Friday, October 31, 2008

How to have a perfect Halloween

Carve pumpkins- check

make donuts- check (thanks Melissa for the great idea)

remember to wear fun socks from the Target dollar spot- check

Finish games for Kindergarten party- check

Help out with a said party- check

Have good friends over for yummy Chili and Cinnamon Rolls- check

Get all dressed up- check

trick or treat in 60 degree weather- check

pick out all the good candy when you get home- check

come home and watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown- check

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween too!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Adds Chocolate

Last night I got home from my Enrichment Committee Planning meeting and started scouring the internet for fun chocolate sayings and quotes, since we are going to put together a little chocolate cookbook at our next Enrichment Activity. I had trouble finding what I was looking for and then I remembered that I had something all along that would be perfect for what we are doing.

Several years back my good friend Kassie made this adorable tag. The message on the inside of the tag is even better!

Money, of course, can buld a charming house,
but only Love can furnish it with a feeling of home.
Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch,
but Love may decide to enclose a little note inside.
Money can provide a TV,
but Love controls it and cares enough to say 'no'
and take the guff that comes with it.
Obligation sends the children to bed on time,
but Love tucks the covers in around their necks
and passes out the kisses and hugs. (even to teenagers)
Obligation can cook a meal,
but Love embellishes the table with a potted ivy
trailing around slender candles.
Duty writs many letters,
but Love adds a joke or a picture or a stick of gum inside.
Compulsion keeps a sparkling house,
but Love and Prayer stand a better chance
of producing a happy family.
Duty gets offended quickly if it isn't appreciated
but Love learns to laugh a lot
and to work for the sheer joy of doing it.
Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often,
Love adds a little chocolate.

I did a search and found this book online that it must have come from.

I needed this reminder today. We got a late start to our morning and when that happens we are all grumpy and a little stressed. I hate sending my kids off to school with that start to their day. I know a lot of how their morning goes is dependent on me and my own attitude. First thing I need to do is start getting up before them. I am also considering trying an experiment one of my friends did where she made her kids a hot breakfast every morning before school. She said it really made a difference to her kids- there was less fighting and more unity. I am willing to give anything a try. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please excuse the mess...

I'm trying to update my blog and it's not going well- so please bear with me!

Just so this isn't a totally boring post- I made these chicken tacos for dinner last night. Oh my goodness were they heavenly and so darn easy! I didn't have any salsa- so I used green chile enchilada sauce and fresh tomatoes. My kids who normally don't get excited over tacos- ate 2 helpings each.

And then because I don't like posts without pictures- here's one of the cute little garland Amber shared with me and the fun ghost that my Mom made.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trick or Treat Bags

I just finished up some new trick or treat bags for the kids. Previously, we'd been using some ugly orange buckets that took up a lot of space in my Halloween tote. So last year when my sister told me she made some cute fabric bags for her kids- I thought it was a great idea. Then I was at Target and found some Halloween pillowcases on clearance and knew it was meant to be!

I used this tutorial again to make the bags. I should have made the straps a bit skinnier, but I guess you live and learn, right?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time Out 2008

I had a wonderful time this weekend with my family at Time Out in Omaha.

Friday night we listened to Jenny Oaks Baker. I have never heard more beautiful violin playing in my life. I was amazed, delighted and moved to tears as she played.

My sister Linda flew in from Colorado. She was excited to see Ardith Kapp, who spoke that night. She had met Sister Kapp as a Laurel in 1978.

The next day was just as wonderful, we listened to Kenneth Cope and Cherie Call sing.

Elia Gourgouris, Pam Hansen, Wendy Ulrich and Mary Ellen Edmunds spoke to us. It was the spiritual nourishment I have been craving and I came away filled. It was so awesome to be able to share this experience with so many dear friends as well.

PS. My neat little upsizing trick is not working with Blogger lately- I'm not sure why. But I guess it is not just me, other people are having problems with it too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

At my house this week...

we had a puppy playdate(with Mo's 3 siblings who live down the street)

I'm getting ready to put my heavier comforter back on my bed

I've been packing for Time Out For Women

I brought in all my herbs from the garden

drying lavendar(if I'm doing this wrong- can someone let me know!)

freezing parsley

I'm loving the view from front yard these days

my neighbor's tree

I'm in charge of Genna's Halloween party at school- so I've been getting that organized. This is for a pin the wart(hershey kiss) on the witch game.

