Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Books Read, Miles Ran and Top 10 of 2017

Books Read:

1. The Gateway we call Death - Russell M Nelson*
2. Creating Health- Deepak Chopra*
3. The dating experiment- Elodia Strain
4. Outliers- Malcom Gladwell^*
5. Healing ADD - Daniel Amen
6. More than the Tattooed Mormon- Al Carraway^
7. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie^*
8. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith^
9. The Wright Brothers- David McCullough*
10. Worth the Wrestle- Sheri Dew*
11. Running with Angels- Pamela Hansen
12. Run less, run faster- Bill Pierce*
13. The Mistletoe Secret- Richard Paul Evans^
14. The Shack
15. Doctrine and Covenants*
16. Pearl of Great Price*
17. New Testament*
18. Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley^*

^book club picks

I ran my first ever marathon this year(in St George Utah)! And this is how many recorded miles I logged for the year for mostly running (a little walking): 1, 280 miles. And here it is broken down by month:

Month      Miles
January      43
February    76
March        136
April          140
May           116
June           131
July            131
August       151
September  177
October      90
November  43
December   46

Smith Family Top Ten of 2017

  1. Scott finished most of our basement! He did the framing, electrical, plumbing, we all primed, I painted and he did all the finishing work.
  2. I(Elisa) ran my first ever marathon! And I’m crazy and want to do it again!
  3. Elisabeth attended several camps this summer, including one week long piano camp; she saved her money for a year so she could attend this!
  4. Charles got to play tackle football for the first time in his life and he loved it(and didn’t get hurt!!! Wahoo!).
  5. Annabelle took a couple of sewing classes this year and found a new love!
  6. Jane started tumbling and quickly moved to doing back handsprings and flips! This petite girl is strong and can tumble!  
  7. Nora started her first ever year of organized school! She’s in half day kindergarten and loves it, though doesn’t always want to go (aren’t we all a little bit that way? And who would want to go to school when they can stay home with cool mom all day?!)
  8. Elisabeth and Charles got braces!! It’s a race to see who gets them off first :).
  9. Charles, Annabelle, Jane and Nora moved schools (again...4th elementary in 4 years...mostly because of moving). We LOVE our new school so much that they don’t even mind wearing uniforms...that much :).
  10. We took several road trips this year, mostly to be with family: Washington, Idaho, Bryce Canyon(½ marathon for me and Scott), Scott and I went to St. George(my marathon), and Scott took the kids to Capitol Reef (I was in Mexico for a family wedding; went with my mom and sister).

Friday, January 5, 2018

Second Half of December

Our friends the Wilcox's have season's tickets to the BYU basketball games, plus the food tent vouchers, and they invited Scott and I to go to a game with them. At the dinner before the game I saw Sheri Dew! She's amazing, and I wanted to go talk to her but I couldn't think of anything to say, so I didn't. Looking back I would've asked her about her morning routine :). 
And Scott saw this guy crouching behind us that he thinks is pretty cool. His name is Chad Lewis.
Thanks Brian and Maren for taking us along! We had a great time and BYU's team was so fun to watch!

Elisabeth had her piano recital where she played O Come O Come Emmanuel, the solo version, than 2 days later she played it in church as a piano/cello duet with her young women's leader (and our neighbor) Cami Tranter. They did a Beautiful job!
We got a Fombag (pronounced foam bag)! My sister has one of these but even bigger than the one we got, we got a 6 foot and she has an 8 foot. It's huge and we love it! 

Here are our Christmas angels from over the years. We missed a couple of years but we picked it up again this year. On a FHE before Christmas, we each decide what one (or two) things we want to give to Jesus this year, like a sacrifice of time/talent etc, or something we give up to better follow him and we write it down on an angel and we put it up on the tree. After Christmas we take down our angels and put them in an envelope with the year printed on the front. It's been fun to look back over the years at our 'gifts to Jesus' and see our progress. 

