Sunday, November 30, 2014

End of the gratitude challenge

28. A store I am thankful for: Target
29. Something from my childhood I'm thankful for: my most awesomest parents!
30. A picture I am thankful for: my most fav picture is one that we took in primary and made into cards for all the children to give to their parents. It's a picture of Sierra, 3 years old, almost 4, wearing a sweet blue dress kneeling by the Savior and gazing into his face. It's hanging up in my bedroom.

Driving home

I have to say now that all the kids are big traveling is much easier. Things in the car are not unpleasant, it's just a long drive, particularly on thanksgiving weekend. It is always crazy long with city traffic.
Jenna blogged our trip and got some very cute pictures. I love these cutie pie girls!

Look at my new shoes!
On another car note I read aloud one of the books we got yesterday called
"Lonesome for Bears". Rob and I both liked it. It was written by a woman, a naturalist, artist, search and rescue volunteer, professional tracker and speaker and very entertaining writer. She writes about being a bear spotting guide in Alaska.
If I read the book but it's in perfect shape can I still gift it?

Saturday, November 29, 2014


back at home the boys celebrated the little known national holiday called Ohio State vs Michigan.  They were very happy that their Bucks won!!!

There was also some football playing, some geo-caching, a trip to the mall and some pizza eating.


We were supposed to go to Buffalo last weekend and then snowmaggedon hit and no one could get in or out.  Then Clayton and Jenna were going to come to Ohio for Thanksgiving until J found out that she had to work on Friday.  So we decided to meet in Cleveland on Saturday.  It's about half way between Buffalo and Miamisburg.
Clayton and the grand prize
Hannah and I got up at 6 so we could get there bright and early and have a good long time to spend together!
tiny kitchen aid
We decided to meet at the "Christmas Story" house.  It was really fun.  Hannah thinks she hasn't seen the movie, which I find hard to believe, but the rest of us knew it well and we all enjoyed the house, museum and gift shop.  It was a very good start to our day and our Christmas season.

After the house we went out for a slice of pizza.  The pizza was huge, and as far as pizza goes it was good.  We ate at a little place called Crust.
looking at all the stuff
Next on our tour of Cleveland was the market.  We saw tons of fruits and veggies, meats, treats, cheese, falafas and everything you could want.  It was interesting, I saw a fruit I didn't even recognize, two actually, cactus pears and dragon fruit.   We bought some treats and took them across the street to a little plaza to share.  The weather was just lovely.  There was snow on the ground but it was sunny and we all thought it was nice out.
We found a little bookstore too!
Trinity Cathedral was next.  It was closed but we walked around the outside and appreciated the architecture.  CJ bought a new camera and they are practicing taking pictures so Hannah and I were the subjects :) I am excited to see some of the finished ones. 

a pretty door

Say cheese

Our last stop was the aquarium.  It is small and a little pricey but very nice.  They built it in an old power plant and did an amazing job in the renovations.  You could totally see the old structure yet the tanks were prominent and the fish they had were very beautiful.  The shark tube was a favorite.
I am grateful we had such a fun day together.  It was totally worth it to drive 7 (round trip) hours to play for 6!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

We went shopping.
And shopping.
Uncle Brian took us to his favorite restaurant for dinner. It is fancy schmancy and very tasty.  The kids were good.
Now I'm full and tired.

A tradition I am grateful for

So, this is kind of a weird one. Our tradition is to do different things, we like to travel to different places and we often celebrate big events with different people. We have been blessed to share friends traditions. One of my favorites is Dukes soup night. Saturday conference they prepare lots of soups, invite lots of friends and we eat together and then the men go to prieisthood together while the women stay and visit and the children play. When we were moving to Maryland I had considered starting that up but the distance from our church makes that impractical. We still remember that so fondly them and think of them every conference weekend. The Marshes  who are moving next week have a Monday night before Thanksgiving pie fest. Something we have enjoyed very much as well. When I was growing up we traveled to San Francisco for every summer and every holiday. We also camped at the beach for one week each summer. I wonder what things my children will remember as traditions that we have done?

Something new I am grateful for

This one is super easy I am very grateful for a new grandson who will be arriving in a couple of months!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

The table is set with great care. The food was lovingly prepared. We bowed our heads to pray and gathered around the table to share a meal. All the elements of a traditional Thanksgiving day were in abundance.
Chef Hannah made most delicious rolls.
We skyped with the family far away, went to the movies, and slipped into our turkey comas.
Happy thanksgiving ! 

