Thursday, March 23, 2017

My New Hobby

A couple of weeks ago, I learned that our county's library systems offers a free subscription to a music and art instruction site. And seeing as I hadn't quite spent all the money my parents gave me for Christmas, I thought, I'm doing it. I'm buying a ukulele. So I did.

I have taken guitar lessons in the past, but struggled because I have the world's smallest adult hands (just like my feet). I thought the ukulele would just be a better fit. Also, at the most-recent Mothers and Kids campout, my friend Shannon brought her guitar, and let me tell you: there's just something amazing about sitting around the campfire singing (nevermind that my boys HATE my singing voice).

So the past couple of weeks I've been doing my lessons. I haven't made it past drills and stretches, but I'm a busy mom. I'm enjoying it and hoping that my boys will come around to my voice.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rhett's New Hobby

A couple of Wednesdays ago, Rhett and I were driving to Scouts when he tells me that he'd like to play ice hockey. Uh, where did this come from, son?! I didn't know and I didn't care. He wanted to do something. Something that doesn't involve a book or a screen. DONE. Twelve hours later, I found an ice skating class. Twenty-four hours later, he was laced in ice skates for the first time and hitting the ice.

Is he good? Nope, but he's learning. In addition to class time, he gets additional free ice time each week, something we're definitely taking advantage of. (Which means either Chuck or I has to lace on skates too.) But he likes it. And he's sticking with it. And he's not freaking out when he falls. So...victory!

He'll do two sessions of ice skating classes and then he can start the hockey classes. Who knows. Maybe this summer he'll even do a hockey camp! Who is this kid?! (Equally valid question: Who are these parents carting their kid to weekly classes and summer camps?)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Presidents' Day Weekend

If you're an adult who doesn't care for cold or snow, then this winter in D.C. has pretty much been heaven. If, however, you're a young child who loves the snow and wishes for nothing more than a snow day (so much so that you wear your pajamas inside out AND backwards, ahem, OLLIE), then it's been disappointing. Presidents' Day weekend was no different: temperatures in the 60s with no rain.

When given this weather, I feel like we need to be outside ALL THE TIME. So we had a nice weekend mix of trampoline jumping, walking, riding bikes, dinner with friends, and hiking on Monday. Ollie wanted the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls, but something told me that place would be PACKED, so we opted for Catoctin Mountain Park (such a weird designation, no?). It was gorgeous. The boys did great. It was a four-miler (like Billy Goat), but rockier. The boys had a tougher time, but still did a great job.

We found a loop hike that connected two rocks: one a vista and the other, not.

The clouds were awesome!

This was at Chimney Rock, which you can't see.

This was taken on Wolf Rock, which was the un-peak rock. It was this crazy long piece of rock with tons of deep crevices that made me nervous to cross.

The weather was perfect. Crowds were manageable. And we all loved the Swedish Fish as "hiking power beans."

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Random Acts of Kindness

Last year, the LDS church's Christmas initiative was to Light the World, the idea being to share the light of the Savior by doing kind acts for others. Sounds great, no? But I just couldn't. Could not. December is already crazy enough. Between the boys not even getting off the bus until nearly 5, their early bedtimes (thanks early wake-up times), and our own advent activities, I just couldn't add one more thing. And, of course, I couldn't help but feel guilty about it. I mean, erin, c'mon: you can't just open a door for someone one day? Give a compliment to someone? Help a lost stranger on the Metro? Well sure, I guess I could. But could I get my boys to? Could I get them to every day? No, sorry, I couldn't. So I didn't.

BUT you know when I did? February! Why February? There's nothing else going on. Weather is miserable (at least it's supposed to be). It's the shortest month. Also, Valentine's Day is in here! What a perfect opportunity to do it. So I got a big list of kindness acts kids could do, and each night at dinner we'd discuss what we're going to do the next day. (Although I will say, that after about two weeks, we just kind of went rogue and expected the boys to find their own opportunities). And of course, because they're little, there was a reward. At dinner, if they could share the kindness they did that day, they were rewarded one Hershey's Kiss from the jar (which is adorable, right?! Can you see the word "love" on it?).

