Friday, October 31, 2014


We love to dress up around our house. The kids do it on a regular basis, but adding face paint and bucket loads of candy into the mix still makes Halloween a favorite around our house. 

We had a fun Branch Truck-or-Treat the Saturday before. We brought chili and popcorn. Frederick wore the traditional Tigger costume. Gwen was an ice princess, Charlie was wolverine (with some AWESOME claws that Chris made), and Alec was the green ninja from ninjago with a costume that I made him.  Even Chris and I dressed up. I a witch and Chris was...anyone know?

He was skeptical that anyone would know who he was. But if they were at all familiar with the show, they guessed it right away: Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes from BBC's recent TV show, Sherlock. One of the sister missionaries had said that Chris looks just like him once and that gave us the idea. I had thought about matching him somehow as Irene Adler but didn't think I could pull it off.

Gwen wore her batgirl costume for her Preschool party.


We tried to space out the sugar overload by doing the eat-a-donut-off-a-string game the night before.  I wasn't going to do it at all this year, but Chris had already bought donuts for his class for their midterm that day and had left overs... so we just had to play it. 

The boys couldn't wear their costumes to school, but it was "Red Ribbon Week" so they could wear pajamas for some reason. It was a pretty chilly day so I thought bread bowls and soup were in order. I made the bowls look like pumpkins by putting a knob on the top. They turned out pretty good, but the soup was a complete bust. Who messes up soup? 

Gwen chose to be a fairy for trick or treating and wanted face didn't look too bad in the dark from far away. :) 

Alec was being an absolute pill and almost didn't even get to go trick or treating. In typical fashion he BARELY pulled it together as the other kids and I were walking up to our neighbor's house.  But the rest of our neighborhood doesn't really do Trick or Treating so we hopped in the car and crashed a nearby neighborhood.  Too much candy, and lots of walking later...Chris and I put the kids to bed and watched a Wallendar episode on Netflix. Whew! What a long but fun day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Oh my sweet Charlie. I love this boy so much. Last year his birthday got lost in the shuffle of our crazy cancer-fighting time, so I wanted to really try and make this year special for him. We had the usual breakfast in bed and surprised decorated the house a little the night before. 

He got to open one present in the morning...a batman jacket he had asked for at Costco a month or so ago and we surreptitiously put it in the cart. He was very pleased. 

Then it was a normal school day and Chris, Gwen, Frederick and I brought a treat for him to share with his class at lunch time. We had the sister missionaries stop by just before dinner so I asked them to join us and we had pudding cups to sing Happy Birthday since we were having his birthday cake at his party the next day. 

He wanted a costume party and with it being a week before Halloween, it worked out just fine. We just let the kids playoutside and then let them smash the wolverine pinanta Chris and I made the night before. WHEW...this whole thing actually was a lot of work and it makes me not want to do anymore birhday parties! I totally understand my mom's every-other-year, then every-four years rules. :) 

This year, Charlie's request for his cake was "A lime cake with wolverine and spider-man fighting 6 bad guys in a city." Huh. I tried my best. 

A week before his birthday we were killing time shopping up in Tupelo while Chris had Stake Meetings before the Adult Session of Stake Conference at which I was speaking. Charlie saw these cowboy boots and fell madly in love. I told him he could buy them with his own money and have them right now, or maybe he could ask for them for his birthday and get them in a week. He didn't want to wait a second and paid for them himself. He's worn them every day since then (and I'm writing this post a month later).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin patch

We made it out to the pumpkin patch in Caledonia as a family this year. We even brought some friends. Gwen and Freddy fell asleep on the 45 min drive out, so Chris offered to stay (and sleep) in the car with them while I took the boys into the maze. I was actually a bit nervous since I remember getting lost in one once on an Elementary School friend trip. I took a picture of it and the emergency number to call if you got lost just in case, but I didn't look at it once!

They had this game where if you found all 20 posts and wrote down the number of the tag attached to the post you could enter in for a chance to win some money. But all the posts were placed in the dead ends and I worried that running around with 2 five year olds, a 7 yr old and an 9 year would be too much. But the boys insisted and we actually got the hang of it! 40 min later, we found 19 of them and then exit and I tried to convince the boys that we could just call it quits, but they were insistent that we need to find the last one. We ran around a bit more and found it on the first dead-end off shoot at the beginning. Happy day! We found the last one! We just exited at the entrance to prevent the 5 year olds from collapsing. 

Gwen and Frederick woke up in time for her and I to have a fun ride, "just us girls" on the hayride. 

Then a quick stop at the actual pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins...

And as the car is getting loaded up I realized I didn't get a single picture of Frederick! I took him over to the giant pumpkins and snapped a few. I even got 2 of them with him looking at me!

Then we headed home for yet another bon fire and a hot dog roast and we found one family of our friends had come over to help chop up our tree! Dan had made some incredible progress chopping up the big branches and loading all the usable firewood up on his trailer and hauled it away. We're so grateful for the help!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beautiful Fall weather

We've been going to the park more often, Gwen, Frederick and I. The weather is just perfect. Still mostly nice, with a smattering of cold (like you need a jacket) and even a few hot days flung across the month. 

Frederick has been crawling for a month or two now and hasn't made too much progress on the walking front. All the other kids had a fairly quick transition between crawling and walking...but Frederick hardly gets any time to himself! He is constantly being carried and held and loved on. The kids are kinda sad that he's not content to just sit on their laps anymore and we're using phrases like, "Think about what Frederick wants to do" or "Its not 'playing with him' if he's crying" all the time. 

But sometimes he does get some time to himself and he is SUCH a curious boy. Any noise makes him turn his head to find out what it is: knocking, shower turning on, Gwen crying across the house, garage door closing etc. 

One of our favorite things to do now that the weather isn't too hot is play outside while we wait for Daddy to come home.

Da Da's home! Happiest time of the weekday.  

By the way, yes, people really are this crazy with their school pride here. Every Friday is Maroon Friday and if there is a big game the next day even the kids at school can wear Maroon instead of their usual school uniform/dress code. (oh and Gwen calls it, "Ramoon Friday") With Mississippi State Football climbing to the top of the rankings, things are getting pretty intense around here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Frederick crawls and gets some teeth!

He moves so fast, all the time, its hard to get a picture in focus. He loves to crawl and stand up on things. 

And the exercauser we just bought for him? He DOES NOT like being inside it. He would rather crawl around the floor and climb up on it from the outside. I worried about it being a waste of money, but it turns out all the rest of the kids love sitting inside it! Gwen has pretty much claimed it as her thrown and will pick it up and walk around the room with it to get away from Frederick. ha!

Here's my attempt at getting a picture of his two pearly whites. They look pretty sharp! He seems to be way more fussier and upset by teething than my other kids...but I could have just blocked those memories out. :) I do that sometimes. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bon fires and swing making

We had such a pleasant Saturday! For the first time in a while we didn't have to travel very far for something and just worked around the yard in some perfect temperatures. We're trying to widdle away at the pile of branches/leaves/trunk of the big tree our friend cut down and started a burn pile. 

And while the wood burned, Chris and the boys made a swing!

All the kids were fighting to be the first one to try it out and Chris made an executive decision that I should be the lucky one! I guess it was my idea... as Chris recently reminded me after noticing the boys rough housing on it together and I remarked that one of them was going to bash his head open. 

Every couple of days we try to put some more brush on the pile and start it up again. Chris is getting pretty good at getting it going nice and big!