Friday, October 30, 2015

Carving Time

We had a combination of giant pumpkins and regular sized ones this year.  It's fun to have the ability to choose something a little different from the norm.  Tonight was pumpkin carving night.  Ryan really likes to use his tools for carving.  

 Elizabeth's face here cracks me up.

 We saved some of the seeds from our pumpkins to plant next year.

 Emma got to use Dad's power tools.
Ryan thought it would be great fun to take the weed burner and make flames shoot out the pumpkin's face.  This was the first attempt.
 Not very impressive.  So Ryan cut another hole for better air flow inside and tried again.
 Much better.
 It left quite the burn mark, but the kids thought it was hilarious.


 The finished products:
 We are a silly group.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

School Photo Day

I let the girls pick out their own outfits for school pictures today.  They picked very characteristic outfits.  Maddie was entirely purple- purple shirt under a purple dress with purple tights and purple sweater.
 Annie really likes her denim jacket.  She wore it all day, even for her picture, she tells me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

7th and 8th Grade Concert

We got to watch Emma's 7th grade concert tonight.  It was for band, orchestra, and choir.  Emma was 2 for 3.  The boy sitting holding the guitar in the picture below, however, was 3 for 3.  He didn't sing with the choir, but he was accompanying them.  I guess he's really into music.  
 There were a whopping 4 boys in the choir.

Emma got to go back and forth between the band and choir a couple of times.  I guess Mr. K (who conducts band AND choir AND orchestra) wanted to mix things up a bit.
 Both the band and orchestra have improved a lot over the past year.  However, I am still glad Emma is in band and did not choose to play a string instrument.  Although maybe it grates less with only one playing at home.


I made this for Elizabeth's Halloween costume.  Any guesses on what she is going to be?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Still swimming in squash

The weather is going to freeze soon.  We've had a really warm fall, and I've enjoyed it very much.  But it was time to collect any of these last fall veggies that we wanted to save.  So we spent the morning gathering the rest of our garden produce and filled Ryan's truck.  It seemed the easiest way to carry it back to the house.  
We carried inside all of the butternut and spaghetti squashes we thought we could eat before they went bad, and left the rest in the back of the pickup to take to church tomorrow.  Here's hoping people like free food.  Ryan is conducting tomorrow and can announce The Great Squash Giveaway.

We have too many carrots to freeze, so we tried canning in a pressure cooker.  I think we had success.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Season Comes To An End

Emma played her last 7th grade volleyball game this afternoon.  We are so proud- Emma scored the last two points of the game.  All volleyball games are played in groups of three, and Emma's team won 2 out of 3 in each of their games, leaving them undefeated.  Not too bad for C squad. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Family Away Evening

 I know, I know, it's called Family Home Evening.  But Ryan had to work tonight at a monthly parent meeting, so we took dinner to Ryan and then with the rest of the half hour we had we played in the PE room.  I want to go back to kindergarten.  PE was fun then.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Loving Sunnyside

We've tried to make serving others a family focus this school year.  The Loving Sunnyside initiative seemed like a good chance to put that into practice.  10 houses were picked by the initiative to receive a new coat of paint, and the 200+ people who showed up to help were divided and sent out to paint.  We got two coats of paint done on our house in about 4 hours, with snack and a lunch break.  
I was a little worried about bring our kids with us, but truthfully I think they were at least as careful as all the high school kids who also came to help.

 We adopted two boys this morning.  Reid and Ethan W needed an adult supervisor, and we had room in our van for them.
I think there were 5 or so different church congregations included, and high school sports teams and clubs.  It was refreshing to see so many give up their Saturday morning to help others.  The house we were assigned actually belonged to a lady who works with Ryan at his elementary school.  Honestly, we couldn't throw a rock in this town without hitting someone Ryan knows.  The joys of living in a small town, I guess.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Last Game

Whew.  We made it to the end of fall soccer season.  Between volleyball and soccer, we've been hopping.  It's just our luck that both sports teams play on the same night.  It made it a little tricky last week with Ryan out of town, and both Emma and the twins had away games.  I had to get someone else to pick Emma up when she got back to town and take her home because it was just not going to work otherwise.

We are missing two of the girls in these photos.  They just hadn't arrived yet.

 Even our coach showed up for this game...
Soccer has been good for the twins.  Even Maddie was showing some major improvement in her interest and ability these last couple of games.  At the beginning of the season, she was happy to watch the ball go from one end of the field to the other from wherever she was.  I'm not saying we'll ever be good, but at least she was chasing the soccer ball and trying to kick it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

All I Want For Christmas

Both of Annie's top front teeth have fallen out.  It's so stinkin' cute.  There's just something so 1st grade about the lost front teeth look.  As we are approaching the Christmas season, I had both Annie and Maddie sing the "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" song for me so I could record them in all of their sweet perfection.  Annie is up first.
Maddie hasn't lost her two front teeth yet, but she does have one that is pretty loose and hanging crookedly.
All three of us together for the finale.  
I think all I want for Christmas is for these girls to stay this way.  I love them so.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Ryan had the opportunity to baptize one of his former students last night.  Sean was in Ryan's horticulture class for Special Ed a couple of years in a row.  Sean's mom also worked at the high school, and Ryan was excited they had made the decision to be baptized.  Sean isn't keen on being submerged in water, but all went well.  It was a beautiful service.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

We invited all of the kids from church, and anyone on Facebook who was interested, over to our house to pick out a pumpkin this morning.  I ended up with our Primary President's camera to take pictures and didn't take any myself.  So, these are the pumpkins that are left-over after a very steady stream of people.  
 We were also giving away butternut and spaghetti squash, as many as people would take.  We have a lot...  Seriously.  We have so much to give away.

Ryan made a pumpkin man.  The kids called him Olaf's fall cousin.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Where Is Ryan Today?

Ryan was nominated by his principal to go to a conference on her behalf in New Jersey.  She prefers not to fly, and Ryan couldn't very well say no.  At least, that's how Ryan says it went down.  I would probably phrase it like that too, when offered an all expenses paid trip to Princeton.  (Shucks honey, yah, I have to go....)  Unfortunately, there are no conferences stay-at-home-moms get to go to.  I get to stay home and hold down the fort.  Again.  While Ryan sends me the following pictures over the course of four days.


 Ryan said these made him think of Hogwarts.

Ryan decided that instead of staying in another night and watching the others from our district enjoying the bars, Wednesday after his conference was done he went on a train ride to NYC with a couple of others from his group.

 I'm afraid I went through the motions of being happy for him, that he was getting to have this adventure, but that was very far from the truth.  I was in a snit and was feeling very sorry for myself.  Once again, Ryan is experiencing new places and adventures, and I was stuck at home.  Again.  Watching his progress through NYC on the Find My Friends app.  And thinking my life is the most boring, uninteresting, dull, tiresome life on the face of the earth.  (You know, not dramatic at all.)
Ryan flew in and out of Philadelphia, and before heading home they checked out some of what Philly has to offer.  He got to see the Liberty Bell and the Liberty Hall museum.  And by that time I was barely responsive, with terse one word responses to his pictures.

But Ryan made it home, after the kids were in bed and asleep.  And I could claim being tired for not being chatty.