Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All Things Halloween

Well, you've heard about the costumes, so let's now see all the opportunities we had to wear it shall we?! Halloween is not just about the 31st anymore, we had lots and lots of pre-Halloween parties and events this year. Which is fun. Really, if I am to be honest, I would rather just celebrate Fall instead of Halloween. It's just such a bizarre holiday really. I am not a fan of all the candy (which we eat for a while and once the tootsie rolls become hard as rocks, I just trash it all anyway). I am not a fan of the scary and skanky parts of Halloween. However, I love pumpkins, and decorations and dressing up. That part is super fun to me. And Peyton just loved all things Halloween this year, even the spooky parts. Though she did wake up in the night due to ghost dreams. And the Curious George special about the scarecrow "N0-Noggin" that knocked peoples hats off, was more scary for her than I thought it would/should be--- she still wanted to watch it daily. So, after all this babbling, I will sum up my thoughts with a consensus of 'we had a lot of fun'.

Preparing for the big day we did some crafts and decorated the house. Here's Peyt showing off her spider hands.

I mentioned it earlier, but we try to go on our little around the block stroll at night. With it getting dark so early it is a little harder. But, one of our neighbors decorated their house and my girls were obsessed. They are so cute walking hand in hand at night. Usually the whole walk they pretend they are Elsa and Ana.

I wish I would have taken a close up shot of our jug-o-lanterns. Especially the ones Peyton decorated herself. They were so cute. We added to our collection when we finished off a gallon.

Our first real event was a little gathering with some of our new friends who live by us. We just love our ward and have already made some stellar friends! This night of course was filled with fun, games, and lots of laughter.

And we know we've had a steady decline in the costume department and that's okay by us. It was a lot of work and pressure in the past, you have no idea. We whipped up these little diddys at the last minute... and were 20 minutes late to the party trying to finish up. Confession: the party started at 6:30 we started making these at 6:15 (bought the stuff earlier that day). Best part about the night was that my kids slept over at my parents, so we came home went to bed and woke up late then had a nice relaxing/lazy morning.  Oh and in case you don't know what we are, we are characters from the old game "Guess Who". Maria and Richard to be exact.

Then came the trunk or treat parties at the church. We of course went to ours, which was held at a members house. They have a HUGE piece of land they farm on. So the kids played all over their playground, the adults put on some fun carnival games on the yard, they had a huge hayride that went all over the hills, and then trick or treating around the house and yard. It was awesome. I am so mad at myself for not getting more pictures. I was helping with a booth or eating while the kids played.

We also met up with the Broberg's and part of the Hamilton clan at my parent's ward party. They too had a few games, and food and of course a trunk or treat.

Finally the big day arrived. We did our annual chili and hotdogs at Danny and Sarah's house and then trick-or-treated the neighborhood. They have an awesome area and the people around there go all out. Like that is such an understatement. I mean they go really REALLY all out. It is a lot of fun to have a new tradition with my family since like I said Halloween is kinda lame, at least we spend time together. I loved chatting on the driveway with a fire blazing as sweet Peyton passed out candy once we were done. And both of my girls loved trick-or-treating and did so well. Jovie as always was quite the character and got a lot of attention everywhere we went. She was also much slower than the rest of our group.

It was really a very Happy Halloween!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Problem Is It's Becoming a Habit

Remember when we all had a good laugh at the fact my dad bought Jovie a dog shirt back here and she actually wore it?! Well, it happened... again.

Preface. For Halloween this year I decided to let Peyton wear what she wanted since I didn't have any good ideas for our family and frankly I didn't care to either. Well, that little girl literally changed her mind weekly. One week it was a scary pumpkin, one week it was Captain America, then for a brief time like every other girl it was Elsa. For goodness sake she even went through a stage she wanted to be Humpty-Dumpty. For this reason I was in no hurry to buy a costume, or even look for that matter. Finally as Halloween approached we were down to either a scary pumpkin or Captain America. I told her we were going to get the things for her costume after naps that day and she had to make up her mind. After naps she was excited to report Captain America won out and that was her final choice. So... we headed to Target to get the costume.

At Target. My kids really enjoyed spooky decorations this year. Every night we walked the block to visit the neighbor's spooky house. And at the store we had to play around the spooky items. At Target we were enjoying the phone that called randomly, the skulls that popped up etc. It was while I was showing Jovie some of these items that Peyton came sprinting down an aisle to report she had found thee costume she absolutely without a shadow of a doubt wanted for sure. So, I said okay, show me. We walked past the kids costumes towards the dog costume area. No not a dog costume. But, the costume for dogs. It was here she stopped, pulled out a pumpkin costume a dog should wear and informed me it was "the one". I explained these were dog costumes not kid costumes. She told me she frankly didn't care, and I got the impression that that fact only made her like it all the more. So... I bought it. But, worse than that - I bought 2, one for each of my girls.

