Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

This was our second "Holiday Season" away from family, and it was surprisingly lots of fun.
For Halloween our ward of course had a trunk or treat, and then Halloween night my sister Marie had a bunch of families over before trick-or-treating. Thank goodness our girls are cute, clearly neither Brandon or I were concerned about our appearances that night. P.S. trick or treating lasted less than 30 minutes for our family- it was freezing!

The first of November, we broke out the Christmas decorations (we had already been playing Christmas music since October). Also Brandon decided to participate in "Movember". I am still confused why a mustache is acceptable in Church and in work places, it only brings stress and conflict to a relationship.

Grace loves to "play the piano", but especially loved to play and sing Christmas carols. It was very entertaining.

Meanwhile, Ivy's favorite activity was finding sneeky ways to get her destructive hands on the Christmas ornaments. How can anyone get mad that face!

 Sadly this is the only picture of Thanksgiving. It was definitely one to remember. Brandon was supposed to be able to hurry and get is work done early and be home in time for dinner, but he ended up having an emergency at work was stuck onsite for days (literally working around the clock with "naps"). Meanwhile our friends that were supposed to join us got the flu. Thankfully I had invited another friend whose husband also had to work and she was able to come. In summary, it was a very intimate holiday :). However, I still had fun cooking everything and Grace and I completed our "thankful  tree" and discovered despite our quiet holiday, we are SO blessed.

 Ward Christmas P.J. breakfast. I was especially excited to break out my favorite P.J.'s. My college room-mates and I were given matching ones from Shannon's Dad; I have treasured mine since.

We made lots of treats this season. Clearly the presentation of these was not the goal; it is just super fun baking with Grace. She is one of the few people I know whose sweet tooth is bigger than mine!

I learned to love the snow. If it is going to below freezing outside at least let the land look pretty and be fun to play in.

I can squish and smother those cheeks all day!

I don't know why we even buy toys.

It's so nice to be able to go to my sister's house and play!

Grace LOVES the snow.

 Grace's Joy School class put on a Christmas program at a nearby nursing home for "Grandma's and Grandpa's". They performed the nativity and sang songs. They did great for 3 and 4 year olds! They may not have a career on Broadway, but the people loved it! Grace played pretend "Bethlehem" for the remainder of December and part of January.

More treats. First time making gingerbread cookies~ fun and yummy!

 Dickinson mall Santa: apparently small town Santa's can arrive later than scheduled, but then can sit and talk to the kids for 10+ minutes each! He and Grace had quite the chat about "a Cinderella thing". Obviously Ivy was overwhelmed with joy to see "the big guy".

My second time doing a home made gingerbread house and it was more fun tha I remember. Probably had to do with my special helper! And yes we are eating more sugar. I promise we normally eat well, we just believe in balancing healthy food with yummy treats.

Christmas Eve P.J.s.

Christmas Eve we went to Marie's with some other familes and the missionaries. We had a yummy dinner and a nativity Christmas program. Grace got to be "Mary" and poor girl had to try and keep "Baby Jesus" safe from crazy "Joseph" and the "Shepherd"- she was a little stressed during the program. It was very fun and sweet to see her concern. (Brandon was able to be there the whole night which was awesome!)

Santa finally arrived!

Christmas morning!! I can't imagine it getting any more fun!

Christmas Day we woke up early and did presents, followed by a fun and yummy breakfast. Then Brandon went off to work and I got to play and relax with the girls. Thankfully it wasn't too busy and he was home by dinner to go back to Maries for a fun Christmas buffet. It was a Merry Christmas.

Out of all the toys Grace received, her cheap "Strawberry Shortcake Polish" was her most favorite. I think we spoil our kids for no reason, they are just happy with the little things.


Living in Arizona most of my life I have not experienced true seasons. So, when September rolled around and the leaves began to turn yellow, orange and red I fell in love. I was just about to think that this Northern US stuff wasn't so bad. I was a little naive.

This is Grace's "Joy School" class when we went to my favorite outdoor park in late September.



This is the very next day still in late September mind you!

It snowed and snowed and  has continued snowing off and on since! (P.S. incase your math is a little rusty, that is five months and counting of cold and snow)


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brandon's First of many TWO WEEKS off of work!

Since Brandon has had his new job he has been in training and working 3 weeks straight or more at time. In August he completed all his training and was able to begin his regular schedule of working 2 weeks on and then having 2 weeks off!
So with our first of many 2 weeks all together we went to Idaho with my sister Marie and her family to visit my brother Duane. Their family is a blast and are all the best hosts! We had SO much fun!
Grace loved to pet and feed the horses. 

Grace spent hours exploring their awesome backyard including their waterfalls and stream.

We rode cruisers along the Boise river to down town Boise for dinner.

Sushi dinner- I crave sushi ALL the time now that is not very available where we live. Needless to say it was delicious and hit the spot!

After a few days staying at Duane's house, we drove to Tamarack and rented a cabin by the lake. It was gorgeous! Cousin Lauren painting Grace's nails- clearly she's having no fun at all.
Lake Cascade. The water was glass and we literally only saw one other boat their the entire day- it was heavenly!

Marie painted mine and Ivy's toes, so sweet of her to try and "girlify" us a bit.

Shortly after we returned from Idaho, Brandon had a few more days off, so we went camping! It was Ivy's first camping trip and was lots of fun. We went to Theodore Roosevelt National Park (only about 30 minutes away). It wasn't the beautiful pines that we are used to but still lots of fun.
Grace again was in heaven to be outside exploring all the plants, digging in the dirt and finding bugs. And no Connolly camping trip is complete without our head lamps; functional and just awesome.

Nature walk to the river.

Of course Grace had to get in, even though it was a little chilly!

I love these little girlies!!

So sweet and squishy! (Ivy and me- ha,ha)

Riggs Reunion July 2012

June 30th- July 7th we went to Park City for our Riggs Family Reunion and had a BLAST (as we always have with my huge and awesome family!) Here are just a few of the fun things we did...
Salt Lake Temple Square Visit

Wiffle Ball at the Park- please note this picture does not include everyone from our family! We went to the park a few times and played wiffle may think how sweet a fun, friendly game with the fam. Not the case, unless you have warmed up, stretched and are completely bringing your "A" game, you would be wise to sit on the sidelines than to endure my extremely competitive family's  cruel scutiny. Nonetheless, as always, it was a blast.

Instead of wiffle ball, Grace was in heaven finding "treasure" (aka grass, rocks, dirt, bugs and any other random thing she can find) with her other little cousins. This picture was probably the best smile out of 5 attempts!

Where our family began- Charl and Valorie Riggs 9 kids and 40 (I think) grandchildren later.

Olympic Park alpine slides.

Family hike

A day at the lake thanks to Duane and Clayton for bringing their boats.

Ivy loves her Grandma!

So many fun cousins to play with- Grace was so spoiled by them all!

Burgers and shakes

Relaxing at the park.