The treasure hunt was lots of fun. It was fun to watch them all trying to guess the clues to where the gifts were hidden. The hardest clue was "You have to have Dad's OK for this." The gift was hidden on Doug's laptop in his desk. No one uses it without permission. Grace was most gracious receiving each gift. Layne and Julie gave her the Adele CD, which made us all laugh because I've banned Adele from the house until "Hello" isn't the only song on the radio. (Just kidding, but it is a bit overplayed right now.)
The weather has been so cold, as in subzero to low single digits most of the last two weeks. When it gets this cold, our extra refrigerator,which is in the garage, does not function properly. So, when Doug brought in the buckets of ice cream from the outside freezer, it was more like slush or cool whip than frozen ice cream. Oops! We were all laughing so hard that Grace blew out a few candles before we sang and they had to be relit!
We began our game with Mormon Manners, which is one of our all-time most favorite games. It gets wild and crazy and mostly loud! VERY loud! And, true to form, it was absolutely insanely loud! Also, true to form, Doug is the worst person ever to play the game with. This game is played by rolling dice for a specified number and then grabbing the single pen on the table to write your own list of 1-100. However, when the next person rolls the specified number, they grab the pen and begin on their own list of 1-100. So, there's lots of fast rolling, lots of grabbing pens and dice, lots of screaming NOOOOOOO! as people are trying to continue their number list. It is out of control fun!
HOWEVER, when Mr. Nice Guy Doug plays, everyone hates him! He takes his time rolling the dice. He gives people extra time to write instead of grabbing, allowing others to keep writing when everyone wants to stop them from winning. He writes his numbers very slowly. And everyone just yells, "GO! DOUG!!!!" It is hysterical but annoying as all! AND the person seated before Doug always wins! Layne was that lucky guy this time. He won both rounds. Oh my! Even Julie was slapping Doug's hands and grabbing the pen from him. And she's almost as polite as he is. It always brings lots of laughs and lots of frustration. So much fun.
Following Mormon Manners, we played the Game of Things for a few rounds, which became "Tease Kendall" game. Everyone was answering things about Kendall and he was such a good sport. Finally, we finished up the night with Left Right Center, which is always fun.
Grace rolled a 5! Her turn to write!
Everyone yelling at Doug!
"Come on, Doug! HURRY!!!"
As they left, Layne said, "That's it! You guys walk home!" to his boys. Walk... all the way across the street. What a blessing to have such wonderful neighbors to have such a fun time together whenever we are together. Afterward, Grace just thanked Doug and I over and over for everything. She loves her new phone and other gifts, she loved the activities of the past few days and especially loved the game night tonight. Score for Grace's 17th!
She said that she'd much rather have a party with family than other kids her age. "Family is the best!" Doug and I had been discussing this very thing. We've never been big on birthday parties with lots of kids and prizes. We have always tried to do fun things with the kids and make family memories instead of spending that money on silly prizes for other kids that no one will even remember in years to come. But they will remember going to the ranch or SLC or the other activities that they've chosen. It works for us. I am thrilled that they prefer it this way!
The kids went back to school this morning. It's been such a delight to have everyone home. As I took the kids to school, Grace commented, "I accomplished everything I wanted during the holiday and I'm ready to go back to school...I just hate getting up so early again." We teased Quayd that he, who is our least morning person, doesn't have a comment about it because he doesn't even speak until noon. But, it's been wonderful to have so much down time for just relaxing and being together.
Doug's been reading a book about Erastus Snow, who was one of his grandfathers. He's a lover of books. He worked off and on during the break, but enjoyed as much of his down-time as possible reading. Aside from converting our home to LED lightbulbs, he really and truly relaxed for the whole break! Muchly deserved!
I usually call my mom every morning as soon as I drop off the kids. This morning, I didn't call right away. Mom sent me a text, "Dr's Appt at 8:30. Love Mom." She's actually got this texting down! It used to be that I'd text her and she'd call me immediately to say, "I got your text!" and then comment on it. She's finally understanding that you don't have to call and she's even sending texts on her own! Go, Mom!
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was this beautful large wall calendar with the incredible photography of our friend and former bishop, Dave Andersen. He is one of the most gifted and talented photographers I've ever known and I was moved to tears when his lovely wife, Trisha, brought us this awesome calendar filled with some of my favorites of his work. HAPPINESS!!! Seriously, this is a treasure! I couldn't wait until January 1 to put it up. It replaced my 2015 Lang Calendar a week early! Everytime I walk by, I have to stop and look at it again...I'm loving it! check out his work here. Doug and I have said that if we could take a vacation with friends, it would be them... not just because they are both fascinating friends, but I'd also love to watch him do his work behind the camera! A few days ago, Doug pointed out that they'd camped right there with the scouts. An even more personal gift!
January looks to be pretty busy already. I have a trip to St. George planned to visit Liza and to see my mom. It's my month to host Bunco. The YSA students are back this week for school and we'll be feeding them next week. And there's all those New Years Resolutions to work on! Carol and I had one goal that was to begin today and already, it's not sounding like one that needs some reconsideration. Life is real, right? In my opinion, it's not about setting lots of goals... it's just about a continual daily process of trying to improve. Just sayin'. I love this time of the year for new beginnings and getting re-organized. I'm ready for an exciting 2016! Life is good!
You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.