Friday, November 23, 2012

The End?

As I went to publish my last entry before sending this year's blogs to print, I was confronted with an ugly message from Blogger, "Oops! You've reached the image limit and cannot upload any more pictures to Blogger" (without paying a monthly fee). So I don't know what I'm going to do. I guess the book will be without Thanksgiving pictures this year.

But it was a great Thanksgiving. Jana, Alan, Amber, Mom, Dad, and Michael Finelli came to our place. Mom and Dad showed up a little early to help me get things set up and ready for the 1:00 Thanksgiving dinner. It was really enjoyable, and made such a difference having extra hands to help. Once everyone was served, Colin read for us George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation. We then went around the table and said what we were grateful for. And I quizzed everyone on some basic Thanksgiving facts.

After dinner, some of the men went downstairs to catch a little of the football game. Monopoly was going on upstairs with both grandmas and the kids. Once Chad showed up, he was the enforcer of the rules. He likes to know the rules and to be sure everyone is playing by them. Ha ha! One day our children will realize how lucky they are that they get both sets of grandparents to spend Thanksgiving with all together. Pretty great that the grandmas sit around, laughing and playing together with them. Makes it extra-special.

We so miss those family members who are far away: Chris and Gabby; Doug and Rachel, Theron, Grant, Kate, Paige, and Juliette; Blake and Maren, Braden, Brody, and Hunter. We're comforted in knowing they all are happy and well. Our family is wonderful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Disney on Ice

For Mira's sixth birthday, Mom and Dad bought 4 tickets to Disney on Ice. Dad suggested we make a girls' day out of it by having me go in his place. Thank you! This was a much anticipated event by the girls. Although Mira doesn't have any solid ideas for birthday gifts, this was just something extra-special and girlie to make a birthday one to be remembered.
 We couldn't believe the seats we got. Front and center. Talk about spoiled! It was exciting being so close. Ella and Mira were enthralled the entire time. I particularly enjoyed being close enough to watch the skaters, see their faces, and watch their chests heave at the end of a song. They worked so hard and made it look so smooth.
 Special day with Grandma.
The costuming, set design, and choreography were amazing, as anything Disney is. I was so impressed.

 Just look at the look on this girl's face. I'd brought a couple of treats for the girls, and this lollipop looked so Disney to me, it was fun watching Ella work on it all during the performance.
 One happy birthday girl!
 Ella barely putting a dent in that huge thing.
 Me and my girl:
 Mom wanted to treat us to something special afterwards, and she suggested "The Chocolate," a dessert cafe that recently opened up in West Jordan. Mom got a German chocolate cupcake, Ella got a double chocolate cupcake, Mira got a chocolate chip cookie, and I got a turtle brownie (unanimously agreed to be the best dessert purchased). Mira wanted to do some birthday planning talk. She's firm on having a gymnastics birthday party. Yikes! Now I've got to get on my A-game and do some planning!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Whole Lotta Lispin' Goin' on

Ella's had these two front teeth crazy-wiggly for weeks and weeks. From the looks of it, she's one of the last in her 2nd grade class to lose these. She's been nervous about getting them out. We've encouraged her to do her part to loosen them up, and she has, but it just needed more help to get out. And we didn't want to fork out $200 to get these two out like we had to do with the bottom two. She decided we could try the "tie your tooth to the doorknob and slam it shut" method, but the string slipped right off. As did the pliers. The only way was going to be brute force. A few twists and tugs by Mom, and it was out. (One key with working through things like this with her is to act like you have all the time in the world. There is no rush. Try hurrying her along and you won't get anywhere.) She screamed when she saw all the blood, but was relieved it was out and very happy about her new look. She's discovered a few funny things about missing her front tooth: she cannot whistle and she has a little lisp. She was looking forward to going to class today to give her friends a big smile and ask, "Notice anything different?"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Fun

Halloween day had been anticipated for quite some time. Especially since the kids began to suspect that Grandma and Grandpa were going to get their costumes. This was after much questioning from Grandpa about what they wanted to be for Halloween. Mira had wanted to be Fancy Nancy last year, but it never happened. This was her year! Grandma took her out and went crazy. Look at that getup. Doesn't get any cuter! She felt pretty special.
 Ella had asked to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings, after Micah had encouraed her to do so in order to match his costume. Well, she got what she asked for, but then the day arrived and she just really wanted to be something a little more Halloween-y. So here she is in my graduation robe with fake blood on her face. She was happy, although none of us knew what she was.
 Masks are banned from school, so Colin's screamer mask had to wait for trick-or-treating. Instead, he asked me to paint his face. He went with it.
 And Micah was most excited about his costume. He'd been wanting to be Frodo Baggins for a really long time. He's been growing out his hair for just this purpose (although he likes it and will want it to stay longer now). Look at those feet. Aren't they great? He even had the elfin ears to go with it.
 I tried to get a quick picture of everyone outside of school. Tried.
 At the Halloween parade, Matthew kept himself busy by being flipped, held upside down, and snuggled. He was patient.
 Let's get this show on the road.
 The parade was great. All the kids were so cute. It's fun to see all the different costumes. And the teachers dressed up too. We ended up in Mira's classroom so Chad could help out with her class party. Matthew kept entertained with the magnetic letters.
 Here's Mira at her orange table with her little friends. Kindergarteners are adorable!
 She had a lot of fun with the games. Even shared some of her donut with Matthew.
 Later that afternoon, I returned to school to help with Micah's class party. The moms who volunteered came up with some fun games. The kids were all smiles. At the end of the stations I read them Jerry Seinfeld's "Halloween." The kids thought it was pretty funny. Pumpkin bean bag toss:
 Cupcake decorating/spider cookies (There's Micah at the back):
 Bingo:
 Relay races:
 Now, down to the good stuff. Trick-or-treating! Matthew finally allowed me to put on his Elmo costume. This was only after I told him he couldn't go get candy if he wasn't dressed up. Once he got that message, he was okay with the costume.

 Ella got her Arwen costume on, after much difficulty with the wig. (Ultra-sensitve head with bobby pins.) Finally she was happy with the result and we called it good.

 Happy day!
 So glad that Michael called us and asked if he could join us this evening. I think he was missing his niece and nephew today. He had gone to his classes today and was the only person dressed up in a class of 300 people. He was bummed about the lack of enthusiasm, I think. So he was getting his fix here. I'd made white chicken chili and cornbread to fill up before we loaded up on the junk.
 Grandpa stayed back to hand out candy while Grandma and Michael came with us trick-or-treating. I need to buy more candy next year! We had more trick-or-treaters come through than last and I ran out at 7:30. Luckily it was a school night and I think most kids were wrapping it up soon after. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for the costumes. It was a memorable Halloween spending it with you all!

Toward the end of the evening, we were talking together about the Jazz tickets Chad still had. Apparently, Chad could see in Michael's eyes that he really wanted to go, but didn't have someone to go with. Kind-hearted Chad, not one to leave somone in the lurch, offered himself as a partner to the game. Sacrifice is what it's all about. Right, Chad? :) So Mom and I wrapped up trick-or-treating with the younger ones. Colin and Micah were out with Orion and Pheonix and didn't get back til 9:15. The girls and I watched Addams Family and ate candy. The boys say they were the last ones out. I let them stay up and eat some of their candy and watch a movie. They didn't get to bed until 10:45. Too bad it's a school night!