Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Do you see the vegetable turkey?  It is a thing of beauty, is it not?
I had nothing to do with its creation.  That was the handiwork of my friend Andrea.  Our family shared Thanksgiving with the Flynn/Golding family this year and it was just lovely.
It wasn't just our two families, rather there were about five families--some old friends and some new.
The ladies made cookie/candy turkeys for us.  I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  Our nicer camera is down, so we're left to the mercy of our phone cameras.  They are hardly worthy of the name "camera".
Stephanie (Andrea's former sister-in-law) was Peter's special friend yesterday.  I was very grateful for her help with him.  Stephanie's daughter, Trinity, is a great favorite of Elinor's.
The kids table.  They all look pretty silly here, but they were so good to each other and got along famously all day.
Sort of a family picture-- minus four children.  We were sitting, waiting for the line to go down.  I'd been on my feet cooking for several hours and didn't feel like standing in line.
I should have taken a better picture from the front, but this was one of our new friends.  Masa is the director of the One Voice Children's Choir here in Utah.  He and his wife joined us and they were very nice.  He accompanied us as we sang Christmas Carols and listened to a few of the young people perform.  HE WAS AMAZING!!!!  He didn't use music and he played the most beautiful accompaniments.  What a treat!  It was better than pie!
 It was requested that they boys sing "We Three Kings".  It would have been better if they'd had any idea how many verses there actually were, but it was still enjoyable.
 I indulged in a jigsaw puzzle after the big meal.  It's not finished yet and I hope to head back over to Andrea's this weekend to finish it up.  It was fun to work together on it.  Abe turned out to be a quite a good puzzler, which really doesn't surprise me.  I'm not very good at them, but I enjoy them nonetheless.
We thought what fun it would be if we stayed the night last night!
We were WRONG!
It wasn't fun.  Well, it was really fun for everyone except Abe, Peter and I.  Peter likes his bed and his bed only.  He's not what you'd call "adaptable".  This was a picture I snapped of him in the early hours of the morning when he wasn't going back to sleep.  We had hoped to hang out there during the day today as well, but we decided getting Peter home for a good nap was more important.
Thank you, Andrea, for hosting a wonderful gathering.  We are blessed.

Thanksgiving Lead Up

Leaves! Glorious Leaves!  Have I every mentioned how much I loved leaves?  It's true I don't like raking them, but honestly, I don't see why raking leaves is such a necessity.  It's not like they are toxic.  The little kids had a grand time jumping off the trampoline into the huge pile of leaves. 
Nothing warms my heart more than children raking leaf houses.  My absolute favorite game as a child.  You can see it in the picture, but on a branch on the other side of the tree is a large collection of sticks and twigs.  As we were arriving home a couple days ago, Abe and I were very complimentary of the "eagle's nest" built onto the tree.  Cannon quickly corrected us-- It is a FORT!  Not a nest!.
My bad.
Abe and Bethany took advantage of a mild day last week and quickly put up a few Christmas lights.  Always nice to get that done before the snow flies.
Last week the Young Men and Young Women went to the Humanitarian Center for a tour and to help tie some quilts.  Our three young people really enjoyed it and found it very interesting.
It's a selfie...and not even a good one at that...but I wanted a picture of our fun outing.  Last Friday Bethany, Cannon, Faith and I took TRAX downtown to hear the Hand Bell Choir at Temple Square.  The concert was wonderful and I quite enjoyed the time with my peeps. 
We recently renewed our membership at Thanksgiving Point.  I took the little kids a couple of weeks back and they were thoroughly entertained.  It's as good as we remembered it!
Peter was way too young for this awesome water table when we last had a membership.  He was just right for it now.  HE LOVED IT!  Can I get me one of these at home?  I guess I already have one--it's called a bathtub.
Happy Peter.  Happy Mama.
Here is my sister and her sweet kids at a recent homeschool Thanksgiving party.  I am so glad to be friends with some very organized, energetic, go-getter homeschoolers.  It's in who you know, right?  I know some pretty great people.
Not really sure why Faith looks like she wants to hurt me in this picture.  Maybe she was just thinking about eating the turkey.
When Christmas was over last year, Abe decided he had had enough of our tree.  Once upon a time, roughly 14 years ago, it was a very nice, pre-lit tree.  Time had not been good to our tree and it no longer stood up straight.  It don't think it really stood by itself at all anymore.  It was in bad shape.  So we chucked it, thinking we would buy a new one this year. 
As December drew near, we weren't feeling great about spending money on a new tree.  Maybe our old tree could have made it one more year.  Regret.
Blessedly for us, my parents were giving away their big tree as they weren't planning to up a big tree anymore.  Ooh, ooh!  PICK ME! PICK ME!
 So, so thankful for a "new-to-us" Christmas tree!
It's so pretty!  Thank you Dad and Bev! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Where We Are

