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Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Halloween Dinner

Our great friends, The Haws, have a tradition to have a spooky Halloween dinner every year. Usually it's just them but this year since we've reached the "like family" status they invited us to join them! :) Summer knocked herself out preparing a fun and totally spooky meal. I feel bad that my only contribution was witches' fingers!

On the menu:

Frankenstein's brain with veggies &...

rat dip

creepy crawlers

witches' fingers

And not pictured is bats! Summer roasted some bats game hens & used black food coloring in the butter to get a nice gross bat color. She even used toothpicks to prop out the wings. They looked just like bats. Of course I would know - I've roasted tons.

The table. There were even fun straw cups with worms on the side for the kids.

Part of their tradition is wearing Halloween hats during the dinner. We almost cancelled because of this! jk

Jeremiah tried on a couple options (this one is from Jack's devil costume)...

And decided on this.

The kids LOVED the creepy food. Sadly I haven't been doing this with my kids, although before they came along Jeremiah & I had a few Halloween themed meals. I'm going to have to start making it a tradition in our family too. Thanks so much Brit & Summer for including us this year in your family Halloween dinner. You guys are the best!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mummy juice

Sometimes I'm a bad mom, but today I'm a good mom! Look what Callie's going to have in her lunch box tomorrow! I found this idea (2nd picture) from a new favorite site
One Charming Party (LOVE it!). I got a 50 cent bottle of Minute Maid at WalMart (sometimes I like that place) and I didn't have any cream colored streamers so I got some dried out diaper wipes from my car (LOL - it's in desperate need of a good detail job!), cut them into connecting stips and went to work! I love it! :) I've also been putting these cute Halloween lunchbox jokes in her lunch for the past 2 weeks. She loves them! See what a good mom I am today?!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Barnyard Boo

While we were in Utah we went to the Barnyard Boo at Thanksgiving Point (in Lehi). For $7 the kids got a punch card that allowed you to do 7 different activities out of a variety of choices. It was right next to Cornbelly's which looked really fun too, but this was cheaper & there were pony rides, which Katelyn (our niece) was very interested in. Barnyard Boo turned out to be an excellent choice!

First punch: pony rides!

Second punch: spider toss with spider rings for prizes

No punch required: checking out the animals. Feed was 25 cents/handful. Uncle Justin bought a few handfuls & let the kids all feed the animals. Jack was hilarious - after he'd had his turn feeding the llama he sat on the ground & patiently picked up the kernels that fell to the ground during the other kids' turns. By the end he had a new big handful. He fed the llama again, picked up the kernels that got knocked out from its tongue again, & went in for one last turn. He makes me laugh!

Third punch: face painting

Fourth punch: monster bowling with stickers for the prize

Fifth punch: cookie "decorating," although it was really just smearing a glob of frosting on a cookie w/a popsicle stick. No sprinkles or real decorating. Prize: eat your cookie.

Sixth punch: making mummy pops

We were there for an hour & the kids had a great time! We gave our last punches away & headed off for pizza. What a fun time! It makes me bummed that there's never seasonal fun stuff to do here in Kingman. One of the major downsides of living in the desert :( I need a corn field & a farm!

Jonny got married!

This weekend we went to Utah to see Jonny (Jeremiah's youngest bro) & Ann get married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. It was a quick weekend but so good! We got to our hotel in Sandy on Thursday afternoon & had enough time to get settled before Jeremiah went to "Wintervention" in Orem with friends & some of the family. My mom & sister Kayleigh were kind enough to watch our children (my mom/dad were staying in the same hotel & Kayleigh lives up there) while Jeremiah's mom, Grandma Divis, & I went to Ann's bridal shower, where we got to meet her awesome family!

Friday's activities included:

Bowling = Jeremiah, Justin (Jer's bro), Jonny, Ann's brothers/bils. They needed some guy time since some of the guys had been watching kids the last few days.
Shopping = Hillary, Jamie, kids. Nordstrom Rack to look for cardies for the next day. No luck but ended up with a cute umbrella & some cheap pearls for the kids.
Lunch at Cafe Rio = Our fam, Justin's fam, Jeremiah's dad, Wendy & 2 of her kids. Can you say yum?!
Shopping = Hillary, Wendy & 2 kids. Old Navy. No luck still with the cardi hunt.
Barnyard Boo = Our fam, Justin's fam. Loved it! (it got it's own post since it's the only time I whipped out the camera on our trip)
Incredible Pizza = Our fam, Justin's fam, friend Rich & son, friends Mark/Soph & 2 kids.
Late night table setup for luncheon the next day = Jeremiah & Justin.

