Happiness is a Journey, not a destination.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

We had so much fun carving pumpkins with Cole's family last night. Since our kids were little, we've tried to gather at Cole's aunt Kathy's house, to carve our pumpkins with his cousins and their families. We've missed a few years here and there, but we keep trying.

This year we did a "soup" buffet. I made a chicken tortilla soup that turned out pretty yummy. I also made Halloween colored Whoopie Pies (and yes, Mindy, I am still singing your praises for that wonderful recipe! :)) They got devoured.

It was a lot more relaxed than it has been in the past...most the kids are older and can do most of their own carving. It was really fun to see all the creativity that they had....

From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

Ainsley became my buddy...she was fascinated with my camera, and kept wanting to see the pictures after I took them!
From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

My niece Alyssa
From October 2009

My nephew Hunter
From October 2009

There is only one pic of me, because I was behind the camera, and Cole was carving...there was no way I was letting him touch my camera with his hands covered in pumpkin guts! (I really dislike the insides of pumpkins. I don't touch them if I can avoid it!)

We had a Great time with the family!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Last night, my oldest son accomplished something wonderful. Ok, well, it really took him 9 months, but he received the awards last night.....

Last night, Kyle received his Webelos cub scout award. Along with that, he was given "merit badges" for

Compass Point
Compass Point Emblem

From October 2009

From October 2009

And finally...His Arrow of Light. The highest Cub Scout Award.

From October 2009

I am so proud of all the hard work he has put into accomplishing this.

Wow...this means now I have a Boy Scout. It's just a little bit frightening to me.

Sneak Peek...

So, a couple of little "monsters" will be wearing these on Halloween....

From October 2009

From October 2009

I made the skirt, sprayed the shirt with glitter spray, and made the bracelet...the ring we found at Spirit (and they're really pretty sturdy quality, I have a feeling Santa may be putting a couple in Talia's stocking for playing dress up with!)

And then....
From October 2009

Cole made this one....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween decor....

Everyone knows that Halloween is my husband's "big Holiday". He spends most the year working and preparing. If you drive past my house at any time during the year, you can see any various projects he's working on. He uses our garage and yard as a big workshop, setting up projects, moving them, taking them back down, only to put them back up somewhere else to work on them again. Partly because he needs the space, and partly because he enjoys having the neighborhood see what he's working on, and wondering how it will all come together on Halloween.

I am not allowed to decorate with anything "cutesy" outside my house.

However, the inside of the house is my domain. I thought I'd post some pics of my inside decorations...which are coming along quite nicely. I'm really very the past, I've not had much room to store seasonal decorations, so Christmas got all the decorating love. I've become more organized, and purged a lot, so now I have more room for some other holidays to have their day....

This corner is the transition between my front sitting room and our kitchen family room. Our Countdown is on one side (sadly, only my daughter is really interested in putting up the numbers), and on the other, a pumpkin decoration I bought a few years ago from Heidi V, a girl I work with who is a genius with wood crafts. The pumpkin went up about mid September...pumpkins that aren't jack-o-lanterns say "autumn" to me...and stay up in my house until after Thanksgiving.

I just finished these pumpkins on Sunday night (and a special thanks to Rachael, for supplying me with the wood, the moss, and the wire). I really enjoyed creating these...

(and learned that my skills with a drill need much improvement ;))
Indy has already been messing with them...I'm glad they're sturdy!

Our mantel...Talia loves to point up there and say "mommy's pumpkins!"

Finally our newest addition, also created by Heidi V...

This sign may just stay up all year ;)...and when I'm home, it will always be turned to "in"!

This concludes our walking tour of my Halloween decorations.

I love this time of year!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It had to end sometime....

It's been a busy week, ending with the culmination of our family's "Staycation"...our Lagoon Season Passports. It's been a fun year...but first, our week.

Monday, we had dentist appointments. I am proud to say, NO CAVITIES! I just finished paying off Cole's and Kyle's cavities from our appointments earlier this year (apparently, our insurance no longer completely covers cavities like they used to :( ).

