Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

Our month has been jam packed with fun activities to help us celebrate Halloween and the fall season. We've had a very fun and busy month. To end things with a bang, we invited some of our friends over on Halloween night for a party. At 5:15 we headed over to the police station (which is about 2 blocks from my house) and played there for a little while. They had bags of candy for all the kids, plus bags of cookies and free pizza. They also played some musical chairs and the winners (and pretty much every child who wanted one) got to choose a stuffed animal. It was so funny to watch Emmeline play. She was having so much fun dancing around the chairs that she didnt think to stop and get a chair when the music stopped, she just kept on dancing. So she was the first one out that first game. . .but it didnt seem to bother her. She just kept on dancing the whole game. Then they played again. This time she got creative and came up with a way to win and not worry about fighting for a chair. She pulled her own chair just a little off from the big group of kids and went dancing around that one chair all by herself. HILARIOUS. After a few minutes however, a couple of her little friends decided to join her around her single chair so she did have to fight for it in the end. . .but she ended up on top and got to chose a cute little cow to take home. 

After the police station we all headed back to my house for some dinner. (Unfortunately, I didnt know they were having pizza at the police station or we would have just had that). We enjoyed soup, little "mummy" smokies, meatballs, bread and ghoulish green punch. (No, I didnt make all that myself. . .everyone brought something :). ) After we had dinner, I made "dead man" scones. What can I say, its a long standing family tradition of mine. "I'm boooiiling, eeeeeee." Anyway, the kids all ran around and played while the adults talked. After all of the kids had either left with their families or been put to sleep upstairs, a few of the remaining couples played the Wii with us. That was really fun. 

I hope you had as wonderful a Halloween as we did. What a fun time of year!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Carnival/Trunk-or-Treat 2008

Well, we had another fun and successful halloween carnival this year. The setup actually went faster then it has in any of the previous three years that I've been involved with this event because we got the ward activities committee to help out. In the past, it has taken hours and hours to get all the games setup and the decorations completed. This year it took just over three hours total. It was awesome. Emmeline and Mabel both had fun playing the various games. Emmeline even got a hole in one on mini golf, and she hit the ball all by herself this year. Very cute. The only downside the the carnival was that the cake (well actually it was a flan) that Emmeline won in the cakewalk was stolen, or at least taken by someone before we could go pick it up at the end of the party. Both Emmeline and I were very sad, and even the next morning Em was asking me about it. 3 year olds have surprisingly good memories. But we made sugar cookies and I let her decorate a couple by herself. That helped her to forget about her "missing" cake. All in all, we had a great time. Emmeline, Mabel and I were all princesses and Brett was a knight in shining armor. Okay, so his armor was bought at the dollar store and made for an 8 year old but he still looked good wielding his foam sword. :)

Here are the two cakes that I made and decorated for the cakewalk. I haven't done any serious cake decorating for awhile now, and I had some time so I thought I'd have a go. I had a lot of fun making these and I thought they turned out pretty cute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

We carved our pumpkins for Family Home Evening on Monday October 27th. The girls enjoyed pulling out seeds and luckily for Brett and I, both pumpkins were easy to clean out. Some years you get stuck with a pumpkin which you cannot deseed no matter how much you pull and scrape. This year, the big pumpkin was cleaned just as fast as the little pumpkin. Yes, it was a great pumpkin carving year!!

Boo at the Zoo 2008

On Sat. October 25 we headed over to the B'ham zoo for an exciting evening filled with Halloween adventure. The girls had a great time trick or treating through the various booths. They also both enjoyed playing the little carnival games. After just a few times, Mabel got that when she played a game or held out her hand, someone would place a prize/candy in it. She loved it!! Also, we all rode the haunted carousel together. It was another great evening at the B'ham zoo!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Royal Ball Birthday Bash

The other day Emmeline attended the greatest little girl birthday party ever. At 6:00 we dropped her off at her friends house where all the little girls got dressed and ready for the ball. (There were also some little boys all dressed up as princes). They had a rack full of princess dresses for the girls to wear. And of course princess shoes and other accessories. They also had some older girls there brushing hair and putting it up in beautiful styles. Then at 6:30, the kids all ate a royal banquet. Every detail was taken care of. The cups were plastic champaign glasses and there were pink chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. Each guest got a princess crown, gloves, and a princess bucket with treats, lipgloss, a brush, mirror and more. At 7:00 the parents were invited back to attend the royal ball. It was so great. Each child was formally introduced and allowed to walk down the red carpet to a pedestal in the middle of the room. They then got to twirl around while everyone clapped for them. After all of the children were introduced, they played music for the kids to dance to and at one point all the adults were invited to dance with their girls to the slow song from "Enchanted". While the kids were dancing and running around, there were tons of treats for the parents to eat. There was a giant princess castle cake, little chocolate cherry mice, fruit sticks,princess sugar cookies and so much more, I can't even remember everything to write about. I was so mad at myself because I forgot my good camera, but I took a couple of shots from my phone. This truly was a princess party to remember.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch 2008

