Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Trunk-or-Treat

Our church Halloween party was last night.  While I was working at a craft fair all day, I instructed The Husband to search through our dress-up box to find costumes for the kids.  I felt bad that we weren't really in the spirit of Halloween, and didn't ever figure out costumes for the kids.  But then again, I hate to waste money on costumes when we have creative minds and can come up with something that would work.  So, here's the rundown of what my kids were for our church Halloween party.  
Kimble was a cowboy, with pants two sizes too long for him.  He ditched the hat as soon as this picture was taken.  Kennedy was self-proclaimed Cinderella, wearing her church dress and glass slippers.

Keaton was a jedi warrior, so powerful that his light saber was invisible.  Kolby was an unhappy jedi warrior, teetering towards the dark side.

 Kamyren was a geek.  She wore my great grandfather's suspenders, which were given to me after he passed away.  I love those suspenders.

Heath and I were "just woken up" and "not a morning person".  I sewed up these eye masks just before we left (he wanted the pink one!) and we spent the evening in our pajamas and slippers (most comfy Halloween I've had yet!).

All together, we were a mismatched group, but we had a great time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


We had a storm that rolled through here yesterday.  For about a week, it was all the newscasters were buzzing about.  "Big Storm!!"  "8-12" inches!"  "Crazy Commute!"  "Probable school closings!"  So the hype was there, and we all prepared.  We found all the winter coats in the garage.  Hats and gloves. Scarfs.  I planned this amazing soup and rolls for dinner.  We were ready.

Wednesday morning, we woke up and the kids expectantly looked out the window.  Snow?  Inches?  It looked like the grass had dandruff.  Barely a dusting.  So disappointed.  The kids all got ready for school and I sent them out the door...bundled up for nothing.

A few hours later, it started snowing.  Then it kept on snowing. For the rest of the day, it snowed, and it was beautiful.  Big feathery snow crystals falling fat and happy to the ground.  When the kids got home from school, there was enough to play in, and make snowmen, and throw snowballs, and watch in wonder, under the protection of an umbrella.

Even though we didn't get as much as our northern neighbors did, in our old neck of the woods, we were happy that it ended up being a lovely snow-filled day.  Tomorrow, it's supposed to be back up in the 70's.  Bye bye snow. We'll have you stick around another time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Earn Your Rewards

As of late, we've been talking with the kids a lot about our personal household goals.  We had a great family home evening lesson a few weeks back, about how to make our home more happy.  My goal was to always have a soft voice, and to smile more.  Each of the kids picked goals they wanted to work on.  Kamy chose to do things before I ask.  Keaton chose to answer me the first time I called him, and to be more quick about doing required things. Kolby chose to have no fits, and to have a happy attitude regarding his chores.  Kennedy chose to not whine anymore, and Kimble needs to work on not throwing things down the stairs.  :)

We set up rewards and also discipline.  The kids came up with it all, made charts, and were really excited about it.  In fact, for days and days after, while enjoying the transformation our household had, the kids kept coming to me and commenting on how happy they were that we all made goals, and were working on them.  It really has been amazing.

Another goal we had, as a family, was to earn rewards.  The kids all love playing on the computer, but unless their chores and homework are done, the answer has been no.  However, there was an opportunity that I saw, and put it to use.  For the kids to play on the computer, or do activities that I deem are "extra", they need to earn it.  Sometimes it's an extra chore (like organizing the pencils/crayons/markers/scissors/coloring book mess that seems to get bigger with every homework hour.  Sometimes it's reading longer than the required 20 minutes (for Kolby, this has been great.).  Sometimes it's helping me make dinner.  Whatever it is, if they do it, they get to pick their reward, and it's usually playing a game on the computer (although it  has to be educational).

Last weekend, Keaton came to me with a plan.  He told me he'd keep his room sparkling clean, everyday, if he could get out his nice train electric track (which we got as a gift during our military days, and normally stays put away because it's more like a collectible than an everyday toy).  So he cleaned his room, then got to set up the train.  The boys were so excited to play with the train, and I was so excited that they were understanding the whole "you reap what you sow" mentality. 

Good behavior and good attitudes get you far, in our family.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blanket Drive Deadline

We've been working on blankets, around here.  The deadline for our blanket drive is in a few weeks.  If you would like to donate a blanket, and want to know more about it, please look on my sidebar, for two links about why we are doing a blanket drive, and the specifics about types of blankets accepted.  You can also email me, for info, and to get an address to send them to.

Thanks for your help!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

After The Balloons

After the balloon festival, I stayed home with the babies so they could take a nap, while our cousins went to their football game (My cousin Allen coached the game and his son Carter played in it) and the rest of the kids played happily with each other.  Then, after lunch, we went out on a hike, to visit the local petroglyphs.  The above picture shows all the kids, minus the two little ones, as we began our hike.

 We didn't last long on the first hike, realizing that we weren't seeing any petroglyphs.  We were in the wrong place. So we loaded up everyone again, drove a few miles down the road, and started another hike.

Keaton is showing the first petroglyph that we found.  An animal of some sort.  Fun!

