It all started the Saturday after Thanksgiving when Hyrum could wait no longer for a tree and we got ready to go to the local tree lot to get one. It was nice to be getting a tree during the day light and when it wasn't so bitterly cold. Hyrum was doling out hats to all of us and picked out the santa hat for Derek. Thinking he'd rather wear another hat I told Hyrum that I wanted that one. I was doing something else when I heard Derek laugh. I looked up and asked what was so funny. Derek told Hyrum to tell me what he'd just said.

"You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

"That's right, Hyrum" ( thinking "Wow he's finally getting it. Yahoo!" )

Then I took a closer look at Derek, and started to laugh. He was wearing a child's German hat that probably fits Noah or Hyrum perfectly right now. Derek...not so much. But after that lecture, how could Derek refuse so off we went with our hats on to pick a tree.

The hat actually started to grow on Derek and by the end he decided that it was going to be his official tree hunting hat.

We'll see if he feels the same next year.

This will be our last year (hopefully) loading a gigantic tree onto our tiny car. It's always an adventure. We always take the back roads and worry all the way home.

But once we had it up and decorated the car ride was forgotten. We've all but abandoned the idea of a coordinated tree. Our boys just love to see their past ornaments. I love to see mine too. We wouldn't have enough ornaments to be coordinated these days anyway.

Our next door neighbors moved up to Salt Lake City right after Thanksgiving and we decided that we would go up to see them and hit temple square for the lights. It was really cold so when we got onto temple square we went into the visitors center to warm up a bit and squeezed up to see the Christus.

There were a lot of people up there. Pretty much everywhere we went we felt a bit like cattle. I guess that's what you get for going up on a Saturday night. We'll have to try a Thursday next time.

This was Hyrum's favorite part. He was fascinated by the little light balls on the water.

The boys loved it. We'll have to make more of an effort to make it up there every year. We'll just have to remember how busy it is on Saturday. Of course most days are busy when the lights are on.

When we went to get Hyrum's pictures taken we noticed this Christmas tree lot where they had made an old truck into Mater from 'Cars'. Noah is head over heels in love with 'Cars' this year so I thought he would like meeting Mater in the rusty steel. He was a little hesitant.

He warmed up to the idea a little.

As we were leaving with Hyrum's pictures we noticed that we'd gotten pictures with Mater without his hat on. We had to get another picture from the car.

At the annual Ward Christmas they had a Santa Claus and Hyrum literally ran without me up to see him. he was so excited that he was hugging and bouncing around with his friends that were near him. Noah wasn't so sure but by the time we got up to see the big guy he was feeding off Hyrum's excitement.

I was proud of both my boys they sat on his lap and spoke very clearly both saying what they wanted and that they were good boys. Not sure how we got such confident social boys when we were both so painfully shy. I don't imagine I ever said much to Santa in my day.

Throughout the holidays I would frequently find my boys like this

My parents gave us a prerecorded book about the first Christmas that they "read" to the boys. They both loved it. Especially since Mema and Papa were reading it to them.

Last Friday was the day that Hyrum was waiting for for a long time. He couldn't wait to see the baby. He was CONVINCED that it was a girl. When I asked him why he thought it was a girl he said "Because we don't have one yet" Sounded like a good enough reason to me. I'd long since given up on trying to guess what gender the baby was. I went back and forth. As we drove to the doctors Derek asked Hyrum what would happen if it was a boy. He was quickly informed that the baby was a girl.

We went in for the ultrasound and Hyrum was fascinated by the little feet and legs. He thought it was really cool to watch the little heart beat and was confused by the skeletal face. He laughed at the baby doing somersaults

Do you see what's going on in this picture? I've never seen this in an ultrasound.

Then the tech told us that it was a boy. Hyrum was so mad. He moped through the rest of the ultrasound. As we left to go to my appointment Derek tried to convince him that another boy was a good thing by telling him that he, Noah and the new baby could be "The Three Musketeers" and have swords. That didn't work immediately.

After my appointment we were walking out and Hyrum stopped dead in his tracks and said "WAIT! Where's the baby!?" He thought we were taking the baby home today and it's a good thing he didn't want to leave him there. :)

Telling my family was pretty scary as well since everyone was really hoping for a girl. My mom even sent me a pink giraffe to take to the ultrasound for good luck. What's funny is that my parents were in a theater watching the movie The Three Musketeers when we called. Funny!

