Monday, January 14, 2013

Cousins are the Best!

 Know what I like best about our trips to Genola?  Cousin time!  From the second we hit the front steps of Yaya and the Babe's house, these 5 rascals disappear into their own world of imaginative play.  I seriously don't see them for hours because they have to fill every second with fighting bad guys, picking the Babe's fruit, or building a Lego masterpiece.  And they never fight.  Sometimes they split up and play two and two (three now with Klive in the mix), and sometimes all 5 are crowded around one ipad, but they always love to be together.

 Yaya has been begging for pictures of her grand-babies to hang on her walls for over a year now, so it just seemed easier to get the kids together for some group pictures than to dig through iphoto to find our good ones.  Misty's neighbor did an excellent job, despite the fact that Klive was having a complete meltdown for 95% of the photo shoot, and it was beyond freezing, and Caulder could only keep one eye open in the bright natural light.  She really captured their true colors! 

I am certain these guys will be best buddies forever.

Some individual shots:
 Tukker (4) Beyond energetic, fun-loving, sweetheart of a boy, who has no bum to hold up his pants but is always hungry.

 Winnie (6) Girly girl with a heart of gold, crazy imaginative, thoughtful and just trying to be a lady.

 Klive (2) Rascally, a complete crack-up, independent but a secret hug-sneaker from mom and all boy.

 June (8) The mastermind, a garden bug, the arts and crafts queen and Mom's right-hand man.

 Caulder (7) Deep thinker, always creative, a real comedian and the best big brother on earth.

 Grandpa Babe couldn't pass up the chance to show off his new tractor, so the kids hopped on for the ride.

 Yaya and the Babe got in on the photo shoot action, too.
 My favorite place to play as a kid was my Grandma and Grandad's Ivie's farmhouse, and I just know my kids will feel the same way about their time spent in Genola.  They live in the garden and orchard during the summer, and they raise holy hell in the house when it's too cold to go outside.  Thanks Yaya and the Babe for sacrificing your yard, your flowers and garden, your home and fine furniture for the greater good.

 I hope this one makes it up on the wall.  Too cute!

Had to throw this one in.  This look makes me worry I'm in for a serious ass-kicking if I mouth off.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Vacation

Kolby's shrewd planning landed him with 12 whole days off for Christmas vacation.  It was a Christmas miracle!  We headed to Genola for some R&R.  We made a quick stop on our way through Salt Lake at Temple Square to look at the lights with Auntie Audra, Aunt Darby and Cousin Beka.  I'm pretty sure half the state of Utah had the same idea.  We moved through like sardines in a can.  But the kids still enjoyed it.  Yay for family time!
 Couldn't pass up a stop by the candy windows either.  These girls were dreaming of finding one of these big balls in their stockings on Christmas morning!

 The 6 inches of snow on the ground was just begging for some ranger time!

 Ready to hit the trails in Grandpa Kyle's ice fishing sled.

 Klive made and excellent driver.

 We did a little last-minute holiday shopping at Target.  Who couldn't use a pepto-pink, silk-lined wolf hat for Christmas? 

 Uncle Kory let the kids tag along for some barnyard fun - they got a real kick out of feeding baby calves with bottles.

 The cats and kittens were lining up to catch the calves' milky dribble.  Klive thought it was hilarious!

 We've never been to a Hansen Christmas party before, but I hope it becomes a new tradition.  The chili was scrumptious, the activities kept the kids occupied so we could do some grown-up chatting, we played a few games of pool and the company was the best!

 It's tough these days to get all these guys together.

 Grandpa Fred squeezed in a quick game of pool.

 Here's the whole crew.

We also enjoyed our annual Johnson family Christmas party, but again, I was too busy eating to pull my camera out of my purse.  The highlights included loads of tasty morsels, gingerbread house building, a rousing game of gift exchange, lessons in how to speak Australian, and busting a gut over Grandma Sara trying to pick up Klive's rolling water-weenie.  

