And rounded it up like this:
…and then got transferred back down to the southern part of Taiwan with a new companion:
…and sent one to Max (who got it a little late, but still looks pretty happy about it…):
Love those two SO much!
Held Evening in Excellence for church:
(more about that back HERE)
It was mis-match day at school…and least I sure HOPED it really was when I dropped off this girl in all her mis-matched glory:
(And it really was, thank Heavens!)
Our dear, sweet friends got baptized.
It was kind of a crazy weekend so I went to set up for a little refreshment gathering after the baptism a day early.
…and then headed to sleep over at the zoo with this girl of mine on her zoology-club field-trip sleep-over:
(Which I wrote all about back HERE talking about “fullness” and the amazing feeling this day brought.)
I got random pics from Elle and from her friends too…
Lucy bided her time on the sideline of the few soccer games I was able to cajole her into accompanying me to…
It helped to have a friend at this one 🙂
These girls are getting pretty bonded. Love them together.
In November we worked hard on trying to furnish our living room to get ready for Thanksgiving.
To this right before Thanksgiving:
More about how we transformed that living room (still not done, but closer) over HERE.
We had a game night with friends to celebrate a birthday:
Claire wrapped up her school soccer and had a little informal ceremony to commemorate that ending at school, complete with a little certificate:
(More about her school team soccer back HERE, but her club is still going strong…)
My friend who we met in China and have remained friends ever since (she and her family moved here shortly after we got home), was getting ready to move back East so I tried to soak her up a little before she left 🙁
I got this text from the place where I work out and it really hit me:
But I love it because it symbolizes a lot of great people and a lot of love we feel for all of them…and they just keep coming!
We read the Aviator’s Wife for book club:
He always looks so happy.
She was born right before we returned from China. Makes me marvel that we’ve been home that long!
We sat in shock watching the election:
How in the world did that happen? I’m still wondering that.
Dave and I were happy to be leaving all of it the next day on a little trip:
We got this quote en route which really hit home:
Such a good one.
We got to be spoiled in such a beautiful spot:
(That was a salad with roasted pistachios and arugula and feta cheese along with watermelon…oh boy, I still dream of that thing!)
Meanwhile soccer kept on going…
…and it’s not leaving any time soon…
And I’m pretty sure that it’s a rule that you sometimes have to get treats after the games.
We tried some new techniques with scripture study:
(How we tried to switch it up back HERE.)
My brother moved into a new home. He was pretty over-the-moon about it and we were pretty happy for him too. This is when we brought him a little house-warming gift and got a little tour of the new place:
Loved watching the “super moon.”
I stole that pic. from my sis-in-law…hope that’s ok Annie, love it!
The girls and I watched it snuggled up on a chair in our back yard.
These cousins had a sleepover with their Nana…and a big breakfast to wrap it up:
The Turkey Trot Team had lots of prep for the big day:
Love these friends who find pretty great stuff to do:
Temple with the young women in our congregation…
…those two had sporting practices so we came a little late.
We had “the flood” which was quite a fiasco:
Lucy was pleased as punch about the whole deal as you can see…
Ha! Fans always cheer people up right?
(more about that flood and what my girls taught me in the midst of the chaos back HERE)
Lucy doesn’t ever let me leave the bathtub while it’s filling now…even if there’s just an inch of water in it.
After the flood Claire and I figured hey, why go to school when you can go together to help pack food for BrainFood:
These ladies and I hiked up one side of a mountain and down the other, then up and back all over again.
It was awesome.
My brother is always helping with something or other…
…love him so.
This is usually our position when we FaceTime with Elle at night before we go to sleep:
Our friends’ boys got baptized a couple weeks after they did.
Their dad got to baptize them and it was so beautiful.
So much joy filled us all up that day.
I loved this project Lucy was working on:
Visited old friends who are remodeling a house.
Miss and love them so much!
We did self-portraits modeled after Van Gogh’s portraits.
I really adored what these little artists came up with.
So did they. They were so proud to show them off.
(Not quite like the “big surprise” last time back HERE.)
To this one:
Even Claire was preparing:
I had to steam this sucker to get it in working condition for the next day:
Then it was on to the real deal:
(Lots more about that Turkey Trot back HERE.)
We had not one, but TWO new baby cousins born the day before Thanksgiving. My brother had his NUMBER SIX (three boys and three girls…and we met her in back at the end of THIS post).
But the day after thanksgiving we got to meet Dave’s sister’s sweetie-pie baby boy which brings them up to FOUR BOYS.
Oh boy, we are lucky to have sweet baby cousins to snuggle up. We had to go meet little Thomas directly after the Turkey Trot before he got too far out of that little fresh-from-heaven newborn minute.
(I already included that pic. in all the pre-Thanksgiving prep work back HERE, but had to post it again because hey, we don’t get many babies around here these days!)
Then it was off to finish Thanksgiving dinner prep…
Love those four girls of mine.
More Thanksgiving wrap-up stuff back HERE.
(Loved having Dave’s cousin and his wife here with us through all the crazy Thanksgiving stuff.)
Claire steals babies at church any chance she can get:
Dave had a birthday.
The two of us got to spend the whole day together with no other distractions which seems to be hard to come by these days. It was pretty awesome I have to say.
We celebrated with the girls by going out to dinner after waiting forever for Claire to get done with soccer…
We FaceTimed with Elle while we waited for our food.
Then came home for cake and ice cream:
Love that man up there.
It’s hard to figure out what in the world to send to a missionary that will uplift and be useful, but I think we did ok with that thing.
It felt pretty great to drop it off at the post office I must say!
Lucy bought this little horse necklace with the babysitter while Dave and I were out of town and she wore it practically every day since, without fail:
She puts it in a little special spot on her nightstand every night, just so.
That girl sure likes routine I tell you!
I had lunch with this friend (the one who was baptized at the beginning of the month) and she was just glowing. Some of the stories she told me over lunch were just so beautiful, one in particular made me tear up.
These girls were busy as could be assembling all the kits.
And Lucy was pleased as punch that she got to be there in the thick of things.
We pulled off putting together hundreds of kits in record time.
I feel so lucky I get to work with all these wonderful girls!
(and the leaders too!)
The sister missionaries came and gave us a message to wrap things up.
And let’s wrap this wing-dinger of a post up with Max…
And he doesn’t look too sad about that service.