Friday, October 31, 2008


I hope you Halloween Day is going well so far. It's be a bit rough around here. Josh is sick with some cold bug and has been mopeing around the house. Other than that, Elijah is SUPER excited that it is Halloween.... FINALLY. Our ward is doing a trunk-or-treat tonight (where everyone meets at the church parking lot and gives candy out from their car while the kids do the rounds). I've got my chocolate stocked up and I'm crossing my fingers that there will be leftovers.

Last night we finally got the chance to carve our pumpkins. We got one of those silly books at Walmart and Elijah picked out the "Pirate" one with the skull and cross bones. Josh did an amazing job carving it out and Elijah even pitched in cutting out a few pieces, which he was excited about. I did a silly face pumpkin for Sam. He's super proud of it and keeps making sure that everyone knows that it is "mine?". I ventured out and made my own copy of an owl. It turned out better than I hoped.

After we were done we had to light them and see what they looked like. I was really impressed with our handy work. The boys were in awe. The cool thing was that with all the lights off you could see the silouette on our vaulted ceiling. We ended up lighting each pumpkin individually to check out the full effect of each pumpkin.
Very COOL!

I also got to test out the "candlelight" mode on my camera and I'm excited that the pictures worked.

Have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Pumpkin Ranch

We made it to the local pumpkin ranch a little late this year. They had packed up most of their rides and activities -Sad- but we did get to see the animals and run around the hay bale maze, which the boys loved.

Elijah and Sam did most of the maze by themselves, running around like crazed boys. The maze was just the right hight that they couldn't really see where they were going. In all they did the maze probably five times. There was a huge pumpkin at the end of the maze that Sam had fun playing peek-a-boo in. Cute crazy kids.

They also had a bouncy toy thing. Sam is now big enough to fend for himself in those things. It's fun to see him and Elijah get excited about it and crazy bouncing around together.

In all it was yet another wonderful FAll outing. The weather has been GORGEOUS this week with temps in the 70's and clear sunny days. Anyway, I'm feeling really blessed right now and grateful for my fun, crazy family and the time we get to spend together.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I didn't have to be a "Rich Man"

We went to good ol' Walmart to buy our pumpkins tonight and wondered around the store in the process (how often can you actually just run into super Walmart to grab one thing and actuallly come out with only that thing). We ended up in the movie section looking at all the cheap $5 DVD's. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found the classic Fiddler on the Roof! To be sure that gem of a classic came home with me and one of these nights in the near future my house will be filled with the catchy tunes of "If I were a rich man", "Sunrise, Sunset", etc. and to be sure these songs will then be stuck in my head for weeks afterwards. MMMmm... something to look forward to.

Pumpkin Pizza

We have been in the Halloween spirit lately doing various projects and crafts. The other day for lunch we were making our ever faithful pizza recipe and decided to add a festive twist.

If you still haven't checked out The Crafty Crow yet, DO IT! There are some amazing ideas going up everyday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Plotting and planning

My fingers and sewing machine are aching to make a quilt. I have been shopping around the internet looking at various patterns and fabrics trying to decide what I want to make a quilt for my bed. Did you know that Ebay and Etsy (if you don't know what etsy is, check it out! It is a place where crafters can sell their handmade wares. There are a lot of amazingly talented people that sell on etsy) are great places to find fabric in addition to the hundreds of other online fabric stores. They have a lot better selection than the local fabric stores and many of the fabrics come in designer packs of 40-50+ coordinating prints making it super easy to find fabrics that match.

I have determined that I really like the fabric by designer Amy Butler. The problem now is narrowing it down, there are just so many patterns and color combinations that I like. I found a quilt (for $550) on etsy that I really like and will likely use as my inspiration. It is the "Turning Twenty" quilt pattern which I am now trying to locate. I like it because it is big enough to show off the patterns of the fabric and still feel patchworkie. I guess the pattern uses 20 fat quarters but I think I want to make mine a bit bigger. I haven't bought anything yet, but probably will in the near future. I'm very excited!

Update: I was drooling again on the Amy Butler website and found a link to a whole bunch of her patterns that you can download for FREE. There are some quilt patterns, bags, scarves, etc... super "Uber" cute stuff.

