Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This will be primarily a picture post. We did NOT host our annual Halloween party this year due to scheduling conflicts. We trick-or-treated in the neighborhood with the Knouses and then had our usual Halloween dinner, with one minor change. Instead of making stew this year, I used the cheddar broccoli soup I had purchased through a school fundraiser. It was delicious and easy. We also had the mainstays- bread bowls, monster eyeballs, witches fingers, finger jello.

Thanksgiving 2011

Trying to catch up with blogging seems pretty pointless, so I'll just pick up with what is current.

This year for Thanksgiving we got together with two other (large) families for dinner. Our friends, the Howells, hosted so I was able to enjoy a completely stress-free holiday. On Wednesday I made blueberry cranberry pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin cream pie, and cranberry bars. On Thanksgiving morning, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Julia went to Madison to run in the Berbee Derby 5K. I was signed up to race in the 10K, but I have been having some knee issues so I decided not to run. While they ran, I put the turkey in the oven and started on some side dishes. I made roasted root veggies, green bean casserole, and spicy teriyaki mushrooms. Renie assembled candy turkeys. I had thought this would be a great project to keep the three younger kids busy while I was working in the kitchen, but it ended up being Renie's project alone. The boys put about one candy on one turkey and then were done and just wanted to eat the pieces. Renie, however, sat there and assembled 20 turkeys, with a little help from me.

A little before 3:30 we packed up all the food and went to the Howells. Kym had a great system set up with all the food buffet style on the kitchen table and plenty of tables and seating in the basement for the 16 kids and 6 adults in attendance. We had so much delicious food! Kym and Jeff had cooked a turkey in their dutch oven and it was fantastic! They also cooked a ham, a huge pot of mashed potatoes, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. Jen was a trooper and despite having surgery on her foot the DAY BEFORE, she brought piles of rolls.

(I forgot to take any pictures. Luckily Kennedy thought of it, so she took a bunch. Unfortunately the camera was on a setting that led to lots of blurry pictures, but at least you get an idea.)

After dinner and dessert, we spent the evening playing games and laughing with great friends. And I schooled everybody in Perpetual Commotion. It had to be done.

We took the kids home at about 11:30 and put them to bed, then I picked up Jen and we went to Walmart to do some shopping. I am not a Black Friday shopper. It's just not my thing. But Jen loves to do it and wanted someone to come along and push her around in her wheelchair, in case there wasn't a motorized one available. I figured it would be fun and I could look for a few things for the kids. As it turned out, we were able to procure a motorized wheelchair so we were good to go. We split up to search out the deals we wanted and then met back up at the checkout less than an hour later. So that was the extent of my black Friday shopping: 45 minutes between midnight and 1 am.

And so, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Time sure does fly.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NY Vacation

Back in August we made our yearly trek back to Northern New York to see friends and family. As usual, we very much enjoyed our time there and the opportunity to get our kids together with their cousins.
One of the highlights of this year's trip was taking the time to stop in Palmyra, New York on our way through. We have wanted to take the kids to see the church history sites and the temple there for a while. This time we made it happen and we had a lovely time. We stopped at the Hill Cumorah and climbed to the top.

The path was really steep, so here the kids are pretending to fall down the hill.

We then drove down the road to the Smith farm and walked in the Sacred Grove.
It was fun to bump into my niece, Molly Bryn, and cousin Alexis there.

We finished up by taking the kids to the temple. We walked around the grounds and touched the temple.

Another highlight this time was being able to attend family reunions for both Lincoln's family and my own. It was great to see extended family that I hadn't seen in ages, and lots of fun to meet so many people in Lincoln's family that I had previously not had the opportunity to meet. I was really struck by how friendly and welcoming his extended family was. They seemed genuinely excited and happy to see us. I'm so glad we were able to be there, despite Lincoln's father telling us the wrong location for the reunion. (We love you anyway, Grandpa Jesse, but we are a little concerned about the fact that you are losing your mind.) It was not easy to make the connection and we were almost ready to give up and go home but luckily we persevered and found the location.

Lincoln's aunts and uncles. You can tell from the pictures that they are a fun crew, can't you?

Lincoln and I participated in a horse tournament with his Dad and his Uncle Larry.

The kids had a blast in the pool with Grandpa Jesse.

We had to leave my reunion early in order to make it to Lincoln's, so I only got a few pictures.

Later in the evening, after going to Lincoln's reunion, we went back to my parents' for the post-reunion campfire. I don't always enjoy campfire sing-alongs these days, but I had a lot of fun at this one!

Coming soon: haying, horseback riding, and Lake Placid.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Madison Children's Museum

One hot and humid afternoon while Lauren was here, we decided to go to the Children's Museum in Madison. Our family had not been since it was redone a year or so ago. We had a lot of fun checking out the new exhibits. My cousin, Karen and her family joined us.

Walter loved the baby pit.

The big kids- right on up to Alexis who is 15- enjoyed the awesome play structure. Seriously, it was so cool.

Marley liked anything she could "drive".

Lauren and her kiddos.

Marley and her fan club.

Jesse sucked Orion into watching the electric train with him. Jesse could have watched that train for hours.

See? Cool, right?

Another fun outing. We managed to cram lots of fun stuff into the two weeks Lauren was here. More to come!