Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween was perhaps our busiest so far, but we had such great fun! Ez's mom, Jane, came over from Sacramento to spend the day with us, which was really helpful! I know I couldn't have done everything we did without another set of hands.

Jane went and helped in Lily's class for her party today and then Joe, Evelyn, and I came for the parade. We went to Rubio's for a yummy lunch, ran a quick errand to the quilt shop for Grandma, and then made a mad dash for home for the exchange of costumes.

Lily had wanted to wear her little outfit our friend Sarah gave her from India, but I wasn't about to let her wear it to school! So, Lily was Ariel at school and a little girl from India by night. Joe decided midday to change his costume as well. I had originally tried to convince him to be Batman or a firefighter, two outfits we already have at home, but Joe really wanted to be a spider this year. So, I made a simple costume for him which he wore to the Trunk or Treat and this morning, but halfway through the day it was bugging him having so many extra arms, so he swapped it out and became Batman.

From there we headed to the Target strip mall and took the little ones trick or treating. It was so fun to watch them run in and out of stores and be so excited! Evie was my favorite because she just loved it. She walked around with her bag wide open, but always wanted the candy in her hand. She didn't quite get the concept that once she got candy she left and moved on...we had to pick her up and leave the store each time.

We finished in enough time to go pick up Alexis and David from school. We ran backpacks home, grabbed water bottles, and headed to meet Alexis's girl scout troop to go trick or treating downtown. Of course, Alexis forgot that she had left the main part of her costume in her backpack, but we made it work just fine! We got separated from Alexis's group because it was just so busy, so we didn't get to hang out together, but I think she preferred to just be with her friends anyway. I have never taken the kids downtown to trick or treat, but it was so much fun! I think we will have to start heading there each year. We went when it was light out, there is no knocking on doors, and we also got to see a bunch of friends doing the same thing!

We finished up, went and ate some dinner, then went home to unwind a bit. Jane took Alexis and Lily to her house for the weekend and once the rest of us were a bit recovered, we headed out for two more destinations. We headed to our good friends, the Knechts, to visit for a few minutes. We all love their family, but Joe especially loves them, so he is always excited to get to go over there--their girls are Joe's favorite baby sitters! We then went over to a real neat street in the neighborhood that has a huge celebration every Halloween. They get permission to block off these two streets, everyone decorates their houses up amazingly, and it is fun to just go look at all the houses and hang out! One of the houses even put on a haunted house, but there was a rather long line and I am not sure Evie and Joe would have wanted to go, so we skipped that part.

We are worn out! We have walked a ton and gotten far more candy than we ever have or than we need, but we had a blast! We can't wait to go again next year, and can't wait to have Ez come along for all the fun too!

Grandma Jane (the hippie), Joe (as a spider), Evie, and Lily (as Ariel)

Lily (as little girl from India), Evie (our little Minnie Mouse), Alexis (our sunflower, but she forgot the headband!), Joe (as Batman), and David (our USC fan!)

Gold's Gym handed out apples for the kids to have a healthy snack amidst all the junk--I thought it was great, and so did Joe!

Taking a breather downtown

Evie checking out all the goods

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Pumpkin(s)

We carved our pumpkin last night with Ez since he had to leave for San Diego today (for 6 days--boo hoo). All the kids (minus Joe because he fell asleep) had lots of fun! David and Lily really enjoyed getting in and cleaning out the pumpkin. Alexis thought it would be great initially, but once she realized how slimy and sticky she would get, she chose to support from the sidelines.

Since Halloween is on a Friday night this year, it kind of takes away from all the fun Friday stuff there is to do, so we had a mock Friday night this evening, I suppose. We rented Journey to the Center of the Earth and watched it after dinner while we carved mini pumpkins, toasted pumpkin seeds, and frosted and ate sugar cookies. It was lots of fun!

