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Sunday, December 13, 2009

2 weeks later and a cracked fingertip

Dear Friends and Family,

I was happy to come back to see my family after a weekend in Arizona but so sad to say good-bye to Daniel, Mimi, Claire and Samantha. Kids were happy to see me in a "let us all tell you at the exact same time about everything we did in really loud voices so you can hear us interspersed with demands of what is for dinner and have you done the laundry yet". I remind myself often that needed and loved are often interchangeable in our house! Came back home to a serious cold front. Driving home in the snow, scraping sidewalks and windshields, driving kids to school when it is a freaking 3 degrees outside!!, skin not meant to handle such cold splitting open - namely my poor thumb. So I really considered the viability of moving to Phoenix this week!

So 2 weeks to catch-up on. Monday after Thanksgiving was our annual neighborhood light parade. This year we hosted which meant I spent Monday cleaning our our garage. Everyone brings a plate of treats, I supplied hot chocolate and we walked up and down the street with everyone turning on their Christmas lights for the first time. A very simple tradition but our kids love it and its fun to visit with neighbors.

Mom and Dad your package came and kids loved their ornaments. They got ready for bed so quickly that night so they could hurry down to open them up. Allison and Spencer had spent the evening caroling in the cold and having a great time. Your package was just the topper of a great evening for them.

Wednesday the kids and I spent the evening at the Festival of Trees. Its an annual fundraiser for Primary Children's Hospital where they have a big expo center packed full of decorated trees, gingerbread houses, crafts etc. We love checking out all the intricate houses and seeing the themed trees with all the paraphernalia around them. Usually each tree is dedicated for someone who has been treated at Primary's or has died and its neat to see their stories and how the tree relates to them. But our kids' favorite part is that Rhodes has a booth there and they chow down on chocolate milk, hot scones and honey butter. Taylor never opens his mouth so wide!

And the rest of the week was finishing up stuff I needed to do as on Friday I was off to sunny Arizona where surprisingly I did need my coat and gloves at nights and my capris never left my suitcase. It was great to visit with Daniel and Mimi. Lots of great food and even better company. I just enjoyed being a part of their lives for a little bit. Got to hold Sam a lot, play with Claire, get and decorate their tree, go to an electric light parade, watch Daniel teach his 16/17 year old Sunday school class and just hang out.

Claire eating some awesome spinach dip.

This week has been a continuation of festivities. We are in the process of rehabbing Lauri's condo through a contractor. We agreed to do the painting to get a lower price. This happened to be the week the all the painting needed to be done. So one night we had a cousin night and Jeremy, Jason, and Kelly prepped the place. One night Jeremy did the sprayer and one night Jason and Kelly. Kelly went over during the day and did all the supply run earlier. So I was feeling a bit wimpy in my efforts to help! But it is looking so much better over there.

I had a multi-stake luncheon Tuesday that three stakes put on together every other month for the over 55 ladies. It was our stake's turn so I was over there cooking, setting up and cleaning up. It was a really nice event and some of the ladies were just wiping away the tears. Reminds me of all those Relief Society events I used to help my mom with.

Thursday we were double-booked. Allison had a choir concert that night and it was also our ward party. So the girls went to choir and the boys went to church. Allison was awesome. She was just beaming. After the concert we swung by the church to pick up the boys at the party. I was blown away by the work that went into our ward's party this year. It was a back to Bethlehem theme and they went all out to make it a memorable night. Spencer hasn't stopped talking about it yet. Jeremy took pictures and you can see them over at his photo site.

Friday was Jeremy's work party. They did the same, wonderful shopping spree event followed by dinner and a hilarious amateur talent show. Jeremy went right wing conservative this year getting a gun safe for his handgun and some ammo. I was thinking more of my futile efforts to keep up with Daniel on our Saturday "jog". I should have know that his jog was a run while mine was more of a turtle paced jog. I clung on for 20 minutes and then Claire and I went our separate ways. So I got a running watch to hopefully motivate me to pick up the pace a bit. We had a great time visiting with his work friends and catching up.

Friday we had an electrician that Jeremy did some trade for come work on our house. With the end result that we now have a fan in Taylor's room (why we didn't think of that when we built, I will never understand), a flood light onto the basketball court and an outlet by the deck so I can plug in lights outside. We also have some nice holes in our newly repainted kitchen that almost made me cry. But we are fixing those tomorrow. Since we were home for they day Robyn helped me cook for our Hall dinner.

Saturday Allison had another choir concert up in SLC at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. She sang up on the balcony. I am sure Jeremy's pictures from that look much better. It was really neat. Afterward we walked around temple square a bit. Saturday night kids had a neighborhood girl over and her brother Brenner came to play with Spencer while we met up with a bunch of adults for a neighbor's party. Had fun with a group of friends we don't usually do things with - playing games, doing a white elephant gift exchange and eating everyone's pot luck appetizers and desserts. This woman makes the kind of rolls that I dream about someday making. I think I ate 4 of them in one sitting. Did I mention that I really need to run more?!

Today was our Hall Christmas celebration as Jason's family is going to California for the holidays. Good food, kids so excited over opening a present early, watching The Christmas Story - it was a great time. And I am very excited to wear some bright red, sparkly, new heels to church next week. Kelly thought my only having 2 pairs of black shoes for Sunday was just too sad and graciously helped liven up my wardrobe. People won't recognize me and Robyn is already jealous.

So its been a good week. Tiring but happy. A continual background of whining from a tired Robyn who really needs a nap most days but won't take one as too much fun is to be had. Allison has her last front tooth hanging on by a thread but refuses to pull it out. Spent a bunch of the week sewing making some aprons for my nieces and helping Allison make tissue packet covers for her friends. Spencer doing his last karate class. Taylor had a bad day yesterday and today but chose to eat and drink for dinner so is hopefully coming back to himself.

Neatest moment of the week was today in sacrament meeting. Our young men have been acting as proxies for Taylor to do his Duty to God requirements. So today Cooper helped Taylor give his first talk. He wheeled Taylor up onto the stand, gave a talk on his behalf and then wheeled Taylor down. The coolest part is when before sacrament Cooper came by and gripped Taylor's hand and talked to him for a moment. Cooper is 13. Thought it was very cool.

Love to you all and wish my family was closer, Heather