Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

The pre-trick-or-treat dinner:

Our first ever neighborhood trick or treat experience!

The family jack-o-lanterns: Left to right: Laney, Ethan, Mom/Anna, Mathew, Meg, Dad

Our last minute decor for the trick or treaters. It turned out nice, huh?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annual Pre-Halloween Photo Op.

Let us continue our tradition of taking photos of the kids in their costumes before they are covered in milk dud drool.

This year the boys decided to go as the forces of good and evil.


I was happy that I didn't have to buy more ninja swords. Mathew still had his from his stint as a ninja last year...complete with classic 2010 black sharpie artwork. Those are hard to come by.

Megan chose to be an angel.
Then she chose to be a black cat.
Then she chose to be a monarch butterfly.
Then she chose to be a cowgirl.

We hadn't quite made it to the cowgirl when our Pre-Halloween Photo Op arrived.

Laney fell in love with our doggy costume this year. It hasn't been worn since 2004 and has been declared "too itchy" by all of her older siblings every year. She couldn't resist those "BIG BICKIES!"

Here's my attempt at showing those voluptuous puppy hips....Mark pointed out that it looks like she is taking a dump in the front yard. 

You're welcome.

And then there is our youngest pup.

Where's Anna?

Yes. I know she kinda looks like a boy. Kinda looks like a boy named Waldo.  But we didn't make her go out like that alone.

We were supportive.

Very supportive.

Being supportive can only get you so far when you show up to the ward party in coordinating costumes and realize that the rest of the adults decided not to dress up.

It can do things to you.

Namely tears and drunkenness.

Happy Halloween All!

The daily strange.

I have often thought that life can be very surprising.  On any given day, I will find myself doing things that I would never have conceived of when I opened my eyes that morning. For instance...just the other day I was standing in the kitchen attempting to shred sliced cheese. It was the Sabbath. The missionaries were coming over for dinner and we were feeding them skyline chili. We needed shredded cheddar and the only kind I had was in sliced form. So there I was.

Shredding sliced cheddar.

I find that strange.

And while we are on the subject of cheese.....

Last Thursday I thought I might make a lasagna for dinner. Turns out the only type of mozzarella we own is commonly known as "string cheese".

Did you know that you can put 6 or 7 of those bad boys in the food processor and it will transform into a very rustic shredded mozzarella?

I speak the truth.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anybody need to hire a "Fine Arts" Graduate?

Today was FAST SUNDAY.

That's 24 hours without food or drink. It's an opportunity to focus on more important things than what I can put in my mouth next. We (the fam) decided to fast for Lisa Irwin today. My heart is breaking for that little baby. Fasting for her made it not so hard to stop eating today. I'd do anything to get that little baby back with her mama.

Now that Mathew is 8, he has joined the fasting members of the the household. It can be hard on a kid. It's a long time to go without food and after a few hours, the saltines start looking so delicious. I mean, by 2 pm, you might start wondering why you've never noticed how light and flaky and perfectly salty they are.

One of the great things about going to church from 2 to 5 pm is that it really helps you to "go the distance" when it comes to fasting. When we used to get out of church at 2, we would often find ourselves having dinner at 4 o'clock.

Today when we got home from church, I whipped up some breakfast burritos for dinner. It was then that I realized that something major has changed with my family. I used to make a meal and end up putting most of it in the fridge as leftovers 20 minutes later. I would often wonder how my kids could survive on so little food. Today I used 14 eggs, a package of link sausage, half a brick of colby jack and an entire package of flour tortillas and my kids were licking their plates and asking for more. I looked over at the table in amazement and I imagined them in 7 years when their appetites have grown exponentially larger and it occurred to me that perhaps I should start looking for part time work. I mean we already put down 8 gallons of milk a week. Where do you go from there?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jared Coones Pumpkin Run 2011

When we moved here last year, we were too late to join in on the Jared Coones Pumpkin Run. It's a 5k that is run locally and you might think it would be a small event, but it was actually one of the biggest runs we've been to as a family.

It is run in remembrance of Jared Coones, who died of Leukemia when he was just 10 years old. The route is planned to wind through his old neighborhood where he rode his bike and starts and stops at his elementary school.

Sunnyside Elementary trains their running club (Sunrunners!) for the event every year. This year Mathew joined the Sunrunners and we also happened to move in next door to the Coones family. It was an amazing experience for us all and we were very touched by the massive support from the community.

The entire Sunrunners team:

The family before the race. We attempted to all wear our hodge podge of school pride shirts. Anna didn't feel it was very cool to go all "matchy matchy" and opted for a classic pink onesie. 

While Mark and Mathew ran, I let the kids gather hedge apples to keep them entertained.

It was a bountiful harvest, as you can see.

Coming down the last stretch:

The triumphant:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Forgiveness and a Baptism

I can tell you exactly why I haven't been blogging lately.

It's a combination of being ridiculously busy (moving....again....) and knowing that the next post was all about my sweet Mathew's baptism. It's hard for me to approach a subject like that without over analyzing because I want the "future Mathew" to know how much I love him and really get a sense for how important and happy this event was for our family.

So I keep putting it off.

But I promised my friend this morning (whoops...that promise was over a week ago...promises shmomises) that I would end the blog-fast tonight, so I'm sitting down with my trusty laptop and I'm ready to remember the love we all felt on Mathew's special day. And then I will give myself permission to move on to other matters. It's possible I will be skipping over things. Although not likely. I am nothing if not a born in the wool rule-following chronological blogger. Heaven help me.

First of all, I have to say how much I appreciated my mom and my sister driving from Utah to be there for Mathew. Mark's parents drove up from Arkansas and completed the circle of love for him. I am not exaggerating to say that he LOVED that you guys were there for him. You made it just perfect. Thank you!

Mathew chose me to give the talk on Baptism. It was short and slightly incoherent. There is a reason mothers aren't usually asked to do that. I was a bit of a mess. Luckily, he asked Grandma Kathleen to give the the talk on the Holy Ghost and she hit it out of the park. I loved it. It involved a great story about lying to my Grandmother until a few chickens died of starvation. Ask me sometime.

Playing piano with Grandma Jean

And even though we were still feeling pretty new in the ward and hadn't done the best job of announcing it to our fellow ward members, there were many awesome people who showed up and gave us lots of love and support. 

I spy with my little eye: the Sirois', the Gammons, the Flynns, the Clarkes,  the Guenthers, Julia McClauley and the Murphys. SALT OF THE EARTH.

Charlie, Meg and Addie. 

Mathew's primary teacher, Natalie Horspool came (she's the best) and showered him with love.  

And then he danced with the females in his primary class outside the font. One in each hand. That's m' boy.

And then it was time to head home. We said our goodbye's. My sweet friend, Brittany, showered me with love and does as she always does....made me feel like a million bucks and a better person. 
How do you like our mirror body language? I laughed when I saw this photo. 

I was so relieved that everything went okay, that I forgot to wait for my mom and sister to follow me home from the church. I left them in the dust. Thank heavens they have such good memories. 

That evening Mark and the boys hung out with Grandpa Joe and Grandma Jean and played a little guitar. 

The rest of us went for a walk down to Indian Creek Trail to see the magical fireflies. I think it's safe to say it was both HOT

and HUMID.

So, now I ask you all to forgive my absence. I will try to do better with my writing and recording the things that take place in our family. Mathew did get baptized and it was a wonderful day for all of us. We felt the spirit there and we felt the love and care of our families and our new friends.  I am grateful for the kindness of the Lord and for all his blessings.