Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving, Mira's Bday, St. George

We spent Thanksgiving with the Barnett side this year. It was held at a church in Layton. Janna and Alan had prepared a bunch of wooden snowmen for families to decorate and take home. Dinner was yummy. I appreciated Uncle Dale's smoked turkey he brought again this year--delicious! Matthew filled up of turkey, rolls, Jell-O, and pumpkin pie. Immediately after dinner, we drove down to St. George. Mom and Dad were in Texas, helping Chris and Gabby with Eva since Gabby had surgery to remove a tumor. (Benign, thank goodness.) 
 We got to celebrate Mira's 9th birthday at Grandma and Grandpa's house. She got chocolate cake with sherbet and mint chip ice cream. She is my girl who is happy to change plans to make others happy. When the kids heard her request play-doh ice cream, the protests prompted her to ask what everyone else wanted. Ella asked for mint chip, and the others wanted sherbet. She happily acquiesced. Her gift was a tumbling mat. It folds out and she can do her tricks on it. She was pretty happy about that!
 Matt enjoying his ice cream.
 We all went to the Anasazi Trailhead in Ivins. When the kids learned of our plans they immediately asked, "Is this a hike?" to which we replied in the affirmative. The moans and groans! Well, once we got on the trail, the boys and Chad forged ahead while the girls took their sweet time collecting rocks they deemed beautiful. My favorite quote from this hike was Ella's declaration: Rocks are cool to collect!
 What pretty scenery. Pictures don't do it justice. The contrast of the blue sky, red plateaus, and green vegetation is impressive.
 Important work going on here:
 Some of Ella's finds:
 And the funny thing is, once we arrived at the petroglyphs, the kids were in heaven! In fact, Colin told us this was one of his favorite hikes. He loves being free to roam and discover things on his own without restriction. The amount of petroglyphs really was impressive! Amazing that they are still in such good condition. Makes one wonder what the meanings of them are. Some are rather bizarre-looking.

 Matthew, our little mountain goat. He made us nervous with the way he'd skip around the rocks and get close to the edge. Here's a funny Matthew-ism: "What's the point of you guys?!"
  That afternoon we went to Snow Canyon where we played a little Frisbee, the kids ran around in the sand, Chad and I went for a stroll, and we attempted to make it 'til dark to watch the stars come out. Ella and Chad were the only ones who actually made it to watch the stars. The rest of us wimped out because of the cold. But Ella told Chad how beautiful it was. She had been so excited to see the stars. We will have to make a point of doing it again when it's summertime.
 As we headed out of town, we stopped at Pioneer Park. But this time we visited a new spot: the gardens. This was so pretty! Colin stayed in the car and worked on homework. I finally went back to retrieve him. It was worth it.
 We climbed around. Started to play a game of hide-and-seek, but Matthew took a tumble. He loves scrambling around the rocks, just doesn't quite understand to exercise more caution.
 Ella loves these good spots for climbing.

 Silly Ella, bored on the way home. The drive home was kind of brutal. What normally takes 4 hours took us 5 1/2 hours that night. The holiday traffic and snow really slowed everyone down. Chad drove and I was pinned in the backseat between Ella and Matt. We survived, even though rather stiff.
Happy Birthday to our Mira! What is she up to and what is she like these days?
*She loves tumbling! Loves to stretch and practice her tricks.
*She is the little mother. She takes good care of Matthew, even though they sometimes get in tiffs.
*Her teacher, Mme Louk, says she wishes she could clone Mira because she is such a great student. Very attentive and a hard worker.
*Ella has told us how Mira's French is really good.
*Mira loves to help without being asked. She will pitch in many times just because she sees the need. And she'll often ask if she can help me. It warms my heart.
*She loves to laugh. And I love to hear her laugh.
*She has been spending more time in books lately. She's been reading the Ever After High series, which she can't get enough of.
*She had a goal to work on her times tables to get them down really well. She'd put in time everyday working on them.
*She loves to keep her room tidy. It drives her nuts sometimes, sharing a room that can't always be in order as she'd like it.
*Fashion is fun! Mira loves a cute, girly outfit.
*Mira is wanting to grow out her bob haircut. She wants to be able to do more with her hair, like she sees Ella does sometimes.
*Mira just did her standing back tuck for the first time. She was stoked!

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