It was really a very fun stretch from Friday through Tuesday for me. The holiday of Veterans' Day, combined with some conferencing, and Michael and Traig hunting offered up same days off for kids, and Michele and her girls spending the long weekend with us.
We did have to put a little "work" in, though - at least Mikayla did. This was taken at her Kidsports Volleyball game. The gal on the right is named Kate. She was a student in the class I considered my all-time favorite to sub for, four years ago. She was probably my favorite from that favorite class - a super achiever in every way....destined to be president of the country some day. She's also an exceptional volleyball player, and played against Mikayla's team - they each won a game, so I guess that's fair. It was a sweet time to catch up with her life and reconnect!
On Sunday, I begged Michele to go see "Interstellar" with me. It was a movie I thought would be well worth it to see on the big screen and we took it up a notch to actually see it on IMAX - my first experience. It did not disappoint!!!
On Monday, Michele had to return to Dallas to participate in some teacher trainings (only to return that afternoon to us), so I took advantage of the day without Whitley to SHOP! I took Mikayla with me to this place in the morning (while Nati and Ellie remained sleeping!) - such beautiful stuff here!
Based on her due date being Christmas Day, Mikayla's middle name is NOEL. =)
Oh so pretty!
Meanwhile...on the eastern side of the state, Michele was getting updates of her hubby and his hunting group's success. On the first full day, Michael was given the priority to get the first elk...and he did. A five by five. Over the next two days, of the 6 remaining tags to be filled, five of them were taken care of. That left Traig to be the only one still without an elk as he had been busy helping his dad pack out his. When his day came, he indeed was successful - harvesting the largest elk of the whole group - a six by six. This kid, at 16, has been off-the-charts blessed in every hunting adventure he's been on, good thing he's pretty humble. ;)
For sure, this whole group's elk hunting accomplishments is almost legendary, as it's unheard of for a group to be this successful. Michael had spent so many hours planning and preparing - he was giddy for months ahead of time in anticipation and came home equally giddy. So happy for them and pleased to report that all of that meat will be used amongst the families as it fills their freezers. I'm also happy to report that they are all home safe - another accomplishment given the onset of crazy winter weather this last week.
On Wednesday, life resumed normalcy - Whitley got to come over and we got to even get a little time watching Elsie as Christi had an appointment to go to. I like Whitley's expression when Elsie commandeered the remote control.
But, she was eager to help as needed... =)
Over the weekend, John did the unthinkable. He put up our Christmas lights super early. (He's my hero!). Given he couldn't do the job last year with his eye, and he was looking at a weekend with help available from the kids and good weather, he just wanted to get it done. And yes, we have gotten comments from our neighbors! Oh well... you really can't help but smile even if you are of the reasoning that it should wait. Whitley sure smiles....she LOVES the reindeer and how they move. She knows what button to push to "wake them up" and has had to be gently reminded that the reindeer need to go "Night Night" during the day. =)
This week has kind of been a progression for her conversation skills and downright humor. She cracks me up constantly and her reasoning and personality are just off the charts.
However, it's been a digression in terms of getting into things she shouldn't. We had a scary encounter with a household item this week that I'm so thankful turned out okay. But, then there's the encounters with "safe" items that aren't necessarily scary, but maybe the results are.
Like this...I left her on the couch with sliced apples, peanut butter and some cartoons for just a few moments while I quickly put on some make up. When I came in, her exact words were: "See that?!! Pictures!!!!" She was so proud of her peanut butter finger painting on my door. How thoughtful to pitch in with the decorating around here...
Sydney was also super thoughtful in her attempts to step in and help me clean...
And, it was a win-win for Whitley to not only paint, but get to use the spray bottle to help clean it. (She likes to clean...).
This girl - radiating joy everyday!