28 February 2017

Nerf Wars

After spending hours taking family photos, Grandma revealed that she had one more present for her grandkids to open. Nerf guns and more darts that you can imagine were the perfect way to rein in those restless cousins.
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After some crying within the first few minutes of receiving their nerf guns because little ones were getting pelleted, we set up some targets for the kids to shoot at instead.
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I loved Nash's one eyed concentration.
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With that, everyone headed off to a movie while I stayed back with napping Finn and attempted the daunting task of packing everything back into the car for the long drive home. Our week in the snowy mountains flew by but we were so glad we made the trek to be with family and had the added bonus of a white Christmas.


27 February 2017

Fourteen Tanners

The last time we took photos with the Tanner family, Blake and Nash were the only grandchildren. There have been five more people added to the family since then, so it was time for an updated shot. It's rare for us all to be in one place at one time, so Troy's mom made sure to schedule a block of time to capture the family over Christmas break.
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She had the vests, bow ties and dresses all purchased and laid out.
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Blake entertained his brothers and cousins while we were waiting in between shots.
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After taking lots of formal pictures outside where the light was beautiful, the plan was for all of the cousins to change into their Christmas pajamas and gather on Grandma and Grandpa's bed. After hours of being told to hold still and smile, there was no way we were going to get an ounce of cooperation from all of them at the same time. 
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Too many little monkeys jumping on the bed.
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So, we opted for individual shots instead.
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Finn was acting the naughtiest of them all throughout the photo session. I mean, he's a toddler, but he was especially needy, determined, wiggly, hungry for fifteen snacks, etc. We saved his individual photo for last because even with three adults at the scene, we knew it was going to be a struggle. And what do you know, he shocked us all when we plopped him down on the bed and he gave us the most angelic pose you could think up. You just never know what you're going to get with two year olds.
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Gathering that many people and expecting cooperation from seven kids under the age of nine was no easy feat. But the photographer did an excellent job thinking of new gimmicks to get the kids to smile. It was a nice break for me to not be the one behind the camera. And now the Tanners have some new photos to hang on their walls.


26 February 2017

From Cold to Hot

Over Christmas break, we made sure to get our fill of snow because it had been two years since we had seen a winter wonderland. It took us about two hours to get everyone geared up to leave the house. Troy rounded up some awesome accessories in the process.
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When our group of eleven people finally made it out the door, we gathered up the sleds and drove to an ideal sledding hill.
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Finn was not amused by any of it. The cold, the layers of snow gear, the bumpy snow terrain making it difficult to walk. We replaced the mittens on his hands approximately 437 times but he refused to keep them on. He wanted nothing to do with outdoor winter activities. 
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He sledded down the hill with us a few times and then he was over it. And I was over it too because he wouldn't let me put him down on the walk back up the hill.
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Our other boys were much more eager sledders.
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Blake and Nash hauled their sleds up the hill over and over so they could sled off the snow jumps. They got some serious air time.
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Naturally, there were lots of wipeouts.
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My niece only wanted to ride with me. I don't think she trusted anyone else to avoid the snow jumps.
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For all of the effort it took to get us to the sledding hill, it was short lived. Everyone was freezing after a half hour.
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We had a nice warm hot tub awaiting us back at the cabin. 
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Still, the boys were crazy enough to mix the cold with the hot.
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Their grandpa dared them to run into the snow.
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Which somehow escalated into swimsuit snow angels, all for a quarter. 
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The boys sprinted back to the hot tub.
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Meanwhile, Crew was the smart one who didn't bother leaving that toasty warm water.
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I loved how there were tiny icicles lining the patio chairs.
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Crew was mesmerized by how quickly they melted when I broke them off for him.
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One week of snow was the perfect amount to last me another year or two. We loved having a white Christmas, and we equally loved that we were heading back to sunshine and palm trees.