Monday, October 16, 2017

there's something about Halloween

Sierra almost 2 and Dani 5 years old
 That I just love.  I know it's not the most wholesome holiday but it's just a lot of fun.  When I was a kid at home I remember loving it.  When I was a teen I'd gather the troops and we'd make ghosts and bats to hang in the hall way and that was a lot of fun. I liked dressing up and the candy, of course.

When I had kids it became even more fun.  I loved dressing them up.  Every Halloween we visit a pumpkin patch.  We trick or treat and trunk or treat and we often have a party.  I used to decorate a lot more,  I still do but now it's more subtle.
Dani 2 years old
 I had an urge to look thru old Halloween photos and just really enjoyed reminiscing over the cuteness.

I really need to live nearer my grand kids so when Grace is gone I won't be an old lady wandering around a pumpkin patch by myself!
Tatum 3 years old
 Yesterday we had stake standards night.  It was really excellent.  There were a lot of speakers but none of them were super long and all of them were really good.  Paige spoke and she did an awesome job.  Next was a young man  named Jesse.  He was baptized a year ago with his mom and sister.  His dad was a newly reactivated member and was able to baptize them all.  He was funny and sincere and I enjoyed his conversion story so much.  He spoke with great gratitude about the blessings in his life since his baptism.  Two things that really touched me were that he and his dad are so close now.  Before he said his dad just went to work, came home and went to bed, and they didn't do a lot together.  Now they do church stuff and discuss the gospel and he is so grateful for that.  Another thing he said was he has goals now.  He said before he was baptized his biggest goal in life was to find his name on a coke bottle :), now he has real goals.  I loved his talk.
Kara Henderson and Dave Richardson went next (not together).  They are our stake YW/YM presidents.  They both did great.  Dave started out talking about when he was a kid and he'd go to the grocery store with his mom and he'd see the toy that came in the cereal box and he'd really want the toy so he would beg for the cereal...even though he didn't necessarily love the cereal.  Then at the exit there was a gum ball machine and he'd always always beg for the gum ball.  After he got it the gumball would taste good for a minute but then the flavor would go away, the center was hollow and his jaw could hurt because it was so hard to chew.  Even though he knew this he'd ask for it time after time.  He made the analogy that it's easy to trade what is good for something that has a temporary appeal...like the gumball or the trix submarine (that never really floated).
Penny 1 month old
 After him the Alius' spoke.  I love them both.  They are soft spoken and sweet.  Sister Alius is Ethan's seminary teacher this year and he loves her.  I am so glad.  I hope hope hope she will stay the whole year because so far she's just been subbing.
Hannah as the "we can do it" girl
Next came President Crawley and the first thing he did was call Ethan and Noah up to sit on the stand.  Then he spoke about Samuel Smith, the church's first missionary  He's a great speaker and story teller so he is always fun to listen to.  Then he invited the boys to share their experience with giving away a Book of Mormon.  Both boys did a really good job.  They were poised and articulate and spoke with great clarity about their feelings and their testimonies.  I was so proud of them!


Grace was Malificent one year
 The evening was very uplifting.  After I had a chat was P C that wasn't that fun but important.  It takes a village to raise a kid and I am always so grateful for my villagers.  We have been blessed to have great friends who have taken an interest in our kids lives and have played important roles in their growing up.  Hopefully we have, likewise, done the same for others.
Here's Ethan as an "identity thief"
 We came home and ate apple crisp and watched "Madam Secretary", so good night!
candy corn, 11 years old
Tonight we are going to the gym and then it's Disney night on dancing with the star!  Always my favorite night of the season!

pumpkin patch fun!

our little elephant!

1996 (or 97)

several years in a row I made Grace Halloween dresses.  This is one of the skirts I made her

Ghost, cat and Jasmine

Franny K Stein
a favorite children's series that year!

Jenna's first Halloween.  She was 10 month's old.

22 months

almost 4 years old

oh my how I love this little pumpkin.  Sierra was such a sweet little girl!
my little knight!

colonial girl and her friends.  5th grade

pumpkin patch 2 years old

tiger princess, Laura Ingalls and a boy in a tee shirt :)



Emma was a newsie and Jenna was elastic-girl!

Ethan's first pumpkin carving night.  He really enjoyed it!

awh!  Little bub!
cutest blue M&M!
Sierra in 5th or 6th grade :)
I think this is Jenna's freshman year of high school 

8th grade

3rd grade

ninja

little Grace

little Tatum chick and Peter Pan Sierra

killer bunny

Tatum's first Halloween

Grace's first Halloween

one year we had a huge back yard carnival!
The scariest little dinosaur!

Saturday, October 14, 2017


We woke up this morning and got ready to go to the gym. Zivers gets so excited when I put on my tennis shoes that I had to take her for a little walk first. 

Then I went to the gym and Walmart. Rob went to the gym too.

Grace had a robotics competition so she was gone all day. 

I soent the rest of my day getting ready for Grace's Halloween party.   How'd that happen?

The party was fun. She had 9 girls over and they carved pumpkins and made slime. We had seasonal food, watched Hocus Pocus, and played a game.

The girls did a great job on the pumpkins!

This is the swamp juice punch we made. We also had brains (pictures above) apple slices with caramel, Halloween popcorn mix and pumpkin donuts.
Slime making. Grace is the queen.

We ended the night with a game of Quelf!! I think it was a successful party!

Grace's Hogwarts themed pumpkin.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

feeling fall(ish)

carly and some leggings.  Perfect at 40 degrees....to hot at 80
So I've been waiting for it to get cool enough for Halloween leggings.  This morning it definitely was.  This afternoon not so much.  So Cal problems.
luckily it was spec ed math
I was in my favorite special ed class today.  It's been a Thursday thing lately.  The kids were excited to see me.  Tayvon said "it's Thursday and on Thursday's Mrs. Utzinger comes!"  I got lots of hugs and lots of cooperative students so that was fun.  Plus my friend Marcy is an aide in the class so we got in some visiting too.
Love bath and body works!
I am reading such a good book right now.  It's called Encore by Charity Tillemann-Dick.  I wrote about her here.  Her writing is really good and her story is inspirational.
perfect light for reading
So tonight Rob is at a high council meeting.  Grace is doing homework.  Ethan is playing a video game (soccer) and I am reading by candle light in the living room.
my new favorite flavor
a small flock
Grace has been saving her baby-sitting money and today we went to get a small flock.  I know I know.

Their names are Willow, Ocean, Dandelion and Sunshine.  I am hoping they will have a long and happy life in her room.