Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Memory Making in Spokane

Singing Christmas carols with cousins.  Bethany, Talitha, and Julia are such sweethearts and had such lovely voices together.
They do get a wee bit silly together.  On a car ride today they were discussing all attractive Hollywood actors named "Chris".  Let's see, there's Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt... This conversation was funny to me, but downright disturbing for Abe.  It does make me think there will be a boom in baby boys named Chris soon.
Cousins are THE BEST!
And Clark had his first date today! 
No, just kidding.  That's a little twisted.  These cousins had what you might call a practice date.  They went to a movie, just the two of them.  But maybe in the coming years they can set each other up on double dates when they visit each other.
Cannon, the pool shark.  He and Abe have been playing a lot of pool this week and Cannon likes to talk a lot of trash about whooping up on his dad. 
Elinor and Annie holed up in the playroom to watch Pirates of the Caribbean.  Haven't see a lot of Els on this trip yet.
Georgie was really looking forward to playing in Grandma and Grandpa's sandbox, but sadly it was cold and wet outside this morning, so he had to settle for hippity-hops in the garage.
Action packed!
A lunch date at HayJ's Bistro was delish.  We went there a couple of years ago and I have been dreaming of the meal I had ever since.  We tried to go last year, but it was closed on the Fourth of July when we tried to go.  Today, my craving was satisfied.
We had a really nice time catching up with Jesse and Amy.  Siblings are a blessing when we're children, but what a joy it is to have warm relationships with siblings as adults. 

Today we also took an enjoyable trip to Costco with Grandpa and George and Faith to stock up on food for the week and Thanksgiving.  Then Abe and I actually sat down and watched an entire movie together.  A whole movie with no interruptions.  Sad that I cannot remember doing that for the last several months.  We watched Edge of Tomorrow.  Too much action for my taste, but I did enjoy being with Abe and sitting still for that long.  Tomorrow I think we'll watch more movies.  How ambitious of us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spokane for Thanksgiving 2014

And we're here.
We enjoyed a safe, clear day of driving to Spokane to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with Abe's family.  It gets dark at least a full half hour earlier here than it does at home so by the time we rolled in at 4:30 is was quite dark already.  We were on the road before the sun came up and didn't get in until the sun was down, but even still it felt like one of our quicker drives here.  Maybe Abe's speeding ticket in Montana had something to do with it.
We always feel so loved and welcomed when we get here.
There are some toys that are always the first to come out of the playroom.
Faith and Cannon went right to the air hockey table.
Thank you, Cannon, for that lovely expression.
Two "Jolley Foxes".  They both have the middle name of Jolley and last name of Fox.
Abe and his just younger brother Jesse.  Jesse is holding his nephew named partly after him-- Peter Jesse Fox.
Clark and his closest cousin, Alexis.  They are both into speech and debate, so we're hoping for a sparring showdown later this week.
My wonderful sister-in-law Amy.  I swear she gets younger and lovelier each time I see her.  I think I'll stop having my picture taken with her.
George and cousin, Asher.  They played so well together-- even if they do both look a little drunk in this picture.
Cannon and John.  John is a couple years older than Cannon, but Cannon LOVES him.  I was embarrassing John by telling him that he is getting handsomer each time I see him.  Cannon overheard this compliment, and feeling a little threatened, he said, "Mom, what about my hair compared to John's face?"  We all had a good laugh teasing the boys about morphing them together into one super handsome boy that would cause the girls to faint when they saw him.

We're so glad to be here and looking forward to a week of family, relaxation, overindulgence in media, overeating and spending time together.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ice Skating and November Happenings

Elinor is part of a "Little Women" girls' club.  The girls read the book "Little Women" and do literary and other fun activities connected to the book.  Friday night was ice skating night.  Both Bethany and Elinor were very good on the ice-- when did they learn to ice skate so well?
The younger siblings were all brave and tried out ice skating for the first time.   Even little George strapped on skates.  Abe was working Friday evening, so I was super brave and took the gang by my lonesome.
Cannon was fairly cautious and took things nice and slow, but eventually he let go of the wall and was able to skate on his own.
Faith was great fun to watch.  She got the hang of it quickly and was a speedy little thing.  She was practically running around the rink.
George did pretty well when one person held his hand.
But when two people held his hands, he just liked sliding along and saying how fast he was.
Side note:  George's pants were on backwards.  I knew it.  I knew it all day and did nothing about it.
Cute little women.  These three gals were all on a FIRST Lego League team together last year.  This year they are doing a different robotics competition.  It's called Sea-Perch and it's sponsored by the U.S. Navy (as I understand it).  They built and compete with an underwater robot.  Is it more useful than underwater basket-weaving?  That remains to be seen.
The whole group.  Ice skating was a success and I think we'll go again this winter.
Another fun thing this week was an Activity Days talent show.  This was for both Elinor's and Faith's age groups combined.  Faith played a piano piece.
Elinor demonstrated her alligator robot and had Katelyn activate the motion sensor she programmed.  It was fun to hear all the girls react when the alligator's mouth clamped shut.
Crummy picture quality, but Abe and Elinor enjoyed a rock concert Thursday night at the Young's home.  Dave (far left) is part of our homeschool family book club and he is the drummer in a great band called "Contagious".   I've heard them before and they cover really great rock and roll songs and do some original songs as well.  Lucky Abe and Elinor!  I spent the evening at a Stake Relief Society Leadership Training meeting.

