Wednesday, April 20, 2016

November, Part 2

The day after family pictures, we had tithing settlement after church.  Chloe was day 4 post op from her tonsillectomy and was still feeling pretty crummy.  She stayed home from church and rested, but we did take her with us to tithing settlement as she now pay her own tithing with the money that she earns throughout the year.  She did bring her ice pack with her and kept it on her throat until we were in the bishop's office.

On the way home we stopped by our house to show the kids the progress.  They had all the stairs framed out and we got a quick picture, but were careful after that as the stairs lead up to nothing, since the upstairs is just getting started.  We called it the staircase to heaven. 

The view from our master bedroom of the river and a beautiful sunset was spectacular this day.  Can't wait for this to be a daily view.

One day the kids won't be able to stand inside of the walls. :)  We look forward to that day very much. 
We got together with family later that evening.  Nana played the piano and all of those who enjoy signing gathered around to share their talent.

Uncle Nick had just had a form of laser eye surgery earlier in the week and can't be exposed to too much light while he recovers.  We slipped a few times and called him Ray Charles. :)

The next week at school was Spirit Week for the twins.  They loved Super hero day and Leah was so excited to finally be allowed to wear a cape to school.

Jocie showing off her mad sitting skills with her favorite brother.

I did Olivia's hair one morning in a bunch of cute pony tails- fancier than we normally do for a regular day.  She took notice of it in the mirror when I was done and her facial expression was priceless.  She was less than impressed.

Later that day she wanted to help feed Jocie.  And by help I mean do it all herself.  One of her most used phrases is "I do it!"  She pulled a little step stool over by Jocie and fed her some baby food.

Of course, she had to sample the food herself.  Her other favorite saying is "I bite?"

Livy is extremely jealous of Jocie and hates to have her get any attention that she isn't getting, but there are moments where her love for her baby sister shines through.  I love those moments.

It was a full day of Olivia cuteness.  She just recently started refusing to sit in her high chair and insists on sitting at the table like a big girl.  We knew it would happen sooner than later, with so many older siblings and it actually happened at the perfect time, as Jocie was just starting to eat solids and needed the high chair.  Along with being like the big kids, Livy took notice that some of them were using a knife one night.  Without saying anything, she got up from the table and went and got a plastic kid knife from the drawer and came back to the table to cut her food.  It was adorable.

November 21
A few days can make a big difference during the framing process!  We have an upstairs!

A selfie with my best 2 year old!  And a photobomb by my best Ben.

One day after school I found Chloe teaching Lexi some piano skills.  Chloe loves to pass on knowledge to her younger siblings, and most of the time they like learning.

We had a skiff of snow the morning of November 24th.  The kids were on a 2 hour snow delay which meant plenty of time to play with the snow before heading to a shortened day of school.

It felt like being back in Auburn with how little of snow we had, how excited the kids were, and having school effected by the very little amount.

I found some notes Mitchell had made in his room one day.  I loved reading this.  He takes his church and scripture learning very seriously.  "If I choose the right it will lead me to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ."

"If I don't choose the right at all, it will lead me to hell."

"But it is ok to make a mistake.  Nobody is perfect."  I love my boy.

For Thanksgiving weekend, my sister Amanda and her family, the Etherington's, traveled all the way from Logan, Utah to be with us.  We were so excited to have guests.  They arrived Wednesday, November 25th.  My sister and I ran to the store later that evening to get some last minute things for Thanksgiving.

Lexi came with us and brought her purse and a notebook and pen.  She kept her notebook and pen out most of the trip and would write in it as she walked.

More contemplative writing at the checkout stand.  Kids are so much fun to watch.

Back home after dinner, Uncle Neil played "Sorry" with the twins and Jackson before bed.  "Sorry" is a favorite game of all my big kids.

Mitch and Carter were joined at the hip all weekend, including while they slept.

Thanksgiving morning, Uncle Neil had lots of helpers making his famous apple pie.

