Lyndsay came home the weekend before Thanksgiving. She had planned to catch a ride back to California with some boys that are in our ward. All along, they had hoped they would be able to leave Friday, Saturday at the latest, and get to enjoy a longer break. Lyndsay had been planning on it for weeks and had diligently worked to clear her schedule of tests and assignments so she wouldn't be missing anything. She worked really hard. But on Thursday she got the news that one of the boys (who would be the driver) had to go to class on Monday, so they couldn't leave until Monday night. She called me in absolute hysterics. That would mean getting home early Tuesday morning, if they drove all night, and that was 4 less days, and she had been counting on it. I was bugged for her, and I knew how much effort she had put into being ready to come home. So, I bought her a one-way ticket that left early Friday morning. As in, the shuttle picked her up at 3:30am in front of her dorm.
It was the right thing to do. The boys ended up not leaving until Tuesday late at night and getting home Wednesday around lunchtime. That would have been such a let-down.
I like to think Lyndsay just misses me so much, and all the comforts of the home I have created for her for 18 years, but in reality, I think she misses me a little bit, and she misses her boyfriend so much. Don't get me started.
But he's a nice enough chap, and he and Lyndsay wanted to make dinner so I wouldn't have to. (They think I'm such a sucker.) But they made us sausage and spinach turnovers, which were delicious, and for that, I was grateful.
During the week, we played lots and lots of Just Dance! on the Wii. With and without Lyndsay's boyfriend. That game was one of the best purchases I've ever made. So. Much. Fun. And I love that they love to do it together.
Lyndsay and I got to watch the final installment of the Twilight movies on Tuesday night. We've gone to watch each of them together, every November, as a tradition. Dylan has always been with us, but this time we went without him. It was awesome.
I had school that week, so I was juggling wanting to be at home with my kids with having to go to class, which is always a drag. On Wednesday I rushed home to start making pies. While the pie crust chilled in the fridge, I ran over to the park to attend the mandatory parent meeting for the All-Stars Football team that Aiden had been selected to play on. I was very impressed with the coaches and so grateful for this challenging experience that Aiden would have, but I was also grumbling inside that these men would schedule a meeting the night before Thanksgiving when I needed to be home making pies, and then let the meeting run for two hours.
On Thanksgiving morning, the kids made our traditional Apple Turkeys. My mom did this with the nine of us each year and most of us have carried it on with our own families.
The proud display of turkeys:
Then we sat down to eat a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, just the basics this year, because I am pretty tired in life, let's just admit it.
We had everyone around the table except Dylan. Oh, how they've all grown up.
Aiden used a lot of Thanksgiving break to work on a book report about Nazi prison camps. He's not listening to music, as I thought. He's just blocking out noise. But I took this picture because I love how the kitty loves him so much. Aiden is the kitty's absolute favorite. Wherever Aiden is, Maestro will be with him. Those two have been bosom buddies since Aiden was 4 when we brought the kitten home.
On Saturday, we decided we'd put up the Christmas tree so Lyndsay could be here for that tradition. We were the first to buy a tree from Kathy's Tree Lot, just like last year. It was hard setting the darn thing up without Dylan here, but Aiden did a great job.
The tree ended up to be shorter than we normally get, but we had such a time trying to get it set up in its stand that I think that was a good thing. And then, once it was up and decorated, I could tell that it was ever-so-slightly crooked. I tolerated it for two days and then had to have Adam help me fix it. So my mind could be at ease. You know.
There's that kitty, under the tree. His favorite place to be if not with Aiden.
And then, because I didn't give Aiden his birthday present when his friends were over, we had to have a second fake birthday celebration for the family, while Lyndsay was still home. I was sort of birthdayed-out, but there must be a cake, so in 45 minutes I presented Aiden a Texas Sheetcake. It was easy and awesome.
Another wish, and he still wouldn't be officially 13 until Monday! (But on Monday all I did was get up extra early and make him his requested breakfast. And stuck a note in his lunch. Done. Officially birthday done.)
Every holiday we have the problem of Conor not being able to keep a secret. I had purposely not told him what Aiden's gift would be. That afternoon, he begged me to know. I thought maybe this time he was old enough to handle it. It's a Cardinal's watch, I told him. One that Aiden has really wanted. But do not tell him!
So Conor's doing well, and Aiden opens the wrapping paper and exclaims, "It's a box!" to which Conor shouts out, "With a watch inside!" And then realizing what he's just done, he throws his hands in the air and says, "I couldn't help it!"
Oh, that boy.
A very happy watch recipient with his devilish little brother.
And then Aiden was thrilled to get some cash from his grandparents. Cash always comes in handy.
It was a full week. Lyndsay headed back up to BYU after church on Sunday (which is a whole other adventure story. She didn't get back until 4am, with an 8am class that morning and virtually no sleep on the way. But I'll spare you the details. Bottom line, she made it safe and sound.)
Then she and I buckled down for the last few weeks of school and finals.