Boo at the Zoo 2008

The Denver Zoo does a Halloween event annually called "Boo at the Zoo". The kids (and many of the parents) get dressed up and go trick-or-treating around the zoo. They boys both got dressed up in their dinosaur costumes and we did the rounds. It was the most perfect Fall day and we all had a blast. Sam kept turning heads, he was just so super cute, and Elijah was very good at saying "trick-or-treat" to get his candy. By the end we had two very tired dinosaurs on our hands and a load of candy.
I think it is official... I have the cutest dinosaurs on the whole planet!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let's go fly a kite

Yesterday Josh came home from work a little early so we could have some daddy time (which has been in short supply lately). It was a beautiful fall day with the weather having warmed up to around 75 this week. We decided to head to the park and try out a kite I found at a garage sale this summer but hadn't had a chance to try yet. There were a few cursing mumbles of "easy assembly, my eye!" from Josh as he tried to put it together, but eventually he got it together and it was very impressive. The kite looks like a boat with multiple masts and sails and a long rainbow tail. Well, it turned out the wind wasn't steady enough to actually get the kite up for any amount of time, but we had a lot of fun playing together in the waining fall sunlight.

While Josh and I were struggling to get the kite together I looked over to see Sam crawling around on the basketball court. I went over to see what was going on and found that he had noticed a lone little ant treking across the cement. He would point at it and say "bu', bu'".

After the kite flying prooved unsuccesful , Josh and the boys started rolling around in the freshly cut grass. They were kind enough to pose for me a bit. At one point Sam was having fun putting grass clippings on Josh's face. Elijah and Sam also enjoyed playing with their long shadows.
I'm grateful for my goofy fun boys who know how to enjoy life and make my life enjoyable. I am grateful for the time we have to spend together.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boy am I grateful...

...that the paint all over my son's face is watercolors.

His mother had the brilliant idea to let the boys paint bones for a skeleton (I guess actually it was my idea to color the bones and Elijah's idea to paint them). Sam did more painting on himself than the paper. That silly kid.
I found the pattern for the skeleton HERE though I wasn't excited about the size so I photoshopped it to make the body fill an 8.5 x 11 and the limbs on another sheet. I also whited out all the back ground junk. (silly design in my mind, not economical for printing.)

Anyway, Elijah loved painting his skeleton (in the rush to get Sam cleaned up before he spread the rainbow to other areas of his body or the house, I didn't get pictures of Elijah doing his). We then assembled the bones together with mini brads. I punched the holes and Elijah spent the longest time working on getting the tiny brads in place. When we were all done the skeletons went for a dance.
Today I attempted to make skeletons out of pasta glued to paper. Mine turned out alright but the boys just messed around without making a massive mess which is all good by me! Check out Crafty Crow she is doing a series of Halloween posts with party games, crafts, decorations etc.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tutorial: Drawstring Gift Bag

For Enrichment this past week, an amazing seamstress in our ward taught a class on how to make drawstring gift bags. I wasn't able to make one myself that night buy I peeked in on what they were and made sure to get the instructions so I could make one at home. Today I made one and thought I would share the pattern with you. These bags are great for any gift, be it for under the tree or a gift for a friend or neighbor.

At a garage sale last week I found a pillowcase with holiday flamingos (of all things) on it. I bought it thinking I could use the fabric for something and it turned out to be just about perfect for these bags. I ended up getting two bags our of one pillowcase.

I was given measurements for two different sizes of bags. For a small bag you will need 2 pieces 11x14 and 7/8 yard ribbon, for a medium bag you will need two pieces 14x20 and 1 1/8 yard ribbon. The ribbon can be satin or grossgrain of either 3/8" or 5/8" width. There are various ways to get these measurements out of a cut of fabric depending on how many bags you want to get out of your yardage. If you plan it out you can cut a panel, fold it in half and use the fold as one of your seams, either side or bottom. If you are folding on the bottom for a medium bag you would need a piece 14X39. For a small bag with a bottom fold you will need a piece 11 x29. Basically you double the length with the fold and subtract an inch for seams.

Have I totally lost you? Then just cut two pieces to the right size and sew three seams.

Step 1: Sew 1/2" seams with right sides together. Measure down from the top 4" on one side seam and mark. Sew down to your mark, backstitch and cut off. Leave a 3/4" opening, resume sewing down the side being sure to backstitch when you start. Finish all the seams.

Step 2: Optional- to help keep the fraying down, zig zag the seams starting below the 3/4" opening and stitching all the seams. (I opted out)

Step 3: Measure down from the top 2 3/4". Fold and pin all around the bag. Press the fold. Turn under the raw edge of the folded section 3/8" and pin to bag. Stitch close to this folded edge.

Step 4: Stitch one inch away from top fold all around the bag. This will make the top ruffle and the casing for the ribbon. Turn bag right side out.

Step 5: Thread ribbon through the 3/4" opening using a safty pin attatched to one end. Make the ends equal in length and cut ribbon ends on a diagonal. Stitch ribbon on the fold or side seam to secure.

And there you have it. Fill it with something good and you are ready for the season of giving or for giving no matter what the season.

I know the pictures are small. If you click on them you will get a HUGE picture. Big or small use whichever you need. Good luck!

