Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Update

Oh man, I have a feeling my updates are going to be spaced further and further apart until I get through the end of the year. Crazy!

We had our ward holiday party on the 20th. It was great! Lots of food, beautiful music, and great talent from the members of my ward. Have I mentioned before how much I love our ward? We hit the jackpot 7+ years ago when we moved here. Fur realsies!

Pics from the night:

Thanksgiving was great this year. It's funny how the dynamics of the Sweet Family has changed over the years. When I first married into this family I was completely overwhelmed! I seriously made Sam right down his 7 siblings names, as well as their spouses and children, into a family tree. I NEVER thought I was going to memorize everybody's names and who they belonged to. When everyone got together I was a bit terrified to say the least....lots of people, lots and lots of little kids running wild, and they all had the same Sweet Eyes so they all looked the same to me! I would practically have to take a valium before big family gatherings.

Fast forward 11 plus years. The sweet Thanksgiving attendees are now around 40 instead of 70, and everybody is so much older. No more little hyper kiddos running around, now it's a bunch of hysterical teenagers that I love to laugh with. Some of the older nieces and nephews from 1998 when I first met them are now married with their own children. As the family gets older, people go their own ways, and the family gatherings are getting smaller and smaller. Surprisingly, I miss those old days of pure chaos! Thanksgiving is always held at a church and the tables are set up on one end of the cultural hall and everybody is playing basketball on the other end of the cultural hall. It was completely normal for a stray ball to fly across the gym and land on the table, all set for the turkey dinner. Nobody freaked out. Nobody told the kids to "knock it off". Somebody just walked over and reset that portion of the table and life went on. So funny!

During the morning as I was making pies, Carson sat with me at the counter and worked on some crafts. I'm really enjoying Carson's independent spirit (most of the time). He isn't afraid to figure out things on his own for the most part.

The dinner table was beautifully set, thanks in part to my nephew Dallin. He's in High School and when I was placing things on the table, he said "setting up a dinner buffet is how I used to make my living" and then he proceeded to rearrange things so it made more sense. I don't really know what his job used to be in his fulfilling High School career, but he made it work. So funny!

However, when Fern plopped the cranberry sauce out of the can, I wouldn't let her smoosh it down and make it pretty. Jellied Cranberry keeps fancy dinners humble, don't you think??

The Sweet Family. I just love 'em to pieces!

After the Sweet Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my parents house. They hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my Aunt Sharon, Uncle Richard, and my cousin Kami and her son Kai. Kami has been living with her sister Nalani for almost a year while her husband has been serving in Iraq. The day after Thanksgiving, Kami moved back to Hawaii (rough life!) and her hubby comes home around Christmas. We are going to miss Kami so much! Don't mind the cackling laughter picture...I think we were re-living our Black Friday 2008 story. My dad wanted cheap peanuts from we get in line at 5am we realize the line goes the entire circumference of the store. Of course my dad wasn't in line with Darren and I because he wanted to wander and make us do the hard work of standing in line. Darren finally got fed up and went to find my dad...which left me holding like 8 cans of peanuts. Now, remember, most people have things like TV's in their cart, not peanuts! A few minutes later Darren yells across the store to me "Hey Carrie, dad says he doesn't need his nuts, we can go!". Pure mortification. I'll never forget the shame of holding peanuts next to the real shoppers. Anyway, we're gonna miss you Kami!

Here we are witnessing a tender moment (with a little coaxing)between 2nd cousins, Cameron and Kai.

And then they had to poke each others belly buttons for good measure. I dunno, it's a guy thing.

The days following Thanksgiving we hung out, shopped (yes, I did Black Friday again this year, got some great scores!), and decorated for Christmas. It was such a nice weekend. I need another one immediately I think.

Oh yeah, Sam took Parker to the Jazz game on Saturday night. Parker's response: It was fun, I got a balloon sword, a Jazz tattoo, and I got to play with dad's ipod! When asked if he would want to go again, he said "nah".

My sister-in-law made us the cutest advent calendar. Check it out!

Magnets hold each day of the month on over the muffin tin cup, which holds the candy! I'm guessing it's candy. I haven't looked! I'll find out for sure on December 1st. I'm a FREAK about not spoiling surprises. Sam could leave my Christmas presents in a corner of the room, uncovered, unwrapped, and I would not even glance in that direction!

Finally, Fern made me get crafty. This is a bad picture because it's 11pm or so, but it says "Christ". The "I" is a stable and Mary, Joseph, and Christ are in front of the stable. I personally like the sheep, he's cute. Thanks Fern, for making me pretend I am crafty. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heather Go Lightly

I have no idea what that title means, but look at this sign:

Sam says it's a guy holding a mirror under the dog's tail. So funny. Even funnier that he took a picture of it! Just one of the many reasons why I love Sam!

So my wonderful friend, Heather, got married this past Friday. Aren't they a great looking couple? Heather and Eric Light. So happy for them!

I got to hang out with some great friends...

And BOY was it windy!

At the luncheon, we enjoyed ourselves as always, and I love to see what random pictures Sam takes when nobody knows...

The brand of Eric's car is quite appropriate. By the time the luncheon was over I'm pretty sure they wanted to ESCAPE!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Early Thanksgiving

My cousin's husband has been in Iraq for most of this year and he was able to come home and visit for 2 weeks. He had to leave before the Thanksgiving Holiday so we decided to throw together an early Thanksgiving Dinner in his honor.

It also helped that my other cousin and her family were in town from Oregon. And then my brother's family came down from Rexburg.

We had all the fixins for a great time: food, family, great conversation, and more food!

My parents were kind enough to let the festivities be held at their house. We fit 28 people in their dining room! That was some creative table arrangements. The rest of the kids just had a picnic on the living room floor. Something tells me they wouldn't have been refined enough to sit with the rest of us anyhow! By the way, I love how Parker is like "ya'll can kiss off, I'm not pausing to let anybody take my picture! This food is getting cold!!!"

Here's part of the group...

Here's some more...we had the most amazing spread! Can I tell you about it??

We had turkey, two kinds of stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, veggie tray, rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, ham....and lots of pies. Oh my. I dreamt about those pies...especially this one. The crust was a chocolate rice crispy treat and the filling was like a peanut butter mousse with more chocolate on top! So rich, it made my nose sweat after about 2 bites but it was totally worth it!

After dinner, Ben showed us some picture of Iraq and we vegged out and let the turkey work its magic on our warm and fuzzy feelings. Overall it was a great night and I'm so thankful to everyone who participated to throw this together in less than a week.

Random shots from the night:

Finally...we had a really great snow storm here yesterday. I came home from a friend's bridal shower to this:

Carson made this snowman all by himself and then he played in the snow, by himself, for most of the day. Oh yeah, AND he shoveled our driveway! I'm loving the "older kid" stage! The possiblities are endless....he's able to contribute back to society now! I'm thinking he can mow my lawn next summer. Oh yeah, 2010 is going to be a great year!