Friday, November 25, 2011

We Are Thankful

The Thanksgiving festivities for the Pierce family started Tuesday with Noah's preschool feast. All the kids looked so cute in their "squaw" and "pilgrim" hats. Noah made his thankful wreath that included the first 4 things he told me he was grateful for: football (that was number 1), Heavenly Father, toys, and his family.

Although the other two kids talked a little about Thanksgiving at school, Xander's party was actually called a Harvest Celebration and Savannah learned about all the fun facts relating to the holiday, such as how many turkeys are eaten each year, how many people travel at this time, etc. Are the schools trying to eliminate Thanksgiving as well? Heaven forbid we recognize this holiday because it originated with God fearing people thanking their Father in Heaven for his many blessings. No, that's just not acceptable to talk about in our schools anymore. Geez!!!

I'm grateful that we got to spend such a wonderful day together as a family. I'm grateful that I got to sleep in and then spent most of the day in my pajamas. I'm grateful that David did not have to work and that he got our day started off right with a wonderful breakfast. I'm grateful that I didn't have to feel bad about stuffing my face all day long.

David got our turkey in the oven by mid-morning and I just have to say how thankful I am that turkeys are such delicious things to eat!

David's first time making rolls - they turned out wonderful!

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and I am grateful that David was so willing to prepare most of the food. The only thing I made was the green bean casserole and the stuffing.

Noah was so excited to see a plate with a stick of butter on it...he thought it was one of the side dishes. Have I mentioned before that Noah loves to eat butter? Just straight butter?

I am not a fan of sweet potatoes and usually pass on it but this year David tried this new recipe and it smelled so good that I just had to give it a try. Oh, my goodness, it was amazing! Even now as I think about it my mouth is starting to salivate. Anyway, Savannah decided she wasn't going to try it but at the end of dinner I had finally convinced her to try just a tiny bite. After she swallowed she got this huge smile on her face and started to laugh. She exclaimed, "I love it!"

After dinner we played a little Phase 10 and then the kids watched a Christmas show.

I am so grateful for such a wonderful husband who had a ticket to the Ravens/49ers game but elected to stay at home to watch the game with me. I begged him to go because it was the Niners!!! and it would have been his first ever NFL game. But he said he just couldn't go without me. Now that's love! At least we were able to console each other about our team's horrible loss.

There are so many things that our family is grateful for; we have been truly blessed. As a family we talked about our many blessings which include our family, friends, a house, David's job, the scriptures, the gospel, Heavenly Father and Jesus, and even napkins for when we have spills (Noah). We are grateful for it all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading, Reading, Reading!

When I set the goal of reading 100 books this year I thought it would be a cinch. I read so much that I thought 100 books would be a piece of cake and that my goal would be completed by the summer. How wrong I was! As summer turned into fall and I still hadn't reached my goal I started to get a little nervous. One Sunday at church the older gentleman who lends me history books handed me a book comparable in size to the Bible about the entire history of Europe and I just knew that if I started reading that book that my goal would never be achieved. I put that one aside for the moment and persevered through the remaining number of books I needed. Finally, this past week, I reached the big 100! It always feels so good to accomplish one of my personal goals. Since I hardly ever do any blogging about myself I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite books from this past year.

The Rangers Apprentice series has become one of my absolute favorites! There are 10 books in the series and I zoomed through each book in about a day; I just could NOT put them down. It always amazes me that an author can create characters that the reader comes to love and talk about as if they are friends and that's how David and my sister and I would talk about the people in these books.

An author that I read for the first time this year is Juliet Marillier and I absolutely fell in love with her style of writing. During the year I have read 8 of her books and have enjoyed all of them but the two that I absolutely fell in love with are Daughter of the Forest and Son of the Shadows. As soon as I finished reading I just wanted to start reading them all over again and that hasn't happened for me in a long time.

East was such a fun read! I told the kids all about it one night and Savannah, who became enthralled with what she heard me tell, picked up the book and read it herself.

Unbroken was one of the most amazing books I read all year and would highly recommend to everyone. The writing is beautiful and draws the reader from the get-go into the story of Louis Zamperini's life...and what an amazing life it was. Once again I had my kids riveted at the dinner table with tales of plane crashes, survival on a raft for over five weeks, shark attacks, and capture by the Japanese. It was right after I read the appalling stories of life as a POW in a Japanese camp that we had an incident at dinner. Noah sat down to eat and was apparently disgusted about what I had made for dinner. He announced loudly that this food was gross and he would not eat it. I got very angry and said very firmly to all my children that in THIS house we will NOT complain about food. While imprisoned by the Japanese our brave American soldiers were only allowed a small ball of rice to eat each day so our family will NEVER take food for granted!!! Noah sat down and ate. Funny story but truthfully I can not say enough good things about this book.

Surprisingly enough I had never read Little Women and found it to be absolutely wonderful.