I'm scrabooking for a sorority project. Scott Nisely was killed in Iraq in 2006 and we are putting an album together for his mother. We're just doing a uniform basic layout for now and will add titles and possibly embellishments later.

What's going on at your place?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spooktacular Halloween Party

I finally got done editing all the fun pictures from our Halloween Party last week.

We had such a great time. We really wanted to invite our whole ward- but our house is only so big. Troy's family alone counted for over 25 people.

We had everyone bring munchies or Halloween treats, if they felt creative.

Here was a sampling of all the yummy food.

I served taco soup and ghastly green punch. I also made the deviled eggs with spiders after I saw them on Wendy's blog last year. My friend Jennifer made the cute rice krispy ghosts and my MIL Betty made the jack' o' lantern mini pizzas. There was a ton more food- but I was busy playing hostess and didn't get any more pictures.

We asked everyone to come in costume or at the very least wear a funny hat. Connor stood outside our front door, greeting our guests as they arrived. He didn't say a word, just let them in. A few of them kept trying to make him laugh and he said it was pretty hard to hold it in. I think one of my favorite parts of the whole night was just seeing what everyone dressed up as. After they walked in the door Jameson aka Napoleon was busy handing out buttons that he made.

We had everyone vote for the best costume in 4 different categories. Jim Hergenrader (Betty's Cousin's husband, who happened to be passing through)won the Scariest with this spooky Husker fan getup. Cute little Emily won the Sweetest- if you can't read her Mom's apron it says, "If there's no chocolate in heaven, I'm not Going". John McCain(Shane) won the Most Original. And Johanna, I mean, Johny(Troy's Dad) won for the Funniest, although he did get votes in every single category!

Here are the pictures of the rest of the guests.

Everyone looked so great! Originally we wanted to do some fun Halloween themed games, but I just couldn't pull it off. It ended up ok though because we had a great time just eating, visiting and playing a few regular games- Apples to Apples and Bananagrams.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Trail Mix

I feel a little silly sharing such a simple recipe- but it has been such a big hit at our house, I thought I'd put it on my blog.

Halloween Trail Mix

1 jar roasted, salted peanuts
1 box count chocula cereal
1/2 box of raisins
1 bag Halloween M&M's
optional: pretzels, fishy crackers, popcorn, licorce bites, cheese balls

Warning- you cannot each just one handful. We made this for Connor's hike last week and then again for our Halloween party on Saturday. Stay tuned for pictures from the party!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lost Teeth

Genna has had some loose teeth for a while now. A few weeks back at Cheer Camp- I noticed her top front tooth was suddenly all crooked. Despite wiggling it every day, that darn thing, didn't seem to want to go anywhere. We joked that it was ok, because then maybe she could wait and ask Santa for her two front teeth for Christmas.

After school Thursday when I was picking Genna up, she ran and jumped up into my arms so I could twirl her around. On the way down she must have bumped her mouth. She quickly realized her tooth was out.

We searched the grass all over, but we couldn't find it. She was really worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't be able to come. She was relieved when I suggested we write a letter to the tooth fairy and explain what happened.

She is constantly writing these days- she loves to copy things. Troy got a note from her the other day saying "You've Been Halloweenied- passiton!" Wonder where she got that idea?

Later that afternoon, I got together with my good friends, Cheryl and Tami. Tami's birthday was in September, but we hadn't had a chance to celebrate yet. So, we went out for dinner. Genna just cried and cried because she wanted to come along and show Cheryl her missing tooth.

Well, funny thing was that the next night, after Connor's hike, the boys had a football contest going on at the high school and Cheryl and I sat by each other. Genna was thrilled to finally be able to share her exciting news with Cheryl. We hadn't been there very long when out of the blue, she lost another tooth.

Tonight when I was putting her to bed, I noticed that her top tooth has already broken the surface. I told her, she wouldn't have a hole there for very long. She asked if it would grow in before we got to see Lorilee. I told her it probably would and so Lor, here you go- she really wants you to see her with her two teeth missing!

The past two nights were late ones, and the tooth was left in the car until today. So, I'd better go call that tooth fairy and make sure she doesn't forget about our house tonight!

Oh, yeah, one more tooth related thing. Troy broke a tooth tonight eating some of his sister's koolaid popcorn. So I guess he's off to the dentist tomorrow. Poor guy!

Awesome Hike

I awoke early Friday morning to the sound of thunder and heard the rain beating upon the roof. I was going to be very grumpy if it kept up and ruined our plans for the hike we were going on at Waubonsie State Park in Iowa. The stars had all aligned when we set up this activity- there was no school, the boys scouts could attend with us and all of our boys could attend. We are working on Arrow of Light requirements and this hike counted for our outdoor activity with the Boy Scouts and a hike for a few of the boys who still need to earn the Outdoorsman Badge.

