Friday, April 13, 2012

Family Fun at the Grand Canyon

It's Saturday and I am still recovering from my smashfest the week prior, so we decide to pack up the kids and bikes and head over to the Grand Canyon for some quality family time. The kids can't quite believe that I'm not going anywhere (i.e. leave to go biking or running) and Max keeps asking: Are you leaving now, Mom? Yes. It's definitely time to just hang out with the kids from the minute they get up until the go to sleep. Not an easy feat for me but definitely worth it! 

We are taking the bikes because the Grand Canyon isn't necessarily the most kid-friendly National Park, at least not for young kids. All of the fun hikes go down into the Canyon and then back up. Not ideal for a 3-year-old. There is also a paved path along the rim but what kid is entertained by hiking on pavement? Not ours! 

Biking seem like a good idea until we get out of the car and realize that it's much colder than anticipated. And, of course, windy! We head out on the bikes but quickly realize that it's just too cold to have fun. I hate to admit it but we weren't prepared for 40 degrees. Instead, we take the shuttle bus (always a highlight, at least for a few minutes) to the Kaibab Trail and head down into the Canyon. The view is just phenomenal! It never gets old. 

You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to keep these kids from hiking all the way down to the bottom. It's obviously downhill and thus basically effortless. All we can do is try to keep Max from running too far ahead and falling off cliffs. Fortunately, there are plenty of rocks to climb on as well. 

I knew it would be hard to get the kids, especially Max, to hike back up by himself. But, don't you worry, I had a plan. It involves an Easter bunny...

...and plastic eggs with candy inside. I, the easter bunny, would hike ahead a little, hide an egg, and then the kids would follow looking for the egg. It worked out great! Each egg only had 2 little candies inside, which would get them just far enough. 

The both made it all the way back up without complaining or whining.
Yes. I know. I am a genius.  

Once we got back to the car, it was time for lunch and Playmobil. 
Their play figures needed to do some off-roading and such. 
I mean: Why wouldn't they?

Then we gave the biking another try. 
Much better this time around. It had warmed up and the wind was much more bearable. 

We brought the trail-a-bike and Max's balance bike. He would ride his balance bike as long as he wanted to and then take a break on the trail-a-bike until the next downhill. 

We didn't make it all that far but who cares? We had fun!

Karl was itching to go for a run. So I let him go. How nice of me! This must mean that I am not only still smashed but also injured... At least one of us was running! 

The kids wanted to see the little presentation at the Visitor Center and I didn't mind a little break either. 

The boys showing off the Playmobil guys and pointing out a mule deer munching on leaves:

Then we took the shuttle all the way to Bright Angel's Point because Noah insisted that we get ice cream at the same place Oma and Opa bought it for them last summer. It was worth the ride!

The kids love the Grand Canyon. They really wanted to go back again the next day! It's super nice to have such a great place so close to home and I am sure we will go camping there as soon as the nights get a little warmer. 

If you take a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, make sure you stop by in Flagstaff and say Hi!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter and the Egg-Finder Machine

We had a fantastic Easter Sunday and I hope you did, too! 

Church was wonderful. It's getting easier to make it on time for 8 o'clock Sacrament Meeting. I was rather inactive during the month of March since I was out of town every weekend, but I am back now and it feels good. Love my Primary kids! 

After church Max decided the trees outside are too dry and need a little help. So he dressed up as a firefighter and sprayed down the trees! 

The kids played really well and forgot all about Easter baskets until after lunch. They had too look pretty hard but finally Max found his in a kitchen cupboard. 

Noah's was in our shower.

In case you think they look rather empty it is because they were! However, the kids were thrilled

It was very nice to see them so excited about a little stuffed animal, some (German) chocolate, and a ball. I really wish Christmas was this simple... (Maybe it could be...)

After they found the baseball bats under our bed, we went outside to play and hang out. It was a beautiful day!

Max is turning into quite the little photographer...

A very relaxing Sunday which we all very much needed!

Love my boys! I honestly think they didn't find at all on Sunday. Not one bit. They don't usually fight a whole lot but they're definitely farm from perfect!

They are in love with their Huskies

After coloring eggs again, playing more, and eating yummy dinner, we had a little egg hunt just outside of our apartment. While Karl was hiding the eggs, the boys came up with a new invention: 

The egg-finder machine. Complete with the egg guardians. Love it!

12 eggs each, labeled with their name, same content. No reason to argue. It worked out really well and everyone had a great time!

Since we gave them their baskets after lunch and did the egg hunt after dinner, I did not care that they ate most of their candy right away. It wasn't much to start with and they had plenty of healthy foods as well.  

Look, Noah! It is a dollar!!! 

(Some eggs had candy, some pennies, and one had a dollar.)

Cruising home with the loot in the back. 

I know my Savior lives. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Life of Max

in Zion National Park

I do have a few more pictures from Spring Break I want to show you, but it's getting kinda boring, so I am going to tell you what Max has been up to lately. That kid keeps me entertained, to say the least! 

He re-discovered the lion costume this spring and, although he is definitely outgrowing it quickly, it served as wardrobe and pajamas for a few weeks! I have stopped caring about my kids' outfits a long time ago. As long as it is (semi) clean, they can wear whatever they want. 

We all got sick in February and it hit Karl the hardest and longest. He was sick for more than 2 weeks. The (only) good thing about sick children is that they tend to be more calm and sleep more. Max passed out on our wooden slide one afternoon and still went to bed around 6pm. 

Since the time change, the kids have been up by 6am every day! I thought we were over that since they had been sleeping until at least 6:30 during the winter but I guess we are not! It would not be so bad if it did not mean that Max is super grumpy starting around 10am. Really? Ugh! I know it should not be such a big deal but, if you are a mom, you know that it is a big deal! I can't stand whiny kids! 

Max's favorite toys
Cars, Lego, Playmobil, stuffed animals. 
That's basically all my kids play with because that's basically all we have. 

The other day Karl asked Max to make funny faces, and this is what he got: 

Max loves Noah and Noah loves Max. 
This is a really good thing! 
Sure. They fight. But they play together nicely way more than they fight! 
I don't know what either one of them would do without his brother. 
I also don't know how people chose to only have one child. 
It seems way harder to have one than two. 

I love how pudgy and (at the same time) strong Max is! He can definitely take down Noah anytime he wants to. And any other kid in Noah's class. And some of the 1st and 2nd graders. How do I know that? Because that is his favorite thing to do when we pick up Noah from school. Don't ask....

Just thought I would let you know that Max and I were fighting over the last few asparagus stalks today at lunch! Yep. He is a good little eater. He is happy with a banana anytime he wants a snack. Unless Noah is around. Noah hates bananas more than anything and, in order to not upset Noah, Max won't eat them in Noah's presence. But, don't worry, he sure likes (more than) his share of candy! 

I am not sure where this came from but all day yesterday, especially while at the store, Max would quote somebody or other from a movie. He would close his eyes, take a deep breath, and then (with a big smile on his face) slowly say: MATH
I busted up every time. What a crack-up! 
It almost made up for the fit he threw when I dropped him off at the gym, his whining, and all the peeing accidents he has been having lately! 

We sure are glad this precious little guy landed in our family!