Monday, October 31, 2011


Some years Halloween is about the costumes.  This year, it was much more about the candy.  We didn't do a family theme.  The kids all chose their own costumes.  And they were relatively easy to pull off.  So, they focused on the highly-anticipated sugar high.  Woo hoo!

Over the weekend, we had our Fall Festival at church.
  This was a first:  
Kyler dressed up as the Bishop.
Ha!  You know you're special when
someone dresses up like YOU for Halloween.  :)

I couldn't come up with a fun couples costume
for Andrew and I.  So I just threw on a witch hat.
And some black clothes.
And wore my make up a little heavier than usual.
I was SURE someone would say,
"Where's you're costume?"
implying that I really am a witch.
But not a single person did.
Our church friends are so kind.

B-train decided to dress up as a drummer this year.
Andrew thinks it was just a trick to get us to 
buy him a set of drumsticks.
But, hey, if it's a $5 costume AND he can use
it for more than one day, I'm cool with that.

Whit was a black cat.
Care Bear was a little pumpkin.
(Same costume Whit wore as a 3-yr-old,
but I had to give it a facelift.  The last 
four years had not been kind to it.)

We chowed down on several delicious types of chili from the Chili Cook-Off and then the kids got a haul of candy before we left.  

Today, for the REAL Halloween, we just hung out here at home.  Our neighborhood gets CRAZY with trick-or-treaters.  I wish you could see it.  I tried to get some photos.  The quality is poor, but you can get an idea.  I'm so thankful that some of our neighbors get a permit to block off the street into our little cul de sac.  I love not having to worry about the kids getting run over.  Except this year there was one rogue vehicle that snuck in and followed their kids around trick-or-treating.  Boo.  

 A glimpse of the throngs of people in the streets.

There were lines to get to the candy.
Luckily, these three thought the wait was worth it.

Care Bear's teacher lives in our neighborhood.
They were excited to see each other.

The spoils!

I'm sure our dentist would NOT approve.
I guess I could ask him tomorrow.
When we go back for B's THIRD crown prep.
Maybe *I* should be the one that doesn't approve!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I took a Time Out

It included belly laughs, violin performances, a few tears, lots of warm fuzzies, a boy band, way too much chocolate, one of my BFF's, and some Mormon celebrities.

Sound fun?

Oh, yes.  It was fabulous!

Time Out for Women is an event that is held in several cities across the country.  This year, they had one in Richmond, Virginia.  When it was originally announced, my BIL Tony was supposed to speak.  I was SO excited and invited all of my in-laws to meet me in Richmond for it.  But then his schedule got rearranged.  Boo.  But I still wanted to go.  So I talked Shelley into leaving our kiddos with our AWESOME husbands and going with me.

We had the best time.  
It was such a spiritual boost.  
I felt like I was walking on air for the next couple of days.  


*Jason Wright's story about his sister giving a newborn puppy mouth-to-mouth.

*Jenny Oaks Baker's violin performances throughout the evening.  She. rocks.  I was blown away.

And I didn't even know I enjoyed violin music.
My favorite piece was "Baby Mine" from Dumbo,
which she played with her 8-year-old daughter accompanying
her on the piano.  That little girl also rocked.
Put my piano playing skills to shame.

*Meeting Virginia Hinckley Pearce.
She radiates the Spirit.
Just like her parents did.

*Staying up WAY too late just jabbing away with Shelley and laughing at the stupid sayings in our chocolate wrappers.  

*Mariama Kallon's story of praying to be able to teach someone from Africa while on her mission at the Salt Lake Temple and then getting up off her knees and running to meet him.  

What faith!

*Brad Wilcox's story of a sister missionary asking him, "Soy fea?"  [Am I ugly?] When he thought she said, "Soy fiel?"  [Am I faithful?] And he told her, "Yes.  Very much."  Oops. 

*Catching up with my friend, Amy.
She was down from DC and we had a quick but fun visit.

*Cheering and dancing to Jericho Road.
Shelley even lost her voice from all our rowdiness.
It's not easy to teach Sunday School without a voice.
But she managed.

Next year, they are holding Time Out in Atlanta.  Shelley and I have already mentally saved the date.  (Tony, can you request to speak at that one?)  We'd love to have a big group of friends join us.  I'll bring the chocolates!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curls be gone---momentarily

We love Care Bear's curls.  But we had a little extra time on our hands Sunday morning.  And my flat iron was already heated up. So.... we decided to experiment.

Let's refresh our memories on just how curly her hair is.

All natural, too.

Here's the straight version:

Fancy lady.

It's fun to see how LONG it is.
But I forgot she likes to suck on her hair.
It was curly again by the end of church.

We'll try again in a year or so.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fun-filled Day

I'm a fan of fun.  Who isn't?  And last Saturday we tried to pack as much fun into a single day as we could.

First, Caroline had her best little girlfriend, Mia's, birthday party.  

It was packed with music, dancing, dress-ups,
and pink cupcakes.  Little girl heaven.

Between these three girlies, that's a whole lotta curls bouncing around!

As soon as we got home, we headed out for Brandon's previously mentioned soccer win.  Woo hoo!
When he finished up battling the giant on the soccer field, we headed out to our friend, Maggie's, parent's house.  They live out in the country on a gorgeous piece of land and have a big fall party every year.  We jumped at the chance to join in.

