Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Cat's Meow

I took the kids down to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point yesterday and met up with Ryan's brother & sister (Oliver & Teresa) and their kids. They had everything from corn mazes, train rides, slides, rockers, bounce mats, haunted houses, and more. We spent the whole afternoon there, and as I packed him into the car to come home 4 hours later, he just cried and cried saying that he wanted to keep jumping and playing with Alia. I think this will definitely become a regular Fall activity with the kids. It was so much fun.

Finley & Alia, a couple of cool cats

Finley & Alia jumping

Finley & Alia resting

Finley in the corn maze (Are we there yet?)
Finley, Rachel, and Alia - Moo Moo!

Finley and Alia racing rubber duckies

Finley sliding on all the slides

Finley and Alia rocking

Finley and Alia - All Aboard!!!
Berlin, Megan, Finley, Alia, Rachel

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Boo at the Zoo

What could be better than spending a nice morning Trick-or-Treating at the zoo? Well, if you ask Ryan - anything is better. And, this year I kind of agree with him. Last year we arrived around 10:30/11:00 am and it was awful - long lines, crabby parents, crabby kids, just way too many people. So this year I thought we'd be there right at 9:00 am to beat some of the crowds. Boy, was I way off. It was packed at 9 am, and by the time we left at 11:45am, it was even worse. But, despite all the crowds and pushy parents and long lines, the animals were pretty great - especially the cats (I guess they like the cold weather). And it's always fun to see the kids in their costumes. After Boo at the Zoo we all went to lunch at Shivers where the kids could eat lunch in the train.

These are just a few of the pics from our day (Saturday, Oct 27th).

We also had the Birth Family Halloween Party the night before (Friday, Oct 26th). Finley was scared of hitting the Pumpkin Pinata, but loved getting the candy. And unlike the bigger cousins he refused to eat the doughnut off the string, and opted to eat it normally. The best part is being able to play with all the cousins, stay up late, and of course eat candy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slumber PaRtY!!!

Last weekend it was wet and cold so we decided to stay in rather than attempt going out in the yucky weather. As we settled down to watch a movie, Finley put a couch pillow on the floor and asked daddy to snuggle up with him. It was really cute to see my two favorite guys watching the movie together and eating movie snacks (kissables). Finley even lasted longer than Ryan who dozed off a little.

Haunted Train Ride

This year we took the kids on the Heber Creeper's "Haunted Train Ride" thru Provo Canyon. All week we told Finley that there would be spooks and monsters, but they were meant to be silly, not scary. It must have worked because he did so well. He waved "hi" to most the monsters on the train and to those that were performing on the side of train during the story-telling portion. He didn't even flinch when the Werewolf came right up in their faces. Of course, Berlin just enjoyed being outdoors and kept wanting to pull the blanket off, but as it was cold, I kept putting it back on her. It was a fun, cheesy Halloween activity that I'm sure we'll do again.

Finley making sure his bracelet was glowing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The REAL purpose of life

I have to admit that lately I've been feeling a little down. I don't know if it's the change in weather and the impending gloom I usually feel when Winter starts to roll in (I hate the cold!) or the fact that Berlin is waking up every 2 hours at night, leaving me with little to no sleep. But my friend Shelby posted the following quote on her blog the other day, and when I read it, it really made me think about what's truly important. I always seem to need reminders that it's not a race to the finish line and this quote has helped me to slow down a bit this week and just enjoy who I am and where I am now.

Marjorie P. Hinckley: I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenck’s lawn. I want to be there with a smuge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.

With the holidays quickly approaching, I am reminded that it's not about the cleanest house, the best decorations, the biggest meal, the most presents. It's about spending time with family and serving others, creating special moments & memories with my kids, Ryan, and family & friends that will last long after I am gone, unlike fancy cars and clothes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

Ok, so it's not a cookie jar, but rather the counter. And yes, it was Finley. I made Halloween sugar cookies for a playdate. After we were to fed the ducks at Sugarhouse Park, the kids were going to decorate them with sprinkles, etc. Anyway, after getting Finley dressed I went to get Berlin and get her ready for the park when it got really quiet downstairs. I walked downstairs and low and behold he's in the corner of the kitchen stuffing cookies into his mouth as fast as he can. He looked SOOOO guilty, but all he said was, "Mmmmm ... this bat tastes yummy!." Then I noticed the pile of crumbs on the floor and asked him if he'd had more than one. He said yes as he proceeded to grab a moon cookie. So I counted the remaining cookies. Out of 36, there were 32 left. So unless Ryan had some on his way out to work, that means Finley is guilty of snarfing down (literally) 4 cookies for breakfast. It was actually really funny and I loved it. When it comes to food and self-control, he obviously takes after me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rainy Days

Winter weather has made an appearance the past few weeks. We had rain/snow last weekend and once again it's raining/snowing here in the SLC valley. I guess I'll really have to work and get the rest of my tulip bulbs planted this week. Finley and Bentley are happy as can be. Both of them love this weather, though Bentley is more disappointed about the lack of sticking snow as he loves to roll around in it and eat it. Finn just likes to get his galoshes on. Here he is fresh out of the bath looking like the Jolly Green Giant in my galoshes.

With a Fall fading fast, I've spent the last week canning some peaches & pickles we picked up in Brigham City (Yummy!). I have many pleasant memories of watching my mom can fruit growing up. She always did pears (my fave), peaches, and cherries. Even home-made applesauce every now and then. Ryan's mom (Renate) also canned various fruits and pickles, and he cherishes those memories as well. Silly as it sounds I want my kids to remember me in the same positive, nostalgic light. Being my first solo canning attempt (is it really solo when you call your mom 100 times in the process), I was pleasantly surprised when ALL 26 jars of peaches sealed perfectly. I even attempted to can pickles using Renate's German pickle recipe. This was not quite as easy as the peaches, but once all was said and done we got about 12 jars of pickles that sealed and 5 that didn't, so we'll be eating lots of pickles the next little while. I've never had home-canned pickles and they turned out so YUMMY! Tomorrow I will be helping Ryan's sister Teresa can some more - hopefully I'll learn some tips & tricks from her. All in all though I thoroughly enjoyed my canning projects and can't wait to do it again next Fall.

Berlin had an eventful couple weeks as well. Two weeks ago she cut 4 teeth (all on top) at once. So she's my little nibbler with 6 teeth in all. Teething has been harder on her than I think it was on Finley, so we are just trying to survive and get thru it with her. I just hate not being able to make the pain and discomfort go away. Here I caught her playing peek-a-boo with Ryan using Finn's pirate hat. Arrrgh!