We rarely use our front door so I didn't notice we were sporting some classy fall decor.

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Thanksgiving this year was spent with the Hanson family and it was a SUCCESS!!  
I was sad to not be in Utah with the fam, 
but we had such a FUN & YUMMY Thanksgiving, so it made it all okay.
That morning, I carried out the tradition of running a 5K
I was by myself and on a treadmill, but it made me feel a little connected to everyone back home (even though they didn't do the race this year due to MN-like temps).
But it was fun and it takes away a little of the guilt for eating SO much later in the day.
Who am I kidding?  
It's Thanksgiving!  
There isn't an ounce of guilt for over eating on Thanksgiving- 
for me anyway.

As you can see from the pics below 
(and they don't do the meal justice), 
we had quite the spread.  
We seriously had enough food to feed an army!  
I somehow missed getting a picture, but Dave smoked a turkey.  
I don't love turkey, but it smelled divine!  
We also had all the traditional fixins; mashed potatoes, 
sweet potatoes, stuffing, jello salad, rolls etc.  
We started with some tasty appetizers and ended with a few delectable desserts 
including these cute turkeys that Carolyn made for the kiddos.
Below is the table equipped with Vienna Sausages for Jeff.
He loves them and that has become kind of a joke around here.
Mmmm... looking at that plate of food is making my tummy rumble.
I could go for some of those sweet potatoes right about now.

After dinner we all let our dinner settle and allowed the tryptophan to set in by watching movies.
We got in our cozy clothes and turned on 
Chipmunks "The Squeakwel"  for the kiddos downstairs
and the adults watched "Blades of Glory" upstairs.

It was definitely a Thanksgiving to go down in the books.
We really have so much to be Thankful for.
This year I was especially grateful to be in a 
new place surrounded by new, and amazing, friends.  
I can't tell you how nice it was, even though we were away from family, 
to be with our new Minnesota family.  
The people here really make you feel like family. 
It is a great and comforting feeling.
The Hanson's are no exception!
We LOVE them and are grateful to have them as great friends.

Later that night, after the festivities had wrapped up 
and all the kiddos and hubbys were nestled in their own beds, 
Carolyn and I ventured out to do a little BLACK FRIDAY shopping.
We only hit Walmart, but found some good deals on a bunch of stuff we really didn't need.
Well, some stuff we did :)

I also spoke in church that following Sunday.
My talk was on Gratitude.
I have spoken in church only 3 times my entire adult life.
All 3 times my subject has been GRATITUDE.
I guess I still have something to learn on it.
I ended my talk with words from one of my all time favorite Josh Groban songs.
My poor family gets so sick of this song this time of year 
because it's on his Christmas album and I play it over and over and over.
I love it!
Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can't see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There's so much sorrow
It's way too late to say
I'll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It's so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we're all connected
Each of us can find each other's light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There's so much to be thankful for


"aode intiyr"

One of Tol's favorite past times is looking online at different cars, car keys and car interiors.  When I got on the computer after him, this is what I saw:
= Audi Interior.
Isn't this adorable?  I love this phase, the phonetical  spelling of everything.
It's awesome seeing how Tol's brain ticks.

And thank you to Capture Wiz Pro for allowing me  to capture this :) 


Random Addi

When asked what she learned about in Primary, Addi replied,  
"Octopuses, Killer Whales and Stop Signs."
Last week it was, "Octopuses, Killer Whales and snickerdoodles.  They are sooooo good!"

Grandpa Lee

Can I just say that I have the BEST father-in-law EVER?  He came to visit a few weekends ago and it was the BEST vacation for Dave and I.  Lee was with the kids EVERY waking moment; entertaining them and fulfilling their every want and wish.  He is an incredible Grandpa- my kids just adore him!  
The first thing we did after picking him up from the airport was head to Mall of America so he could buy a toy for each of the kids (and do a little shopping for the grown-ups too).  Addi picked a princess tea set and Tol  picked a Volvo Semi truck.  Both toys got more use that weekend than any of our other toys have gotten EVER.  Lee did a great job switching between a Prince at a tea party and a truck-driver.

This pic pretty much sums up the weekend.
Thanks for everything, Lee!  We had the most fabulous time with you!

And that wraps up our 4 visitors is 4 weeks... 
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The note said...

This kept Tol busy for a long time while Dave and I got things ready for Sterling and his family to come over for dinner.


Visitor #3: CANDICE!

Candice was so great to pay us a visit in early November.  We absolutely LOVED having her here!  It was a pretty chill weekend, but sometimes those are the BEST kind. 
Candice and I have been friends for almost 12 years.  Boy how time flies and boy how I love this girl!  I am blessed to call her one of my Best Friends.  I mean, really, there aren't many out there like Candice.
Our weekend consisted of lots of yummy homemade food, yummy restaurant food, hair (I finally got my hair done), touring the clinic, football, "being cold" (according to C- she was freezing 90% of her time here), movies, late night talks, ZUMBA, sleep &

It was perfect!
Addison made a new BF.  She's always loved Candice, but this trip took her love to a new level.  Addi cried when we dropped Candice off at the airport.  We LOVE having so many visitors, but HATE to see them go.

We sweetened the blow by exploring downtown Minneapolis after dropping Candice off.  Here are a few pics from our walking tour.  The bus in the bottom right pic is the front of the Metro Transit office.  Tol thought this was awesome!  And it's cool at night because the headlights are turned on.  As we were walking around the city, I couldn't help but think how weird it was that I live here now.  Well, an hour from here anyway.
It is really starting to sink in, but that's a post for another day.