Sure, sometimes we got to dinner and the boys had done nothing, so they'd run over and give me a surprise (!) hug, or decide to clear a brother's dinner dishes, but still. It was something. And something is better than nothing. It worked well enough that we think we're going to make it a forever thing.

And if I'm honest (which I hate to be, SIGH), it's been amazing for me. I've been able to look for opportunities in a way I've never made a habit of before. I don't always see them, but I'm thinking about others and keeping my eyes open for needs way more than I was before. And remember, something is better than nothing.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chuck Broke His Trunk

Remember when I said our FHEs were going to focus more on just having fun rather than teaching our young sons deep doctrine (as if that's what we'd been doing)? I got this ridiculous idea to make a book-based movie. Why? I don't know. I think it was mostly because I knew I could stretch it out to three-five weeks' worth of FHEs and let's be honest: coming up with a different FUN activity each week is hard. But it turns out that making a movie with little boys is also hard. Oh well, they loved it...mostly. You can see that Ollie is a bit surly at times.

Now I need ideas for Monday!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

School Update

My dad recently asked about the construction on the school, so I thought I'd show you my latest picture. I always take one from the back, but the front is pretty interesting too so I'll include that as well. According to the most-recent Board of Ed meetings, the building is 66% done (although they should be at 70%). I'm guessing that opening in the fall is still a reality (the Board's meeting minutes give an anticipated completion date of 7/14/17--only five months from now). So exciting! It's going to be enormous.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Made Stuff

Remember that update on my bed? Well, I finished the bed runner, made a curtain, and bought two throw pillows just to make that plain grey duvet cover less plain. I think it worked.

You can't see the curtain very well, but it's this funny almost-kitcheny fabric we got at Ikea. But it's yellow and grey, so I don't care what's on it. I didn't line it, so I'm afraid of the sun in the upcoming months. I may have to address that later. My boys and dog get me up early enough; I don't need the sun making it worse.

Close up of the runner. In my head I'm obsessed with gingham, so I'm glad to find a place to use it. I'd put it everywhere if I could.

This is all so much better than that grey thing all alone. Trust me: it was hideous.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I figured it's about time for one of these, as nothing else is really going on.

Ollie: After a good stretch of tough times with this kid, I think we're on the up. Sometime last fall, his teacher got pregnant, but she ended up with twins and hyperemesis: not a good match (either one of those is enough for you to opt out of everything in your life). She decided to leave teaching for now, and Ollie got distributed to another class. He knows this new teacher and has spent time with her, so the transition was easy. And thankfully, she's aware of Ollie's behavior issues and has a good handle on things she wants to try. But I really think we're making progress (Monday's bus riot excepting). This boy. At least he's doing great academically! He's addicting to spelling. Quite often he'll spell something he wants, instead of just asking for it. It's adorable...and time-consuming. And he's reading so well! Watching kids start reading is one of the great milestones in parenthood! (I contend that reading and biking are my favorite things for my boys to have learned so far.) He loves being on the trampoline, no matter the weather. And of course, he can't stop touching/punching/spitting on his brother. Sigh.

Rhett: Thankfully our school problems exist in only one child. Rhett is doing great in school, so not much to say there. He recently competed in his first pinewood derby and loved every second of it. Chuck helped a lot with the sawing, but Rhett painted and helped put everything else together. He lost only one race and ended up first in his den and second overall. Not bad! Did I mentioned he fulfilled all Wolf requirements for Scouts in November? Well, he did, so we're just waiting for Bear stuff. I kind of like finishing before Christmas so that there's no rush come the beginning of the new year. Although, with a March birthday, we probably would have been okay. He also cannot keep his hands to himself at home. But what we're struggling with him is his attachment to #1. Not that he has to be the best, but he wants all of his choices to be his top choice. Dinner must be his favorite dinner, activities have to be his favorite activity, movies have to be his favorite movie. But because he doesn't really know his favorites in all of these categories, he usually just says no to everything. This is hard. And frustrating because he ends up liking most things (food excepting) that we end up forcing on him. Argh.

