Back to the grind after a week off, back to fractions and research papers. It was a little tough! Phillip spent 2 hours writing 3 sentences. Seriously?! Everett went the extra mile and busted out half his paper without help. Evelyn worked hard on her writing this week composing several letters to Santa and our Nelf Nitsuj. I finally heard that our application for Idaho Strong Families was finished processing. I am hoping we are awarded enough money to replace our iPad. One of the kids stepped on it or dropped it last week. It is completely busted and so out of date it won't work with most apps. I'm praying we will get at least enough to cover the end of the year school expenses. It's been quite frosty in the mornings! The van windshield was covered in pretty ice. The boys moved away the large boxes and stacked the kayaks on Tuesday so I could park in the garage. Brrrrrr.
The Nelves knocked on the door Sunday night and left 3 Santa squishmallows! Somehow they knew that Amelia and Evelyn got squishmallows already, all the kids were quite content with their fun new toys. We even got a fun treat of Rolo's to go with our Temple Table discussion. The Nelves made several appearances this week with bell rings, knocks on windows/doors, and several crafts to work on. Josie even found three little Princess dolls tucked in the tree, one was a new Ariel doll replacing the doll we had whose tail broke two weeks ago at the swimming pool! Those Nelves know everything. Tuesday the little girls and I took our Santa letters to the Post Office for delivery. The clerk was a real stinker, couldn't even play along for the kid's sake. She threw them away under the desk...perked up when I purchased several books of stamps.
Wednesday I hosted activity day girls at my home. I wanted to do a fun activity on Friday but the other ladies were quite adverse to that idea. In the end the other ladies did not come to help out, Sarah had to come over as the second adult. We watched the #lighttheworld initiative and the new Nativity video then had a nice discussion. The girls ate cookies while decorating cute puppy ornaments. Directly after the activity we scarfed down some sandwiches for dinner before heading to Caldwell. There is a fun outdoor ice skating ribbon in the downtown area. We parked a bit away just to enjoy the walk through a fun light show, including a water dragon that breathed fire every 5 minutes. Justin picked up Clare and Fallon Palmer along the way in his car to enjoy the evening with Mia. The kids took about 5 minutes to get the basics of ice skating down. Everett, Mia, and Evelyn all skated around the ribbon area. In the middle of the ribbon was a decent sized circle for those learning to skate. There was a collection of skating "walkers" and stacks of buckets. The buckets turned out to be quite the fun tool. Josie was zooming around the circle gliding along on the top of her bucket stack. The ice skates really pinched Phillip's feet even after sizing up. I tried on Mia's skates for a few turns around the rink. Yep! Those skates really hurt, my feet were painfully numb after 5 minutes. At one point I noticed Phillip sitting on a bucket holding onto a walker thing with Everett pushing him about the rink! Those two are so funny. The ambiance was so perfect with thousands of pretty lights and Christmas music. Justin got us all some hot chocolate to warm up our bones. We walked around the lights when the rink closed at 9. Mia can't wait to go again, she's already planning on purchasing her own skates. The kids all earned some magnificent bruises on knees and shins. Everett counted 11 large, deep bruises on his knees alone.
I did some major shopping this week! I finished Christmas shopping already! Hooray! Christmas cards are due for delivery tomorrow. Christmas candles burning pine scents into the air. Lots of fun Christmas music filling the air this year.
Saturday we worked hard in the morning to clean up the garage. The boys broke down their box fort that they were done playing with. They also carried the new kayaks out to the side of the house for storage. Amelia cleaned out and vacuumed the van for me. I worked on organizing the rest while Justin and the boys cleaned up the last of the fall leaves. Amelia spent a fun afternoon with Jocelyn Finch. I hear they made some figurines and are planning on making a house this week. Good friends make life so much better! I dropped off quite a few library books and videos after getting an email saying I owed $90 dollars. All the items are in quarantine so the fines won't be waved for 5-7 more days. I really hope I found all the missing items. I am searching for a thrifted baby doll for my manger...no luck. Instead I found an Olaf tsum-tsum bag Josie is now obsessed over. Saturday night I made reservations to see Santa at Cabela's for the 11th year in a row. Last year we waited in long lines for our reservation, this year no one was in line. We walked up and had quite a few minutes with Santa to ourselves. The little girls were especially happy for some "one-on-one" time. We picked up a couple new sleds and gloves for the littles, can't forget my cute Gnome named Jeremy. That experience only took 15 minutes, we had to do more since the drive was 30 minutes. So we grabbed a sweet treat at DQ then went to find Christmas lights. The Expo center was fun, just drove by the area instead of paying $30 per vehicle. On the drive home I noticed a festive neighborhood called Bayhill Springs. Talk about a massive effort for 150+ homes. Josie sat on my lap, the boys and Evelyn took turns hanging their heads out the sunroof! That was really fun and quite impressive. Hooray for free fun.
We got dressed up to attend church today! Justin had a talk to give and Mia and I performed "Come Unto Christ" by Shawna Edwards. It was so nice to be in the chapel instead of watching via zoom. Mia sang beautifully! Justin talked about the topic of the song, coming unto Christ though the Book of Mormon. Masks required of course.