Monday, October 31, 2011


First off, you must know that our family is completely obsessed with the show "Phineas and Ferb". Even Mom and Dad have been known to sit down and watch it, or at the very least snicker at a joke as we walk through the room. And since it's about two brothers who make huge contraptions in their backyard and their big sister who is always trying to bust them for their genius schemes, plus the family pet who happens to also be a secret agent trying to bust the bad guys- well, how could we NOT be them for Halloween?
But alas, the kids told us that Richard had to be the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz, instead of the Dad in the show.
So now that you have the backstory - here we are! Isaiah as Phineas, Asher as Ferb, Naomi as Candace, Sammy as Perry the Platypus, me as the Mom, and Richard as Dr. Doofenshmirtz:
These heads were not easy to make! Asher's Ferb-head is a fruit snacks box, spray painted. With green yarn hair, styrofoam ball eyes, and folded paper nose. It stayed on thanks to a ski hat that is stapled to the inside. Isaiah's Phineas-head is a file folder (already the right color!) carefully folded and cut kind of like a party hat. It stayed on thanks to a length of elastic under his chin - just like a party hat.
Asher really, really loved his costume this year. And that is a BIG triumph!
Naomi's Candace costume was pretty simple. I made the white skirt, with belt loops for her red belt, bought the red shirt and red socks, and we sprayed her hair with two bottles of temporary orange coloring (it was easier to wash out than I expected it to be).
Dr. Doofenshmirtz was a cinch since it's really just a black tee with a lab coat over. We added the "Hi my name is..." tag just for people who hadn't seen the show. And my "Mom" costume was easy too. I did ruin the white shirt I wore with the orange hair coloring, but that's OK.
And I'll tell you more about Perry the Platypus in a minute.
Here's everybody (except me who was taking the picture) up on the stage at church during the Halloween parade. We got a lot of compliments on our clever costumes from fans of the show. And we got a lot of questions about who the heck we were from people who aren't.
All those pictures above were from our Friday night church Trunk or Treat. Here's some more Halloween activities from this year:
Isaiah marched in the Preschool Halloween parade. He wanted to wear last years dalmation costume, so out it came - which was fine since his Phineas costume doesn't make as much of a splash without the rest of us.
We carved pumpkins on Saturday. Here are the boys posing with theirs. And, yes, that's a "HTML 5" carving on the back pumpkin. Can you guess who carved that one?
We had a really great Halloween. I didn't take a single picture on the actual Halloween. Richard was out of town by then and I was way more focused on trick or treating than on cutesy pictures. But we had a great time! Naomi and Asher really got into the going door to door this year for the first time. They ran! Isaiah got pretty tired and started asking at every door, "Is this OUR house yet?" And Sammy politely sat in the stroller. There was a real sense of community in the air as we walked past our neighbors and the kids shouted greetings to their school friends. It was lovely.
Now, on to more Perry the Platypus. Because he's cute enough to warrant more attention!
Look! There's a platypus in our yard! They're the only Mammals who lay eggs, you know.
I think the tail was super cute. It's just a sheet of foam cut to the right shape, lines drawn on with Sharpie, and safety pinned to his shirt.
His costume is just little blue tights, a blue shirt (I really tried to find a body suit in the right color but never could), the tail and the hat.
The hat was made by Chris from Chris's Creations on Etsy. She made it to just my size specs and she did it fast! I just love it! I see no reason why Sammy shouldn't wear this hat all winter long.
Isn't he such a cute little platypus? They don't do much you know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Asher Catches Up

Kindergarten is such a fun spectator sport. Asher is just loving it and really doing great. Of course, I didn't know about the "doing good" part until his parent/teacher conference this week since he's not exactly chatty.
Below is a "story" that he wrote. It says, "IAmjobeuuyloef". Translation: "I am jumping in a pile of leaves." That's quite a bit of progress from a little boy who couldn't write his name two months ago!

And look at that cute pile of carefully crafted leaves!

Monday, October 24, 2011


That's it. I've had it. Can it please just be next year already? Next SCHOOL year, that is.


My schedule this year is just seriously awful. I never have more than an hour to run any errands. And honestly, most of my errands individually don't take more than an hour. But if you only have one hour between absolute deadlines, you've got to be very on the ball. One hour turns into 45 minutes which becomes half an hour very quickly. And half an hour isn't enough time to run almost any errand.

