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! 

Second Half of November

November was another big month for basement improvements where we saw a lot of progress. Scott cut and put in baseboards and he even did the stair baseboards with a cool detail on the top that matched the ones upstairs.
He put up most of the doors and trim as well and the floorboard radiant heaters and then we cleaned it all out, swept and vacuumed, so that we'd be all ready for the carpet guys to install after Thanksgiving.
Elisabeth and Cami (our neighbor) started practicing together for a piano and cello duet they're doing for Christmas. They'll be playing the piano guys version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
Nora had a pilgrims presentation at school just before Thanksgiving. All the kids had a memorized line, plus they sang a bunch of songs. I love the song about the 7 continents and all the actions that went with.
We had leftover ship lap board in our garage from when the previous owners did a project and I decided to put it to use in our basement. So I measured and had Scott cut and then I stained them several different wood colors which we put up in our landing when you're coming down into the basement.
And since Dad's so busy in the basement all the time, we've been trying to help out more where we can so Elisabeth, Charles and I put up some Christmas lights,
and Charles put several doorknobs on doors.
The Haggins (Mark and Stacey), invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. We sure love the Haggin family and are always happy when we get to spend some time with them. And my girls are obsessed with their little dogs and are always begging to go over :). We had a ton of food! They did all the meat, a turkey and a ham, plus we both made mashed potatoes, they made sweet potatoes, we both made green beans, they made stuffing, we both made way too many desserts (we made an eclair cake, frosted gingerbread cookies and a chocolate pie) and I made a holiday quinoa salad. Everything was delicious. Oh, and that morning we played a little football at the retention pond area with the Matson's and the Blacks which was fun for the whole family.

Friday morning we all went to the movies (at AMC if you go to a morning showing it's $4.50 a piece! And all the seats are recliners!) and saw Wonder, which just so happens to be one of Elisabeth's favorite books. Charles and Annabelle have also read it (or had it read to them...Elisabeth read it to Annabelle and Charles' teacher read it to them).
Later that day Stacey came out with us to the irrigation canal, which is a spot I often run on and thought it looked picturesque, and she snapped some pictures for us which I LOVE! Thanks Stacey, you're amazing! Here are some of our favorites:

Scott and I went on a date that night (probably to Home Depot and Walmart which has been happening a lot more lately as we're feverishly trying to finish the basement before Christmas!) and when we came home all the kids were sitting around playing a game...everyone was so happy and laughing and having a good time that I had to take a picture. Usually when we come home they're either watching a movie or half of them are in bed already (which is exactly what we want most of the time) so it was nice to see them all together enjoying one another.
Elisabeth wanted a Casear salad but we didn't have any Casear dressing so she looked one up on pinterest and made it! That's my girl!

We set up the Christmas tree that weekend as well...we actually have two, but we just set up the one that goes in our front room for now. We had to wait for the carpet to be installed in the basement before we set up the other tree down there.

Stockings are hung by the chimney,
I love Christmas lights and Christmas trees!
See the wall I stained on the landing? Well, I didn't stain the wall, I stained the boards and put them up on the wall. 

Monday after Thanksgiving, the carpet guys showed up and said it was too cold in the basement to lay carpet, but that they could start cutting and putting in the padding. So they did and then left around 1-2pm. That night Scott got three of the floorboard heaters working and then we borrowed space heaters from Haggins and Olsens and had them running all night to get the basement nice and toasty warm. 

Oh and see what I learned to do! Scott taught me how to put in an outlet! I did two...only one worked though. Sorry Scott :). Good thing he's a good fixer :).
I am amazed at this boy and the amount he eats (a lot!) and what a wonderful young man he is becoming. We sure are proud of all his hard work at home and school!
Charles won this award at the 6th grade ambassador program that they hold a few times a year and we couldn't be prouder. It says something like, "You have been selected as the most positive and powerful 'wave' are a student that exemplifies respect, kindness and hard work. Thank you for your dedicated participation and positive influence." (or something like that). 
Carpet!!!! It totally changes the look of things when carpet is in!  And it sorta makes you think you're about done, which is a big trick! We still have a lot of late nights ahead of us finishing off outlets, trim, some baseboard, caulking, the bathroom is totally unfinished, putting in some more light fixtures and more.
Oh but it's looking so good! We're so excited to see the end product and it's been so fun to do the work and see things coming together. 

Annabelle and Jane played in the lobby at the Festival of Trees in Sandy. They both played very well. We wished we could've stayed to go in and look at all the trees but Nora was at home with a fever and we wanted to get back fast and relieve Elisabeth of babysitting duty.

Oh and then two days later Elisabeth got the fever as well. It was a fever and respiratory thing, could have been the flu. Scott got it Sunday, two days after Elisabeth. I just got a cough and the whole respiratory part without the fever and Annabelle and Charles stayed healthy throughout which is good, but Jane got the fever and cough too. 

Luckily we are all over our fevers and just have a little bit of the lingering coughs. I did lose my voice and don't completely have it back yet but it's getting better.