That was good too.
 One of our wonderful neighborhood homeschool families hosted a Thanksgiving party this past week. She planned darling age appropriate crafts that the kids could do by themselves. Smart, very smart.  Here are Georgie and me in Indian headdress and Pilgrim bonnet.
 Well, it was fun while it lasted.  Clark came home from seminary on Monday and said he was ready for a haircut.  I tried to play it cool and not celebrate too loudly.  I did however tell him to grab his coat and get in the car--we were going to Great Clips immediately!
I usually cut his hair myself, but this felt a little out of my completely untrained league, and if he regretted it I didn't want to shoulder any of the blame.  As it is, he likes the shorter hair and his wild pirate hair will live on in infamy in our family pictures.
And last but not least, I did something I've been needing to do for a long time, but just recently realized I needed to do.  We created a computer work station in our family room.  We used our laptops a lot, but usually just take them all over the house.  I felt they were enduring too much wear and tear and they needed a stabler home.  Additionally, with more people using them more often, it is harder for me to keep tabs on who is using them and what they are doing on them.  We needed a more central, permanent location.  Enter a trip to IKEA and TA-DA!  Instant computer lab!  It's worked out quite nicely thus far.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More Family Photos

He might like you to think he is a serious, no nonsense, tough guy.
Truthfully, he kind of is.  But occasionally we get to see this.  And I can't tell you how happy it makes me.
I suppose no teenage boy is impressed with his mother's opinion of his good looks.  Even so, I think he's so handsome.
To all my Cannon family-- do you recognize that smile?  I see a resemblance to many men in the Cannon family.
And he is a lover of nature.  A genuine tree-hugger.
Clark had four younger sisters before Cannon came along.  But if you ask Clark now, it was well worth the wait.  They are very close.  Cannon is granted privileges to Clark's room and belongings no one else enjoys.  Clark gave Cannon all his Legos.  Cannon gets to hang out with Clark and his friends.  In return, Cannon gives Clark back rubs, does all his bidding and and generally worships all things Clark.  I don't think I've ever heard a cross word spoken between them.  I'm afraid Cannon will have a pretty rough go of it when Clark leaves in his mission in less than three years.
I think Clark pulls off the smoldering "Blue Steel" a little better than Cannon.
Cannon is a pretty popular guy with the whole family.  Here are Bethany and Cannon trying to take a serious picture.  Probably not the best look for anyone in our family.
 Everyone wanted a picture with Cannon.  I think it was his hair.
Variation is good.  Here is another very sweet pairing. 

The Many Faces of George

George regularly make really funny facial expressions at home.  I was so glad that came through during his photo shoot.
Classic George.  Total avoidance of eye contact with the camera.
Getting warmed up.

Friday, November 14, 2014

November Kids' Book Club

Kind of a weird picture, but I like it.  

Faith and Cannon up on the roof last weekend helping Abe hang Christmas lights before the weather turned cold.  This is precisely why kids need a mom and a dad.  I would never let kids on the roof on my watch.  Waaaay too dangerous.  Except that a little danger is good and dads seem to be better at encouraging, or at least letting, kids experience appropriate danger.  They are stronger and braver for it.
We had a fun kid's book club this week.  We discussed The Family Under the Bridge and for our snack we had sauerkraut and wieners.  This is the group that was brave enough to try sauerkraut.  Well except for Cannon who is photo-bombing.  You can see from the picture who liked it and who did not.  I suppose the boys taste buds are not as sensitive as the girls.
We went outside to draw our dream houses with sidewalk chalk.
I didn't realize a big front walk was so important to Cannon.
 George doesn't ask for much in his future dream house.
Elinor's was really the most interesting because hers was more of a blueprint.  If I remember correctly, there was an enormous library, a gourmet kitchen, a science lab and a gymnasium.  Way to do your own thing, Els!
My all time favorite childhood game-- raking leaves into "houses".  I'm so happy it lives on.  We don't have a lot on the schedule tomorrow.  If we can get Peter to take a nap, I may need to go rake some leaf houses in my front yard.  And then have some hot chocolate.  Doesn't that sound like fun!