Enjoyed the first signs of fall along the drive.

At the party, we took a little ride on a paddle boat,

 the girls had fun throwing hay at each other,

 we went on a hayride,

B and Drew tried fishing,
and we roasted hot dogs for dinner.
(By WE, I mean the rest of my family.
I ate chips and cake for dinner.
But I don't think I'm supposed to publicly admit that.)

We zoomed home and were *almost* late for our babysitter. D'oh!
Thankfully, she was running a little late herself.

Andrew and I rubbed shoulders with the cultured population
by attending a Relevents Wind Quintet concert.
 It was beautiful.
And entertaining.
And relaxing.

Afterward we went out to Q-Doba.  Turns out chips and cake are NOT a very satisfying meal.  I gorged myself on Mexican Gumbo, one of my favorite fast food-ish meals.  If we can't have Cafe Rio here, at least we have that soupy deliciousness.

I was completely exhausted by the time I got home from dropping the babysitter off.  And I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Brandon's playing soccer.  He made a big leap this year--playing on the big fields and in a league with guys three years older than him.  You know what that means?  Post-growth spurt boys.  They are huge!  The season got off to a rough start.  He lost his first three games.  Bad.  We braced ourselves for a long season.

But this weekend, they WON!  It was a close game, but they pulled off an exciting 5-4 win.  Woo hoo!

It has been fun to see B improve over the course of the season, too.  He started off timid and unsure of himself.  But in the last game, he was aggressive and had some great plays.

Here are some action photos.  He's in the green uniform with the red shorts.

This is the guy Brandon had to defend last game.
He was easily more than a foot taller than B.

But B was unintimidated.
He took it right to the big guy.

And somehow ended up consoling the big guy when it was all done.

We're hoping the momentum has swung in our direction and we'll see some more wins in our future.  But, if nothing else, at least Brandon's getting some good experience as the young guy in this league.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Conference tradition

Last weekend was General Conference for church.  It was a fabulous weekend.  So uplifting.  We love just spending the weekend together as a family and listening to the words of a prophet and apostles as they share what the Lord wants us to hear. 

On Saturday night, there is a meeting for the guys ages twelve and up.  One of my traditions for conference is to invite a bunch of my girlfriends and their kids over to keep us company while Drew's gone.  So. much. fun.  Usually we just let the kids run around while we visit and eat.  But this year, we decided to bust out our dance moves.  It may have been my favorite one to date.

The kids had fun gettin down...

and jumpin around.

And then the moms took over.  Yippee.
(Baby Brynn was NOT injured during this dance.)

Shelley and I were scouting talent show 
participants for next year.

We had a blast and got a workout, too.
That's what a call a successful party.  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More laughs

The kids were home sick from church one Sunday last month and this is what they did to entertain themselves.

First Brandon.

Then Whitney.

And, finally, Caroline.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes--September

9/2--Caroline told me, "When I grow up, I want to have two babies.  I want to name them cucumber and tomato."  

Future mother.
Of vegetables.

9/5--We went out to McDonalds tonight and B got a McFlurry.  He devised a way to burn calories as he consumed them:

He'd have to do a whole lot of those to equal his calorie intake.
But he's an active ten year old boy.
So, who's counting?

9/9--Something I didn't expect to hear out of my three-year-old daughter's mouth:  "I REALLY wish I could be a bad guy!"
Someone needs to tell her that bad guys don't twirl.

9/12--Caroline's latest aspiration, "When I grow up, I want to be a fireman."

9/12--I was apparently concentrating too hard on something while we were shopping, because Caroline asked me, "Where's your happy face?"  
Me:  What does my face look like?
C:  Your disaster face!

9/12--Also while shopping, we saw some embellished jeans that I loved.  I held them up and asked her, "Aren't these cute?"  She said, "They look ugly and selfish."  

9/16--Caroline did NOT enjoy the hibachi process when we were out to eat at Myrtle.  She clung to me and said, "I hate this restaurant.  I don't want to come back here.  My straw melted."  

 Note the melted straw above.

9/20--Care Bear packed some toys and books to entertain herself while we were out.  When she picked it up she said, "My backpack feels like heaviness."  

9/25--Around the dinner table, we were talking about possible Halloween costumes for Andrew and me, things like a fork and a spoon, a prince and a princess.  Caroline chimed in with, "Mom could be a french fry and Dad could be a dragon!"  

9/25--We went for a family walk at the Bog Garden.  Whitney said, "It stinks here."  I asked, "What does it smell like?"  She said, "Racoons."

Beware of raccoon smell.

Random photos for the month

At one of our fun library visits this summer, we watched a Tae Kwan Do demonstration.  Brandon has been channeling his inner martial artist since then.  This month, he wanted to try breaking boards.  He is lucky to have a dad who is willing to put himself in harm's way to assist in his whims.
Watch out!

And, of course, the girls wanted to join in on the action.
  Who says you can't wear a tutu and do karate kicks?


I love this picture.

Three great faces.

B practicing the faces he can pull.

Me practicing my photography skills
on B-train while jumping
He's so wiry!

Love this one, too.

A new favorite pastime:
trying on  Halloween costumes that I would
never actually let them buy.

We call this little toy the Ice Cream Pone.
B got Poned!