Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Another year, another lap around the neighborhood.  It was a lot of fun.  The Ray's had a bunch of families over for soups and chilies and breads and salads before we headed out into the hood to gather loot.  It's always awesome to get together with friends and enjoy time and food.
Rosie the riveter
Hannah took candy passing duty today.  Asa, sat with her and they went through a lot of candy.  

identity thief
Ethan walked around with friends.  I passed them once in quite a gaggle.  He's not home yet, but it's only 8:30 and I hear lots of voices outside the window.
Grace had two parents, two dogs and some friends to walk with.  Many of the houses go all out and it's so fun.  We walked through a darling Hogwarts, Jodie was making homemade donuts for all to enjoy, there were lots of creative displays, yummy treats and friendly neighbors!

I love our neighborhood and on this night of the year it really shines!

dress up

My crazy brother, born the day before Halloween, always loves to dress up and he does an awesome job at it!

This year his office dressed as the Village People, he is the Indian.
The rest of the photos are some fav from past years.  I couldn't find his Hunger Games year...or some others.  Bummer.

indian is the new one
It's not a surprise that he's good at costumes because he dresses up sometimes for other random occasions as well:
 to go to church....on "wear a kilt day?"....or "the Bishops out of town day! so I can wear what I want to conduct the meeting day!"

to go running.

For the record one year Rob and I wore black tee shirts that said Mummy and Deady....keeping the family tradition alive!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

halloween eve

practice makes progress
I went visiting teaching this morning.  I have a new companion, as of last month, Dixie, and she and I get along well.  We visit 3 sisters.  A mother and daughter and my next door neighbor :)  This morning we did a drop by treat for the mom and daughter, who both work and don't really come to church although they do let us visit from time to time.  Then we met Darlaina and the corner coffee shop for sandwiches and coke.  We sat outside in the warm October sun and talked for 2 hours!  It was lots of fun.  Baby Alva was darling, my sandwich was tasty and besides getting a sunburn on my chest (huge surprise) it was perfectly delightful.

I came home and decided to make Halloween cookies for Rob to take to work tomorrow.  This was a last minute decision so I don't know how it will go.  In the past (both other times) I made the cookies one day, frosted the next, and declared them ready the third.  This insured that everything was hard and ready to travel and eat.  I baked until dinner time, then decorated until midnight.  I hope they are ready in the morning.  If not I guess they will make good trunk or treat treats Saturday night.  My cookie skills are coming along.  I think I need some more refined tools because I can't get the fine lines I'd like, and I get tired along the way and kind of just want to get finished so the last ones don't turn out as well.  I need to stay the course, or have a friend to share the work with.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


this girl
Ethan had a "day off" today.  Last year he asked me if he could take a mental health day this school year.  I thought about it and decided he could have one.  He asked last night and I double checked that he wanted to take it so early in the year then agreed.  We watched TV until late and then he slept in late.  I thought we'd go to the movies or on a picnic or something fun but he wanted to stay home.  It was so disappointing.  I did force him to go to the store with me and we drove through Wendy's.  Big day.  Silly boy.

He said if he was writing this blog he would say "I was so disappointed.  Ethan was home "sick" and I wanted to go to the movies but he did not.  I wanted to go on a "fun picnic" but he did not.  I wanted to go hike but he didn't so I changed my plans and instead lectured him on how he wasn't living up to his potential because he has a 90% and plays too many video games" Then he laughed.  Smarty pants.

Despite having one less kid to get out the door the process took longer than usual.  Hannah texted soon after leaving the house that she forgot her calculator.  Then she texted that she forgot her water bottle and to take her medicine.  Grace and I tried to leave early to take those things to her before the bus but Grace was uncooperative and we barely got out the door.  Then Matthew (next door) called , he missed the bus.  So we drove him and on the way realized that Grace left her assignment at home so after we dropped off Math and found Han we went back and got Grace's and then she missed the bus so I got to drive all the way to Lexington Park (an hour round trip).  Great morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

7/10th's day

Today was a "half day" which Grace calls a 7/10th's day since it's not actually half.  It was the last day of the marking period.

Hannah had piano lessons and an orthodontist appointment and found some time to dye her hair and neck and ears purple.

name that baby pumpkin

a. Grace b. Tate c. Ethan

Monday, October 27, 2014

A fun start to the week

Our sisters are leaving us:(. We have enjoyed having sister missionaries so much and now we won't have any on our area. We had a little going away lunch for them at salsas.
In other news I did online training so I can substitute teach again.  Hopefully I can work one or two days a week. 

Ethan had soccer practice. The season is rolling to a close. Their last game was a huge win. It would be nice to win another and end on a high note. 

Grace had a homework melt down, as happens from time to time. When she finally finished I took her upstairs and made a hot bubble bath for her and pulled a chair into the bathroom and read the Princess Academy to her. Then she rinsed off, we brushed hair and teeth, said prayers, did the kiss and tuck routine and she went right to sleep. It's hard being 9.

