Friday, November 11, 2011


I think Calvin is so NOT into Halloween this year because he's started to recognize what scary things really represent, and he insists that he doesn't want anything to do with the freaky holiday. We have spent weeks trying to talk him into a costume and convince him that trick-or-treating will be fun. He has flat-out refused any involvement.

We all know, however, that he loves his pajamas more than anything else in life. As we were about to go out the door to my mom's house, I tried one more ploy. I told him that if he would go trick-or-treating, he could wear his pajamas under any costume he wanted. He agreed and decided to wear the fireman costume we bought him a while ago at Costco. We even added a dalmatian to make it more fun, and by the time we went out the door he was really excited.

We grabbed dinner at my mom's house, took pictures with all of the cousins, and then went up and down her street together before we all went separate ways to trick-or-treat in our own neighborhoods. Picture highlights:

Playing at Brown Grandma's house while we wait for everyone:

White Grandma as Minnie

The group:

The fireman and the sassy fairy:

(I love this one of Carrie!)

Trick-or-Treating en masse:

This was our first house and it was hilarious because as soon as the little old lady opened the door, the kids all pushed their way into her house. She wasn't sure what to do.

That wolf is hot! I totally want him to bite me.
(I've been doing a research paper on Twilight. I'm into objectifying men right now.)

We tried to have a Little Red Riding Hood/Grandma in the cottage moment:

She looks like a party girl who had too much to drink and then lost it all down the front of her shirt. Even her eyes, hair, and red nose look like she's a bit soused (someone gave her black cherry soda in her bag).

My favorite picture of the night:
When we got back from the 3 houses we went to in our neighborhood, and hung out with our friends the Hills for a while, we came home and dragged a tv into the kitchen where we ate candy and watched Halloween cartoons. It was a very good day. 10/31

Halloween Carnival

We had a church Halloween carnival the Saturday before Halloween. I wish I had taken pictures because it was really well done and a lot of fun for the kids. Each classroom in the church had a different carnival game--a cake walk, Halloween bowling, a haunted house, ball toss, etc--and then in the big room in the center of the church was chili, donuts, homemade pies, hot chocolate and a place for people to gather and chit chat. After the games and dinner we all went outside to a live band and hot kettle corn. The kids did a costume parade (which Calvin insisted I walk with him in, even though he had refused to dress up), and the adults talked while the kids ran around. We stayed for about ten minutes outside because it was freezing.

(notice Calvin crying and not in a costume)
I had great plans for Autumn to be Little Red Riding Hood, Calvin the wolf, me the granny, and Andy the wood cuter. Calvin refused to dress up, so we were just a hodge-podge of stuff. I was a little sad, but everyone liked the big bad wolf carrying around the little red riding hood all night.

Since my sister is in town, she asked if she could come to our party so her little boy would have something fun and festive to do. She met us at the church and we didn't even talk about costumes before hand, but we ended up looking like sisters. Which we are.

I have quite possibly the only kids in the world who cry at Halloween. (And Christmas. And everything else.) 10/29

A Storybook Baby Shower

Last week we had a sisters' baby shower for Mariah who is due at the end of November and MaryRuth who is due in January. We kept it small and simple, which was ultimately really nice. Here are the highlights:

The mamas to be:
The storybook theme:

We ate stew, rolls, pumpkin bread, cupcakes, chocolate macadamia clusters, and punch while we played games and chatted. Everyone took a children's book quiz (which Carrie and Alicia dominated), and got to be a storybook character for the evening. Then we talked and laughed about girl things.

Everyone brought a favorite children's book or other gift for the new babies to be. It was perfect that we had two of everything, and fun presents for both a boy and a girl:
Everybody took home one of my own favorite children's books, a bookmark, bookworms, and a pencil:
The guests:
Mary, Alicia, Emma, Ruthie, Riah, Carrie, and Hazel.

Short and sweet. Just like this post. 11/2

Friday, October 7, 2011

Winter in October

Yesterday when the kids and I hustled outside at 8:30am, the rain was beating down. By the time we got to preschool five minutes later, it was snowing. I had student consultations all day, so I didn't know what was going on outside, but most of my students did complain about the "bi-polar" Utah weather. Two days ago it was 82 degrees. We skipped autumn, 100%.

It was mostly dark by the time I went to pick the kids up from my mom's house, but we did play outside in it for a few minutes.
Chloe the kids' babysitter and Calvin who is very proud of his frog umbrella.

Autumn trying to figure out what the stuff was.

Calvin couldn't be happier about the first snowfall of the year.

We are close to the mountains, so we got it worse than most of the valley. This is what we came home to:

The kids went out back to play for a few minutes. Autumn hated it. Anytime she touched it, she would freak out:
Calvin could have stayed out all night if I would have let him.

This is what we look like this morning:

Just your regular, crisp winter day. In the first week of October. We haven't even decorated for Halloween yet, and we're already digging out hats and snow boots.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Point

The week before school started, my sister decided to take her kids to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point and she invited us all to tag along. I think it was the first time ever that my two sisters with kids and I, as well as our mom, just went and hung out for a day.

The gardens were gorgeous. We had been told that we could start at the main entrance and then we would see a gate for the children's play area, where we intended to spend most of our time. Somehow we missed that, but ultimately I think it was for the best because we saw some beautiful areas that we wouldn't have visited.

Here are all of the kids at the beginning before any of them had started whining about the heat or being tired of walking or hungry or thirsty or wanting to swim. At this point the day was full of possibilities.
Kenna and Autumn sharing a flower. These two adore each other.
My favorite spot, The Secret Gardens:

This was the loveliest garden surrounded by a huge stone wall. If you didn't see the big gates tucked behind an arbor, you would miss the whole thing. It really was an enchanted little secret.

The man on the left in the blue shirt is just about to yell at Calvin for holding his hand against the fountain and stopping the spray. He yelled at each of our kids at least once for something.

Calvin and Miriam pretending to be caged animals.

We had intended to spend most of our time in the children's gardens which included a big Noah's ark water feature. Unfortunately it was "Two Dollar Tuesday," which means that every family in UT with a dozen kids brought their friend with her dozen kids to enjoy the discount. This meant that they had fenced off the Noah's ark and you had to have a wrist band and wait for your turn to play in it for 20 minutes. The problem was that each 20 minute turn only came around once every two hours. This would have been okay if we had gone there first as we'd intended, but the lady at the ticket counter gave us bad information, and by the time we got our wristbands, we had a two hour wait and we had already been wandering around for two hours in the heat. We decided not to wait for our turn. The kids were disappointed, but we found something else that was probably more fun than the fountain would have been.

The waterfalls:

Calvin about to pounce on a frog:
We were all hot and tired and slightly cranky in the end, but it was a lot of fun and we were glad to spend time playing with our cousins in such a beautiful place.