Carter’s 2nd grade hoedown

Thursday, February 22, was the 2nd-grade hoedown, little brother version.

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Carter was dead-set on not wearing anything western. It took all I had to even get him to wear a button-up shirt, but he refused to wear a plaid one. Nothing I did, said, or promised could get him to wear jeans.

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This video is rather long because I didn’t edit it at all. It is just a mash-up of all the different clips that we took during the hoedown.

Miscellaneous January

Tennis

The kids decided that they want to learn to play tennis so they have been going to the local tennis courts to hit the ball around.

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January 22 – Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo

Raine was my date to the rodeo this year because Carter had the flu and Daddy stayed home with him. We had a lot of fun — despite the fact that Raine still doesn’t like any of the events that involve calves.

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January 28 – hammocking

We’ve had some beautiful weather this January and pulled out the hammocks a couple times to lazily sway in the breeze on a Sunday afternoon.

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January 31 – blue, blood, super moon

They said that it was a once-in-lifetime event, so we woke up early to see the second full moon in the month (blue moon) that was also at it’s closest point to the earth (super moon) that was also a lunar eclipse (blood moon). Carter wasn’t impressed.

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Raine’s 4th grade concert

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January 25 was Raine’s Forth-Grade Concert. They sang several Texas-themed songs as well as showed off their newly-acquired recorder skills. It was horribly painful to listen to those recorder songs — I’ve never been so happy for a program to end — so I didn’t include those numbers the video below!

(Raine is in the second-from-the-top row, in the middle, under the two balls hanging down between the flags.)

School spelling bee finals

The first Friday after Christmas break, Raine competed in the school spelling bee finals. Fourteen kids qualified for the finals and Raine drew position #4 in the lineup.

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She was SSSOOOOO incredibly nervous going into it. She didn’t want to be eliminated first and told me that she wanted to finish at least 7th.

At the beginning of the bee, they did a practice round where each student was given a really easy word to spell so they could get used to going up to the microphone and repeating the word. Raine’s word was “fell” and she proceeded to spell it “h… f-e-l-l.” Since you cannot take-back a letter after it has come out of your mouth, they rang the bell, indicating that she had misspelled the word. Fortunately, this was a practice round so she was not out, but boy did it rattle her little cage! She was visibly mortified.

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Somehow she managed to work through her nerves and spell the next three words correctly. In the fourth round she misspelled bulletin (swapped the e and i) and was eliminated with three other students. There were only six students left once Raine’s group sat down so that means that she took 7th place, just like she wanted!

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Raine wasn’t particularly happy with how she did (after all, as she said “I almost spelled a bad word in front of the whole school”), but I told her that she will do much better next year, now that she has one under her belt. As someone who can’t spell AT ALL, I was wholly impressed that she even made it into the finals (although, I too held my breath as I thought she was about to spell a bad word in front of the whole school)! In the end, I was so proud of Raine that I picked up a special cake and stuffed animal for her on my way home from work — she really loved that!

Utah, part 4 – family stuff

Saturday, January 6, the kids and I drove down to Orem, picked up Uncle Ryan and met Uncle John, Annie, and Dixon at a pizza place for lunch. (Daddy took Uncle Mike out to lunch for his birthday, up in Bountiful.) Uncle Ryan told the kids about his ant farm and they were enthralled with all of his ant facts.

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After lunch, we met Aunt Karin, Sydney, Parker, Camille, Rachel, Bryce, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa at the Jack and Jill bowling alley in Lehi for a couple games of bowling.

Carter
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Raine
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Daddy
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The final scores (Grandma didn’t actually bowl, Raine and Carter did it for her)
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All of the cousins (Carter wasn’t in the mood for smiling)
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After bowling, we all headed to Chick-fil-a for dinner, then back to Aunt Karin’s house so that we could check out Sydney’s boyfriend before they left on a date.

Sunday, we went to church and then to Aunt Sarah’s house for a birthday dinner for her boys.

Monday, we packed up and made a snowman before heading to the airport to fly home. The snow was really old and icy so it was a struggle to get even a small snowman.

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Utah, part 3 – Provo

Friday morning we checked out of the hotel and decided to see the rest of the canyon before eating lunch at BYU. First stop was the overlook for Bridal Veil Falls.

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There were several groups of ice climbers scaling various parts of the frozen falls.

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Next stop was Vivian Park to look at the river up-close.

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This photo was taken just moments before Carter was eaten by a mountain lion…

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… or maybe it was just the entrance to Cougar Country. They found a bronze Cosmo to take a photo with as we picked up some new BYU t-shirts. After that, we had lunch at the Creamery on 9th, then headed back to Grandma Dewey’s house.

