Saturday was so busy. It was one of those days where we had the whole day packed full and scheduled and we didn't even get a chance to breathe despite cutting out a few things. We started the morning early by dropping the kids off and trying out our recently renewed temple recommends. While we were at the temple, my mom took our kids to her ward's Halloween carnival. They had a great time, and would not stop talking about it.
After that, we headed up to Daybreak to celebrate Jim's birthday. There was food and family and fun. I like getting together with them all so often now. I love seeing the relationships between the cousins grow.
After that we went shopping for silly things like milk and bread. It had been a while. Days just seem to not have as many hours as they used to. Also, shopping is boring and kind of hard with 4 kids.
After that we got ready and headed over the to the Scott's house for a fun neighborhood party.
We have some fun ladies in our ward who live farther away from their grandchildren than they would like. This works out well for us as they like to spoil our kids to get their grandparenting needs met. They created a fun and kid-friendly spook alley for all the kids in the ward, and it was awesome.
The balloons were dropped from a balcony and had candy inside them.
There were games all over the house and food in the kitchen. The missionaries live at this house, and they were so cute to help out with some of the games. The kids loved that.
There is sweet Karen. She is the mastermind behind all of this, and one of the most Christ-like women I have ever met. I like her lots.
We thought about running down to my grandma's house after this for pumpkin carving, but 3/4 of the kids were asleep almost the instant we pulled out of the Scott's driveway, and the other one just really wanted some milky-dinner. We had run them ragged. Instead, we headed home and watched a movie while I typed furiously to reach a deadline for work. I made it. With time to spare. I am awesome. Feel free to tell me that any time you want.
It was a fun day, but I am hoping this next weekend will be a little more laid back. This mama is getting awfully tired.
My sweet friend Patti puts on a Halloween party for all the neighborhood kids every year. This is the first year we were able to attend. It was so fun. The kids had a great time.
She served sloppy Joes, and we all brought side dishes.
The kids got to throw wet sponges at this very nice dad. He was such a good sport.
Everyone got to pick a prize. Emma and Sara got markers and a notebook and Jack picked a football. I think it is funny that Emma insisted on wearing that headband even though she has been growing out her own Rapunzel hair just for this costume.
After this came the pinata, but my camera was dead. They started with the littlest kids and let everyone have two hits. The big kids got it open, and Patti, knowing all the little kids were being held back in the crowd snuck up behind them with a bag of candy and started throwing it down for them. They were so excited. Patti is such a sweet friend and I am so grateful for her.
Our wards decided to do a chilli cook-off instead of a Trunk or Treat this year. For part of it, we decorated pumpkins. These all came from the ward garden. They ran out of stuff to decorate with as the first people didn't realize how many there were. Luckily, I have a crazy supply of odds and ends in my purse, and ours turned out super fun. Landon even ditched his table to come add to ours.
There was a carnival of the kids in their costumes, but Mr. Jack did not want to participate.
I don't want to brag, but I totally WON the Chilli Cook-Off. I had never made chilli from scratch before. I'm pretty awesome. That, and I had a wonderful friend share her (easy peasy) award winning recipe with me.
We didn't get to try any that night, however, as there were too many people and not enough chilli. We had far more people attend than the committee anticipated, which is so awesome. It is great to see people turn out to events like this. Hopefully they start coming to other church meetings as well. I made the chilli again a few nights later so our family could have some.
Sara and her bunny ears crack me up! She insisted on them!
Everyone has feathers, fabric, sharpies, paperclips and plastic balls in their purses, right?
It was a fun night. I won't even mention the child who threw up all over my chair... The people who organized it should be proud. I hope they do it again next year with more chilli, and a bigger prize for my SECOND win. :)
When we went to Coney's during Fall Break, Ross saw that they were now serving Sonoran style dogs. These basically sustained him on his mission, so he had to give it a try.
When Ross ordered the Sonoran Dog, Emma thought he said the Snoring Dog, and this made a fun joke for the rest of the day. When Ross's tummy would grumble, she would ask him if she should wake up the snoring dog for him.
The verdict was a solid, 'Not Bad'. From him. Not me. I wouldn't touch the thing.
One of the moms from Miss Corky's class is an amateur photographer, and she offered to come and take some pictures of the students in this cute class one day. She gave me a disc with these pictures on it, and I love them.
I really do love and respect Corrinne and I am so grateful for everything she is doing for Sara. Sara has a special bond with her, and it makes my heart happy.
Part of me wishes she had waited a couple of weeks to take these pictures because 4 more students have joined the class since then, but I love these small group photos. Sara has a crush on the boy in the stripes. We highly approve of the match! :)
We knew she was getting pictures this day, and she spent a lot of time picking out this out and fixing her hair.
So I have had some down moments lately. My friends noticed and did this for me one night. The kids were so excited about it. I will never be able to adequately express how much I love them. This was so tailored to me right down to the freshly baked cinnamon rolls that accompanied all that construction paper.
These are the three who did the actual heart attack, but there were 4 others involved in the planning who couldn't make it that night. I know this looks like something Beehives would do, and it is, but that isn't the point. They just know me and love me, and they knew that the best way to cheer me up would not be with a sit down confrontation or something serious. It was to do something fun and silly with little touches of meaning.
Here are the touches of meaning. Most of the hearts had something nice about me written on them. These are just some of them. There are some inside jokes thrown in there as well.
Many people (usually after driving out here for the first time) have asked us why we chose to live so far out in the middle of nowhere. In answer to such queries: this. This is why. The Lord sent us here for a reason, and these ladies are a big part of that reason, I am sure of it! The neighborhood here is so amazing. I have never lived anywhere (and I have lived in A LOT of different places over the years) where I have felt so loved, appreciated, and needed. We won't be here forever, in fact we didn't expect to be here this long, but no matter where we go, I will never forget the friendships I have made here and the lessons I have learned here.