Oct 31, 2017

South Jordan Halloween Bash

Tonight was the Halloween Bash at the South Jordan Community Center. If you remember from Halloweens past, this is a change and a brand new activity. They moved the costume contest away from the Farmer's Market on Saturday and decided to have it on Monday.

I don't think they had any idea how much bigger this event would become!

Instead of a few dozen, they had several hundred people packed in the Community Center and on the surrounding lawns. Baby Doll won the sack race and she chose a pumpkin from the almost gone pile to decorate. We only had about half an hour to play before we had to pick up Curly from football practice.

Baby Doll came straight from dance, so she didn't have a jacket and she was cold. I figured none of my kids had a chance to win with their costumes, so I left them in the capable hands of Bossy and Gamer, Dog Walker and Cat Lover, and headed home with Baby Doll after picking up Curly.

Drama Queen made a super fun meal with tacos, graveyard bean dip, and brain-like jello.

We were just sitting down to eat when Dog Walker and Cat Lover came through the front door. He had WON second place in the costume contest! His win included a $25 Target giftcard and a cup filled with Halloween candy. I will have him show you his costume tomorrow. He designed it himself and it is quirky and fun and obviously a prize-winning ensemble.

Oct 29, 2017

Daybreak Halloween Party

You are probably getting a bit tired of our Halloweening, but we have had so much fun this year hitting up some of the parties and just enjoying the buildup to the big holiday on Tuesday.

On Saturday, we started the day with Crafty taking the ACT, and playoffs for our football teams. Scout and Sport both lost their games in the final seconds. Taco and Curly will both be playing again this coming Saturday in championship games for their divisions.

After the football games, Curly and Crafty had practice for The Nutcracker, and Sport was doing Youth City Council service down at the big Halloween party in Daybreak. Since we had to take him down there anyway, Bossy and I took all the younger kids (except Curly) and we decided to play for an hour.

After getting Sport all setup to hand out candy for one of the local businesses, we got tickets for the Grand Adventure. It was fun, but a LOT of walking. We visited various people on our trip including a fortune teller, a pirate, a troll, a couple of executioners, a dragon, and witches. The kids loved it! Their favorite part was helping build the castle so the dragon could knock it down again.

When we finished our adventure, we went treat-or-treating up and down Soda Row. All the kids wanted to do the Electric Slide and it wasn't long before Bossy joined them, showing off her amazing dance steps. I stood back and took pictures, of course.

A few crafts and a couple of booths later and it was time to get back home. The kids were off on another "grand adventure," this time to Teach and Twiz's house. Maybe we can get one of them to do a write-up for us tomorrow.

Guest Blog: Crazin' for Mazin' by the Dog Walker

As you all can see, it's that time of year again for tricking and treating for Halloween! From all those years of posting about my Corn Maze, I thought you would all like to see how I've done this year! You can all see that I still have the classical blow-ups, (especially the 14 ft ghost) and even some of the Halloween theme colors.

There is one thing I added to the display that's totally different. From my birthday last year, I received six strands of lights that have plastic jalepenios in colors of red, yellow, and green. I wasn't quite sure what holiday it would be to use them. Everyone told me that they would be for Cinco De Mayo. I wasn't quite sure how to decorate for Cinco De Mayo, since there's not much decorations in Utah, except of course Pinatas.

Anyway, I didn't decorate for Cinco De Mayo, because I thought it was enough when we celebrated it on Gamer's birthday when he's always in charge of the Pinatas and Bossy is always in charge of sorting all the candy from them into bags.

Things have always been crazy around the holidays, but everyone around the neighborhood have always been amazed to see how much I've done with the Corn Maze. On those weeks before Halloween, children would always stop by to try going through it. There were lots of those times when Trick-or-treaters have been just going up the sidewalk instead of going through the maze. I guess children have been taught by their parents that it's not polite to walk on people's lawns. But I want to tell the parents out there that at my house, it's an exception.

I remember those times when I put my display up on KSL, but I'm afraid they haven't done that again. I just wish lots of people around Utah would like to come see my display, because I've worked so hard to make it the best one out of everything around.

If you can plan accordingly on it, you can always come right on Halloween evening to trick-or-treat at the house, and please enter the maze, because that's all part of the fun with trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Remember, the display isn't just made to look at, it's also made to explore the spooky wonders.

 I bet you're all crazin' for some mazin'!

Happy Halloween!

