Almost caught up!
 Dustin was released at the end of October, so the very beginning of November, we started attending our new Ward. Sadie's Primary teacher gave her a gift that she brings with her to church every week. Everyone is doing really well in the new Ward and making friends. It helped that we stayed in the Stake.

 I started preparing for Christmas! I like to be done with my shopping by Thanksgiving. It doesn't happen that way 100%, but I'm usually pretty ready for Christmas by then. We sent little gifts in for all the teachers to count down the end of school.

 I flew out to Colorado to watch my nieces while baby Bitsy had surgery. We had lots of fun until I caught their stomach flu and spent my last night there throwing up.

 Ellie broke in the sleep-over room (aka the guest suite) for Veteran's Day.

 Nate went shopping with all of his birthday money. This picture makes me sad because he looks so grown up.

 And then I see this picture and laugh. He's now an 11 year old scout, and I bought his shirt big, but I swear he better not ever outgrow this thing!

 A much needed brunch date with friends. It seems like we are all so busy these days that we don't get to see each other as much as we would like.

 Saturday play dates while the parents try to make it to all the siblings' games.

 More house projects checked off!

 The start of cheer season. Sadie and her friend Alexa were the only two cheerleaders to stay for the second basketball game one week. It was so cute to watch them take charge and then do a half time cheer just the two of them!

 We watched our friends' 2 year old for a weekend while they went to a Utah football game. We had so much and she was such a good baby. Unfortunately we needed something warm for her to wear to the Stake Fair ;)

 Here's what I actually did one week.

 Nate discovered there is SALAD PIZZA! His mind was blown. He hates cheese, so he usually hates pizza. But he loves salad. . . and so. . . total happiness!

 Nate's team -- football champions once again. I was so proud of these boys as it was their first season in an older age bracket. They really stepped it up!

 Ellie does really entertaining things when she babysits.

My girlfriend threw me a surprise party for my birthday. We played Capture the Flag and about half an hour in, I did something to my Achilles which put me out from running for a month. So sad, but still such a fun birthday.

Luke started writing his Christmas list. I told him I was doing shopping so he'd better stop writing lists.
 1. Ice Cream machine 2. Lego Star Wars 3. Coupon 4. Movies 5. DVD. 6. A toy light saber 7. A nice goodie 8 A toy storm trooper

 Ellie made dessert for my birthday. She researched recipes on Pinterest. It was ridiculously good. It was chocolate chip cookies layered with brownies and then more chocolate chip cookies and topped off with sea salt caramel ice cream. I love how helpful and independent she is becoming.

 I was barely off of crutches by Thanksgiving, so I spent a lot of the day on the couch with my foot up.

We bought our turkey from the Ward turkey pit, which the Young Men and Women put on as a fundraiser. That means Ellie cooked our turkey!

 We had lots of friends over, so tables were everywhere in the house.

 The kids put on their usual Thanksgiving play. I will say this was not our best year yet.

The dads took all the kids to play football while we chatted and cleaned up and then home for PIE!

We also convinced the dads that it was their year for Black Friday shopping and talked them into taking Ellie and Kyla along for the ride. 
 Ellie told me that the dads were way more fun than the moms.

The day after Thanksgiving is always my favorite day as we put up Christmas!



October always means. . . BREAK!

This year Ellie's break was a completely different week than the other three, so we stayed put and just had fun in Arizona.
 Luke read his first chapter book, "Magice Tree House Hashtag 1."

 I needed to go to IKEA to get some things for the house and it entertained us all day.

 It was still in the 100's so we went swimming.

 We had some youth over from our Ward to watch a session of conference.

And then had our usual Priesthood session at the park with all the moms and kids.

 This year, the big girls spent the night at our house before we headed over to Meredith's for Conference Brunch.
 These girls took beautiful notes. Maybe did an even better job than the parents.

We spent another long morning at the library.
 And then picked up goodies at the dollar store.
 Purchased some Halloween costumes.

And threw Nate a birthday party. He wanted a sleepover, so I told him that he had to limit it to 3 friends.

They ate a lot of junk food and spent the night at Flipside playing laser tag and bowling.

 Smashburger for dinner (Nate loooves hamburgers) and pizookies for dessert.
 I also took the kids to paint pottery one afternoon.
 I had to take another day on our own little date since she was in school. I made it up to her for missing out on two weeks of fun with lots of lunch dates and shopping trips.

There was still lots of sports.

Fee donuts for perfect report cards.

I got sick one day and Luke kept me company.

 When the Dayton's came over for a playdate, Ellie created a create-a-monster cupcake bar.

We went to see Pan (not that great)

And I hosted my last Activity Days with the old ward.

Our neighborhood Boo'ed each other as Halloween approached.

 Friends still helped us with never ending house projects. Best.friends.ever!

 Lots of Halloween parties! New ward, old ward, friends. . .
 . . . a witches lunch. . .

 . . . and Wanda Witch.

 For Nate's birthday, Dustin took him to a Cardinal's Monday Night Football Game.

And then we took him to Oregano's for dinner on his actual birthday.

He also received his Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts.
 He had an amazing leader. We miss him already.

Our neighborhood threw a block party for Halloween, complete with the fire department there with a fire truck.
 And Ellie ditched us shortly after this photo to go trick-or-treating with friends. As always, we ended up with way too much candy.