Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Applesauce Making

I feel like I've blogged about applesauce making before, but I couldn't find the post if I did. Either way, we make applesauce in the fall. It used to be a new thing for me, but this year it finally felt pretty comfortable. Even my helpers remembered their jobs from previous sauce making. Ward's job is taste testing, so he's kind of a ringer.

Parent Volunteer

Last year, I got my first chance to volunteer in the kids' classes. While reading groups are not my favorite, I found it incredibly worthwhile to be in their classes to see their teachers and the other kids. Watching them interact with other kids can be a little bit strange. This year I've been in both Amos and Maggie's classes and it's been fun. They still like having me there, so that's nice too.

Maggie helped me set up the clipboards for the next group:

I love that my kids have their own little world when they go off to school, but I also like to get glimpses of it now and again.

Family Game Night

Sunday nights have officially become family game night around here. We finally have some readers and counters so we can play. We're still waiting on the strategists to show up, but for now it's an exercise in family time. It's not always enjoyable, it gets too loud and there is usually crying. Maggie always wins and it makes Amos sad. But, when Sunday night rolls around again everyone is all in.

The Great Adventurers

In order to achieve his first belt loop for cub scouts, Amos had to spend a night camping. The kid camped a ton this summer, heck, even I camped this summer. But, none of that counted because it was before he was officially a cub scout. So, in pursuit of the belt loop, Eric and Amos planned one more early fall camping trip. Note: it did not have to be backpacking, they willingly took it to that level. When Audrey got wind off the trip, she wanted in. I don't have the slightest idea why.

The boys gently (and not so gently in Amos' case) tried to talk her into princess time with me, but she wouldn't go for it. Homegirl went, and homegirl can hang. She. Is. Awesome.

While I like to attribute the kids' brains to myself, their drive for adventure is all Eric. And I am so grateful for that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Amos' Baptism

For more information about our beliefs on baptism, go here.

In January of this year, our Primary held a "Baptism Preview." It's a night when they gather all the kids who will turn 8 in the coming year and give them the lowdown on having a baptism. Amos was invited, and he had an eye single to the glory ever since. He held onto all of the informational papers they gave him. He talked incessantly about it. He diligently read his scriptures. He was ready.

Baptism preview, Jan. '15:

October finally arrived, and Amos' baptism was scheduled for General Conference Saturday. While not a usual day to hold a baptism, we were grateful for all of the people who contributed to make it work.

Friday night we went down to set up the chapel just a little bit. We gave Amos the option to stay home and play with his cousins, but he was not going to miss setting up. Earlier on Friday, we were at Pike's Place Market. While we were there, Amos said to me, "Mom, we should get some flowers for my baptism." That was a no brainer, and Amos helped me pick out a fabulous baptism bouquet.

Saturday morning a few of us headed down to the chapel while everyone else stayed behind to watch the Saturday morning session of conference. Again, Amos was given the option to stay home and play, but chose to come help us get ready. The most important thing we had to do that morning was fill the font. That's one thing you don't want to mess up.

The font fillers:

I didn't do a great job of getting pictures that morning. I was pretty focused on being at the baptism, so I am ok with it. We did manage to snap a few with the Hornes while we waited for everyone else to get there.

Three generations of goofballs:

I mean, really?

I managed one nice shot of the kids:

But, it didn't come easy. See, Audrey was bummed that she couldn't stand by Amos.

Maggie was really nice and switched with her. Standing next to Maggie was too much for Ward though, he just had to have a hug.

At least the baptism boy escaped unscathed.

All suited up:

I LOVE what a great example Amos is for his cousin Levi, and his brother, Ward.

I didn't want to go over the top with decorations or anything, but decorating is how I show my love. So, I put together a nice little table for Amos. Complete with Pike's Place Market flowers.

Since it was conference Saturday, and we were filling the only break people would get between sessions, we figured we better feed them. We had a great luncheon afterwards and it was like the loaves and the fishes with my little crockpot of shredded BBQ chicken that never did run out.

There were so many people there, we ended up needing to throw up 3 more tables! We sure felt loved and supported.

The baptism itself was perfect. Short and sweet and filled with so much love for Amos. He chose Grammy Cindy and his primary teacher, Dave Candland to give the talks. I really wanted a musical number so I recruited my good friend Laura Mills and her extremely talented daughters to sing "When I am Baptized" with Maggie and Audrey. Audrey may have panicked a bit and started grabbing at Maggie's necklace during the song. Maggie did a great job ignoring her until it seemed like Audrey might pull her all the way to the ground and Maggie had to fight her off. The song went on though, and the ringers carried them through.

It was a great, great day and I am so happy and proud of Amos. He really is an incredibly special kid and quite honestly, he just came that way. Today in the car he said to me, "Mom, I can't wait for the Saturday after next!" I had no idea what he was talking about and when I asked he said, "Mom! We're going to fast. Don't you remember???" No, I wasn't currently contemplating my next fast. But Amos sure was.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Family Shows up for Amos

The first weekend in October Amos chose to be baptized and we were so lucky to have lots of family come to be there for him. Both sets of grandparents and our Iverson cousins made the trip. We only had a few days, but we made the most of it.

We started off with a joint birthday party for Amos and Audrey. A fancy cupcake place had a 50% off deal, so fancy cupcakes it was! We're almost never with family on the kids' birthdays, so it was special to have a true family party.

Our big day outing was to the Seattle Aquarium. It's right on the waterfront, so we enjoyed some pier time, clam chowder and Pike's Place market too.

The underwater diver in the tank was a big hit. 

We found a huge map with Fiji on it for Grammy and Grampy. Unfortunately, the big map came with bad lighting.

The walk up the stairs to Pike's Place almost proved too much for Audrey.

Nah, she's a faker.

The rest of the visit included a walk on the pipeline, Pickle Time, General Conference, Amos' baptism, and cousin bff time.

It was a great visit, we only wished it could have been longer. Or permanent.