Sunday, October 30, 2016

Making the Most of Fall

Saturday was just one of those very, good, best-day-ever, kind of days.  I feel like I was able to check off a whole slew of items off of my Fall Must Do list that I obsessively keep stored in my brain.  John was out of town for a one day business trip, so it was just the kids and me.  We missed him but tried to make the best of our day.
I think we really needed this day together. It had been a long week and it was just nice to have a good, focused, day enjoying each other and this magical time of year. 
I love fall. I love these kids. I loved this day.
I already know this is going to be a long one, sorry- it was just that good for me. I don't want to forget any part of it.

Our morning started bright, dark and early.  My sister came over and helped me assemble (basically assembled herself) a book shelf I got for the kids books in Caity's room (new discovery: I stink at assembling.) 
We deep cleaned our bedrooms and reorganized everything, bringing more books out of storage for the shelves.  Everyone was so excited when we were done. Something about a clean house puts us in  the best of spirits. 

At nine, we hauled ourselves over to Barton Elementary for the last soccer games of the season.  Caity was first. She did so well. She had so many great blocks and passes and steals and good runs with the ball, she scored THREE goals! She'd probably appreciate me saying, almost a fourth too, haha.  I was so proud of how much she improved this year.  It was a great game to end the season on. Despite the freezing wind, she was in good spirits laughing and joking and running around with her team.
Zandi and Cari came to watch the kids play which made it a lot of fun too.

 As you can tell from the below picture.....Johnny had a lot of fun at his game too...haha! By the time his game came around it was sooooo cold, like "Oh yeah, this is why people don't live in Rexburg, Idaho" kind of cold.  He hustled and got a couple goals but he mostly just wanted to get warm again! Haha. He also had such a great experience and met some great friends this year.  It was so fun to watch him play, he is aggressive  and confident despite it being his first year. I loved watching the joy in his face as he played.
After our games, we walked our frozen toes to the car and my frozen fingers ordered an Alfredo pepperoni pizza to go...or as Caity referred to it: Bloody Mummy Pizza.  We vacuumed and washed out the car, it was much needed- Johnny hopped in the car and said, "Wow, Caity-Our car is so clean, it's like it got baptized like you, right?" 

We went home and had that Bloody Mummy Pizza with hot chocolate with marshmallows Ghost in the Graveyard drinks. Then, the kids hopped in baths to get all clean and warm.  During Caity's bath, Johnny "read" books to William and during the boys' bath, Caity read Witches by Roald Dahl out loud to me while I tidied the house. This was one of my favorite parts of the day.

Matthew went down for his nap, the kids sorted candy from the trunk or treat while I finished some things around the house.

 Then, we finally carved our pumpkins!
We had so much fun playing with the pumpkin guts and planning the faces for me to carve. Johnny was determined to not actually touch the guts, because he just KNEW that his muscles would be able to get it all out with a spoon. I loved seeing their drawings over where I needed to cut.

Excuse the million and one pictures for the millionth time...I canNOT for the life of my get one normal picture of all four of them at once, haha.

Everyone was in such a good mood and joking around, I had such an enjoyable time just hangin' with my best friends.

I was pretty proud of Caity. She cleaned out and carved her pumpkin ALL by herself! Her smile when she finished was priceless. It was cute, Matthew climbed on the table and laid on his stomach and just watched her work, blabbering to her and sneaking a handful of pumpkins guts here and there, haha.

 After we finished out pumpkins we saw that the weather lightened considerably. We decided to walk over to the Hocus Pocus Carnival. We met all sorts of superheros and Disney characters, enjoyed apple cider and cookies, and played a lot of fun games for treats.  We spent a good fifteen minutes trying to catch up to Superman so Johnny could give him a high five. He earnestly insisted Matthew would want to see Mickey Mouse, Johnny was pretty excited (for Matthew of course,) when we got to see him as well. There was spooky music playing and the candy must have put Wills in a good mood because he kept dancing spontaneously, I loved it. The whole carnival was a great, festive way to spend the afternoon.

On the way home, we decided to stop and play at Porter Park.  The fallen leaves were on fleek (the young women in my ward taught me that one,) and we basically knew those leaves wanted us to gather them into huge jumping piles. So we did.
Again....picture overload. It was just SO fun. Another favorite part of my day.




These leaves were the perfect fluffy, light leaves. We played in them for so long.

Johnny kept climbing up this fence and yelling, "Hey, Mom! I'm Spiderman!" Then he would half-cry once he realized how high off the ground he was and beg me to help him down. He is terrified of heights!

Matthew and William were especially enamored by the huge piles and the sheer joy on their faces every time they kerplopped, was absolutely precious.

"Small piles are special too, mom."


Even as the boys lost interest to go swing and play on slides, this girl kept at it. She was in heaven playing with those leaves.


