iphone dump: thankful edition

Pretty thankful for my girl. I love the gang of crazy boys, but it's pretty nice to leave them all at home sometimes, too. Azia came to be my photo assistant last Sunday afternoon. We stopped for hot chocolate & chai on the way.
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Paintball. . . one of the kids new favorite winter pastimes. We're going to have to remember to do this in the spring and summer this coming year. A few of Israel's friends have their own guns (and Zoran has been letting them borrow his) so they've been into the paintball combat lately.
 I think I need to make a goal now to get Israel a good birthday cake next year. It seems like I only make something cool (beyond a basic box cake frosted) for one or two of the kids a year, but it's been a few years since Israel was one of the ones who got one.
Facetime has been a huge hit around here. I don't really get it. I don't even like talking on the phone, so I'm really not interested in adding video into the mix, but I guess it's pretty cool when you're a teenager and some of your closest friends don't live in the same town as you anymore.

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 Lex and Iyezk's Thanksgiving dinner at school: frybread and stew and all the kids' families eating at those miniature little tables with the tiny chairs .

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It was a very expensive week around here.

We bought a big new refrigerator, which we could almost afford. Then Dev's truck broke down. After towing it to the repair place we had to put a new alternator in it. Then last weekend I turned my car on to warm it up and after a few minutes it made bad noises and shut down all on it's own. Another tow trip and another bill– this time for a fuel pump. When I got back from work later that day the local building center was unloading huge replacement windows for the ones broken in our living room– and after  a few guys spent all the next morning installing them I had all new windows and hundreds of more dollars in bills. After I opened the credit card bill yesterday and saw expenses for Dev's month of fuel, recent travel and entertainment was about ten times what I was expecting, I realized that we spent more money in the last month than the price of an cheap car. (On the list, though further down now, to look into sometime in the future.) Also, I haven't started Christmas shopping. I don't usually spend much at all, but it's still an extra expense in December to figure in.

This could be really depressing, but I've decided to instead be thankful that at least we were able to immediately get both vehicles fixed, that our windows are all replaced before real winter hits and that at least we were able to spend most of this money locally. All our business went to local contractors,  the service station and tow company in town & building supply store here in the valley. As another added bonus, a few of these businesses are letting us pay them over the next couple months which makes the huge expenses a little less painful.

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 Randoms. . .
Kyle and KaNana watch their sisters in the church program, Zoran getting his equipment ready for the next morning (apparently he was hoping for snow), Dev hanging out at friends watching the Saturday night fights.

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Gwen giving the dress up crews posing tips. They catch on quickly.

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Black Friday Madness

Due to my lack of money and my general lack of enthusiasm for shopping, I wasn't really planning on doing the big Black Friday shopping thing, but I did want to go get some fabric at JoAnn's. Last year I got everything for my family of six for Christmas pjs for around $20.  So, I left at about 7:00am to head down there, and then discovered about a half hour into the trip that I was in the middle of a blizzard, driving on black ice. The storm only lasted for a few hours, but it was pretty white and slippery for a little bit.

I did make it to get my fabric. JoAnn's on Black Friday is absolutely insane (dozens of crazy fabric ladies with multiple carts filled with fabric, 100-person waits for getting anything cut, no carts, some shelves with no fabric because of the 100 people with it all in their carts waiting to get it cut. . .) but, at least they have an "express" line for people only getting a few things cut and that line is "only" about an hour long. Sort of annoying, but still worth the money I saved. Unfortunately I also ended up buying some new dishes.  Ours are about 8-9 years old and getting pretty chipped up and the ones we've been looking at for a few months were 60% off. So, a few boxes of dishes sort of negated some of my savings.

I'm going to have to get another extra winter job. . .

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