23 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas


It took me the rest of the week to recover from our trip. The laundry alone almost put me under. Add in cleaning the kitchen, the living room, and other normal duties to make for a lot of work. I was really impressed with DoTerra's soft gel capulets of OnGuard oil. I was coming down with a nasty cold and sore throat. I took a caplet Sunday night and again Monday morning. By noon on Monday my symptoms were gone, kaput. I did have a nasty migraine from all the weather changes but avoided a cold. Evelyn started to catch my cold. I put breathe and onguard oils on her every few hours. Her stuffy nose only lasted 2 nights. Impressive!

We now have FOUR missionaries in our area! I signed up to feed the Elders on Thursday. I took the kids with me for a quick trip to Safeway. The car-cart was gone so resorted to a normal cart. The boys were roaming free since Evelyn's car seat took up the cart space. I got a head of garlic. As I did Phillip calmly walked over to the nicely displayed broccoli crowns and took bites out of 8 crowns in a row. In less then 10 seconds. I was mortified! We hustled away from the broccoli before he ate an entire crown. I was torn between pride in my kids who love veggies and mortification that he acts like a cave man. The missionaries scored a meal of homemade spaghetti noddles with lemon-basil sauce, tuscan kale, and hot rosemary bread, cherry-white chocolate shortbread chased the meal. Took me all day to bake. I had the bread kneading in the mixer. I ran downstairs for an ingredient in the storage room. From upstairs I heard a resounding crash. Phillip pulled my KitchenAid off the counter. Sticky yeast dough was splattered on the floor, cabinets, stove, and rugs. I had to start a new batch of dough. He was trying to help the mixer go faster. I was so worried he broke my mixer. We were both relieved when it sputtered back to life after a few well-aimed punches and lever pulls.

Saturday the kids enjoyed gingerbread house decorating. They decorated, ate half the candy, then destroyed the house. I was happy! The project lasted a hour and in the end we had nothing to show for it! That evening we drove around town to see the Christmas lights. Two homes have their lights coordinated with radio stations and music. Another home had an Easter bunny surrounded with four penguins. We got a laugh over that one. My favorite house had a huge light sign and an arrow. The sign read: Ditto. Course the houses next door were decorated to the 9's. I love humor like that. Our Nelves, Innej and Nitsuj, are actrively watching our house to make sure the kids behave.

Amelia helped me clean the basement this morning. WITH. NO. WHINING. Bliss. I coordinated with the RS and ward to provide some Christmas gifts and food for the Betony family. Nora suffered from a stroke or virus that damaged the muscles on the left side of her face. When I found out she was on her way to WORK. I feel at a complete loss when it comes to helping them. Her son left Jimmy and Nora with 4 grandkids while he went back to AZ with his newest girlfriend. His wife also left for AZ with the baby and their oldest in tow. Jimmy babysits two kids under one during the day while Nora works. They barely make ends meet, especially now they have 4 kids to care for. The Elders came along to meet the Betony family. Love them so much. Ella spent the day with us while Alison shopped for food and gifts for the Betony's. She stayed with us afterwards to play for the rest of the day. We love our Ella girl.

Wedding, Wedding, Pig and Froggy Wedding!!

Think "Tasmanian Devil"....that about epitomizes our trip to Utah. Thankfully the weather was fair during over the weekend, cold but no storms. We made good time the next morning. Amelia's water bottle was frozen when we got in the van. We had her watch "Frozen" in her water bottle. That joke hit her 6 year old funny bone. We stopped off at the outlet mall in Park City for Old Navy pants (Merry Christmas Justin and Jenni) and a new pair of black boots for moi. My last pair of Target boots lasted 9 years! I found the boots in less than 5 minutes. Jaunted in, spotted the boots that fit my tastes, tried them on, paid, and jaunted back out. Shopping is a luxury afforded for mothers without small kids. Mom suggested we stop at Grandma Baerwaldt's for a moment before heading to James and Miekka's. I am so glad we did. We visited for an hour. The kids love Buddy, Grandma's little dog. Buddy is not so sure about the kids! He did seem to like Amelia, the calmest of our bunch. Warmed my heart to have Grandma hold Evelyn. Turns out they look quite a bit alike. Grandma stuffed the kids with candy, crafts, and gifts. Justin and I only saw Grandma for a moment at the sealing on Saturday. Glad we stopped. We made one more stop to Jos A Banks for Justin's Sunday shirts and Claire's for a gift. By the time we made it to the Lance's it was almost dark and close to dinner time.