The rest of the week is a blur for, recover, work, work some more. I feel like I'm running 5 steps behind all the time, and I can't catch up. I'm looking forward to Cole having a week off work...sure, he'll be setting up, but he'll have time to help me too....

I got up after about 5 hours of sleep today. I knew it was our last chance to go to Frightmares, and we knew it would be packed at Lagoon. We had a really good was busy, but we were able to hit some rides, eat some junk food, and just hang out as a family. The kids put up with me being "picture happy" was our last time this year, so I took a ton of pics...I played around with the continuous function on my camera, trying to get some action pics while we were on rides. The results were mixed. I'm a little sad our Lagoon season is over....

After we left Lagoon, we headed out to Roy to a fruit/vegetable stand for pumpkins. We were disappointed by the selection at the fruit stand close to our house, and Cole's mom suggested we head to Roy. Unfortunately, we didn't find what we were looking we just started driving toward Hooper/West Haven. It's farm country out there...we hoped we'd run into someplace we could find what we were looking for.

We hit the jackpot here.

From October 2009

Their address is 3938 West 4000 South, West Haven UT. They didn't have a huge selection, HOWEVER...they had exactly what we were looking for. Cole has plans for some smaller pumpkins...the ones a bit bigger than pie pumpkins. He had hoped to be able to afford about 2 slightly larger ones for the boys to carve. The prices here were AMAZING! So, we started to load up....
From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

We got all these pumpkins for $11.75.
From October 2009

18, to be exact. I have never paid so little for pumpkins...and we usually only get 3 or 4. The owner/operator lives right there...and I was really impressed with him. He seemed to really care that we were completely satisfied, and told me to come back in the spring and he would help me with some plants/flowers that are easy to care for (I'm not the best gardener in the world). I HIGHLY recommend this place...I have never had such good service at a nursery.

We came home, had dinner, and relaxed for the rest of the night...I'm starting to feel the effects of my 5 hours of I think I'll go to bed now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A glimpse into the future?

Grandma keeps hoping that one of her grandkids will become a vet....

Yesterday, while I was out picking up a gift for a friend's baby, Talia saw this darling outfit. She grabbed it, and said "Mommy, so pretty?" with those big green eyes...I couldn't say no, especially since both boys just got new clothes.

If she does become a vet, chances are she'll be a well dressed one...(and hopefully she'll learn the virtues of a lab coat ;))

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Primary Program

I cried through the entire Primary Program yesterday. Typically I laugh through it(Alec loves to perform), and get sentimental, but yesterday I had tears dripping down my cheeks the entire time. The thing wasn't about my kids at all.

The 5-6 year olds got up to say their parts. One of the little boys was one of my NICU babies, 5 1/2 years ago. He was born at my hospital, had to be shipped to PCMC for a few weeks, and (because his parents pushed for it, Primary's doesn't like to give babies back ;)) came back to us, still a very sick, very LITTLE baby. I still remember the relief in his mother's eyes, to see an old friend would be caring for her delicate infant on that night he came back to our NICU.

This baby defied the odds. I remember several nights, trying desperately to keep him alive, wondering if I was going to have to call my friend and tell her to come in because the worst was upon us. I also remember spending much of my time those nights in silent prayer, praying I would be able to intervene in ways that would "fix" this very little baby.

Well, he got past the critical stage, grew, put on weight, and eventually was able to go home. However, because of all the "medical stuff" he went through, we (the NICU staff/doctors) didn't have high hopes that he would ever be entirely normal. You can read the statistics, but babies born at 25 weeks don't have good chances at normal outcomes...although some defeat the odds.

