Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

We started the morning with doughnuts, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa. The kids played outside most of the day while Dan and I started the 2009 Great Toy Purge in the garage. We do this every year before Christmas.
It's so nice to get rid of all the broken toys, part and pieces and give away toys that they have grown out of to friends and cousins.
After a yummy dinner with some neighbors we hurried home to get dressed. Here is Pocahontas waiting for her brothers.
Couldn't get the boys to crack a smile - taking a picture of three kids at once is a nightmare sometimes.
Cowboy Greg is ready to yippe-i-a-ky-ooo!
Cowboy Graham says "Giddyap!"
Pocohontas saying "Let's get moving and get some candy!"

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Have A Winner!!

Since we are really high tech around here...I put all the names in the pumpkin...
Greg wanted to know why I stopped his Cheetos feeding fest while watching Little Bear to make him do something...
But he thought it was fun and picked a name...
Look at those big glue eyes...and a glimpse of the name...
Rachel Olson you WON a darling pillowcase dress for free from The Huckleberry Patch! I'll email you the information to get in touch with Cindy so she can get sewing for you!

Congratulations and thanks everyone for playing!
I wish everyone could win. (I really do!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last Chance for the GiveAway!

Enter with a comment on last weeks post for a FREE pillowcase dress by Cindy at The Huckleberry Patch!

Contest ends at NOON!!

Hurry! Hurry!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Star Wars Birthday Party

Graham asked for a Star Wars Birthday party this year - sounds easy, right? Not even close - every Star Wars thing I could find was super expensive! So I had to get creative with this one!

My first stop was to my friend, Natalie, who has a business called Natty Sue Designs. She made the invitation for me and I was thrilled with how it turned out (and so was Graham!) So easy to just email the order to CostCo and then have Dan pick them up later that night on his way home from work.

I looked everywhere for a cake I could buy but ended up making it. Here's a tip for the novice cake maker (like me.) If writing on a cake scares you, just print out the wording in a cool font, print it out on paper and then stick it to a popsicle stick and stick it in the cake. I did something similar for his pirate cake last year.
I placed four figurines around the cake, piped a few white stars on it and he seemed pretty pleased with it. I served the cake with "Yoda Soda" or lime sherbet and 7-Up.
As soon as all the kids arrived I outfitted them in Jedi robes (a $4 Wal-Mart brown flat sheet folded lengthwise and then cut into sections. I was able to get  5 robes from each sheet and then I cut a small triangle for the neck.) We used rope to tie them on. The kids seemed to love this. Graham and Greg had nicer robes that Grandma and I whipped up the night before. After Jedi Training with their light sabers (Dan found some cool LED ones on-line for less than the pool noodle version I had started to shop for) Darth Vader came! Suddenly, there were 10 kids on the attack!

If you are looking for a good Darth Vadar costume, this one is really similar to what we had:
Next was a game where they had to cross Mustafar (the lava planet) using "stones" (paperbags) to step on only. The had to work as a team to cross.
Next up was Detonator Training. They had to pass a detonator (flashing light ball) until the light went out. I made a "Pin the Mask on Annakin" game from a Wal-Mart poster and I printed out Darth Vader masks from the computer. Greg won this but he totally cheated.
Then we had Blaster Training. Dan printed out pictures of characters from the Dark Side and taped them to the window. With a Nerf gun they all took turns shooting the bad guys. A soccer ball pinata in its past life, I spray painted it black and with silver paint turned it into the Death Star. This was the final challenge as the kids had to choose what side they would want to commit to. (The GOOD SIDE of course!)
Final step? They became official Jedi Knights! 
Dan had the cool Star Wars music playing and each child was brought up and given their certificate that I made for them.
I have a copy of this for sale for anyone who would like it, you can purchase the pdf file on my side bar and I will email it to you asap!
Young Master Jedi, Graham.
It's Official!
Fun party! We went later to Red Robin for dinner - the boys were SO tired by this point (and so were mom and dad!) but it was a great day!

Love you Grahamie! Happy 7th!

Crazy Weekend

Have you entered a comment on this post for a FREE pillowcase dress from my friend Cindy? She's got a darling Etsy store called The Huckleberry Patch that she has just opened up.

Oh my goodness - I was looking forward to this past weekend for a long time but at the same time, WHEW! I am glad it's over!!

It's late so I'll post all about Graham's Star Wars Birthday Party later...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trunk or Treat!

Our ward for church had their annual Chili Cook -Off (blech, I made soup instead) and Trunk or Treat this past Friday night.

This made it a crazy busy day but it was a good run through for the kids with their costumes!

The boys wanted to be Transformers but I talked them out of those $40 costumes - they were cowboys to go with Lauren's Indian Princess outfit.

I looked everywhere for cowboy boots, until one day the Costume Gods were smiling over me and Wal-Mart had 6 boxes of them waaaaaay back in the corner. Where I had looked the day before and there were NONE.

Can you believe that the ONLY two pairs they had in brown were exactly Graham and Greg's size?
A Halloween miracle!Lauren hated her headband. I might had to figure something else out for her pigtails.
She was so cute, she kept trying to give people candy instead of taking it! This is Graham on his 2nd or 3rd time around...
Some of the trunks were decorated so cute! There was a large turnout this year - which made it all the more fun.

