Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Night

We were going to carve pumpkins for family home evening tomorrow, but Abe decided tonight was better because we had more time. I don't actually do anything to help carve the pumpkins. I have a real aversion to touching the insides of pumpkins. It makes my hands sting. Same thing with cutting tomatoes. Does anyone else have this problem? Well anyway, Clark carved his (bottom left) and Cannon's (top right). Elinor designed her's (bottom right) and Bethany designed her's (top second from left). Elinor debrained her's and Bethany's. Bethany takes after me and would have nothing to do with actually touching the pumpkins. Abe is the master carver. He was a little concerned that this year's pumpkins were lacking in artistic merit. He has had some pretty impressive years. I think this year is great too, but he said he went for quantity not quality. Here is one sad little side note. We have to keep our pumpkins in our fenced in back yard because we have some mean spirited youth in our neighborhood with too much time on their hands. We'll probably only put them out on Halloween night for the trick or treaters. We have had several pumpkins smashed over the last couple of years. So mean.

It has a been a marvelous, relaxing weekend. Church was great today. True to form, Faith chose not to sit with us. She found a new family to visit. She has a little friend in nursery she kept trying to wave to. This little friend wasn't seeing Faith so Faith decided to go sit with her.

I love this picture. Well, I love everything about is except how frightening I look in it. Oh well. I bought a cute little Halloween book for Faith because she pretty much never gets anything (we already have too much stuff). Anyway, I sat down on my favorite red chair in my room with her and it was like a magnet for the other kids. To me this picture captures how engaging books are to children. I have some of my very best times with my kids reading books together. I would love anyone to comment on their very favorite book or books they remember reading with their family either as a youngster or an adult.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weird recurring dream

Have any of you ever dreamed your teeth are falling out? Lots of teeth falling out, with only the slightest pressure on them. I googled this recurring dream I've had and of course there are lots of interpretations. Anyway, if you've ever had it (I know a sister-in-law has had it) you know how disturbing it is. Please let me know if you've ever had it.
So last night a girlfriend and I went to an overnight homeschool moms' retreat. We decided to play hooky after the dinner and first talk. We went to Barnes and Noble instead and then came home to sleep in my own bed. What does that say about me that I play hooky from a homeschool conference? Oh well. I tried my first hot chocolate at Starbucks and it was WAY too strong- and I like chocolate more than most! Anyway Abe and I went on a date with Daniel and Lori tonight and I got another hot chocolate at Paradise Bakery. It too was a disappointment. So I guess I just don't have very good taste in hot chocolate-- I like the cheap stuff. I guess I should be glad about that!
Speaking of Abe and I going out on a date we had a cute girl come babysit the kids. When we came home the children had officially tied the babysitter up in jump ropes. She said they were all having a fun time, but I had my doubts. I will be surprised if she will come back to babysit again. Clark isn't old enough to be in charge at home yet, but good heavens- he's pretty much as big as any babysitter we get, so this could become a problem.
My poor little baby is not sleeping well. I know I have made this complaint before on my blog. Before our trip to Portland things had improved a bit, but since our return he has returned to his sleepless ways. Last night he was really mad at me when I wouldn't nurse him ALL NIGHT long. Hopefully, he'll learn quickly!
Today was clean the house and get the yard ready for colder weather day. Clark and Abe mowed the lawn and the girls and I worked on cleaning up the basement a bit. Also Abe helped Clark change the inner tube for his bike and then Abe, Clark and Bethany biked to the local grocery store to get a treat. I loved family bike rides as a child so I am glad Abe does this with the kids. Okay, it is late. I must get to bed. Ciao!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Portland trip

We had such a wonderful trip to Portland this past weekend. We left on Thursday, which was the start of UEA weekend (Utah Educators Association) and all the kids were out of school. I've never seen so many children at the airport headed to Disneyland. But we were excited to be heading to Portland.
Upon arrival, Clark noticed the beautiful green landscape of Portland and begged us to move there. The kids were in heaven playing with cousins. I enjoyed visiting with sister-in-laws and friends.

Of course Cannon and I were seat buddies. He pretty much nursed the whole flight. I was glad I was sitting by family and not some really cool 20 year-old rock climber dude. Yes, I have had a nurse a baby next to one of those on a flight. Very embarrassing.

Seating arrangements are key on an airplane flight with a family of young children. Bethany and Faith were seat buddies. Bethany really likes to mother Faith so we figured this was a good combination.

Clark and Elinor were also a relatively peaceful duo. During the flight we did move around a little and found that although Elinor and Faith did well together, Clark and Bethany were not such a good match on the flight. I've made a note for future reference. However we did receive several compliments on how well behaved the kids were so I'm going to take that and run!