It is November 20th and I haven't posted AT ALL in November.
We've been busy, but no busier than normal.  I'm not sure why I've fallen out of the habit of doing something I enjoy so much.  No use trying to catch up what I've missed.  I'll just start where I am.
Here are mini updates of everybody.  I do need to work on a Christmas letter soon, so maybe this will help give me some direction.

Peter is a lot of fun these days.  That's not really something I've said very much over the past 15 months.  His digestive system and sleeping schedule seem to have mellowed and he's pretty happy.  He is walking all around-- before 15 months!  That's pretty early for our family.  When he hears a song on the radio he likes he points his index finger in the air and "dances".  I find it particularly charming because my mom used to do a funny finger dance that we kids used to love.

George is my errand running companion.  I don't leave the house without him.  He likes doing his school books and practicing the piano.  He is ever the hoarder and collector of objects the rest of the world doesn't value.  He checks the mail at least four times a day before noon and retrieves any credit card offer/junk mail I throw away.

Cannon is quite the song and dance man.  He is taking a tap dance and a hip hop class, and I admit I am DYING to see him at his Christmas recital.  Always cheerful, always ready with a joke.  I find him absolutely charming.  He loves learning and figuring things out.  He never seems happier than when deep in concentration.  He is really doing well with piano and surprising me with how quickly he passes songs off.

Faith is still taking tumbling classes twice a week.  She worked really hard practicing at home to get stronger and got herself moved up into a higher class.   She working on her front aerial and standing back tuck.  Her latest accomplishment is a round-off, three back-handspring, back tuck.   She is also working hard on piano.  Everyone is in "get ready for recital" mode.  The recital is Tuesday, December 15th and if I have my druthers, all of my little dearies will play something! 

Elinor is the tallest 12 year old I know!  She is seriously almost as tall as me and I'm 5'9"!  She has a piano teacher other than me and is thriving.  It makes me so happy to see her progress.  She is also doing swim team again at Marv Jenson Rec. Center.  She doesn't get to practice quite as often as I would like, but such is the schedule of a busy family.  Both Elinor and Bethany are very helpful with the younger kids and I am beyond grateful.  Elinor has had a bit of a rough adjustment to algebra this year, but I think she's on the right track now.  Elinor and Bethany are really enjoying our Mother/Daughter Jane Austen book club.  After finishing Pride and Prejudice they were tickled to watch the 5 hour A&E version.  Now they can truly appreciate it!

Bethany is in the middle of a violin lesson even as I write.  She is LOVING being a part of the Lyceum Philharmonic.  Of course I would like her to practice more-- like 3 hours a day.  She seems content with 1 1/2  hours right now.  She is enjoying her Ancient History course this year.  The three oldest kids have a schedule of reading and then turn in projects for each book.  They have a lot of leeway in what kind of project they turn in-- write an essay, write a play, artwork, write a song, oral report.  Whatever they books inspired in them.  Bethany has turned in some really clever, artistic projects.  Having already completed her personal progress, she is working on getting an Honor Bee.

Clark is working about 15 hours a week at Papa Murphy's Pizza.  He likes it and I like him having that responsibility that I'm not a part of.  He's a junior this year, so he's working hard on school work and ACT prep.  He's about 6'3" with a deep voice-- rather imposing.  He's already known for planning thoughtful, fun dates.  He's one I would like to play a piece in my Christmas recital, but I'm not sure that will happen.  He is preparing something, but perhaps isn't so keen on public performance.  I've told him, "Clark, you only have to do this two more times and then you are done forever! I won't ask you to play after you mission".  It's is so strange to think this is is second to last Christmas at home before he'll be mission bound.

I will be better about blogging more regularly.  Sometimes I just have to start writing.  That's what this post was.  Hopefully, I'll have more pictures and more interesting stories next time.