Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November 2014


Thank you to my talented friend Kim Paulos for taking these pictures for us. Luckily for me, one of her callings in the ward is to assist with Baptisms. She was so helpful in preparing us for this special day and she made this beautiful program for Kennan's special day.

Kennan's Baptism

 I made 300 mini muffin for the baptism: pumpkin, lemon, and banana. We also served fruit and dip. I was so proud of myself for not burning a single muffin, especially since I never set a timer as I was making them; they all turned out perfect. But once I was finished with them I decided to make one last batch of banana for the playgroup kids that would be at my house after school. Not only did I over-bake that batch but they also came out flat. I guess I was starting to become too arrogant about my baking abilities. 

 We did something Unique with Kennan's baptism and we had him give a talk on baptism. We felt that the preparation for a talk would really help solidify the covenants he was making and arm him with the knowledge and sure understanding of what he was doing. Derrick sat in front with him and gave him prompting questions as Kennan gave his talk. He did a beautiful job and Derrick and I couldn't have been more proud. Kennan's depth of maturity and spiritual strength is much more advanced than many kids his age. We are so blessed to have him as our oldest child. I followed after Kennan with a talk on the Holy Ghost. What a beautiful day it was.

Kennan and Brynlee's Birthdays
 I know that looks like a lot of gifts but it really isn't. Brynlee got a big jewlry box (that I had found at a garage sale) and a new table for her room, along with new clothes (from the consignment store). Kennan got a bean bag and a pogo stick along with some new (used) clothes. 

Unfortunately Derrick was out of town the week of all three of our birthdays. He was in San Diego doing a presentation at the National Rehab Conference. It was an honor for him to be one of six selected to present his research out of 140 entries. And of the six presenters in his category, he was the only one who received an applause at the end. After his presentation he flew straight to Utah for Grandpa Dick's Funeral.
By the way, he created that entire poster himself, from scratch, which is why he hasn't come to bed for a month.

With Derrick being gone and me being pregnant and not feeling great, I decided to forego any formal birthday parties for the kids this year. Instead I invited some friends over Sunday (the day in between Ken and Bryn's b-days) for cake and ice cream. Once again my overly-generous and talented friend Kim came to my rescue by making three gorgeous cakes for the celebration. I did absolutely nothing in the way of planning for this party: no party hats, no party favors. Nothing. I even served the left over ice cream from the Primary party. And at the end of it I decided that was the best way to have a party. The kids had a great time running around and playing and the adults had fun mingling. At the end of the party my kids told me it was the best day ever.

 Brynlee's cake was so prefect for her. Kim sculpted Brynlee on her bed with 6 books scattered around her. Kennan had a soccer ball cake with 8 soccer balls on it. I was floored by the details that Kim was able to nail such as Kennan's spiky bangs.

 After the party Kim insisted on staying to clean up and rub my feet. How will I ever be able to move away from her? Meanwhile Faith and Alyssa were adorable hugging each other.

 Half way there! The bump is growing. What I really wanted for my 32 birthday was to have a baby, but since I learned from my last pregnancy not to wish the baby would come early, I settled for some super cute boots and jewelry from my mother in law, and this weird thing above from my mother. When I got it I laughed and laughed and laughed until I cried. I thought it was a gag gift. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what it is. I texted all of my sisters asking if any had a clue what it was. Once they explained that it is a garlic mincer and that the blue rubber thing de-shells the garlic with ease, I had to call and apologize to my mom. As it turns out it is REALLY COOL. Every kitchen needs one of these. I use it a lot and absolutely love it.
Kim hosted a birthday party for me and we ate fajitas. They were absolutely delicious. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by these amazing women. We are like sisters and can hang out, talking and laughing for hours. After lunch we watched "The Fault In Our Stars". There is nothing I would rather be doing for my birthday than hanging with these ladies
 Kim made me the most beautiful birthday cake. She hand-crafted 32 red roses. They were absolutely stunning. Then she made 4 sunflowers to wrap around the cake, one for each of the four short years we have spent together. This gesture and symbolism brought tears to my eyes.

About a week and a half before Thanksgiving I was thinking about what we should do. Derrick's offer to take us out to eat at Golden Corral did sound appealing. But knowing it would be our last Thanksgiving in San Antonio I really wanted it to be spent with friends here. I thought about my favorite childhood Thanksgiving memories and recalled that they were always spent at Grandma Cahill's church. I remember running around the church for hours playing with my cousins while Mom made preparations in the kitchen. I wanted my children to have similar experiences. So on a whim I called and was surprised to find that no one had the church reserved. Once I had it reserved I started asking around for who didn't have plans or anywhere to go for Thanksgiving. There are so many families here without relatives nearby and I hated the thought of us all sitting home alone on Thanksgiving. I felt really prompted to seek out people that needed to feel loved and fellow shipped. The bishop even thanked me for keeping the bigger picture in mind with my under taking. I was so excited that we had about 40 people come join us for our feast. I had been worried about there not being enough food but people were generous and there was a TON of food. I even cooked my very first turkey, although Kim brined it for me and held my hand through the process. 

Alyssa's "ear glue" seems to never end. Here the ENT is suctioning the gunk out of her ears. She was pretty good about letting him do it.
 One morning the girls wanted me to play with them but I just wanted to get the house cleaned. So I told them that we were going to play a new game called "Merry Maids". The followed me from room to room of the house where we would stop to knock on each door and announce we were the Merry Maids there to clean the room. I told the girls they had to whistle or sing while cleaning and then we pretended to get paid for our services. The girls ate this up. They sang and cleaned up the messes cheerfully. Brynlee's new life's aspiration is to become a Merry Maid when she grows up.
 Cami is loving preschool and has the most wonderful teacher, Mrs. Bernet. I forgot to post these pictures last month of Cami's Preschool Halloween party.

 This is Cami's favorite preschool friend, Grant