Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful for Many Gifts

The kids had the whole week off for Thanksgiving, which meant lots of family time at home. While we really do enjoy the kidlets, the lines about how “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again” definitely resonated by Saturday. All annoyance aside, we are most especially grateful for our precious little ones as we close out November and get ready for Christmas.  

Fergus decided to come back home bright and early on Monday morning. Mike heard the kitty yowling at the back door to get in and, bleary eyed, greeted his furry friend, now much thinner for his two-and-a-half week road trip. His long-distance travels may be at an end for a while, because while he did escape another couple of times this week, he came right back home in time for supper. We may have come to a new status quo. Good thing we don’t live along a bus line.

Mike and Landon found the LEGO Minifigure Family website. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Landon personally styled himself as a stealthy ninja. 

Mike watched Landon make one of his intricate drawings. The kid has an amazing sense of symmetry.

The kids took to the tree in the backyard and used the cat’s leash as a rope swing.

On Thanksgiving, we went to the grandparents’ houses, first a meal at Grandma and Grandpa M.’s and then dessert at Grandma and Grandpa O.’s. We kept the kids occupied with crafts and games. Good work, Uncle Shad!

(We'll have to see whether we ever get copies of the pics he took.)

Hallie had to work at Nautica on the day after Thanksgiving, so Mike and the kids took her to the store, braving the crazy shoppers, before sensibly avoiding any and all stores for the remainder of the day. They went up to Mike’s CLU office while he did some work before they all went over to Mimi’s Café for a late breakfast with Mike’s long-time friend, Grace.

Eliza wanted to make sure Dad saw her new palm-inspired hairdo. 

After spending some time at the park and back on Mike’s campus, we went over to Grandma and Grandpa O’s, where the kids played in the backyard with cousin Haydn. We climbed the hill in the backyard and took in the view.

You can do it! 

Mike grew up with amazing valley vistas like this available right out his bedroom window. The photo doesn't do it justice. So blessed! 

And now for the climb down. 

We waded through even worse crowds to rescue Mom from work, and then got home in time for Dad to get the missionaries tasty local Thai food.

Hallie had to go to work super early on Saturday to get ready for more bargain hunters. She came back during her lunch hour (8:30-9:30 AM – yes, she was up early) to pick the rest of us up so we could all go to the Home Depot for the kids’ building workshop, a bank. We finished building the banks at home after pushing through the masses of holiday shoppers to take Hallie back to work.
First, a visit with Santa in his painted plywood sleigh at the hardware store

The kids helped Dad make chicken stock and begin decorating the house for Christmas. We have knick-knacks and garlands up, but we’re waiting on the tree until Grandma Liz gets back home from Idaho and we decide whether to borrow her family’s tree, which is better sized for the high ceiling in the front room. In the meantime, the stockings are hung by the chimney (!) with care. Now we just need a cold snap to justify turning on the fireplace and really set the mood.

Then we got Hallie again and, after eating a late lunch of Thanksgiving leftovers, spent the remainder of the day at home attempting to get the kids to tidy up. We finally gave up and watched some vaguely Christmas-themed TV. Ho, ho, ho.

Sunday morning dawned cloudy, then it began to rain. Perhaps we’ll get to use the fireplace sooner than we thought. Hallie went to choir practice, and the kids played in the rain before we went to church. We’re counting the days before Diamond comes down for Christmas, and we are getting into the spirit of the yuletide season, which means we’re dreaming of a green and balmy Christmas. The Church produced a video for the season that helps us remember what Christmas is all about, and we are grateful to #sharethegift with you:

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