Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Survivor Twin

My friend informed me I had a twin on Survivor. Meet Shannon--also known as Shambo. Watched a few minutes of video and we also have the same "what the heck's" and "darn wells" in our vocabulary. Sweet. Check out more of Shannon on Survivor here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random October Photos

Why, yes, I do know it's nearly the end of November. But I didn't want to miss posting these photos that I took in October and meant to post then, but didn't. And while I'm thinking of things I've wanted to do but haven't, I'm reminded that with Nicholas going to preschool 5 days a week this year, I'd made a plan of what I was going to do in the afternoon with my 3 hours of free time. I was going to spend an hour writing, blog regularly and spend 30 minutes practicing the piano. Now, being nearly November, I've achieved only 1 day of that "free time." Today's time was spent preparing some things for Primary and the Preschool Fundraiser as well as a quick trip to Costco to pick up our Christmas Cards. Most days are something like that. Although yesterday was spent exercising, and well, I admit it, reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." So much for improving my piano and writing skills. Maybe in January?

These were taken on October 29. I'd never seen anything like it before -- these beautiful plants encased in ice. It was amazing!

Utah Airport Parking Lot -- arriving home from Palm Springs. That seagull just seemed like an appropriate welcoming committee.

Underneath our couch. Mmmmm...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Harry Potter Party!

My friend Kathy is a party genius!  She throws huge shin-digs for her kids' birthdays (or just because) and takes theme parties to a whole new level -- including actually painting living room walls to look like bricks on a castle or pink like Delores Umbridge's office!  One year she carved mini pumpkins and hung them from the living room ceiling!  When a room is used for the party, you don't work around the furniture, you REMOVE the furniture completely so nothing can take away from the effect!  She's amazing!  And she's one of my best friends and her kids are some of my kids best friends.  So I always get to be a part of these amazing events!

Last week, the day before Halloween, she hosted a Harry Potter Book 5 party.  See all the professors who came?  The sorting hat had a microphone rigged up in it so it actually talked to the kids and sorted them to their different houses (no one got Slytherin, surprisingly!). 

Each group attended 4 classes -- Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, Potions and Divination.  After classes they enjoyed a feast and then The Final Challenge where they ran around the house and yard on a Harry Potter scavenger hunt.  The reward at the end?  10 Galleons to spend at Honeydukes.

I'd give more details but I want Kathy to hurry up and start her own blog now that the party is over! 

October Synopsis -- Pumpkin Carving

Dan was traveling so much in October we only had one day we could carve pumpkins.  It was a Friday night and Courtney and Marty chose friends over family pumpkin carving!  So with just us and the little guys, we let Christopher invite his friend Matt to help.  And the big news is... we grew these four pumpkins in our yard!  We planted a lot more -- extra small ones and a white variety -- but I think they got weeded.

Dan was helping Nicholas carve the first eye and then Nicholas decided he wanted to do the rest on his own.  He carved the whole thing by himself!

Pumpkin carving is getting so much easier now that kids can gut their own and even carve their own -- don't dread it as much anymore.  In fact, I kind of like it again!

Thousands and Thousands of Chestnuts

Our beautiful Chestnut Tree provides wonderful shade in the summer.
It was the only tree in our yard big enough to hang a tire swing.
But it comes at a price... 

 Horse Chestnuts come in a thorny shell--as prickly as a rose thorn.  Last year we had the kids pick up 100 a day.  We quickly upped the number to 350.  This year with two great windstorms about two weeks apart, we were able to get them all in just two picking-up sessions.  Our large garbage cans were filled to the rim each time.  Halloween day was such good weather and everyone was in such good spirits looking forward to the evening, the job was actually fun all working together outside!

Nick wanted me to save the Chestnuts he picked up.  They really are pretty -- silky smooth and a rich brown color.  Then they started to mold.