Saturday, November 17, 2012

Halloween 2012

I'm not sure what to think of this Halloween, it came fast and was definitely not what I expected. We decorated the house with spiders and even got a couple of new decorations for the years to come and attended countless parties and gathering. But we didn't go to the pumpkin patch and get pumpkins which to me is a must during the holiday season. We had every intention of making it happen and planned on stopping and getting some while we were up in Washington but time ran out and we were out of room what with all them apples. Then it just sort of slipped up on us (well, me considering I'm the one who arranges all that) and it didn't happen, though we got some little ones which Levi carried to and from school in his backpack for a number of days. Ah well, I guess not going to a pumpkin patch doesn't ruin Halloween after all.......

Party #1 - Kids party at Morin Manor 
Always awesome, relaxed and full of crazy kids. I think this our 3rd year in a row.

Levi's school party which I was able to help with. Corrin was really the one who gathered the troops last minute (their teacher was just changed so things were slightly disorganized). We did a craft, played bingo, had snacks. I'm just happy I got to finally see Levi's new class and all his classmates. They still haven't organized parent volunteers for the classroom.
Later that night.....

Ward halloween party! Bingo and a trunk or treat, throw their favorite bishop in and it can't be beat.
The counselors were hilarious and both dressed up as the bishop.
Two extremely awesome people, Mrs. Corrin Keeler and Mrs. Tanya Hancock. I love working with them, we always have a great time together.
And who could forget Emily Thomas? I am always completely awestruck when I watch her teach the kids during music time. I want to be more like her.
Charles!
Levi was trying SO hard to get a bingo but he didn't quite get it. Ah well, a bucket full of candy cheered him right up.
Jensia.
One of my favorite kids in one of my favorite costume of the night, he's a tornado. I thought it was extremely clever and hilarious that is what he wanted to be.

Trick-or-Treating on Halloween Day 
We went to Nike where they were handing out bucket loads of candy all throughout Jason's building.
They were very shiny knights.
We then went to the trunk or treat at circle park with Bethany Ward where we got to see a ton of our friends that we don't usually get to see and even got wet and muddy. In Oregon. On Halloween, imagine that.

After all that, since it was so wet we ended up going out to dinner with my dad and step mom which was really fun, at least a lot funner than trick or treating in the rain. By the end of the night the boys were pooped but not so pooped to forget about all that candy. I, being the horrible mother I am, told them they could eat as much as they wanted that night but then the 'halloween fairy' would come and swap it for a toy which they really seemed fine with. I love those boys, they were so flexible with everything just enjoying the ride.
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Harvest 2012 Video Edition


video

Harvest 2012

 This year's harvest was a great success. I didn't bring my camera or take as many pictures as I usually do but I got some of the action.

 Max with two of his absolute favorite buddies. To the left is Anders, his 'son' he got from Krista on his birthday and has been carrying around ever since. On the right is Baby, his other son. It is actually a doll that my brother Gabe had, and called baby when he was little. I love that Max carries them around and considers them his kids. He's so sweet with them and loves to snuggle up with them. Also he refers to Levi as their uncle and I am their grandma. When asked about who their mother is it changes a lot, sometimes I'm the mom, sometimes Gram, he hasn't quite figured that one out yet.
Levi had to show off to the camera. 
 Huge apples. Yum.
 Levi and Philip did a lot more wrestling than picking.
 but Max was a champion apple picker, he picked basket after basket of them. Eventually he decided he'd hang out a while in the truck.

 Making cider. The day after we went to the country mercantile and they had free samples of their cider and I'll be honest, it was horrible, bitter and tasted watered down. This is the real stuff. I feel a little spoiled because after this I don't think I can go back to plain old cider.
 Our haul. 11 gallons of cider, lots of huge potatoes and onions and the rest of the truck filled with apples. Oh and the boys got some candy and toys from grandpa. A great trip. I have spent the past month using up all the apples making applesauce, apple pie filling, dried apples, and fruit leather. Delicious.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Electronically Challenged

So among other things I finally moved into the 21st century as far as phones go and went from my just-barely-got-a-texting-plan-on-my-phone-older-than-my-preschooler to the new iphone 5. I'll have to admit it's pretty nice and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. My favorite features: Momon channel where I listen to church magazines, conference talks and so do the boys, pandora which both the boys and I enjoy rocking out to, easy texting and now people actually respond to my messages, Etsy app where I hear a big cha-ching when I get a sale, love that, Evernote where I keep my lists and lists of things from what to get people for christmas to what I need to remember at costco or the dollar store next time I go, and my very favorite is video and pictures features to which I'm completely addicted. I haven't had a way (convenient way that is) to take video of  my boys in a long while.

While I love taking pictures and video I'm still trying to figure out how it all works and how to post videos and pictures to my blog directly from my phone even though I have the app.So this will have to do for now, pictureless me full of nothing but crazy random thoughts at midnight.

Speaking of phones I'm trying hard not to let my kids get too into it. I remember when I had my ipod, before I lost it 6 months ago, my kiddos would beg for it all the time. I hated it, especially first thing in the morning. So I haven't really let them play games or do anything on it and I'm trying my best to keep it that way, except in extreme, extreme emergencies. I remember I was actually kind of glad I lost my it because of that very reason so I'm hoping to avoid it. I'm such a mean mommy.

