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Break Time: A sweet lady in our ward took Maggie and Sienna to see Frozen 2 with her. They loved it, and it was a fun special thing for them to do.

Sienna, earlier that day said: Good thing shows have breaks in them.

Because apparently the last thing she saw in a theater was Aladdin, the Broadway musical.

Drivesgiving: We thought we were being smart by driving up to my aunt Pat's house on Thanksgiving morning, rather than driving up the night before with traffic, and paying for another night of hotel. Instead it took us 6 long, rainy hours to get there. Bleh. We enjoyed dinner with the family, but were eager to head home the next morning. We did stop at Pea Soup Andersen's on the way home, and the drive was just the usual 4 hours, so at least that was better.

Triple Holiday: Leonard came out to visit for Thanksgiving. We had a good time celebrating Arthur's birthday with bowling and In n Out, celebrating Thankgiving with our Richardson family, and celebrating Christmas with early presents from Uncle Leonard, and by decorating Christmas cookies. Games were also played, and night swimming happened. We love when Uncle Leonard visits.

Arthur, Age 4: Arthur turned 4 this week! With a birthday the day before Thanksgiving, and a party 11 days earlier, it was pretty low key. The boy has become obsessed with Star Wars. He got some action figures for his birthday, and Star Wars lego sets, pajamas, stickers etc. He runs around with his Lego ships making Star Wars noises (whatever he thinks those are!). Arthur also likes tormenting his siblings, and watching TV on his head.

He is still pretty much the worst eater and prefers yogurt and applesauce to anything else. He will eat chicken, ham, grated cheese, various crackers, zbars, sourdough bread, and occasionally I can get him to eat an apple slice or a baby carrot.

We're working on him staying in his own bed at night. I wish I could say it's going better. This project mostly consists of me putting him back in bed whenever he comes to snuggle dad in the night.

Losing Dory: This afternoon, while I cooked Back-Up Thanksgiving dinner, Arthur sat at the table and watched Finding Dory. My sweet boy kept coming to me crying because Dory had lost her dad. He’s seen the movie, and didn’t understand why he was crying. He was laughing at himself half the time, but he kept getting upset. His empathy is a lot more endearing than when I watched The Little Mermaid in 3rd grade and cried when Ursula died. Poor baby Dory!

Back-Up Thanksgiving: John wanted me to make his mom’s sweet potato casserole, so I went ahead and planned a whole Back-Up Thanksgiving meal. I got it all done this afternoon despite an hour and a half of driving kids around. We had rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussel sprouts, crescent rolls, cranberry jelly, and apple tart for dessert.

The crescent rolls turned out amazing. I laminated them, and I’ve never made anything so flaky before. They didn’t rise very well and could have been fluffier but were so delicious. I used over a pound of butter between the rolls, the tart, the mashed potatoes, the Brussel sprouts, and the gravy.

Christmas List of Very Real Reindeer: Me: Sienna what do you want for Christmas?

Sienna: Some of the kids in my class said Santa isn’t real, but I said obviously Blancer, Plancer, Dancer and Pancer are real. It’s a deer with horns. Of course it’s real.

Me: What.

Christmas Cheer: Last night we took the kids to Yogurtland and enjoyed the festive Christmas decorations. It was cold and the fake grass we like to sit on was still wet from the downpour the day before, but it was a fun little outing and the kids got out lots of energy.

Preschool Turn: For my latest preschool carpool day, I took the four boys to the Great Park. The new playground opened a couple weeks ago and is big and lots of fun. Also, the balloon ride is free again, so I took them on that. It was the fastest the two hours has ever gone by. I forgot that one of the kids is scared of every ride at Disneyland when I took them on the balloon and again when I sent him careening down the zip line. He survived.

Mind Your Cs and Ks: Sienna says “chey kain” instead of key chain. Also, there’s a few pairs of socks wrapped under the Christmas tree for her, and she’s convinced it’s chee canes.

Santa Parties: This morning was our ward Christmas breakfast. I was in charge of the food, which went well. Kids sang songs with the Primary and Arthur actually sang. They got to see Santa. Maggie threatened to ask for a pet if I made her see Santa, but we managed to get a picture of the four of them anyway.

Tonight we had John's work Christmas party. As we were leaving, all dressed up, Sienna said: "You look like you're going to a fancy party!
John: We are. We're going to my work Christmas party.
Kids: Will Santa be there?!?!?
John: Santa is too busy to go to a grown up party.

So naturally, Santa was there. They also had the fanciest balloon arches I've ever seen, and mashed potatoes in martini glasses with DIY toppings, so I say it was a win, even if we left before dessert. Who needs dessert when you can just have more potatoes?

Shiny: I got my nails done for the first time ever (except maybe in India?). I asked a friend who I know goes occasionally and she set it up and we went together and got mani-pedis. I picked out a light tealish blue for my toes, for the cruise and apparently it's cheaper to have your nails painted than buffed, so I got shiny red for my fingers for the holiday.

It was fun, but it was expensive and I certainly wouldn't do that often. Next time I want to spend money, I'll go get a massage.

Dalton Gives a Gift: Dalton asked if he could buy a present for a friend named Alex. He was suspiciously referring to his friend Alex, his music stand partner, as "they" and finally said it was a girl. Ok. We scootered to Walgreens and bought her two little packs of Ghiradelli chocolates, which he wrapped and gave to her at school. The next day he brought home a decorated baggie of candy she had given him and a NOTE about how she wishes to always be by his side and how she trusts him, and likes how he feels for her. Dalton, the charmer, fourth grade version.

Mail: We’ve been out of town for 12 days, and came home to 15 Christmas cards (and 3 DMV documents). December is the best mail time.

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