Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween party details

Our weekend was full of parties.  So much so, that I don't feel too much in the Halloween spirit today. 
But the kids had fun.  I only got one picture of Jedi at his party, so I will share Princess mostly.

It was a success!
We did the following games:
Trick or Treat
~with treats hidden around the room, the kids take turns drawing slips of paper that say either "treat" and they can find one, or "trick" and they do something like tell a joke, make a ghost sound, etc.
Eyeball Relay
~ping pong ball balanced on a spoon
Ghost Waiter Relay
~balance a balloon on a plate like a waiter
Halloween Whispers
~The first person whispers a Halloween phrase and they tell the next person and on down the line.  The last person says outloud what they were told. Like the telephone game.
(all from this site - Tip Junkie)
monster eye favors came from here:
At Jedi's party we did some of the same, plus
Baby Mummies (little smokies)
Halloween Pictionary
Guess the Gruesome Object
~I welcomed the boys to my lab.  I explained that there had been a bunch of bodies found and I needed their help to identify them.  They had to put their hands in the 'evidence' box and after they all had a chance to feel, they could guess. 

We had items in the laboratory such as:
vampire teeth (plastic fork tines)
skin (an oiled tortilla)
guts (wet noodles)
rat bones (sticks)
hair (old gnarly wig)
eyes (water marbles, or peeled grapes work well)
ears (dried apple slices)
heart (large peeled tomatoes)
The gruesome laboratory was a riot and the PERFECT thing for 5th grade boys.  I loved doing that one activity more than all else combined.
Happy Halloween to all.  Bookmark this post for next year if you're thinking of doing a party!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who's ready to party?

I am going way out of my arena this weekend.  I am throwing not one but TWO Halloween parties.

Tonight is Princess with 8 of her friends.  Tomorrow we repeat with Jedi and 8 of his.

The invitations were a blast to make!  Remember when I used to do cool stuff like make cards and scrapbook?  HA!  I went through my supplies and found exactly enough green cards for both parties.  I added a ribbon bat and eyes and party details inside.  This was so fun and the kids helped a lot.

I think once I clean the rest of the house I am ready!

The bats are flying high:

The cookies are ready to frost:

The yummy snack mix I invented (popcorn, pretzels, m&ms, candy corn, white chocolate) is ready to be eaten during Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown:

Craft supplies bought.  Games are planned.  Favors (monster eye rolos) are prepared.

Here's to a frightfully fun weekend!!! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Home Therapy

What do you do to get you through life's rough spots?  I was self-analyzing this morning and I realized that I have a pattern when I get discouraged.

During times I feel down it's usually because something feels out of my control, so I seek things I can control.  Do you do the same?  I read and clean and do laundry and cook.  I know, not earth shattering.  But I go into overdrive at certain times and I see that and am starting to understand myself better.

I find if I read it just makes me happy.  I often turn to the church magazines like the Ensign and it uplifts me while getting my mind off of difficulties.

I clean.  Not crazy-lady clean, I'm far too lazy for that.  But cleaning gives me a feeling of control.  I seem to need to immediate gratification of seeing a job go from start to finish.  And if it lasts for more than 10 minutes before my kids undo it, BONUS.

I do laundry.  I actually like doing laundry normally, but sometimes I do like ALL the laundry, which is unusual.

I cook.  I mean, I always cook.  But I plan better meals and even bake more when I really need to feel grounded again. 

I don't plan in advance to do these things but I recognize that they always happen when I'm in this mode.  All are tenets of homekeeping and important parts of family-raising.  If these basic things are what I turn to when I am seeking peace and a sense of wellbeing, is it possible that they are more essential than I realize?  It's likely that my discouragement could be thwarted just by applying more balance in my homemaking to begin with.

As my children get more involved with activities I find myself out of the home more and more.  I need to catch myself when the calendar gets to full.  I must be watchful and careful so that my priorities stay firm and that I not jeopardize the family's stability by neglecting my resposibilities here.  It is a bigger issue than chores; my influence must be here and felt by my family in order to be effective.  In turn, when all is well at home, I can serve outside the home at church and in the community in a positive way.

In any event, I am thankful that simple tasks at home can bring me happiness.  I leave you with good quotes from church leaders.  They are from a couple decades ago but they still apply.

President Benson said:
Radiate a spirit of contentment and joy with homemaking. You teach by example your attitude toward homemaking. Your attitude will say to your children, “I am only a housewife” or it will convey, “Homemaking is the highest, most noble profession to which a woman might aspire.” 

President Kimball said:
We wish you to pursue and to achieve that education, therefore, which will fit you for eternity as well as for full service in mortality. In addition to those basic and vital skills which go with homemaking, there are other skills which can be appropriately cultivated and which will increase your effectiveness in the home, in the Church, and in the community.
Again, you must be wise in the choices that you make, but we do not desire the women of the Church to be uninformed or ineffective. You will be better mothers and wives, both in this life and in eternity, if you sharpen the skills you have been given and use the talents with which God has blessed you.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Eagle project

We're getting closer!!
Potter finished his Eagle Project last week.




