Tuesday, December 29, 2015

November 2015 Review


Walter studied and then took his driver's permit exam. He passed and now has his permit. Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten much practice of late. I need to take him out to drive around the parking lot at the town park. I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I have a teenager old enough to drive. In my mind, I still see him as my baby. I suppose this is the problem every parent faces as their children grow up.

Local Election

I worked the local election at the high school this year. This time I was a chairperson at our table, which gave me extra responsibilities, but also came with a small pay increase. It was a good day--kind of a respite from my normal family and church responsibilities. I got to read some, but we were also pretty busy. 

Church Stuff

Once again responsibilities at church ate up my time and days. We have several people in the ward with some serious needs. Three women have cancer and are undergoing treatments. Some of them have great support while others needed more help. I also had to plan and organize the Ward Thanksgiving Dinner for around 250 people. I didn't do all the cooking--but I had to make assignments and then make sure people fulfilled them. On the big day, I barely left the kitchen. It was a successful event, but I am more than glad to say it is over.

The other thing that took a lot of time was fulfilling a stake assignment to make sure all the families in the ward had a decent Thanksgiving. With the PEC, we identified families in need. I helped coordinate the delivery of boxes of food to these families. The pickup and delivery was kind of disastrous. But in the end it all worked out.

Winter vs. Eris

Eris and Winter had yet another skirmish and Winter came out the loser, again. Winter loves the kitty and is pretty gentle with her. However, sometimes the cat just can't stand the extra attention or "love" and she lashes out. This last time, Winter ended up with a Harry Potter type scratch on her forehead.

Toddler Antics

Winter is pretty sweet, but as all toddlers must, she is testing her boundaries and my limits. This means she gets in the bottom freezer a lot (whoever thought that was a good idea???). One time she pulled out a package of butter, unwrapped each stick, and then stuffed the sticks back in the butter box. She often pulls the stool or chairs up to the counter and then plays with whatever she can get her hands on. I am much more patient with her than I was with her siblings because it really is just a phase, an annoying phase for sure, but it will end.

The Vance Family Visits Us

While living in Sweden, we became close friends with another American family who moved to the area shortly after we did. We went to church together, our children went to school together, and we spent a lot of time together. When we moved, the Vance family stayed in Sweden. They have been there for ten years now. I got an email from Amy a few months ago saying that she and their four girls were going to be in Pennsylvania for the semester so her girls could experience American schools. I was thrilled for the chance to see her. We've been calling and messaging each other. Finally, in November, we talked and Amy said they could come that weekend. 

At first, it was a bit awkward because the older kids really didn't remember one another. I showed them pictures and they visited. Brooke immediately made friends with the two younger girls. We stayed up pretty late talking on Friday. On Saturday, Amy and her four girls, and Trent, Josef, Brooke, Jonathan, and I went to the city on the train. We took them around to favorite sites. We saw the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry. We walked around the city and saw the Empire State building. We enjoyed wandering around Times Square which was crowded. 

Their family went with us to church to the next day. It was so nice to spend time with them. They really are good friends. Amy and I were able to just pick up where we left off!

Thanksgiving in Kentucky

We visited my sister in Kentucky for Thanksgiving this year. Our drive was smooth and easy. The kids are such great travelers. They don't complain and we are able to drive with few stops. It was nice to see Nicole and her two girls. Her older daughter is close to Winter's age and they mostly get along.

Her baby is also just a bundle of chubby deliciousness. She is sweet and fun to hold. My other sister, Trisha was there as well. She is wrapping up her job and had to be in Cincinnati to do it. It was fun to see her two boys. I had a really great time hanging out with my sisters. We watched Little Women and spent a lot of time just visiting. We even went shopping for a bit.

Brent and I took all the kids out to the zoo for the light show which was fun. We drove home to New York on Sunday. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating visit.


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