 Christmas Eve = Taco night!!!  The Christmas countdown was on!  Yaya's super techy these days.  She had an app that would track Santa as he visited all the countries around the world.  That guy really cruises!  June kept a close eye on it all afternoon and decided it would be best to hit the hay at about 6:30 p.m. just to be safe.   That is, until the Bott boys showed up to play at 8:00.  I think they got back to bed just in the nick of time!

 Santa came!!!  And so did Grandma Sara and Grandpa Kyle well before the kids rolled out of bed.  The kids got down to business at about 7:00 and tore through their gifts from Santa.  He was so good this year.  He brought legos, castles, and marble tracks. 

 Santa left a few treats for the pups too . . .

 but I don't think he left anything for the grumpy old men.

 Best buddies

 Daddy finally got a new ipad!  Now maybe he won't be the pathetic loser of his residency. 

 These girls scored!

 After all the Santa excitement, there's nothing like settling in on Grandma's lap with a little stinky corner.

 We ate a lovely brunch and then headed to Logan to visit Nana and Papa's.  We all took a power nap on the way.

 These lovely ladies prepared a fantastic enchilada Christmas dinner for us and we followed it up with some Christmas bingo.

 Auntie Audra came too with her naughty new baby.  But Papa Lee gave him "the look" and he straightened up quick.

 Me and my Nan.  See, I was a part of this vacation too.

 We headed home the day after Christmas.  Sad.  Vacation's over.  Wait!  What's that waiting under our tree?  Christmas #2!  Let's open all the presents we couldn't fit in our car!

 June got Daddy some new PJ's.

 Winnie got Daddy a special comb for his balding situation.  She was beyond excited about this sweet find.

 June transformed into Harry Potter.

 Klive couldn't get enough of his new cash register.  He only plays it in Spanish mode.
 Winnie couldn't decide what to play with first!  Good thing she had a week and a half off of school to try it all out.

 Klive hulked out.

 He hulk-smashed and smashed all week long.

There's nothing like a vacation after your vacation to curl up on your new bean-bag with your new blanket and watch all 12 of your new Christmas movies over and over.  If I never see another Scooby-Doo movie again, it will be too soon.  Happy holidays!

Giving Thanks 2012

 If you really know the Ivie clan, you know that our holiday gatherings usually consist of one pastime - practicing.  And now Papa Lee has a whole new generation of young and ambitious musicians to mold into his little bluegrass proteges.  This is the man who would rather cut off his arm than spend money on fancy toothpaste or name-brand cereal, but will fork over a small fortune for a new instrument for a willing mini-musician.  Winnie gave the new resonating guitar a go this time around . . .  

  . . . and June started Violin lessons in September, so naturally, Papa expected her to be able to jump right in and play the same songs he's been playing for the last 30 years.  It took me right back to the days when Dad taught me my first bluegrass lick.  It wasn't surprising at all that June was keeping right up with Papa.  He was beaming with pride over her sweet violin skills all weekend.  Looks like I have finally passed the baton.  June's going to be the new star at Malad Days this year! 

 I love this picture. 

 The kids got to spend some time with the Ashton Ivies too.  It is a real blessing that we live close enough to Grandma Ivie for my kids to really get to know her.  We were missing that in Oklahoma.  Here's another nice shot if you ignore the floosie paint all over the girls' faces.  They always sucker their Auntie Audra into doing makeovers when she visits.

 Looks like the big girls could have used a little make-up touch-up before this shot.  I was too lazy to pull my Camera out on Thanksgiving Day.  I had a lot of eating to do and couldn't be bothered with capturing memories.  So the day after with it's crazy morning hair, bloat-guts, and pasty complexions will have to suffice.  I had a great one of my mom and Aunt Taryn looking like death warmed over, but I will save that one for when they threaten to pull out the old "cousin soap opera" home movies.
 This kid loves going to Nana and Papa's house.  He's definitely and Ivie with that gap-toothed grin.
It was a lovely holiday.  And I've got the extra 5 pounds to prove it!