Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving on November 23, 2017. We did miss having Rebecca and Justin, Julia, and Matthew at home.  Neil, Bethany and I went to the temple in Billings on Wednesday. I usually do a lot of preparation for Thanksgiving on Wednesday so that was a little different this year. I came home after the temple and baked the rolls.  I planned to cook the turkey in the pressure cooker so that freed up the oven for Thursday.  We heard that Sister Cordes and her boys, Zane and Ryan, didn't have plans so we invited them over.  We had a fun day and a delicious meal.  The turkey was done in about an hour in the pressure cooker.  It was moist and delicious.  Sister Cordes brought pumpkin pie and a cranberry dish.  We also made dry jello salad, cookie salad, Chocolate cream pie, peanut butter pie, German Chocolate pie and Coconut Cream pie.  Bethany had to work at 4:00 so we ate at about 2:00.

Sister Cordes and her boys stayed around for few hours in the afternoon. We taught them how to play pool After David and the boys played a few games we decided to play the moms against the boys in a game of 8 ball.  David, Dallin, Zane and Ryan ended up beating Sister Cordes, Joshua and me.  We came close though.  We only had one ball left when they won.  It was a fun afternoon.

Neil started a project of painting the family room Thursday afternoon.  I have always thought the family room was painted too dark.  Even though I picked out the paint 8 years ago I never liked it.  I love the new color, it really isn't a new color, it matches the rest of the house now.  I am so grateful that Neil was willing to take his Thanksgiving weekend and paint for me.

The kids played Hearts in the evening. It was fun to listen to them play as we primed the walls and worked in the family room.  It was a fun day!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dallin's Arrow of Light

Dallin worked hard to earn his Arrow of Light award before he turned 11.  Sister Opps is such a fun Cubmaster.  She had a fun activity where the boys who earned their Arrow of Light ended up with balloon hats.  I wasn't very good at making the balloon hat so I had to tag team with Neil for help.  Here are the pictures of the Balloon hat. Aaron loved Dallin's balloon hat.  It was fun to watch Dallin walk across the bridge into Scouting. We are so proud of Dallin for taking his cubscouting serious and working to earn his Arrow of Light.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday.  This year I did enjoy helping Dallin figure out a pretty cool costume. We watched a video on how to be a headless man carrying your head in a jar.  We might not have been able to get it to work without Neil and David's help. They helped us figure out which backpack to use to get the coat up high enough without just being bulky behind Dallin. Neil was also willing to go back into Costco on a Saturday morning to buy animal crackers in a big jar so Dallin had a jar to use for his costume.  We heard lots of comments about how cool Dallin's costume was.  He even made the front page of the Powell Tribune.  It was a big, color front page picture. Dallin wasn't so sure that he liked having that big of a picture.

Everyone else enjoyed dressing up.  Bethany went out to the farmer's field behind our house and gathered some straw to become a scarecrow.  MaryAnne was Ella Enchanted.  Joshua was Chewbaca. I found his costume at Walmart and they are also pajamas so that was great.  Lydia was  a fairy. Aaron loved being a lion. It was really cute when someone would give him candy he would take it out of his bucket and just hold on to it. I think he thought we might take it away from him.  He wanted to wear his lion costume again the next day. He probably thought he would get candy again.

We carved pumpkins the day before Halloween for a Family home Evening activity. We all had fun and I think they turned out pretty great.

Here are the pictures:

Monday, October 23, 2017

MaryAnne's seventh grade fall band concert

MaryAnne has been working hard at learning to play the clarinet. I think it is one part of school that she truly enjoys.  Last Thursday we went to listen to her band concert.  The band did a great job. I love listening to her play.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Paddle boarding for date night

Neil and I try and do a date night each week.  On Friday Neil checked out some paddle boards from the college.  We took them to Deaver Reservoir to give paddle boarding a try.  They were inflatable so it was easy to transport them.  We had a nice air pump from the college that filled them part way. We had to do a little work to finish filling them with a hand pump.

