Monday, November 28, 2016

November 2016

We are officially caught up with the blog. HOORAY! Now I need to hurry and get November written before December starts in order to keep myself on track. November seemed so much calmer than October. It was just what we needed. OF course our big event for the month was Lily's baptism. It was a happy and exciting 1st week of the month, leading up to the big day.
 Annie read every day for at least 10 minutes in the month of October. She earned a personal pan pizza as her prize. She was so excited to pick it up from Pizza Hut. The manager of the store even wrote a little note of congratulations inside the lid of the box. So fun.
 Tommy loves our dinosaur and shark books that we got at the city Trunk or Treat event. I don't know how much longer the paper pop out features will survive two energetic boys, but we're going to enjoy these books for as long as we can.
 Joey went through a short lived helmet phase. He wanted to wear a bike helmet all day long for a few days in a row. I remember all of our kids wanting to do this, but most of them were older.
 I made Jeremy's favorite ham and cheese rolls for dinner. Lily won the prize for longest stretch of cheese. She was so excited, she wanted me to take a picture.

Lily Kay Hall was baptized by her father on Saturday November 5, 2016. We had a lot of friends and family there to support her.
 Lily and Daddy were both excited.
 Hailey, Lily, Nathan, and Annie
 Lily's buddy Kaytlynn and her Primary teacher Sister Johnson
 Danielle, Ellie (in her arms), Eden, Lily, Emren, and Elijah
 Grammy and Grampy Hall
 Grammy gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost, Puna and Papa sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", and Uncle Brady gave the closing prayer. It was a beautiful baptism for our beautiful girl. We are so happy you are starting on the path that leads back to Heavenly Father. You are an amazing girl Lily!
Following the baptism we had a party at our house. We had enough pizza for an army. Lily was excited to get more gifts. Her friend Kayt gave her a baptism activity book, Mommy and Daddy gave her scriptures, Grammy and Grampy gave her a cute scripture tote, Jodie and Conner gave her $5 and a cute card made by Kamden, Danielle gave her a little hymn book, and Puna and Papa gave her the beautiful baptism dress and accessories.

Later that evening, once the party was done and all the guests had left, we had a celebration dinner at Cafe Rio. Then we went to see the new Trolls movie. Joey isn't at a good age for movies. Daddy, Mommy, and Puna all took turns keeping track of Joey in the lobby. He loved riding this little car with Kermit.
 Sunday morning we got to go to church with Danielle and the kids plus Puna and Papa. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone. All the kids had a blast doing a sleepover in the basement and then getting to sit together in church.
 Play-doh is all the rage with the boys right now. One day I was having a crazy mom day and didn't get a chance to put away the last remnants of play-doh. Everything dried up and couldn't be revived with water so we had to toss it. In order to keep the boys happy, we made a batch of peanut butter play-doh. Joey just kept eating it. But Tommy had fun.
 Once we got the peanut butter play-doh mess cleaned up, we made a visit to the library. I love how easy it is to go places with only two little ones rather than four. Of course we miss the girls when they are gone, but we also like just Mommy and boys time during the day.
 Tommy loves playing with my phones, super heroes, dressing up, and reading books - in that order. While Joey napped we snuggled on my bed and read all the super hero books we could find at the library, while Tommy took selfies of us. Silly boy.
 On November 1st, we made our Thanksgiving tree. Annie was a super helper and she wanted to put the first leaves on the tree once it was finished. Her first leaf said "Jesus", with a backward J. So precious.
This year we did a little bit of early Christmas giving. We volunteered to fill a duffle bag with gifts for a local child in foster care. We were assigned a baby boy. I took Tommy shopping with me to choose some toys, clothes and other gifts for the baby. We had so much fun together. It was a sweet thing to be a part of. Below the photo is a comment from the woman who coordinated this project:
"This isn't just a picture of my messy living room. This is a picture of generosity. This is a photo of some of the 130 bags full of toys, games, clothing, etc that were donated by you - members of the awesome community of Rigby and surrounding areas - to be given to the children in foster care throughout our region. I want to thank all of you for participating. In the next couple weeks, I'll be bringing these bags to the foster care office and they will be distributed to the children by their case workers before the holidays. Thanks for helping making Christmas a little brighter for children in crisis. Hopefully next year we can do it again! Thanks!"

We lucked out this November with lots of beautiful weather! Daddy finished the play house with barely enough warm days left to get it painted. The girls went to the store and chose the color they wanted. A bright sunny yellow called "Hawaiian Pineapple". Daddy and the girls pulled into the driveway with the paint cans and the neighbor kids came running. How did they know!
After a few chaotic minutes of letting everyone have a turn, we sent the masses back home so we could actually get some work done and not lost half the paint to the ground and the kids clothes.
 Tommy and Lily were good helpers, but Annie was our master painter. She braved the chilly wind and gave up time with friends to keep painting the little house.
 I forgot to get a picture of the finished product! Annie's reward was a giant warm molasses cookie. WE were testing cookie doughs for the girls' business. They are selling gingerbread and snickerdoodle frozen dough this December to earn money for lift tickets at Kelly Canyon.
 My friend Katie is a photographer and this time of year is crazy for her. Everyone wants to get family pictures done in the fall colors. Katie had a lot of editing to do so we invited her daughter Natalie over for an all day play date with Annie. They girls had a fantastic time together. They made these turkey hats and played Indians and turkeys outside. Natalie and Annie are in the same kindergarten class this year. Katie and I hope they will grow up to be good friends.
 Annie came home from school with this cute turkey hat. She was so proud of it. She planned to wear it for Thanksgiving dinner, but I think she forgot. Tommy had a good potty day. He went pee pee in the potty all on his own. It's not much, but it's a step in the right direction. He always takes things slow and is hesitant to accept change. We hope all the celebrating and positive feedback helped him get more excited about potty.