It was interesting to cut into the smaller pumpkins--there were far more seeds in them than the larger one, and the goo was much harder to get out, so our pumpkins are not the cleanest on the inside! The cookies were fun but the kitchen is still sticky...we made pumpkins, bats, and ghosts. While multiple shapes may be fun, I think I will stick to only pumpkins next year. The bats are cute plain, but not so much once a little frosting is added. The ghost cookie cutter that I have has little arms, which break or just look a bit silly frosted! Simplify, simplify, simplify!

It begins!

Digging in

A bit cold and slimy

Keeping Evie happy in the high chair with a candy bar!

Alexis helping joe clean out the mini pumpkin

Evie is hoping she can help Lily this time

David using the army knife approach

Our works of art!

Lily testing the frosting for us

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Repentant Blogging

This entry is quite similar to when I haven't written in my journal in quite a while and I feel I must catch things up to date! Of course this is far easier since it doesn't require taking the time to write things out by hand!

How the kids have been filling their days lately:

Evie discovered the joys of Connect Four

She actually sat and put the pieces in until every spot was filled!

Lily, Alexis, and Joe built a fun blanket fort

Alexis and Joe in the fort

Evie and Duke wanting to play too

Hanging with dad

Eating pizza and watching the USC game

Laying out the rules for Stuffed Animal Football

A tackle (I think?)

Apparently Evie needed to sharpen a pencil

Alexis doing some Halloween crafting

Trunk or Treat

We had our ward trunk or treat party this evening. There was a great turnout, so everyone had loads of fun. We started in the gym with dinner, a chili cook-off. Then we went out back where there were all sorts of fun games for the kids to play and fun little prizes to win.

I didn't see David for much of the evening, he stayed busy playing with his friend Ryan. I didn't see much of Joe either--he stayed busy playing and following David around. Alexis manned our trunk and passed out candy with Claire for a while, then had fun making the rounds 3 times!

Lily's favorite part was the pony rides! The Callapps brought their two ponies and spent the evening taking kids around the parking lot. Lily went twice. I think she would never get off, it that were an option.

Evie was fun. For the most part, she was happy just wandering and visiting people, BUT when the kids started getting candy in their bags, she was suddenly rather interested in what they were doing! Knowing full well that Evie will not really eat much of the candy and that she can't actually ask for it, she only trunk or treated about 10 cars but she had a blast! I think she had even more fun passing out the candy, however. She would take a piece of candy out of the bowl and then just walk up to someone and wait for them to let her put it in their bag for them!

We had a blast! The weather was warm, the games were fun, the company was great, and the kids were happy! What more can you ask for?

Checking out the loot

Alexis and Evie making the rounds

Lily taking a ride

Joe couldn't stay awake on the ride home

The bartering and trading of candy begins

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Silveyville Pumpkin Farm

We were lame last year and in all of our business never took the kids to get pumpkins for Halloween. I know, it is shameful. I am sure it will be the root of some sort of dysfunction we will be blamed for in the future, but to avoid any further potential scarring we headed to the pumpkin farm today.

We didn't have too long to stay, so we passed up the hayride and the maze, but we had fun walking around and looking at all the pumpkins, petting the farm dog, riding on the horses made of hay, jumping onto trampolines covered in hay, and climbing a big huge dirt hill!

The kids are excited to carve the pumpkins tomorrow--which might be a bit early, but Ez has to go out of town on Thursday, so tomorrow is our best option!

Jumping on the fun "hay trampolines"

The kids wanted to see how much Dad plus all the kids weighed

Not really in the mood to pose for mom!

The Coolness Factor

I am not a big fan of roller coasters, but I will go on some of them occasionally, to keep what I call my "coolness factor" up at a decent level.

I had no intention of riding the Tower of Terror, but since Ez and David said it was actually pretty fun and my mom decided she would brave it, I decided to give it a try. I got "coolness" points since David was so surprised and impressed that I was willing to go! And guess what--it was actually a lot of fun, and I am glad I went.

