Monday, December 26, 2016

Thanksgiving, Brennan's birthday, and anniversary weekend

Thanksgiving weekend is always a busy time for us. Brennan turned 10 this year!  

He was so excited to get a new fleece blanket. He got one just like this from his primary leaders when he was baptized to symbolize the Holy Ghost being a comforter, and he accidently left it at a hotel. He's wanted another one ever since.

He grew out of his old leather jacket, so we gave him a new one. He loves it.

 And finally, he got a lightweight backpacking hammock! He was thrilled.

We went to Kristen's house for his family birthday party. The apple pie was store-bought, and it wasn't nearly as good as homemade, but at least we had really good ice cream to go with it. We wanted to have everyone at our house, but it was just too crowded and messy from the flood. I'm sorry I couldn't bake you a cake, Brennan. I promise I'll make you any dessert you want when the kitchen is finished!

The kids were off school a whole week for Thanksgiving. Fun crafts, Levi!

For the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went on a 5-mile family hike in the rain. It was really fun!!

There was actually water in the creeks (even more on our way home from the rain), and Levi and Chloe played in every creek crossing. 

Tyler listened to Jane Eyre on the hike, since he waited until the end of the break to read it.

The whole reason we went on the hike was for Dallin's 1st class requirement in Boy Scouts. He had to use a map and compass.

We were going to go to Jamba Juice, but we were too cold for that. So we went to Cider Creek Bakery instead and got breakfast with hot chocolate 

We were quite a site in our soaking wet clothes. We got a lot of stares!

For Brennan's birthday dinner, he requested a Chinese buffet. The food was okay, but the whole experience was hilarious! 

Brennan had his first cavity filled right after his birthday. Here's his crooked half-numb face smile at Jamba Juice. 

We went to Windows on the Water for our anniversary dinner, and it was absolutely wonderful. We requested our favorite corner window table and got there just in time to watch the sun set behind the rock. I told Dave it's too bad we didn't get married before daylight saving ended, 18 years ago. As always, the food was incredible. Plus they gave us a cute dessert. If it weren't so expensive, we'd go there more than once a year!

 We got family pictures taken for our Christmas cards. I love these ones of the two of us!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trimming the tree

It rained the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We love rainy days around here!! It was a perfect day to stay home and decorate the tree.

Well actually we went on a 5 mile family hike that morning for one of Dallin's Boy Scout requirements; then we came home, changed out of our wet clothes, and trimmed the tree.

It actually took a while before we could decorate it; first we had to take off all the lights that came on the tree, since half of them were burned out. There were tons of strings (it was a well-lit tree!), and they were tightly wrapped around each branch. We've had this tree for years! We love it and we didn't want to get rid of it.

Taking time out to read the little book ornaments.

Some of our ornaments were ruined in the flood. That was sad. At least they were mostly the homemade baked variety, like the cinnamon gingerbread men. We can make more next year.

Chloe has done a much better job of leaving the ornaments alone this year. She played with them constantly last year.

Tyler couldn't believe how much the tree shrank this year! He seems so big all of a sudden.

Brennan and Levi are both really into doing thumbs up in all their pictures these days.


 Cool silhouette!

It was Spencer's turn to put the star on the tree this year. Although he can reach the top on his own, they thought it would be funny if he climbed on dad to get up there. For old time's sake. Next year is Tyler's turn!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving was a little different this year. Without a kitchen, I wasn't able to cook a turkey or make my usual sides - sweet potato souffle, cranberry relish, pies, etc. But I bought frozen pies (my oven was still working at that point) and baked rolls from frozen bread dough. That was a little tricky because I didn't have counters to put the rolls on to rise. But it worked out, and dinner was delicious. Thank goodness for family nearby! The day before Thanksgiving, Dave got off work early and we went to the beach. The kids were off school all week, which was awesome.

We went to Morro Bay, and it was wonderful. Lots of sun and not much wind!

As usual, it had great boogie-boarding waves.

I love sand pipers! If you've seen Finding Dory, there's a really fun short at the beginning with these cute little guys. It even takes place in Morro Bay!

Spencer had just gotten home from a 4-day school science thing at Santa Cruz Island. He loved it!

Tyler spent most of the time detangling seaweed and playing with them.

Of course Dave packed the frisbee. That's his favorite beach activity.

Check out these cool frisbee-catching pictures.

Tyler made a seaweed instrument, complete with finger holes.

He also made a seaweed telephone.

It got chilly as the sun went down. Luckily we made sure the little ones had a change of clothes.

We stayed and enjoyed a beautiful sunset. 

Tsss! Afterwards we went to dinner at Great American Fish Company. One good thing about our house flood is that our insurance company is paying for us to eat out all our meals. We ordered a few big seafood combo platters, which everyone loved! Except the oysters, of course. Only a couple of the kids liked those. It was a really fun day!