Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Day!

This week we've had lots of fun playing in the snow--introducing the boys to sledding, snowman building, snowball fights, snow angels, snow forts, and even snow ice cream!

Lego King

Benny loves collections and containers of all shapes and sizes, but he is particularly fond of his Legos, or "yay-gos" as he calls them. It is unusual to find Ben without a stack of Legos nearby, whether in the bathtub, in his crib, in the high chair, or playing on the floor. Of course we already know that Ben is a smarty-pants, but I think his Lego creations are quite genius.

Cousins Galore

As is typical, the cousins couldn't be bothered to gather for a respectable photo, so here is a quick shot of a few of the cousins that the boys have been in heaven playing with:

Aside from a few expected squabbles over the sharing of various Christmas toys, these cousins have gotten along together so well! The boys can't seem to get enough of their cousins. Interestingly, most of the preschool/school age Grover cousins are girls, so Hank and Max get to develop their "make believe" and "role-play" skills when the Grover cousins visit. Once, I even overheard Max, playing upstairs with his girl cousins, say, "Did you like that cake (imaginary) I made, honey?" I had to laugh because watching the boys play "Mom and Dad" with their Grover cousins sure is different than watching them play the garbage truck and firetruck games that they usually play around our house.

TEN Years and Still Going Strong

It is tradition on our anniversary each year to listen to a special mix CD (yep, we've been married THAT long) that Aaron made on the night of our engagement. Those sappy love songs make us laugh to think about how long ago it was that we first listened to them together as young college kids, and also make us feel a little tender about the journey we've had together over these past ten years. Sappy and all, this one is for you, honey:

"Hey, hey, la, la we're gonna build our dreams together,
Hey, hey, la, la we've got time, we've got forever,
Hey, hey, la, la, la we've got a good thing, we've got each other,
Eternity won't seem that long 'cause time will fly when its you and I together."

Aaron and I celebrated our anniversary with a hot date (although our real celebration happens in three more weeks--post to come). We watched Les Miserable and then enjoyed a romantical dinner at The Roof overlooking the Salt Lake Temple.

I'm so lucky to get to spend eternity with my best friend. I love you, Aaron Grover! Happy 10 year Anniversary!

So Long!

I'm pretty sure we scared Nana and Papa Z off with our yucky germs and crazy/noisy household, but we loved having them visit while they were here.

Christmas Morning

With Benny's ear infection bothering him and making it difficult for him to sleep, Aaron and I were up and awake well before Hank and Max woke up and got to be in position when they came running down the stairs to find their presents. Santa was very good to Hank and Max, bringing Hank a new bike and Max a Jeep power wheels.

As soon as everyone was gathered, the unwrapping frenzy began. Yet again, the boys were definately spoiled...Lego sets, rain boots, calculator watch, nerf was worth it to see the looks of excitement on their faces.

A glimpse at the state of destruction:
Hank and Max spent most of their Christmas morning working on a Lego set that even Uncle Adam found quite challenging;)

Sleeping Babe

The month of December has been one long coughing, sneezing, runny-nose mess so I guess its no surprise that Hank came down with Strep a few days before and Benny got an ear infection on Christmas Eve. This poor little guy was so miserable that the only comfortable position he could find was in his bouncer. What rotten luck! With a few doses of anti-biotics, both boys' infections cleared right up and they were back to their happy selves within a day or two.

Christmas Eve

Aaron and I joke (semi-seriously) that Christmas Eve is the best day of the year because it's the one day that we allow ourselves to go all out, splurge and buy anything at the grocery store/Costco that tickles our fancy, and indulge without guilt. I'm pretty sure I consumed enough goodies on that one night to hold me over for the rest of the year. Aside from the gourmet spread, I love that Christmas Eve means family, togetherness, and traditions. Most importantly, it is a time to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate.

After our feast, we played competitive game of family Christmas Bingo, followed by reading a special Christmas story, and then reading the nativity story from the Bible.

Afterwards, the boys scurried to bed, full of excitement and anticipation.

Behold, the Christmas tree in all her glory, pre-Christmas morning destruction:

Christmas Sunday

Bunny ears....gets them every time.


I love my handsome four-some.

Donald the Elf

During the month of December, we like to do family activities each night to celebrate the season and build family memories. Some of our activities included reading a Christmas book each night before bedtime, watching old family videos, seeing the Christmas light displays, playing board games and drinking hot chocolate, and singing Christmas music. Along with these activities, we also create a little Christmas magic in our home with our friend, Donald the Elf. First thing in the morning the boys race around the house to check and see where Donald is hiding and what kind of mischief he's been up to while the boys have been sleeping. I don't know how long the boys will believe that Donald returns to the North Pole each night to give a report on their behavior, but I hope they always remember the magic of the Christmas season.

Switch Flipped

To date, we've tried a few seasons of soccer and tball with mixed results: Hank runs around in a fog and we watch in amusement at his equal parts enthusiasm and confusion. Suddenly, it seems as though the fog lifted, and out emerged a hustling, attentive, semi-coordinated little basketball player! Hank loved it--he begged the coach at the end of each quarter to put him back in for more! Hank was a great defender, racing to get in his position below the basket to get the rebounds. He even scored several baskets.

Hank had the loudest cheering section rooting him on!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Naughty or Nice?

This afternoon I took the boys to visit Santa Clause. Hank and Max posed with their typical canned smiles, Joey was just a doll, and Ben, as expected, F-R-E-A-K-E-D OUT. As soon as the photo was snapped, I rescued poor, traumatized Benny while Santa visited with the boys. I had teased Hank and Max earlier about being on the "naughty list," so they were both pretty happy when Santa did in fact ask them what they'd like for Christmas. Hank asked Santa for a police Lego set and Max asked for chocolate coins (ironic, because just last week Max stole--yes, stole--chocolate coins from Target and was heavily punished for his crime).

Starry, Starry Night

I'm not convinced that taking the train is any more convenient or cost efficient than driving, but it scored us lots of points with the boys. The boys thought it was fun to ride on the "double-decker" train car and follow along with each stop using their route maps.

We bundled the kids in every pair of pajamas they own and strolled through Temple Square to take in the lights. The boys were all troopers, but Hank especially seemed to enjoy being outdoors at night-time and running alongside Dad to keep up while we speed-walked to catch our train home.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Go Cougars!

Hank has turned into quite the little basketball player lately (post to follow soon), so we thought it would be fun to take the boys to a BYU basketball game. The event was a bit of a mixed bag: on the one hand, Hank and Max thought it was great fun to be able to join the crowd in yelling at the tops of their lungs, really enjoyed being a part of all of the action, and, of course, chearing on the Cougars. On the other hand, Ben, with his sensitive sensory system, was near-beside himself with all of the people, lights, noise, and action.

Benny was so miserable with all of the erruptions of yelling and chearing that he and I spent the last quarter out in the breeze-way, playing chase and checking out Cosmo the Cougar.

True story: our seats were the second row from the very top of the arena. At one point, a lady near me tapped on my shoulder and asked me if I happened to have any baby wipes (why, yes I do!) because her son's nose had started to bleed! For real. Get it?! Our seats were literally in the nose-bleeds!

Christmas Masterpeice

So, the artwork is a bit impressionistic, but I think the boys' Christmas cards turned out super cute:

Santa's Reindeer

For Family Night, we took the boys to visit Santa's reindeer! The boys were excited to see the real reindeer in person, but were a little disappointed that the reindeer were "resting" for their big flight and didn't do any flying during our visit.

Afterwards, we warmed up indoors with some icecream.....?