Oh and check out the pumpkin recipes from our enrichment recipe exchange. I've posted them on my recipe blog. The soup was amazing!

Fall Park Days

The weather the last few weeks has been beautiful and warm. We have been enjoying park days on Wednesdays with our friends and soaking in every bit of beautiful Fall weather we can. I'm afraid this week might have been our last one. The weather is drastically colder this weekend (so cold that the garage sales were a no show completely). I am being stubborn and trying not to turn on our heater yet, but my toes have been cold all day so I fear it is a loosing battle. I'm trying to focus on warmer thoughts so I thought I would post some pics from the park this week.

Sam absolutely loves the swings. Elijah at Sam's age didn't care much for the swings, especially going high, but Sam is more of a dare devil and would spend all day in the swing if my tired arms would allow it. Elijah is learning how to pump by himself. He's got the motions down but not quite enough strength behind them to keep himself going by himself.
Sam pulled the hat out of the car himself and was very dilligent in wearing it. He did share with me for a bit. I would tease him and say it was mine and he would say no. Then I would ask "is it yours?" and he would say no. Then I asked "who's is it?" and he quickly answered "mine."
And Charis I havn't forgotten your tag, I'm working on it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Random Finds and Memory Lane

Saturday's garage sales turned up some random things. The biggest things I found were a set of rollerblades for Josh and a set of roller skates for myself. Talk about a trip down memory lane! I remember getting my first pair of rollerskates for my fifth birthday. They were pink Hugga Bunch skates with sparkle trim (see the movie below for your own trip down Hugga Bunch memory lane). I remember rollarskating down the driveway and making pathways with chalk to skate on. Needless to say 20 years makes a difference on my skating skills. Josh and I took the wheels out for a spin on Saturday between General Conference sessions and made total fools of ourselves (I'm sure our neighbors enjoyed the show). I did manage to not fall on my backside. Maybe next time I will venture more than 10 feet away from my building and go faster than 2 mph.

I also came into the jackpot for cd's at a garage sale. Our music tastes were similar and I came home with a couple Barenaked Ladies cd's, Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Faith Hill. I figure I could spend a buck getting one song off Itunes or buy the entire cd for less than that.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Family Fall Outing

Yesterday we took a spontaneous trip up into the mountains as a family. We hadn't had a chance to get out and see the Fall colors yet and we were all excited to spend time together as a family in the great outdoors. The drive up the canyon was gorgeous with the sun low in the sky creeping in through the peaks onto the golden trees.

We ended up at Longmont Reservoir (I had no idea such a thing existed until last night) and got out and walked around. The boys were the cutest and I greatly enjoyed watching them romp around enjoying the rocks and water. The air was crisp and smelled overwhelmingly of Fall. I was surprised to find a lot of wildflowers in full bloom along the trail/road. They were a lot easier to catch pictures of than my children which were too occupied to stand still long enough to get pictures of. Elijah is very observant and vocal about what he notices. It provides a great view of the world through the eyes of toddler.

I am so grateful for my family. I have been so blessed to have these three amazing boys in my life. They bring so much joy and worth into my life. I am grateful for God's creations. They awe and inspire me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scarecrow and my little Salesman

This morning the boys and I ran around doing our errands. We hit a garage sale which had the long sought after scarecrow shirt! Then it was off to Walgreens to do their deals (again) for the tooth brush and shampoo/conditioner. We ended our run with another trip to Albertsons to stock up on more yogurt and soup and their milk was even on sale too.

When we got home we ate some yogurt and then got to work putting our scarecrow together. It's a goofy looking thing but I'm satisfied with the way it turned out. He's out by our front door and I am betting on our stairwell providing enough protection from the elements because he's only made of newspaper and clothes. The boys had fun helping me ball up the newspaper and stuff it in the shirt and pants.

When I was putting the scarecrow together outside, Elijah grabbed his notebook (Blue's Clues and Sid the Science Kid supported idea) and decided to draw a picture of our scarecrow. He sat on the steps and got to work with Sam watching him closely. They both stopped to say "Cheese" when I pulled out the camera.

Sam didn't want to come in when we were all done with the scarecrow and drawing so I tried to pull the whole "Bye, I'm leaving" trick that usually results in a slight panic and the kid decides to follow. Didn't work this time for Sam though. He decided to play a game. The apartment next to us was quickly vacated by our last neighbors and the flier people have been around with various things. A bag of brochures was hanging on the door and Sam pulled it off and then knocked on our closed door. He then preceded to give a spiel of gibberish intermixed with "umm"s then he would quickly say "Bye" and go to the next door. He was doing this multiple times and I was lucky enough to get it on film. Man, if he was really selling something I would buy all he had! Such the cutest thing!