Something old I am grateful for

I have always loved the oldest generation of our family. When I was a little girl one of my favorite people was Baba Katya, my great-grandmother.

I really appreciate all the old people in my life. I loved living across the street from grandpa and grandma Palmer. I was so happy when Rob and I got married and he had two sets of grandparents alive.

Now the older generation is my parents, and Rob's parents. We love and appreciate them so much, we enjoy spending time with them, we value the council they give us,and we are so happy for the relationships that they have with our children. 
This morning we kicked off our day of thankfulness with a turkey trot. Old and young alike we were all out there!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Columbus Zoo

We went to the zoo today. I was super excited to add a new zoo to our list and I was not disappointed it was amazing!  So beautiful!
It was cold and so not crowded. The children started out cold and hungry and got hungrier as we went.
Abba and Ethan and Hannah

I had some great shots of them standing on a sign punching one another. One of Ethan pushing Grace off a mushroom, and Hannah mad about something. But I chose different ones to post.
Finally we ate and they cheered a bit, but they were still cold and tired.

The exhibits were top notch. Not everything was open but we had lots to looks at. We saw some giant bears snoring away:) A polar bear, some cute attic foxes, Pumas, elephants, red pandas, Tigers, Sharks, penguins, manatees and reindeer and moose.

It was zoo lights season and the lights were gorgeous! They were all over and they had a synchronized to music show.
After the herpitarium we lost Hannah. We searched for about 15 minutes then enlisted the help of the police in finding her. They did. I guess they said normally we have to find tiny kids not teenagers.
Despite some whining and fighting and search and rescue efforts it was a very fun day. I loved the zoo and I love this family of mine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

over the river and through the woods

Tomorrow it's supposed to snow in Maryland, so we decided to skip school for one day and drive to Ohio early.  I am really glad we did.  The drive went smoothly, the children were good, we didn't stop a lot.  We did run into traffic twice but over all I'd say it was a lovely drive.

Just as we were nearing Nana's house, like literally less than 10 minutes away we had an incident.  Ethan hit Grace, or some variation on that theme.  Not sure exactly what.  There was some crying and some it was her faulting.  Then Hannah, ever the peacemaker, said Grace, don't worry now you are entitiled to hit him back. It's an eye for an eye, that's in the Bible.

That's true but then Christ came and gave us a new law.  Children??

Turn the other cheek, forgive and be kind.

I like the other one better.

I like the code of Hammurabi better "if a man takes your sheep you must give him all your sweaters"

then there was laughing.

Something green I am grateful for

I am grateful for $.  I hope not in a idolatrous way but the fact of life is you need it and I am grateful we have enough.  We have a nice home, drive  nice cars, feed our children and dress them, we can take trips and go out to eat and buy new shoes when we need them. 
I am grateful that Rob works hard for our family and that we can tithe and sometimes help others. I look forward to serving multiple missions with my eternal companion and $ will be necessary for that. I am grateful for the good things that  money allows us to do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Busy day

Tonight the Marshes had their pie night. They invited so many friends and neighbors. It was tons of fun! I love to get out and visit. They are moving to Utah next week and I will miss sweet Monique and her wonderful family.

We made two pies to take. Christianna's peanut butter pie was the grand prize winner and it was delicious!

I finished buying and wrapping our Ohio/ New York Christmas presents.  We are ready to take them with us and deliver them in person. 

Did some laundry and some dishes and some vacuuming and dyed my hair and skyped the girls and read a few chapters of Alma and walked the dogs and drove the kids here and there and then there and there and there, went to the store for gerbil food and dog food, made some dinner and cleaned the car.

It was a good, productive, pleasant day.
Every morning we wait at the bus stop. There is a narrow strip of grass and two trees in front of the building. It didn't take many days before an elaborate game, with rules that all the children appear to understand, evolved. They run back-and-forth shrieking and laughing. It is one of Grace's favorite times of the day.