So we remain the boy factory. We can't decide if that means we're just really good at it or we haven't gotten it right yet. I have to say that when we were starting our family I really thought we'd have a lot of boys. Now for where we're going to put his clothes and how we'll get him around with the whole family.

I've seen blog posts about field trips to fire stations and was excited about Hyrum going to his field trip to a fire station.

But really the most exciting thing for me was watching Hyrum interact with his classmates and see him in a more classroom environment. When we first got there the kids were gathering in the main foyer and as boys would get there Hyrum would beckon to them and pat the carpet beside him inviting them to sit by him. It warmed my heart.

After a short introduction they were lead into the garage of the fire station where Fireman Daryl talked to them about fire safety.

He was right down on the ground with them reviewing key points and showing them his gear.

I decided at one point that taking flash pictures wasn't the best idea.

He put all of his fire gear on to show them what a fireman would look like coming to a house fire because it would be alarming to a scared child and warned them not to hide.

He gave the kids a chance to try on his fire clothes and a few did but Hyrum wanted nothing to do with that.

As soon as we walked into the garage with the fire engines Noah said "Fire! Fire! Fire!" I didn't even know that he knew anything about fire engines. Go figure.

After the fire safety presentation we walked over to the ambulance to get further instruction but not before getting out the wiggles. I was the only mom getting wiggles out with the kids. :) When they walked over to the ambulance the EMT's didn't have them sit down

but when their teacher came over ( with much more experience with children) she had the kids sit down immediately and they were given much more attention after that.

They showed the kids how they checked for oxygen in their blood

And their motorized gurney. And strapped one of them to a backboard to show them what might happen.

Upon seeing this Noah just kept saying "Uh oh Momma! Uh oh Momma!"

They even got to take a ride on the gurney

and get into the ambulance

(For some reason Hyrum could NOT stop yawning.)

Then the police officer came to talk to them. He too had them stand but the kids were quickly seated when their teacher came. He showed them his taser gun.

and his police car

and his lights and sirens

Hyrum even got in to see the cage. Hope that's the last time he's in a police car.

He went home with a plastic fireman hat, pencil, sucker, coloring book, rubber glove that he wanted made into a balloon and a police badge sticker. It was a good day!

When Derek's parents were here in October they were telling us all about their remodeling plans and how the whole house was torn up. They mentioned that if they didn't get things moving that they might have to cancel Thanksgiving. We weren't sure what would happen but as it got closer it wasn't getting done and we started to think of other options around here. Then one Sunday I had a thought. "Why don't we just stay in a hotel and if the kitchen is still in shambles then we'll go out to eat!" Perfect! Derek has hotel points that he could use and everything would be fine. I wondered why I didn't think of that before. Hyrum and Noah would be over the moon about swimming in the pool and staying in a hotel. We booked a riverside room across the Snake river from the Idaho Falls temple and we looked forward to seeing the Christmas lights illuminate on Friday night along the river. It ended up costing us money but we don't get up there enough, we had the money and we wanted to see Derek's family.

Then we had to buy Derek a new suit, and get new brakes and new tires. We started to waiver on our conviction to go to Idaho Falls. Then I was talking to Derek's mom listening to her work schedule while we were there. She was working A LOT of hours. We probably wouldn't end up seeing her much because when she wasn't working she should be sleeping. And Derek's brother had work right now and might be working on Friday. But by the time we ended the conversation we had reservations at the hotel restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. I was beginning to waiver even more but felt committed.

We got all packed and were out on the road to Idaho and had stopped to eat something when Derek had called his mom to see if she wanted us to stop by that night before going to the hotel. She informed us that both she and David ( Derek's brother) had been really sick. And in the meantime the sickness that the boys and I had had and Derek had been avoiding was beginning to catch up to him. It was too much. We called back and said that we just didn't think it would be a good idea to go all that way and either not see anyone or risk getting someone sick. We turned around and called the hotel to cancel. As providence would have it, I'd never told the boys we were going to a hotel to stay ( although I think Hyrum suspected) so it wasn't as traumatic as it could have been to go home. As a bonus they were able to get everything refunded for us. We thought we'd have to pay a cancellation fee at least but everything was refunded.

But then what were we going to do about Thanksgiving dinner? We headed right for the store and got all we'd thought we would need. Didn't think about the luggage in the trunk until we got to the car but as luck would have it, it all fit.

We got the boys in bed and then took to thawing the turkey. We were totally learning as we went. ( Am I dumb for thinking it was cute to have a little butterball turkey)

Derek had heard talk of brineing a turkey and wanted to try it out. We set out to concoct our brew.