TOLISM: prayer

Tol: saying his bedtime prayer  "And please bless Jesus that He'll hear our prayers and that He'll answer them right away... and bless Him to get smarter so he can help us with more stuff..."


Halloween Weekend Extravaganza

What a FUN and BUSY weekend this was!!! We were so super lucky and HAPPY to have Grammy Shar come out for all the HALLOWEEN festivities!  Even with all that we did, Grammy's visit was BY FAR the very best part of the weekend.  Plus it was awesome because Dave was on-call all so I had a helper and friend for the CRAZY weekend.  Luckily, my mom felt GREAT and was able to keep up with all we did and she WAS a HUMONGO help!

My kids are supposedly unlike most other kids when it comes to their Halloween costumes.  Neither of them has ever had a strong opinion on what they dress up as for Halloween.  Like, the year they were Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy. (I know, I'm a MEAN mom to subject my son to such potential future embarrassment). I thought that was my last year to choose Tol's costume (so I took full advantage).  I was wrong.  He STILL let's me choose.  It's actually more like I HAVE to choose cause he won't.  ANYWAY, this year I got away from my coordinating theme costumes and Tol was an ARMY DUDE while Addi was a PRINCESS WITCH.
Both pretty cute, if you ask me.
My mom flew in Thursday night.  Dave and the kids picked her up from the airport.  I was doing hair when she got to our house so after the kids had their time with Grammy and were in bed, my mom and I stayed up late and chatted the night away.  It was great.
The next day was Tol's school Halloween party and parade.  He has afternoon kindergarten so I had the morning to throw the finishing touches on their costumes (mainly Addi's) and make the broom for Ad's witch.  I couldn't find a pre-made one anywhere, so I had to resort to pulling out my creativity and come up with a broom myself.  I have to say that I was pleased with the outcome.  Tol wasn't too thrilled about wearing his costume to school (big surprise), but with a bribe from Gram he was the most perfect army dude around and sported that thing so proudly!

This is the only pic I got from that night, but isn't it ADORE?!
It was FRRRRREEZING (or so we thought at the time.  It probably would feel like Summer compared to what we have going on outside right now.  Brrrrrr!)
After the kids got LOTS of candy from trunks (still such a weird concept to me) we went inside the church for a family dance.  Let's just say that I felt like I was in HS again.  And let's just say that I liked it.  We're talking line dance after line dance.  I was in my element.  Dave was not.  He sat there and watched as I danced my little heart out.  It was a fun night and we are so grateful to have moved into such a great ward!- with people who will dance with me.

Halloween Eve Trick-or-Treating 
 Dressed up with nowhere to go.  Kindof.  This is actually pretty hilarious and those of you who are still reading might get a serious kick out of this.  So our ward decided to do a Saturday night trick-or-treating for those who wanted to.  They compiled a list then sent out the names and addresses of the participating families.  So I print out the list and the kids, my mom and I head out.  But before we left, Tol remembered how kids had pillow cases for trick-or-treat bags the night before, so he decided to ditch the plastic pumpkin and grab a pillow case.  I enter the first address in the GPS.  We drive there.  "TRICK-OR-TREAT!"  The kids get one tootsie roll each.  They get back in the car and get strapped in.  I put the next address in the GPS.  We drive there.  Addi is now asleep so I wake her up.  "TRICK-OR-TREAT!"  The kids get another piece of candy.  Addi eats her piece walking from the porch to the car.  I buckle Addi in her car seat and am grateful that Tol can buckle himself.  We enter another address in and the GPS takes us to another house.  I have to wake Addi up again and when she comes to she is wondering where all her candy is.  I tell her thats all shes got.  She's confused but goes with it.  They get another piece of candy.  Oh, and did I mention we've been gone for a whopping 45 minutes at this point?  Our next and last stop was to the bishop's house because his wife told us to make sure we stopped by for a homemade doughnut.  And boy are we glad we did.  Not only were the doughnuts DELISH, but we were the ONLY ones to stop by!  Sad huh?!  So we got an entire plate of homemade doughnuts that were all gone by the time we got home.  Okay, so the funniest part of the Trick-or Treating BUST was when we got home and Tol held up his pillow case with 3 pieces of candy in it.  He looked SO confused.  He asked why he hardly had any candy when we'd been gone all night.  We told him it was because we hardly went to any houses in what seemed like 10 hours.  My mom and I were peeing our pants we were laughing so hard recalling the nights events to Dave after he got home.  Yeah- he got called in that night for a STUPID LADY (or girl, she was only 24) who decided to have sex just days after a vaginal hysterectomy.  DUH!!  Needless to say, they had to take her in for emergency surgery. So there you have it, our BUST!  And I realize this could be a "You needed to be there" story, but believe me- Pure Humor!  My mom, Dave and I added a little more humor to the evening and had fun with YEARBOOK YOURSELF til WAAAAAY past our bedtimes.  It was worth it.

Trick-Or-Treating part III 
 This outing was MUCH more successful.  Sunday, the REAL holiday, Dave took the kids around the neighborhood.  It was a SUCCESS!  Tol came home with a heavy pillowcase and he was happy.  
*not exactly sure what's up with BOGGLE.
There you have it, our Halloween weekend and my mom's visit in a nut shell.  We were so sad to see me mom go.  Tol had to go to school about an hour before we had to take my mom to the airport.  He left for the bus then came back crying a minute later and said, "I can't handle this."  He was too sad that Gram was leaving.  My mom ended up walking him to the bus stop.  Tol's teacher later told me that at school that day he kept his hood (from his sweatshirt) on all day and just cried.  I cried that day, too.