Thursday, November 09, 2017

Halloween with the Dynamite's

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Months and months and months ago, Elliott had the idea to be Kip from "Napoleon Dynamite" for Halloween.  As the months passed, more people got roped into the idea of a giant family themed movie costume party.

The assigned rolls were as follows

Quinn :: Napoleon
Elliott :: Kip
Wyatt :: Pedro Sanchez
Ross :: Principal
Annie :: Deb
Mama Judy :: Grandma
Coach Karl :: Happy Hands Club
Molly :: Summer Wheatley
Jack :: Don, Summer's boyfriend
Baby Brady :: Tina the llama

Now, thinking about it, I cannot remember what Haley and James were assigned...I think that James was also part of the Happy Hands Club - or maybe James was Rex Kwon Do and Haley was supposed to be Starla?  I cannot remember....

Anyway, as Halloween drew closer, the costumes got more real.  As silly as it sounds, I've maybe never been more proud (in an ironic sort of way) of how well my kids pulled off their Halloween costumes.  They were the hit of school, the hit of the neighborhood and after our professional photo shoot images were posted to Uncle Rico's instagram feed, they were for a brief moment, the hit of the internet.

I laughed all day long and told Elliott before he went to sleep that most likely, never again in his life, would he ever have such a great costume.

It was truly the best!


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Monday, October 23, 2017

Adventures in Moab

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A few months back we decided that since the boys are now on a traditional schedule, it would be fun to go on one final adventure for the year over UEA vacation.  We picked Moab, UT and decided to use our National Parks Pass (which we realized later that we lost.  Oops.  Sorry, Mom!) to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.

We had a great trip.

We airbnb'd a mobile home.  I thought it was a double wide, but Ross said it was a single wide.  It was pretty spacious regardless.  And, besides the space, everyone got their own bed.  Hotels just don't work well for us these days because we aren't quite prepared to pay for two hotel rooms and one hotel room doesn't provide enough sleeping space and someone, generally Wyatt (he volunteers) ends up sleeping on the floor.

Anyway, enough beds.  Great weather.  Major crowds.  There was a state high school mountain biking competition the same weekend so everything in teeny tiny Moab was a bit crowded.

We had such a nice time.  Things have been pretty stressful in our lives these days - there is a lot going on and not only an immense about of physical energy being exerted, but more mental energy being expended than we've got in our brains.  It's nice, every once in a while, to go somewhere where there isn't any service.  No internet.  No instagram.  No facebook.  Just beautiful scenery, breathtaking vistas, family time and lots and lots of hiking.

Quinn was a trooper.  He hiked to delicate arch and we learned is also afraid of heights.  And, FYI, delicate arch is about 5 miles round trip, not 3 like all the signs tell you.

We walked and walked and walked.  We ate lunch in our car.  We saw green squirrels and used lots of out houses.  We were happy.  We slept in.  We didn't fight.  Like I said, a really splendid time.

We should do it more often.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pinewood Derby

This year's Pinewood Derby took weeks of preparation.  Ross was going to be in Spain the week of the big event so I made him make sure that Elliott and Wyatt's cars were ready before he left.

It was Elliott's last pinewood derby and Wyatt's first.  Our cub scout group was pretty small this year.

Elliott opted for a minimalist car - one that required almost no work.  He and his dad shoved his pine block into a toothpaste box and that was about it.  Big, slow, but amusing.

For Wyatt's car, the boys ventured to the hobby store and bought a car already pre-cut.  It took a lot of sanding and paint and whatever else is done to get a car ready for a derby, but Wyatt's was looking pretty spiffy.

There were probably 12 boys at the competition and...

drum roll....

WYATT WON!  His car went undefeated and even beat Elliott in a head to head race.

Elliott took 4th.

Cub scouts makes me tired. But, hopefully Wyatt won't lose his car between now and next year's derby and we can use it again.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

New Cousin :: Baby Brady

On September 21, we got a new cousin.