Three hours after starting to thaw it we thought it was done. ( shakes head) We got off the packaging and discovered that it was still frozen ( surprise, surprise) But we decided to soldier on and put it in the brine overnight.

We put it in the garage since there was no way to get a cooler in the fridge. Derek was worried about it going bad so he put a few ice cubes in the brine. I thought the frozen turkey would keep it cold enough. So we went to bed with turkey's swimming in bacteria dancing in our heads.

The next morning the boys and I watched the parade. The still unpacked luggage was convenient.

Is it just me or is the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade not as good as it used to be? It seemed like we saw a WHOLE lot of the hosts and a few flashes of the parade. When we watched the parade the boys were totally into it...then they'd go back to the hosts who were talking about broadway shows and Victoria Secrets shows ( hello?!?) I just kept waiting for it to get good...then all of a sudden Santa came down the street. Hyrum "fainted" when he saw Santa and Spideman. The things he learns from Peanuts holiday specials.

I was worried that it was still frozen when I went to check on the bird but when I pulled it out of the brine to put it in the fridge to defrost I realized that it was in fact thawed. Pulling the giblets out was nearly more than I could handle so I had Derek do it. But since he wasn't feeling well he spent most of his day in bed relaxing. Hyrum joined him.

While the bird baked,

I relaxed a bit myself, and slowly washed the potatoes, made jello and juice. The weather was so nice that Noah played outside on the slide while I washed and peeled potatoes. I couldn't do the vegetables or the muffins until the turkey was out and Stove top stuffing doesn't take long. (It's the kind Derek likes ok?) The turkey was done faster than we'd originally thought. (I'm telling ya the bag is the way to go!) It was crazy half an hour 45 minutes while the turkey rested but by the end everything was done.

I did manage to burn potatoes though. That has never ever happened before. Guess that's what you get when you are letting everything cook on it's own. Wow. But it was only the bottom ones and nothing was ruined. In fact the turkey was really good too. Juicy, moist and flavorful. It was a Thanksgiving day miracle. And no one got sick. Both Derek and I were so paranoid about bacteria. Both of us kept washing our hands and bleaching things. We knew just enough to be scared.

While the turkey cooked I made headbands for the whole family. The boys were Indians and Derek and I were pilgrims. I have to say that it made my heart so happy that all of my boys kept their headbands on the entire dinner. I was so happy that they thought they were cool.

After dinner it was browsing the ads and watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. And we ended it with a bloody nose for Noah and a goose egg for Hyrum. Boys!

All in all as scared as I was of EVER cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, much less by myself, it wasn't all that bad. Granted I wasn't preparing for anyone to come over and see my house, and I didn't have the festive details my mom always has but I think it turned out REALLY well considering. I might just do it again someday! :) Happy Thanksgiving!

So Hyrum saw an amazingly ornate and gorgeous apple pie in the Parade magazine a couple of weeks ago and decided that he loved apple pie.

( Gorgeous isn't it! )
He's never had apple pie and it's all I can do to get him to eat just plain apples from time to time but he told me that he wanted apple pie for Christmas (which meant next week). I knew he'd never try it unless it looked somewhat like the apple pie he saw so I determined to make an attempt. The day before I tried Derek was reading a book to the boys and in the book the mom sends the boy to the store for some items like apples and cream and he brings home apple pie and ice cream. Noah quickly picked up on the apples and repeated "Apple! Apple! Apple!" While Hyrum repeated "Apple pie! Apple pie!" Now Noah can not be left out of anything and has to be like Hyrum so he started screaming "APPLE PIE! APPLE PIE!" It kinda became a thing because we thought it was so funny.

( Just a slice of life with our boys. Excuse Noah being a mess.. He just got done eating when Dad started filming. Gotta be quicker on the clean I guess)

So Sunday after dinner I got everything ready and got started to make my attempt. Peeling and slicing took longer than I thought I would. It looked like an awful lot of apples when I was done but it said 3 1/2 pounds so I kept going. I mixed in all of the sugars and cinnamon, flour and salt and began putting it into the pie tin.

I didn't even get them all in. There were so many of them but the recipe called to heap them into the pie so that's exactly what I did. I figured I was putting a top crust on so it would be alright.

