Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Halloween - Part 1

This year, with Halloween falling on Saturday and the kids not having any school on Friday, we didn't give much thought to our costumes. I pretty much told the kids that whatever they came up with, they could be. Jayden didn't much have a choice, he was going to be what Spencer was when he was three. He was the Incredible Hulk, minus the mask. He wanted nothing to do with it. I did spike his hair all up just for the fun of it though.
Jenna's costume was the funniest of all. When I first asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween, she told me she wanted to be a Spy. Which I know means wearing one of Melissa's old dance costumes. She and her friends like to play "spies" and what that means is dressing up in dress ups and playing whatever, barbies, polly pockets, house, etc. Why they call it spies I'll never know, but that's what it is. So, people would ask her what she was, and she would say a Spy which was usually followed by puzzled looks. When her cousin Brittany asked her what she was, Jenna told her a spy and then Brittany said, "You look like a Taxi driver." So, the very next person to ask her was my Dad and she said, "I'm a taxi driver." And then at some point during the night, when people would ask her, she said, "I'm a spy, taxi driver or race car driver." Take your pick! Here's the cute girl whatever she is! I was happy to get more use out of a dance costume.


Spencer at first was going to be some Jedi from Star Wars, then he decided on Ron Weasley which is what he dressed up for at school at their "character convention", but then when Halloween came around, he ended up wearing his old costume from last year - a Skull ninja! Somewhere he got a rub-on tattoo of a skull, so that's what is on his cheek.


Melissa was a baby. She looks cute in pigtails don't you think? I should have put her in them when she was little more often.



After getting all decked out in our Halloween costumes, we headed on down to the Church for a Halloween party. There was a chili cook-off, and out of the 15 to 20 chilis that were there, we dished up 5 different kinds, and all of them were yuck - sorry. The only good things were some cupcakes that a lady in our ward made (she is opening a bake shop here in town. She's got that medical problem where she can't have gluten and sll of her wares in her shop are gluten free. And let me tell you, they are FANTASTIC. She makes these Red Velvet cupcakes that are TO DIE FOR!) and the candy corns that were used as the table decorations. In defense of all the people who made the chili that we ate, I think chili is like lasagne, you only like what you grew up with.




Jayden displaying just how good the candy corn was. His mouth is chuck full.



They had a bench set up for photo ops, and I thought this was just a cute picture of Melissa and Jayden just talking to each other.



Eating a donut on a string. From the looks of it, Melissa is going to win...




Spencer is eating his donut as neatly and politely as you can while it's hanging from a string.




Jayden tried for several minutes trying to bite the donut, then the minute he did, he walked away. Didn't want to finish it. The soda in his hand was won in a ring toss game and he would not let go of it.




Like I said, didn't let go of it until we got home and he had to go to bed.




At the face painting, Jenna had them paint a checkered flag on her cheek and Spencer had a ghost.


Jayden on the other hand got:


video

Go Cougs!

Halloween - Part 2

So-called Trick or Treating at Grandma's with Cousins:

I say "so-called" because we went with such high hopes of a great time. Last year, I took the kids up to my Mom's on Halloween for trick or treating. She lives in a fairly small town, and they were having a fun Halloween carnival on Main Street and it sounded like fun. And it turned out to be. The kids trick or treated from shop to shop, played some fun carnival games and it was all done in the warm part of the day so the kids got to actually trick or treat in their costume without being bundled in coats.

This year however, was a dud. With the economy the way that it has been a lot of the shops were closed, and there weren't any "carnival" games. It was fun to be with cousins though and the kids were excited to show Grandma and Grandpa their costumes.

Here's Jenna with my sister Lisa's daughter Brittany. She is Ahsoka from the Star Wars Clone Wars.
Melissa and Spencer and Lisa's oldest Brandon, who is Yoda.
After our "trick or treating" was over, we headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's house, had some yummy Chili and Cornbread and then headed home to trick or treat in our own neighborhood.

Halloween - Part 3

Checking out the Candy Stash!

Youwill notice in the pictures that it is fully daytime and my kids are not in their costumes. As per my quest to become the meanest Mom ever (or so my kids think - cause I make them do chores) I made them wait until the following morning to sort through their stuff. You can't tell from the picture, but Jayden came back with the most stuff. For some reason, people are a sucker for the baby in the family. Spencer was very thoughtful trying to pick out his "special" treats. I let the kids pick out their five favorites that were "off limits". Then the rest of the candy was dumped into a community bag for all to share.
Jenna is carefully sorting her candies just like Melissa and Spencer did.