Oct 28, 2017

Halloween Crafts

I think today was one of my favorite girl scout meetings ever... Crafty, as president of the troop, and her VP did all the planning and preparing and even the teaching of the younger girls while they decorated Halloween cupcakes and made a spooky craft.


Crafty had spent a couple of hours cutting vinyl Halloween shapes on her CriCut. She had each girl put two of these shapes on the outside of a mason jar and then spray-paint the jar in Halloween colors. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day, but the paint was still not dry when the girls were finished with their cupcakes.

We sent them all home and then later, after they were dry, the kids pulled off the vinyl and added a candle to the inside. They probably should have painted them with a second coat of paint, because there were a few blank spots, but since this is their first try, I think they turned out pretty good.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 27, 2017

Prima Donna

Thank you for all of your prayers and support for Prima Donna! She came home yesterday and she has been much better. She has to be back in Ogden again tomorrow, so we spent the day running around and getting things done. Her favorite was a trip to see the eye doctor.

She hasn't been in for a couple of years because of her crazy schedule and it turns out that her eyes have gotten quite a bit worse since her last visit. We found her a cute pair of glasses and she also got a trial pair of contacts.

As we were driving home, she kept commenting on different things, but my favorite was when she looked at a tree and said, "Wow! I can see the individual leaves!"

It's amazing how much better life is when you can actually see.

Oct 26, 2017

Halloween Carnival

Yesterday was pack meeting and the Bear dean was in charge of planning a Halloween carnival. Curly was in charge of the Plinko game and he had a great time (for a minute) until I let him go so he could try out all the other booths.

He came directly from football practice and only had a few minutes to set up before all the kids were there and it was time to begin. The Dog Walker brought over Scout and Baby Doll and Sport was already there helping since he is still my Den Chief.

They had a costume parade first and then it was time for the games. Ours was extremely popular because we had really cool squirt guns to give away as prizes if they managed to get the ball in the right slot. Otherwise, they still got a nice little candy bar, which isn't a bad deal; either way they win.

The kids had a great time and way too much sugar! Halloween is still almost a week away and I'm already worried about the craziness of our eating habits. Curly came home with 21 Butterfingers and a bunch of other random stuff... I could have counted the girls' stash, but they had already eaten all of them.

Oct 25, 2017

Making Caramel Apples

I love Monday nights because we get to have Family Home Evening. This week we had a manners lesson at dinner (we realized we all have a lot of work to do!) and then for a treat, we made caramel apples.

While they were cooling, we playing the silliest game for Curly's cub scout requirement. We paired up and had to cross about 10 feet of carpet holding an apple between our foreheads. I wish I would have gotten some pics for you because it was hilarious, but I was the timekeeper, so my phone was occupied as a stopwatch.

My sweetie and I did pretty good, as did Grandpa and Drama Queen, but Scout and Curly could make it in just under 3 seconds. I think the fact that they are almost the same height worked to their advantage. Poor Dog Walker and Cat Lover! He is so tall and she is quite short... it just didn't work so well for them.

They enjoyed sharing a caramel apple though. The kids thought it was great fun, of course you know who got to clean up all the sticky spots on the floor and table. I'm pretty sure that is why caramel apples are a once-a-year treat for us.

They did well with the apple here!!
Looks like the Dog Walker and Cat Lover might want to have them a little more often.

Oct 23, 2017

The Dog Walker is Engaged!!!

Wow! It has been quite a week.

Last Sunday, the Dog Walker spent the afternoon and evening with Cat Lover and her family. He had a very important mission in mind; he wanted to ask her dad if he could propose marriage. It was difficult for him to find a time when they could be alone, so he finally just whispered the question and Cat Lover's dad was all smiles and gave a big "YES!"

So this past week, Dog Walker has been planning the proposal. He had originally planned to ask her at his birthday party, but when she came over today, we heard that she already knew about his intentions. Rather than let her suffer for the next couple of weeks wondering when he might pop the question, he decided to do it today at our family party. He and I even practiced a few times in the office before he did it for real.

As soon as my sweetie called everyone together, the Dog Walker glanced around nervously, but didn't say anything so I suggested to all that he had something he wanted to say. That prompted him to get down on one knee and he told his sweetheart he loved her and asked her if she would marry him and spend the rest of eternity with him.

She promptly responded with a big "YES!" and kiss. We all applauded and cheered and then they posed for a few pictures. They are talking about March as a potential wedding day. I'm so glad we have more than 2 weeks to plan this wedding.

