01 December 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

The kids were all on board to fill up our Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree this year! Everett was by far the best contributor! He added new ideas every few minutes and reminded us all to add our items to each leaf on the tree. I love how the Come Follow Me lessons also coincide with the holidays! Whoever wrote the manuals took so much thought and effort to align everything. We have so much to be grateful for!

Tuesday night we had a very sad family council. Justin was offered a job to work for Pennant Group based in Boise, ID. Justin and I spent many, many moments in prayer before and after making a decision together. We hashed out pros and cons:

Gilbert: pros: stay near family and cousins, good schools, love our ward family, love the area
             cons: the heat is not our favorite, terrible commute, current job is not satisfactory, concerned               about survival in case of disaster
Boise: pros: Justin likes the team there, new area of expertise, will be near new family, closer to                     SLC, 4 seasons, better compensation and pay, less of a commute
           cons: moving after only 2 years (Justin does not move well, the anxiety is high), starting over,             coordinating house sale and purchase, hiring moving company 

Justin received a powerful answer in the temple on Saturday, a burning in his bosom, that this move is where the Lord needs us to go. I get frustrated with the lack of answers I seem to get. I wish answers were more forthright, however, I am glad that Justin gets the answers for us both. Tuesday we told the kids of our decision to pick up and move. Right before this Amelia and Phillip were fighting. I lost my temper, told those two pickle-heads I would make them share a room if they don't stop the bickering. With tempers already high we just plowed right on! Amelia, Phillip, and Everett burst into immediate tears. We carefully explained the decision process and how the Lord is blessing us. Justin was inspired several times to take the Personal Finance Class with me, he had the impression that a new job would not be offered until after we took the class. We finished our last class on Sunday the 17th, had the job offer on the 19th! Talk about miracles. Justin was so inspired to give us all Father's blessings. That was a sweet, tearful experience for us all. So many words of wisdom given from our HF to each one of us. I equate that spiritual family experience to a sort of Pentecostal rush of the spirit. I hope our kids remember that for the rest of their lives. We all felt much better after being blessed. Everett said he felt in his heart that moving was the right choice, even though he will miss all his friends. 

The kids were especially grateful for only two days of school! Yee HAW! Our piano recital is coming up so I moved around lessons to accommodate the holidays. I love to hear all the practicing after school each day. I got all the recipes chosen, lists made, and grocery shopping done for Thanksgiving on Tuesday. Wednesday we had Chloe and Ronald over for the day as well since Amanda had to work. I taught lessons then made 2 batches of pie dough so it could chill for hours. We went to McD's for lunch since the day was cold and rainy, the kids needed to play. I indulged in a very rare Diet Coke from McD's! The caffeine kick kept me up past 1 am! I quite love not being dependent on a drink for my energy source. Justin actually got home at a decent time so was able to go see Frozen 2 with us all. We had seats all over the theater but it worked out in the end. Josie was so funny during the movie, she belly laughed at all the funny parts and yelled, that she LOVED Elsa! Josie mostly enjoyed playing with the reclining seat. I think she inclined and reclined the seat 159 times during the movie. She was starving so asked me every few minutes for a drink, course she had to go potty twice. I thought the movie was darling. The music was fun and the story line a perfect segue from the first. After the kids were in bed I made a pumpkin pie, apple pie, and cream pecan pie. Making pies is a dance in coordination! Two pies needed half baked shells, both at different temperatures, the apple needed two temperature changes and a half-turn mid-baking. The masterpieces were done at 1 am!

Thanksgiving! Josie woke up excited to eat turkey meat! Both girls looked adorable in their cute matching dresses. The boys came down wearing gym shorts and ratty t-shirts, they were not happy I asked them to wear nicer clothes. We all looked so snappy in our Thanksgiving outfits. Course, had to take a few photos of the occasion. Justin took up the role of potato master. He enlisted the kids to help him peel a 10 lb bag of potatoes, he even cut up the potatoes and started the crock pot. I prepped green beans, whipped cream, and cranberry salad. We went over to the Calls around 11 am to share our traditional "Horse-duvers" lunch. Nothing quite as tasty as salty appetizers to get the juices running. The boys had an epic laser tag battle that lasted most of the day. Anna is such a great game keeper! She had those boys involved in game after game. My boys were quite taken with the bow and arrow set (it was REAL!) and target. Anson and Phillip attacked a pile of scrap wood, made a sand scraper to use at the park. I hear they dug several holes just for the fun of it all. Josie and Evelyn amused themselves with all the fun boy toys upstairs. Towards dinner I wrapped green beans with bacon and drenched the bean packets with a lovely rosemary brown sugar topping. Laura's two sisters and family came over plus a family from the Calls ward. We had quite the merry gathering! Never a quiet moment. Josie even pooped her pants and messed up her cute dress. Thank goodness I had a back up in the van. The spread of pies was something to behold! It was magnificent. I was quite glad my apple and pumpkin pies came home almost unscathed...more leftovers.

