Happy Birthday to our favorite Justin! He turned one year closer to 40 on Thursday. Last year Justin enjoyed how much Amelia doted on him. She rubbed his back (and head), read him stories, and snuggled him most of the day. Since we only had two stinky boys at home this year Justin took the day off to wrestle with them. I had a photoshoot that morning so he helped me wrangle kids. We went to lunch at Mi Ranchito. Phillip kept laying his head on Justin's shoulder. When we told him we were going out to lunch he did not get excited until I mentioned he could have a soda. "SOLDA!" is about his favorite thing. Saturday Amelia helped me wrap and decorate Justin's gifts. She made him a sweet card. I love her spelling attempts. Amelia got Justin a titanium spork tool, Phillip a rifle shaped lighter, new pjs with an eagle t-shirt to remind daddy he is an American, and a new work shirt. I also found him some jerky spices for the deer he never shot. The deer are scarce this year! After dinner we took the kids to see Wreck it Ralph at the theater. It was cute! Everett did really well as long as his popcorn and candy were at hand. He did spend the last 20 minutes in the lobby playing peek-a-boo with the ladies behind the concession counter. Justin enjoyed a nice nap and time to organize his stuff at home.
Tuesday the sister missionaries came over to teach Tabitha the first missionary discussion. Maren, a new sister in our ward, came along too. We all got to snuggle a baby twin and try to discuss the gospel around Phillip and Everett. I hope she reads the BoM assignment. We have another discussion planned for this coming Tuesday. Justin also went out hunting all day Tuesday. He said only a couple deer passed his section all day. Bummer. Amelia was near tears that Justin did not kill a deer. That evening I found Phillip had moved his potty into Justin's bathroom to follow Justin's example. It was hilarious to see the both of them. Sorry if the imagery is disturbing...made me laugh. This morning Justin was shaving his face. So Phillip smeared about a quarter bottle of lotion all over his face and hair while watching Justin. Then he unrolled a roll of toilet paper just for kicks.
Wednesday the boys and I went to the library. Phillip proceeded to dump out all the kid board books, which are organized by author into baskets. Then he gave the pile a good stir and called his work excellent. I spent 30 minutes sorting books back in the baskets while Everett squealed like a banshee and Phillip dumped all the puzzles onto to the floor. I finally got the books and puzzles put away. We left with my tail between my legs. Sometimes my boys are just too much to leave the house. I can still hear the librarians "tsking" at my horrible mothering skills. It would have been nice for one of the six ladies to offer some help. I know my boys are a bit crazy but the library is a nice place to visit for a change of scenery. I think they cringe when we arrive. Wednesday was McTeacher night. We went to have dinner at McDonalds where the teachers from our school district worked for the evening. All the money raised that night was donated to the district. Amelia said "McTeacher night was the best night of her life." The lobby was standing room only it was so packed.
Friday I had a basement full of boys! The Wood family moved into their new home so I watched kids while some RS ladies could help clean before the guys moved stuff in. Little RJ Wood is one cute kid, sort of like an ewok, he even shrieks like one. I got to enjoy an evening out on the town. A lady in town threw a Breaking Dawn party complete with photo booth, manned by me. I got paid a bit of money to enjoy an evening out. I must admit that spending the evening with a group of mostly unknown ladies, most who were slightly inebriated, was more than entertaining. I knew three ladies at the party. I enjoyed dressing up a bit and even hamming it up in front of the lens for a couple photos myself! After the party all the ladies went to see the Breaking Dawn movie. Some of those ladies are pretty crazy. Lots of hooting, cat calling, and lobbying for favorite characters. I like a good book and movie, but this level was a bit beyond me. I felt like an outsider watching a hilarious video.
Saturday was crazy shopping day for Thanksgiving dinner. I made our menu and then a shopping list. Amelia came with me to the store. On the way she drew a checklist of all the things working on the van. I am relieved to report that our tires, horn, wipers, and windows are all checked off as working correctly. When I told her she could check my list I thought Amelia would go into raptures. I would find, say, celery. I would locate the item on the list and she would carefully draw a box next to the item and check the box. It took her a couple minutes to decide on drawing boxes to check or crossing off, or checking with no boxes. The boxes and checks won. She even got to draw four stars on the list for stuff we could not find at Walmart. She was upset when I got stuff not on the list. I then had to help her add it so our list was correct. I love that girl.
Justin "helped" me take some Christmas card photos of our kids. I had imagined a peaceful session with lots of cool props and ideas to try out. Imagine the opposite. Amelia near tears, a rogue dog terrorizing the kids, Phillip infatuated with the bazillion sticks on the ground, and Everett wanting to walk all over the place. Maren and Matt arrived for some couple photos shortly after I started with the kids. I think they saw the frustrated mommy side of me. Phew, it is done and I am mostly satisfied with the pictures. Glad it won't happen again until next year. Everett's favorite part was the candy cane. He had candy cane pieces stuck to his chest and red smeared face and hands. He was in heaven. Justin took Phillip with him on some errands. Justin said one lady commented on how well-behaved Phillip was compared to those other kids she sees at Walmart. I think Justin snorted on his reply, trying to choke down his laughter. If she only knew.