Chuck: He's pretty much the same. We adults don't change too much. He's been reading a lot of Game of Thrones which means we're both catching up on the series as he finishes each book. At work he's creating online math curriculum, which he enjoys.

me: I love being released from Gospel Doctrine and am trying to figure out this Stake Girls Camp thing. Work is good, busy, but good. I'm traveling to Kansas City for work in April (unless the current administration decides federal employees shouldn't travel), and I'm still a little mad about it. I mean, Kansas City, really?! We can't think of anywhere better to go? Ugh. Whatever. I'll likely spend the entire week in the hotel anyway. I'm loving the slowness of post-Christmas. Swimming is going well. I've worked up to swimming a mile, but I'm so slooooow. So now I'm working on that. I'm also considering doing a triathlon but I suck at biking!

Our Bed: After I tried and tried to make the quilt work, we were just too cold at night. So I bought a duvet cover (to replace the one I gave away) and brought back the down quilt (which, thankfully, I had not given away) and now we're toasty warm at night again. Once it warms up again, I'll bring back down the white quilt. Meanwhile, I'm making a bed runner for it because the new duvet cover is awfully plain. And I might need a new curtain in there too and possibly a throw pillow. Hmmmm....

D.C. Winter: We've made it though most of the winter without a big storm! I feel like one could come now and I wouldn't be too devastated. Obviously the boys feel differently. They could have five come through and be completely happy.

Upcoming Plans:It's really important for me to have something to look forward to. Our next big plans are a trip to the Smokies in April. I've never been there and am excited to explore a new-to-me national park. We're going to San Diego with my family in July. And I'd still like one last trip in August, especially since the boys don't go back to school until September.

I think that's it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bottom 6 Runs

I wasn't sure how many I could get, but six it is!

1. The frog run. Seriously the worst.

2. The first two runs of my Ragnar experiences. The road one was bad because (1) it was dark, (2) it was rainy, (3) it was on the side of a highway for seven miles. Blah. The trail one was bad because it was so muddy and after what I thought was two miles turned out to be only about three-fourths? My spirits were so very low. It was the longest 3.6 miles I've ever done.

3. As much as it pains me to say it, but that half-marathon last year was pretty bad for me. Had it not been for the great everything else, I would have been really bummed. But I went out too fast, wore a jacket (which I definitely shouldn't have done--it was raining too hard), and didn't train for speed. Plus, the RAIN. Oh that rain! Not sprinkles, not mist, just RAIN for two hours.

4. The run wherein I totally fell and got scraped like a three-year-old child. It doesn't help that I was running on a sidewalk next to a busy six-lane road (Rockville Pike, for you locals). I guess in 2007 this was the worst, but the other three have since eclipsed it. (HOLY CRAP. That run is almost ten years ago. I can't believe I used to be 29.)

5. I have no idea of the date, but there was a track run last summer and the weather was the WORST. And I mean WORST. It was probably still in the 90s with equal humidity, and this was at 7 p.m. I was so grumpy. I think we girls got in only three (maybe two?) miles before we went to Safeway and got Magnum bars, a much better decision.

6. And of course, there was the time I was running and ran right past a man masturbating in the bamboo along the trail. But that's all I'll say about that.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Top 5 Runs

After running that amazing trail run in Arizona, it got me thinking about my favorite runs ever. Here they are:

1. The half-marathon I ran in 2014 where I broke the two-hour time. I trained for it, and it felt SO good to achieve it!

2. Ragnar trail's last run. Note: this applies only to the last run. The mud slowed everyone so much, Ragnar let everyone run together at the end just so that everyone could get their runners off the course. I think three of us ran together, in the day, on the drying ground, on a beautiful trail.

3. Arizona's trail run (Beardsley Trail)

4. All but the run from the 2016 St. Michael's Half (Does that count? The run itself wasn't great AT ALL. I went out way too fast, and came back weighing 20 pounds more due to all the rain I was carrying. But everything else about that 24-hour period was the BEST.)

5. Christmas Story Run. Sure, it was a slow race time, but it was such a fun race environment and doing it with my family was awesome (except for the part when Rhett was bawling about that dumb trash bag).

Next Tuesday I'll do my worst runs.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

St. Michael's Half (um...eight months ago)

I have no idea how this happened, but I failed to post about my half marathon last May. While I can forgive myself for forgetting the race (which was pretty terrible), everything else was perfect.

We left Friday afternoon and headed straight to our airbnb. We were able to snag this incredible place with an even better location. It had a kitchen, dance studio (which we didn't use, but still), plenty of bedrooms, a pool table, and a movie theater. Oh, and a slightly-nosy host, but more on him later.

