We enjoyed a lovely week off of school. All of the local school districts reverted back to complete distance learning until end of January when they will reassess. I feel quite content with our decision to homeschool and avoid the back and forth between school and home. I needed the week to recover from teaching fractions to the boys...and to get ready for another week of fractions.
Monday morning I photographed a newborn boy and his parents. I actually got a job off of a Facebook post! That normally NEVER happens, makes me grateful for the work. He was the "prettiest" little boy I've ever photographed. On the converse he was quite jumpy and hated to be on his tummy. He made me work harder than most for 4 hours. I got to use my new posing table made from a plastic table, nuts/bolts, and PVC pipe. I love how it collapses down and takes up less room than my huge bean bag set up.
Tuesday was shopping day. I joined a myriad of other pre-Thanksgiving shoppers as I picked up items for our meal. I had a hankering for posole so put that on the menu this week. The little girls were able to attend gymnastics after our two week quarantine. Josie was quite sad the balance beam was on rotation, she fell off again and bumped her head. I was banned from the building per covid. The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday we worked on cleaning the house better than our usual jobs. Tuesday night I set the turkey in a herbed brine for 24 hrs. I enjoyed organizing the doll closet in hopes Evelyn and Hannah would play dolls. Jana and her girls arrived moments after I finished sorting the mound of laundry. Great timing on her part. Hannah was so cute welcoming herself in with lots of hugs and smiles. Rachel took a few moments to warm up to our crazy. She is still not sure about Phillip. Lots of fun playing that day! My older kids loved amusing Rachel. The girls were quite happy with makeovers from Amelia, especially Rachel. We forgot how early Jana goes to bed. They were all asleep by 8 pm. The rest of us stayed up to watch Jingle Jangle (a very cute movie) until 11.
Thursday we aimed for dinner around 3:30. Took some maneuvering and planning to ensure everything was on the table and hot around the same time. We had a grateful Turkey to decorate with things we're grateful for. Jana mocked our Horse Duvers lunch, said it ruined appetites with a load of salt...YEP! And it's TRADITION! Teasing! We rolled with our normal salty lunch of a relish tray, cheese/cracker tray, and fun homemade sodas with club soda, flavored syrups, and cream. After lunch we took a couple spins around the block. Rachel cuddled up in Mia's hoodie, looked so darn cute too. Dinner was amazing with a lovely turkey, hot rolls, green bean casserole, potatoes, gravy, and cranberry salad. Jana made pumpkin cake and chocolate parfait for dessert. After dinner we rolled about and enjoyed a lazy rest of the day. The husband and kids rallied to give me a short break by doing the dishes. After they finished I worked on making two pies. I enjoyed talking with Jared for an hour. One of his fellow soldiers thought I was his mom...strangely, that is totally plausible! We had a good laugh about that. Later on I chatted with my Dad in Riyadh before church. His job is to admit the members of that branch into the church zoom meeting.
Friday we reached the boredom ceiling. It was past time to get out and play. The weather was too cold for little babies so we needed something indoors. I found a jump park open for business so we went there for 2 hours of exercise. We went to Urban Air in Meridian. That place was quite fun with a ball pit, lots of trampolines, a play structure, miniature golf, and laser tag. Rachel loved giving the mini golf decor kisses more than actually hitting the ball. Josie absolutely loved the ball pit. The boys, Evelyn and I teamed up for a fun laser tag game. It was intense! Everett won the top score from our team. I really wanted to try the zip line but had reservations about the harness fitting and the vision of a chubby lady flying through the air. I invited Darrel, Fawn, and Alexia over for Thanksgiving pie Friday evening. Jana was not about to join us, family drama going on over money issues between Darrel and the Baerwaldt siblings. It really is a messy situation. I still wanted to get to know them a little better since they only live 12 minutes away from us. They showed up with Uncle Dave in tow! Alexia had something else happening so Uncle Dave was a fun substitute. Dave was in a terrible truck accident early Friday morning. He was heading west when a car going east swerved across all lanes of traffic to slam right into Dave's rig. Dave said it looked like a suicide attempt, successful as the driver died. Dave was transferred to the hospital, released with a broken tailbone and lots of pain. We're all relieved Dave walked away from that mess. The accident closed the freeway for 4 hours. Lots of pie helped revive us from that stressful news. I made a cherry pie from the last of our cherry pickings earlier in the year, a pumpkin pie, and a pecan cheesecake. Fawn brought apple, pumpkin, and berry pie. We had a gallon of freshly whipped cream for the pies. My kids were quite excited to show off all our photos and stuff to a new audience. Everett and Phillip played 5-Minute Marvel with Fawn, hoping her grandsons would enjoy the game too.
Saturday morning Jana got up early enough to workout at the gym before her long drive. I set up my photo paper for some birthday photos with Rachel. She tolerated the set up for about 2 minutes, long enough for the Olaf song to play. Poor kid would not smile for anything. Got some cute serious snaps of my darling niece. Jana left around 10 am. I promptly put myself to bed with a nasty headache and fatigue. Spent the rest of the day decorating the house for Christmas! Josie was the cutest as we pulled out all the bins, trees, and lights. Evelyn told me several times she finally found the spirit of Christmas as she played with the Nativity set. Josie decorated the kid's tree almost by herself. The boys went to the Lifetime store in search of kayaks for the Black Friday sale. We now have 4 kayaks to enjoy next year! The girls went to Walmart for a kid tree topper. I found a silly Santa head topper! The girls chose a fun ornament just for kicks. Josie first chose a princess castle, switched that for a dog, then she saw a Skye ornament. She was willing to get the more expensive Skye and forego a treat. Back at home she carefully hung Skye on the tree. Then took about 100 photos of her new ornament. I woke up this morning to find photos of Skye eating breakfast, playing with the Nativity, in the tree, posing with Josie, etc. Josie is eager to do anything Christmas related. Right after dinner the elves dropped off Santa squishmallows on the door step. Somehow the Nelves knew that I bought a bear and penguin at Walmart earlier in the day and evened out the Christmas squishmallows with 3 Santas. AHHHHHHCK! So freaking cool.
My Lance grandparents are moving to Utah on Monday. It is so strange to think about 7232 Carmel St selling to new owners. That house was my only constant growing up. Mom is flying with Lynn and Jean tomorrow afternoon. Shawn, Sandi, and Ginny (Sandi's mom) also moved from Huntington Beach to Utah. They are staying with my mom until their home is ready. I hope the dust settles soon and everyone can find a new normal. Jana is helping find a personal care nurse who can help bathe and dress Grandpa. The logistics are massive!