Thankfully, as we were eating our butter braid and drinking our hot chocolate with halloween marshmellows, the sun decided to come out. And it stayed out the rest of the day! I was so grateful that the weather was cooperative. We had about a 25 minute drive to our destination.

Our first step when we got there was to get our lunch started. The Boy Scouts were awesome about teaching our boys about the different positions they hold and what their responsibilities are. They all worked together to get a fire started and a stew made so that it could simmer while we went on our hike.

We really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to go hiking. It was crisp and cool with a light breeze. There are some great views from the trail that we took. The last leg of the hike was a hill that was a killer and one of the parents jokingly asked the boys if anyone wanted to do it again and 3 of them ran down it and back up another time. I wish I had their energy!

We got back to our little camp and had our delicious stew and s'mores. The boys had still had quite a bit of energy and so they played capture the flag. Before we knew it our time was up and we had to clean up and head home. I am so grateful for the Scouting program. Even though I grumble sometimes about the responsibilities of being a leader, I am so grateful that Connor and I can spend days like this together.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sewing Stuff

As many of you know I am a collector. I've got a lot of fabric. More than I'll ever probably be able to use. But I can't help it, especially at garage sale and thrift store prices, how can I pass up something so cute that has the potential to be something even more wonderful?

A few years ago Troy got me a sewing machine for my birthday. I didn't have the heart to tell him at the time I really wanted it so I could sew on my cards and scrapbook pages. Thank goodness I have learned that sewing other stuff can be a lot of fun, too.

Here are some of the projects I've been working on lately:

Genna has grown 2 inches since April, but the hand me down size 7 jeans from her cousin Hannah are still quite a bit too long, so I've been working on them.

I went to a quilting party last Saturday for Relief Society. I got a box full of squares and I spent a few hours figuring out a pattern with the fabric available. I feel badly that I didn't contribute anything besides my sewing machine, to what they got done that day. But I've been working hard here at home to be ready for the next quilting day. We're going to donate the quilts to some local organizations.

My own vintage sheet quilt is still sitting, not cut out yet. I realize that's why- I just need to suck it up and get the squares done. However, cutting is my least favorite part- I am not really good at getting it straight. But working on the gingham quilt is making me anxious to get back to working on my own quilt.

A while back, I did a vintage sheet swap that Crafty Little Beana hosted. There were some really fun fabrics I'd never seen before and some that I already had in my collection. I hope I can incorporate a few of them into my quilt.

Last but not least, I finished up this ugly little pumpkinhead guy. I didn't really like how his smile turned out- but maybe he works for the "so ugly, it's cute" category.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good Stuff

We finished up our popcorn sales on Friday. Woohoo- no more popcorn in our trunk, ever- it was our last year of selling. Thanks to all our family who bought from our kids over the past several years.

We got to go out to dinner two times this past weekend-

once to Famous Dave's with my parents and my brother Dave and his wife Melinda, who came up from St. Louis. It was so good to see them and get some pictures of their cute kids!

Then Saturday night, Troy and I went out to the yummiest buffet up at the Horseshoe Casino up in Council Bluff's with Troy's parents, brother Shane and his girlfriend JJ. We had a great time eating and laughing!

Connor had a soccer game on Saturday. He was able to score a goal and had some great assists.

Jameson is having to just practice with the soccer team this year, since he is a month too old to meet the age requirements. He has been a good sport- even though it's been hard to watch all your friends play when he would love to be out there with them.

I went Lincoln this morning with my SIL Michelle and since it was raining, Troy was home for a while and he did 3 loads while I was gone. I had a mountain of laundry and he was so sweet to get it down to bunny slope status for me.

And I won a fun prize on Melissa's blog- 320 Sycamore. You'll have to check out the amazing transformation they have made with their house.

All my mums are blooming and they look so pretty. Last year I had a bunch die out on me and so I am excited they are filling in again.

And last but not least I was excited to figure out how to have large sized pictures on my blog without all the work of sizing them and uploading them to photobucket. All you do is find the HTML code where it says s200 or s400 and change it to s800 for a large photo. Note you might see two sizes one that says s1600 and s200 or s400. Only change the small number. You might have to do some rearranging with your layout- because it doesn't work on inbetween sizes like s600. Don't ask me why.

Example code: