Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving 2018- 2 Feasts!

Steve schools his mom at Chess on Thanksgiving morning
 Over Thanksgiving break, our family traveled out to be with our extended family for not one, but TWO delicious feasts!  Luckily those feasts were not planned for the same day, so we could spread out the abundance and calories over a couple days.

First Feast

We stayed at Steve's parents' house during the break and traveled 15 minutes over to my dad's house for our first Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't take many pictures of people it appears, but there were many there!  Everyone brought food to the feast and made it quite the event!

Spencer smoked a turkey, my dad baked a ham, my cousin Ben and Erika brought sweet potato casserole, I brought corn casserole, brussell sprouts, and pumpkin dessert, my mom brought Krab potato salad, Grandma Blad made her 7 layer jello, April brought an olive-garden-style salad, Micah brought green bean casserole, rolls (I think?), and a pumpkin cake roll, I think my dad made the potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, too (?).  This post has been back-dated and I'm actually writing it on January 19, 2018, so it's been a couple months since that blessed day thus making it a little hard to remember details, but I do remember that everything was delicious.  Oh!  There were several pies, too.  Trent and Lyndsi brought several she had made with her family the day before: pumpkin, triple berry, pecan, and apple with warm butter-caramel sauce.
my plate

Lily smiling with her food

Lily's plate
Amara and her meal

Alexa's first Thanksgiving!
 Desserts were 4 different pies, Mandy's homemade pumpkin cake roll, my pumpkin streusel dessert, carrot cake, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  So much YUM on one plate.  I took mini pieces of almost everything and had a full plate of dessert!
 The Thanksgiving didn't end with dessert.  God gave us a feast for our eyes with the sunset that evening. My dad has a spectacular view of the mountains, the city, and the lake from his front deck, and as the sky began to change, we all went out there to partake of the majesty.  It was absolutely stunning!

Next Feast 

 It was a beautiful day to help with the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner #2 with Steve's side of the family.  We helped with shelling pomegranates.  That was fun.  I got to sit outside and enjoy the lovely weather while doing that.  Those fruits were plump, juicy, and beautiful with seeds like rubies!

Steve was a good helper and heaved the huge, thawed turkey into the sink to rinse it off. That may have been his first time ever doing that.  It was kinda funny watching him squirm a little as he manhandled that bird.

 Luckily, when dinner time rolled around, I remembered to take a picture of the plate of goodness!  So much bounty!  So much warmth!  So much to be thankful for!
Those who were at this feast were Steve's parents, Matt, Laurel, Ryan, Tamsin, Hannah and Jake, and our family.

Also that day, there were lots of fun leaves for the girls to jump into at Grandma and Grandpa Christensen's!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

October Happenings

 PHEW!  October went fast without even one post from me.  So, here's a post to show you what we have been busy doing- in addition to our usual homeschooling, chores, and work. 

We finished preserving our garden goodness as is pictured above.  Canning is a big chore, but I am starting to teach my children how to do it so they will not have such apprehension and a giant learning curve to overcome when they grow up, (like I've had).  My kids and I canned salsa together.  We took a day of homeschool and did that as our schooling that day.  They got to harvest peppers and tomatoes, wash them, trim them, slice and dice and everything.  Then we talked about the importance of proper preservation techniques and we washed and sterilized jars, lids, and bands, then filled jars, wiped rims, and processed the salsa using a boiling water bath.  It took all our school day to do the 2 batches we did, and the girls were tired and got a true sense of the work that goes into a few jars of preserved food.  They also ended up with a sense of accomplishment as they got to see the finished products.  I think when all was said and done, we had 60 pints of salsa, but not just from that one day.  I ended up doing a few batches on my own later on.  This year we canned tomatoes, salsa, tomato juice and tomato-beet juice, green beans, pickled jalapenos, beets, pickled beets, strawberry-honey jam.  We froze aspabroc, diced beets, green beans, and peppers.  I left all the jars on the counter stacked in neat rows until I was completely done canning just so that we could all appreciate the bounty God blessed us with and see the fruits of our labors.  Yes, that meant that there were jars on my counter for 4-6 weeks during this entire process.  And when I put it all away, the counter looked so empty.

We also had the opportunity to go on a couple photoshoots, one of a family in our ward and one of my sister's family.  Both Steve and I shot and edited photos and our girls were our wonderful assistants.

We finished harvesting what was left in the garden which included all our potatoes, cabbages, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and beets. 
 Every year we have some funny shaped carrots, but this year we also had funny potatoes that grew like snomen and triads.

Over fall break, we went to Lagoon Amusement park.  Steve and Lily rode all the thrill rides while Amara and I rode the calmer rides like the train, carousel, bumper cars, etc.  There were only a few rides that our entire family did together, like the haunted mansion, the log flume, and the thunder raceway.

We stayed at Steve's parents the first night, on our way to Lagoon.

Amara loved this stone seat.  Can you guess why? 

After a fun day at Lagoon, we stayed at this AirBnB in Kaysville, 10 minutes away.  It was perfect.
 There was even this cool treehouse we discovered in the morning.

After Lagoon, we stayed with my sister in Payson so we could be there to take their family pictures.  We got to play with their family and enjoy the fall weather.
(We're still editing photos, but here's a sneak peak.  We took their family photos in an orchard by their home.)

Ok, and, amidst everything going on, Amara really wanted to decorate the house, so I got down decorations and let her have at it. 

Then the month was pretty much over and it was Halloween time!  We went to the trick or treat story and craft time at the library.

And, we also went to our ward trunk or treat, which is a lunch event on the Saturday before Halloween.  We had soups, rolls, and pies, then all the kids got to go trunk or treating around the parking lot. We decorated our trunk with Amara's lead and vision.  We had hanging paper bats, dripping paper blood, paper ghosts, and bloody handprints.

 I was Minnie Mouse, Lily was a cat, Steve was from Slytherin House, and Amara was a jester.  My mom was "the strange things you find at a beach."  Yes, and if you remember, last year she was "Queen I'm-A-Dollah."

Have you heard of mini mixie Q's?  Well, they are these tiny toys that Amara loves.  She loves tiny things and she's collecting these right now.

To finish off this post and our busy month of October, My mom and I took the girls trick or treating.

It being Hallloween, the kids chose their favorite candies, ate a few and saved a few more for sugar-day (which we do once a week, usually on the weekend).  The rest were sacked up and left for the candy fairy, which left them $7 each this year.

As I was turning out the lights to go to bed, I went to blow out the jack o lanterns on the porch and I could smell pumpkin cooking.  I took off the pumpkin from the candle and that candle was completely aflame.  I couldn't blow it out, every time I tried it just flamed up higher.  So, Steve extinguished it by flopping a folder over the top of it and it was out it in a jif!