Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving in Idaho with Romney's

I love that my sister moved to Idaho last year. Having her closer (only 5 hour drive instead of 14) has been awesome and it seems like we get together every other month, switching off houses. Since they came out last month when they had a couple of days off of school, it was our turn to head out there and so we decided that, weather permitting, we would drive out for Thanksgiving. The weather was perfect so we drove out there Wednesday morning and arrived at their house in the afternoon. 
Becca has a salon at her house so several of the girls asked if she'd cut, or just wash their hair. Apparently it's cool to get your hair washed in the fancy sink 😉. Annabelle got a cut and Jane and Nora had her was and style their hair. 

 Becca and I did some food prep Wednesday, mostly pies, and then we did the rest on Thursday. Scott did the turkey which was eaten by just a couple of people since Becca's family is vegan, I'm vegetarian and a couple of my girls don't like most meats. But that was okay because Scott got to take home leftovers.
Here's the pecan pie I made...and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who ate it. Two of my kids tried a piece but didn't like it. A couple of days after Thanksgiving I threw the leftover pie in the freezer...we will find out soon if pecan pie can be frozen. 

I made a vegan and gluten-free chocolate pie that everyone seemed to enjoy (I don't eat chocolate so I can't tell for myself). 

 Thanksgiving day while we waited for the food to be ready, the kids made turkeys out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper. They also played on the trampoline, ping pong table, Wii etc.
This was the first time we made stuffing from scratch, using a loaf of french bread. It was amazing and I hope never to go back to the packaged stuff. 

 Friday morning, while Becca and Blake were on a walk, we took the kids to the back yard and did a little leaf-racking service project for them. It felt good to get the kids outside and working after all their play. (we accidentally left their piano books at home so they didn't practice piano much; elisabeth did christmas hymns from their hymnbook one day but that was about it).
 I loved my sister time with Becca. We visited, exercised, cooked and shopped together.
 Someone brought Becca a bunch of wood pallets while I was there (she's crafty), and she helped me make a board to display our running medals and bibs (okay, she made it, I just bought the hooks/hardware I needed). It turned out great! I'll post a picture of the finished product soon.
Scott and I listened to this audio book, Endurance, on our drive. It's a true story about a group of people in 1915, that tried to sail to Antartica with a team of people and dogs, to walk across the continent. Even though they didn't make their goal (didn't even make it to their drop off location), it's an incredible story about what they went through and how they made it out and about obedience, loyalty, and following orders. 

I snapped this picture on our drive home. Poor Nora, looks like her mom when she sleeps :). We all had a wonderful trip and loved our time with family. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Never too late(or early) to learn something new

 4 year old Nora is learning to read! We spend about 15 minutes of each day doing 'school work'. We started awhile back learning her letters and sounds along with numbers, and a few weeks ago I checked out a book from the library called, "how to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" which we've been working on each day. They're using the Distar method, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to get through a lesson where we learn and review sounds, then we sound out words, we read a story and do some comprehension and all the while it's building and growing on previous lessons. I've loved this and have been amazed at just how well this is working.
And 33 year old me just learned how to fold fitted sheets well :). I was tired of asking Scott to do it all the time (his mom had a business where they set up apartments and laundering the sheets was part of what they did, and Scott worked for her), so I looked up a video on You Tube on how to fold fitted sheets, and voila! In the picture, the sheets on the top are fitted. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Planking, food and decorating for Christmas

Scott saw a picture of people planking on top of one another so of course we had to try it :). 
If we had more people at home at the time, we would've tried to get the planks even higher, but as it was, all the big kids were at their various extracurricular activities so we only had the four of us home: three to plank and one to take the picture.
Nora and I made a new muffin recipe this week: peanut butter banana. It was so yummy! I will share it soon on my food blog.
We had one box down in the unfinished basement that I hadn't unpacked because it's mostly long term food storage supplies, but I unpacked it this week and Nora used the box to make a 'tunnel' in which she set up a bed and took a nap :). 

