Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We started Thanksgiving with the traditional trip to the bowling alley with our ward where I managed to drop our camera and break it. Oh, man. Right before Christmas! I'm sad to say goodbye to that little guy. He's been through a lot with me.

We followed up with a trip to the movies. The kids went to see Bolt while Dave and I saw Four Christmases. It was hilarious! When we returned home I tackled dinner and the rest of the crew hit the hot tub. Followed up with some football. It was a low-key, fun-filled day. I love my family.

Dave and I did a bit of shopping on Black Friday, mostly to buy a new camera so I don't miss out on documenting our exciting Christmas season. Merry early Christmas to me. Dave and I rented Run Fat Boy Run and laughed A LOT.

Snow fell and fell so Ben went sledding with Evan. Rachel built her first snowman with Dave and went sledding for the first time. This is the part of winter we all love. It's still novel and fun and the hot chocolate really makes it all warm and wonderful when you come inside.

We visited the pool and made homemade chocolate chip cookies. We bought and decorated our tree. Grandma and Papa will arrive for a visit tonight.

Jake is being a "Scottish man" with the tree skirt, which apparently involves cursing and growling. Nice.

Ben is much more amiable in his kilt.

Devil eyes.

November continues to be my most content, peaceful time of year. "Because I have been given much, I too must give..."

Birthday Recap

I know it's been a whole month since my birthday but I am going to give a brief recap anyway.

I started celebrating early, as usual, with a package from my mom that included this fabulous wall hanging handmade with love. She sent it early so that I could enjoy it all month long. I did. Thanks, Mom!

I celebrated early in the month at breakfast with my girlfriends, lots of gifts and heartfelt wishes. Thanks, girls!

I got two cute vests. Which I will not show because I don't want to model them. Thanks Dave and Jim and Sharon! And I got an Annee original bag from Korea. Annee made this for me. Amazing--perfectly functional AND beautiful. Thanks, Annee!

M & B sent money to go out to dinner so I convinced Dave to take me to PLATE World Cuisine Restaurant. I used a coupon so I bought some new jeans with the savings. Thanks, Mertz and Bertha!
All in all, it was a celebratory month to remember. I'm a lucky, happy girl indeed. Thanks to all those who love me and make me feel special!

Fall Playgroup

We have enjoyed the most glorious fall here in Colorado. There have been very few cold, windy days that required us to head inside. Spring was bitter cold this year but the summer and fall were noteworthy-absolutely beautiful really.

Rachel learned to ride a big-girl bike, with training wheels.

We visited parks and hiked through the Garden of the Gods.

Rachel and I both love playgroup. And who doesn't love fall? I'm afraid it's finally farewell. December will be here tomorrow; with it comes the snow and playgroup inside. We welcome you winter with all the fun you'll bring, but don't overstay your welcome.

Giving Thanks in 2008

Every year, starting on November 1st, we make a list of 100 things for which we're thankful. We usually do it in the morning while we're eating breakfast. I let the kids come up with nearly the entire list. It's fun to see how the list changes from year to year as they grow. Rachel's additions are pretty obvious but it's cool to see how grown-up Jake and Ben are becoming. Ben has been studying space and the Universe--you can tell from many of his additions.

Here it is:
1.Heavenly Father
2. Family
3. Mom
4. Dad
5. Jake
6. Ben
7. Rachel
8. Sadie
9. Woobie
10. milk
11. Disneyland
12. sleep
13. school
14. friends
15. Matthew, Evan, Max, Jonathan
16. Avery, Brooklyn, Avy, Fox, 'Mantha, Hannah
17. hair care products (curling creme, conditioner, mousse, ect.)
18. clocks
19. Jesus Christ
20. repentance
21. forgiveness
22. ability to forgive others
23. chocolate
24. Holy Ghost
25. prayer
26. food
27. trees
28. the sun
29. the moon
30. water
31. toys (especially Bakugan)
32. pink sunrises
33. orange sunsets
34. blogs
35. digital cameras
36. Ms. Rexrode
37. Sister Larsen
38. a clean house
39. preschool & Ms. Shonda
40. Alex, Trevor
41. the Earth
42. knowledge
43. seasons
44. dancing
45. soccer
46. peanut butter
47. candy
48. bread (and all things with gluten)
49. internet
51. laptop
52. spelling
53. treadmill
54. exercise
55. pets
56. helium balloons
57. bagels
58. scriptures
59. gospel
60. living prophet of God
61. Scouting program
62. playgroup
63. library
64. oranges
65. strawberries
66. grapes
67. pears (Rachel's favorite)
68. garbage trucks to take away our stinky trash
69. bed
70. coats (sweatshirts for the boys)
71. snow
72. leaves
73. music
74. good health
75. cereal and milk
76. Wii
77. pink things
78. the Galaxy
79. books
80. holidays
81. traditions
82. eternal life/plan of salvation
83. our house
84. clothes
85. princesses
86. police
87. doctors
88. fire department-really :0)
89. Santa
90. hot tub
91. Villa Sports
92. vacation from school
93. Doritos
94. board games
95. homemade cookies
96. baths
97. Scooby doo
98. Mr. Howard
99. Costco
100. turkey dinner and bowling on Thanksgiving