Ben took all the big kids down to the river for a bit while dinner was cooking and the babies napped.  It was a beautiful day.

We made "The good punch" as the Andros family calls it.  It's a pina colada based punch that is a crowd pleaser.  It was the perfect appetizer for our dinner.

The kids drank their body weight in it.

The turkey was delicious and Mitch ate the drumstick like he'd never eaten meat before. 

We had some funny mishaps in our cooking that day: 

Neil, not wanting to bother me while he prepped his pie, tried to find the ingredients he needed by himself.  He found what he thought was cinnamon, but we later discovered that he had used our cinnamon sugar mix instead (that we usually put on buttered toast).  The pie was still amazingly delicious, but what should have been a stronger cinnamon taste was mostly just sugar with a hint of cinnamon.  To Neil's credit, I told him where to find the cinnamon.  I thought we had some left but didn't realize Ben had used up the last of our cinnamon a few days before.  We had another full jar of it in the garage but we hadn't brought it in.  Our cinnamon sugar shaker is an old cinnamon spice holder that we had crossed off "cinnamon" and hand written in "cinnamon sugar."  Neil saw cinnamon on it and assumed that's all it was.  A very comical mix up.

Amanda had promised that she would make some yummy rolls for dinner.  She made them last year at our Blakeslee family Thanksgiving dinner and they were to die for.  I was very excited for them again.  She used the same recipe and got them all prepared and ready to rise.  They never rose, or not much anyway, but time was of the essence and she threw them in the oven to bake, hoping they'd perk up a bit during the baking process.  They did not and came out like very, very dense muffins.  They had a good flavor but were not fluffy and light like a good roll should be.  We figured out that my yeast must have been bad.  I felt terrible for ruining her roll making efforts with a bum ingredient.

Our last mishap involved the mashed potatoes.  I had been told that doing them in the crockpot was super easy and yummy, and I'm all about easy, so I gave it a try.  They were supposed to cook for a number of hours.  As a surprise, the turkey got done much sooner than expected.  Everything else was pretty much ready except the potatoes.  I went and checked on them and they were still hard as could be.  I should have scraped the whole thing and quickly done some on the stove, but I hated to waste all the ingredients and I was just sure that they would soften up quickly.  It was not quick, at all, and we did our best to keep the turkey warm while we waited out the darn potatoes.  And in the end, they weren't amazing to the taste and they definitely weren't easy.  All of the mishaps gave us good laughs over the weekend and we still had plenty of good food to eat.

The kids watched a movie in our room while waiting for dinner to cook!

Jocie enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner!

We didn't get around to playing Thanksgiving Bingo on Thanksgiving but the kids wouldn't let me forget the next day.  They played round after round and loved it.

Friday night was the Talent Show night.  Chloe had programs ready for all of us adults.

Mitch and his dance

Lexi's dance

The performers waiting for their turn sat behind the curtain and watched.

The grand finale dance!

Not sure what these 3 did together (I can't remember) but they were sure cute.

Matching snow man pjs.  I love these two boys together!

One more round of Bingo before bed!

On Saturday, it was FREEZING cold outside and the kids were getting a bit restless.  They started an indoor, made up game of tackle ball where they threw around a soft ball and tried to get it from whoever had it by any means necessary.  It was hilarious to watch.

Matching Seahawk jerseys

Ben took all the kids to the church to play ball and burn off some energy while the babies napped.  The kids had a blast.

On their last night together, these 3 played "Qwirkle."  They don't know the real rules so they made up their own.  Making own your own rules is great when everyone agrees with how it is played. 

We had such a fun Thanksgiving weekend with the Etherington family.  We had lots of yummy food and lots of fun, quality time together. 

Monday, November 30th, we set up the Christmas tree and Christmas decorations.  I haven't decorated the inside of the house hardly at all since we moved here, as we weren't sure how long we would be in our rental and I didn't want to pull a bunch of extra stuff out for such a short time.  Our "short time" has turned longer than we planned, which is fine, but I couldn't not decorate for Christmas.  It wouldn't feel right.  There was no room for our big tree and I was sad that we couldn't set that up but happy that we could find most of our Christmas stuff in our still packed boxes in the garage.