Asher and Naomi leave for school at 7:30. Then Isaiah has to be at school at 9 (Monday, Wednesday Friday). And Sammy naps until 10. And Asher gets home from Kindergarten at 11. And I pick up Isaiah from school at 12. And nap time is 1 to 3. And Naomi gets home at 3 but then there's homework and playing. And we try to eat dinner at 5:30. And bedtime is 7.

I think I'm rambling. Possibly incoherently.

Today, for example, I really needed to go to the fabric store. Just for one yard of fabric. But the fabric store is one of those terrible places where you never know how long it's going to take you to walk in, buy one simple thing, and walk out. It could take 10 minutes - or it could take 45. So I kept scheduling it in, and then it kept getting bumped because I wasn't sure I had quite enough time. Finally I fit it in after both boys got home - which means it was a time when I had all 3 boys with me. And they were awful. And it took 35 minutes. And the whole reason for wanting to go to the fabric store this morning was so that I could sew Naomi's Halloween costume during nap time, but after that crazy run to the store I really needed (OK, fine, "needed" is a bit strong of a word) to relax during naptime.


So, like I said, is it next year yet?

Friday, October 21, 2011


This is Year 4 for me of a Preschool trip to Pumpkinville. I actually feel pretty sad that next year I won't have a Preschooler to take me on this trip.
Isaiah started off the morning totally ramped up. He was chomping at the bit to get in there!
The first place we hit, as usual, was the petting zoo portion. Isaiah loved this silly camel. And the feelings seemed to be reciprocated! The camel kept walking away from other people to come over to where Isaiah was. (Maybe it was the hat!)
Isaiah also bravely fed a big fat pig, sheep, cows, and chickens. His favorite were the chickens. He loved chasing them.
Then the playing began.

Last year Isaiah needed help making it up this rock climbing wall. This year he was totally sure that he could handle it all by himself. And he did it! He only had trouble at the very top figuring out how to swing one leg over the ledge and climb into the spook house above.
Here he is making his scary face - just like the Jack-o-lantern.
And in the corn maze:
Admiring the tractors huge wheels:
Driving a haunted school bus. I actually learned a lot about Isaiah at this point in the trip. Isaiah is not use to fighting his own battles! It took two adults full intervention to get him his turn sitting at the wheel of this bus. He was just standing there waiting for his turn, but there were so many kids that they just kept brushing by him. Even when I coaxed him that his turn was next, he hesitated long enough that the kid behind him pushed in front of him. He must be use to Asher taking charge in situations like this. See that kid in the gray and red sweatshirt and how he's looking at me a little warily? That's because I basically had to yell at everybody on the bus to back off in order to get Isaiah his turn.
But he was happy.
Sliding down the huge slides:
On the hay ride with Mommy:
And lastly, but most importantly, with his very own pumpkin:
We'll just have to go to Pumpkinville as a family next year - but it just won't be the same as our special Mommy/Preschooler trips.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Cruise Pictures

You know how I was bragging about what a genius I was to think to bring disposable waterproof cameras with us on our trip? Well, I was humbled when I went to develop the film and they told me that one entire camera never started working right and not a single picture from that camera came out. All dark and mostly black. Luckily, it was the second camera so we have the pics of when we were in the Bahamas but lost the pics from the next day on the boat. Oh well.

Here I am at the back of the boat as we chug our way out of Miami harbor.

And Richard looking excited and slightly amorous.
As soon as we were done admiring the view, we sat right down and ordered our first (of many) Pina Coladas. Yum!
That first night we saw the comedian and did karaoke. We enjoyed our first fancy meal and explored the boat. When we woke up the next morning, we were docked in the Bahamas!
Here we are on the pier with our boat in the background.
The Carnival Imagination! And then we were on our way to Atlantis to their waterpark.See? Those disposable, waterproof cameras did come in handy this day!
This waterpark was amazing. Millions of pools, awseome water slides, the not-so-lazy river, waterfalls...
And the water slide that goes through the shark tank. I know this next picture is a little abstract if you don't know what you're looking at - but that's the underside of a shark right above us. And the picture isn't zoomed at all - that's how close the shark was to us!
After a trip around the mile-long lazy river, we walked out of the official water park and onto the real beach. See that big gray cloud coming up behind me? Well, we didn't. It had been kinda gray and had even rained once before for about 10 minutes so we just ignored it.