Elisabeth and Annabelle both had friends over Saturday and Elisabeth and her friend Sydney made caramel popcorn, and then Annabelle asked if her and Annika could make snickerdoodles. Which is fine with me because being in the kitchen and baking is sort of 'my thing' so it was a good time had by all :).
Saturday morning we set up the Christmas trees(the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so a little earlier than most years), and Saturday evening, after dinner and once the boys were back from the BYU football game, we hung the ornaments on the trees. We had two this year: this is the 'homemade tree' that has all the kids ornaments plus our vacation ornaments and all our random ones.
And this is our 'Christ tree', which is a new tree that a friend in Colorado had given to us before we left (thanks rach!). It's 9 feet tall but we only have an 8 foot ceiling, so we just left out the bottom tier and it worked out perfectly. On this tree we have white lights, silver beads and a dozen matching stars that have different names for the Savior on each star (ie redeemer, living water, bread of life, Lord of Lords etc). 

I LOVE Christmas! All the lights and the Christmas music make me so happy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2016 Family Photos

We took our pictures with FotoFly again this year. Their prices went up again this year; last year they were $80 and this year $125...not sure if we'll keep using them or not in the future; and it's an indoor studio and so once you get a few pictures taken there, there's not a lot else to choose from. But overall pretty happy with the way they turned out.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Selfie's and artists in the making

Each week when I go through pictures on my phone, I almost always find many selfies, usually taken by Elisabeth or Annabelle. 

This one isn't actually a selfie, but Annabelle kept taking pictures of me while I was reading.
I LOVE this selfie video I found of Annabelle. There's not really any sound because I think she was trying to be quiet so she wouldn't get caught messing with my phone :). 

Annabelle left sweet notes for her sisters on their beds this week.
I checked out a few books from the library for Charles on how to draw dinosaurs because he's been drawing them a lot lately and it was fun to see him and the girls follow the step by step instructions (I made a T-Rex too which was super fun; and it looked pretty good, but one of the kids took it and I couldn't find it for the picture). Annabelle and Nora drew the stegasauras
And Charles drew this one

Have I mentioned before how much I love the library? It's amazing!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Young Artists Piano Festival: Chopin's Nocturne in C Minor

Saturday morning Elisabeth played in front of several judges for the Sandy Young Artists Piano Festival. If you place, you come back that evening at 5 where you play your piece again and then you learn how you placed. Last year Elisabeth received an 'honorable mention' which is just under the finalists, and this year we figured she might do the same, or worse since there were quite a few kids auditioning (24 is what I heard) in her Elementary 12 and under, age group. We had family pictures scheduled that evening for 445, so I secretly hoped she wouldn't make it to the finalist round. 
 She played Chopin's Nocturne in C Minor. Around 1230 that afternoon we got a message from her piano teacher saying she was one of the finalists and needed to come back that evening. So I rescheduled our pictures and then Elisabeth, Annabelle and I went back to Riverton Music where Elisabeth performed her number again at a recital, along with the other 2 finalists in her age group, and then they named off the 3rd place winner, which wasn't her, then the second, which wasn't her, which meant we got so excited because we knew she'd received first place! Way to go Elisabeth! She sure worked hard for this. And a bonus that we didn't know about was that first place receives a $25 check! She's saving up to go to a piano camp next summer that's expensive, so she put her reward toward that.

Here's a video of her playing at the recital:

 The finalists and honorable mentions for the 12 and under age group:
 And Elisabeth with her amazing piano teacher, Bridget Johansen, and Bridgets students that made it to the recital as finalists or honorable mentions.

 That night we celebrated by playing Settlers of Catan and enjoying some popcorn and caramel popcorn(after we put Jane and Nora to bed).

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tuesdays with Lindsay, YW in Excellence, Rock Climbing, Flags

For the past month and a half, Nora and I have been going down to Alpine with our friend Lindsay and her younger boys for a "mother's in Zion" women's conference. They've had 1 1/2 hour classes each week on strengthening homes and families and it's been wonderful. Normally Lindsay and I don't get to see each other very often, maybe a couple of times a year so this was a great excuse to get together and visit more. After each class we would head over to her mom's house, who lives right there, and have a picnic lunch. 

Elisabeth participated in her first Young Women in Excellence. The girls got dressed up in some some of the leaders old formal dresses and they presented (just 1 minute or less) a value project they'd accomplished. Elisabeth talked about her sprint triathlon and increasing individual worth. 

 Nora figured out that our fireplace mantle is the perfect place for her to get a little rock climbing practice in.

Friday was Veterans day and we signed up to help put up and take down flags in the neighborhood. Scott took Elisabeth and Charles out Friday morning to set them up and then Friday evening I took Charles and Nora out to take them down. Charles was so enthusiastic and cheerful about doing this service which made me so grateful we have a boy, because the girls were the opposite of excited, except Nora who is game for everything.