A Little of This and That in November

Dec 15, 2017

I have long said I'd enjoy fall more if it actually lasted a full three months instead of three weeks, and this year, we got that. In fact, this Thanksgiving was the warmest Thanksgiving we've had since 1910. We spent the day outside jacketless and shoeless. Besides that, November also found us . . . 

Trying . . . food and being absolutely disgusted by it. Ian likes sitting at the table with the rest of the family, but he does not appreciate it when we put anything into his mouth. The rest of us are quite entertained, however, by his wide variety of grimaces. He has quickly learned how to keep his mouth clamped shut and start spitting immediately if any food happens to touch his lips. He also tries to sabotage the operation by wresting the spoon out of my hands. Luckily, he's significantly more tolerant if he feeds himself, so we've been doing lots of finger foods in addition to anything pureed. 

Discussing . . . favorite books with Rachel on BYU Radio's literacy show "Worlds Awaiting." You can listen to the episode here. (My segment begins around the eighteen minute mark.)

Sitting . . . up. Ian has been taking his time acquiring new skills (which suits all of us just fine since we are in no hurry for him to grow up), but he finally decided sitting up was fun. Since he doesn't crawl yet, we simply give him a few toys, and he stays happy and entertained. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

Teaching . . . a lesson in Relief Society (the women's organization in my Church). I'd been preparing this lesson for months--not because it was a difficult topic but because I was originally supposed to teach in September, but then Mike and I ended up going to Ohio that week. Anyway, I was happy to have it over, even if it didn't go exactly as planned.

Listening . . . to all of my piano students perform in a recital. I find recitals to be pretty nerve wracking since I feel partially responsible for everyone's success or failure, but this time, the whole thing went off pretty smoothly (except when it was my turn to play and my hands wouldn't stop shaking).

Attempting . . . to knit and read at the same time. I mean, why wouldn't I want to multitask and do both of my favorite hobbies at the same time? As long as I'm working either all knit or all purl stitches, I'm not half bad at it.

Finishing . . . my colorwork mittens. Remember my knitting class from October? I wasn't able to get the mittens done by the end of the class but continued to work on them at home and finished them in November. I think they're so fun, and now I want to knit alllllllll the colorwork patterns. (But, just to clarify, this was not the project I was working on when I was knitting and reading at the same time!)

Planning . . . a service activity for the women in my church. We made feminine hygiene kits for the Days for Girls organization. Days for Girls travels all around the world providing washable menstruation kits and education so that girls are able to stay in school while on their period. As helpful as it is to donate money to great causes like this, there's something so amazing about actually getting in there and doing the work. Even though I've never met any of the girls who will benefit from these kits, I was thinking about them the whole night. It felt good to help, even in such a small way.

Coloring . . . and coloring and coloring. Almost overnight, Clark developed an intense love for coloring. He is extremely meticulous, which means one coloring page can keep him occupied for at least fifteen minutes. Needless to say, I'm giving this new situation two thumbs up.

Sending . . . off my brother, Blaine, on a church mission to Kentucky. He's been preparing for a long time, and we're all very proud of him. He'll be gone for two years.

Sharing . . . my favorite Christmas picture books at my neighborhood's book club. I would be happy to give that presentation a million times over. I love talking about Christmas books.

Losing . . . to my parents at bolo ball (or ladder ball, as some call it). Mike and I were ahead for most of the game (thanks to Mike, not me) when my mom landed all three of her balls on the top rung in one turn (which, if you don't know, earns the highest score possible), and they consequently won the game. With each throw, my brother called out, "Do it again, Mom!" and she did. It was pretty fun to watch, even though it led to Mike's and my immediate demise.

Using . . . parchment paper. Have you ever had something you feel like you should have been using your whole life but, for one reason or another, never did? That was us and parchment paper. Somehow we always got by with waxed paper or aluminum foil, and we never remembered to actually buy parchment paper when we were at the store. But then one day, Mike bought a roll, and now we're big fans.

Eating . . . lots of yummy food, as one will do on Thanksgiving in November.

Addressing . . . and stuffing a huge stack of Christmas cards. But I managed to get them all sent off before the first of December. Bam.

Spending . . . time with Grandma and Grandpa. My parents usually babysit for us a couple of times a month, and it is so nice. I still can't believe they live close enough to babysit. My kids love them so much.

Taking . . . Maxwell on a date to purchase his own set of scriptures. His eighth birthday is approaching, which means he will be getting baptized in just a few months. Getting into a habit of daily scripture study will help prepare and strengthen him. It was such a fun little outing. He loves one-on-one attention (or two-on-one in this case), and he chatted the entire time we were choosing his scriptures and eating ice cream. He's pretty delightful (and blows our minds sometimes).

Trying . . . to convince Ian to stay a baby forever. He's not listening.


  1. Those mittens are gorgeous! Nice work! I can't believe how big Ian is getting. The last picture where his eyes match his sweater is so cute!

  2. I love the picture of Ian spitting out his food. Too cute!

  3. The mittens are gorgeous, and your little guy is adorable. Just wondering if you've read the graphic novel of Anne of Green Gables. I took my Christmas picture books (the religious themed ones) to RS today. I had enough for every two sisters to read one together and then report back to the group. And best serendipity of the day - we had a harp/violin special number. They were there to play for another unit, but came in and played for our RS. What a gift!

  4. Congratulations on having a wonderful fall!

    My second son hated all things pureed. I had to make him finger food instead of just opening jars as I had done for my first born. I figured it was a judgment on me for snickering at all the California moms bragging about making all their own baby food -- I was forced to make all my baby's food! Which even if it just mean baking a sweet potato and chopping it up was more time spent in the kitchen.

    I remember his disgust at baby oatmeal, and his joy when I handed him a giant rye cracker which he gummed for the rest of the afternoon.

  5. Well you just never know who you'll effect my friend. Totally fascinated by your Days for Girls link, decided my girls and I could make a few and then...discovered there is a group already happening in our town!

    btw do you ever have family and friends in country NSW Australia. I realise how far from home your missionary young people are. Happy to reach out.
    I know my mum some years has young Morman men come and join her and her American husband for Thanksgiving (we're not Moran, but committed Catholics) and I wondered if any of your young family and friends are down our way. I imagine they must get lonely far from home

    1. Oh I'm so glad! That is so awesome that there is a group close by, and I'm so glad you can help. It's an amazing organization!

      And wow, how generous and sweet of you to offer to love our missionaries! I don't personally know any who are serving there currently, but I'll let you know in the future! My brother actually served a mission in Sydney many years ago (which I know isn't close, but still--Australia!). Anyway, thank you. Different religions but we love and honor the same God.


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