Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trunk or Treat

Last night was our annual "Trunk or Treat" at our church- we dress up, eat hot dogs, play carnival games and trick or treat out of the trunk of every one's minivan and SUV, er... car.  (I think there were two actual cars, and two trucks too, but by and large it's "family" sized vehicles.)

A couple weeks ago, I asked the kids what they wanted to be for Halloween.  Emma wanted to be Hermione Granger (we may be a little obsessed with Harry Potter) and Elizabeth wanted to be a rose.  When pressed, Elizabeth explained her costume should be a flower on her head and her body would be the stem with thorns on it.  I tried to brain storm how on earth I would make a costume like this and struck out.  So I asked Elizabeth again, and she said she would be a spider instead.  That, I could do.
 Sleeping Beauty (Annie), Spider (Elizabeth), Hermione (Emma) and Cinderella (Maddie)

Ryan and I kicked around several ideas for costumes.  I ended up cutting letters out of card stock (thanks to my Silhouette machine- love it!) and we had Camp Half Blood shirts (of Percy Jackson fame).
As it turned out, Emma matched the decor of the cultural hall very well.  The theme was Hogwarts.  Didn't it turn out great?  There was even theme music to get you in the mood while you ate dinner.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Movie Night

Emma picked up our mail from the mailbox on her way home from the bus.  When she walked in the door, she handed me first the junk mail and then the red Netflix envelope.  "What movie did you get?" she asked.  "Is it an adult movie?"

Sheesh, she makes watching episodes of Castle sound so... dirty.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


"You haven't cleaned your house yet, have you?" said the 4-year-old boy I was babysitting this morning.  He was eyeing the dishes and crumbs on the kitchen counter.

"No, I guess I haven't," I replied.  I didn't feel like giving an inventory of my morning to him.  How I'd scraped pumpkin goo off floor, chairs and table, or roasted pumpkin seeds, or had to clean up the water bath the twins made in the other bathroom while I was showering, or any of the regular morning chores I had completed.

So, while he played with Annie, Maddie and his little sister, I cleaned up the kitchen.  And he poured out nearly every toy we own on the toy room floor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make A Face

Tonight we finally got around to carving our pumpkins.  Ryan got home before bedtime tonight (yay!).  For some strange reason, I was not willing to carve pumpkins without him.  So we put off our usual Monday FHE before Halloween until tonight.  
Ryan got out his power tools again. 
Annie is wearing underwear here.  She's doing great with potty training!
From L-R: Elizabeth, Maddie, Annie, Ryan (the cyclops pumpkin), Danae, Emma

Ryan's Revenge

Ryan found a use for the two day's worth of saran wrap.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Boo to you, too

I felt a little miffed that Ryan accused me of pranking his truck last night.  A little seed of an idea started up in my brain- Well, if I am going to be accused of doing something, I might as well do it.

After dinner tonight, I printed a little something off the computer and grabbed what saran wrap I had in the house and we drove down to see Daddy.  We may have detoured around the parking lot to look for a particular vehicle before finding an empty spot.

When we said goodbye after a 10 minute visit with Daddy, we wandered outside.  I mentioned to the girls about playing a trick on Daddy and they were all over it.
Has anyone tried to do this with small children?  It's harder than it sounds. 

I have no poker face.  At all.  When Ryan walked in the door, he gave me a "look" and I erupted into a fit of giggles.

The girls weren't any better.  Amidst giggles, they told Ryan, "Oh no, it was Jory!" and "It must have been a ghost!" (Reference to the "You've been Boo'ed" sign on the windshield.)

You've been Boo'ed

Ryan came home last night with a funny look on his face.  I knew it had been a long day for him- 13+ hours at the high school, so I was expecting a tired face, or relieved and happy to be home.  Instead I was grilled the moment he walked in- what had I done this afternoon?  Did I go somewhere with the girls?  Had I been feeling ornery?  He was not believing any of my responses to the negative.  I could not fathom what he was trying to get at.  We did homework, I made English Muffin pizzas for dinner and we watched the new Barbie movie before I got the twins down for the night, and I was hanging out with Emma and Elizabeth until he got home.

As it turns out, his car got "Boo'ed" with saran wrap and candy:

However, I couldn't say I had nothing to do with this, once Ryan explained what happened.  A passing comment from someone I had encouraged, and it turned into this prank.  I had forgotten about it, and didn't know the idea had been realized.

We had a good laugh.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Primary Pumpkins

Last Saturday, after Emma's last soccer game, we took the girls to a ward (church) activity.  One of the families in our ward grew a whole lot of pumpkins, and invited all to come and take some home.  There were games, coloring pages, Halloween stories, hot dogs and candy enough to fill the whole morning.