This weekend I had my first real long weekend away from my kids and family. It was a 4 day quilting retreat with a bunch of ladies that my mom knows through her favorite quilting shop she takes classes from. It was at a church's retreat center and was just what the doctor ordered. Basically we got a half a large table to set up shop and get as messy as we wanted for 4 days. Food (which was amazing) was provided so we didn't have to worry about anything and got to do what we wanted. For me it was a weekend of finishing projects, one of which happened to be a quilt but the rest not. I was with a group of die hard grandma quilters who were very precise and mathematical about their quilting. I am not. They were sweet, though I don't know if they approved of my quilting methods but eh I don't like to go by the book. On my list of things I accomplished was that quilt (top and bottom, the bottom of which seemed almost as complicated as the top) that only took 3 years to finish. Thankfully my mom is planning on quilting it for me. I'm extremely happy about that because I'm tired of looking at it. I made up a bunch of reusable sandwich bags, embellished onesies for my plethora of friends having babies, sock monkeys for the boys for Christmas (they were actually kits my grandpa got for them a month before he passed away and I've just never made them) and lastly I made the boys and some friends creature power suits for Christmas. Creature power suits are from their favorite show, Wild Kratts and I've had the stuff to make them for months and just never got around to it. They are awesome if I do say so myself. I did my own patterns looking for inspiration online. I found something similar but not as nice of fabric on etsy but $60 for vest and gloves?  No way I'm paying that much. They took a long time and I'm still not done with everything but it's pretty much done and they are going to freak out (I think). I'm so excited for them to see everything! I did awesome gloves for them too.

Today when I picked up Levi at school we talked about things. I've learned not to ask the question "How was your day?" because it's ALWAYS fine. Hmmm. Wonder where he got that from. I try to use different open ended questions to see how things are going. He told me that today was really boring. So I asked about recess, which is usually the highlight of his day, and he still said that was boring. When I pressed further he said everyone kept wanting to play killing games and he kept trying so hard to get everyone else to play a different game, freeze tag, but no one wanted to which made him really sad and didn't play. It makes me sad to hear he had a sad day but it is what it is. Later after we were home he asked if he could have Eden (a girl from his class) over. I was a little suprised because he's never asked to have a girl his age over. We have our neighbor lily over but I think a big part of that is convience, we don't have a ton of kids on our street. Now my question, how to go about asking someone over for a play date when you don't know the parents.....

Mr. Max has been loving preschool and everything that entails. We took our first turn having me be the 'teacher' which went fine. I did things a bit differently than the outline had but that's how I do things. A small part of me wished I'd gone the Mustard Seed route, mostly because of the curriculum. This is Max's first year so I was wanting something simple, less structured and more play based but we ended up in a group that has all older kids going to kindergarten next year so it just worked out a little differently than I expected. Ah well. He likes it and we'll survive.

Speaking of going differently than expected let's talk Halloween. What the heck happened there? I can't believe it's over. I'll be honest, we didn't even go to a punkin patch or even buy a single pumpkin. What a party pooper I am. We did plan to get them up in Washingon but time ran out and we decided not to since we were full. But we did decorate the house which was awesome, went to at least 4 parties and ate a ridiculous amount of candy. That's what Halloween is all about right? Also I felt a little bad because we didn't knock on a single door that night. We ended up going to a trunk or treat, got rained on and then went to dinner with my dad and step mom. We all got a sugar high eating candy then put the boys to bed. Nothing too exciting but over all we had a pretty good time.

Today was election day and finally, it is all over. We all, including the boys, watched all the debates and were very interested to see who would win. Levi was so funny about the first one because at first he said he wanted Barack Obama to win but quickly changed his mind after he saw Mitt in action. It was really funny, especially since I hadn't said a single opinionated thing to him, only explained what it was we were watching. Well, when the results came in Levi said, "Aww man! I am not happy." You and me both. Max, for some reason, just chanted "Barack Obama, Barack Obama!" But he's been doing that all day actually, probably because my grandma's been keeping tabs on things. It's been fun watching it with them and talking about the whole process. I look forward to doing it again with both my boys in 4 years.

I'm getting geared up for the holiday rush and am hoping I've prepared sufficiently. One thing I am happy about is that I decided I'm only doing one show and it's more of a consignment deal where I drop things off and leave them only stopping in to replace sold items. Also I'll do a simple home show with a friend, but we've done that a number of times and it's pretty laid back. Shows are just too much of a hit or miss and pretty much all but a few have really been worth my time. But this year I've got sitters in line, which are actually a couple of older kids, a couple of boys from the ward and our neighbor who will come over and play with the boys while I work I also have stock pile of tickets from babysitting co-op so the kids are covered. How I did it 2 years ago with a 1 year old I have no idea. I am planning on really slowing things down, focusing and prioritizing things in January. I might even take the whole dang month off. But till then wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall

A friend of mine took this pic of Levi while he was over at their house. My sweet little helper boy.