After checking out the house a bit, we headed to dinner. Chuck and I ate here in 2014 and so we came back for good reason. The food is delicious.

In the morning it was race time! We could walk to the race start in about one minute, which was super convenient as it was raining. Not just raining, but pouring, and it continued to pour the entire race. The race itself was pretty terrible. I didn't train for speed but thought, HEY! I'll try to run fast anyway. Big mistake. Ha. My time was a 2:03:11, not bad thanks to my speedy start, but I felt that run for days. I swear I ended up weighing 20 pounds more than I did at the start because of all the rain I was holding in my hair and clothes and shoes and socks and...

The race was definitely the worst two hours of the trip for me. After we finished, we headed back to our place and made breakfast. We all brought something and it was quite possibly my second-favorite breakfast ever. Cinnamon rolls. Quiche. Yogurt and homemade granola. French toast casserole. Fruit. Just everything delicious. Turns out our penthouse didn't have an oven, so our host let us come down and use his, but that meant he stayed and chatted and ate our food. Ha. But the food was incredible, and probably would have been so even if we hadn't just run 13.1 miles. In the pouring rain.

I love that I have these women in my life. For reals. If I didn't run, I think I'd consider starting just so I could run with them.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Trip to Arizona

Last week we went to Arizona to visit Chuck's family. The first couple of days were gorgeous, the second couple were cold because we went to the Grand Canyon, and then the last two were rainy. It could have been better, but hey, it could have been worse. We got to hang out with Chuck's oldest brother and his family, I got in some AMAZING runs (one that is included in my top ten runs ever; and one where I almost ran into an elk whilst on the Grand Canyon Rim Trail), and we got to see what the desert looks like when they have a rainy January: green! Oh, and the boys got lots of hot tub time, which they used as pool time because the pool and too cold and they're little enough.

Ollie was clearly not having any of it.

My parents were in St. George and took a "little" detour to come hang out with us for 20 hours! Wahoo!

Thursday morning before the deluge, I took everyone to where I had my top ten run so they could hike some of it. They hiked three miles and didn't complain once. It was amazing. Also, no rattlesnakes, so bonus.

Ollie may not look happy, but that's just the picture. In fact, he requested that we hike eight miles (he changed his mind near the end, but still). But that cactus! So cool.

Arizona is really growing on me. Chuck's parents happen to live in a part where the desert is quite pretty, in my opinion. I feel like we need to experience it in the summer to get a real feel, but then I think, WHY?! Maybe we'll try it in April, so at least the pool will be warm enough to enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Made Something

For a ward service auction last fall, I offered to sew something. A friend of mine won it and asked me to make her a birthday banner. This is the result. I'm kind of in love with it. Seriously. I love the fabric so much. I wished that she didn't like it so I could have it back. I haven't heard how it was received so there's still hope. I even made the binding. Intense.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016-2017 School Pictures

Here they are. This concludes what I'm going to do with these ridiculously expensive pictures of some ridiculously cute boys.

Third Grade


P.S. What you don't know is that Rhett wore the exact same shirt for second and third grade school pictures. Ha. Also, this is Ollie's retake after the first one looked a bit, um, shall we say, constipated?! I'm kicking myself that I turned it in before scanning it.

P.P.S. These pictures make five school pictures we've done with LifeTouch. Of the five, I've had issues with TWO. NOT a good track record, LifeTouch.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Little Lending Library

A couple of months ago, we got a letter from school asking if we'd be willing to erect a little lending library in our yard. Of course we said YES! There are a couple around our area and I think they are the adorable (as well as a super good idea). Plus, our local library is closed for renovations and our school is under construction, which is why I think the principal wanted these.

Big kids from the county's technical high school built them, we helped finish, and then we got to take it home and put it in our yard. The boys check it all the time. I love it. And kids in the neighborhood are using it! So happy.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy 12th Anniversary to Us

Christmas break week was mostly staying home and doing nothing with a bit of activity thrown in. We got one incredibly warm day and so we used that to go to Six Flags. We watched lots of movies at home, jumped on the trampoline a lot, went to the library, and even played tennis. (Ollie is constantly asking us to play tennis, even if it's nearly bedtime and completely dark outside; nevermind that he can't even play.)