We kept on hiking up the stairs and around the narrow paths, the kids jumping from rock to rock and overall making the adults very nervous on the steep climb, but they all had a great time.

Once we got to the top of the plateau, having seen very little petroglyphs, we took a group picture, let the kids teeter on the edges of the cliffs (more like called them away from the edges of the cliffs) and then headed back home so the men could go to a church meeting together, while Monique and I made bracelets!

After the men's meeting, the adults met up to grab a bit to eat before going to a LATE-night movie. We had to celebrate The Husband's birthday, afterall!   I was already exhausted, and spent much of the movie trying to sleep, but I'm glad we got to go out and spend time with each other, and with Allen and Monique.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Balloon Festival

A few weeks ago, we ventured down to New Mexico for the weekend, to visit with my cousins, and to see the balloon festival with them.  After a late night of driving down there, and visiting with our lovely family, we woke up bright and early to witness the 7am liftoff.

Hundreds and hundreds of balloons (I wish I knew an official count) ascended into the air one after another.  We could walk right up to the balloons, touch them, take pictures, then applaud as each one lifted into the air.  It was really fun to see all the neat shapes and colors of the balloons.

This balloon was the first one we came upon, and after they filled up the balloon with air, they turned on the burners and we all watched as the parachute rose upright.  So cool to be so close!

Kimble wasn't quite sure what to make of it all, but he enjoyed the morning watching all of the balloons fill the sky.

The view is even better when perched atop your daddy's shoulders!

This cow was massive. Massive, I tell ya.  We were right next to it when it lifted, and it was like an eclipse happened, it was so huge in the sky!

My cousin has four kids, and their oldest is aged just between my two boys. They had an amazing time together during the weekend.

Here are all of us, heading back to our vehicles.  At this point, it was about 10am and we had tons more to do that day, namely celebrate The Husband's birthday!  More to come.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Youth Dance

Youth dances, in our church, are highly anticipated events.  From the age of 14 to 18, boys and girls get an opportunity to mingle, socialize, and dance with each other in a safe and happy environment.  It was something that I looked forward to every month or so, growing up, and last night, I got to experience it all over again, only with a different a chaperone.  An adult chaperone.  (I'm an adult. When did that happen?)

I asked The Husband to be my date, and he anxiously agreed.  He, too, remembered fondly getting dressed up in his silk shirt, ready to attend his youth dances.  We didn't feel awkward or silly when we were youth.  We don't remember behaving in any other way than with supreme coolness.  Yet, watching all the kids at the dance last night, we couldn't help but chuckle and think "Oh, maybe I wasn't as suave as I thought I was."

Nevertheless, all the kids seemed to have a great time.  As we danced and mingled right along with all the kids, we overheard things being said, like "So, is this your first dance?"  along with replies like "Oh no.  I've been to soooo three or four." 

We watched young boys gather the courage to walk across the room and say "Would you like to dance" to an eager-faced young woman.  We watched little groups of teens dancing in tight circles on the dance floor.  We watched people posing for pictures as they danced YMCA.   We watched new love take roots, with a stroke of a hand or a nervous smile. 

With all that vividly happening before us, and with all our happy memories of past experiences, The Husband and I looked at each other and mutually agreed that we liked the place we were at now.  We have lifelong and eternal love.  We don't have to worry if the other person likes us.  We will always have a date, and never have to worry about standing alone along the sidelines.  Even when he steps on my toes while dancing, I'm still so glad I have this man in my life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Drawings From School

Kennedy has been bringing home some great papers from school.  I love looking  through her folder every week, to see what she's been up to.   Here's a few to share.

Apparently Kennedy wants to be an Artist when she grows up.  I love how she drew her artist pallet. She drew herself with her little leg bent up (she is so girly) and big red Xs for the eyes, although I'm not sure why she did that one.  Maybe it was her inner artist coming out.

They discussed the story of the Three Little Pigs at length.  Kennedy obviously preferred the house made out of bricks, and I love how the roof looks!

I'm really not sure about the next picture. What was she trying to draw, anyway?  As for the "My hair is crazy" picture, this was done on the day they had "Bad Hair Day" at school.  Love it!

How do you get to school?  Kennedy answered that question "My feet walked today".

One of her homework pages was to cut out items from a magazine that began with those specific letters.  M is for Milk. S is for Spaghetti Sauce.  T is for Toothpaste.  Apparently Kennedy's teacher doesn't know that R is for Rachael Ray!

What do you like to eat?  Kennedy likes to eat salad.  Who knew?

 The  splash pad is at our local park, where tons of gallons of water sprays from different sprinkler-type equipment, providing hours of fun for summer-loving kids. It seems to make Kennedy a bit crazy, according to the picture. So crazy, that beneath the hot sun and lovely rainbows, Kennedy is a bit tired. School is tough, afterall.

I love collecting these drawings from Kennedy.  It's so fun to see her creativity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Think Christmas

This is a doll ready for adventure.  With extra long arms and legs, she's perfect for climbing, swinging, jumping and hanging on to the hand of her owner.  Just listed on Etsy.  More dolls to come.