|Alex's homemade glasses|
I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. We had a great time in Reno with my mom and various Billharzes/Billharz associates. Sam kept singing "Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go!" In this case it was "over the mountains and through the snow." We had cold temps (the lowest recorded on our car thermometer: 2 degrees) and icy roads on I-80, but we made it in about 9 hours. Kids' dramamine and a portable DVD player with "How to Train your Dragon" kept the back seat crew pretty happy. Alex drew some awesome dragons too.
Thanksgiving day - Alex had a blast sledding with her cousins in grandma's yard. I ran my own 5K around the neighborhood and broke a new personal record - for the coldest I've ever gone running outside (at least voluntarily). 26 degrees. Crazy! We had the usual holiday mob - 25 or so for the big turkey dinner, 15 of which were kids ages 1-18. Thomas ate mostly broccoli, Sam ate mostly cheese cubes and grapes, and Alex ate mostly cranberry sauce. Mom cooked all the side dishes and Jenny brought 3 turkeys: one real and two made out of fruit and veggies. I need to get the pictures from mom - they were amazing! It was actually a little strange NOT to cook for Thanksgiving this year, but I didn't mind too much. :-) The rest of the weekend was soooo nice and relaxing. We watched UNR beat Boise, spent time with family, helped put up the Christmas tree, and took the kids swimming and then out for pancakes. Sunday I went to church and sang hymns with my mom, which made me happy. I ran into some familiar faces there, including the pastor who married me & Bryan 19+ years ago.
After playing with their cousins, Sam and Alex decided to start their own clubs. Sam's is "the flying club," in which the boys shoot people with marshmallow guns from their airplanes, and no girls are allowed. Alex's is "the loving club" and grandma and I were the first to join.
In other news, I visited Washington, DC for a work conference and enjoyed the change of scenery, the chance to eat at a good Ethiopian restaurant, and warmer weather than in Utah. But it was good to get back home.
Four books I liked this month:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (listened to Jeremy Irons read this on CD - great stuff!)
The Hunger Games - good suspenseful thriller with an interesting premise
Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan - an American woman goes on an impromptu 4-month "walkabout" across the Australian continent with a tribe of Aborigines
Fool's Gold by Gillian Tett - the story behind the 2008 financial meltdown - the housing bubble, the big banks crashing and burning, the Wall street craziness behind it all. Not my usual reading material but it's been surprisingly interesting, and eye-opening.
Well, that is about all our news for November. We are full of thankfulness and mindful of our many blessings.