Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful Leaves

Our first Thanksgiving visitors arrived Monday!  Lena and Mike were here for a few hours, then left after dinner for an anniversary getaway. It was their first time since having kids that they have been away together! That night we had FHE with 12 kids (Lena and Mike have seven kids).  Clark was "spotlight" that night and he played the baritone for us. 
Nov 24 2014 (10)

For part of the FHE lesson we each wrote on three leaves things for we were grateful. 
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The kids seemed to enjoy it.  We've done this the past couple of years.  My friend Melissa puts up leaves on a cute tree. Once or twice we hot glued leaves onto tree branches.  This year I bought some blue tacky stuff and we stuck them on a blank wall we have in our dining room.
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Nov 24 2014

We had no-bake oatmeal cookies for treat.
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It was fun reading what the kids were thankful for.  Lee and I practically wrote the same thing without knowing--we wrote each other, our kids, and the temple (Lee did write more).  Some things the kids were grateful for were pigs, paper, Minecraft, cousins, my life, Jesus Christ, food, siblings, my family, my body, etc.  I often reflect about my blessings, but I love times when there is more focus on it. 

The first day of having Lena and Mike's kids here Alyssa and I baked pies.  I had the shells all done and in pans, which I had done a couple weeks back.  And a while ago I had rolled out some pie dough crusts and stuck them in the freezer, not in pie pans.  I used that for the topping on the berry pies. We make quick work of the pies and did 15 of them.  One of the pies was a chocolate pudding pie.  Not a very exciting pie but it was one of the first ones gone on Thanksgiving day.
Nov 25 2014

Lena and Mike were able to go on their get-away for two days.  It sounded like they had a great time. Their kids seemed to have a good time while they were here.  Lillie, their youngest, wasn't too happy with me but loved her sister Kirsten.  Kirsten was awesome and took care of Lillie for hours on Tuesday when Alyssa and I finished the pies and I finished up getting ready for more company to show up.  Glad you could have a get-away Lena and Mike!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Touch-Up & Outings

Wow, Thanksgiving is this week!  Are you ready for the big day?  Last week was pretty busy for us and we weren't going to have a night available for a date.  Lee and I went to the community center for a lunch date.  We played pool, and ping-pong too. After arriving home we ate some leftover cheesecake from Young Women in Excellence.
Nov 20 2014 Date

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In addition to lots of food prep, I have been getting the house ready too.  The hall closet and computer desk were especially messy.  I love the idea I found on some blogs (iheartorganizing and thirftydecorchic) to empty out the space, put back what you want and get rid of what you don't need.  Too bad I didn't take a picture of the coat closet stuff on the ground.  I was bewildered myself that so much stuff was on our little coat closet! This is of the computer desk clean-out.
Nov 20 2014

I bought a new tube of caulking and did some of that last week.  I also received a sweet letter from my niece! 
Nov 21 2014 letter from Jessica Bartholomew

One of the young women from church was in the play "School House Rocks".  She and the whole cast did a great job. I took the girls with me and we made it a special date.
Nov 20 2014 School House Rocks Play Alisha Hunsaker

Later, after getting Lee and Clark (Cal and Elden too) from Scouts we all headed to Target.  I bet you are SO surprised that there was a Frozen backdrop amongst all the Frozen merchandise clothing.
Nov 20 2014 Target

I have been thinking about painting this chair for awhile.  I finally did it!  Friday night I did the primer.  I have one more coat of paint to go and it will be done!
Nov 22 2014 (2)

I recently found out about placemat pillows.  So cool!  Here is the link if you're interested:
I bought this placemat from Target.
Nov 22 2014

A bit of holiday decor!  The pillow cost me a total of about $6.50!
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We enjoyed going to the temple last Saturday.  It was the 40th year of its dedication too!
Nov 22 2014 Lee and Ruth DC Temple 40th anniversary

Saturday afternoon I went shopping with my girls and three other nieces. It was fun having them come! I stocked up on holiday goodies at Trader Joe's...YUM!
Nov 22 2014 Shopping

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It was so cute hearing them sing in the van together!
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Haley took a picture of a robot that Cal built.
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Sunday night Lee made lava cakes for ALL of us! Delicious.  He made eight so Lee and I split one.  Yummy!
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And lastly, Cal volunteered to help Elden unload the dishwasher so he could play with him.  So cute. 
Nov 23 2014 Cal helping Elden with dishwasher

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Long Ago Night 2014

Every year the elementary school does a "Long Ago Night".  The kids get to participate in crafts and activities that people would do....long ago! They always enjoy this night.
Nov 18 2014 Long Ago Night

Feather quill and ink writing.
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Ice cream churning.
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Cow milking.
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Corn....something.  It takes the dried kernels off the cob.
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Butter churning.
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Taste testing!
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Applesauce making.
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Slate writing.
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Minecraft.  How appropriate!
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Shanna and Elden showed me their picture on the board.  They were chosen for having good character.
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The long-houses the 2nd graders made.
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Nov 23 2014

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We even went outside into a tee-pee. 
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Wool spinning.
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Oh, and turkey roasting.  But that was at home.  We are doing two turkeys for Thanksgiving.  And this one is already deboned and awaiting its grand appearance in a dish on Thanksgiving day.
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Monday, November 24, 2014


I seriously can't believe it's November, and with the holidays starting this week!  Wow!  This year has flown by.  Here are some pictures of this and that for you to enjoy.