A part of nature I am grateful for

I have always loved the beach. I'm actually a little surprised because I remember very clearly the first time we went to the beach as a family. We went with our friends the Anderson's and that night we were taking a walk, it was dark outside and we children were skipping along the edge of the water, suddenly a wave came up and knocked us under. At least it knocked me under I think some others went under is well. I remember tumbling under the cold water in my clothes and smashing into sand and feeling very scared. Brother Anderson grabbed me up out of the water and saved me. With this traumatic first experience you would think I wouldn't like the beach so much. You with the wrong. I've always loved it to go there and sit in the warm sand and play in the water, to look at the sky and enjoy the majesty. It's so vast and so powerful. I love the colors of the water to calling it blue almost doesn't do it justice as it has so many shades and dance and sparkles and sometimes dark swirly  turbulence, it has its own life.
Anna  is in Hawaii right now and sent this darling picture of Joneaux and Deo enjoying the water.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

a view I am thankful for

so, from time to time I am asked to speak in sacrament meeting.  Depending on the ward and the building configuration I occationally find myself near the sacrament table.  Some of them are on the ground level and the seats are up higher.  I love when that is the case and I can see the young men kneel, pray, prepare the table, reverently fold the white cloth over the bread and water.  It touches my heart to think of the Savior, who gave himself a ransom for us.  Who's body and blood paid the price for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father.  Such mercy and grace I can not understand, I do not deserve and yet I am so grateful for it.  It is one of my favorite views.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmasifacation process has begun. A little earlier than normal but we are full of the Christmas spirit this year. I am super excited that Sierra will be home for Christmas. I am really looking forward to our day after Christmas trip to Atlanta. We have several fun parties to go to as well as service opportunities planned.

A dessert I am thankful for

Chili's molten chocolate cake. It's my fave. Luckily the closest Chili's  is 45 minutes away.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A wooden object I am thankful for

I am thankful for my dining room table. I am so grateful that every night my family can sit around it and have good food to eat, or food they think it's disgusting but at least they have it. I am grateful that we can sit down and do homework or work on projects on it. I am grateful when we invite family or friends over to share a meal that we can't gather around the big table and eat and  laugh.

Yesterday I was reading Jeanette Palmer's blog about Nicholas (the big girls cousin), he is on a mission in Mongolia. The missionaries and a few of the members helped out a family there in the ward. They had several needs including renewing the fathers taxi license (so he can work), warm clothes for the children, and building their ger to live in. There were  pictures of the building process and as I looked at them I reflected on how very very fortunate we are.They were  very excited to have a completed home. By our standards it would not be fit to camp in. I don't know why there is such a big discrepancy between what people have, it is difficult to think of, only I'm sure that the Lord makes everything right in the end. I hope since I have been given much, I can give much, and I can appreciate much, and I can do a lot of good. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

winters eve

Hannah's been taking piano lessons.  She is quite musical, as are several of the children.  She took before but didn't really like to practice.  Now she does and she is making good progress.  We love Sister Nelson, she is such a great teacher.  Grace is on the "waiting list".  Hopefully she will get a spot soon, she too really wants to take lessons.

I subbed in the library today.  It's a hoppin place and the day went fast.

We made home made pasta e figoli soup for dinner.  Hannah did all the chopping and I have to say her technique is better than mine.  Her veggies were perfect.

It's starting to get dark quite early now, and it's chilly out.  Winter is well on it's way.

a soft object I am grateful for

Mackenzie (15), Val, Jordyn (12), Ryan, Spencer (13), Tanner (16)

Random picture of Val's family at the temple all together for the first time! Love it!

So something soft I am grateful for, I love Chickfila's soft serve ice cream cones.  
I also am grateful for the soft bristled toothbrush and ultra soft toilet paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

glasses, dolls and treasure hunts

The boys got glasses.  Ethan reports that he sees many things with them that he didn't before, like the pictures on the McD drive through sign, but he won't be wearing them.  Rob loves his, although he is trading out the lenses.

Tonight we had girl scouts at our house.  Normally we would have met yesterday but I had YWIE and asked everyone if we could swap days.  They kindly agreed.  We finished the second step of our journey.  The girls did a great job.  They decorated their own dolls and then wrote a play about breaking stereotypes and acted it out with the dolls.  We got to try the new cookie flavor for the year "Rah Rah Raisin".  It was okay.

On my binder I have this picture I found on the Internet, Norman Rockwell I believe.  Samantha looked at it and said "Miss Lana, is that you when you were a girl scout?"

presenting his groups finds
The kids had mutual and actually Grace had activity days tonight too. She has her mothers human frailty in that she can't be two places at once.  Bummer.  She chose scouts for tonight.  For mutual they had a photo scavenger hunt.  Ethan presented his groups finds.  Both H and E said it was fun.

I subbed music today.
parting picture of the new glasses.