Saturday was a foot-killing day for me in my new sassy shoes! We had to be at the temple at 10:30 for the 11:00 sealing, so that meant getting up early enough to get myself & my kids ready (Jer helped but he can't do hair), feed our slow eaters (thank goodness the hotel had the BEST breakfast! I highly recommend staying at Residence Inn!), and drive 30 minutes to the temple. And this was where the rest of the day went:

Temple, 1.25 hours
Pictures at temple, .5 hour
Finish luncheon prep, .75 hour
Luncheon, 1 hour
Clean up luncheon, 2 hours!!!
Break at Wendy's house, .75 hour
Getting lost finding country club, .25 hour
Pictures at country club, .75 hour
Eating myself sick at the reception, 2 hours

The luncheon: I have to give mad props to my mom & my family! My parents & some siblings have gotten to know Jonny really well since he's lived with Jeremiah & I off & on over school breaks for the past couple years & worked for Jeremiah & my dad. He's like family to them now. So of course my parents were invited to the wedding & would go, but my mom is crazy awesome & loves to be a busy beaver working her butt off in the background of stuff like this so she called up Jeremiah's mom a few weeks ago & offered to take over the luncheon food. Jeremiah's mom had planned the menu & my mom shopped for most of the groceries & executed the lunch. We had ham, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, parisian salad & homemade rolls. Yes, homemade rolls - my mom made rolls for over 100 people the night before & morning of the wedding while overseeing all the other food! She rocks! And Jeremiah's relatives are all awesome too! He had aunts & a grandma that made almost all the apple cake & pumpkin cupcakes for dessert. They also all helped in the kitchen during the luncheon & stayed after with Jonny's parents, my parents & sisters & aunt/cousin, and Jeremiah & I until everything was totally cleaned up & done! My sisters Tara & Kayleigh helped & Kayleigh even was able to recruit 2 of her friends (both really cute girls named Ashley) to help. I still can't figure out why they agreed to do that other than that they are just super awesome girls! And my aunt Lorie & cousin Annie came from Mapleton (we were in Pleasant Grove) to help with it all too! Jeremiah & I are so blessed to have such amazing families!!!

The reception was great too. I can't remember the name of the catering company but they served 3 soups (clam chowder, chicken noodle & creamy tomato) that were all SO good! I wasn't expecting them to be that great since often at this type of thing the food is just okay, but these soups were delicious! Plus there was really awesome breads & giant croutons to go with the soups. And that's why I ate till I was sick!

Well since the only time I pulled out the camera was at our visit to Barnyard Boo, here's a couple pics of the happy couple from their
photographer's blog:


Wedding (although these were taken a couple weeks before the wedding which I think is an awesome idea since the wedding day is busy enough. Plus it worked out really well since it rained off & on all day on Saturday)

And the 2 pictures we got with Jeremiah's phone on the wedding day:

Ellie & Jack with Papa (Jeremiah's dad)

Jack totally tired & needing a nap during photos at the reception site (this is how his face looked in most of the pictures I think)

The end. It was nice getting home around 7 last night so that Jeremiah & I could relax for a while before having to go to bed & start another week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Jack!

Yesterday was the official birthday day. I can't believe Jack's 5! We started the day with Jack's breakfast of choice - crepes.

Normally the kids can only play Wii on Saturdays, but of course we can make an exception on a birthday! :) This was Jack. All. Day. Long. He had a break for church, a break to get ready for church, and a break for dinner, presents & cake/ice cream. He was a total zombie by the end of the day. Jeremiah said he can't do that again. It's once a year - I think it's fine.

Jack got lots of great presents. Lots of Legos! Other favs were an Iron Man mask from Aunt TT (my sister Tara), a grabber from my mom & dad, & Martian Matter from his awesome mom & dad (he's begging me right now to finish up on the computer so I can make an alien with him).

