This month brought some freezing cold weather (literally), and kept us pretty busy with some fun things and some good news. We celebrated Halloween by attending our ward trunk-or-treat on Wednesday night, and then went trick-or-treating at the nearby Publix grocery store and in the nearby neighborhood of some friends from church. Our neighbors all seem to head to the baptist church for their festival and are not home Halloween night.
Derek has spent some time lately baking cookies with the kids. James especially enjoys cooking with him and prides himself on being the “family chef”. He subbed in a few basketball games with some guys from our church who play in a local league. They lost both games. He has also spent more time recently on bishopric duties as they feel behind in some things they’d like to get done. His most exciting news is that he got his score back for his grant and it seems to be right on the line between getting funded and not getting funded. It’s such a huge improvement from the last time he submitted it (no score at all) that we’re thrilled and can’t wait to find out in the next few months where the funding levels will fall. Keep us in your prayers!!
I still enjoy subbing a few days a week. We had our primary program last weekend and all the kids did well with their parts and sang beautifully. Our boys did a great job on their duet. I set a goal to get more paper pages published, and so far I’ve got 3 slated for pub next year. I was invited to be a judge for a new scrapping contest site called ScrapNWin.com. As part of my responsibilities on digiscrap101.com, I got to create a smilebooks.com photo book for free and then write a review. I made an album with some photos from our reunion in park city last summer, and I’m thrilled with the quality of it! I assigned each of the kids a meal and we’ve been working together so they can learn how to cook it themselves if I need them to. It’s been fun, and the kids feel a sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishment.
James is into a book series by Erin Hunter called Warriors. It’s got cats in it…need I say more? He has also enjoyed reading “Journey to the Center of the Earth” at bedtime with Jeffrey and me (had to after seeing the movie). He created some puppets, a stage, and a puppet show for cub scouts and we video taped it. It was about animals…surprise. He and the other kids invented a “Ratatouille” game after watching the movie, working together as restaurant employees to serve meals to their stuffed animals.
Jeffrey has made a new friend at school named Zach, and we’re so glad he’s connecting with his classmates. His GRC teacher also emailed me to tell me he is doing better interacting with the other kids and inviting them to play chess with him. He is a pepper freak and douses all his food with it. Not sure why? He and James did some extra jobs and bought a Venus Fly Trap on the web. It hasn’t arrived yet, but they’re very excited to get it. All the 5th grade classes had an overnight science camp field trip and unfortunately the boys were not able to go because it cost too much. They’re also going to miss the 5th grade trip to Washington D.C. in the spring. Whatever happened to field trips to the Zoo, or the Science Center??
Ashley got poison ivy all over her face after helping Derek with some yard work a few weeks ago. She loves attending Activity Days at church now that she’s 8. She made friends with some hispanic girls in her class that don’t speak much English. She helps them out, and sits with them at lunch and on the bus. I’m glad she saw that need and filled it. Her school had an international bread festival to celebrate the 30 different countries that students come from there. I helped in Ashley’s room. We were Mexico, and had students from several classes rotate in and out with their “passports” tasting our Mexican sweet bread and tortillas. The kids really enjoyed it.
Lexie decided at the beginning of the school year that she wanted to be called “Alexis” at school. Whenever I see her there I have to remind myself not to call her “Lexie”. I enjoyed her school Parent Day where I got to observe her class for 15 minutes. I also chaperoned the kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch and farm. We had a great time together. At bedtime after we read and pray, Derek gives the girls an animal ride up to their room. They pick a different animal every night. It’s become a fun tradition.
That’s more than enough for now. We love you all and miss you. Our thoughts are especially with Little Grandma and Grandpa as they adjust to a different life as missionaries at an orphanage in India. We loved talking to them and seeing them on Skype the other night, and are grateful they are willing to make the sacrifices they have to help some people who really need it. We’ll leave you with some festive photos from this weekend. Love you all!
Photo frames by Cherie Mask for twopeasinabucket.com.