This one appealed to the romantic in me.

Although I did not like the main character in this book, the story of the mother was heartbreaking but powerful.

I love, love, love reading biographies and the book on Peter the Great and the two volumes about Hitler were fascinating. I love when authors can make a history book read like a novel and these biographies are definitely very readable.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do and I am always looking for good recommendations. If you haven't already, check out the website and become my friend!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Cleopatra visited the 21st century the other morning to give some lucky 4th graders the story of her life. The students asked questions and Cleopatra answered them honestly, with a definite regal air.

Some of the questions concerned her family, where she grew up, and important decisions she had to make in her life.

Did Cleopatra ever look this cute?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Soccer 2011

It's always a bittersweet time when the fall soccer season comes to an end. We thoroughly enjoy watching our kids play, going to all the games and cheering them on. On the other hand, after two long months of weeknight practices, hurried dinners, later bath times and bed times, and driving all over the county to attend multiple games on Saturdays, we do let out a huge sigh of relief when November rolls around.
Savannah had another outstanding soccer season! Her ball handling skills keep improving and even her power kick is starting to "kick" in. She finished the season off with just under 10 goals, some even scored with her left foot. I was one of her coaches again this season and we had a great time as the Powerful Purple Panthers!

Look at #8 go towards the goal!

At the team party each of the girls received a participation medal along with a recognition award - Savannah earned "The Ball Handler" award.

Coach Clarence with the girls. Coach Tracie is of course behind the camera.

Savannah wasn't the only one with a great season. Xander is improving as a soccer player as well and I was so impressed with his aggressive yet clean playing. Both his coaches told me he was the best player on the team and Xander even had his own personal fan at one of the games. A grandfather there to cheer on his grandson who was on Xander's team recognized Xander's skill and started shouting, "Get the ball to #11!" (Xander's number) "Look at number 11 go!" "Great job, number 11!" "I can't wait to see number 11 score. Go number 11!" It was hilarious but also very heartwarming to see my son cheered on by a complete stranger. Eventually he picked up on the fact that David and I were his parents and he started telling us how fun it was to watch Xander play. And he's right - David and I loved it!

With a $1 given for every goal scored Xander had a huge incentive to score some goals...and he did. He reached his goal of 8 goals for the year with a few extra scored for good measure!

And then there's Noah. Looking at this picture you might think that Noah was as mighty a soccer player as his siblings.

You would be wrong. The above picture shows a little boy in a green jersey with complete possession of the soccer ball while my cute little Noah ran along side him and then watched this little boy score a goal.
The picture below is probably the only picture I have of Noah kicking the ball. Actually, it's the only picture I have of Noah even showing any interest in the ball.

Noah's short lived soccer season consisted of wandering around on the field, watching other kids dribble the ball and score.

Oh, the ball is right in front of me? Should I go after it and see if I can get it?
Nahhh, I'll let the other team go score another goal while I look on.

David and I are adamant about our kids following through on their commitments. If they sign up to do a sport and find out mid-season that they don't like it, too bad. You made a commitment to the team and you're going to finish out the season. After that we just don't sign them up again. Noah was extremely excited to start playing soccer but that quickly evaporated after the first 2 practices. From then on it was meltdown city before every practice and game. Finally David and I decided it just wasn't worth it and informed his coach that he would not be playing anymore. The whole sense of commitment to a team was falling on the deaf ears of our four year old. Oh, well, we'll try again in a few years, if Noah decides he wants to give it another try.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

X's Turn

Savannah got hers in September, Xander earned his in October. An ABBY award, that is! Once again, so proud of my Xanderman!

Xander and his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Deremeik.

His photo in the front hallway of the school.

Way to go, X!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yummy Pies

Our November Keepers meeting couldn't have been more delicious - pie making!!! The girls were definitely ready to get started.

Working on the fruit pie.

Rolling out the dough to make the crust. Yes, they even made a homemade crust!

Making the crust look lovely.

The ice cream pie, Savannah's favorite.

All in all the girls made three pies - a fruit pie, an ice cream pie, and a chocolate pudding pie. The girls did a great job and of course we had a fabulous time tasting everything!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Making Applesauce

My good friend Elinor invited the kids and I to come over to her place to make some applesauce. She assured me that it was extremely easy so we headed over to try it out. The kids enjoyed putting the apples in and cranking out the sauce.


Although Savannah and Xander did enjoy it, they were soon tempted away by the trampoline and other fun things in the backyard. Noah, on the other hand, stayed with it until the end. What an applesauce maker he turned out to be!

When all the apples were gone he did head out for a brief break to play with the dogs.

But he came right back in to sample the goods. He gobbled a bowlful right up and came back for seconds.
"Please, sir, can I have some more?"

We ended up with over a dozen jars of yummy applesauce as well as a dozen jars of apple butter. My little applesauce man!