Jude

CHRISTMAS 2016 by Ren Wightman

For Christmas we were fortunate to have Brandon, AJ and Max in Utah. Katie, Bryce and Josie were going to travel to Utah from Idaho but weather permitted that from happening. We were also lucky to have Grandpa Dutch join us. And of course Ed and Karri joined us. We received snow on Christmas morning which made the day that more magical for the kids. Jude received an Amazon Kindle. Both Abbey and Penny received a Critters doll house set. And of course, they were all spoiled rotten. We did a Christmas Even Party where we had a photo booth set up. Below are the pictures from that.   

I also put together a little Christmas video

Brandon and AJ

Brandon and AJ

Brandon, AJ and Max

Brandon, AJ and Max

Abbey

Abbey

Jude

Jude

Grandpa Ed and Grandma Karri

Grandpa Ed and Grandma Karri

Grandma Karri with her Grandkids

Grandma Karri with her Grandkids

Grandpa Dutch

Grandpa Dutch

Shauna and Ren

Shauna and Ren

Ren and Sampson

Ren and Sampson

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBEY! by Ren Wightman

Last week (April 10) was Abbey's birthday. She turned seven years old. Since we did a joint party the previous week for Jude and Abbey's birthday we had a simple celebration on Saturday (April 9) since her birthday fell on a Sunday. We had Marisa, Maliya, Grandpa and Grandma come over for pizza, cake and ice cream and presents. It was nice to have everyone over to celebrate Abbey. She got all kinds of gifts. Some included Calico Critters, Littlest Pet Shop, books, a wind chime making kit, Zootopia stuffed animal and many other things. The present that was the biggest hit was the hula hoop! Both kids haven't stopped hula hooping since they got it.  

Being a typical middle child Abbey brings peace and calmness to our family. She is extremely sweet and shy. Over the past year it's been fun to see her gain more confidence. I think having a best friend in Maliya and getting her hearing at 100% has made a huge difference for Abbey. When we visited her first grade teach for Parent Teacher Conferences a few weeks ago she mentioned that Abbey continually gets 100% on her math tests (one of only three kids in the class). She loves to read, play with her Critters and stuffed animals and of course play with her BFF. We are so grateful for Abbey, she brings us so much joy. 

Thank you to all of Abbey's friends and family who helped make Abbey's birthday a special day. 

Abbey with her birthday cake. Grandma photo-bombing.

Abbey with her birthday cake. Grandma photo-bombing.

Abbey showing off her Calico Critter set. Also notice that Abbey and Maliya are wearing matching shirts. It was Maliya's gift to Abbey. The shirt says "My BFF makes every day awesome"

Abbey showing off her Calico Critter set. Also notice that Abbey and Maliya are wearing matching shirts. It was Maliya's gift to Abbey. The shirt says "My BFF makes every day awesome"

Jude trying to Hula Hoop

Jude trying to Hula Hoop

Fail. Don't worry both Jude and Abbey have hula hooping down now. They are pros. 

Fail. Don't worry both Jude and Abbey have hula hooping down now. They are pros. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDE! by Ren Wightman

This past Saturday (April 2) was Jude's birthday. Our oldest is nine years old! We've always said that he is the heart beat of our family. I believe my wife said it best: "Jude threw us into the challenging world of parenthood. His imagination is still alive and well. He still fights 'bad guys' daily with the plot getting more developed everyday. He is a spirited, stubborn, hard headed, active and a smart boy. He is one of the most fun kids to be around, always up for doing something fun." 

Since Abbey's birthday is eight days away we decided to do a joint birthday activity but only celebrated Jude's birthday (if that makes sense?). We took Cooper, Jackson, Maliya and Marisa to Provo Beach Resort for a few hours. After that we had pizza, came home and opened presents and had cake. Provo Beach Resort was surprisingly empty, which we were happy about. Probably because it was Conference weekend. Jude and his buddies did laser tag twice, spent their $10 arcade cards in a record five minutes, and played in the giant playground. All in all all the boys and girls had fun. We are grateful for all the friends both Abbey and Jude have. We're also grateful for the grandparents, aunts and uncles who thought of Jude on his birthday. 

From left to right back row: Cooper, Jude, Marisa, Jackson. Front row: Abbey, Maliya.

From left to right back row: Cooper, Jude, Marisa, Jackson. Front row: Abbey, Maliya.

Enjoying the birthday present Jude received from his great Grandpa Willis and VR. 

