Friday, December 15, 2017

It's the most busiest time of the year

We are officially on CHRISTMAS VACATION!
(and so glad to be on a 2 week break from normal craziness)
School is out - here's what we did from Thanksgiving until now.

Thanksgiving visit at my mom and dad's - we did normal stuff like eat and shop and play games, but we also went to a lights drive through place.

Glad there is lots of open carpet there! (David brought his girlfriend, so he slept with the grandkids.)

Jacob likes to come up with these crazy ideas for family fun. For this trip it was everyone in the house had to put on this old jacket my brother Jared got when he was about 12 (and fit him like a dress according to Jacob's memory). The collage was made with Pixlr, so don't look closely - the imperfect grid may drive you nuts. When we let Jacob have his crazy way, we do all end up laughing and having fun in his weird little world.

Petting zoo at the lights thing

Seth and Carolyn are being the reindeer in this photo.

Rob tries out the wrap.

Aww, Gideon fell asleep.

The week after Thanksgiving (Wednesday), I finally got the new stove! Yea!
(Pressure cooker, crock pot, electric skillet and griddle, microwave, and toaster oven are great...but there's nothing like a real stove/oven to work with!)

December 1st (Thursday) we finally had time to decorate the tree. We had something going on every other night before that, so I promised homemade cookies and homemade hot chocolate since they had to wait a week past Thanksgiving to put up the tree. Photographer: Natalie

Why can't they all just pose nicely when I ask for a quick picture of everyone!?!?!

We had to move the computer desk upstairs to the playroom to fit the tree. We may leave it up there.

Dressed for "A Night in Bethlehem" (Rob is a wise man)

Gideon investigates the tree texture

Seth guitar concert.

Rob has stretches to do each night, so we put Gideon down to stretch with him.

They think he's a doll.

Alee's first Wednesday night at Activity Days - Yea! She's been waiting "forever"!

Christmas Edwards celebration at my brother's in NC last weekend. We attempted family photos.

(I'm only showing our family, my brothers, and the grandkids because Mom made these cute little scarves to number them all. We took many more and had much less cooperation from children and adults alike than these photos show!)

age order - which looks good with our adult heights - no more "door steps"
My other brother did all the (quick) edits; it was cold and rainy so we had to take them inside. (Except for one of grandchildren - which was enough!)

Gingerbread house "contest".

One last week of school and car rider line is finally done.

So cute and chubby and smiley!
(He sat here while I vacuumed for the first time in forever.)

For those interested, we are going to do our Christmas Recital/Concert on Sunday about 5 pm. We will broadcast on YouTube (link below).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our week on FIRE

Such a big deal week!
In addition to milestone moments for 4 out of 6 kids, extracurricular activities exploded, changes happened at church, and we a significant accident this week! The crazy is still being cleaned up and planned projects this week are still in force. Anybody else ready for Thanksgiving just for the break??

Let's go one by one!

Seth got his driver's permit last Monday. Rob has driven with him in the parking lots. I haven't yet. Drivers beware! Another teenage driver is on the road!

Carolyn had her first young women in excellence with our *old ward Wednesday night. The girls all made books to talk about something they accomplished this year. Carolyn told about planning the baby shower. (She and her friends were portrayed as animals in her story. It was really cute.)
 Carolyn had an orchestra concert Thursday night. She's in honors orchestra this year.
And as of Friday, Carolyn is officially a teenager and can now get on all social media. Friends and followers beware! Another teenage girl is online! (Well, when she has time to set up her accounts.)

Gideon ate "solids" for the first time last Monday and loved it. Diaper changers beware! Things are going to get messier.
 We started with sweet potatoes. He loved it. (Just gotta keep those fingers out of his mouth!)
 He's also tried out various fruits (just gnawing and gumming on them whole.) He's trying out an apple here.
 He remains a happy baby. (Except when he's hungry or tired.)

Alee turned 8 Friday and was baptized Saturday. Everything to her feels like she has waited so long to...(do whatever her older siblings have gotten to do). It was nice and she must have a lot that love her because the room was packed. She had family, friends from church, friends from neighborhood, even her school teacher.
She now owns a set of real (nice) scriptures which she is really happy about. She especially likes the tabs so she can find the book more easily.

The twins didn't conquer any milestones this week, but did do big things.
Natalie played piano at Alee's baptism and Kaitlyn gave a talk she mostly wrote herself.
Wednesday the twins had open house at dance so we got to attend and watch class.
Rob's parents were troopers coming to every activity this week - driving back and forth. We had in town siblings and my parents come to many of our events also. And a few of us was able to attend one of my niece's events of the week Tuesday. We're so grateful so much family could join us in our busy week. :)

Saturday the kids went to a primary activity in our *new ward, and Sunday we all attended together for the first time there.
We also had family in town for several of these events and some staying with us for the weekend. (Due to the extra stuff I was trying to juggle in the schedule and extra tasks I was trying to accomplish, I felt like I wasn't totally prepared for those that stayed with me. I had cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed Seth's room for them, but Rob had to change the sheets and Carolyn helped them set up beds for her cousins. I like to be a good hostess and I felt bad that I was slack in getting things prepared.)

