Greetings from the not-so-well Morningstars. We went from Sam with the stomach flu last week (and still a nasty cough this week) to Ben with a double ear infection. Poor little guys. Steve and I haven't been doing so well, either, although we aren't nearly as ill as the boys have been. I guess that the up side is that everybody has been diagnosed with their respective illnesses and we're all recovering now, but it's been a tough week!
We have had a cold and snowy January here in Utah. We've actually had snow on the ground at our house since Christmas, which is very unusual for down here in the valley. Of course, we love the snow because it means more skiing for us, and we have been enjoying some lovely cross country excursions. Sam hasn't really embraced skiing on his own yet, but he is still happy to be carried in the backpack, so we all still have fun skiing together (with the possible exception of Daddy who still has to carry Sam).
Sam has discovered a new hobby - Legos! He has really turned into a Lego maniac, asking us to play several times a day at minimum. The Legos have have to stay away in their case because Baby Ben thinks they're absolutely delicious, and Sam hasn't figured out how to open the briefcase that the Legos live in yet, which is probably best for the whole family because this way they don't get spread out over the whole house.
Sam has become an expert truck, Sunshine, and plane builder, often combining all three to make a very exciting vehicle indeed. He has gotten to the point where he can put the Legos together all by himself, which is pretty darn cool. He does need us to get the parts apart sometimes, but other than that he is a very independent Lego artist.
As you may have noticed in the second photo, I have gotten my hair cut. I had to wait until there were ten inches to cut off before I could donate it to Locks of Love, so last week I got thoroughly sick of my hair and went to my stylist and we cut off my ponytail, sent it in, and I'm now free! It's been super fun having my hair short again and the cut has come to great acclaim, although Sam did point out that I had lost my hair when I first came home.
My first two weeks of banjo lessons have gone very well, although we have hit a little snag in the practice schedule because every time I bring out the banjo, Sam becomes immediately very interested in what's going on and I'm only allowed to play songs about trains. So, I spend lots of time playing "I've Been Working on the Railroad", although I constantly have to replace the words with characters from Thomas the Tank Engine, so I spend lots of time playing "I've Been Working on Thomas's Tender" or "I've Been Working on Percy's Boiler" or any of the other songs he suggests. Then, after I sing and play for a few minutes, Sam decides that it's his turn to play and he proceeds to play the banjo and sing for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. He's a born performer - he can even play a lovely G chord on the banjo (although it does help that the banjo has an open G tuning, so you don't have to do any fingering to play a G).
We have had some fun Mommy and Daddy times over the past two weeks, also. Last weekend we went to the Solitude yurt for dinner with the Knappenbergers. It was a fabulous evening where we skied in a half mile or so to a yurt (a Mongolian tent made for snowy circumstances) where a chef prepared an delicious five-course meal for the twenty of us in the seating and then we skied around the Solitude Nordic Center by moonlight with Zach and Karla. It was an amazing evening.
On Sunday we went to our now annual Sundance Film Festival screening. We have a friend who works for the festival and she hooked us up with tickets to the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, which means that it was the film that the audiences liked best. As always, we had a memorable Sundance experience, and the film was really quite good (unlike some of the shows we've seen), although we unfortunately did not see any famous people this year. Oh well, we'll just have to try again next year!
Have a nice wintry day!
Steve, Jamie, Sam, and Ben
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