29 November 2015

A Very Grateful Thanksgiving

I missed blogging last week...mostly because nothing exceptional happened. I only took like 5 photos with my phone, gasp! Noteworthy mentions go to:

*Evelyn giggling non stop over her post lollipop blue tongue. She stuck it out at everyone in Safeway.
*Me agreeing to more mini sessions, including photographing the Rognon's in exchange for her taking our own. It was so cold! We ended up retaking the photos again on Sunday after church due to the sun setting before we could get decent photos taken.
*I asked the kids to get dressed for church. After I got myself dressed I checked on their progress. I found the kids dressed up as super heroes! Everett cracked me up with his naked legs sticking out of the turtle costume. Evelyn's superpower was going naked without getting arrested. Well, she did have princess shoes on.
*I emptied the prop closet in anticipation of my brother's coming to help me fill it with food storage buckets. I filled an entire corner of the basement with baskets, bowls, blankets, and such. It was a pretty big mess. I also separated out props I need to find new homes for.

Monday morning our new massive bunk bed set was delivered to our open garage. I had a newborn session going on so could not monitor the delivery. Har-har. Justin and the kids got all the boxes down to the basement and half of them opened. After several warnings about not playing with the Styrofoam the kids just HAD to play with it. They got Grandpa Lane worthy root knockers and had to clean up the flurry of white Styrofoam. I took the girls to get FHE milkshakes for a treat. Amelia likes to poke and pester Phillip (especially when he "deserves" it). I often find her passing him with an unnecessary poke, slap, or bump. I was at my wits end over a suitable punishment. We chatted in the van about the situation. She came up with her own consequence of serving Phillip when she makes him cry with her mean acts. We also came up with a code phrase WWJD (what would Jesus do?) to warn her before earning a consequence. I remember how it can be having annoying, Tasmanian devil brothers. Heck, half the time I feel like poking Phillip just because. I totally get it!

The kids had a lovely 3 days off from school! We cleaned up a bit on Wednesday while Grandma Debbie, Jared, Jeremy, and Yulz drove out here from SLC, UT. They made pretty good time, staying ahead of the snow storms. Our house erupted in loud whoops of joy when they arrived. It stayed pretty loud the next three days. The kids excitedly showed off our new bunk bed. Within a couple hours the boys were hard at work moving the new bunk bed, moving my craft center, relocating food storage buckets, and playing with the kids. Dog Vader got a lot of attention from the punkles. We are so glad Yulz came along, she is Jeremy's fiancee. I had pulled pork simmering all day for sandwiches. I forgot how amazing it is to have another pair of woman hands in the house. Toys magically picked themselves up, the sink stayed empty, food appeared, and the kids were entertained for days. After dinner Mom and I made pies and some food prep for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. We went to see Mocking Jay II at the theater with the punks. It took the movie 30 minutes to even start, grrrr, even the slideshow adverts came on again. Justin can finally sleep knowing the drama is over. The best part was driving home with sleet encrusted windows and road.

I met a family of 42 at a rented photo studio for a large photo session early Thanksgiving Day. It was organized chaos as we can all imagine. My honkey pig was a big hit. The rest of the day Mom and I spent in the kitchen baking and cooking. The girls looked darling in their matching outfits. We had horse duvers for lunch. Phillip made a pickle stegosaurus with apple feet. Evelyn finally ate her fill of peepoles (pickles). Justin carved up the turkey when it came out of the oven. He made a culinary masterpiece with the turkey plate. The rest of the menu was pretty standard: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, and rolls. For dessert we had burned pecan pie, and one perfect pumpkin. I ruined a pie shell the night before when I got distracted and dumped pie weights into the baking shell. Mom made another pie for Friday's leftover feast. After dinner Justin put on Elf as dictated by tradition. We enjoyed teasing Jeremy and Yulz over their young love. Yuck, too many kisses and such.

Friday morning Justin took the kids to play basketball at the gym while I snagged a nap. Mom worked on putting away the mess of props in the basement. By the time I came down she was half way done. I took Jeremy and Yulz out for an hour long engagement photo session in 26 degree weather. Brrrrrr. I hope they don't mind frosty photos for their spring wedding.

Our family left early Saturday morning. Everyone wore long faces most of the day. Poor Everett and Amelia wore the longest faces ever. Tears for hours. Everett never made it out of the crabby state he woke up in. We scored some smiles pulling out the Christmas decorations and tree. The kids played variation after variation of Christmas Eve since yesterday. The game entails stuffing empty boxes with toys and their stockings with stuff, pretending to sleep, while one kid plays Santa. It is the best game ever. Justin took the older kids out to drive the truck around the Quonset huts north of town. We took the kids out last moment to see the Parade of lights and watch the community tree light up with Santa's help. Everett threw a tantrum the entire time because no one would get him a full sized candy cane. He was very, very sad. Our family made it home safely before it got too dark.

We are so grateful for all our blessings this year. A couple weeks ago we made a Thankful tree with the kids. It was fun to see what they are grateful for. Phillip, the ever silly boy is thankful for pickles. We are grateful for pickles and much, much more. To have family over for the holiday was even more special. We miss being near our family, every year we are out here makes it harder to be far away. The few visits we get make our hearts full of joy. Still we are grateful for our place here in Sidney.

I am taking a family history class for Sunday School. This past week we were challenged to find pockets of family whose work is not done, instead of doing ascendancy work you work from a GGGG grandparent and down. I happened to find a promising line on Grandpa B's side. It is very addicting and fun.