Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful Wall 2012

Every year we put up our Thankful Wall and get to write down all of the things we are thankful for... as our children grow older they are a bit more thoughtful about what they write, yet random things still seem to show up on the list (cups? dishes?).  I love that our kids choose to be grateful for the big and small things in their lives.

On Thanksgiving Day we asked each of the children to say what they were thankful for... Sophia's response: "Bats." Totally not sure where that came from, but it got a few laughs :).

Ryan doesn't believe in writing on the walls, but he kindly added these to our list:

My dear, sweet, loving, thoughtful wife that is always mindful of the details in each of our lives.
A happy, cheerful, always questioning Coleman.
Considerate, compassionate, cool Olivia
Bubbly, smiley, playful Sophia

Thanksgiving 2012

We were so excited that we were able to visit Ryan's brother Scott and his family for Thanksgiving this year. Terri and Bruce flew out from Connecticut as well which made our stay even better.
Our kids loved being together... they played games, played with Nerf guns, played Wii, wrestled, laughed, crafted, played at the park, and loved every minute they had together.

Kristen and I had a great time baking and cooking. We spent Wednesday night baking pies... and managed to catch the oven on fire! I made a pecan pie and Kristen did such a good job making a beautiful apple pie (from scratch!) and we also made a couple of pumpkin pies. While it was baking the top crust from the apple pie broke off and fell onto the element, then some of the ooey goodness dripped out onto it and that caused a whole lot of smoke, and eventually some flames. We laughed and laughed (and felt grateful that the smoke detectors didn't go off). Despite their time in the fire and smoke, they still looked beautiful, so we figured we'd try them out the next day.

On Thursday we had mini pudding pies for the kids and grandparents for breakfast (tradition!) and we spent the next several hours making a delicious dinner. It was so fun to be together and share the cooking and dish washing responsibilities... Kristen is a wonderful cook and had several fabulous recipes. The kids had their own table which they loved... Alyza and Olivia had gotten up early to make table decorations and bookmarks for each of us :).  We ate until we were full (and then we ate some more) and waited a brief time before we went for pie. The pudding pie and the pecan pie were hits... the others had an odd smokey flavor :). It was bad, really bad. They tasted a bit like what we imagine an ash tray might. We decided that we couldn't do it... as much as we wanted to, we just couldn't eat the apple and pumpkin pies, so when we went out later that night for a few of the sales we hit the deli (through the crazed DVD shoppers) and picked up a couple of pumpkin pies... and wouldn't you know it, I got sugar-free... not as bad as the smoked pies, but still not great... thank goodness for Costco apple and pumpkin pies... they were purchased and consumed the next day :).

On Friday we did a little shopping and I met up with my friend from high school for lunch who lives in the area. We went to the Denver temple grounds and spent some time there. Sophia wasn't too happy to be there (she needed a nap desperately) but she finally got her cheer back when we encouraged somersaults (and joined in).

We had great weather while we were there... We visited downtown Morrison which has cute shops and great ambiance. Scott and Kristen shared with us a fun place for dipped ice cream cones.

Before we went home (to eat more pie) we stopped at the Red Rock amphitheatre to see a beautiful sunset.

On Saturday we drove to Colorado Springs to visit Garden of the Gods... it was so beautiful! There were lovely clouds and the rock formations were breathtaking.

The kids enjoyed walking on the trails and climbing in and out of a very small opening in one of the rocks. Bruce and Ryan took some great photos (Ryan didn't even have his good camera, but was making the most of his iPhone :)).

Lovely, no?

We had such a great visit with Scott and Kristen and Sam and Lyz. We were so glad that Terri and Bruce were there also... it was so fun to spend time with everyone and celebrate the holiday.

The whole gang... minus Bruce who was taking the picture... Our cute girls Lyz and Soph were so sad to say goodbye, there were real tears shed over the thought of parting... we'd had such a good visit! We were so glad to see where Scott and Kristen live. It is obvious why they love it so much... they have a beautiful home and neighborhood and so many wonderful things to do nearby. We can't wait to go back and visit again!

