we kick-started our thanksgiving this year with the gifting (and consuming) of many caramel apples! we are so grateful for the many teachers at school and church that work with our kids on a regular basis, so we made a bunch for them. i also made a bunch for the young women that i work with too. when the girls read the tag "you are awesome to the core!" they didn't get the pun and i had to explain it... we all had a good laugh!
because both jack and owen had birthdays recently, it was time for well checks at the doctor. i dont normally make a record of this on the blog, but this particular visit was a sweet one. owen was in heaven when we checked jack out of school an hour early to go with him to the appt and couldn't stop smiling at him the whole time. he had to have jack read him books while we waited, had to sit next to him on the check up table, had to have his BP checked just like jack, and even wanted his shots when he saw jack get his. it was kind of a sweet experience to watch because jack is old enough that it doesn't bother him to have a little sidekick, in fact he enjoys it quite a bit.
one of our favorite holidays around here!
chis and i try not to make a big deal out of the food, but somehow we start talking about our menu a few weeks ahead of time, i start printing off new recipes i want to try (which bugs chris that i would test a new recipe when we have guests), chris researches the best and newest ways to roast/smoke/grill/fry a turkey, and we start cooking 4 days before the big day. id hate to see what we came up with if we DID make a big deal out of it :)
the menu consisted of multiple bottles of sparkling bubbly down the center of the tables, one broken down smoked turkey, one smoked turkey breast, a ham, my homemade rolls, my attempt at making elder buhler's mom's recipe for garlic parmesan rolls, jello, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce (my first time making it.. i hate cranberry sauce). for pies i made chocolate pecan, a chocolate nutella tart with a toasted hazelnut crust and bought a razzleberry and a pumpkin pie.
we had the missionaries over and two guys from the ward that are in residency whose families went home for thanksgiving because the guys were on call. they both made it, so we had a full table! it was great! chris, jack, and the elders had been able to participate in the ward turkey bowl earlier in the day so it was fun to hear about that, along with everyone telling their thanksgiving stories and traditions, during dinner. and owen covered his spot in red jello.
the next few days were filled with relaxing, running errands, playing lots of ball in the yard, and putting up christmas lights!
we stopped at a music store for some stuff and chris took the kids into the piano section so he could reminisce about his days working as a delivery boy at a piano store in idaho falls. he found the most expensive grand there and asked ellie to play a little diddy for us. it was cute and made her happy that he asked her to do it.
because jack is no longer a cub scout he gets to go on the boy scout camp outs. he went with chris a couple weekends ago and one of the other boys had a hammock. jack immediately searched all over fort smith for the perfect hammock with no luck. so he searched on amazon and used his allowance that he's been saving to buy the perfect hammock. the day he received it, he decided he was going to camp overnight on the back porch. he lasted two hours. it was cold.
monday night for fhe we went out to charleston to the christmas tree farm! the kids love this tradition!
we love this little mom and pop farm.
chris' coworker's family owns it and they make it a fun little experience. they have goats, roosters that roam, pigs, sheep and even a friendly dog that runs around the farm. they have a candy cane tree that is hidden in a different spot each year and when you find it, you get to take a candy cane off a branch. they have a pig race between the three pigs, a huge hay mountain to climb on and you can crawl through tunnels under it. they even have hay rides and hot cocoa. its very much a small town, homemade backyard, kinda thing, but its so much fun and become special to the kids.
the kids always fight over who gets to wave the stick once we've found our tree. but they very quickly realize its not as fun as it looks, so i got stuck doing it this year
we always stop at Steffey's Pizza in Lavaca on our way home. the pizza isn't great, but we always seem to be starving, so it gets gobbled up happily.
the kids particularly love that they bring out bottles of ranch for the pizza... owen, ellie, and jack are huge fans. owen started out just dipping his pizza in the ranch, but quickly realized it was more efficient to just squeeze the bottle right on top of his slice.
our house is now dressed up and ready to celebrate this special month ahead!
this tree was particularly sappy and i was covered from head to toe after putting on the lights.
our elf (usually) shows up the day we get our christmas tree and this year was no exception! he's already been getting into all sorts of fun mischief
another tradition that we couldn't wait to start was grandma janie's christmas quilt! the kids look forward to this all year. last night when i got home from young women, owen and charlie were snuggled up together, snoozing under the quilt. heart melter!
we are so excited to start our christmas festivities, especially Light the World. we did this last year also. we would watch the video and read the scripture and service suggestions the night before and then have a prayer asking to have the spirit help us the next day to know what we can do to help serve those around us. it added a wonderful feeling to our month and we are excited to do it again this year, plus a few other service projects that the kids have helped plan. the kids have even invited their teachers at school to Light the World with their families and gave them a passalong card with the info on it. proud of these kids.