I love Matthew on swings, it is just baby giggles the entire time.  Him and William could swing for and hours and I'm sure I wouldn't hear one complaint besides, "No small push! BIG PUSH! (please.)"  I got quite the work out pushing those two, then running over to Johnny to give him the nine underdogs I apparently still owed him.

Caity all this time was working on her "fortress." In this picture she is giving us her "upset face" because her brothers were doing what little brothers do best: destroy it. Haha.

The leaf fights commenced....I know...sorry, more leaf pictures! Haha, I just loved this memory.






 Then, while I played with the boys on the big toy, Caity was FINALLY able to finish her fortress.


She let Matthew in for a little while. Until he destroyed it again. Then he was banished.

He didn't seem to mind though. Him and I had quite the time at the toddler toy.
Those cheeks!!


He would blow me kisses everytime he went through the tunnel.

Gosh, I love that boy and his dimple!

I turned to find the boys, and saw the above picture. Aww, they are cute.

They soon fell down and William was kind of done with the big toy for a while. He sat out looking a little sad until he found Matthew and he quickly recovered while they crawled around together.

Our friend, Zandi showed up and that gave everyone an extra kick of energy and though we had been at the park for over an hour already, we stayed another hour with a favorite friend to play with there. Her and William raced down slides and played with Caity and Johnny in the leaves and nothing could swipe the huge smile off William's face. He was in heaven.

My Caity girl.

We took Zandi  home with us and decorated sugar cookies.


I'd say it was a success.

The kids played school until Zandi's mom came and got her.  Then, it was off to baths (again,) they got in clean pajamas, and ate Goblin Guts with Jack o Lantern juice for dinner.  While I did the dishes, they played crawl tag and then blocks after a few too many bonked heads during crawl tag.

Then, I made them get on the couch so I could a picture, because nothing warms my heart more than clean, comfy, happy, tired, grateful kids after a long day of adventuring.
Again...sooo many pictures, haha. 



Matthew gets all sassy when I try to get pictures. He'll hide and say, "No." and breathe through his nose, then suddenly change his mind and run back to the couch with the kids, haha.
Awww, they love eachother!

Next we lit our Jack O Lanterns!
From left to right: (William's, Johnny's, Caity's.)

We went back inside as it started to rain, and made muddy buddies or as Johnny referred to them: Bat Poop. Ew. Boys. Seriously.  Then we cuddled and watched Hocus Pocus until we realized it was too scary and switched to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
By the end of the movie, everyone was fighting sleepy eyes and they crawled into bed with big smiles on their faces.

It was such a good day. Good memories. Good life.
I just love that I get to spend all my days with these kids.


General Conference Weekend

I was so excited to write about General Conference Weekend that I saved these pictures to a post, but then never found time to actually write! Blast it.  Now I can't remember much. I do remember it was a good weekend. 
It was a blistery fall, day. There were strong winds howling and blowing leaves around the air while my kids rode bikes.  It being the first of October, we were excited to pull out some of our favorite fall flavors. We made pumpkin french toast and apple sauce muffins and chicken pot pie soup. 
While we listened to the sessions Caity took notes, Johnny memorized parts enough to earn his candy corn, William colored, Matthew terrorized...but mostly the kids just played with legos while John and I took it all in.  It was a good weekend listening to Prophets and feeling inspired to be better.
For the womens' session, I was able to bring Caity, as she is now eight that was such a special treat for me. I just love that girl. After the session, we walked home and even though we were all shivers and chattering teeth, I couldn't help but recognize Caity's big, peaceful smile- as if it was moments like this she lived for....recognizing it, because I felt the same way!  So grateful to have a daughter.
During the priesthood session, I cleaned the house while Matthew and William chased each other with their shirts half off and Caity and Johnny tried to make the biggest lego tower in the world. 
It was just a GOOD weekend. 
I am grateful I had to opportunity to experience the gospel in such a wonderful way with my people.






Friday, October 28, 2016

The Pumpkin Patch


On Tuesday we gathered our crew and headed to RC Acres in search of three perfect pumpkins. Fall presented itself beautifully, providing a breathtaking sunset for our adventure and a warm breeze to push us along. October squeezed the last of its colors for us, and we drank in the beautiful scenery chalkfull of yellows, oranges, browns, and reds. 
It was so good to get away from our busy days for a moment and savor beautiful Idaho together as family. 
We enjoyed kernal pits, tubing slides, haystacks, train rides, and a corn maze...and Matthew particularly enjoyed the little green wagon he got to jolt around the patch in. 
We set out on a quest, and found the world's best pumpkins for carving...that were slightly rotten.
We ran and we laughed and we felt everything life was meant to feel like.
I live for evenings like the one we spent at the pumpkin patch.


























Happy Fall. :)

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