Wednesday, January 3, 2018

December, 2017

 December started off so warm outside, Noah even wore shorts to get our Christmas tree!
 It was so warm and dry we even ran our sprinklers a few times!
 Levi got two stomach bugs in December, so he missed their piano recital. Noah did a fine job, as usual. But after much deliberation we decided he could call it quits on piano after the recital.
 We celebrated my beautiful mother's birthday!
 Levi and Rylee resurrected a golden-oldie board game from the game drawer - Wheal of Fortune!

 Levi was home from school with his second stomach bug when we finally got around to putting decorations on the Christmas tree. I just wasn't feeling it this year, you know? So we only put on shiny glass balls. It turned out OK, but it certainly was easy!
 If you look around the living room you can see many signs of a family fighting off stomach bugs. In the end, 3 out of 4 of us got sick, Noah made it through without getting sick.

 These pretzels were our one "Christmas treat" we made....they're still hanging around in the fridge a month later....
 Time for Levi's school Christmas program!
 He was so darn cute!!

 Levi and his buddy Anthony made this snowman in school. :-)
 And the next morning we took off for Cancun!

 We finally made it to the resort - what a beautiful place!
 This pool was right outside our room - but the water was a bit cold (neither Levi or my toes were too sure about it)!

 The next morning the boys finally had a chance to hit the beach (well, they dipped their toes in the night before)!

 The all-inclusive deal was pretty sweet. The boys got ice cream and drinks and snacks whenever they wanted.

 Little baby Simon was decked out in his full beach attire!
 The boys got a lot of sand volleyball in.
 Turns out Simon wasn't too sure about the water.

 Levi painted a skull,
 and the guy selling them asked if he could add decorations to it, Levi agreed and then we waited two days for the guy to bring it back.
 Lots of beach soccer!
 Our lunchtime view:
 Levi's out there trying to get a sunrise photo. :-)
 We took one day trip away from the resort - before we left we ate breakfast with Ezra!
 And Simon!
 The resort was decorated beautifully for Christmas.
 The ocean is in the background, bleached out by the sun.
 We loaded into a van, with Ben in the driver's seat, and went in search of Mayan ruins and a cenote.
 The Ek Balam Mayan Ruins were stunning.
 It is one of the few Mayan ruins where tourists can actually climb them.

 It was 110 steps to the top. Levi and I counted while we went up!
 At the top, we were above all the trees in the jungle!

 We took turns going up because baby Simon was staying on the ground.

 Then we rented some bikes and rode about a mile to this Cenote (see-no-tay) or sink hole.

 The boys were the only two prepared to actually swim (although that didn't stop Sara from joining in the fun!) and it took them a minute, or 10, to finally jump in!
 It was so beautiful, words can't describe it.
 Finally, Levi went for it!

 Eventually, they both got in and had a good time.

 It was a steep climb in and out of the cenote!
 Pineapple popsicles and we hit the rode back to the hotel!
 The Italian restaurant had really long bread sticks.
 There was evening entertainment each night, but we only watched the magician - he was very funny and did a good job!
 The next morning the guys went fishing.

 Levi stayed at the resort with me.
 So we hung out with grandma, Ezra and Simon for the morning!
 I think Levi had just as much fun in the kids area as Ezra did.

 Nap time.
 And Levi got his skull back!

 Mac and cheese on the beach, could life be any better for Levi?!

 The whole family

 And the last morning on the beach - we did our best to soak up all the warm sunshine we could!
 The final shot of three depressed Schrag's waiting for our van to take us to the airport.
 We came home and woke up to a dusting of snow the next morning!!
 Gosh it was cold, but that didn't stop the boys from bundling up to "play" in the snow.
 They pile snow up on the deck steps so they can ride the sled down the steps and across the patio.
 Christmas Eve at church was a lovely program put on by the children.

 And Christmas day we celebrated at home in the morning and then walked over to my parents to enjoy the rest of the day with family.

 For Levi's birthday we arranged for an hour in a flight simulator with our friend Brian.
 Levi was so excited!!
 It turns out the simulator was even better than he imagined and it was plenty challenging!
 Thank you Brian for showing Levi such a great time!!

 Christmas break has been very relaxing for me. I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen but I've enjoyed it because I've rarely been in a rush.
 Levi asked for a basketball birthday cake so we worked together to create it.

 Ben and his cattle sick pen. He takes good care of those steers and keeps a close eye on them.

 Happy 10th birthday Levi!!
 We had friends over to help celebrate. Mini meatloaves, homemade mac and cheese and green beans were on the menu.
 And then it was my birthday. Oh how it sneaks up on me. With all the hubbub for Christmas and Levi's birthday, I just want a day to relax by the time my birthday rolls around. And that's exactly what I did.
On to 2018!