I bought every last crust I used by the way. I figured it I was going to make this attempt I was going to make it as easy for myself as I could. Then came the moment Hyrum had been waiting for...making the adornments. I didn't have any adorable leaf cookie cutters so we used what we had

A circle, a heart, a diamond, a flower and a dog. He had been trying to cookie cut every crust he saw so I had to be watchful. He kept rushing to the next part. He was so excited.

It wasn't until I had the pie in the oven egg washed and all when I realized that in my rush I'd forgotten the butter and the vanilla. If it had been a crumble crust as I'm accustomed (HA!Once I made one) to makeing it would be no problem but with a double ( triple ) crust that created a problem.

I did my best to add it but I was fairly sure that only the middle would be flavored and overly so. At least it looked pretty good considering. Nothing like the original but closer than I ever thought I could get.

We ate it for the treat for Family Home Evening because it didn't get done until the boys were asleep. We sat down to eat it to the chants of "APPLE PIE! APPLE PIE!" Hyrum announced that it smelled sooo good. We cut everyone a piece.

And Hyrum WOULDN'T EAT IT! We had to promise him straight brown sugar to eat one piece. I couldn't taste anything (blasted cold) but Derek said it tasted good. Doesn't look like this will become a tradition. Part of me isn't so sad about that.

One of Noah's first words was in I want that TOO. He has to have or do whatever Hyrum has or is doing. No matter what he has or is doing.

Some examples

They did this for at least a half an hour. Silly boys!

This is a game that Hyrum made up one Sunday. The first time he would just run across the blanket the second they would trip on the blanket. Again kept them busy for so much longer than you'd think it would

Can't really explain this one Hyrum just started doing it and of course...Noah followed.

Being a little sister I can totally understand why this is happening. Sometimes I just wish it didn't. Like when Hyrum doesn't want to eat something so neither does Noah or when Hyrum is jumping off the couch so Noah follows suit and lands on his head. Just a day in the life of boys who are becoming friends.

We have three days of Halloween every year. We don't know how long this will last but it's fun while it does. The first event is the Omniture/Adobe (Omnidobe?) Halloween Horror Hoorah. It just keeps getting bigger. This year they had two different time slots that you got your wrist bands for. We took the earlier time slot going from 2-4. I was tending a friends son so we had a friend with us this year. We didn't get a family picture as we typically do. But we did get a picture of our little super hero squad.

I was suppose to join them by being Wonder woman but I didn't get my appropriate costume in time so I opted for the villain busting out the cat woman costume. A fuller figured cat woman this year. But there's no record of it. Probably for the best.

This was the scene when we got to the line. Amazing how many people file through this maze of amazement. I'm pretty sure this was part of a costume but funny nonetheless.

Halloween madness is alive and well at Omnidobe. Derek got home at 2am after setting up for it. The other side of the sign said something like "Stop the madness. Give us our spouses back." It's not really Halloween per se that is taking my husband away so much at Adobe though. They had snake charmers, balloon artists and clowns milling around to entertain while we waited. The boys were as excited about seeing all the other costumes as they were about going through the Halloween fun. That is until it was our turn to go in and Hyrum saw the darkness and heard something about aliens ( It a the Men in Black section ) and he came unglued.

Derek carried Hyrum crying through the first little bit. Until we convinced him that they were made of paper.

The next section we really didn't get. It was a medieval peasant village then you went through this area where there were just pumpkins with menacing faces saying things like "How would you like me to carve YOU"

Then at the end you went through the peasant village again and signs were cut up and there was other upsetting chaos. We left perplexed but maybe we just aren't as cool as the other kids because it won third place.

Then we walked down the red carpet with all of the stars.

Noah was a bit star struck. He is SOOO into 'Cars' right now.

Derek told me about an Angry Bird section

But he didn't tell me that it was INTERACTIVE!

Hyrum had a blast with it.

They had four or five "levels" along the way and Hyrum tried at least three.

There were a few spooky areas this year. And Adobe farms was one of them. Luckily you had a choice of going the spooky way or the not spooky way. Hyrum always opted for the non scary way and Hunter Hyrum's friend always wanted to go the spooky way. But when the ways connected there was a big hay slide which was a fun thing.

Hyrum still looks a little freaked out though. He always put his mask down when he was scared.

The executives did a Toy story theme. I had to get a picture of the solar system hanging because of course Hyrum was studying space in school.

Then there was the triumphant return of the little people as little green men. Tradition continues.

Then there was the Alice and Wonderland area which we saw a bit of because most of it was outside.

I was nervous about these plants being outside with it being so cold at night but most of them were conifers or at least evergreens.