Melissa went trick or treating around our neighborhood and also around her friend's neighborhood, so she had quite a haul. Most of it chocolate, which is always a good thing.


It's funny that they were so concerned about their "special" treats because I have learned that they don't even all like the same stuff. Jenna loves the laffy taffys and fruity flavored tootsie rolls that are usually the last things left in the bag at the end. Jayden saved smarties which the other kids could care less about. Melissa saved all of the sour stuff. And Spencer saved Butterfingers which besides Steve, the others would choose other stuff first. But it made it so they didn't mind dumping it all together, so all was happy.


Melissa's Pinewood Derby

I know, when you hear Pinewood Derby, Cub Scouts is the first thing to come to mind. Our church group bought a pinewood derby this year for the cub scouts, and thought it would be a fun idea to have the girls have their own "derby". So, the girls jumped at the chance and we had our first ever "girls derby". Steve helped Melissa come up with an idea, and then made it. Here's the final result.
And just an FYI, the entire car is made from the original pinewood derby car kit they were given. All legit. Steve cut down the car, and made their own "pencils" and Melissa worked her magic with paint. {If you look over Melissa's shoulder, check out the tube of lipstick in the back!}

Here was Melissa's first run, she got fourth, but after that, was some smooth sailing. I didn't get more video because I was helping with the refreshments, but Steve did manage to get some pictures.

{Sorry the video won't post for some reason, but I'll try again another time!}

Getting ready for the race...

A second place finish!


Another second place finish!


All in all, it was a fun night and Melissa had a great time with her Dad!

Monday, December 7, 2009

October update...

I haven't had much time for blogging lately, so I thought I would take an evening with Steve working late, and get caught up on all of our October happenings. I didn't realize I had missed so much, and will have to pick up on Halloween some other time! Needless to say, we sure were busy!


RIding a bike!

In an attempt to enjoy our last bit of warmth, the kids rode bikes as much as they could.
Jenna wanted to try and learn how to ride without her training wheels, and I attempted to help her.


She was starting to get the hang of it!


But now with the snow, we'll probably have to start at square one in the spring, but I am hoping the old adage that you never forget how to ride a bike really is true!


Character Convention

In second grade, they have a tradition around Halloween where the kids all dress up as their favorite character from a book. They get up in front of the class, and introduce themselves as the character and tell some interesting things about them. Spencer chose Ron Weasley (cause they share the red hair) from the Harry Potter books. At the time, Spencer had just started reading the books, and now he is halfway through the series... Here Spencer is giving a portion of his speech:


video

Sorry you can't hear it so well, but apparently something was funny in the end!

Jenna

In October, I had Jayden in to the doctor's office with an ear infection. While there, the doctor said that they'd been seeing a lot of Croup cases and in teens no less. So, wouldn't you know that less than a week later, I have Jenna in to the doctor's office and she's got croup! He said that after the fever went away, she needed to stay home from school for 24 hours. So, to pass the time, she watched plenty of movies.... And took lots of bubble baths!
Altogether, she was out of school for 4 days. Tough for someone who had waited SO LONG just to get to go to school.

Kindred Spirits

The only one in our house that loves video games as much as Spencer is Jayden. He is SO happy just to sit and watch Spencer play. Don't get me wrong, he likes to play too!

The Pumpkin Patch

At school the kids got a flyer from a local nursery advertising a free hayride and a pick of any pumpkin for bringing in a can of food for the local food bank. We weren't doing anything, so we hopped in the car and drove on over. The kids had fun riding on the tractor, and even more fun picking out the perfect pumpkin. Jayden just about picked up every pumpkin he saw before settling on one...
Funny thing is, he settled on the tiniest pumpkin he could find (see photo below)...


Melissa, Spencer and Jenna searched far and wide to find their pumpkins.



Spencer settled on this one, but the bummer about it was it began to rot before he could carve it.







See? Jayden's perfect find!



Jenna of course, came home with the biggest pumpkin.





Our Fall Harvest

In October, there was a threat of a frost, so the kids and I went out one Saturday and went and picked all the produce in our garden. Pretty much all that was left was the watermelons and pumpkins. The other stuff got eaten by bugs. Not our best "garden" year, but had a plentiful harvest of melons!

Jayden made sure that EVERY pumpkin was picked...

Afterwards, the kids enjoyed the fruits of our labor!