My kids love going to ACE Hardware with me. 
Nov 1 2014

I love seeing these low gas prices!  They are at $2.49 now!  Maybe even lower...
Nov 2 2014

Lee and I went and voted on election day.  We had the opportunity to vote for a new mayor.  (Maybe that happens every election day and I am just clueless?)  It was crazy, sad really, how many votes there were for the mayor.  There are a few thousand people in this town--not much more--but only about 700 or so people voted!  So sad. We are so blessed to live in this county.  Voting is a great way to show that we care!
Nov 4 2014 (2)

There is a hitching post at Sharp Shopper.  I think this is only the second time I've seen a horse and buggy there.  It's always fun seeing this.  Especially after reading so many Beverly Lewis' books.  I love her books....
Nov 4 2014

Shanna and I went on a date one night.  She used her own money for part of it and bought a kids' meal.  Later I bought her an ice cream cone.
Nov 5 2014 (2)

We have a great little community center here, and just this month we bought a one-month family pass.  The kids love going there, though logistically we only take them one or two at a time.  Shanna and I went there for our date too.  We played air hockey and then pool.
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Something you may not know about me, but I love mailing packages!  I had fun putting together a little package for my niece.  I knew it was here birthday, but I didn't know till the actual day of that it was her 16th birthday!  Great time on my part, I must say.
Nov 5 2014

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year.  Though it won't be at my house...not sure how to sit 41 people will be at my church building.  I have been getting ready for it for a few weeks now. And I am SO glad I did!  I've prerolled and frozen pie crusts before, and I did it again this year.  These I did on November 6th. I did 13 of them, I think. I actually wasn't very happy with the dough.  There was a lot of patching going on.  Oh well.
Nov 6 2014

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All wrapped up and ready to freeze! 
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The first Friday of almost every month, the local children's museum has a free evening.  The kids and I went over. Some of them have been asking for awhile to go.
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Clark and Cal had fun with the Keva planks. Yes, they built the whole thing!
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Nov 7 2014

As soon as we walked into the museum I saw my friend Jenny.  After finding out that her husband was out of town I invited them to join us for pizza.  We planned to go to the church and eat pizza and play kick ball, and it was fun that they joined us!  We also saw our friend Brittany there.  She and her family were helping to clean the church that night. 

On a Saturday morning Lee made German Pancakes....a huge favorite around here.  It was fun using the blueberry syrup that Lois bought for me in Maine!
Nov 8 2014

It seems like the kids would rather sleep anywhere, just not their bed! She looks comfortable enough, but she is crammed into one of those plastic bins.  Lee put her in bed later.
Nov 9 2014

And surprise, surprise, I went on yet another field trip! Cal and I (and the 4th grade class) went to a discovery/children's museum in Roanoke, Virginia.  Cal was able to participate in a variety of things, which was fun.
Nov 11 2014 Roanoke Field Trip

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I've doomed my children.  They love long as there is ranch to go with them!
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The 4th graders made a bouncy ball too.
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Nov 11 2014 Roanoke Field Trip (8)

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And some more Thanksgiving prep....twice baked potatoes!
Nov 11 2014

Nov 11 2014

On a Wednesday night a friend from church showed the young women in our ward (congregation) how to decorate cupcakes.  It was so fun!
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Thanks to Lee's donation to the Race for Education, Cal went on a fun limo ride to lunch with the principal and some other students.  He really enjoyed it.  Who wouldn't?!
Nov 13 2014 Cal Limo Ride and lunch

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As I was delivering copies one afternoon at the elementary school I spotted these grateful signs.  I love the "I am thankful for God."
Nov 13 2014

One Saturday we "helped" our friend Janet rake some leaves. She has a gorgeous backyard with lots of tree.  We have a tiny yard with one tree.  I asked her if we could come and help rake.  I think it's a great thing for kids to do.  She of course willing obliged.  We had a great time!
Nov 15 2014 Raking at Janet Puffenbarger

The big pile waiting to be jumped in!
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It was funny seeing them dive into the leaves.
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Janet made us some delicious chocolate oatmeal cookies and homemade hot chocolate.  YUM!  We should go rake leaves more often!  She is so sweet and the kids were commenting on the way home how nice she is.  She made it a very fun afternoon!
Nov 15 2014 Raking at Janet Puffenbarger (5)

A little while after raking leaves we went to the play "Oliver Twist".  It was only 45 minutes long, had two actors and was written for children.  I really liked it and the two young ladies did a fabulous job. (And it was free!)  I hope this company decides to come back again next year to perform another play!
Nov 15 2014 (3)

So several weeks ago I made some strawberry smoothies.  The blender sounded really weird.  I didn't know why and just kept on blending.  Well, I also couldn't find the funnel that goes in the lid to keep the liquid from spraying all over.  As we started drinking the smoothies we found these shards of glass. What?!  But on further inspection, they weren't glass.  They were plastic.  Then in dawned on me that I blended up the funnel!  Well, I have a good blender!  I ordered a new funnel and it arrived.  Hopefully I don't blend this one up!
Nov 15 2014

Another prep item I did was make gingerbread houses.  Well, bake the dough and cut out the houses.
Nov 14 2014 (2)

I made 40 houses this year.  I initially made a septuple (x7) batch, but I didn't roll some of the dough thin enough.  And right at the end ending up making the 8th and final batch of gingerbread.  I made sure and rolled this stuff thinner.
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And at the end, I figured out a good pattern for cutting the gingerbread!  I have 4 complete, small houses here.
Nov 14 2014

Something else you most likely don't know, is that I've had our Christmas card all printed by about October 17th.  I had a coupon I wanted to use, so jumped on it and did the Chirstmas cards in October. Last week I addressed them and stamped them.  The girls had fun helping with the stamps.
Nov 16 2014

Here is our front porch in a desperate need of a makeover.  We have the guy to do the work all lined up, but we don't have any materials. We've been having some road blocks to getting new siding.  I was really hoping for the porch renovation to be done by for Thanksgiving.  Maybe we'll get it done before Christmas?Nov 17 2014 (2)