They had a croquet field(?) over here

And a unbirthday tea party going on where all the candy was.

Then we saw a big jumpy castle that the boys all got in and jumped in. Not sure exactly what it had to do with Alice in wonderland but it was a lot of fun

Then we went into the next building and went to Hogwarts

And got wands

Then fought spiders.

You can't see them but there were fishing line hanging from the rafters and you really felt like you were walking through spiderwebs.

And get candy from a toilet!

The boys thought this was GREAT! I was glad the guy was sure to tell them not to eat things from the toilet at home.

Then we got around to the Quidditch field and each of the boys grabbed their brooms on the way in to fly around on them and "catch the golden snitch" (which were Ferrero Rocher candy)

Noah felt like sweeping instead

This is probably from The Goblet of Fire but for the life of me I don't remember a girl chained to the bottom of the lake. We tried not to let the boys look at it too closely.

Then we went to Storybook Land

First up was "The Cat in the Hat" Hyrum needed a little convincing

We had to get a picture with the Cat of the hour.

And get in the Thing one and Thing two box

Well Noah fell in

Then we were off to Where the Wild things are ( Derek's section )

I got some video

Then we walked through the wardrobe to Narnia

And met the white witch

They had a spot where you saw the stone table that Aslan magically appeared on but didn't think to get video.

That was it. The boys sat down to dig in while Derek went back in to get his things.

Then we went over to where we started because we heard rumors of cotton candy and popcorn.

They had a live band playing too. They took a break just as we sat down but they played other music in the interim. Noah was feeling it.

Everyone had a great time eating cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream. I for one probably had 5 bags of popcorn alone..they were small though.

The next event was on Saturday. The ward Trunk or Treat.

Hyrum's friends Alan and Tyler were going to be a mouse ghost from a book right up until the night before the Trunk or Treat but then decided to be Batman instead. I wonder if my little superhero's had anything to do with that?

One of my favorite things about Noah being Superman is that every time he was in his costume he'd start singing the Superman theme song.

After trunk or treating they have a Halloween carnival in the cultural hall and as part of that they have a catwalk so that all of the kids could show off their costumes. Noah wasn't feeling so great because he had a bit of a stomach bug

but he was ALL ABOUT walking down the catwalk. In fact he ran up there when it was someone elses turn and while Derek was announcing who it was and what they were wearing he strutted up there and walked on down. I ran up to get him which he was NOT happy about. He went next but wasn't over his offence and cried the entire way down the catwalk.

Hyrum didn't have any trauma and did his best Spider man run down the catwalk.

Then on Sunday we finally got around to carving the pumpkins...nothing like waiting till the last minute.

We had a bumper crop of pumpkins this year in our garden and as many as we gave away we still had probably six orange pumpkins and four white pumpkins. In addition to the two we got at the pumpkin patch. We didn't even try to carve them all. We did do four of them though. What did we put on the white pumpkin that Hyrum watched from the moment it became a pumpkin? Casper of course.

Hyrum has never wanted to help clean out the pumpkins. He always went on and on about how gross it was. This year we were determined to make him at least try.

Don't know if it will ever happen again. We'll see.

Monday was THE day and Hyrum's preschool Halloween party too. I knew Hyrum wouldn't be able to wear his mask to many events so I bought face paint as well but Hyrum has a thing with face paint. Ever since his friend wore face paint last year as a ghost it has scared him. But for some reason after resisting it nearly to tears on the night of the trunk or treat. ( We made him keep his mask on his head and not on his face-except for pictures) He decided it was ok for preschool AND LOVED IT!

I think I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself.

That night when Derek got home he could hardly stand waiting to eat. He wanted to be out there trick or treating.

Then when we got out there it was all we could do to get him to go to houses.

He'd just walk on by unless we compelled him to go.

At one point I said "Um you know that you have to go to houses to get candy, right?" Then we figured out that he was looking for his friends. Once we found them he was all about trick or treating

Until they had to go back home. He just wants to trick or treat with friends already.

Noah was funny. He loved that glow stick and wouldn't let it go. So when he'd go up to houses he didn't have a hand to take the candy. And he didn't know enough about trick or treating to hold up his bucket so people were left to try to hand it to his glow stick hand which most of the time he'd drop it or just slip it in his bucket which he wouldn't see and just stand there at the door screaming "SOME! SOME!" Hopefully he gets it better next year.

And then it was done. What a great Halloween. Now bring on Thanksgiving.