Monday, April 18, 2016

November, Part 1

Jocie LOVES food.  She has only been eating solid food for 2 weeks but is totally in love with every aspect of it.  I couldn't resist taking a picture of this gorgeous smile on the first day of November after  good meal after church.

November 3rd was Mitch's first pack meeting as a cub scout!  He has been going to den meeting for well over a month (the cub leader let him come a few weeks before officials turning 8).  He loves cub scouts and we are excited for him to learn new things and have fun with other boys his age.

I'm in the Relief Society Presidency and have a presidency meeting every Wednesday at 7:00.  Ben takes his job of putting the kids to bed while I'm gone very seriously... or not.  This is our bed.  I guess I have to be more specific about what bed to put them in while I'm gone. :)  Ben loves spending time with the kids.  He truly is the best dad.

House progress!

Olivia and Jocie watching a show together one day.  Olivia is very picky and will only watch two shows: Paw Patrol (Paw Pu-tah, as she calls it) and a dinosaur show on Netlix.  I am hoping she branches out very soon.  She also hates commercials and if she isn't watching Netflix or a DVR showing of Paw Patrol, she freaks out when a commercial comes on.  Ahh, kids these days.

Olivia standing in front of the freshly poured concrete slab of our house, where our playroom and theater room will one day be.  

On one Friday off, Ben took the big kids with him before school to go buy donuts and then take them to the framing crew working on our house to tell them we appreciated their hard work.  The workers loved it and I love that Ben teaches our kids service and kindness.  (Even donuts can be service!)

It's hard to imagine a real house on this flat surface.  Someday soon!

Ben and I spent lots of time in October and November picking things out for the new house.  We are not great at making permanent deacons (I need to see the final, end result and have a hard time picturing stuff in my head).  This day at the plumbing store we were picking out the rain shower head for our master bathroom.  Round or square, big or small? 

Saturday Soccer continued into the first part of November!

My parents and sister Catherine and her baby Jeter came into town November 6-11.  Grandma was happy to help feed Jocie, who will eat anytime and LOTS of it.

Jeter and Jocie had a fun week together.  Jocie is getting better about sitting up on her own for longer stretches. 

November 7th was a very special day for us!  Mitchell was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his dad.  We are so proud of him for making that decision.  It was a beautiful service and we were surrounded by wonderful family.

Mitchell's biggest fans!

So proud of my handsome boy.

So glad to have Grandma and Papa in town for his special day!

Nana and Papa love Mitchell!

On Sunday after church, my parents wanted to drive over to the Columbia River Temple.  It's such a beautiful temple and any excuse to be inside or on the temple grounds is wonderful.

Lots of toy sharing with cousin Jeter all week.

The twins gave Papa a back rub one evening after dinner.  My dad and I used to give each other back rubs often.  We played a game after early morning family scripture study- the first one up the stairs after it was over won and had to rub the other one's back.  I'm sure my dad let me win a lot.  He gave great back rubs!

Ben talking with the framing crew about the placement of our dining room window.

We had to take our visitors by the house and show them the progress.  So fun to see "walls" up.

Olivia loves Grandma.  A lot!  And she is currently in a stage where she refuses to wear a coat or jacket.  That isn't going to be good when the weather drops to freezing temps here soon.

Don't I have a gorgeous little sister?

Standing at where our front door will be someday!

Grandma gave Jocie her first braid.  Since birth, she has had very long hairs on the back of her head- just a random patch of them.  

Jose and Jete had a fun week together, but it can't be fun all the time. :)

On November 11, Veteran's Day, and the morning that my parents and sister left, Chloe had surgery to get her tonsils removed.  I was sad to miss the last morning with my family, but this girl has had so many issues and illnesses with those darn tonsils that we took the first surgery date they had open.  We had to be at the surgery center in the 6:00 hour.  Chloe and Ben passed the time away playing their favorite game- Cat's Cradle. 

