played some games.


Check out how much frosting was on these bad boys!  DANG GINA!  We didn't have any and I'm glad because I'm fairly sure the kids would have gone into sugar comas.  ;)
 Lately Lexi has been very into showing you all the emotions she knows.  While we were there, I had her show off to the Porter side of the family.  She is so hilarious.  And now I present: the many faces of Lexi:




And mad again because she's just so stinkin' cute when she's mad.
She has to do these one after the other and thinks she's so funny...which she is.  ;)

More games.  This is Shane's sister, Val, trying to open a present with oven mitts on. The game was a copy of what we played at the Porter Christmas party, but with less to put on this time.
After the games, it was present time!

Can't have too much dress up stuff!  :D
Kaden's gift was a Kinect game he's been wanting.
This is a really cool book that sings and makes noises.  Ari, Kaden, and Lexi all love it.  haha
It was late when we left their house, but I still wanted the kids to open their Christmas Eve presents when we got home.

Ari was less than thrilled with her pajamas.

Lexi loved them!

Kaden was super excited about his BUZZ pajamas!

Being shy...

Matching Minnie p.j.'s!
And after a long, fun day, everyone headed to bed so that Santa could come!

I'll post about Christmas day tomorrow (or later today).  
I've got to go catch up on housework.  Yay for me.  ;)

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