The kids have been begging us for a week to carve pumpkins.  It will happen as soon as Parent-Teacher conferences are done, and Daddy will be home before bedtime.  (Here come a nice, long couple of days...) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drip, Drop, Grape

Ryan brought home on Sunday a grocery bag full of something and left it sitting on top of the microwave.  The next day, as I was unloading the dishwasher and doing general clean-up, I discovered the bag was full of half rotten overly-ripe home grown grapes.  I salvaged what I could.

The next day we had grapes with our lunch.  When the kids were done, they got down from the table and went their merry little way.  Later I found Maddie back at the table.  She was picking up grapes from her plate and throwing them on the floor, one by one. 

These half rotten very ripe grapes hit the floor and just exploded out of their skins.  I've never seen grapes do that before.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Family Home Evening

It all started with Emma and the basket of rubber bands and all the hair "pretties."  Before we knew it, the whole family was having Crazy Hair Day.
Ryan thinks this would make a great picture to send out for the Christmas card.  I'm not sold on the idea.  Nor was I liking the idea that we all drive down to Safeway for ice cream.  Being called a chicken didn't change my mind either.  As much as I enjoyed the hair-do Ryan and Emma gave me, I couldn't quite bring myself to leave the house like that.

And yet, here it is on the internet.  (But I can't see you staring at me, so I guess it's ok.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chocolate Chips

I started potty training again.  This is one of my least favorite parts of being a parent.  I hear stories of, "My child potty trained himself!" and, "After a day or two, Precious Child Of Mine didn't really have any more accidents!"  I wish I had those children.  Instead, I get the long, drawn out, accident-prone children who are in no hurry to potty train.


I had a bag of chocolate chips in the bathroom for rewards for potty successes.  Chocolate speaks to my children, (I have no idea where they get that) and that happens to be what I had on hand.

When Emma and Elizabeth came home from school, they saw the treats in the bathroom.  "Mom, can I have some chocolate chips?  Pleeeeeeaase?"

"Those are for when we get pee IN the toilet."

Two minutes later, I hear toilets flushing and the pitter-patter of feet scrambling down the hall.  Emma and Elizabeth hand me the bag of chocolate chips and said, "We went potty!"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

On Tuesday I took the twins on a little field trip.  There were 5 of us moms (with 8 kids and 1 baby) that descended on the farm for hayrides, climbing and pumpkins.

Hayride out to the pumpkin patch.  I'm amazed no one fell off.  We were all too excited to actually sit down for very long.
Itty bitty pumpkins
A group picture of most of the kids.
After an "animal train" ride, hayride, corn maze, climbing on bales of hay, petting zoo and picking out pumpkins, we were all given pumpkin donuts and cider.  Yum!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby Shower

A few months ago, I got a text from my mother-in-law saying that we should throw Blair (Ryan's brother's wife) a baby shower in October.  Um, ok.  Me?  Really?  I've thrown birthday parties for my kids, but this is a whole different sort of ball game.  So we settled on a day, and got Michael to agree to keep the date open for the surprise shower.

In the meantime, Michael interviewed for a job that would take him and Blair about 10 hours away and got it.  He gave us some ridiculous story about wanting to go back to school, and this job (while starting earlier than they had planned on) was full-time, would work around his school hours and had benefits.  Blah blah blah.  If you guys are just tired of family, just say so. 

Just kidding.  We'll miss them a lot, though.

Luckily our shower date was early enough that they would still be around.  Another week and a half, and they will be gone.

So, I talked to Blair to say we were coming into town to visit them before they left.  Oddly enough, all of Ryan's siblings arrived for the very same weekend.  We got the Christmas family picture at the tree farm (see post below), but kind of ignored Michael and Blair for the whole of Saturday morning so we could set up the baby shower venue.  Everyone responded to their texts that morning saying they had errands/friends to visit/busy in some way.  So much for coming to see them, right?

At 7 pm, we were ready to go.
 I wish I could take credit for the tulle and lights, but they were there already.

We surprised Blair!  We very nearly blew it several times Saturday afternoon, but Blair luckily didn't figure it out.  All the kids did a GREAT job and they didn't say a thing.
My father-in-law had this idea for a game, called, "Make A Baby."  We took pictures of Michael and Blair as little kids and adults, plus all 4 of their parents and cut them into "features"- forehead, eyes, nose and mouth.  Then each table were given a stack to arrange into a face.  It was a riot.
I think this scared Blair a little.  Maybe her baby wouldn't be cute....
But it didn't stop her being excited about all the cute little boy clothes, blankets and everything else.  Kim had this great idea to get onsies from all the colleges family members attended.  The viking helmet came from the college I attended before I met Ryan and transfered.
Michael came towards the end and we got a picture of the expectant parents.  We are so excited for you guys! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Christmas Tree Pictures

This has to be the earliest we've done Christmas pictures.  It doesn't even seem right to call them Christmas pictures without coats and sweaters.   