Brady Hendricks Binggeli was born.

We didn't visit him in the hospital because, even for something happy, hospitals oog me out and I didn't want to go traipsing around with three dirty boys.  Instead, we waited to meet the little squirt when he arrived home.

There is just something "heavenly" about tiny new little squirts fresh from heaven.  They smell good and are so soft.  Elliott is pretty much a baby whisperer and really loves holding tiny people.  Wyatt was nervous, but did a great job.  Quinn was pretty indifferent - he wants to be close and is fascinated by such tiny creatures, but doesn't really want anything to do with them because, did you know, babies pee and poop in diapers?  That's just gross.

He's cute.  We like him a lot.  Now Grandpa Karl has his starting 5 for basketball.  Molly can keep score on the sidelines (not because she's a girl, but because she probably doesn't want to play and keeping score, and stats, is a noble calling).


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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Quinn turns FIVE

On Saturday, September 2, 2017, Quinn Theodore Howden turned five years old.  This milestone was marked by a day of parties - a kid party with the primary class and cousin Jack, dinner at Mt. Mike's and a family party with cake and ice cream.  Then, just to keep the celebration going, we ended up going on a quick Labor Day overnight adventure.


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Oh Quinner!

Happy happy birthday to you.  There isn't much more fun (and annoying) than watching a 4 year old wait for his 5 year old birthday to come.  We've been talking about it for MONTHS.  You are convinced that getting one year older means that you will be bigger than everyone and that you can drive a car.

Well, you might be wrong on both counts, but you are bigger than cousin Jack, almost bigger than cousins Luke and Jonah, bigger than all the kids in your primary class and your preschool class so maybe you are kind of right.

Having you in our family is the most fun.  Sometimes, you drive us a wee bit nuts, but I think that you make us all laugh much more often.  You love music and know the lyrics to every song on the radio, including most of the Beatles songs we listen to on the Beatles station on XM radio.  You are a great dancer, joke teller, and pizza eater.  You love to ask questions, do science experiments and watch TV.  Aw man, the TV watching is a total addiction and as your mom, I can only watch so many episodes of Spongebob, Teen Titans Go!, and Gumball, but TV seems to be your passion in life.  Of course, you'll take a break to play on your kindle, but screen time is screen time - it's something we are always working on finding alternative activities for.

A few of your 5 year old favorites:
Food: Pizza
Song: Hand Clap by Fitz and the Tantrums
Movie: Jurassic World
Color: Red and Green
Person: Grandma Judy and Uncle Willie
TV Show: Sponge Bob, Be Cool Scooby Doo

Last week, as we were talking about your birthday, you asked me if Grandpa Huber was bigger than me.  I told you no, that I was bigger than him but you got mad and said, "But he's 88!  He is way bigger than you!" Obviously, there is some confusion about age and size and how they relate.  Your next question was, "How big is the earth?"  We had to ask Google for an accurate answer.

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When I got you out of the bathtub last week, and was drying you off, you panicked and yelled at me as I was drying off your legs, "Mom, don't touch my Nacho!"  After asking for further details as to what a Nacho is, and seeing some pointing and giggling from you, none of us have any idea what you are talking about, but it's obviously private and we have adopted "Don't touch my nacho!" as a phrase for all sorts of things the last few days.  And, you really must be growing up because you finally recognize the difference between being laughed at and laughed with.  You realized this was funny, and haven't attacked any of us (yet) for laughing with you!

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I feel so lucky that you are my little buddy.  We have great conversations, you like to go to Target and run errands with me, and you really are the most easy going laid back kid around.  You are thriving in school, at primary, and playing soccer.  You think you are a big kid, as big as your brothers and this summer, when we were at Universal Studios and Sea World, you walked the entire time, never complaining, asking to be carried, or being grumpy about how tired your little legs were.  If that doesn't mean that you are growing up, I'm not sure what does.

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Love you so much little squish - so glad you had a great birthday.

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