He wanted chocolate cake for his birthday party but I told him if he wanted the Lego cake to be colored that it couldn't be chocolate. The compromise was white cake for the party & chocolate cupcakes on his birthday. Earlier in the day I'd asked if he wanted me to decorate them Halloween-ish. He said oh yeah. But while I was decorating he said he'd wanted a Lego guy on his cupcake. Okay birthday boy, whatever you want.

Happy Birthday, Buddy Bear!

{now off to make aliens}

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Lego Party!

Funny that I always wanted to have a baby in October. I had visions of awesome halloween birthday parties, of course. But Jack REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted a Lego party! Okay, honestly his first choice was Mario Bros, but I said no (I LOVE playing Mario Bros, but Jack & Mario Bros is a whole nother post). Once he realized there was no way that I would do Mario Bros he was set on Legos. Once I realized he wasn't going to change his mind I went to work on the party (meaning lots of time checking out other people's lego parties on blogs) and got excited!

Of course as I was up till I can't even tell you what time the night before the party b/c I'm the queen of procrastination, I kept thinking why am I doing this? What's the point? The kids would have a fun time if I bought a dollar pin the tail on the donkey game at WalMart & had cake & ice cream, right? And that led to how silly birthday parties really are. I mean you invite all these people that wouldn't normally give you a gift on your birthday but then they are suddenly required to. I was telling this to Jeremiah yesterday morning before the party & he looked at me funny & said "who are you?"

It made it worth it while I was getting ready for the party. First Jack was going through some Legos since I'd bought a ton on eBay to fill the pinata with. There had been some minifigs in the mix and he was asking if I was putting them in the pinata. I told him I wasn't because I thought he'd want to keep them & if I put them in the pinata he would most likely not get them. He said, "Oh thanks mom! I do want to keep them! You're the best mom ever!" Then he came up to me & gave me a hug & said, "I love you mom. Thanks for all the hard work you're doing for my party." Awwww! He's the best!

Well onto the deets.

Party setup.

(door sign idea from

The table centerpiece is a big lego pinata that I made. I forgot to take a close-up of it! Total bummer since you can't really tell what it is in most of the pics! Plus it would be nice to have a momento of my labor :) The party was from 3-4:30 so I kept the snacks simple: grapes/apples & cucumbers/tomatoes on skewers, cheese & cracker lego bricks & juice box legos.

(Juice box idea
here, cracker idea here, green lego base idea here)

The party.

As the kids arrived they got a set of Legos to build their own race cars. I saw on someone's blog to check the Halloween aisle at Target for little packages of Legos - score! I was so stoked to find them b/c I'd been watching eBay for days & days & nothing at the time was working. Thank goodness it's Halloween time! Once the kids had their cars built they could choose some stickers to personalize it (since all the cars were the same). I'd planned on a Lego race for our first game but the first several cars couldn't even make it down the ramp. They were WAY out of alignment! LOL They'd turn to the side a little bit down the ramp! One of the boys must have figured out how to adjust them b/c later they all seemed to be going straight, but we never ended up having an official race. The kids loved the ramp & came back to it later during the party also.

After the "races" it was snack time. I was so glad to have Kate at the party to help - from this point she took the rest of the pictures during the party. Thanks Kate!!!

Next we played "pin the head on the minifig." Each kid got a minifig head that they drew the face on. Funny note about Jack's: The new minifigs have a little more detail to the faces so when he was going through the previously mentioned bag of eBay Legos (that were definitely older) & found the minifigs he commented that he really liked the heads. They were like the faces on some of the guys that his friend Tyler has. So I love that that's the face he decided to draw on his (and I have to say he did a GREAT job of copying it)! The little boy at the bottom L in this collage, Spencer, was the winner - he got his head dead on!

Next we had a Lego relay. The kids were divided into 2 teams & had to use a spoon to get Legos from a bowl to a jar. If they dropped their Legos on the way they had to put them back in the bowl & hand the spoon to the next kid. Everyone got several turns but it wasn't a quick relay at all! I thought that this was an age appropriate game when I planned it, but these kids were probably the youngest it would work for because there was mass confusion going on! LOL Even Ellie & Nixon (Kate's little boy. He & Ellie are both 2) played & did really well. They were both very careful & didn't drop their Legos.

