Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Festival of Colors

Every year when the Festival of Colors rolls around, I think, "we should do that." Music, food, a colossal mess - it sure seems like a Morningstar kind of event. And this year, we finally attended the Holi festival in Spanish Fork. Warm sun, good food, 55,000 of our closest friends, and breathing in scented, colored chalk poured upon us by total strangers has never felt so good.

Before: Ben is completely prepared for any chalk-bearing invader: bandana on, sunglasses in place, earbuds blocking chalk from entering his ear holes.
After: Only the protection of the earbuds remains. But he's still smiling!
When you have dark, straight hair like Ying those first speckles of color sure look cool
Grammy gets in on the fun - you know it's a good party when you can't even see your tie dye anymore!
Even with a purple face, Sasha manages to look fabulous. Minnie Mouse sunglasses do help.
3-2-1 - time for a chalk throw!
It turns out the kids can totally eat vegetarian as long as corn, french fries, and snow cones are on the menu
WanYing and Mom pause for a selfie - WanYing wanted to show you her fistfull of purple chalk
We had a super great time getting totally messy and celebrating the crazy fun that is our family
And don't worry, our hair all returned to its normal color after a shampoo... or three...

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Tooth Fairy Works Overtime

We interrupt this beautiful spring day to announce that the Tooth Fairy is officially on overtime with four kids to keep up with - WanYing lost her first tooth yesterday!

It all started Sunday morning when we sent the girls upstairs tidy up their room before church. Ten minutes later, both were wailing (the normal outcome of room cleaning, let's be honest). When we finally got to the bottom of the story we learned that Sasha was crying because WanYing insisted on stuffing her PJs under their table. And WanYing was crying because, in retaliation for said PJ-stuffing, Sasha had bopped her in the face.

Ah, never a dull moment.

WanYing's displeasure intensified (read: wailing escalates to full-on panic) when she realized that her bottom front tooth was now loose. But after some very fast thinking and heart-felt consolation by Daddy, WanYing came to understand that her baby teeth were probably ready to start getting loose anyway. Sure enough, by the end of the day WanYing was the very proud owner of a dislodged tooth, pulled out all by herself!

This girl is growing up way too fast. Good thing she looks so darn cute doing it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Park City Vacation

It all started a few years ago when we were vacationing in Breckenridge. It was freezing. It was snowing in Utah. And we couldn't for the life of us figure out why we ever left home!

From then on it's been Utah Staycations. Every year we pick a Utah resort area and go romp for a few days - and from PowMow to Brian Head we sure have enjoyed our Utah staycations.

This year we booked a week in a Park City condo and ate up the PC amenities. We skiied 2 days at PCMR, 2 at The Canyons, and a day at Deer Valley. We were blessed with fresh snow (a rarity this season!), blue skies, warm temps, and a hot tub back at the condo. It was a heck of a ski vacation.

Sash has really come into her own skiing this year - we are so impressed with the progress she's made as a result of her coaches and teammates on the Sundance Ski Team. Her usual joyful reckless abandon on the mountain has been honed into a semi-skilled joyful reckless abandon and now that she's mastered her hockey stop be sure to shield your face from the inevitable snow spray if she can stop up-trail from you because she will shush that snow into your face every chance she gets!

We were blessed with beautiful weather and beautiful views
The kids and Dad ponder a double-black, and, of course, barrel right down it!
The Yingster shows off her turns

WanYing's major accomplishment this trip was learning to skate - the girl is a skating fool now! It's awfully nice not having to tow her across every flat, but she still appreciates a turbo boost (push from behind) now and again.

And, of course, the boys now outdo their mama in both stylin' outfits and hill bombing
Sam shows off his new goggles and the morning's fresh powder
And Daddy, as always, shows off his amazing turns

Enjoying all that Park City offers of course meant that we had to head down into town to High West for lunch. We all enjoyed the cheese fondue. The grown ups savored their whiskey. And the kids thought the PC town lift was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

A big part of the Park City experience is the dining and we went big with our PC meals! Sasha found calamari on the Grappa kids menu and thought she'd give it a try. She loved it!

Between Zoom, High West, Grappa, and fantastic on-mountain dining we ate very well.

Staycation 2015 was a resounding success! Good turns and good times were had by all.

Now to plan our myriad biking adventures this summer - spring has sprung!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tubing Soldier Hollow

It's been a funny winter here in Utah. We've had crazy warm weather and really low snowfall. Yet at least for the Morningstar family, we've had one of our best winters ever with lots of great family fun in the snow.

A few weeks ago we headed out to Soldier Hollow for the annual CenterPoint Church afternoon of tubing. And, as usual, we had a terrific day hanging out with our family and church family on the tubing hill!

Sam always cracks me up with his goggles and helmet - I think he looks like a very warm fighter pilot
You can't go fast enough for these crazy girls!
Two hours of tubing will never suffice
And, most importantly, we looked good doing it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrating WanYing's Fourth Gotcha Day

Last week we celebrated a very special day - WanYing's Fourth Gotcha Day!

Four years ago our family welcomed an overwhelmed, scared little girl into our hearts and lives and she has been astounding us with her spunk, spirit, and sweetness ever since!

This year we celebrated WanYing's Gotcha Day in Moab, combining all the fun of Southern Utah cycling, one of our favorite places, Pi Day, and Gotcha Dall into one fun-filled Saturday. It was quite the day.

We started the day with a ride and a picnic at Dead Horse Point State Park.

Blue skies, warm sunshine, and plenty of rocks to climb make for happy kids
Of course, it wasn't fair for Mom and Dad to go on a bike ride, Ben had to get in on the action!
Ben is getting so good at riding his unicycle! He'll realize his dream of becoming a trained circus bear yet.
And we ended the day at the kids' favorite Moab location - Sand Dune Arch
They always always insist on climbing the arch

And of course we concluded our 3.14 with pies of the cherry, chocolate, and pecan varieties. Admittedly, the combination of children, pie, and sand made for some gritty dessert, but it was still undeniably festive and delicious.

Happy Fourth Gotcha Day WanYing! We are so grateful that you are ours and we are yours!


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