What a sad, sad girl sitting in the middle there (the one by the window is hiding her face from the camera because she isn't too happy either.)

(We are happy too that we all fit in our little Prius which makes road trips super affordable.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kate's Blessing

In November Lindsey and her family came up to our town to bless their cute baby Kate... it was a good midway point so that both families could be there.
We love baby Kate!

Duet Festival Fall 2012

Olivia competed in a duet festival this year with her cute friend Julia...

They played really well together, despite the fact that Olivia had strep throat and hadn't been feeling well all week. We used a whole lot of hand sanitizer to make sure she didn't spread disease :).

Their first song was "Spanish Gypsies" by Martha Mier:

Their second song was "Broadway Lights" by Robert D. Vandall: It It is so fun to see them progress. She practices for 50 minutes a day (most days) and loves it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hey Ferb, I know what we're going to do today....

 Trick or Treat!!!

Happy Halloween to all.... This year we decided to continue on with our love of Phineas and Ferb...

The Flynn-Fletcher Family... Sadly, Lawrence didn't make an appearance... and Ferb had to be on Coleman's bag since we couldn't convince any of our neighbors or friends to join our family for the night...

Liv made an excellent Candace... she doesn't often try to "bust her brother" and isn't in love with someone named Jeremy (lovely bag, no?) but she still pulled it off. She had a parade at school that Sophia and I got to go to. She had to explain to people who she was... but if they were fans of the show, they totally got it as soon as she said it. Sophia loved being there because all of the kids would point to her and say, "Hey, look! It's Perry!" She felt just a bit famous :).

Coleman loves, loves, loves this show. I love that the the characters are mostly nice to each other, tell the truth, and are quite intelligent. The plots are simple enough that Sophia likes it but witty enough that Ryan and I even sneak in an episode or two after the kiddos go to bed. People who know the show loved the costumes and recognized us immediately... those who didn't... well, they didn't. Some thought Coleman was a rooster! Sophia and I went to Coleman's class for his party.

Ryan made a great Doofenschmirtz... all evil and ugliness aside, he at least had the clothes down :). Sophia's debut as Perry the Platypus was great. We've been planning this for weeks... and a couple of weeks ago Soph decided she wanted to be a cat instead. We finally convinced her to put on her Perry costume by telling her she would be a kitty cat that looked like Perry the Platypus :). In the days leading up to Halloween we kept asking Sophia what she was going to say at the door... her response: "Me want candy!" I think she caught on to the whole idea of trick-or-treating... when they got home I asked her if they had gone to a few houses... she answered with, "No... a lot!" and then I asked if she got a few pieces of candy she said, "No, a lot, a lot, a lot!" She's been chowing down ever since.... She loved her Major Monogram bag and kept calling it "my Major Monogram bag."
Ryan rigged up speakers and played the "Doofenschmirtz Evil, Incorporated" jingle from his lab-coat.  We brainstormed about what "inator" he could carry around but never built one.... we should have made the Trick-or-Treat-inator to suck all of the good candies out of trick-or-treaters bags...

We all know that Linda and Heinz didn't end up together... but they did go on that one date... :)

It definitely wasn't my best year for creativity in the culinary area, but we had a few yummy Halloween treats... My headstone cakebites didn't work as well as I hoped (the white chocolate seized up, likely from the food coloring I added?) so we turned some of them into ghosts... We made some mummy pigs-in-a-blanket, spiderweb salsa with chips, and had some jack-o-lantern slush. The cake in the top right corner was made by someone at Ryan's work and I loved it... they just used strawberry pieces to make a pumpkin. I loved the Frankenstein rice krispy treats that two of my friends made for our pack meeting this month. We didn't have very many trick-or-treaters this year, which was strange because we had beautiful weather... 71 degrees! The ones that did come to our door got to take some Perry fruit snacks, Smarties, Nerds, or Dum-Dums. I am quite sure the significance of the candies was lost on everyone but me and Coleman (and Liv after we explained it to her) but that is okay :).

They got home with so much candy and spent a bit of time trading and paying the 'mom and dad tax.'

They taught Sophia how to say "Happy Halloween!"

Hope your Halloween was great too!