Perks. They were actually super cute costumes. They were the easiest costumes to put on and wear. They were cheaper than the regular kids costumes. And it made me laugh every time they wore them. So... I say it was a win-win-win.

Looking back. I might have to regularly shop the dog section since we've had such success. Or maybe not.

And apparently, Peyton is the equivalent to a large breed. I would say she best resembles a golden retriever.

And if this smile just doesn't say it all....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Take 2

There is something truly magical about fall. A few nights before Halloween we met up with family at the pumpkin patch again for a wondrous night. The air felt crisp (not cold mind you), we were surrounded by the vibrant orange of Halloween with sparkly lights lighting the night up all around us; and all felt right in the world.
We walked around and took in the good feeling the was abundant. The kids enjoyed the pumpkins, the rides, and I think most of all just being around family. For my kids I know we could be doing nothing at all and as long as they are with family who love them through and through they would be completely happy. This night was no exception. It was a good time.
I must admit I was proud to see Peyton's competitive side as she argued with the boys in line about who was going to be the fastest. She was the youngest, maybe not thee fastest but she did pretty dang good. (I know... I am nuts when it comes to competition)
A new adventure was the strobe light maze, which was fun and tricky. Luckily, Wes, Adam and Ryan took the lead and led us through no problem.
And again we had some fun with the photo op area.
Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have this family of mine?! They are truly my greatest accomplishment and biggest blessing! And I am reminded everyday how remarkable life is with them by my side.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Take 1

I mentioned in the beginning of September that Peyton started a little co-op preschool that she has really enjoyed. I just finished my 2 weeks of teaching and was so impressed with the kids. They were so good, funny and smart. While I am not too worried about preschool I am very glad to give Peyton the chance to socialize with other kids her age, and more importantly make friends who she will in fact start kindergarten with. Along with Peyton's class there is another younger group we do it with, they obviously meet together and do a not so educationally-based class (their group is for kids 2 1/2-3 years old). One mom arranged a field trip for all of the kids at a local pumpkin patch. It included a hayride, a little educational portion of how a pumpkin grows, petting zoo and letting the kids (and adults) pick out a pumpkin. Both my kids had a blast!

On the hayride the man in charge asked Peyton to say, "Welcome to the pumpkin patch" on the microphone. She was too shy so Jovie did it nice and loud into the microphone. Everyone laughed and clapped and then of course Peyt wanted to do it after. I think it was a good lesson for her. She did not get to do it, and I was able to talk to her about missed opportunities. ---This photo was taken after that incident and this is her shy/awkward smile.

They have a petting zoo and a bird area... here is Jovie and her friend Ruby looking at some of the birds. Jovie loves birds and I literally had to drag her away when our group moved on.
With her class learning about the pumpkin growing cycle.
The petting zoo. Jovie was far more brave than Peyton in feeding the animals too.
Though Peyton did love petting them.
Wes made Peyton try feeding them. The picture below went from Peyton crying and screaming because she did not want to even try feeding them to laughing hysterically once she realized it didn't hurt and she even liked the experience. Is my kid the only one who goes from crying to laughing in the same breath.... or vice-versa.
Still laughing and shocked she enjoyed it. We are those mean parents who make our kids try things they think they won't like... when we are pretty sure they will.
And once she did it once, she was all smiles and good on her own.
Then it was free for all time around the pumpkin patch. 
They loved the stage and climbing the hay castle.

Peyton and her cute classmates and friends. Her group has the red stars, the younger class has the blue stars and all the rest are younger siblings who get to tag along when mom teaches.
Peyton honestly prefers Jovie as her friend to most anyone else, which I love and it is a real blessing to me... and to both of them too.
Wes walked around with the girls as I visited with some of my friends. He showed me this picture, which I thought was just a cute one of my girls. Then he told me to zoom in.
I started cracking up. Everything about it was comedy to me. Jovie's pose and willingness to let Peyton do whatever she wanted to her, which is a theme around these parts. And then there is Peyton's guilty face.
And finally we couldn't pass up some of the fun face cutout things.
It was just such a fun day we knew we needed to go back when everything else was open at night.