What's the blogging hold-up, I'm sure you're all wondering. Well, I want to download pictures. And I have misplaced the camera, so here's another photo-less post in the meantime.
1) The visit from my brother's family was really great. I love them so much. Their girls are so amazingly sweet and lovely that the mere thought of them can bring a tear to my eyes. They played to well with Mary and the twins. It warmed my heart when Maya wanted to hold my hand as we strolled the sidewalks in Lake Las Vegas. I was so glad to get to know them better this trip.
I loved the time spent with Dave and Brooklyn late at night talking. Many conversations were thought-provoking (politics, parenting, and education), and all were worth the limited sleep. It was wonderful to have them here and I wish we lived closer.
If my parents had been able to come we would have had an early Thanksgiving dinner together. But as it was, we had Indian food on Sunday afternoon and was a feast-worthy spread.
2) Thanksgiving day was filled with friends and good food. The missionaries and the Anderson family joined us for dinner. They have a foreign exchange student from China named Kassia, who is in Tyce's Spanish class. Their other two daughters McKenna and Marielle are roughly the ages of our other kids and so it seemed that the kids had a good time. We used our fancy dishes and Mary set the tables (her specialty) and it looked really pretty. Bryce's homemade crescent rolls were especially delicious this year.
The kids have been gathering acorns at school. I'd say that Harrison has about 300 in a bag. After dinner the kids tried using chopsticks to pick up an acorn, and then pass it to another person's chopsticks without dropping it. It was hard to keep that round ball from rolling but Kassia was a pro with those chopsticks!
3) The wards of the Lake Mead stake were reorganized; we lost some dear members and gained quite a few more. Our new bishop is Jim Shapiro, formerly of the Newport ward (our whole development is in one ward now); Bryce is the 1st counselor again; and Aaron Hafen is the 2nd counselor, formerly of the Fairview ward. I don't know how the ward auxiliaries will shake out; we have a lot of new people who are willing and capable to fill in wherever they're needed. I am really thankful for that. I have loved my time in Young Women and I hope I am able to stay--however, I am ready to move on if the bishopric wants a change. Those girls will always be special to me regardless of my calling. And while we did lose four lovely young ladies, we gained 8 new ones! Tonight is our first activity all together and I look forward to getting to know them.
4) Mary still wants me to home school her. I am still on the fence. More of the same. Here headaches are getting under control--I think--but I'm not sure. They're still fairly regular but she hasn't missed as many days in a row as she did before seeing the neurologist. In other news, she recently got an iPod and listens to Taylor Swift almost constantly. When it's not T.S. it's Weird Al, The Lion King, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmarron, Sarah McLaughlin, or Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. But mostly Taylor Swift. She loves to belt out those songs anytime, anywhere.
5) Tyce is working with the special ed kids in choir. He cut his hair again to comply with ROTC and it looks sharp. He and the neighbor boys watched the new Robin Hood movie at our house last night. Since my microwave doesn't have many functional buttons left (now the 2 and all the specialty buttons are defunct) it was quite the experiment to get a bag of popcorn to cook right. And you could smell that some of them got, well, overdone. Haha. I guess the lemonade and chocolate chip cookies helped soften the blow.
6) Cameron spells everything right now. "S-T-O-P spells stop," he'll say. Or, "Can I have some L-S-P-M-D?" which means "lemonade." He constantly says letters and ask what it spells; we ask, "What are you trying to spell?" and he's usually hit the first and last sound of a word. He's very cute and curious when it comes to spelling.
7) Harrison has had fun collecting acorns and then sorting them by size. In school he's proposed to nearly half of the girls in his class. The little red-haired girl is *so* last September. He's very social and loves to play. Both he and Cam are very good in class (most days) and consistently earn a green light (Harrison) or a stamp (Cam) in their daily folders.
8) I have enjoyed volunteering in the kids' classes; the twins on some Wednesdays and Mary's two Fridays a month. It seems like every time I come in, that's the one day a child doesn't bring their folder to school and I feel like the biggest lame-o parent alive. The kids' teachers are all really great and I'm glad to get to know them.
9) Christmas! House is decorated, tree is up, and now I just have to get the rest of my act in order.
And that's all for now.