I'm also glad the Dog Walker finally found someone who makes him happy.

Oct 22, 2017

Happy Birthday, Batman

Today was Batman's 20th birthday. We had fun treating them to a Grizzlies hockey game. After a day full of losses on the football field, we were excited to use the tickets we won for the summer reading program from our county library. I had requested these tickets way back in August, but it wasn't that much to buy a few more.

We did it the smart way by joining some of the kids into the Kids' Club. They got a game ticket, a t-shirt, and some other free coupons for $13. It was much cheaper than the $21 ticket price for an individual game. My sweetie treated us to our traditional kettle corn and cotton candy, but to save money we all ate sandwiches and chips in the van on the way over.

The Grizzlies beat Idaho 3-0. That was a nice little extra gift for Batman's birthday.

Tomorrow is a big day for Crafty. She is receiving her Patriarchal Blessing just before church. It's so amazing to see these milestones for the kids.

Oct 20, 2017

That Unexpected Curve Ball

It's funny. Life rolls along at a rapid, but survivable rate. We manage to complete the required tasks and even throw in a few fun things like this trip to Chick-fil-A. They are so awesome there! They did a winter clothing drive and we earned free chicken nuggets for the entire family.

Then every once in a while, life throws us a curve; something totally unexpected and usually not very welcome. Please everyone... pray for our Prima Donna.

She is struggling and finally asking for help.

Oct 19, 2017

Guest Blog: Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Drama Queen

There are only thirteen days until Halloween. Thirteen days until witches and vampires frolic beneath the harvest moon while werewolves sip sweet cider and howl at the moon.  Ghosts will soon be drifting pass with their bags full of tricks and treats.  The crisp fall air will be full of eager shouts and playful growls.  In thirteen days it will be the spookiest night of the year.

There are only thirty-six days until Thanksgiving.  Thirty-six days until the sweet spiciness of cinnamon perfumes the air and the soft sizzle of roasting turkey can be heard beneath the bustle of table-setting.  Soon there will be china clinking delicately and the eager sharing of the year's stories before the spectacular rainbow of gelatin is passed around.  In thirty-six days it will be the most grateful day of the year.  

There are only sixty-eight days until Christmas.  Sixty-eight days until voices ring out in joyful carols praising the Christchild as hands reach out to offer pure love and warn mitten-decked hands.  Between the falling crystalline snowflakes a light of happiness shines in the face of every brother and sister.  Sharp pine and rich smell of nutmeg seem to promise of the fresh new start the new year will bring.    The crinkle of wrapping paper testifies of the greatest gift the world has ever been given.  In sixty-eight days it will be the most blessed day of the year.  

...And I don't know about all of you, but I can hardly wait!!  

Oct 18, 2017

Ketchup, Anyone?

Did I ever tell you that my son-in-law, Twiz, has a huge aversion to ketchup? He absolutely can't stand it, in fact, I've heard him joke that he can't even kiss Teach if she has been eating it.

So today I had Twizlet for the entire workday. Just before noon, my sweetie texted me and asked if I would like to go to lunch. Of course I would never turn down an opportunity like that! He showed up about half an hour later and we decided on Culver's since I had a BOGO coupon for a double cheeseburger basket.

It's only a short drive to Culver's from our house, so even though Twizlet was tired, it wasn't enough time for her to doze off. After we ordered, my sweetie found us a table while I filled our cups and got ketchup and fry sauce.

Our food came quickly and we enjoyed our burgers. Twizlet ate some tiny pieces of cheese and chewed on a couple of fries. Then, in typical 8-month-old fashion, she began throwing them on the floor. That's when I decided it was time for her to try a little ketchup.

Sorry, Daddy!
She licked it first, testing it out, and before long, she was gumming them like a pro (she doesn't have any teeth yet). Of course we had to send her daddy a picture...

Oct 17, 2017

kinzd Makes a Great Wallet

I was approached by a little company named kinzd not too long ago to do a review on one of their minimalist wallets. Now you know me, there is nothing small about me, but I do love free things and Sport was pretty interested in getting a new wallet, so we agreed.

 It took about 3 weeks from the time we ordered them on Amazon until they actually showed up at my door and then, of course, I had pretty much forgotten about them. Sport grabbed the one that looked mostly like a regular wallet and that left me with this red thing I couldn't even figure out how to use. (Seriously, I had to pull up Amazon again just to look at it!)