And we went and rented a jet ski for Richard. Notice how he's riding right into that big black cloud? Well, again, we didn't.
About four minutes later I noticed everyone on the beach running around like crazy. When I looked out to sea I could see a huge wall of rain coming right at us really quickly. For a minute I stood there on the beach, alone, thinking I'd make sure Richard was OK. But then I gave up and ran for it. I made it back into the water park and into a covered locker area just before it really started pouring. Luckily, Richard found me there just about 10 minutes later.

We waited out that rainstorm for about 10 minutes and then it let up. But unfortunately, lightning came with that storm and they closed all the water areas. Since we were exhausted and just about done anyway we decided not to wait until they re-opened. We headed back to the ship. And that was our Bahamas adventure.

Our time on the ship was fun, too. It was slow and easy. It was naps and hot tub soaks. It was time together.

Man, that was a fabulous trip.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Cruise

Pictures are still developing (we took disposable waterproof cameras), but the highlights of our cruise to the Bahamas are:

Seeing Adam Hunter, the comedian, and having him refer to Richard as "Jared From Subway".
Singing "Love Shack" as a duet for karaoke. Badly.
Going down a water slide that was seriously a story-high vertical drop that ended in a shark tank. With sharks. REAL sharks.
Going down a much slower water slide into the same shark tank and getting to actually look at the sharks.
Riding a mile long "lazy river" with rapids and huge waves and the option to veer right and go down a slide that drops you right back into the lazy river.
Multiple naps in the same day.
Sipping Pina Coladas in a hot tub on the back of the boat in an "adults only" area.
Mocking the ridiculously bad "show" the cruise put on. Seriously, it was worse than most high school productions I've seen.
Ordering a fresh plate of cookies each night delivered to our room.
Beating Richard at air hockey. (OK, it was a draw - he won one, I won one.)
Freedom to do what we want when we want. Or NOT do.
Dressing up just for fun.
Chatting with total strangers like we're old friends.
Spending 3 days together without being apart one bit.
Remembering that we really do enjoy each other very, very much.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

...Can't Talk Now

...I'm busy packing for my cruise. You know, the one to the Bahamas. With just my hubby. For our 10th anniversary.

Pina Colada anyone?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Planetary Orbiting and Sore Abs

When I am standing in the kitchen at the counter making lunch or dinner or whatever, Samuel feels that he needs to be close to me. Not that unusual, right? Except that how he wants to be close to me is by circling around my legs like a planet orbiting. He puts one arm on my legs and just walks in circles. If I am standing too close to the counter to allow such rotations, he screeches and pushes until I step back. Sometimes he prefers to sit between me and the cupbaord, on my toes. This often leads to me stirring or scrubbing or measuring at arms length. Which is a bit of an ab workout. Like when you're pregnant and can't seem to get close enough to anything.
But who could be mad at this sweet face?
Who could scold an angel?
Not me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference Weekend

Richard was out of town this past weekend. And it was General Conference weekend. Not really a great combination. I figured that I had to really work on getting the kids wiggles out on Saturday so that they wouldn't go crazy or drive me crazy when we were home together all day on Sunday. The weather was terrible so we went to the mall Saturday morning. We rode the carousel AND the train (usually I make the kids choose) and played at the play-place. During nap time I watched some Conference. That afternoon Ruth came over to play (and to tell us about her trip to Europe!). When the kids went to bed, she and I watched more General Conference. Sunday morning I finished up the two sessions of Conference that I'd already started. Then I had to wait until noon when more Conference was on. And I watched more. And the kids napped. And we watched more.

And this is the part where suddenly it felt like I was in a never-ending cycle of Conference, grip at kids, feed them, Conference, grip at kids, feed them, Conference, grip at kids, feed them. I think I did that for a week straight. Oh, wait, it was only 6 very long hours. Anyway, the afternoon seemed long and lonely. I don't think I actually got much out of any of the Conference that I watched that afternoon. I'll have to re-watch/read it all.

Anyway, it was a long day. But it's over now. And it really could have been worse. In so many ways.

If you see my husband, could you send him home? Soon?