Paddle boards are kind of like thick surf boards.  You can stand or kneel on it and paddle around.  Neil was able to stand up without any problem.  He was being a gentleman and helping steady my board so I could stand up.  I was kind of nervous getting on and my feet keep getting stuck in the mud.  I finally got on the board, but in the process of trying to stand I tipped my board over.  Somehow, my falling also caused Neil to lose his balance and go in right behind me.  We only fell in that one time.  After that we were able to get back on and paddle around without falling.  We were both able to stand on the boards.  We were told that sometimes people ride these boards down the river.  I know I wouldn't be able to keep my balance going down a river.  It was hard enough just on the peaceful lake. I enjoyed paddle boarding together.  It was a fun activity.

Here are a few pictures:

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy Birthday, Neil

Today is Neil's birthday. I won't give away his age, but he is happy to be a perfect square this year.  He doesn't ask for much.  He wanted roast, potatoes and gravy for dinner. I made him a chocolate coconut cake.  I think it turned out yummy.  In honor of the number of years Neil has been on the earth I'll share 49 things I love about him. I love you, Neil. Hope you have a happy birthday! Love, Sarah

1. You are a good example of forgiveness.
2. You  help our children with their math and science homework.
3. You live what you teach.
4. You are a good example of studying the scriptures.
5. You love to go to the temple.
6. You take your responsibilities seriously.
7. You play  with the kids.
8. You make date night a priority.
9. You help people out, even when you have other plans and they ask at the last minute.
10. You take the kids out to do service.
11. You are willing to help me when I ask.
12. You do almost all the driving on our trips.
13. You don't complain about what I make for dinner.
14. You work hard to keep our yard looking nice.
15. You are always willing to try again.
16. You lead our family in prayer and scriptures.
17. You write to our children each week.
18. You have  a great smile.
19. You are  patient with me when I am less than good.
20. You make the effort to make memories.
21. You read to our family.
22. You are generous to others.
23. You eat ice cream on date night with me.
24. You cheer for the Cougars with me.
25. You try hard to follow the spirit.
26. You are  a good teacher.
27. You support my crazy ideas (like going to Virginia for a year)
28. You are grateful for what I do.
29. You work hard at communicating with me, even when I frustrate you.
30. You go for walks with me.
31. You play the piano beautifully and encourage our children to also.
32. You gas up the car so I don't have to think about it.
33. You help make the bed in the morning to make sure it gets done.
34. You give compliments to others.
35. You have  a kind heart.
36. You have  a strong testimony of the Savior.
37. You use the priesthood to bless our family.
38. You are grateful for dinner each night.
39. You take the time to take the kids on activities.  
40.You are a hard worker.
41. You are willing to try and sell our house because you know it is what I want.
42. You share your candy bars with me.
43. You take me out to dinner just because I like to sometimes.
44. You are willing to drive in to school so MaryAnne doesn't have to ride the bus.
45. You really try to understand.
46. You don't mind if there is cereal for dinner occasionally. 
47. You support our children.
48. You try to live the gospel and teach by example.
49. You love me  always, even when I don't really deserve it.

And one more to grow on... 50- You try to have peace in our home.

I love you! and I am grateful you love me.  I hope you have a great year! Let's make it the best one yet.  Life isn't about counting down the years, it's about making the years count.  Love, Sarah

Sunday, August 27, 2017

First day of school 2017

Well it happened, school started again.  This year we are an odd family.  We have kids in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades.  It is Lydia's first year going to school.  She seems excited about going. It is also David's first year of seminary.  I think all the kids are excited for the school year.  I am trying taking the kids to school in the morning instead of having them ride the bus.  They are riding the bus home in the afternoon.

Neil is starting his 42nd grade (24th year at NWC) so he is the only even year.  Bethany is going to NWC.  I didn't get a picture of Bethany or Neil on the first day.  Bethany didn't want me to make her late for her first class.

I hope they each have an amazing year.  It is kind of quiet around here during the day with only Aaron and I home.  I have been able to get him to take naps better when everyone is gone.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse August 2017

We enjoyed the eclipse on Monday.  We didn't get totality, but we did get 98% of the sun covered.  It was surprising how light it still was outside. It did get cooler outside.   Inside the house it was noticeably darker during the eclipse.  Neil had meetings for the beginning of the school year, but got out in time to come home and watch with us.  We enjoyed watching together.  David, Dallin and Neil enjoyed watching the longest.  We watched the start of the eclipse much more than the end.  It was a great family experience.  The shadows on the sidewalk were really neat to see. We also tried watching through a pinhole camera.  It worked, but wasn't as easy or as impressive as the eclipse glasses.