Onto the pinata! Always the highlight of a party. Because we're moving into major candy season I was sold when I was looking for party ideas & saw that a few other people filled their pinatas with Legos. Brilliant (although more expensive than candy unless you could find a bucket at a yard sale, which I didn't).

And finally cake & presents! (The white stuff on the cake is powdered sugar b/c I'd read a few years ago that you can give cakes a nice smooth finish by patting them down w/powdered sugar. I've done it before & it worked out, but it didn't work this time. Most of it got dissolved into the cake like it should have, but it left a mottled appearance. Combine that with the ugly shade of blue frosting and what you have is a kind of gross looking cake.)

As his guests left Jack gave them each a goody bag with Lego candy (called Candy Blox by Dubble Bubble), a little coloring book I downloaded from this girl & put together, and a set of 5 minifig crayons that I bought all packaged & ready to go from eBay. The kids also got to take home their race cars & a cello bag w/their legos from the pinata.

Yay! It's over!!! My feet looked like hobbit feet as my sister Tara said at the end of the night. Even my toes were swollen! But Jack has thanked me several times & said what a fun time he had.

Worth it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LEGO party invites

Guess what I'm working on this week?!

(Invite inspiration came from blissbloomblog & livinglocurto.)


2 weeks ago Jeremiah headed to San Diego on Tuesday afternoon to go deep sea fishing for a day & 1/2. He'd been watching the fish count for a while & since the numbers can change daily you can't really plan a fishing trip too far in advance. He was SO glad that his brother Jason who lives in Huntington Beach was able to also go with him at the last minute! The limit was 6 tuna so Jeremiah was pleased that he ended up with 4. From the pic the fish might not seem huge, but I can't even tell you how much fish we have in our freezer, & that's after we had a bunch of friends over to eat some!

(Thanks for the pic Jas!)

Jeremiah wasn't going to be in from fishing till Thursday morning, so the kids & I and my m/d drove over to Orange County on Wednesday afternoon. My poor dad - I'd told him make sure you're ready by 11 because I wanted to leave after I picked Callie up early from school - around 12:10 (b/c my parents are notoriously late). So my dad was ready to go & pretty annoyed I think when I finally got to his house around 1:30! I don't know what went wrong since I was basically packed the night before! And of course once I'd actually left the house I had to turn around to get the stroller, beach toys, and to print out tickets! Also in getting ready Jack thought he was being helpful by taking out the Wii controlers & the Super Mario Bros disc, since I'd said we could take it to play in the car. I can't tell you how many times I've told him to not touch our dvd player in the car w/out permission! But he tried to put the game disc in, not knowing that it wouldn't even work in the dvd player, and when he met resistance since there was already a movie in there he just pushed harder! So I do have to say that another part of the delay was trying to get that dang game out when it was time to leave. I was unsuccessful & my dad was able to finally get it out, but not without the game being ruined. I figured better to ruin a $50 game than have to pay for a shop to get it out & still possibly have it ruined. Huge bummer though & Jack was in big trouble - not for ruining the game - for touching the dvd player!

We stayed at a place that had really good cook to order/continental breakfast (breakfast selection is always the deciding factor for Jeremiah in hotel choices!) & had breakfast with our friends the Porters then headed to Disneyland for the day.

The kids had a good time as always. We hung out with the Porters & in the afternoon Justin, Jamie & Katelyn (Jer's bro & fam) joined us for a few hours. Towards the end of the day my sister Tara, Ellie & I were lagging behind the group to get to a ride & happened to catch the near beginning of the line to see Mickey & Minnie. I was really surprised when Ellie actually wanted to see them & I had to tell her a few times in line to come back to wait our turn since she was scooting closer & closer to them. Because Ellie is a very shy girl! Unlike Jack & Callie who I've had to tell scary stories too b/c I think they'd go home with anybody, when strangers approach Ellie she'll stick her tongue out at them, make mean pouty faces, give dirty looks, or just turn her head (with a dirty look on her face). She doesn't like strangers. I was completely shocked to see her run with open arms up to Minnie when it was our turn! She spent a couple of minutes with Mickey & Minnie, getting lots of nose kisses from Minnie. She ate it up!