The one ride in the park that I really didn't want to go on was the Mali Boomer--one of those outdoor free fall rides. Grandma Val had warned David a few months ago that she wouldn't ride it. She simply doesn't like free fall rides.

But I think Grandma wanted to maintain her coolness factor because she decided to brave it and ride with David. She definitely won some major points with him--and she even said it wasn't too bad!



Goofy's Kitchen

We love to eat at one of the character meals whenever we go to Disneyland. You pay more for the experience than for the food, but it is so worth it! Goofy's Kitchen is our favorite.

The best part is the chance to get to interact with the characters. Each character will come and visit your table, or at least they are supposed to! We missed Aladdin because he had just finished visiting our section when we were getting seated... but we had so much fun, we were okay with that! We got to visit with Goofy--he actually came twice--and Max, Sleeping Beauty, and Bert (from Mary Poppins).

The food there is serve buffet style, so the kids all had a great time going and filling up their plates and eating all sorts of great things! They rounded off the evening with ice cream cones. Evie loved hers so much that we headed straight to the bathroom to change after the meal was over!

Friday, October 24, 2008


The kids had the week of October 5-11 off from school, and as soon as we knew that we decided to make plans to head to Disneyland! We love Disneyland and haven't been in a little over two years, so it was time to head back.

We drove down on Sunday after church, spent five very long and fun days at Disneyland and California Adventure, and drove home Saturday. We stayed at a hotel about a mile from the parks, so we got passes and took the bus each day, which saved us from extra tired legs!

The first bus ride was great because it geared Joe up for the rides. Sound funny? Well, we had season passes to 6 Flags and the only ride Joe would frequent there was the merry-go-round! So the bus ride was good because it was his first experience on one and it got him comfortable with the whole moving vehicle being fun idea. Joe actually rode a number of rides I never expected him to get on, including Star Tours, Space Mountain & Thunder Mountain! Go Joe!

I thought Evie would be the easiest one at the parks, but it was not so! Nearly every time we tried to set her in the stroller she pitched a fit. She was all about walking by herself or having mom carry her everywhere--mom's arms got rather sore and tired by the end of the week!

Lily had fun in her own way. I think the whole Disneyland experience was a bit overwhelming for her, so she refused to ride many rides and wouldn't go on anything without mom. Lily did a lot of waiting around for others, but she still enjoyed herself.

Alexis had a good time and enjoyed all the rides she went on, though we couldn't get her on a few--her nerves got the better of her! I think one of the things Alexis loved the most was getting to have Joe sit by her in the rides--she is our helper that way.

David was in amusement park heaven. He got to ride all the rides he wanted to a number of times. He kind of got to do more than the other kids because he was the one that wanted to do more things! His favorites rides were Tower of Terror and the Mali boomer.

Other "funness" about our week:
-Keri's mom (Grandma Val) came and spent a few days with us, which was a great treat. We don't get to see Keri's parents very much, so it was fun to have her there for the visiting and the extra help!
-Keri celebrated her birthday at Disneyland! What a fun way to have a birthday! We ate at Bubba Gump's for dinner, which was delicious (as always).
-We ate at Goofy's Kitchen, another family favorite at Disneyland.
-One of our trips through the Sourdough Bread tour yielded us 3 great loaves of bread, which we happily snacked on the rest of the day.

Eating the yummy sourdough bread

David and Ez

Joe and Handy Manny

Lily, Joe, and Evelyn with Minnie Mouse

Lily, Alexis, and David hangin' at Tarzan's Treehouse

Mom and Lily flying with Dumbo

Evie's not too sure she want to sit with Grandma Val!

Joe, Lily, Evie, Alexis, David

Lily in her Karaoke moment

Grandma Val and Joe

Keri and Evie (on the one chilly night)


Visiting with Minnie and Mickey

Joe, Alexis, Lily, and Grandma Val

Visiting with Cinderella