Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December happenings

Lots of stuff this busy month. The funniest was the message I got at work from JB after Andrew came home from preschool:


"This cute snowman came home beautifully outlined with mini marshmallows.   The terror twins made quick work of them.  Glue is totally edible right?"



I also missed the Christmas program at school because I was sent to Provo that morning on assignment to "find BYU students excited about the bowl game" (it was the last day of finals. The first four students I finally found, all said they "weren't into sports").


So JB took pictures and video for me. See Ben on the back row:


Max on the back row:


Also this December and on through the season, Max and Ben take turns going with JB to Utah basketball games.


May I also add here, that Ben was pretty funny during the Las Vegas bowl, where Utah and BYU played each other. I was watching downstairs in my Y gear, and JB was upstairs in his U gear. Ben tried to change shirts during the game depending on how each team was doing. He'd also run down to see how I was doing. Not good, but there's always next year.


One Saturday morning this month, my parent company had a party for all radio, TV, and newspaper employees. When I heard Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper would be there, I knew I had to invite the cousins, who are now (hopefully) becoming as obsessed as my boys about the franchise.


I took them to the TV set, too.



Santa was also there. And I was worried my boys wouldn't look good in the picture. I should have been more focused on me, haha! But look at Ben -- I die.


JB wasn't at my work party, because he was helping get our ward party ready. We got there just as it started. And JB (in one of his mom's amazing Christmas vests), read a book to everyone.



Also happening in December, much snow. Already more snow than we got all last winter.



I have this whole week of Christmas off from work. The best part is sleeping past 3:30 AM, to be able to wake up around 7 AM and see my bed-heads in the morning happily crunching their cereal. Another plus, I was able to go with them this year to see the window displays downtown.


I'm very happy I was opening my eyes in this picture JB took of us. These boys are so handsome. It's a busy time of year, but I think we are doing a good job focusing on family and being together.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Andrew is 5

It's hard to believe that Andrew was born 5 years ago. Now he is a young Jedi master in training.

Max is the photographer for these birthday kissing pictures. I spy James.



He got a talking Yoda doll. It says different Yoda phrases when you push his tummy.


He also got a Star Wars blanket that he now sleeps under (though James tries to stuff it through the slats of his crib). We tried to get a picture of them but they mostly all look like these below:



Andrew was hyper and excited all day long, and even more hoppy-happy when Papa and Nona brought by new Star Wars jammies and socks.



On Sunday for family dinner I brought his birthday cake. He requested a Yoda cake. It says "Five Andrew is." In Yoda style of speaking. JB thought we needed a picture of me with it for posterity.


Andrew had only one candle on there but Ben made sure to help him blow it out.


Andrew is so imaginative. He can make up the most interesting scenarios and talks them all out as he jumps from couch to couch (against our rules, but he persists). He is really getting into drawing now and writing stories (almost always Star Wars-related). He comes up with stories to answer my requests that he put on jammies or clean up his crayons and paper. Hah.

He and Ben are getting along better as middle children and can play well together these days. He and James also are becoming best buds but still can throw it down and tussle. They come out of their bedroom together in the mornings in the 6 AM hour insisting they saw a 7 on their clock already.

Andrew wants to be grown up but doesn't, if that makes sense. He's a good eater but isn't as tall as his older brothers were at this age. He's still wearing 4T but some 5T now fits (and fairly recently even a couple 3T favorite things that we vacated from his dresser). His older brothers were long before this in 5T. But, comparing to his classmates, he's not short. Just shorter for a Richards I suppose.

He holds hands so sweetly. If he's sitting next to you, chances are he's reaching for your hand or has his feet on you. He's always reaching for James's hand, or a new baby cousin's hand.

He asks every night if he has preschool the next day or if I work the next morning, and we go over the days of the week every night. His favorite expression is "Oh Mom!" or "Oh Dad!" before he starts to spout off a new story or exciting thought.  Andrew is enthusiastic, energetic, excitable, loveable and opinionated and so so cute.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ben is 8

 I sense a theme. The Star Wars is strong with this one.

We are fans anyway, but this year it's just full-on Star Wars EVERYTHING at our house. Here is Ben showing off his gifts for his 8th birthday this past Sunday.



Ben said he wanted a Star Wars cake. I thought about making it also look like a basketball, hence the orange, but I ran out of chocolate chips to melt to use for the basketball stripes after I did the lettering.  I had little fingers helping themselves to the chocolate chips.



James. So innocent. BTW he turned exactly 2 1/2 on Ben's birthday.



Max organized the brothers into making a card for Ben.


We used to call this boy Baby Benny, and Bennihana, and Benjabobbers. Now he prefers "Ben." 


He's very excited to now be 8, because now he's in Cub Scouts, and he's going to have his bishop's interview (with his dad) soon, and he will be baptized on Saturday, January 2. 

Ben is sweet, sensitive, smart, stubborn, determined, perceptive and quick. He is very good at math, loves to play on my iphone or on the computer when I will let him ("I'll clean up first!") and is enjoying learning coding through the Hour of Code program at school. His teacher says he is kind to others. He loves playing and watching sports -- especially basketball. He loves the Utah Jazz and reads the sports section of the newspaper. He tries to wear some blue because of me, but most of his stuff is red. And marked Utah. I keep saying he doesn't have to choose one, right? He often looks to his older brother Max for approval, and they go everywhere together. Friends get both of them on play dates. A package pair, with the sticking-up-for-each-other, but mostly the arguing. He is growing so tall already. We love him so.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving we were invited to Idaho to spend the night and eat with JB's sister Sarah and her husband Joe. Nona and Papa were already there visiting their darling brand new baby who just came to earth. And we got to cuddle him, too.



Andrew and James played so well with Kate. It was really so cute to see the cousins giggling and playing and getting along. Which was really nice, because I have nicknamed them The Terror Twins lately because of how they wrestle and fight like bear cubs.





While there, they played basketball in the church gym Wednesday night, and a great round of football with Joe's ward Thanksgiving morning. In such snow!

 James and Kate wanted to see themselves in the camera.


 

JB and his dad


Kate has tons of boy cousins all around her age


For several days afterward, James would ask, "We go Kate's house?" I also must get that recipe for banana pudding from Sarah's mother-in-law. And I should have snuck some yummy Idaho potatoes to bring back.

The next Sunday I took the boys to Springville while JB was doing more tithing settlements, for a post-Thanksgiving family dinner with two of my brothers and their families. Alas the camera did not come to capture the boys help my brother Joe feed his animals, and play so well with Kaylee and David.