But then I put a few cards in it and played around with it a bit and it wasn't long before I was a fan.I was impressed with the strap that pulled up my most important cards, but even more so with the fact that my coins didn't come out unless I wanted them to.

I always carry my purse, but there are sometimes when that just doesn't make sense. Like this would have been perfect for our Lagoon trips this summer. Or when I did take it with me a couple of weeks ago to Scary Hill. It is perfect for anywhere active when I don't want a big purse banging against my hip.

Nothing falls out. And it's "small."
Sport sent me a pic of his when I asked about it yesterday and he wanted me to tell you that he likes it. When I asked him why, he said it was "small." I think that's a pretty good review for a 14-year-old guy.

Oct 16, 2017

Visiting Grandma

We didn't have a family party today, but they were realigning the wards in our stake so we only had 2 hours of meetings at church. We got home just after 3:00 and my sweetie pulled together a nice meal. As we were sitting there, I felt so strongly that we should make a quick trip to see my sweet mother-in-law.

Crafty takes a great selfie!
By 4:15 we were loading the car and getting ready to leave. The Dog Walker had already made arrangements to spend the afternoon and evening with his girlfriend, so it was just the younger kids. The drive took us about an hour and a half and by about 6:00 we were sending the kids out to play so we could sit around and chat.

We stayed for a couple of hours, doing a bit of service and planning for a longer trip later in the week. It was so good to see her. Life is so precious and short. Families are definitely the most important part.

Oct 15, 2017

Donating to Build A Better Utah

Drama Queen and Baby Doll took care of our Build A Better Utah commitments while we were at the park with the football kids. It was a pretty quick delivery since Drama Queen had to leave for work just after noon., but they still had fun eating donuts and hot chocolate after unloading all the food and diapers donated by my generous neighbors and friends.

We should have spent the afternoon working on something useful, but instead we all piled in the van and drove down to the free theater and watched Cars 3. We got back home about 7:30 and shared the delicious chile verde my sweetie had been simmering all day in the crockpots. It was perfect. All except for the fact that the Utes lost by one point...

Oct 14, 2017

Build A Better Utah Service Project

Such a busy day today and I only took one picture. Thank goodness Drama Queen bailed me out with a few you haven't seen before.

This is how I feel today...
I started the day chasing around running errands. Sport was out of school for the day so we had an eye appointment for him. He also helped me put away all the tablecloths we borrowed from the church for Catwoman and Batman's wedding and we dropped the suits by the cleaners.

Thought you should see the front of Baby Doll's cute birthday dress.
I helped a nice little guy pass off a Disabilities Awareness merit badge. He drove all the way over from Taylorsville because he couldn't find a counselor any closer. At 3:00 my Girl Scout troop drove our neighborhood picking up food for the Build a Better Utah service project. (Drama Queen will drop that off for us in the morning and hopefully get a few pics for you since I will be at football and she had to work today so she couldn't help us gather.)

All dressed up as Monsters, Inc characters for a Halloween party... what?! Already?

Then it was straight off to the Cub-o-Ree. My co-leader for Curly's cub den already had the boys there and was terribly happy to see me. We finished up at 5:30 and Curly went with me first to wash and vacuum my car and then to the store for groceries.

Little Warrior looks so cute, but hasn't been feeling well today.
Paperwork finished off my evening. It was nice just sitting with Drama Queen and working through some things together. My sweetie made an amazing dinner with the produce from the garden and he has plans to cook all weekend!! Yay!!

Oct 13, 2017

Picnic in the Canyon

My sweetie has been anxious to take a drive up the canyon to see the fall leaves and we finally got the opportunity today. Sadly, many of them had already fallen, but the yellow ones were still beautiful and it was fun to take off with our 3 youngest and Twizlet for a picnic up Provo canyon.

We had originally planned to go on a little hike at the park we had been to before. My sweetie even brought the backpack for the baby, but strangely, when we first arrived, there were several people dressed as soldiers lounging on the lawn.

It wasn't long before they had assembled about 25 of them and we figured they were running a drill so we finished our lunch, packed things up, and headed back to Vivian park. It was too cold and windy to hike there, so we had to satisfy ourselves with driving the Alpine Loop.

Gotta have football at a picnic!
It was fun and relaxing for me since I wasn't driving all the switchbacks...

Twizlet wants to drive home!
We got home just in time for Scout to get to Activity Days and for me to pick up Crafty from her Cupcake Club meeting. I have so many things to do tomorrow! How does life get to be so complicated?