After all that Hannah and Rob and I walked the dogs and looked at the stars.  There was supposed to be a rocket launch and the ISS was to be visable. Cool stuff.  (the launch was postponed a day)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday nights

Tonight we ate burgers and tots.  Sat around and talked.  Grace went booing with Arden and had Maggie over to play and Arden after to watch a movie with us.  We watached Hocus Pocus and ate pumpkin pie. It was a good night.

Great are the words of Isaiah

We've been studying the words of Isaiah in Sunday School this month.  This week Jared Moran was subbing and he called last night and asked me to share some comments on these verses in Chapter 43:
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have aredeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
 When thou passest through the awaters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the bfire, thou shalt not be cburned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
 For I am the Lord thy God, the aHoly One of Israel, thy bSaviour: I gave cEgypt for thy dransom, Ethiopia and eSeba for thee.
 Since thou wast aprecious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
and to share a personal experience when the Savior helped me with a trial.
I do not pretend to understand the words of Isaiah, or to enjoy them.  I did appreciate the opportunity to ponder last night these few verses and to have had a thought come to me.  I was reading and looking at the footnotes and prayerfully pondering when I clicked on the word fire and it referred to the story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.  They were thrown into a fiery furnace but were unharmed.  In fact when they came out they didn't even have the scent of fire on them.  It occurred to me that the Savior walks with us through our personal trials and keeps us in His watch care.  That's the fiery furnace part.  But after a trail we often hold on to the scent of what we went through.  For example, someone who is hurt by an unkind comment might hold on to the hurt and angry feelings long after the offense has passed.  The Savior helps us get rid of those lingering feelings, that is a miracle.  Sometimes the things that happen to a person are too egregious to forgive alone, but when we hand it over to Him we can heal and forgive.  What a wonderful grace He offers us.  Each of us has trials, every day I would say.  Some small and some large.  We can count on Him to be there for us during, and to help us after.  I am grateful for that miracle.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Love this pic of Chels and Han

Pumpkin Carving Party

Tonight we had a fun time with friends. We carved pumpkins and ate squash soup and chili. The kids love running around together and everyone loves a good bonfire!
Ethan didn't come as he had a different Halloween party to go to. His friend Gerig has a huge going all out bash every Halloween. This year they rented lazer tag vests and guns for all the boys and they were going to battle in the woods.

Hannah fixed Grace's hair so pretty. The other night when I was gone at stake auxiliary training and Rob and Ethan were at soccer Grace and Han were home together. Hannah was still sick (strep) and Grace was so kind and nice. She brought H a drink and asked if she needed anything. She also helped Ethan get his soccer stuff together when he wasn't ready and his ride came. She also walked the dogs and did a little picking up. I was a little surprised but so happy to hear about her good works when I got home. 
Today Grace made pumpkin seeds.
Rob's idyllic morning. No fish but a peaceful view.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Last night we had our stake auxiliary training .  My favorite comment of the night was from Pres. Sakai.  He shared this verse in 3 Nephi and talked about the great joy that our obedience brings the Savior.  I was struck by that verse and what a gift it is to us.  I often reflect on the atonement and the pain and suffering I caused the Savior to feel.  It's awful. Thinking of being the source of joy so full that it brings Him to weep is lovely.  I am grateful to know how important we are to Him.

3 Nephi 17
20And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. 
21And when he had said these words, he wept , and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. 

Pumpkin Carving Party

Tonight we had our Girl Scout  pumpkin carving party. It was tons of loud, crazy, fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

socktober, activity days and more science

love this picture
Hannah was home sick today, and yesterday.  I took her to the doc yesterday and told them she had strep.  She tested (-), today they called back and said "guess what she has strep".  So a) at least three days of school missed.  b) I thought no tonsils meant no strep.  c) her prescription cost 49 cents. There are many things to complain about but our prescription drug costs are not one of them.  Poor Han.
Tonight Grace had recognition night for activity days.  It was super nice.  Darlaina and Michelle do such a great job with the girls.

So it was around 5:30 tonight and Ethan told me he was supposed to bring a treat to scouts.  Which surprised me because I don't think he's ever asked before and also it starts at 7.  So we walked the dogs quickly and got out the door in time to stop at Target for some treats.  When we got there he said, oh btw it's socktober.  What's that?  Apparently they are collecting socks this month and then donating them.  The class with the most collected socks wins.  His homeroom is ahead, in large part because Sar donated 45 pair.  Ethan is the only kid who hasn't brought any.  When was that going to be mentioned?  So we bought some for donating and some for R who needs socks. Then we went to the church.  When we walked into church Grace said "oh yay! I'm supposed to bring a treat tonight too." Where was this info while we were standing in the treat aisle?  5 minutes earlier??

Can home late to more science homework.  It's cold today.  Yoho is losing his hair :( but otherwise doing "well" and I made a pinterest dish that was not tasty tonight for dinner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

junior scouts

We had our girl scout rededication ceremony tonight.  These cute girls are so spunky and full of energy.  This is our complete troop, in full uniform.  So cute.  This is Grace's fourth year of girl scouts and she loves it and loves the good friends she has made.