That's it for this year. We'll do it again in a year and see how we've changed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Book Reports by Ben

Ben has completed two book reports with visual aids so far this year. He's very good at making note cards for the oral presentation. I'm very impressed with his public speaking skills.

This was for "The Massively Multiplayer Mystery: Spy Gear Adventure book 2" by Rick Barba

Ben and I read it together. It has a bunch of rather mature humor, like sarcasm, for a kids' book, but Ben understood almost all of it and thought it was great.

This was for "The Pumpkin Elf Mystery" by Abby Klein

Ben read this one to me. That Pumpkin Elf is sneaky. Cool visual aid, Ben!
(Check this off my list of things to do. Documented for posterity and neatly eliminated. Yea.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Woobie Remembered

Rachel has been attached to her "woobie" for a LONG time now but recently he's made a real comeback. He does not often leave the car but he accompanies us on many outings lately. For a short while he seemed to only be thought of at bedtime, but now he is a real player at tea parties and during quiet time.

Lest we look back and forget how much Rachel loved this dog, here's to you, Woobie!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Soccer 2008

Soccer season ended nearly three weeks ago but I needed the team photo to post. Here's Ben's team, the Snowleopards. They completed the season with a 5-and-3 record. The away games turned out to be very challenging.

Coach Lon and Coach Jim in the back
Ben, Luke, Ryan, Christian, Cameron, Thomas
Landon, Jake, Cayden, Micah, Trevor

The end-of-the-season party was held at LaserQuest. Ben received a medal and recognition as "the Most Improved Player" of the season. From Coach Lon, that is quite a compliment. Coach also said that if Ben ever gets beaten by another player he never gives up and really sticks with it. He's gotten really aggressive, especially for a boy who hasn't had his testoterone kick in yet.

Congratulations on a great season, Ben!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things I've Done...

I found this tag on some obscure person's blog.(Five steps removed as my husband would classify it.) I have done all the things on this list that are in bold, but none of the regular print things. You can participate by copying the list to your blog and bolding the items you have done in your life. I think that many of the things you haven't done are as telling as the things you have done. .

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Self-control, a little bit

I know a couple of people who have vowed not to eat treats for several weeks, including all of October and Halloween, and though it sounds challenging, daunting even, I admire their self-control. Consider this a shout out for your unwavering example. Way to go!
So in that vein, I gave up treats yesterday, for one day. I know it's impressive. Especially since my kids collected 17 pounds of candy for Halloween.
And there is an ice cream cake in my freezer. Ooooh, I love ice cream.
Congratulations, to me. One whole day without treats. I'm working my way up to a week. Sometime in August.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Whew! I'm glad that's over. It was a GREAT year, don't get me wrong, but it was maybe a bit too full of fun. With pumpkin patches galore, costume parties, church parties, playgroups, pumpkin carving, school parties, pre-trick-or-treating dinners and haunted houses, I am just plain tuckered out. Good thing daylight savings time came after Halloween this year because we really needed the extra hour of sleep.

Every year I am soooo excited for autumn and October and every year I rejoice when it is finally November. October has a way of filling up with so many fun activities that by the time it's all over it's perfectly fine with me to have no plans at all. I love, love, love November, so welcome, welcome.

Here are a few highlights from our awesome October...

Click to play Halloween time
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