All the kids went "home" this weekend for Blair's baby shower (more about that in the next post).  Blair and Michael are moving away in about a week and a half, so we had to hurry and get that baby shower in before they left.  Since everyone was in town, we figured it would be a good time to get that family picture that usually happens when we pick out Rick and Kim's Christmas tree.

Big group pictures:

(Our true colors....)
Michael and Blair (and baby)
Our family.  Annie was done with having her picture taken....
Caitlin, Megan and Amy
Rick and Kim
I think Brynne was trying to make fun of those of us with kids who make faces at the camera.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fair Fun

This is the last post about the fair.  Promise.  But I finally got the pictures on the computer and ready to share.

There was a butterfly exhibit this year.  It was really cool.  Once we listened to the shpeel of being careful and not touching the butterflies, we were given a Q-tip with sugar-water and let loose on the butterflies.
The kids thought this was super cool.
All except Annie.  She did not like them to touch her.  Or be too close.
Hanging out after lunch.
Dessert was the super tall ice cream cones that we get every year.  The kids started asking for ice cream cones about the time we made it through the gate, and (mean parents that we are) we made them wait until the afternoon. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Late Night Music

There is that state of wakefulness where you are semi-aware that you are awake but not wanting to be.  The other night I was nice and warm in my bed when I became aware there was some unusual noise for the middle of the night..  It wasn't the alarm and it wasn't a kid's voice.  But it stopped. 

A moment later, I heard it again.  It was coming from our bathroom.  "...Let's sing-along with Alphabet Pal!"

Oh, you have got to be kidding.

Must I get up?  Why is it playing?  Won't it just stop on its own?

I guess Ryan got annoyed with Alphabet Pal faster than I did, because I felt him roll out of bed, and heard his grunt when he smashed his toes on the foot board.  I heard him mutter something about "stupid toys," and "darn kids leaving their toys everywhere," on his way back to bed.

I made sure Alphabet Pal (or any other battery operated toy) was not in our bathroom when we went to bed last night. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Facebook Status

Ryan hardly ever uses facebook.  I, on the other hand, check daily because I find just talking to the twins for hours on end is monotonous and occasionally boring.  I like to pretend I am having conversations with people.  Or just find out that there are others alive outside the confines of these 4 walls.

That said, I don't do the copy and paste statuses.  No matter the cause it is supporting.  Occasionally I share video clips or articles, but not very often. 

The other day, a friend from church posted the following "status update" and made me laugh.  It just didn't seem like a "me" thing to share, so I logged into Ryan's account and he shared:

Please copy and paste this as your status if you know someone, or have heard of someone who knows someone, that may know someone who knows anyone. If you don’t know anyone, or even if you’ve heard of anyone who doesn’t know anyone that doesn’t know someone, then still copy this. It’s important to spread the message. Oh, and the hearts. ♥ ♥ ♥ For crap’s sake, don’t forget the hearts. ♥♥

(I assume this is more funny to people familiar with facebook.  Sorry, Grandma.)

I showed it to Ryan when he got home from work.  He found it funny (whew) and was glad I had shared it with him. 


Yesterday evening we took the girls up with us to the fair to take down the FFA display.  Ryan drove the school truck with a couple of students, and I tootled along behind with all the happy future FFA students.

"Mom, is it dinner time yet?" and, "Are we there yet?" and, "Why is it taking so long?" and, "Waahhh!" were the sounds I drove to.  This boded well.

The usual 35-40 minute drive stretched to over an hour, thanks to a well-timed accident blocking a lane of traffic on the freeway.  The twins, who are (according to them) too big for naps, fell asleep 3 minutes into the drive, but woke up about 25 minutes later.

All the girls were happy to get out of the car to help.  The twins happily chucked half-rotten peppers into already full garbage cans, while Emma gently flung apples into boxes to take home.  Elizabeth scooped up handfuls of hops, threw them into the air and then whined that something was in her eye. 

I thought that the drive home might be quieter if the kids' mouths were full, so we hit McD's drive-thru before heading home.  They were excited for their dinner of hamburgers and chicken nuggets.  Ryan treated his three helpers to a .50 cent ice cream cone, then pulled along side me while I was parked and handing out food to the back seats.  Every last child of mine saw those ice cream cones, and thought I was so mean for not getting them ice cream for dinner.

So much for a quiet drive home.

Annie having recovered from her bad mood, threw a shoe at me, followed by her hamburger bun as I was speedily trying to make an end to the trip.