This is one of my dearest friends, Jessica Moyes. We were college roomates and she lives in the Portland area (actually in Stuart and Tiffany's ward). I haven't seen her for three or four years so I was so excited to see her. I could talk to her for hours, she is so fun.

Here are some of the kids outside Jessica's house. Elinor and Josie had a particularly fun time together. Years ago we went with them to the circus here in Salt Lake and somehow it bonded them for life or something so our kids felt like they were seeing dear friends again too.

We were so grateful to stay at Jesse and Amy's home (Abe's brother). They were very gracious hosts. Between our two families there were ten kids under the age of ten, but they got along amazingly well. Clark and Alex spent a lot of time working on their monster manual. I didn't take pictures but we also got a chance to do some good visiting and chatting with Stuart and Tiffany's family. We had dinner at their home on Sunday and visited for a while on Saturday. The kids loved running around their property and even playing down by the creek. According to Clark, "Adam lives in paradise!". We met up with Katie and her boys for my favorite Portland restaurant-- Burgerville!!- the blackberry shake was to die for! We went to see their beautiful new home and checked out their bearded dragon.

Here are our kids and Jesse and Amy's kids as we started off at the zoo. The weather was beautiful and the Portland zoo has a new baby elephant--so cute and so much smaller than I thought it would be. They have the best zoo I've ever been to.

We went on a fabulous date with my brother and sister-in-law Matt and Misty. Here is Matt bonding with Cannon.

We love Misty! We miss her so much. Sunday night we went to go see Matt and Misty's apartment. We played Rock Band on their Wii and it was a blast. I was the drummer and did pretty well if I do say so. Abe rocked out singing Bon Jovi's, Wanted: Dead or Alive. He was pretty hot!

Saturday morning we went to a perfect pumpkin patch! There was a hayride and a cow-train and little hay-maze and absolutely beautiful fall weather.

Here is the cow-train. It was actually quite a long bumpy ride and Abe was feeling a little queasy by the end. All the cars had names and YES- there was a cow named Betsy. She was broken down in a barn somewhere, but we found her!

Here is Cannon and his cousin James (Stuart and Tiffany's 7th). They are about five months apart.
We really did have such an enjoyable time. Thank you to everyone who hosted us and fed us and visited with us. We felt very well taken care of and are so grateful to have such wonderful family and friends.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The juices are flowing!

The creative juices are flowing around here! I cannot keep up with all the kids' "good ideas". The most recent just before bedtime was taping wooden blocks to their feet and going block skating-- like ice-skating, but with blocks. The house is a disaster area, but it is fun to see what they come up with next. Was I not a creative child? I don't remember doing stuff like this.
This was Friday. It was medieval/fantasy day. They made their own costumes.

Clark was the Prince/ Knight. The white sock hanging from his belt is his money bag, with real money in it.

Bethany was the Queen. Clark was her son. She named him Prince Eric.

This is my favorite picture. Elinor was the dwarf. Clark made her the ax and yes, she has a beard taped to her chin. She wasn't very happy about this. She kept saying, "I want to be a girl!" Clark would answer, "Elinor, there ARE girl dwarfs!" She would say, "But not with beards!" She was a good sport though. Note her sock money bag.

Faith's costume consisted of this attractive cardboard mask and breastplate made from a milk carton. Note the sock money bag.

Elinor shows off another of Clark's creations. An attractive helmet made from cardboard and a milk carton. Hmm, I wonder if they rinsed that carton out first?

Bethany built this contraption for Faith. I'm not sure what they called it, but Faith was happy to sit in it for about 45 minutes. Notice she is shaded from the elements and has her sippy-cup for refreshment if needed.

Here in Utah is a place called Gardner Village. In 1877 there was a flour mill built and now the area has been restored with little shops and restaurants. In October they have fabulous dressed up witches all over. We went for the first time on Friday night. We were dumped by two babysitters (that hurt) so we opted for a "family date" instead of a mom and dad date. It was quite fun for all.

My favorite witch-- for obvious reason. This was outside the fun candy store. We all got to pick out a little treat!

The girls with one of the witches. There was a sign next to this one that's not in the picture, but I thought was kind of funny. It said, "You call me a witch like that is a bad thing!"

I had a fun day today. For those who don't know her, this our wonderful friend, Allison Sherman. She and I had a little outing today for lunch and some shopping (getting on Christmas early). The kids love her so we enjoyed her company at our house for a bit this afternoon while Abe watched BYU football upstairs. We won, but winter seems to have arrived a bit early here in Utah so I think it was pretty chilly at the game.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Laura and Almanzo are falling in love!