Nora and Jane had a 'show what you know' assembly just before the Christmas break where they recited Christmas poems.
Jane recited the entire Poem of The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore. It was 4 minutes long and amazing! I even took a video of her after.
We decided to invite some neighbors over for a Christmas party this year. We ended up inviting 10 families. 8 showed up so with our family we had 18 adults and over 30 kids! I stressed a little bit leading up to the party, okay, a lot of bit, worrying about having that many people in the house and it seems like the last couple of times we've gotten together with other families, the kids get rowdy and someone ends up bleeding (nose bleed or mouth bleed from someone not paying attention and running into something or getting a door shut in their face etc.), but after a lot of prayer and preparation, things went really well. I got all my kids on board, asked them to help make sure kids were following our house rules (no running in house, no slamming doors, no climbing or standing on furniture etc) and then asked them to help with the little ones and play games with them. We decided to set up several games in the basement the kids could play, plus we had a Christmas movie going at all times (the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas and then The Santa Claus). This is the game my older kids wanted the most: saran wrap ball that's filled with lots of treats, gum, unwrap until someone rolls doubles, then you pass it.  

In the guest room we had Christmas Bingo and a Christmas matching cards game, plus some worksheets for the older kids to do if they wanted with Christmas Scattegories and a Christmas word scramble (all of these game/activities were things I already had stored away from previous school christmas parties).
We had 'pin the carrot nose on Olaf', a game we played at Annabelle's birthday party 3 years ago,
And we had a craft table set up for kids to make candy cane reindeer.

The kids helped fill these little cups with 10 gummy bears each for our Bingo game (we put lids on them as well). The party started after dinner, at 630pm and went until 9, though most stayed until 930ish. We asked everyone to bring either a snack or treat to share. We had tons of food and everything went really well. 

The adults played a white elephant gift exchange part way through the night. We said to spend a max of $5 per gift and that regifting was encouraged. It was fun and we had some good laughs.
My favorite gift was one I gave which included the movie Nacho Libre (at walmart for $3), a bag of tortilla chips, and this picture, 8x10, in a frame(I reused a frame I had). 

We haven't gotten very much snow this year, but when we did get even a little, the kids wanted to go out in it. Nora wanted to be completely covered. 
Okay, I know this is gross but I want it documented. You may not be able to see but I actually have 4 warts on this foot, three of which are on my big toe. It's pretty horrible. And can you imagine running with these monstrous sized warts? Ugh. When the first one came probably a year ago, I didn't think it was a wart, just some sort of hard callous or something from running so much. But then over the past few months I've gotten more and they've gotten bigger and more painful. This last month I finally started some self care. I put wart remover liquid on it daily and I scrape them and keep them covered always. Charles has one on his toe and Jane has one on her hand, and I'm the primary caretaker for them all so we've been spending a lot of time in the evenings cleaning, scraping, medicining and wrapping warts. These little buggers are resilient and I asked my brother Fred, who is a physicians assistant, if I should keep doing what I'm doing or go into a doctor and he says to just keep at them and they'll eventually go away, that I could go get them frozen, but I'd most likely have to come back for multiple treatments and it's more painful (and more expensive).
Elisabeth had Sydney over during Christmas break and she helped us make sugar cookies. Yum! I love sugar cookies. Skylee and Saige helped too...well Sage ate more of the dough than helped, but we all had a good time, and she didn't get sick so that's good.
A few days before Christmas Scott had his work party and this year it was at the Megaplex theater at Thanksgiving Point where we had dinner in the banquet room, picked out $15 worth of snacks, and then watched the new Star Wars movie. I also won a $50 gift card that was taped under my food tray! So we've seen a lot of movies over our Christmas break. But really, such a fun and cool Christmas work party. They're usually pretty awkward, but I think everyone was so excited for the evening and for the new movie that they were all happy and talkative during dinner and throughout the evening. And it was fun ordering snacks and having them brought to our seats :).
Scott put the wall lights up in the guest room downstairs and they look great!

Christmas Eve dinner we had our traditional Strombolli. Because we have a lot of Italian and Mexican blood in our history, we like to do an Italian dinner of Strombolli on Christmas Eve and then Tamales on Christmas day.

