Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

It was, simply, one of the best Thanksgivings in recent memory. It could only have been improved by sharing it with ALL of our family and friends. However, we felt so very grateful to have a house full of people we love for Thanksgiving this year.

This set of missionaries, Elder Anderson, Elder Ahern, and Elder Gaastra, are very dear to us. They have taught us, strengthened our testimonies, and become our friends. We were so happy they could join us for Thanksgiving this year.

Shaelynn, McKay and Benson had their own little Thanksgiving nook. They really enjoyed themselves. They laughed and played and sampled the food. Well, Shaelynn and McKay sampled the food. Benson just at jello...and pie.

We were nothing short of delighted to have Becky and her two wonderful friends, Rachel and Todd, join us for the weekend. It felt more like Becky brought two of our cousins home.

Rachel, Becky's roommate, is a sweetheart. She was kind, patient and sweet with the boys, and a big help in the kitchen. We loved getting to know her better.

Todd was fantastic too. He took some family photos for us, baked two unbelievable pies (I have the recipes in-hand), played trains and airplane with the kids, and seemed to be doing dishes every time I turned around! He was kind and thoughtful too.

Needless to say, we hope they come back for another visit soon.

Our dear friends Trisha and Eric Ashford also joined us for the Thanksgiving meal. They have been our home away from home here in Kentucky. They have been there for us, no matter what and we feel so blessed to have them as a constant in our lives here.

Just had to include this adorable pic of Mr. Benson chillin' on the couch after the meal. He looks like such a little man.

This Thanksgiving was truly a special one. There is something about living far away from home and family that makes you so grateful for every meaningful relationship. From missionaries to friends, to family, each person in our home over this Thanksgiving weekend was so special and important to us. How often does that happen?

Joy is so many things. This weekend joy was:

A beautiful golden turkey
A walk through the woods with no coat
Lemon Meringue, Apple, Raspberry, Pumpkin, and Pecan
A park-side duck-attack
More people than beds to hold them
Bang!, Apples to Apples, Loaded Questions, Bananagrams, and Scategories,
Two babies and Five adults
New friends you feel you've known a long time
Little Women
A new sweater and Chick-fila waffle fries
A van with no empty seats
A best friend named Becky.

I am so grateful for the dear, irreplaceable people in my life. All weekend long our home felt complete for the wonderful people surrounding us.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Elder Anderson and Elder Ahern, two of the best missionaries to ever serve in Nicholasville!

Becky snuggling with McKay, post-nap.

Elder Anderson setting the Thanksgiving table. Those missionaries are always serving! :)

Eric and Alyssa. So cute!

Three of the four Ashfords. Our family away from family.

Elder Ahern and Elder Gaastra playing Bang! It was so much fun to play some games with the missionaries!

A kitchen-full. Delicious food everywhere, friends and family filling the kitchen, lots of helping hands, and a silly husband mashing the potatoes = a perfect Thanksgiving.

Benson giving me loves. Oh he is such a sweet little man!

Becky unwrapping the goodness.

Part of the Thanksgiving feast. And, for the record, our turkey was BEAUTIFUL! Props to BJ for doing the dirty work to make the turkey so beautiful and tasty!

How to eat a roll, Benson-style.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

McKay's Karaoke

So, last night while McKay, Benson and I (BJ) were playing with trains, I (like I often do) broke into song. Sometimes while I sing songs, I will pause and let McKay fill in the words... Our song last night went something like this:

BJ: Splish Splash I was taking a...
McKay: Bath (half-heartedly)
BJ: I stepped...
McKay: out of the tub, (a little more enthusiasm)
BJ: Put my...
McKay: Feet on the floor,
BJ: Splish Splash I...
McKay: Jumped back into the bath. (quite enthusiastically)
BJ: How was I to know...
McKay: There was a turtle in the bath!

Letters from McKay

When people are sick we sometimes scribe for McKay while he dictates a letter to a loved one. Here are a few of his recent correspondence.

Dear Mom,
I'm sorry that you're sick. I hope you feel better...I'm drawing a spaceship on Dave's picture for him...I love you a lot, Momma.


Dear Dave (and Vickie),

I'm sorry you're sick. You're welcome for giving you this card.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Muffs and other random thoughts

Yesterday morning while Benson was still asleep and McKay was watching a show, I hopped into the shower. Once in, I realized I didn't have my shower puff or a washcloth in the kids bathroom so I grabbed McKay's puff and began using it.

About two seconds later I heard the bathroom door open and McKay's voice authoritatively say, "Hey Mom, don't use my new muff that Nanna bought for me. It's my own special muff, so don't use it, okay?"

"Ok," I replied. I mean, technically I wasn't using a "muff" anyway.

In preparation for McKay's nap today, I sent him in to go potty. He went into the bathroom, then I heard the toilet lid lift up and crash back down, followed by McKay's wailing.

I said from the other room, "Are you ok? What happened?" to which McKay responded through tears, "The toilet lid fell on my pee-er."


Yesterday the boys and I went and got flu shots. Today I feel horrible. It feels like a miniature dose of the flu. I am reminded of two years ago when I got my first ever flu shot. I remember feeling badly then, too. It was after that flu shot that I swore them off forever, deciding I'd take my chances with the flu.

The next year I got the flu. I felt horrible. Three full days in bed feeling disgusting. So, this year I opted for the flu shot. And now I feel horrible again. Grrr.....

As we were leaving the clinic after getting our flu shots, a lady was being taken back by the nurse for an appointment. As she walked past us McKay looked up at her and said, "the nurse will give you a squirt in your arm, then you will be all better too!"

This morning I stepped out of the shower and was drying off. McKay had just come into the bathroom and was talking to me about Benson. All of the sudden I heard a strange "plop" behind me in the shower. I turned around and looked at the very spot I'd been standing in only a few moments before. A huge spider had just fallen from the ceiling to that very spot. We're talking big black, thick body and legs, and hairy too. A few moments earlier and it would have landed right on my head.

I'm not kidding.

I managed to half-choke the scream that unconsciously rose in my throat. I made McKay close the shower door and watch to make sure the spider didn't escape. I grabbed the poison and gave it a healthy spray. It didn't seem much affected by the stuff. When it came running at McKay and I, I knew we needed reinforcements.

I called my neighbor, Dave, who was just on his way to work. He knows a little of my arachnophobia and gallantly came over to rescue us. I felt a little ridiculous but some things are too much for me to handle. And why does this always happen when BJ is away? I think spiders can smell fear.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Carving 2011

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Truck or Treat 2011

This year our ward held it's annual Trunk or Treat and Chili Cook-off at the Nicholls farm. It was the perfect place for the event. The ward met in the barn, ate on hay bales and had a wonderful Halloween time! Right outside the barn were horses. Above McKay is posing in front of the horse. He was fascinated by it and kept trying to feed it pine needles.

Here are Mommy and Benson. Benson would walk right up to the horse and start giggling...and barking. He seems to think all large animals are dogs.


A shot inside the barn
At the entrance to the barn was a blow-up monster. McKay thought it was very exciting indeed.

Mmmm all the delicious treats!

And here is where Benson spent the majority of the party. Try as I might to keep this boy clean, he insisted on rolling around in the dirt.

Actually, the truth is, it was a very cold night, so his well-meaning mother dressed him in 4 layers underneath his monkey suit. He was wearing a full fuzzy jammy, jeans, a sweatshirt, and long johns (maybe a coat too) underneath. So, anytime he bent down to reach for something, he fell flat on his face (think "The Christmas Story"). All I have to say is, thank goodness that costume is brown!

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