(Thanks for the pic Tara)

On Friday we went to the beach, and on Friday night we went back to Disneyland with the kids in their Halloween best for Mickey's Trick or Treat Party. Let me just say that when Jeremiah & I lived in SoCal & had annual passes (pre-family) we'd go to Dland for date night & around Halloween I'd see families w/their little trick or treaters lined up to go to this Disney Halloween party (then at DCA) & I always thought that someday I wanted to do that with our kids. It was a complete splurge to take the kids this year b/c even though we currently have annual passes, this is a special event so you have to buy separate tix to go to it. My justification (oh, I'm the freaking queen of justification - if you ever need validation for something ridiculous I'm your girl) was that a) I've wanted to do it for years! If it's not worth it we'd find out this time & I won't be longing to do it for the rest of forever (and if it is then sweet - we'll do it again in a few years); b) because of reason a, we should do it this year while Ellie's still free & before we have a 4th child to take; c) if we spend the money going to this then I'll have the kids wear their costumes from last year (gasp!).

So we went.

Totally not worth it!

Sorry Disney. I love you so very much, but this was a rip! Here's what was advertised:

Don't miss out on:
•Exclusive viewing of the boo-tiful Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular
Okay, cool for a fireworks show, but would it have been super sad to see a normal Disney fireworks show instead of this one? No!
•Exclusive access to nearly all Disneyland Park attractions, including all the Halloween-themed attractions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday Exclusive b/c only the people in the park during the party can go. But you can also go during regular hours. Which were much less busy!
•Earlier access to the Park beginning at 3:00 p.m. for Tuesday 6:00 p.m. events and 4:00 p.m. for Friday and Halloween 7:00 p.m. events
Who cares since we have APs. Although if you didn't have APs then maybe, just maybe this would make the cost worth it instead of a regular priced ticket. Depends on how long & how late you can handle being at Disneyland with your little kids. But like I mentioned, the normal park hours were less busy it seemed.
•Lively music so your bones can boogie
Who cares? (Except Ellie, our little dancing queen)
•Even more special treat stations offering both candy and healthy goodies 7 areas around the park where they had employees in orange sweatshirts stand at a little kiosk & give you candy. Sure, the candy was the kind of stuff you wish everyone gave out at Halloween & they were very generous with it (even every adult had been given a trick or treat bag at the entrance to get candy), but for the price of one ticket you could have bought all of the candy for your family. I think. I mean, I know candy's expensive & we did get a TON...
•Creepy crafts and activities for the whole family I'm sure there were creepy crafts & activities there if it was advertised, but I didn't see them
•Plenty of costumed Characters to meet and greet When they say costumed do they mean that there are people wearing disney character costumes? Like on every other day of the year? B/C after getting in the super long line to see the princesses we heard they were just regularly dressed princesses so we got out of line. Maybe we heard wrong, but the line was insane.
•Plus, lots more entertainment for little boys and ghouls! ???

So no, I would not ever pay for Mickey's Trick or Treat Party again. But at least now I can say that I did it! :) Total bummer though that I forgot to take a camera w/us to CA & since my phone doesn't have a flash there are no pictures of our expensive evening!

On Saturday we met up w/Jason & Richelle & took the kids to McD's for lunch so they could play on the toys. Afterwards we took the kids to the beach again & then had dinner at Olive Garden w/Jas, Richelle, Justin, Jamie & Katelyn. And except for Ellie pooping her panties for the 2nd time that day dinner was awesome! So much for the same kind of potty training success & ease I experienced w/the first 2! (Although she I think it was just b/c we were on vacation b/c we're not having many mishaps now.)

On Sunday we stayed to go to our niece Katelyn's 5th birthday party. Jeremiah was whining that we were going to get home so late, but how often do we get to be there for Katelyn's birthday or much of anything? I'm really glad that we stayed! The kids LOVED being able to be at Katelyn's party! I loved that Jamie filled the pinata with awesome candy! I think it was all chocolate? Jeremiah & I have some good candy to fatten us up & get the holiday season started out right! :)

The end. Sorry for the super long travel log!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Happy October!

Yay! It's October! My favorite month of the year!

You know when you ask your little kids, "What does a ______ {chicken} say?" And they say ______ {bock, bock}?

Last year at 1 1/2 Ellie had it down with the witch thing. What does a witch say? Hee, hee, hee.

This year at 2 1/2:
Me: "Ellie, what does a witch say?"
"I'm a witch!"

Love it!

{Happy October!}