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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving to Me

This wonderful group of people was our Thanksgiving this year.  My brother and his amazing family got to come down and spend a week playing with us.

They arrived late Friday night the week before Thanksgiving.  I had made plans to spend the Saturday with my friend Brenda at SLC's Time out for Women.  That was one of the best and most selfish birthday present I have ever given someone.  I had a wonderful time with a shot in the arm of optimism and a wonderful reality check of what is truly important in my life.  While I was off wearing out a seat in the Maverick Center, everyone but Taylor and baby Matthew were off to a BYU football game.  They left in the rain and came back in the rain but had a great, cold but somewhat dry time during the game, fueled by caramel corn and sporting dollar store ponchos.

We just love having family with us so much that we we just spend every moment we can with them and the days fly by way too fast.  They checked my girls out of school Tuesday to take them to an outstanding children's museum and took them on a ropes course that was scarily high up in the rafters.  We went swimming, cooked and ate a ton, big kids all went to see Mockingjay, little kids watched way too many movies, ice skating, and shakes at JCW's.  Mimi introduced Allison to late night/early morning Black Friday shopping.  We all went up to Temple Square for the lights and to see Savior of the World.  And mostly we just were able to spend time visiting and being together.  If we could we would have just forced them all to stay another week at least.

Thanksgiving we had a few hiccups with three sick kiddos - Robyn, Sammy and Taylor all were down with sore throats and fevers.  So instead of going on our traditional hike to the waterfalls, they spent the afternoon napping.  Robyn even got to eat Thanksgiving dinner in her PJs.  And you know its a good Thanksgiving when after dinner this is what the living room looks like:

After dinner this year we had each kid perform for us.  I loved seeing everyone show off a song.  My favorite was Spencer on the guitar singing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."  And we won't talk about what Spencer has been eating this week, its a little sickening.  Yes, that is ALL pie.

The week before Daniel's family arrived was full of volleyball.  Spencer had his volleyball play-offs.  Amazingly they had a nail biting game that they won, beating a team that had previously trounced them.  It was awesome to watch Spencer and his team really step it up.  Allison and I had to miss the final game as we had mutual.  By the end of the week Robyn was a little done with cheering for volleyball.  And yes they lost the final game but it was a well fought loss so all walked away happy.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I think Jeremy was cringing at my poor lighting choice for this photo!
Nothing is better than having family in town!  This week my parents arrived for a long weekend with us.  I felt bad ditching them Friday as I left for work but they fixed up some broken doors in our house, made rolls and brought Robyn lunch at school.  Everything seems easier and happier when they are around.  Kids talked to them non-stop and showed them all their projects.  We cheered on Spencer at his volleyball game, went to get enormous shakes at JCW's, watched Meet the Mormons, went out to dinner at Wild Zucchini my new favorite place and went miniature golfing.  They even brought us back cheesecake from their Drechsel reunion at the Cheesecake Factory.  It was a great weekend and much too short.

Robyn for activity days Thursday night learned to crochet on a loom.  My mom helped her make a skirt for her doll and my dad provided the entertainment while she worked:

For Young Women's this week we cancelled our regular activity Thursday night so we could go up early Sunday morning to watch Music and the Spoken Word in the tabernacle with doughnuts in the parking lot after.  And my mom got to go with us!  To top it off Allison gave a talk today and my parents got to be in the front row watching her.

With the cold snap we have had plenty of fires and hot chocolate at our house lately.  Throw in the periodic friends dropping by and its a recipe for happiness.

Jeremy has had some different photo shoot and meet-ups lately.  One of them was taking pictures for the girls' acting group.

Last week Allison had her evening of excellence for YW.  She was a trooper as we also that day had dentist appointments that turned into a bit of a marathon.  So she was a bit late and sniffling tears by the time we showed up.  Besides which she had just learned she needed to wear her retainer full time again.  (Robyn learned she was getting a permanent retainer put in, teeth pulled and a frenectomy - she also was sniffling quite hard).  Jeremy good guy that he is, took over all the food on time for the event for me and ate dinner solo waiting for us to show up!

So life is good, hours sometimes creep by but the days and weeks are gone faster than my to-do list can be completed.  Taylor is super happy and healthy lately which means he is walking around with a big smile on his face.  Spencer is either comotose, eating or working on homework.  Allison is either giving hugs or rolling her eyes.  Robyn is either convinced her life is ruined because her friend moved or having a great time with a new friend.  Luckily they usually tag team the ups and downs so not everyone is down at the same time!  And usually the rest of us can laugh about it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Halloween and daylight savings time - all in one weekend.  Cannot be beat.  I even got to wear a costume to work!  It even worked so I could leave work early and catch Robyn in her Halloween parade.  At night, our kids all split up this year.  I made our guts, blood and bones but it was all eaten in shifts.  Robyn went with a group of friends and some patient moms and I was able to join her for the last hour and a half!  That girl has some serious endurance.  And then they all went to the Ropers to crash and wash old Disney spooky movies and eat candy.

Allison's friend put on a big Halloween party that she went to for a few hours and then she met some school friends to trick or treat.  A daughter without a phone out on Halloween night really teaches you to pray hard.  She had a great time running around and then crashing with a spooky movie at our place.

Spencer and a few friends decided they needed some candy for their movie watching plans so they toured the neighborhood.  We really do have a great neighborhood for tick or treating.  Some houses have fire pits, hot chocolate and doughnuts, cotton candy machine, a movie playing in a garage, a dance party in another garage and kids running around everywhere.  It is just a fun party.  Spencer and crew stocked up for a while enjoying the party and then returned to play video games and watch movies and of course eat as much candy as possible.

Jeremy set up a photo booth in our driveway.  This year to make things easier he bought a backdrop.  We have learned our lesson - its not as good.  But we got some awesome photos of our kids.

Jeremy and Robyn even had a spooky Thursday night at a daddy/daughter Halloween party.

Monday night was Taylor's school Halloween carnival.  The girls, Taylor and I went over for a little bit to check it out.  When we walked through the doors, Taylor tucked his head into his shoulder and wouldn't respond to anyone.  As soon as we left he perked right up and was clapping and happy.  I guess he didn't appreciate going back to school after a long school day!  Taylor won the best costume at school for being a pirate.  Unfortunately any time I had a camera he was not in a picture mood.

Thursday was my first YW activity.  It was a Halloween carnival in a neighbor's backyard.  They made scones, carved pumpkins and had a hot chocolate bar.  It was fun to start to get to know the girls and the leaders.  Feel like a fish out of water in some ways but I am sure that will pass soon.

Talking about the rest of the week sounds pretty tame.  Our neighbor died last week so this week we had his funeral.  It was amazing to hear about his life and all that he accomplished.    It will seem strange not to see him sitting behind us in church and hearing his quiet jokes.

Jeremy had a photo week.  He would wait till kids were going to bed and then go work in the studio - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today - plus Thursday he too photos at the activity days event and Friday he did photos for Halloween!

Spencer had a volleyball game today.  I sort of watched as I ran laps.  Only way to fit it both in.  He is trying to cheer his team mates on which makes me more proud and happy than any serve or spike!  He met with the city officials this week to sign off on his eagle project and now its on to the next set of signatures.

Robyn did a lip synch for her center stage group.  It was MC Hammer's 'Can't touch this' - it cracked me up all week long.  Right now its only posted to facebook so I will have to see if I can get it here too. 

Today we got to enjoy a friend's baptism and birthday.  So overall it has been a great, busy week full of treats and friends.  And I am so looking forward to an extra hour of sleep!