He (along with tons of help from Dad and a little help from friends) planned, bought, cut, assembled and delivered 10 nesting boxes for the Sun Conures at the Tracy Aviary in downtown Salt Lake City.
Now, to get the rest of the requirements done!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Picking pumpkins

On Monday we went to a pumpkin patch in the neighborhood adjacent to us.  I thought it would be fun to grab a few for the porch.
Memorize that smile.  It faded quickly.
This pumpkin patch was cute and I wanted to support the local farmer, but it was pricey.  I told the kids we weren't picking out a pumpkin each, but one main one and a few smaller decorative ones.  It didn't go ever well.

Rosebud found us an adorable little one.

Notice there is a kid missing :(  She was pouting on the curb.  But I think everybody else thought it was fun to walk through the vines and pick our very own.

We ended the night with a showing of It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  Love it!  And Princess even laughed a little at the Snoopy part.
Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

37, but who's counting?

I had a birthday a couple weeks ago.  It was a full day with service projects and a friends going thru the temple which lifted my spirits and was a wonderful afternoon.  But I still managed to be spoiled by many.  My mom took us to dinner the day before, my sister sent this cute sweater/jewelry, I had lunch with a good friend.  I got a large font alarm clock (I can't see when my contacts are out), notes from neices, my mother in law made a custom meal just for me and Strider cleaned the whole house.

Look at the cake my brother found for me!  The worst part of the day came at about 11:57 pm when my cougars choked against Utah.  Yeah, it was bad.  But the other 23 hours and 57 minutes were great :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On my mind today

I feel like all I have been doing is posting a travelogue, when this blog used to be about my thoughts and parenting and my latest crafty creation.


Well life has bit me in the rear end lately and the time I used to take for granted isn't there anymore.  Parenting that used to be done casually now needs to be planned and perfectly purposeful.  Crafts are - well - sadly nonexistent.

But here are a few thoughts and to-do's swirling in my head:

-General Conference for our church was this weekend.  I received many wonderful words of counsel and wisdom.  I will try my best to be better and make some self improvements.

-I complain a teeny bit about helping with props for the jr high musical, but I secretly love it.  I like being needed and working on something challenging but doable.

-Last week marked the 20th anniversary of my first date with Strider.  He went above and beyond with a thorough recreation of that original date and earned major brownie points.  So cute!

-I went to a PTA meeting this morning and actually enjoyed myself.  Is that supposed to happen?

- I just saw that today is $2 Tuesday at Gardner Village.  I may take the girls down for a pony ride while the boys are at scouts.

-Jedi is really working hard at mastering his new heavy homework load and rigorous schedule.  Last night his math was down to 45 minutes and at the height it had been taking him 2 hours!  He's making great progress.

-Speaking of 'challenging but doable', I am totally not hacking it in my newest online BYU class: Western Humanities.  I wish I could attend in person.  I think it's really a subject that would be better to have a lecture for (not that I have the time for that).  I have no grade in there yet because I am stuck on lesson 2 and the first paper is due in lesson 3, but I feel lost.

-Homework kills me.  Not mine, theirs.  I feel like Strider and I are classroom aides as we run from child to child during the evening homework time answering questions. 

-I want the election to be over already.  I am not overly political, but it gives me anxiety to keep observing the tennis match in both local and presidential races.  Let's vote, so that I can get used to who I have to support for the next term.

-I am super excited for Potter and Bugs and their musical in a month.  Like, really really excited.

-I am almost sad that Princess is in her last week of soccer.  It went too fast!

-I want to put Rosebud in dance again.  Trying to make that happen.

-We have been out of printer ink since spring.  Yeah, I'm serious.  I can't put it off any longer though.  Bugs has a paper due on Friday (in band, no less.  Band.  I took band for 10 years and never wrote a paper).

- I bought the cutest shoes last week with some birthday money.  I need to grab some jewelry to go with them I think.  Have you heard of Paparazzi?  Only $5 per piece!  I am trying them.

-Kids are so dang much work.  For real!  Oh I wish I were a wise parent and could make the right decisions as I go.  Instead I bumble around and stumble over myself and my methods and who the heck knows if I am doing more good than harm.  I pray every day that I can do it right.  Till then I hope my kids are resilient and that they will come out of this learning period on both feet!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall soccer

This cutie is in soccer again, this time in the fall league.  In the spring we were so busy with Jedi and little league baseball, I told her she'd have to wait till fall.

She's agressive and goes for the ball.


4 goals so far this season and two games remain.  Great job Princess!