Last year we had so much fun at The Great Pumpkin Patch in Hayden Alabama that we've decided to make it a yearly tradition (for as long as we live in Alabama). So on Saturday October 18th, we headed over to Hayden. Once again, we had so much fun. Emmeline got to ride a big horse this year and Mabel tried out a pony ride. She got around two laps before she decided she was finished. It was fun to ride the hayride up to the pumpkin patch. Emmeline had to search around to find the "littlest" pumpkin. I would try and point her in the direction of some smaller pumpkins, but she would have none of it. She had to find the one she wanted all by herself. And in the end, she did find a small, little pumpkin. Mabel on the other hand, went straight towards the biggest pumpkin she could see. So we ended up with a tiny pumpkin for my older daughter and a big pumpkin for my baby daughter. Pretty hilarious. Another funny story which happened during Emmeline's search for the perfect pumpkin was that at one point she tried to pick up a little pumpkin which was rotten. She accidentally dropped it and it splattered its mushy innards all over the ground. After we rode the hayride back to the main entertainment area, we enjoyed a nice picnic which boasted jack-o-lantern pb&j sandwiches. Delicious. It was another wonderful year at the pumpkin patch.

The First Date

On Friday October 17th, Brett and I went on our first date as part of our new date night rotation group. This idea has been tossed around a ton, by several different people, but finally I found three other families with kids about Em and/or Mabels ages with whom we started a date night/babysitting rotation. It is awesome. There are 5 kids total in the rotation and each couple is assigned 1 friday night a month to babysit. Things started the first of October, but Brett and I were both out of town. Then the second friday was our turn to babysit. . and then last friday we enjoyed our first date. To celebrate we splurged at the Cheesecake Factory and then spent some time at the Apple Store dreaming about future Christmas presents. Both Brett and I want an Ipod Touch. I was thinking I just wanted a regular Ipod, but after playing with the Touch. . . who wants a normal Ipod?!! Anyway, this blog is about the date and the rotation not about how cool Ipod Touches are. (They are very very awesome.)
It was so fun to go out on a date and have some time alone with Brett without the little ones. As much as I love the little girls, I love my husband and need some time alone with him out of the house.
Plus it wasn't even bad when it was our turn to babysit. The three little girls between the ages of 2 and a half - 3 and a half all played together and the babies; Mabel 1 and Lincoln almost 2, just kinda played around. We also broke up the three hour block with Halloween songs and sticker time. I'm actually kinda excited to plan some little activities for the kids on my week to babysit. So all around, this is awesome. I highly recommend it to everyone out there!!
--My datenight/babysitting buddies: Rachel & Michael Hall, Kylee & Steven Price, Natalie & Michael Edwards :)

Here are some pics of the kids playing dress-up when it was our turn to babysit. (Juliana, Emmeline, Mabel, Hadley and Lincon)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Visit to Virginia

While Brett was in San Antonio for a conference, I took the girls up to Virginia to visit my folks. One of my friends (Rachel Hall) parents also live in Virginia and so she and her little almost 2 year old son drove with us. It was a pretty tight squeeze for all the kids in the backseat of my Kia, but it was really nice to have another driver plus some adult conversation for the drive up and back.

We had a really fun visit in Virginia. We enjoyed watching general conference over the weekend and the girls especially loved picking peppers with grandma during the breaks. On Monday, Lucy and Leland skipped out of school to spend the day with the girls and me. We went to a pumpkin patch in the morning. There were a lot of fun little slides and playthings. The girls loved riding on mechanical horses and spinning on the merry go round. Later Emmeline got to paint her pumpkin. She painted the whole thing pink. lol. On Tuesday, Adam took the day off from work to hang out with us. We went to my mom's school and visited her 2nd grade class. The kids loved Emmeline and Mabel and kept asking if they could read them stories during their reading rotations. Emmeline loved sitting with the kids on their story rug while my mom read aloud to the class. It was neat to see my mom in action. On Wednesday, the girls and I drove to Alexandria and had lunch with my dad. We dined at Generous Georgies. The building was bright pink inside and out. It was awesome. The girls each got to feast on their favorite foods: chicken nuggets and smiley fries for Mabel and penne mac and cheese with cheese pizza breads for Emmeline. I enjoyed a pasta pie. It was surprisingly delicious. That night we all sat around and laughed and talked in my parents room. It was awesome. But as always, it was great to return home to my hubby when the time came.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Virus Conference in San Antonio

From October 5th through the 9th, Brett was in San Antonio Texas for a virus conference. For more specific details. . I will leave it to him to post about, but I can tell you that he had a good time. He presented a poster which looked really awesome. He met some new people and made some good contacts. He visited the Alamo one day and said it was a really neat experience. Next year, this same conference will be held in Nice, France. Perhaps I'll have to accompany him to that one :).