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Utah, part 2 – skiing

Early on the 4th we headed up the canyon to Sundance Ski Resort. As we drove, a bald eagle flew right over us, it was awesome!

We rented some skis and headed up the one and only lift that was open, to ski down the one run that had enough man-made-snow to ski on! They opened a second life later in the day but you either had to ski a black diamond or ride a shuttle bus to get to it so we stayed where we were. That one run was all we needed for these kids’ 2nd time on skis (the first time being two years ago).

Daddy reminding Carter how to make a pizza on his first run.
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They picked it up really quickly and could cruise down the mountain without falling by the end of the day.
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Raine on the lift…
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…Carter down below the lift.
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These kids ski at very different speeds. Raine prefers to cautiously zig-zag her way down, making wide sweeping turns, while Carter prefers to simply point his little pizza straight down the mountain and fly.
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These two skied from 9:00 until 4:00 with only a short break for lunch — which we ate outside since it was so warm and sunny. They loved every minute of skiing and it was fun to watch them pick it up so quickly.
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This video shows their different styles. The second one only has Raine in it because Carter sped down before Daddy had the camera ready!

After dinner we went back to the pool and enjoyed the hot tub while the kids swam. Then we curled up on one of the beds and watched the Olympic trials.

Utah, part 1 – Ice Castles

January 2 we flew into Salt Lake. That evening we had dinner at Karin’s house and then spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa Dewey’s house. The next day, we drove up to Midway and checked into the Zermatt Resort. After exploring the area a bit — and trying to rent skis, only to be told that they won’t rent them to us because there isn’t enough snow at the resort — we walked across the street to explore the Ice Castle.

Olaf and Elsa were waiting out front to greet us.
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It was pretty cool — literally and figuratively! We didn’t have appropriate footwear, so our toes got pretty cold.
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This only shows a small part of the inside of the ice castle, it was really big, with lots of different tunnels, pathways, and crevices to explore.
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There were also a bunch of slides!
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This was the biggest slide and, fortunately, they gave you a mat to slide on so that your backside didn’t get wet.
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There were fountains, fire pits, and seating areas inside the castle.
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Once our little piggies were frozen solid, we walked back over to the hotel and ate dinner in one of the restaurants there. Then we thawed out in front of the fire in our room and the kids begged to go swimming in the pool.

Lucky for Daddy and me, these kids are old enough to swim without a parent in the water. We could watch from the nice warm pool deck…
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…at least until they decided to swim outside. Because swimming in 20* temperatures in the middle of winter isn’t CRAZY!! I convinced them to swim back through the tunnel before I froze to death!
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New Year

New Year’s Eve was COLD and drizzly. We came out from church to find our cars covered in frozen raindrops. (Except the windshields because the Young Men went out and scraped everyone’s windshield during third-hour. Most of them didn’t have gloves or an ice scraper, it was true sacrifice.)

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After church, we played Skip-bo by the fire to keep warm.
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We had a little bubbly for dinner…
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…and then monkey bread for dessert.
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It’s our favorite!
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Carter stayed up late enough to watch the ball drop live in New York. Then we all went to bed and slept through our local new year!

New Year’s Day we went ice skating with the Groupon that Aunt Sara gave us for Christmas. It was the kids’ first time ice skating but they didn’t take more than a lap or two to figure it out. Their roller-blading skills seemed to transfer to the ice pretty seamlessly!

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December activities

December 1 – Raine’s choir concert at the Colleyville Tree Lighting

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Raine is almost hidden in the back row.


Petting one of the reindeer after the concert, while Carter played the carnival games.
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December 2 – Ward breakfast and nativity
Only Raine participated in the Primary’s nativity — Carter just wasn’t feeling it that morning. Raine chose to dress as one of the wise men “because back in those days ‘men’ meant women or men so there could have been some women who were wise men.” Since we couldn’t argue with the logic — ‘men’ is used to refer to ‘mankind’ — we just helped her find a costume!
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December 28 – Six Flags Holiday in the Park
We braved the cold to see all the Christmas lights and festivities at Six Flags.
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The Wile E. Coyote roller coaster is the only one that Carter (and I) will ride so we started there before splitting up.
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Carter and I at the Justice League ride.
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Raine and Daddy went on the Texas Giant! Actually, Raine tried to back out at the last minute but Daddy wouldn’t let her. She was slightly traumatized — it was a bit more thrill than she was ready for — but at least now she can say that she did it! Afterward, we met up to sled down the snow hill. (Daddy was the only one that I got a good photo of.)
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December 30
Raine started (and finished) the Harry Potter series during the school holiday. She read about a book a day for the first few days!
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The weather was REALLY cold so we spent a lot of lazy evenings sitting in front of the fire.
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