Saturday, November 30, 2013

Polar Express

Bobi forwarded me some information on a Polar Express in Lindon, and we were lucky enough to get a reservation.  It is a little railroad at a private house, going around their property.  Ellie was a little confused at first, because she was expecting a big train.  It was so much fun!  I hope we can go every year.

When we first got there, we went into a big garage and watched the movie Polar Express until our name was called.   We got on the train and rode to the North Pole, where we got to meet Santa Claus.

What a difference a year makes!  Last year, Lynnie was totally freaked out by Santa.  This year, she went first, hopped right on his lap, and told him she wanted an elephant for Christmas.

Ellie was in awe of the experience, and so sweet.  She told Santa she wanted a magic microphone (like Barbie in The Princess and the Pop Star movie).

After our group was done taking pictures, Santa talked to us about the true meaning of Christmas, and we rode the train back to the station.  There was beautiful music playing, and the train went past a couple of dozen Simon Dewey prints depicting the life of the Savior.

On the way out, we were able to write cards to people in the military and missionaries.

Then we went and got some pizza.  Lynnie discovered the parmesan cheese shakers and loved eating it straight.

Then it was back to Grandma's house to soak in a few more hours with Kyle & Jonette.  We stayed way to late, but we had so much fun.  Lynnie pretended to go to sleep (around 11:15).

Friday, November 29, 2013


After shopping all morning with the BCLs (Book Club Ladies, minus Kandice, who is in New York), the girls and I headed back to Grandma's house to spend more time with Jonette, Kylene, and Kiera.

Lynlee was beyond proud of herself for petting Macy.  She is definitely making progress when it comes to being comfortable around dogs.  In fact, when I asked her what her favorite part of Thanksgiving was, she told me it was playing with Macy.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I love Thanksgiving.  It is a wonderful time to reflect on my blessings and enjoy time with family and friends.  And a wonderful time to eat pie.  Lots and lots of pie.

We were a small group this year, with only 18 for dinner (Virgil, Cheryl, Tammy, & Daniel; Kyle, Jonette, Kylene, Kiera, & Kaysen; us; Paul, Staci, Dallin, Parker, & Kyralyn).  Our goal was to give Greg's mom the year off, even though we were eating dinner at her house.  Jonette, Staci, and I split up all of the food.  My assignments were a relish tray, canned cranberry sauce, a smoked turkey, pies, and homemade ice cream.  The girls and I started making ice cream on Tuesday and made 6 batches (vanilla, vanilla bean, cookies & cream, cinnamon, and two batches of pistachio). 

Greg and Ellie made six pies on Thursday morning, 2 blueberry, 2 cherry, apple, and raspberry, while I made banana cream pies and peeled 20 pounds of potatoes. 

Lynnie was a big help on the potatoes.  She loved handing me them one at a time.

Lynnie got in on the pie action as well.

Ellie made the cinnamon crisps all by herself.  She rolled out the dough, put them on the cookie sheets, and sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar.

Greg peeled the last five potatoes.  There are a lot of peels in 20 pounds!

Ellie was in heaven that two of her favorite cousins were there--Kyralyn and Kylene.

The men did the last-minute preparations.  And of course the football game was on!

Ellie and Lynnie made bead necklaces and had fun handing them out.

Time to eat!  We maybe went overboard on the meat, with a regular turkey, a smoked turkey, and a ham.

Kiera and Kyralyn made placecards for everyone, with a special note inside.

Thanksgiving is not complete without Greg's mom's famous Hors d'Oeuvres.

That's their official name:  Hors d'Oeuvres.

The whole group.

Some people never really grow up...

Ellie took this picture.

Lynnie loved sitting in the high chair.  She had her feet on Greg's arm the whole time she was eating.

I should have taken a picture of the girls' plates.  Ellie had a roll, ham, and turkey.  Lynnie had a roll, ham, turkey, broccoli, snap peas, cherry tomato, celery, and mashed potatoes.  Quite the contrast!

Ellie loved having a real glass.  As in, a glass glass.  Not a plastic glass.

A couple of years ago, Greg's dad let out a big sigh after dinner and said, "Well, that was a lot of work for 15 minutes!"  I think of that every year now and smile.

After dinner, we had lots of fun hanging out and relaxing.

There was some hair being done, and...

...Macy to pet (go, Lynlee!  First time petting her by yourself), and...

...stupid human tricks, and... to watch, and...

...pretty faces to show off, and...

...Daddy to sit on, and...

...make-up to put on, and...

...Kyle to tease.  Tammy was giving Kyle a massage--rather forcefully--and Ellie stepped in to try and help.  

Don't let that peaceful face fool you--the eyes were only closed for a second!  But lots of snuggles were enjoyed.

It was beautiful weather, and we headed out to enjoy it.  Most played football, and Staci and Kiera followed the little girls around.

Then it was time for pie.

After pie, there was plenty of time for more playing.  Mom, Jonette, Kiera, and I got in one round of Hand & Foot (just enough to whet our appetites for it!).  Kiera stunted with Ellie and Kyralyn.

 We watched part of a James Bond movie during halftime.  It was Lynnie and Ellie's first time seeing a James Bond movie, and it was pretty intense.  They were fascinated.

Greg got in a few pranks of his own, like dripping water on Paul's, Kyle's, and Tammy's heads.  It shows the level of concentration they can give to football, because Greg did Paul, got a rise out of him, then casually walked over to Kyle and got him, and then meandered over to Tammy and did her.  Pretty funny!


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