Enjoying the birthday present Jude received from his great Grandpa Willis and VR. 

The day before Jude's birthday, Grandpa Willis and VR dropped off some birthday presents.

The day before Jude's birthday, Grandpa Willis and VR dropped off some birthday presents.

The obligatory goofy picture.

The obligatory goofy picture.

I didn't get a lot of pictures of the kids at Provo Beach Resort, but I did snap this beauty. 

I didn't get a lot of pictures of the kids at Provo Beach Resort, but I did snap this beauty. 

NOTES by Ren Wightman

Abbey's Saturday to-do list she made with her friend Maliya.

Abbey's Saturday to-do list she made with her friend Maliya.

Jude's art from school. His Aunt AJ loved this one so much she bought it from him. 

Jude's art from school. His Aunt AJ loved this one so much she bought it from him. 

One of my favorite notes. We received this from Jude's teacher, here is what she said about it: "The prompt was 'March 15th is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day. Write an award for a kid you know who has been incredible and describe why they deserve that award.' He chose to write the award for Abbey and I thought it was too cute not to share! Also note his neat penmanship and complete sentences (the things we've been working on)!" 

One of my favorite notes. We received this from Jude's teacher, here is what she said about it: "The prompt was 'March 15th is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day. Write an award for a kid you know who has been incredible and describe why they deserve that award.' He chose to write the award for Abbey and I thought it was too cute not to share! Also note his neat penmanship and complete sentences (the things we've been working on)!" 

SUNDAY WALK by Ren Wightman

This past Sunday (3/20/16) we went on a walk at Bridal Veil Falls. Over the past several years this has been one of our favorite places to go when we want to get outdoors. It's up Provo Canyon, has a nice walking trail and a beautiful waterfall(s). When we started our walk the sun hadn't completely made it over the mountain. We walked in the shade and the kids were struggling to stay warm. By the time we made it to the waterfall the sun was on our backs and we started to warm up. Of course by that time the kids were hungry and needed to use the bathroom. 

Snack time.

Snack time.

The kids had never used a porta potty so they thought it was funny. After using the it Abbey said "I got to pee on a juicy poo." 

The kids had never used a porta potty so they thought it was funny. After using the it Abbey said "I got to pee on a juicy poo." 

JUDE'S LEPRECHAUN TRAP by Ren Wightman

Jude came home with a school assignment a few weeks ago. The assignment, make a leprechaun trap. Me, Shauna and Jude brainstormed many ideas of what we felt would be the best way to trap a leprechaun using a simple machine (lever, axel and wheel, pulley, wedge, etc.). At first we thought it would be a breeze. However the more we thought about it the more difficult it became. At first we were going to build it with Legos. We quickly tossed that idea out the window and went a different direction. The new plan was to trick the leprechaun into coming to a well disguised "Party House." He would open the door and a cage would fall and trap him. We spent many hours on it. Jude completed and took the project to class and got 100% (which we were happy about). When we asked him how it went he said: "well it trapped the leprechaun but the leprechaun got away."

Jude making the rainbow. At the end of the rainbow would be the cage disguised as a cloud.

Jude making the rainbow. At the end of the rainbow would be the cage disguised as a cloud.

Not enough can be said about how awesome Shauna is. She bought all the supplies and pushed Jude to stay busy and involved the whole time.

Not enough can be said about how awesome Shauna is. She bought all the supplies and pushed Jude to stay busy and involved the whole time.

Jude with the completed leprechaun trap. 

Jude with the completed leprechaun trap. 

JUDE'S FIELD TRIP by Ren Wightman

Yesterday (March 2) I had the opportunity to go with Jude's third grade class on a field trip. We went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. I got to chaperone with Holly Keele (Cooper's Mom). We had a group of eight kids to watch over. Jude has one of the most fantastic teachers. Her name is Miss. Seamons and she is completely invested in her student's and their success. We wish Jude could have her as his teacher for the rest of his elementary years. It was fun to see Jude with his classmates and Miss. Seamons with her students outside the classroom. 

Miss. Seamons brought a selfie stick and insisted that she take a group picture with her class.

Miss. Seamons brought a selfie stick and insisted that she take a group picture with her class.

Jude's thank you note to me for chaperoning. 

Jude's thank you note to me for chaperoning. 

A thank you note for one of Jude's classmates. Probably my favorite. 

A thank you note for one of Jude's classmates. Probably my favorite.