Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We have been having so much fun around here during the past week. We started out with a a little trip to a local farm and saw all of their cool decor. Then we had the Primary party at church held by the Young Women and Young Men. We even had some snow this week. Hope your Halloween is safe and delightful!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Folk

We went back to the Heritage Center this past weekend. This time we took my husband's parents and also some new friends from church. She brought her daughter who is just a little younger than my son and her niece who is my daughter's age.

First, we had to ride the train!

And the giant slide was a blast. The burlap sacks help with speed. I couldn't believe he went by himself.

There isn't anything more fun than launching dead pumpkins down the hill. Guess what we'll be doing with all those pumpkins we grew this year? Some will go after Halloween. The rest after Thanksgiving. The pump-ke-mons are the perfect size for this. There was no shortage of pumpkins in our garden. Like I said, we're simple...and we believe in recycling.

It's a good thing my daughter didn't kick her friend in her excitement to show how high she could jump.

My son started jumping timidly at first but soon joined the big kids.

I just love this shot. My favorite. Pony rides. The highlight of their day!

We found Lizzy hiding away in a barn near the area where we made corn husk dolls. My daughter was thrilled! And this week is pumpkin week. Can you see all of the pumpkins hiding out behind her?
Here is Grandma and my daughter busy making corn husk dolls. I was enjoying it so much that I almost forgot to take a photo. My daughter and I are proudly displaying ours next to our pumpkins on our hearth.
It was a blast and we got to know our friends a little better. We talked my husband's parents into buying a membership - ok, so that was easy. My father in law wanted to stay longer but we needed to leave for a photo shoot and the littlest ones were exhausted.

We'll go back for sure.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

busy, busy

last week was insane, but it really got out of control on Thursday. I felt like I should make a big meal. I spent most of the day cooking. At 5:30 my parents showed up. We ate and talked. My Dad's poor foot! He had surgery to attach the tendons back into the instep of his foot. He has wrist problems, so crutches are the worst! It's hard to see a parent suffering.

Then we heard the door bell again and it was our friend Stephen Abu (from Ghana) and his friend (from Nigeria). Stephen was here from Ghana to translate for Saturday General Conference. We enjoyed a movie together after we got my Dad downstairs and his foot elevated. My parents drove home after the movie and Stephen and his friend each took one of our guest rooms.

Early the next morning I got Haeley ready for school and served everyone breakfast. I ran the kids to the bus stop. Then we helped Stephen pick out a camera for his wife for Christmas via the internet. He and his friend then drove up to Smithfield to do some fund raising. Then Tyler met them in town to help Stephen purchase the camera, memory cards, and filters.

That afternoon Tyler came home early from work and we headed to Centerville to drop off photos to a client who was unable to come up and pick up her large order and who was having a baptism in the family the next day. Then we went to see my parents again. I've been really worried about my Dad. It was great to see all the young men come over and help him and chat with him. He is Young Men's President in his ward - over the 12-18 year old boys. In fact, he hurt his foot/ankle on a scout hiking trip with some of his young men. He didn't want them to have to carry him out, so he said a prayer and walked 6 more miles that way. We got back late Friday night.

Saturday morning was practice for the Primary Program. Then we cleaned house and made dinner and dessert. Afterward we took some time together as just our family - that's when we went on the train rides. Then it was off to bed. Actually Coleton was asleep before we got home.

Today we had the Primary program. I got to church around 8:30 am and got the seats reserved up front, got the rolls in the classrooms, put up the classroom signs. I've been working on family history and Christmas presents all afternoon. This next week isn't going to slow down either. I have Primary Meetings, Stake Primary Meetings, PTA meetings, photo sessions, etc.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming week
We've decided to start a few new family traditions of our own. We really enjoyed our time together as a family, just our little family. And we loved the mini train the best. We had to go back a second time.

And I've never stepped foot into a corn maze until last night.
We even tried the No Left Turn maze too.

When I got home, I just felt good inside.
And my children were happy.

I think we'll have to go again. Soon!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall Festivities

So a few weeks ago for our Family Home Evening, we proceeded to our backyard to pick the last of the pump-ke-mon pumpkins and picked the first of our jack-o-lantern pumpkins and jack-be-littles. Daddy helped us carry the bigger pumpkins to the front of the house. The kids arranged a pumpkin display. We have way more pumpkins out front than we ever would have had if I were to purchase them. And our children were happy that they helped plant and water them. It's extra fun because my daughter has been reviewing how pumpkins seeds sprout and grow.

I love how festive our entry is now. We have a stack near each one of our wood beams. And the orange goes well with our stone entry and wood door.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Haunted Gingerbread Houses - from scratch

Ok, so I didn't make the candy myself, but I did make the gingerbread dough, cut everything out for two houses, and baked all the pieces taking a grand 9 hours - good thing I started on Monday. (Let's just say that the houses were much bigger than I thought they'd be - so we had to buy more icing and candy) On the first Saturday in October the women of the family get together and decorate these crazy things while the men head off to the Priesthood Session of General Conference. The little kids all get graham cracker houses that Grandma puts together. We don't use icing to hold the houses together thanks to our first terrible experience. Now we just use a non-stick pan and melt brown sugar but it's definitely not something the little ones can do on their own. Anyway, back to decorating. This year I got the icing ready and handed it off to my little ones. They both went right to work and both did an incredible job all on their own. I was so impressed and relieved.

My little girl wore one of Daddy's old shirts so that she could keep her own clean.

My little boy LOVES the green icing. He spent half the time decorating and half the time eating candy. I'm glad he finished first so that he could play and burn off some of that sugar!

Here is my roof. I envisioned this the second I saw the mini gumdrops.

My daughter's house. We made the spiderwebs the day before on wax paper.
All 3 of our creations:
She was so excited to have 2 ghost peeps
Her pumpkin patch, tombstones, and cool house. She loved the bone sprinkles her Aunt let her have.

My son's house ~ I just love that he did all of this on his own~

I made the windows separate and added crushed red jolly ranchers and tossed them in the oven. Then we use the melted brown sugar to stick it all together.

This is the side with the broken and glued windows. ughhh But I guess it just adds to the haunted broken down feel.

I figured I'd line the path with sideways candy corns - like a fence that fell over. Then I added the m&m's (thanks for those Grandma) and purple sprinkles.

I filled up my yard with a pumpkin patch and brown and green shredded coconut.

He was drooling over my house when I put on the carpet for photos.
I did agree that it would be okay to eat one of them. My daughter volunteered hers.

Here are my cool broken windows. I don't recommend it. It goes much quicker if they are one piece and you can easily add in the hard candy to melt.

It was so enjoyable and I am grateful for this tradition. It's the one I really get into. I'm not much into wearing costumes and such although I try to get the kids something fun each year. I'll be posting some fall photos again soon. We've really had a lot of fun scouting for places this. I finally took my own photos. Usually it's kind of a Tyler thing, and although I LOVE his photos I felt like there was something missing. The details of course. I'll post more soon!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ferns and Fall

I have this thing for ferns. Have since I was a kid. There are not many ferns growing here in the icebox of our state. Anyway, I loved the combination of the snow, depth of field, the fallen leaves in their brilliant contrasting colors, etc. I didn't move any of the leaves. I just focused on the beauty already around me. I feel happy when I do that.