After dinner we acted out the nativity which is also tradition. 

After the nativity we sent kids upstairs, they brought some games up to play and were given strict instructions not to come downstairs for any reason for the rest of the night. Then Scott and I set out gifts, Mark and Stacey came over and brought over a Ping Pong table they bought for the kids(the gems!), and Scott and I set that up and then we got to work on filling the stockings while we watched part of A Wonderful Life.

Christmas morning we told the kids not to wake others until 6am but that they could open their stockings on the main level before 6 if they were up. At 6 we all went down to the basement where the gifts and ping pong table were. 

The kids opened up an envelope with our flight itinerary to visit family in North Carolina, plus pictures of the beach house we'll be staying in with them.  Nora got twin babies and a double stroller from Granny Garnica and Grandma Smith which she loves.
We've had lots of fun with the ping pong table already.
Grandma and Grandpa Smith got Charles and Elisabeth matching BYU sweatshirts which they love.
I love having Scott in the kitchen with me helping me make tamales on Christmas day.

For one of the Christmas gifts we got tickets for the family to see the new Disney and Pixar movie Coco.  This movie is particularly special to us for a few reasons: 1) My cousin Jack is one of the artists for pixar
2) It was a movie that focused on the family and our ancestors and at the end of the credits, was this page: "to the people across time who supported and inspired us" and it had pictures of the artists ancestors...

Including a picture of my grandparents, Dorothy and Fred Grazzini (pictured in the middle together, just under the brownish looking circle picture)

3) It took place in Mexico, which is where my dad is from. So much of the movie, the food, the music, the traditions, flooded my mind with sweet memories and I found myself laughing and crying throughout. 

I told you we saw a lot of movies with that $50 gift card! We went on $5 Tuesday with the whole family which helped us spread the money further, and so I had enough for one more ticket and since Elisabeth's date night month was November and we didn't get to it then, and she really wanted to see The Greatest Showman, we used it for our date night....but we started that date night with Scott over at the temple where we did some work, then dropped him off at home and came here after using her Menchie's frozen yogurt gift card :). 

A big day for me: December 30th, I finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, but it also meant I finished something I started 2 years ago in December 2015, which was to read ALL of the scriptures and take notes/write down principles/lessons/applications. I started with the Old Testament, then went on to read the New Testament and Book of Mormon and then what I mentioned above. It was my first time reading through a couple of the books; I'd read parts but not cover to cover til now. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

First half of December

Charles wanted to learn how to use the nail gun, so Scott let him and Beau have a go at it one Saturday afternoon. 
 And here he's finishing off the small pieces of baseboard around the edges on the stairs.
 And our front yard hose went missing! Crazy! I guess we need to lock it up after use.
 Scott and I went on a date to City Creek mall in SLC mostly because he had a hole in the bottom of his work shoes that was letting water in and we needed to replace them and we like the Clark's store which is only at the SLC mall around here. We decided to have dinner in the mall at the Red Iguana which is a favorite mexican place of ours and then we walked over to temple square where we saw some of the lights and took this picture before heading to the Lion House Pantry where we each grabbed a cookie.
By our date description can you tell that we love food? Me especially I think. I love the message on this tank top below; very fitting: 

Annabelle and Jane had thier piano Christmas recital at an assisted living center. Jane, unfortunately, was still sick so she wasn't able to go. 

Our treadmill and our couch arrived!!! The sectional came the day after the carpet was installed and the RC Willey guys brought the sectional downstairs for us which was nice because it's BIG! It has some seats that recline though we didn't have the electronic/power recliners because those were hundreds more and we thought these were good.

Charles had his band concert last week and he played the percussion. He's standing up in the back.
I think my favorite song they did was Jingle Bells!

A week after the treadmill arrived I decided to try to put the treadmill together on my own as Scott was busy with a million other things in the basement. I had to borrow him a couple of times for a moment to help me with something, but other than that I did it on my own and it works great! 