But by Thursday, as I worked from home with all three boys driving me bonkers and Chuck and my anniversary coming up the next day, I'd had it. I started looking for things we could do to get us out of the house Friday. I remembered this post about shark teeth hunting and thought it would be right up my boys' alley. Turns out it was the right activity, but the wrong season. It was windy and cold and Ollie just wasn't feeling it. Chuck found some teeth and the boys found some cool shells, but we only lasted a couple of hours. So then we headed back to our luxury hotel (cough, cough, or not, but at least it was a suite) and watched lots of TV from bed. (We did make it out of the room for dinner and a tour of Christmas lights in La Plata.) The next morning we ate hotel breakfast and watched more TV from bed. In our TV-watching defense, I had a cold and was super tired so it felt really nice to just rest.

So that was our 12th anniversary. According to Wikipedia, the modern U.S. 12th anniversary gift is pearls. While we might not have traded pearls, at least we did get some sea treasures in the form of fossilized shark teeth and shells. Win!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Destruction of the Gingerbread Houses

And on New Year's Day (or New Year's Day Observed), we destroy those beautiful gingerbread houses. But not before we salvage all the good stuff off them, like the caramel chimneys, or the airhead ice rink, or all the sour patch kids.

And this year we destroyed mine by sitting on it. Not my most attractive moment. But still.

This is what everything looked like at the end. Another year, another tornado.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gingerbread Houses

I love making gingerbread houses. This year Chuck and I constructed them in advance so we didn't have to spend that time on Saturday doing it. I was really impressed with Rhett's stamina and skill this year. He had some really creative ideas. I also think it was Ollie's first year doing his own, and he is the king of putting jelly animals on his house. And because I made all the parts and had some leftover dough, I tried to go BIG this year. I won't make that mistake again, even though I liked it. I might, however, try to create something of the same size, just different architecture. I should enlist my brother's help in the design.

Ollie. Gummy sharks, gummy butterflies, gummy worms, gummy...

Chuck. I want to eat that caramel chimney.

Rhett. Notice Santa's sled, coke bottle reindeer, strings of Christmas lights, Santa going down the chimney...

dynamite (three vanilla tootsie rolls) with a lit fuse. Because he's an 8-year-old boy.

Erin. I experimented with stained glass this year and love how it turned out. So easy.

I may used up all my ideas before I got to the back of the house.

Friday, December 30, 2016


I gotta say, I love Christmas on a Sunday, especially with 8:30 church. We got up (some earlier than others, ahem), did stockings, ate breakfast, then got ready for church. Sacrament meeting was 50 minutes then we were back home and into pajamas and ready to open presents. It really stretched out the day, especially compared to last year when we were done opening presents by 8:00 a.m. (no lie).

We lazed around the house playing with presents. Some of us napped because some of us were up until 1 a.m. And then Chuck's brother and family joined us for an easy Feliz Navidad. I love easy Christmas dinner.

Gift highlights for Rhett: German nutcracker, camera, Guinness Book of World Records (he seriously loves this book), new Harry Potter book.

Gift highlights for Ollie: stuffed Piggie and Gerald, spooner board, magformers, pinpoint impression thing (he seriously loves this toy--I think it was the last thing I added at Target).

Gift highlights for the adults: trampoline for the boys. Seriously. They spent so much time out there. I know I'm going to love it. Unfortunately it has yet to result in sleeping in, no matter how worn out they get on it. But still. I even showed them a few things! That is, before I started peeing my pants from all the jumping.

Oh. They kept telling me how cold their faces were. So I made them some balaclavas.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


This was a hard month. I really want to blame it all on the boys' school schedule. With them not getting home until nearly 5, and with a 7:15 p.m. bedtime, it didn't leave much time for family Christmas activities. We were realistic and cut out a lot of stuff we normally would have done, but that didn't mean I didn't feel guilty about cutting them or that the boys didn't continually ask why we weren't doing things.

We did do some things: temple lights trip, cookie decorating, sleeping under the tree, cutting snowflakes, blah blah blah. But it was hard.