Where's Greg? He was so tired that night he crawled right into our pillows and I found him buried in our bed!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Grahamer!

Happy 7th Birthday to my favorite cowboy!!!

I love you sweet boy!
(Not so much my baby boy anymore! SAD!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Call Me Martha, I Like Paula Better!

Kjersten went back up to the farm in Idaho and brought me back a few cuts of meat, a big bag of apples and another bag of potatoes. For FREE!!!
I love free!
So we had to do something with the apples and soon!
Aren't they pretty?
Thankfully my neighbor Kiley was kind enough to lend me her apple coring machine thing. I invited Greg to help me and suddenly we were having a grand ole time in the kitchen.
Seriously, we had SO much fun! Greg would do the turning and I dipped them in pineapple juice so they wouldn't turn brown. We set some aside and made some yummy apple dessert in the crock pot for that night.
I was winning the Mother of the Year Award on this so I thought I would push the envelope and saved some apples for when Graham got home from school. He was delighted to help!
The peel was taller than he was on one!
We were able to make about 6 bags of apples for the freezer to add in muffins, etc. this winter.
(If you are wondering where Kristen went and if you are reading the wrong blog, just keep gets better. )Lauren just had fun running around eating apples. This is her modeling her garage sale outfit - $1.oo for TCP pants, $1.00 for Gymbo shirt. Which offsets the $45 for the Nordstrom shoes because she has wide feet that don't like cheap shoes. Sigh.

Continuing my domesticity that is making you question whose blog you are reading, I had recently purchased 40 POUNDS of chicken at a sale of the century. If you haven't seen that much chicken, let me tell you, it's a LOT. I borrowed my moms crock pot and had TWO going all night, all day, all night and then all day AGAIN to cook and freeze the chicken. That is not even HALF of what I froze.
I made one batch of my neighbor Natalie's Spicy Salad Chicken and it is yummmmm. The rest is only flavored with a tad bit of salt for adding to recipes.
I saved the broth, drained the fat and then froze that into ice cube trays.
Voila! Chicken broth also ready to go!
Do any of you do this sort of thing? I am just getting into it - but I really had fun doing it and I love that it's an inexpensive way to prep/make food for my family. I'd love to hear of what you freeze and can!

PS. Don't forget about my pillowcase dress giveaway - that's FREE too! (Yippeeee!) Just leave a comment in yesterdays post, so simple!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I am SOO excited to write this post!

I have this friend Cindy who is FANTASTIC at sewing.

I only wish I lived by her so she could teach me how! She made this darling monogrammed pillowcase dress for Lauren last year.
And she monogrammed our stockings...
AND our tree skirt!

Well, Cindy has opened up an Etsy shop called The Huckleberry Patch and she is letting me do a giveaway for a darling Christmas pillowcase dress!
She'll even monogram it for FREE!

I can't even tell you what great work she does, the quality is amazing and her prices are so reasonable. (Enough so to keep my pillowcase dress addiction for Lauren going strong!)

I'm going to keep this open for a week - until TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27th
You have until noon that day to enter.


If you win she will make you a custom pillowcase dress with monogram!

Good luck!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Let's Wrap This Up

So we come to end of our trip!
Kind of....we stopped in Mississippi to stay with our old next door neighbors. I lucked out when they moved next door - I made a great friend and so did my kids. Hers are ADORABLE and I cannot get over how well mannered and polite they are.
Little B came out to meet us and she was grinning until she saw Graham and then got a tad shy - it was cute.

But 5 minutes later they were all acting like best buddies again. I had a great time catching up with Cori and we stayed up WAY too late talking. But that's the fun part, right?

The next morning we were off to Memphis...
Welcome to the Blingdom...we aren't huge Elvis fans or anything but this was my first time to Memphis is 37 years so I figured I wouldn't be coming through again. Might as well go see Graceland.
There are some crazy weird fans. We saw a few crying. I so don't get that mentality, but oh well.
It was HOT. HUMID. STICKY. We were the youngest people there. With loud kids. Dan was a trooper but I sense some irritation in this photo.
I immediately picked out what was wrong with this wall. Can you see it? Impressive that the WHOLE racquetball court room was covered in these!
TV room with the mirrored ceilings.
Jungle room.

The boys LOVED the car museum and the airplanes. Pretty cool. We lost my favorite bow of Lauren's here. Booo. We saw a LOT of this type of place on our drive home.

And this is a place in Kansas (Home of the Ditch Witch) where your marriage might be in question if you are named Dan. I laugh now, but there was a minor "I've been in the car too long" meltdown on my part here.
Graham and Greg learned how to do this on the trip. They thought they were SOOO cool. Then Greg would tell us every 2 miles that he had to go to the bathroom, but "I need to do it on the SIDE of the ROAD."
But then we finally got back home to Utah and I was thrilled to see this. After all those car fights they still love each other! Dan and I still like each other 99.9% of the time and we are safe and sound!

It was quite the adventure but I am SO glad we did it!