Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat preview

Last night Finley was refusing to go to bed, so I told him that Halloween couldn't come until he was asleep and that when he woke up it would be Halloween. That did the trick as he was in bed within minutes. And the first thing he asked for this morning was to get his costume on. So I decided to let them get all dressed up in their costumes and watch a movie & eat popcorn while I make sugar cookies to decorate tomorrow while we carve our pumpkins (I know we will be a day late on that but we are playing catch-up from a busy week). I'm a little biased but I think they'll be the cutest trick-or-treaters to grace my porch tonight.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Fun at Cornbelly's

Ryan and I took the kids to Cornbelly's last Wednesday. We started going last year and it's a huge hit with the kids. Finley's favorite activity were the slides. He especially liked the long black ones that go Super Duper Fast! Berlin liked the pink rubber duckies in the Duck water races (toddler zone) and cried (that's the nice word for threw a royal fit) when she had to leave them there. The thing they DIDN'T like one bit ... the dark lizard maze. We took them inside and Berlin was hugging me so hard and screamed the whole way through. Finley hated it and said it was scary. So we won't be doing that again (I thought it was mostly just lame). Berlin also hated the cow train. We put her in her own cow bucket, and I sat behind her, but she was just too little and the ride too bumpy that she was sliding out of her belt, so we had to stop the driver 10 seconds into the ride, and I jumped in her cow and held her the rest of the way (which of course she still clutched my neck and cried). But the rest was a blast. It was nice to have a fun afternoon together as family as it was that same night that Peter went into the hospital with the blocked lung.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In LOVING Memory

Ryan's father, Peter, returned to the care of our Heavenly Father early this morning. He has had a long history with heart and lung failure and after getting a cold, his poor, tired body just couldn't hang on any longer.

It was difficult seeing him in the hospital with a gazillion tubes and monitors attached to him, but I'm so grateful that Ryan and I were able to be by his side these past couple days and spend some quiet moments together with his family, and especially that we were able to say goodbye in our own way and to hold his hands as he passed.

I know that he was greeted with joy & love by lots of family & friends, and I'm sure it was a sweet reunion with his wife Renate who left his side over 15 years ago. Peter was the most generous, kind, and honorable people I've ever met. And one of the most patient and brave, for he never complained once about being sick. He worked hard and played hard. He was a young soul in an old body, and I'm grateful that he is now able to live life as intended, fully & with much joy.

I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the blessings of eternal families and the comfort that we can find in these teachings & promises. Especially over the next couple months as Ryan and his family deal with this loss.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spooktacular Decorations

I am a little embarassed to say that the house is still a mess, dishes to be done, floors to mop, kid clothes to sort, laundry to do & to fold, shelves to hang, etc., but I needed a break yesterday. So I decided to make something festive for Halloween - after all, I'm still trying to remember what box has all my old Halloween decorations and where it is. Needless to say my house is lacking in spooky & fun decor. Anywhoo - this is a Making Memories banner kit I got at Roberts. Being that it was a kit it was super fast and I think the result is pretty cute. A perfect fit for the 14 foot archway between the sunroom and family room. It says, "All Hallows Eve."

We also made these trashbag ghosts. They were a big hit last year so we did them again and we placed them outside on the porch railing, on the lamp-post and in the little maple tree. Everytime we leave the house Berlin says, "Bye Ghosts!" and when we return she says "Hello Ghosts!" They are apparently the best of friends. This is our topsy turvy ghost who got stuck like this in the wind. When Finley saw him he shouted to Ryan, "What the heck happened to him?!" I think he's pretty cute all upside down.

Quite frankly, Halloween was never my favorite Holiday, but having kids who like to hang up silly decorations makes it SOOO much funner. And honestly, it's slowly climbing the ranks of fun holidays in my book.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

May the Force be with you

This is exactly what I was thinking when Finley told me that he wanted to be Darth Vader. Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled mostly because I am not a mask person and really, that's what makes Darth Vader, Darth Vader, right? Anyway, so I suggested he be Luke Skywalker and of course he said no almost immediately, but then said ok. Of course, about every hour and depending on who he was talking to, he changed his mind, vascillating between the two. So I decided to just make 2 costumes and then go from there, figuring that he'd have fun just playing dress-up in them.

I started with Darth Vader. I decided to keep this one simple in hopes that he would prefer the much more elaborate Luke Skywalker outfit I was planning in my mind. I made a black cape to go with a pair of tight black pants & shirt (clothing we already have). We bought a red lightsaber that glows and gloves to make it more legit. Even a Darth Vader trick-or-treat bucket that he could carry, because I told him NO MASK what-so-ever. I don't have a picture of him in this costume yet. Why you may ask? Well, much to my own happiness, he has decided that the Luke Skywalker costume is pretty lah and therefore has chosen to be him on Halloween, and about every day up until Halloween, and I'm sure for a long-time after Halloween is over.

Here he is in full Jedi form. I made the shirt, molesking pants, and jedi robe (this also doubles as a Jawah (sp?) and Obi-wan robe). We bought the boots at Target, used one of Ryan's belts, and his old lightsaber. All I can say is that I am VERY proud that this turned out as well as it did. I would be lying if I said I didn't stress over this one. And it definitely took me more than 2 hours. But it all paid off in the end. Especially since I know that this will last MUCH longer than the cheap store ones. The best part though was the way Finn's face lit up when he saw the entire costume on him for the first time - PRICELESS!!!

All I can say is that if Luke had been this cute in the actual movie, Han Solo might not have been the heartthrob who stole the show.