This restored Rhett's faith in magic. All because of the physics-defying balanced pancake.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Random Thoughts

Two years ago I bought a heated mattress pad for our bed. At the time, we had a down comforter. The two together totally made me sweat at night, so I would use the mattress pad to preheat my side of the bed and then I'd turn it off when I got in. Perfect. But this year, I bought a new quilt for the bed. (I'm so over duvet covers.) And guess what? I am learning just how much heat the down comforter captured. Because now I have to keep that mattress pad going all night long...on a THREE. It should be noted Chuck turns his side up to a six or seven.

I know how late I am to this, but that's just like me. Anyway, I've been listening to Hamilton pretty much non-stop for the past six weeks. When everyone is home, I keep Christmas music on, but otherwise, it's this. And if I have to admit it, sometimes I even listen to Hamilton when the little boys are home. Rhett likes to follow the story. Maybe I'll make him read the biography.

I find Christmas gifts as an adult really hard. Whatever I don't want to buy (new dishwasher, updated closet doors), I have to do it. Which leaves very little for things I actually want. If I knew what I wanted, that is.

Ollie. Sigh. In the interest of not oversharing Ollie's troubles, I won't. But just know that we are REALLY struggling with this boy. And I mean really.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend: Three Great Days Ain't Bad

Considering the weekend was only four days, I think three great ones is some good odds.

Thanksgiving: It didn't start out great. Our neighbors' dogs were left out all night and their barking woke me at 4:30 a.m. When the boys woke at six, I kicked them out of their bed and I got an extra hour of sleep in their bottom bunk. (Their room is on the opposite side of the house from the offending dogs.) After a long run and a full can of fully-caffeinated diet soda (!), I was ready. We cooked some and relaxed until we realized time was short and then we cooked a lot and didn't relax. We ate dinner with friends at 4, and it was lovely. Dinner was even outside under heat lamps. It's so nice having big kids that I can ignore during dinner. Hmm...maybe that's not the point of Thanksgiving. But it certainly was when I was young, so maybe that's okay. Sadly I got no pictures of dinner. But this kindergartner, oh I love him.

The Day After Thanksgiving: Wanting to avoid all things Black Friday, we bargained with the boys for a hike. This probably worked because we didn't tell them the hike was four miles long. But they crushed it! It helped that the hike was really rocky and these boys love rocks. Weather was chilly but perfect. I may have overdressed.

Kids and climbing.

We even saw this Park Police helicopter come right up the river. So cool! Ollie loved that the pilot waved right at him.

We didn't plan that great (no snacks other than three crunchy granola bars for each boy and nothing for the adults. ha), so when we were done hiking, we were all famished. And where does one go when famished? Taco Bell! Well, maybe not, but we did. We all enjoyed our lunch and then got the Christmas tree. The kids have been begging for Christmas decorations since Halloween, but I only allow it after Thanksgiving. And once the tree was done, we watched "Elf." It was really a great day.

The Day After the Day After Thanksgiving: We will not speak of this day.

The Day After the Day After the Day After Thanksgiving: After church (wherein I was released from teaching Gospel Doctrine!), we got lunch and then headed downtown to see the Botanical Gardens trains display. The theme this year was National Parks and it was pretty awesome. This is the Grand Canyon and I love how they handled the rock strata.

Mount Rushmore

Kennecott and Denali, which you can't see. I have been to both of these places, so that's fun. I will say I was disappointed by the absence of Utah's parks. I mean, Utah has more national parks that any other states except for Alaska and California. They had one for Arches, but it was kind of lame. I mean, no Angel's Landing? No Bryce Canyon? Oh well.

And then, because Chuck wanted left over turkey, that evening we did a mini-Thanksgiving for dinner. It was easy because rolls had already been made, frozen, and thawed. Sweet potatoes were reheated from Thursday. Mashed potatoes were made as was the turkey, but it was pretty easy. And delicious. I think my apple pie this year was the best it's ever been. And yes, that is china we're eating on. We're fancy like that.

It was a pretty good weekend (Saturday excepting) and we all have much to be thankful for! Tomorrow is December! AHHHHHH!

P.S. Oh, and Monday's FHE fun activity was pretty great too: making popcorn and cranberry garland for the tree. Well, it was fun when the boys weren't driving us crazy.

P.P.S. My parents are now back on the American continent! Only two time zones away! So excited for them (but mostly me)!