I would like to do that. At least in condensed form.
So we did go to St. George for Thanksgiving.
And we had a wonderful time. Kayque had a chance to experience that holiday and we were able to enjoy several tours in St. George; the Brigham Young house, the Jacob Hamblin home and the temple grounds. On the way back from the Hamblin home, we found an old fashioned soda fountain and had something yummy to eat.
On the way back, we went to Zion National Park. We rode the bus through the canyon, and stopped and hiked the Weeping Rock. We ate at the lodge, and then started a very long journey home.
This month was busy... with concerts and parties. Kayque had a ballroom recital that was fun to go to. We had a Thacker party and a Downs party (with an impromptu concert!) and a ward party.
I went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert with Disa and Tara which was AWESOME.
Grandma Downs had us over for dinner and gave us a lovely story quilt.
We enjoyed putting up the tree together and sharing our traditions with Kay. He taught us how to make brigedero, a Brazilian confection. Nick and Jessica came over and made graham cracker "gingerbread" houses with us. Maryn played Silent Night on her cello for sacrament meeting and brought a tear to almost every eye in the chapel.
But the cherry on the top of our December was our trip to Ohio. Everyone was going to be there. It was the first time in many, many years that we were all going to be together at all. And it was lovely.
We arrived on Monday the 23rd, and mom and I went on a whirlwind shopping extravaganza to get Christmas in order. The kids had been told that the tickets were their gift, and there would be nothing else. I surprised them by buying them each 3 gifts; a new outfit, church clothes and a fun item. Except for Kay, who doesn't like dress clothes. He got a hat and a watch and an outfit. But what I did was put a piece of wrapping paper in their stockings. Their gifts were wrapped in that paper and hidden around the house. I think they had a lot of fun with it.
We spent New Years Eve at Melanie's. I was sick by then and spent a majority of the time laying on the couch sleeping. But we enjoyed the time. And the craziness.
I also was able to have time with some other friends from the area, and I was grateful for the chance to reconnect.
Being all together at my parents house was amazing. Feeding 26 people was challenging.
The brightest spots of those days were Garrett and Mandy blessing their son Brycen where we had family pictures taken.
And my siblings and I were able to record and album for my parents, which was a great experience for us overall. More about that project HERE.
This began the beginning of the end for us. Kayque was leaving near the end of the month. We had all come to love him very much, and so much of that month was spent tying up loose ends and saying goodbye. Most of that month was about that. The week before he left, we made sure we went to places we wanted to eat and Kayqye got to go tubing in Heber with Bryant. The last Friday he and I spend together in Salt Lake seeing temple square and the conference center as well as the Joseph Smith Memorial building where we enjoyed lunch.