Jeremy went on a business trip to Salt Lake for a couple of days. While he was gone, the kids cleaned out their toys and clothes and chose items to donate. Our ward Relief Society put together emergency good night bags for children who go to the local family crisis center. The bags had a blanket made by the Relief Society, a stuffed animal donated by children from the ward, books donated by children from the ward, and toothbrush and toothpaste donated by the dentists in our ward. I took the kids with me to the activity where the bags were assembled. Lily and Annie loved helping tie the blankets and stuff the bags. They wished they could see the children who will adopt their old stuffed animals. I am thankful they won't meet those children, and have no idea what most of those little children face. And I am thankful our children want to give and serve. Our ward put together 35 bags that night. Such a cool thing to be involved in.
I recognize some of those little stuffed animal heads poking out of the bags.
 The Activity Days girls in my ward brought me a thank you basket. They wrote me a cute note thanking me for teaching sharing time and serving them in the Primary. The basket was filled with little goodies. Tommy favorite was a can of silly string. He had never seen it before. I told him it was Spider Man webs. He was shooting webs until the can ran out. We had webs all over our table and chairs and the dining area wall. Tommy had so much fun, he didn't even mind helping with the clean up.
 Before we knew it, Thanksgiving week was upon us. Lily and Annie liked getting a break from school. We got to have lots of lazy mornings and snuggles.
 Puna and Papa took us to see Disney's Moana in the theater. It was visually stunning - all the animation of the water and curly dark hair was amazing. But the movie lacked the usual Disney magic. The songs were just ok and the story didn't pull the kids in like Frozen and Tangled did. After the movie we played in the theater lobby. Everyone wanted to be a Troll.
 .......Even Daddy!
It was nice to have a movie where the heroine wasn't fixated on finding love and she worked hard to make her dreams come true. We'll have to give Moana another chance once it's out on video.
 By Thanksgiving Day our tree was full of leaves. Annie and Tommy helped decorate and set the table. Annie even made everyone a place card with their name on it.
 I can't believe I didn't get more pictures. Oh well! It was a wonderful dinner and we had a happy time together as a family.
 Grammy made a fun Thanksgiving Jeopardy game for us. The men totally beat us. They took control of the board with the Football category and never looked back. Great job guys.
 After lots of food and lots of snuggles, Thanksgiving came to an end. We are so glad Grammy and Grampy and Puna and Papa could come to see us and celebrate with us.
 Friday morning we got busy around the house, cleaning up from the day before, Daddy and Grampy built a ski holder in the garage, and we put up all of our Christmas decorations.
 Friday night we made a trip out to Mountain River Ranch for their annual light display. the weather was good. The event was a little more crowded than we prefer, but we were able to get on to a wagon twice without too much of a wait. The rides were shorter this year and there seemed to be less light displays up. But the kids loved it and that's why we went. All the kids said their favorite light display was the little fish "swimming" in the fishing hole.
 The only damper to the night was when a deer jumped out in front of our van. We only hit its head/neck area so there wasn't much damage to our car. But the deer's neck was broken and the police had to come and fill out a report and put the deer down. Jeremy was toying with the idea of bringing the deer home to butcher it. Thankfully he changed his mind and let the officers call a local family that wanted the meat instead. The last thing I wanted was to spend the next four hours cleaning and butchering a deer. I'm glad there was a family who could do it. The girls were a little bit upset about it. But by the morning, everyone was ok again. We're just glad we were all safe and that the damage to the car wasn't too bad.
 I found a tutorial on making paper Christmas trees online. Annie loved it and went to town on Saturday night making trees. She loves to do crafts and this one was fun because we didn't have to buy anything to do it.
 Before bed on Saturday night, Annie asked me to braid her hair so she could have lots of little waves. She liked having all the little braids and it was quick and easy to do her hair the next morning.
 After church on Sunday we went to tithing settlement. This is the first year the girls had anything to declare. They were excited and nervous to get to meet with the bishop. Tommy loved getting lots of chocolate from the bishop. It was a proud parent moment for us to sit with our sweet bishop and talk about why we pay tithing and how much it means. I hope the girls will learn now to always faithfully live that commandment.

Sunday afternoon we had our family gingerbread house building party. Tommy needed Daddy to apply the frosting but Tommy did all the candy on his own. Lily and Annie did everything on their own this year. They surprised us by decorating pretty minimally this year. Mommy loves a house just covered in frosting and candy. I guess I need to get my own if I want one like that.
 Daddy really likes doing these houses. He is a great helper.
 I love our little construction workers!
 And that's the end of November. We are so happy for Lily's choice to be baptized. We are glad we got to be with all of our grandparents for Thanksgiving. We are already counting the days until Christmas. Happy Holidays!