Dressed and ready to go!

More Cat's Cradle before being wheeled back.

The surgery was only like 20 minutes long.  Ben and I felt like we'd only been in the waiting room just mere minutes before the doctor was out there telling us everything had gone great.  He said her tonsils looked terrible- lots of tonsil stones and pits from continued tonsillitis and strep.  We are glad they are out and look forward to healthier, pain free days.

Chloe had a hard time when she woke up.  She was very disoriented, panicky and frantic.  She didn't know where she was and what had happened.  She kept trying to sit up.  She was in pain and very sleepy.  She was very worried and sad that she didn't remember anything.  They gave her an ice pack for her throat

She felt up for a popsicle after she was more awake and alert.  It was good to see her smile after being so sad and frantic right after surgery.  She was much happier after the anesthesia wore off a little more.

Since it was Veteran's Day, all the kids were home from school.  My parents watched our other kids while they packed up.  Once they were ready to leave and on the road, Ben's parents came over until we got home.  Grateful for both of our parents for their help this day while we were gone.

Braving a smile as we left.  We were home before noon.  Ben went into work after grabbing a quick bite to eat.

Chloe was anxious to eat some of the ice cream that Papa Blakeslee had bought her before he left.  She was excited to be on a diet that promoted lots of ice cream, but the novelty wore off after a day or two and she craved all the foods she wasn't supposed to have- anything hard or crunchy.  It was a rough two weeks of diet restriction for her.

Her sweet cousins Stella and Evie dropped by balloons, cards and gifts for her later that day.  It was so sweet and it totally made Chloe's day.  Chloe didn't get off the couch that entire day except to use the bathroom.  She was very sleepy and had no energy.  Her pain level was ok for the first 2 days, but as the doctor predicted, days 3-5 were the worst and she was in terrible pain those days.  We got her pain prescription filled and she kept her ice bag on her throat constantly.  It was rough but she was a trooper and was good to rest, rest, rest.

After dinner on Veteran's Day, we went over to say hi to one of our favorite Veterans- Grandpa Forsythe.  The kids gathered around him as he told them a few war stories.

Grandpa is an excellent story teller.  We sure love him.  He has dementia and some days can't recognize what is going on around him, but he can always remember stories from the war and his childhood.  It is amazing.

More house!  One random second story piece on.  Can't wait for the rest of the upstairs to start.

Looking in the front door.

Little Miss J was a pro at sitting alone by mid month!  And sure happy about it.

We desperately needed family pictures taken and after having already put it off too long (as we do EVERY year), we finally found an open hour to do it.  Watching the weather, I knew it was going to be the last weekend of the year that wasn't freezing cold.  We were fortunate that it was still in the 60's this late in the year as it was.  After a busy day, we quickly shoved everyone into some clothes, did the girls' hair and raced to a spot to quickly do pictures before the sun went down.  It was literally a race against time.

Livy was not being cooperative and it was hard to get a picture of her even looking at the camera.  She refused to stand on her own and proved to be difficult even being held by me or Ben.  Chloe was such a trooper.  She was on day 3 post-op and on her worst pain day.  She had been in bed all day and we medicated her up really well before pulling her out of bed.  What a sweetheart she was to put on normal clothes, do her hair and smile sweetly for family pictures.

Our almost 11 year old grown up Chloe!

Our handsome Mitch man!  8 and feeling great!

Sweet Leah, who couldn't help but put her tongue where her missing tooth was for every picture.  6 looks good on her!

Beautiful Lexi!

Sassy and ever busy 2 year old Olivia.  This was the best individual shot we could get of her.  The rest were a blur as we ran after her.

Oh Jocie.  Sweet, angelic baby.  Just 2 days shy of 7 months.  She is what dreams are made of.

Love this crew of mine.