We finished reading "Little Town on the Prairie" (#7 of the Little House series). Laura and Almanzo are forming a friendship but Laura can't figure out why Almanzo keeps asking to walk her home, because Almanzo is a homesteader and is Pa's friend. The kids and I giggled and had to finish the book today. It was good to have such a fun thing to do today because Cannon is sleeping so horrible at night and I am so TIRED!!! I've got to figure something out. I know there is the cry it out thing, but I'm not quite ready for that. He is my worst sleeper by a lot. I feel like an idiot. You'd think that I would have figured out what to do with my 5th child. Bethany was pretty rough, but I think Cannon has claimed the title. Lucky for him he is so cute and pleasant during the day.

Monday night we went to a corn-maze with our friends the Johansens. It was only a couple of days after the rain so it was still pretty muddy, but the kids didn't care. We all had a great time. Michelle (the mom) and I chatted about home- school and brought up the rear, making sure we didn't lose anyone. The boys were our leaders finding the way. They followed the map too well and we finished the maze too quickly. We didn't feel we had gotten our money's worth so we had to find our way back without the map.

This is a picture of the Johansen kids and our kids. We really enjoy their family. Their girls have a calming influence on my girls. They are also in our Liberty Girls' club. We enjoyed donuts and hot chocolate at their house afterwards. Elinor and Benjamin both managed to spill their hot chocolate. Oops.

Here is Clark with the Johansen boys. He really had to work to keep up with them in the corn maze. They are also Clark's chess mentors. They are really good at chess so Clark has asked them to teach him.

There is something very wrong with this picture. Clark made this twisted looking vampire. Faith is dressed up in a black cloak. The kids arranged for Faith's and the vampires marriage. So I guess this is their wedding photo. I haven't posted the picture of Faith kissing the vampire. I don't know what else to say about it. It seems wrong to me, but the kids were thrilled with their idea and there was much laughing and romping about.

Lest you think an evil Halloween spirit always pervades the home here a a cute little moment of Faith reading to Cannon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference Weekend

What a great General Conference! I particularly enjoyed President Holland's talk on angels. I cried a lot during it. It is hard for little kids to understand why moms cry when they are feeling really happy. There were so many good talks. Abe's brother Stuart and his daughter Lauryn came down from Portland for the weekend and the two of them and Abe and Clark went downtown for the Saturday afternoon session.
Clark and Lauryn on their way to General Conference. I think our Portland friends brought the weather with them. Of course we LOVE it when we get rain, but I don't think they were quite as thrilled.

Stuart and Lauryn. The four of them sat on the middle level in about the middle. I was glad there was a choir of primary children singing for that session.

It was cousin mania this weekend. Here is Bethany with Kyli (Daniel and Lori's 2nd).

Here is Elinor with her cousin Gentri. These two have a special connection. They seem to understand each other.

These two pictures go together because, as you can see, the girl cousins are having a wonderful time being girls together. And Clark, as you can see, cannot stand it so he has escaped to the computer.

And these two pictures go together because I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking this weekend and Faith has perched herself in her favorite spot. She loves to play with the water, soap and lotion and make a general mess of this corner. It was a vegetable soup in the pot that was pretty tasty, but maybe it just looks gross from this angle.

And I guess the whole weekend was just too much for little Cannon! He fell asleep with Abe just before the men headed off for Priesthood session.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Primary Program

Here are my little ladies! We had our Primary Program at church on Sunday. The girls wore their "Christmas dresses" for the occasion. Our family was asked to sing a song for the program called "Home"( in the Children's Songbook). I tried to tell the Primary president that we weren't really singers. She countered that Abe has a great singing voice (he's in primary) and I do a great job as the primary chorister. I said, "Well we can sing loud, but that doesn't mean we sing well!" However, we did it and I don't think it was a complete embarrassment. I asked a great family in our ward to take care of Cannon during the program. Apparently he was quite happy until he heard us get up to sing. Then he recognized the song and our voices and it was pretty ugly from then on out. The kids all did a great job saying their parts loudly and clearly.
It's Halloween time! During our recent moves over the past couple of years we really had to downsize. I had inherited a bunch of Halloween decorations from my mom and I got rid of pretty much everything. So last year when Halloween time came around the kids were not very happy with me when they realized we had no Halloween decorations. Abe encouraged them to make their own homemade decorations and they had a blast last year. Today they decided it was time to decorate for Halloween again. Here are a few of their creations. I just had to make sure they had a supply of markers, construction paper, aluminum foil, newspaper and garbage bags (for ghosts). Bethany taped these papers up on the window. Let me put them in order for you, "You will never scare me, but I can scare you , ha ha ha).

I do love Halloween!