Mentioned above "old ward" and "new ward":
*Ward boundaries were changed throughout the stake, so a lot of the congregations were shuffled about. There are some friends we will see less frequently because of the change, but we are excited for the change, happy to have some friends be moved with us, and willing to jump in and help wherever our new ward needs us. (I am temporarily subbing for the 8 year old class at church since I am no longer primary president.)

Then I set my oven on fire Sunday night. 
We had cooked a turkey Saturday to send to an activity and had spilled juices in the bottom of the oven trying to get the roasting pan out of the oven. It was full of juices and it was disposable. It was a beautiful turkey though! I planned to clean up the mess on Monday.

When I heated up some chicken nuggets after church Sunday, the sticky mess in the bottom smoked so much that I decided to try the self clean function Sunday afternoon before baking things for supper. Things went downhill fast! Within 15 minutes we had a house full of smoke and then a fire in the LOCKED oven that wouldn't unlock!
We did the right things (turn off the breaker for the range, use the fire extinguisher around the oven doors in hopes it would get inside, get everyone out the house, call the fire department to make sure the oven (now locked and clouded in smoke really was no longer on fire, etc.)
 Because we had to stay outside for a while until the smoke cleared, Gideon (who was sockless, in a short sleeved shirt, and who had spit up down the front of his outfit making him all wet) got cold. It was only mildly chilly, but it was still cool. I ran in when they were cleaning up the smoke and grabbed the first long sleeved outfit in the top of his dresser drawer. Fittingly, it was his fire fighter outfit.

They were very nice and assured me this sort of thing happens all the time (I was slightly embarrassed and felt bad to have ruined their Sunday.) And they let the girls take a picture with their cool truck. (Compensation for our crazy afternoon?)
But it still meant 2 hours of cleaning, oven shopping Monday, and a house that smells bad. Alee was a little freaked out even though we assured her that everything was fine - the firemen were just a precaution (and they did an awesome job - clearing the smoke, removing the burned oven, and making sure all was safe). Gideon was a little clingy the rest of the afternoon also. The older girls and Seth were not worried or anxious as far as I could tell.
 (I realize now that I should have let it cool, clean out what I could by hand Saturday night and then run the clean cycle later. Hindsight is 20/20.)

So glad we had a family dinner planned - I just gave the prepped lasagna and cake ingredients to my sisters in law and we moved the dinner to one of their houses so that we could still get together. (And it meant we still had dinner.)

Monday I did find a new range, but it won't be delivered until next Tuesday (which is much better than the first two stores estimated - Late December or January!) I have a pressure cooker, 2 crock pots, a toaster, microwave, and 2 skillets. 

I also bought a toaster oven yesterday (which the girls and I have been wanting for a long time anyways) so that we can "bake" some things. It was a good excuse to buy the really big one I had wanted but hadn't previously felt was reasonable. It's reasonable now that it's our oven for the next week!
We only have 6 days of meals to get through before we have our kitchen 100% functional again, and I had planned easy meals that can be modified to work in my electric appliances.

Being that this is November with Thanksgiving this week, I feel I should say some positive things about this experience!
I'm grateful we have savings so this doesn't stress us out or take our Christmas fund. 
I'm grateful not one other thing in the kitchen was ruined. 
I'm grateful no one was hurt.
I'm grateful my brother and sister in law were still here and Jacob was able to help me put out the fire while Brittany was able to help Carolyn get all the kids outside and keep track of them. (Rob was at a church meeting and left as soon as we texted him.)
I'm grateful we had that family dinner planned and that my other sisters-in-law/brothers jumped in to take over what I could no longer do.
I'm grateful 2 close friends offered help and dinner (although we did not need it).
I'm grateful to pick out my oven/stove (for the first time ever).
I'm grateful I own so many electric cooking appliances.
I'm grateful it's the week of Thanksgiving, so 3 days of meals are not even a concern.
I'm grateful I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year!
I'm grateful the kids are old enough and able to help Rob and I clean up the mess (mostly caused by the fire extinguisher).
I better stop before I start crying happy tears as I think about these things and see the hand of the Lord in my life this past week.

Today I hope to make some simple nativity costumes. I also hope to get the girls' rooms in order with them after school. Seth's is good enough; he finished last night. The kids wanted to switch rooms around. We voted in family council a few weeks ago on rooms and timing and it was unanimous! Make the switch before the holidays. So, despite the crazy that's gone on here, and the projects still half done, we're moving forward with that plan. Welcome to the Bailey circus!

Happy Thanksgiving - be safe getting those turkeys out of your ovens!