Madison, Fiona, Lacy, Katie, Grace, Reagan
Ava, Samantha, Grace
This is what they normally look like :)

Ethan is working on a science project.  As is usual.  Some how he gathers a lot of helpers in his projects.  Hey mom, do you want to get the water in the test tube?  Grace do you want to shake it?   Mom, can you put the nitrate test drops in?  Grace....  He's a born delegater, or Tom Sawyer.  Not sure yet which one.
Walking the dogs tonight and we saw this cool halloweeny house.  There are a number of houses that really go all out in our neighborhood.  

Ethan went to the dentist today.  He still has 11 baby teeth, which is a lot for a 12 year old boy.  Our dentist asked him to participate in a new way of teeth brushing.... wait for it....he would like him to use a toothbrush.  Revolutionary.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Sundays are our favs.  President and Sister Cook from the mission spoke at our sacrament meeting today.  It was really good.

We came home and made dinner then dad and Han and Ethan went over to the Buxton's for BYD.  The doggies and I walked over with them.  It's getting chilly at night.  They had a good turn out, 27 youth, and the kids had a good time.
When they came home we skyped with the Brandts.  Always a treat.  I stayed up late making cookies.  Hopefully they will turn out just as well as the other day and that I can be a profient home baker!
In sad news they announced some changes to the high council and Larry (the stake YM pres) is on it. I was so surprised, he hasn't been in very long, not quite two years.  I have loved working with him.  I wonder who the new guy will be?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

i love to see the temple

Our temple was closed for cleaning for a month.  Now it's open again.  Rob and I went after the kid stuff was done.  It actually turned out to be a great day to go, Hannah had Loraine over to hang out, Ethan was invited to Sar's and Grace to Maggie's and both their parents agreed to bring the kids home so everyone had something fun to do for the first several hours then they just spent the evening together and went to bed.  
I love to go to the temple, I always have.  It is such a place of peace and refuge.  A place where you can do such meaningful work.  It is a place of insight and learning.  
Last night was very instructive as well. Growing in understanding is a precious gift.  I love the feeling when my mind is learning: there is something there, something to know and understand and I can feel the edges of it and I know it's there but I can't quite get it, so I search and wait and ponder and then sometimes a little light shines and a pearl of truth becomes clear and it fills me with joy, and a sigh of contentment and gratitude. I have been given a gift,  knowledge that will help me be better, do better.  For some, I imagine, this is frequent, for me it is rare.  Usually I learn much more in the "line upon line, precept on precept" fashion often not realizing that the learning has happened until later when looking back I see growth or have a different perspective.  A slow, slow meander down a stream but sometimes you hit a tiny rapid and how fun that is!
 Anna went to visit Andrea and Yoho this weekend.  They took the boys to the Phoenix temple open house.  We chatted Friday night late into the night as she drove.  R and E were on a scout camp out so I had all the time in the world.  Anna is so good at being there for the important stuff. What do you call that gift, or talent?  The being there when you are neededness?? I admire that.

I love knowing that my family loves the temple.  Jenna and Clayton also went to the Palmyra temple yesterday.  They go often.  Dani and Greg go often, Val and Ryan go often.  Sierra goes often and does baptisms. Dad goes every day :).  Mom and Dad go often.  Anna and Ama go often.  We are a temple going people (our little clan) and this brings me such happiness. Our littles love to go and rejoice at the opportunity. Everyone who can go, goes as often as they can...which is wonderful :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

the hardest part, with guest blogger Grace

Grace and I are laying in bed talking about the day.  We have a three day weekend and we think we'll go to the movies today.
Noah and Reggie
There is one hard thing about our life, a glaring hole.  Mom, that's a lie, there is more than one hard thing. School. Life.
But we digress, the thing I was going to say was that we live so far away from our family.  They all live relatively close to each other (same coast of the U.S.) and can with a small amount of effort visit one another. We have to get a second job to see anyone.  No! What about Jenna? Is she on a different coast?!

Hey! I have an idea we should move across North America?? Can we? We live where dad's job is.

But these kissable cheeks close enough to see a couple times a year would be awesome!! Scar is almost 1 and Deo just turned 2.  Cute babies!
Spencer, Kenz and Tanner
These rug rats are almost grown up.  They are tons of fun.  I can not believe that Tanner will be going on a mission in 2 year...or less.  I remember when we just found out he was coming to earth and how excited we all were to have a boy! I bought him some cute little basketball tennis shoes/crib shoes.  This picture is from our summer vacay, August at Lake Tahoe, looks warm and toasty right? It wasn't too toasty in the water.  

Penny is going to be a Crood for Halloween. So next year we have baby boy arriving, Sierra's graduation, mom and dad's 50th, all far far away. I can not get to all those places from here with out a second job, owning my own plane or growing wings.  Or you could just get a real job!

  • for the record this is only a small photo sampling of westies, that's what I just started calling the west coast contingent of the family. Like we call the folks from France the frenchies and two little girls the sassy pants.
is that something that normal humans call them or just you and Val?