Friday and Saturday we got out the Christmas Decor. The kids were keen on decorating their tree, they had it assembled with a little help and completely decorated before lunch. I packed up all the living room decor and frames into boxes for our move, that process took me a bit longer than usual. I love the nostalgia of the familiar decorations. I adore my nativity sets so much. Justin worked on patching up our shower and fixing drywall damages in several places about the house. I put up my tree on Saturday morning. Anson got to spend the night with us Friday-Saturday! The boys were in heaven. We got a bum offer from OpenDoor for barely enough to pay off our mortgage. Using them to sell our house would be nice because then we don't have the hassle of dealing with buyer's demands and would get a specific move out date. The $18k price tag was hard to swallow. We will confer with an agent in our ward about the offer, maybe sell it the traditional way. One stress we've not had before is Pennant's HR is not organizing the move, we are getting $10k in the form of a taxable bonus, so really we have $8,500 to move from here to Idaho. That is tricky! I've been on the phone with many companies, trying to find one who will not swindle us last moment. Deciding between self-pack or hiring a crew. Listing our house is another stress. I need to get rid of clutter again so showing the house is not a huge stressor. Moving is not for the faint of heart.

We are so excited to start #lighttheworld today! Our devotional tonight focused on the new initiative. We read several scriptures about being a light to the world, watched the new nativity video, and checked out the service calendar. So fun. 

Lots of Rain! Gilbert Parade

Rain means a big party in this house! We enjoyed three days with rain, some folks bundle up under a blanket inside, other folks drag out bikes, umbrellas, and bare feet to enjoy the rain. We belong to the last class of folks. So much fun. Josie forgot all about windshield wipers, she laughed for 10 whole minutes each time my wipers cleaned off the window. I about died laughing over her reaction. Phillip had the big broom out to sweep a large swath through the water from driveway to driveway. All the kids went through many changes of clothes, I don't mind the extra laundry if the reason is rain. Several places flooded due to the rain, one area was a large puddle close to our house but on the outside "oval." I got a worried Phillip race into our house telling me Everett was stuck in his bike chain. Somehow Everett's pant leg jammed into the bike chain, he simply fell over mid cycle right into the pond/puddle. Brigdon Godard came in for the rescue, apparently the choice was save the pants or cut them off, the pants were saved! Hallelujah. We may have invited the rain by washing off the driveway via hose to clear the way for more chalk art. Josie had the best time spraying the kids...erm, driveway.

Everett finally earned some cubscout awards! He came home with a handful of awards and a huge smile. Phillip also earned quite a few awards, our pack is desperately trying to get the boys through as much of the program as possible. Amelia (and Chloe) attended the last Young Women in Excellence program, a historic last for the girls. Several girls earned the last medallions before the program ends in December. I still have all my medallions earned so many years ago.

On Thursday evening Evelyn had a special hour with Mom and Dad to herself at school. The 1st year kids had a "Show Me" night at school. Parents attend with their child (no siblings), the student gets to show off their work. Evelyn was rather excited and reticent at the same time. She finally showed us how she learns spelling, reading, and math. All of her learning is done with manipulatives and quite ingenious! She was insistent we stay the entire hour just to follow her around and see what she does each day. That was a fun evening for the three of us.

Saturday we got up bright and early to grab a parking spot for the van and ourselves to see the Gilbert Days parade. We ended up parking a good mile away, Evelyn and Josie made the trek in good spirits on the way there, the way back they both almost expired from effort. We went so slow Justin had to come back to rescue us. We found a spot with the Payne family and friends. They were kind enough to squish together for the 7 extra bodies in our party. I smooched myself down in front so Josie could have a view on my lap. My legs fell asleep something major after two hours of sitting cross-legged. Phillip and Everett collected Frisbees, about 7 each?! Lots of candy, fliers, sunglasses, flowers, and joy came with each float! I always love a good marching band, all the feels deep in your chest, boom! boom! trill! One float had millions of tiny bubbles floating about, all the kids loved that one. Almost the last float was a contingency of Disney Princesses! Josie got to give Elsa a handshake! Swoon. Justin and I went to a temple endowment session around 4 pm. We had something quite major to pray about and seek answers for. Amelia held down the fort while we were gone for several hours.

Sunday we drove up to Payson early the morning. We went to church with the McEntire family. Everett lovingly sat right by Amber with his head snuggled on her arm. Evelyn was also quite taken with Aunt Amber. She was in heaven with all the little kid attention. We enjoyed a lovely pre-Thanksgiving dinner after church. I brought up a chocolate parfait dessert and Mac n'Cheese. Amber insisted on making the rest of the meal. We helped peel potatoes and snap beans. Everett, Evelyn, and Josie loved the playhouse outside! Dinner was a yummy affair. Afterward we went on a short hike about their wooded neighborhood. Amber was kind enough to give Evelyn a piggyback ride most of the way. We found a small pond on the way around our hike. Of course the boys threw every stick within a 10 foot radius into the pond water. We left Amelia pondering by the side of the pond without meaning too. I thought she left early with her cousin to head back, instead we got a phone call a while later asking where everyone went to! She realized it was too quiet for us to all be around. Amber and Mike went back to get her.

**while dropping of Josie to Nursery last week she bounced into the room, declared, "I had a birthday!" She was quite excited about Justin's birthday and got confused. She told her teacher she was 4 while holding up 2 fingers. Her teacher said you only have two fingers up! Josie replied, "well, I can't do dhose fingers, it too hard!"