I had to jump on as soon as it was done, in jeans, barefoot and all, and take it for a quick run. I am in LOVE! I've used it nearly every day this past week either speed or incline walking or running.
Charles has a science fair project that will be due here in a couple of weeks and he's been busy with his rubberband experiment. 

Stacey and Mark came by Saturday night with new holiday dresses for the girls and a sweater for Charles! So sweet! And they all looked very fine Sunday morning in their new stuff. Charles loves his sweater and often pulls it on after school once he gets his uniform off.

Elisabeth is in a home economics type class at school and they've had to sew a few things (she's decided she really does not like to sew). She made these flannel pj pants, almost all on her own!
So a wierd thing happened last Friday morning. Elisabeth has late start on Friday and it was around 9am, just her and I were home and she asked if I could help her with her hair in the main floor bathroom. So I went in there and she was standing near the sink and I put a loose braid in and wrapped it around her head and was securing a bun on the side when she said she thought she needed to eat right then because she was really hungry and feeling weak. She was leaning over the sink now, having the counter help support her weight. I gently pulled her back up and I told her I just had two more bobby pins to do and then I'd be done. At that point she starts falling, I thought she was just messing around at first, trying to be silly/difficult, but then she fell all the way to the ground and hit her head on the tile and was out. Her eyes were open and looked off to the side but she was not present. I bent over her and called her name and moved her shoulders and nothing. I grabbed a rag that was in the bathroom and put some cold water on it and started rubbing it over her forhead and then she came to. We walked her over to the couch where she laid down to rest and I brought her over some water and food and she ate. She had a little headache at first, probably from hitting it on the tile, but then she started to feel better. I called the doctor and it turns out this is actually a thing that happens quite often to kids when they're standing up getting their hair done. They don't know why exactly, but I have some theories: standing and locking knees, head slightly back, maybe in a wierd position, and usually you get your hair done in the mornings and I'm guessing most kids are not totally hydrated which I've read is a cause for fainting all on it's own. So anyway, she went to school, though she was a little late and has been fine since. But I'll admit I was a bit nervous sending her to school, not knowing if it'd happen again and if she was really okay, but she was insistent as she had a couple of quizzes that day.
Jane in her new dress getting kisses from Daddy! We love kisses!
Sunday December 10th was my dad's birthday and he would have turned 91. 

We celebrated by looking through all pictures,

watching old videos including over an hour long interview my brother Lowell had done with him back in 2003,

And making and eating his enchiladas and guacamole recipe, along with some black beans, corn and quinoa. Happy birthday dad!! We love you and miss you! 

The weather has gotten very cold these past couple of weeks and we get highs in the low 30's. Which makes me ever more grateful for my new treadmills! The frost on the trees is beautiful!
Scott has had a horrible time with these french doors, twice! He got them in once, took him hours, and then the carpet guys took them out when they installed. Then this week he spent a couple of nights working on them again and finally got them in (I took this picture while he was still getting it right, but the gap in between the doors is much smaller and even now :))

This is the third year in a row we've made gingerbread houses with our dear friends the Ludwigs. We sure love this family and this has become a fun tradition for us. 

We both saved a lot of Halloween candy to use for this gingerbread making activity and so the kids had fun making and eating :).

We mounted our projector and screen, though this weekend we will be trying to get the cord from the projector into the ceiling and running through to that back wall where it will come out into the storage room where we'll keep the receiver and bluray player.
Have I mentioned that I'm in a healthy cooking club? We meet once a month and we just had our third meeing this week where we brought Christmas treats or appetizers to share, along with the recipe. I made these jam almond cookies which I love and are honey and maple syrup sweetened and which use wheat and almond flour. A friend from my last ward/neighborhood started this cooking group and there's usually 5-8 people that show up each time.

For most of our teacher gifts we gave Bath and Body Works soap, but Charles really wanted to bring his teachers their favorite treats (he has two at his school), and a friend of his had done something similar to this Christmas tree you see below, and he really wanted to try to duplicate that. He did this all on his own (I just did the star and suggested we use a ice cream cone on the top) and I think it turned out great!