Miekka baked up a marvelous ham, carrots, and potatoes for dinner. We had an impromptu dinner with Mom and Dad and some of my brothers. The sister cousins were once again reunited. By the time dinner, baths, and sleeping kids came I was too tired to make a Target run. Every chance I tried to go something else came up. Don't worry...I ended up fitting it in before we made it back home. Saturday morning was crazy. I took some photos of Seth wearing his Webelos uniform. He looked so geeky and cute! I curled the girl's hair in ringlets. James, Joe, and Miekka went to help decorate for the reception while we watched the kids. We left for the ceremony around 11:30. We wanted to make sure there was plenty of time to park, get some lunch, and get the kids settled with the punkles. That was the best decision! I wanted to make a Target stop but time was too short. Joe suggested we park at the new mall and have lunch there. The conference center parking was packed. Jennifer Belnap Tippetts met us at the temple annex to watch little Evelyn during the ceremony. She also purchased my 7D camera, we met up to exchange the camera. She offered to stay and help with the kids. That was a huge weight off my mind.

I love the peace and quiet of the temple. Several of my extended relatives were in attendance. Justin and I sat next to each other AND held hands! Choir of angels!!! While Justin was thinking about our own wedding day, the words from a Muppets song ran through MY head: wedding, wedding, pig and froggy wedding. Darn. I did pay attention once Jana and Rudy came in. They looked so happy and lovely. The sealer gave them some good advice to follow. Jana and Rudy went through a lot to get to their current position. I wish them the best in life as they start their journey.

Jana asked me to photograph the wedding. I borrowed a remote to prevent using my timer and running. The batteries died between the time I tested the timer and the wedding. James went off on a wild chicken race to find two obscure batteries. He ended up missing the family photos. I felt so bad. The kids were falling apart by the time family photos were over. James and Miekka helped Justin back to the van while I took some photos from the pedestal. We lucked out as the Christmas lights came on as we walked to the pedestal! It was so cold outside. Justin was delayed 40 minutes getting out of the parking garage. I waited by the curb for 20 minutes for him to pick me up.

Rudy's family provided the wedding party with a yummy Polynesian dinner at the Officer's Club at Camp Williams. I played photographer mommy at the wedding reception too. The little girls danced their hearts out. I am so glad the kids had a great time. Jana served cake and sweets for refreshments. She had the best idea to serve cold milk as a beverage. That was the best! I enjoyed visiting with quite a few cousins and relatives throughout the night. Jana seemed to enjoy the reception. So proud of my sister. Miekka watched Evelyn while I made a late night run to Walmart. James got Evelyn to laugh at him with kissy noises.

We were totally trashed after the reception. Sadly, the clock beat us up the next morning for 9 am church. By 9 am we were eating breakfast and back to taking naps. Eventually we left the Lance's home. We made a quick stop to Grandma's house to deliver Jeff's Christmas present and let Grandpa hold Evelyn. Then we drove to Charity's home. More sister cousins! We got a warm welcome from the kids waiting outside for us. Little Ethan gave us all hugs as we got out of the van. What a kid! The rest of the day we talked and visited. Evelyn got a lot of attention as the littlest one of the Call clan. She dished out several body smiles and even a belly laugh at Mason's stinky fart. Raquel and her crew made the long drive from Logan to visit for a couple hours. Miekka texted me before bed to let me know I left my favorite jacket at her home. She decided to drive up to Bountiful instead of braving the post office. Smart girl! We got to sneak in a couple more hugs and Evelyn drooling.

We drove off soon after Miekka dropped off my jacket. I felt like a heel for forgetting my jacket. At least she did not have to drive out to Nebraska. Charity is slowly healing from back surgery again. The surgeon installed a pain control device in her upper spinal cord. We pray that she will finally get some relief and begin to live a more normal life. The drive home was boring...until after lunch. Amelia barfed twice after lunch. We had several empty cups available. So glad she did not barf on the carpet. Finally made it to Cheyenne at 5:30. We finally got to stop at Target. They have the best stocking stuffers! By 9 pm we were back home.

*I finally finished Evelyn's special Grandma Jean blanket. She sent us some money for a gift. I got the fabric and sewed up the blanket then crocheted an edge around it. I also crocheted two hats for Evelyn and one for Mia. I love trips where Justin drives.