Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Jon and I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving up in St. George with the entire Coombs family. It's hard to believe that there are already 29 of us! Even harder to believe that 7 of those were added just since Mom and Dad Coombs left on their mission two years ago. The Lord really does bless families of those who serve missions! And there are still 3 more due in the next 5 months--I guess those blessings just keep on coming even after the mission is done.
Jon and I were unfortunately the last to arrive for the festivities, getting there late Wednesday night, but I think we still felt that by making the most of the time we did have, we didn't feel too jipped. It was so nice to see Mark and Lisa's family, especially the kids, since it had been way too long since we had seen them last. I hardly recognized Jonah! Hopefully we won't have to wait that long to see them again. Thursday we enjoyed a morning at the park near Joe and Cindy's, and then an afternoon filled with the most delicious food. Several of the family members, particularly the Mark Coombs family, had special traditional recipes that they shared with us all, and they were amazing, particularly Mark's pumpkin bread, sweet potatoes (tasted more like a dessert than a side dish), and Jim's Dutch apple pie. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite meal of the year--all of my favorites (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc.) all spread out on one table. What a dream! That night we showcased our talents in our Coombs Family Talent Show. I noticed that many parents used their kids' talents for getting out of performing themselves, but when you have kids as cute as this family has, who could blame them? Jon and I displayed our well-honed psychic abilities to read each others minds, much to the amazement of all--or at least the 10-and-under crowd. Well, other than eating too much (but isn't that what Thanksgiving is for?), the whole day was perfect.
Friday started out with more pigging out as we enjoyed scones at the park. I still remember the morning I was first introduced to scones with the Coombs family back at the beach in California when Jon and I were still dating. It must have been then that I decided I needed to be a part of the Coombs family. =) Well, the guys and some of the girls spent the morning burning off their scones playing ultimate frisbee, while the rest of us burned off our excess calories chasing after our little ones. I'm still not sure who got the better workout that morning--me or Jon! We spent the afternoon playing games at the house, relaxing, and gearing up for our Christmas celebration (two holidays in one--since we won't all be able to get together at Christmas time) that night. We had a family devotional, sang plenty of Christmas songs, exchanged gifts (thanks Amy for the beautiful prayer stool!), and enjoyed dinner at Golden Corral thanks to Dad.
Saturday was nice because it was very relaxing, fairly unscripted, and as interactive as we wanted it to be. Some chose to go shopping, many of us played games (of which I was the reigning King in our game of Scum!), and some took the opportunity to nap, or set the hills on fire. =) At least Mark had permission for that, even if it did get a little more out of control than Mom would have liked. (Check out our Thanksgiving photos on our Yahoo site to see the hills ablaze--and that was after it had calmed down!) That night, Jon and I, Shelly and Jim, Amy, Mom and Dad, and Christien went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which Jon and I had been particularly anxious to see. The movie was great, and I thought the best of the four Harry Potter films, but no movie could possibly live up to the book, so I was still a little disappointed. Not a movie for the younger kids, but Harry Potter-reading adults will probably like it. It was just nice to get away and see a movie in an actual theater, though, something Jon and I haven't been able to do very often (maybe 4 times!) since Aaron joined our family. That night, despite my and Jon's need for sleep, we stayed up late talking to Mark and Lisa one last time, a very special treat that we would have loved to have been able to enjoy for longer. Sunday morning, after difficult goodbyes, Jon and I hit the road for home, finally arriving in QC 9 hours later.
So, that was our happy Thanksgiving. It seemed way too short, but we enjoyed every minute. The weekend only served to strengthen Jon's resolve to one day have his whole family living close. And with that, we hope you all had joyous and thanks-filled celebrations with your own loved ones. We certainly are grateful for all of you!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Aaron went as a tiger for Halloween, and I have to admit, he's the cutest tiger I've ever seen... although, I may be a little biased. =) Aaron had fun at our Halloween Party and the ward's Trunk or Treat, but he's still a little too young for candy, so we skipped the trick or treating this year. Maybe next year... I'll post more cute Halloween pics, including pictures from our Halloween party on our Yahoo site, so follow the link to the right to see some more fun pictures.
Here's our whole family at our ward's "Trunk or Treat" Party on Halloween night. I went as a 50's girl while Jon donned his Grumpy outfit for the night. At our Halloween Party on Saturday, Jon went as a surfer dude and I was a spider. Too bad we didn't get any good pictures of that night--I actually won the award for the most creative costume in our costume contest! Aaron went as a tiger both nights.
Sorry it's been so long since we've written, but really, nothing too exciting has happened recently. Mostly it's just a lot of progression in things that I've already mentioned.
We had a great Halloween Party last Saturday night with most of our old California friends and one family of new friends. Hilary and I planned a progressive Halloween party that started at our friend's home around the corner, then moved to our house, and then ended at Hilary's home. It's fun living so close to our friends so that we can do something like this! It was a lot of fun, but a little chaotic with so many kids there, but we had a great time playing games, talking, having a costume contest, and of course, eating! We hope all of you had a Happy Halloween!
My pregnancy continues to get easier, although I do still hate being pregnant, but at least I don't feel the need to be horizontal ALL the time. I love being at home with Aaron who continues to get cuter and cuter everyday. He's such a good, happy, easy kid, and he makes it so easy to be his mom.
Jon still struggles with enjoying his new job. He loves his students, but just hasn't found any coworkers with whom he can really bond. It's hard for someone as social as Jon to eat lunch everyday alone in his classroom, but he's found that it beats having to put up with the crass and often inappropriate conversations he was being subjected to in the teachers' lounge. And with teaching a 6/5th schedule (meaning he teaches 6 periods compared with the usual 5 period load of other teachers), he comes home every night exhausted and a little down-hearted. I think Jon counts down the days to vacations and breaks even more than his students do!
As for the prospect of moving to St. George next year, we're still waiting for the final word, but things look like they're moving forward. Dad Coombs seems to being having the success he was hoping for in getting his investors interested in the Hurricane and Apple Valley land, and if everything goes as planned, Jon and I will likely be heading to St. George next summer to help him in the selling of homes on the land. It's a great opportunity, but we have to admit, it's not the business that is drawing our interest--it's the opportunity to live so close to so much of Jon's family. If things go as planned, we expect that Cary and Warren, Mark and Lisa, and Amy will all be heading to St. George with us, where Joe and Cindy, Crystal and Kekoa, and Mom and Dad already live. That's almost the entire Coombs family! This has been Jon's dream for as long as I have known him. So, yes it will be nice to experience some financial independence and freedom, but that's not what's taking us to St. George. We'll keep you posted on any developments as they happen.
See, nothing too exciting. Jon and I are loving more and more where we live. I absolutely adore my new ward. (Our old ward was split and we were added to another ward that already existed.) Jon and I have been called to be CTR 8 teachers in the Primary and we have the most adorable kids. (Who would have thought I would have loved Primary so much!) We've had a blast making new friends and hanging out with our dear California friends. It actually will be really hard for us to leave here next year, but we really do feel like this is what we need to be doing. It always surprises us the way the Lord leads our lives.
We hope all of you are doing well and we love you all! Don't forget to keep in touch!