Year 7 – Week 9 and 10

December 21st –

The boys had their “Traditional Kindergarten Holiday Program” at the school. Their first singing concert!!

The school’s four Kindergarten classes practiced each day for three weeks and learned so many songs and signs. I was impressed. I am sorry about the all-over-the-place video. I was holding a big zoom lens and no tripod. I was blown away by Brendan front and center doing every line and sign! Trevor says someone behind him was so loud that he was distracted.

December 23rd –
We got last minute plane tickets (Thank you, Gramma!!) for the boys and I to go back to Illinois and surprise everyone for the holiday. Not much time to prep! We let the boys open a couple of their gifts early.

The boys each made me a “blueprint” for packing for our trip. It was a very helpful checklist! This one is Trevor’s.

We ran to Target and Brendan tried to convince me we needed to buy up all of the owls!

We had to smash the chocolate house before we left.

Waiting at the airport on Christmas Eve!!

These guys did so well on the plane. Brendan was so excited for his very first plane ride! He handled it well and didn’t even need oxygen.

We landed in SNOW!! And it was single digit temperatures!!

We would be arriving at Gramma’s house right in the middle of the Christmas Eve dinner, so I didn’t want anyone to have to leave to come and get us. For a treat to the boys, I reserved a stretch limousine.

We opened a can of Sprite and had a “toast” in the car. We called Bill to tell him we were on our way in the car and Brendan said, “Daddy, we need to buy a car like this, it has a KITCHEN!” It did have the party lights. It was too too too cold and snowing or we would have opened the sunroof.

Needless to say, everyone was shocked when Brendan walked in to the kitchen. Everything was so crazy that week, I can’t believe I don’t have a single picture of any of the aunts or cousins! The girls spent lots of time playing with the boys.

We can’t visit Gramma without getting frozen cokes! Yes, we buys Icees even when it is only 5 degrees outside!

Gizmo begs to get up too

Icee bigger than his head!

The boys love to play pool at Gramma’s house.

Gramma tries to teach them, but they usually just make up their own game

Silly phone pictures

Making music

It might have been 2 or 3 degrees below zero. But we brought our swimsuits to get in to the hot tub!

Tubbin’ in the snow! Brendan was so happy that his trach was out and he could get in the hot tub too!

I took this from upstairs. I stayed dry to be the towel fetcher.

We left the suits outside on the deck overnight so I could show the boys how they froze solid! I had to peel them up off the deck.

Trevor got to share Gizmo’s spot in Gramma’s bed.

Gizmo was under the covers!

Gizmo really liked to wake up Trevor

This is why I live in Arizona!!!

Home again. Christmas was past, but there were still presents waiting for the boys.

Trevor got a Halo Nerf gun to go with his Master Chief costume.

Brendan has been waiting for months for his “Emmet Mech Suit” from The Lego Movie. He wanted to build it right then!

I help him find pieces and he puts it all together following the book. He is good at it!

Trevor gets the TerraScout Nerf Drone!


The box makes pretty awesome armor to protect from Nerf fire

Brendan found an original Simon game at Gramma’s house and brought it home with him. He loves it! He had to make a Lego Simon for his Emmet.

Their gift from us was a Lego Boost set. (Lego robotics like Mindstorms for little kids) They are building Vernie the Robot and they can control him from their iPad. He does a lot of things!

Year 7 – Week 8

December 15th –

So our tree decides that it is fall in the middle of December. There is just enough to rake up and make it fun.

December 16th –

We had a birthday party to go to for Trevor’s friend Brolin. There was an enormous bounce house and a piƱata and lots of fun.

Brendan had a great time until a larger kid tried to pick him up from behind by hugging around his waist. When the kid lifted up, he pulled Brendan’s g-tube right out. Poor Brendan brought it to me in tears and then we had to put in a new one at the party.

December 17th – SNOW DAY!

We love to play in snow (not live in snow!) so we head north to find it!

It was cold and windy on the Mogollon Rim, but it was very pretty!

Snowball fight!

I am not sure if fresh snow was ever falling or if the wind gusts just occasionally blew it down from the trees. It was still fun to see the flakes and try to catch them.

We made a nice fire to stay warm.

At elevation, Brendan wears out quickly

The boys are getting too big to fit in the jeep. The weight and the cold must have been too much, the battery finally just gave up and won’t charge anymore. The boys got to do some small laps around in the snow and it died.

Trevor likes to tend the fire.

Bill just likes to be in the fresh air

Big car, little car

Donut log

Hotdog time!

The donut log made a perfect hot spot to sizzle up a hotdog in no time

Giant marshmallows coming out perfect

They also make great marshmallow lava in the fire pit

We did not stay the night, but it was a great escape for the day! A good time was had by all.

Year 7 – Week 7

December 9th –

We checked out a place in town called Liberty Wildlife. It is a local organization that focuses on wildlife rehabilitation. They take in up to 20 native animals a day with injuries or baby animals that have been abandoned. They try to get them fixed up and returned to the wild.

We went because I heard that they had a lot of owls. One of the volunteers took an owl out to let us see it up close! I also love her owl shirt.

They thought this great horned owl was a male because it was so small. The females are usually much bigger. They named it Darwin.

Darwin surprised them all by laying an egg! It was a female.

She is really beautiful.

The volunteers put on a little show to educate about the different types of native birds. It was silly.

Brendan got to talk to another great horned owl.

The owl talked back!

The volunteers are so friendly to the kids. This one let the boys pet a bearded dragon that was a surrendered pet.

“Like a kid in a candy store!” We stopped by Sweeties on the way home to pick up some decorating candy. The boys were totally nuts with excitement about all of the candy bins.

A big package came for the boys. What could it be?!

Brendan helps get the big box to the backyard.

Assembly was pretty easy!

They love it!! There are only eight swings on the playground at school and they are a hot commodity. Brendan often is frustrated when he can’t get a turn. Or he gets a swing and kids take advantage of how sweet he is and they convince him to give it up. Now he has his very own!

With it getting colder, Brendan asked for some owl gloves. It is really hard to find owl things that are not super girly and glittery. So I made him some owls!

December 11th –
After melting the mold for the chocolate house accidentally, I had to order a new one. This is the third year of chocolate house building, but the first time trying the new kit. Let assembly begin!

They got to decorate with all of the candy that they had picked out, including sour apple flavor green army men gummies.

Colored licorice shoestrings

Apparently the army needs to defend Santa’s workshop from people trying to see their Christmas presents early.

It was a masterpiece!