30 November 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Do you ever stress yourself out? I do! I wanted a clean house for when the Lances came. Clean and 5 children at the same time is not a common occurrence. I actually cried a few tears Tuesday because the house was so cluttered and I felt terrible, definitely not in any condition to clean house. Miekka snapped me out of it. Justin worked from home that afternoon so we could clean the house starting at 5 pm instead of 7 when he usually gets home. We spent Monday doing some food shopping and cleaning. After school Everett got pretty mad and upset, screaming and shouting as he tends to do. In his anger he said, "I don't want to be part of this family anymore! I'm running away!" I offered to help him pack some clothes and his money so he could eat. After 30 minutes of acting sullen Everett snapped out of his funk. He enjoyed the attention more than is healthy. Phillip on the other hand immediately started to cry and bawl after Everett made his declaration. He repeatedly asked Everett what his decision would be: to leave or stay?! Phillip had a full panic attack that night as I put him in bed. He was sitting up shaking his hands and crying. He recognized that the situation was resolved but could not get it out of his head. Even a week later he is still talking about how terrible it would be if someone in our family left. That experience was quite revealing to me, showing me a contained layer of anxiety that is starting to manifest. Phillip was always my most sensitive child when it comes to family and other people. Everett decided to stay, he did not want to spend his savings on food to survive for a couple days.

Hi! We are the Call family, officially part of a large town now. Why? You may ask?! Because this girl, the Call girl, finally has her own Costco card. The card even has my own photo plastered on the back. We are Costco family now. Strangely enough we ran into 3 families from our ward that same night. Amelia fell in love with a really cute dress. She bought the dress with her own money! It is a dark teal dress with a chiffon flower overlay in a hi-low cut. We ruined our diets with ice cream cups from the food court. Justin (and I) were surprised I did not go crazy and try to buy out the store. We walked out with Brussels sprouts, some snacks, the dress, and vanilla.

The kids had the day off on Wednesday. We finished cleaning the house that morning. The kids cleaned up their bedrooms and we had a clean house if you avoided the garage. Mia really, really, really wanted to make something for Lia. She designed a pillow shaped like an L, chose fabric from my collection, cut it out, sewed it, stuffed it, and hand stitched the pillow closed! I helped her but mostly she completed the project on her own. Lia was quite pleased with the effort.

The Lances arrived late Wednesday evening. The kids made welcome cards and placed them outside. They each had stations around the front door and a plan to welcome the Lances. As they parked Amelia fired up a song "Better When I'm Dancing" and the party started! James lost even more weight since April, he looks like Seth now! We since learned a thing or two about the Keto diet and are now inspired to follow his footsteps. I need to lose a good 20 pounds before I reach my pre-children weight.

Miekka and I planned for a simpler dinner than the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Our menu was balsamic pot roast, smoked pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, Brussels sprouts, rolls, and cranberry salad. I made two pies a pumpkin and pecan for dessert. I liked the simpler menu, meant we were not stuck in the kitchen all day. Thanksgiving morning we all went on a walk around the Riparian Preserve. Josie loved the walk across the duck pond! She is crazy about ducks right now. The older kids loved finding art rocks and rehiding them. Jacob found the most rocks, 5 or 6 in total. The rocks were enough of a motivator to keep whining at bay. Miekka saved the day with a supply of fruit snacks. Josie followed James around and copied his actions, she was quite fascinated with him. We headed back home once the heat index rose and lunchtime came around. The high for that was over 90. Not your typical Thanksgiving weather! We had hors d'ourves for lunch with crab dip, a cheese ball, deviled eggs, and pickle platter. Yum! Lia and Mia were tickled to decorate the dinner tables. They combined forces to make cute table decorations and placards. After dinner the kids performed the skit they practiced for a week. Lia and Jacob also had parts in the skit.

Friday we drove down south to visit the Saguaro National Park near Tuscon. Our kids were a bit crabby (me included). James, Miekka, and I all got up before 6 am to do some shopping at Kohls. Josie woke many of us during the night, took 20 minutes before I heard her since my door was closed. Loss of sleep and kids is a perfect storm for whining. We toured the visitor's center first so the kids could get their Jr Ranger packets. Josie and Evelyn loved the telephone center! The park was quite amazing, full of desert fauna. We learned about the life cycle of the saguaro cactus. It was a bit hot outside, not too bad. We stopped early to feed our hangry kids. Most of us felt much better after some food. We found the Lances at a different picnic area hiking around some Indian art. Josie took a little nap while some of my clan hiked to see the art while the rest ate lunch. The kids all passed their Jr Ranger packets and swore the oath to abide the park guidelines. Evelyn looked cute raising her arm and murmuring nonsense words. We made our kids upset as good parents should: we refused to buy gift shop gizmos and treats. Mia totally went into teen aged angst, sulking by the van. The Lances drove into Tuscon to find a house we used to live in. We headed home after getting ice cream treats for the kids.

Saturday we lazed about watching Spiderman and letting the kids play on devices. The adults and Josie went out to lunch and some shopping. Justin suggested lunch from a Mexican Mart where meat is grilled outside the store. It did smell wonderful. We bought carne asada, grilled chicken, guacamole, grilled onions/jalapenos, salsa, and tortillas. Yum! We looked for iron-on plastic paper stuff to make cute shirts like Miekka and Courtenay. The boys went shoe shopping, at the same time but not together. Men don't go shoe shopping together, it's not manly. Ha ha ha. I enjoyed hanging out with Miekka doing some thrift shopping at Goodwill. We snagged Costco pizza for dinner.

The Lances left for Las Vegas right after Sacrament Meeting. It's probably best they left while we finished church. We did not have time to dwell on their departure. We love our cousins so much. Miekka is now Evelyn's best friend. I've been outed. Sunday Mia and I went to choir to practice for the Christmas program. We put up our new Christmas tree once we got home. After dinner Justin and the kids had a wrestling match in the glow of our new tree. What better place right? Hooray bring on Christmas!  I am having the Primary kids learn a new song combining When He Comes and Joy to the World. It sounds gorgeous.

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