This experience has taught me that sewing for boys can be just as fun as sewing for girls. Finley's latest request ... a Prince Charming costume. Maybe next year :)

Potty Time

Unfortunately this post is not going to be about how awesome it is having Finley be potty-trained. Or how awesome it is to not have to buy diapers for two kids. It's not even going to be about how Finley was so willing, upbeat and positive about being potty trained. Rather, this is about my little Boo who decided the other day that she wanted to help Elmo go potty. For, at this very moment, Finley could still care less about underwear and sitting on the potty. For him, it's much to inconvenient to stop what he's doing and go to the bathroom. No, it's much better for me to suffer & endure changing him.

So when Berlin asked to sit on the potty I was like, "Heck yeah!" Of course, she immediately demanded that Elmo be brought in to use the potty, and then requested Grover sit too. Apparently she needed them along for support. She really hasn't shown interest in the potty until Sunday. And I'm sure this is going to be a very isolated incident. Because, common, let's face it, I've had no luck with Finn so I am expecting no different from Berlin. And though she didn't go potty on the toilet, she sure looked pretty cute siting there.

FYI: Her interest in the potty is because she loves ELMO (much to Ryan's chagrin) and of course the ONE & ONLY Elmo video that we own is Elmo's Potty Time - which is her favorite DVD.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Fleeting Fall

For some it was a wonderful sight. For me, I could hardly keep the tears from pouring down my cheeks. Winter is definitely not my favorite season. I am just not ready for Fall to fade away into Winter so fast. Boo-hoo on Mother Nature. This is what we woke up to this past Sunday morning at 8:00 am. It snowed most the day off and on. Luckily by Monday it was pretty much all gone - atleast at the house. You could still see some on the mountains however for a few days.

Guess this means I should get a head start on my Christmas Shopping. Though Winter isn't my favorite season, Christmas is by far my most FAVORITE holiday. I love the shopping, the wrapping of gifts, and the giving. Receiving is good, but there's just something about giving a gift to someone else. Especially your hubby & kids. And I love decorating the house for Christmas. So I guess if Winter brings me that much closer to Christmas, then bring it on. I'll combat the chills with lots of Stephen's Peppermint Candycane hot cocoa, Peppermint Tea, and snuggling under quilts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Knock Knock Knocking on Heaven's Doors

Ryan's step-sister (Lisa) got married this past weekend (to Breck). Here are some pictures from their special day.

At the Temple:
Berlin was a flower girl and though she cried and tried to take the dress off numerous times (she hated wearing the dress - she just wanted to be naked - hmmmm) she was pretty cute. The funniest moment was during pictures at the Temple, she just cried and cried and didn't want to sit or stand or pay attention. She just wanted to rip all the flowers out of her wand. Here she was crying because she wanted to climb the steps rather than take pictures. Of course she got what she wanted. Once at the top she was tickled to just knock on the big Temple door. The not so funny part was that Finn didn't want to take pictures and he cried & threw a fit as well. This we weren't so happy about. It's one thing for a 19 month old to cry about it, but a 3 1/2 year old? That was just embarrassing. Hence, he's missing in the group kid pics.

At the Reception:
Finley was such a big helper. He and the big kids carried chairs to the tables. He LOVED doing this. He was also very helpful in introducing Berlin to the cookietable. Lucky for them the cookie table was in arms reach and both he and Berlin could get their own cookies. At one point she had one in her mouth and one in her hand, then Finn brought her another one for the empty hand. Let's just say that after about 9 cookies Berlin crashed from her sugar high.

Toot Toot!

yeah, that's the sound of me tooting my own horn. So if you aren't in the mood to read some bragging, then honey - you are reading the WRONG blog!!!
Just kidding - kinda. Ryan is in Vegas this whole week for work (a glass show) and before he left he was so kind to dig out my sewing machine from storage. Oh how I missed my sewing machine these past 5 weeks!!! I'm so happy to have re-kindled my relationship with my Singer. Here it is in all it's sewing glory (note: Berlin's costume in the background - tooting of my own horn to follow shortly).

I decided that Berlin would be Tinkerbell for Halloween this year. She's so tiny & her blond pixie hair is just perfect for it. But I didn't just want some generic Disney branded Tink costume avail at pretty much every retail outlet this time of year. So, I decided to create my own pattern. Ok, no pattern really, I just started cutting fabric, sewing here and there, and this is what I came up with:

All I can say is that I am SOOOOOO freakin' happy with the way it turned out. From the corset top, to the tutu, to the little puffs on her shoes. The back is so cute too - the corset laces up with chiffon ribbon and ties is a BIG bow (cause all bows should be big when it comes to tutus). I was so pleased that of course I had to call Ryan in Vegas to tell him that I just rocked a pretty awesome costume in less than 2 hours. The best part is that the whole costume cost about $15 (shoes included). It's moments like this when I realize why I fell in love with sewing in the first place. Now .... if I could just figure out Finn's costume!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

These boots were made for walking ...

Finley has his green bug rainboots and Berlin is always wanting to wear them. This usually leads to tears and fighting as Finn refuses to let her wear them. So I went thru our many unpacked boxes until I found his old ones and gave them to her. Though they are a little big on her, Berlin couldn't have been happier and now that she knows they are hers, she wears them ALL the time. Here she is toddling around the house in her boots. I just LOVE love LOVE this sassy girl!

Growing Up

So yesterday was Finley's official FIRST day of pre-school without Ryan or I there. As I took him to class, helped him hang up his backpack, wash his hands, then find an activity to do while the other kids checked in, there were 3 other little boys crying for their parents. Finn was just looking at me like, "What the heck is their problem?" It was pretty funny actually. But as I left and walked back to my car, I found myself fighting back tears. It only lasted a couple minutes, but I realized that it was harder than I thought it would be. He just seemed so grown up and it made me a little sad thinking about how fast the last 3 1/2 years have gone by.

Here he is all grown up with his big boy backpack in the front yard and then playing while the other kids checked in.