Yesterday, this little boy, now 6, got up with his primary class. He said his part in a clear voice, with no problems, and no one would ever know that he was born 15 weeks early and was not expected to live. Part of this is credit to his parents and grandparents, who would never give up and are wonderful advocates for their children. The other part is do to the Lord answering their prayers, and I feel so privileged that he answered their prayers through my hands and the hands of my excellent co-workers. Sometimes, I get disillusioned in my job. I wonder if all the "heroic attempts" and "lifesaving procedures" are doing more harm than good. The interventions necessary to save premature infants range from uncomfortable to extremely, excruciatingly painful. But seeing that little boy, who defied all the odds, gives me hope that we're mostly just working through the Lord's hands...and I need to trust in Him.

I was proud of my children, and did enjoy watching all those primary kids and seeing how they've progressed in the year since I haven't been in primary. It was the best, and worth only getting 4 hours of sleep to see.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So, despite my hopes, I came down with the stomach bug that Talia had on Sunday. Tuesday all day my stomach was a little unsettled, but I was trying to blame it on the fact that I played my new video game most of the day. No such luck...between the late hours of Tuesday night and the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I alternated between shivering, sweating, and throwing up violently. Not to mention a 3rd night in a row of very little sleep...I couldn't keep anything down to take something for my fever, and I had even more sympathy for my princess's abject desire for her cuppy when she was sick...I desperately wanted to suck down a whole bottle of water, but I knew it would just come back up. My wonderful husband offered to stay home so that I could rest (and not have to worry about our toddler) but I didn't want him to miss another day of work, just in case he gets this crap too. I told him that I would call him if it got to be too much.

So, I spent almost all of yesterday either on the couch or in my bed during naptime...sipping water and broth, and forcing myself to eat some plain toast(it just didn't taste right) My fever broke around noon, and I didn't throw up again after daylight...but the migraine that the dehydration triggered was more than enough to deal with. When I finally felt it was safe to try to take something, it didn't even take the edge off the pain. I was completely exhausted.

On the up side, I slept better last night than I have for at least 4 nights. I'm still a little weak (not being able to eat for 24 hours will do that) but not bad. I've felt so...overstimulated lately...I feel like I can't catch up. Maybe this was the Lord's way of telling me to take it easy for a couple of days.

Now I'm praying that the men in this house don't get sick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm In LOVE with Nate!

From October 2009

Nathan Drake, that is. Hero/Mercenary with a conscience. Who wouldn't love him? He's a hottie, rocks the few days stubble look(not too difficult for a character in a game ;)), and carries a few tricks up his sleeve. He travels the world, looking for treasure, and is under my spell with just a few moves of the PS3 controller. Besides, it's really love if you sit at Walmart for an hour waiting for them to "release" the game for purchase at midnight...which is what I did last night.

Yes, I'm aware I'm completely insane as well as a little bit crazy. Let me give you a little background...Christmas 3 years ago. Santa brought us a Playstation 3 (PS3) and a few games. A couple were for the boys, but Santa brought Cole a game called Uncharted. Now, my husband is a video gamer, but is relatively picky about what he plays. He typically dislikes "shooters" (such as Halo), and if you have to pay to play (world of warcraft, etc) forget's a ripoff. Cole typically likes games where you try to take over the world, or get to battle with magic and spells along with regular weapons. The games also need to have an element of strategy, problem solving, and good old fashioned video game fun. So, he got Uncharted...and as usual, I watched him play it. Since early in our marriage, when he's gotten games like this, he's played, I've watched and helped him solve the puzzles and mysteries. We spent much of Christmas break staying up late at night together, solving the game. We beat it on New Years Day that year...late at night. I didn't realize it then, but I was hooked. I started playing it myself not to long after that...I progressed from playing it on easy, to normal, to hard...and finally this summer, I played it on Crushing...and in the process, unlocked almost all the secret items and bonuses. I've never really been into playing video games..I might play for awhile, but I lose interest. Until this one.

I really didn't intend to go buy Uncharted 2 at midnight on it's release date...but when it came to it, I knew I had today off work, and I just couldn't resist.

So far, I've found the game fun and challenging. It's a new thing for me to play a game before watching someone else play first. I really could play all day, but I haven't...I did my chores first, and am taking a break so that I can eat lunch and Talia can have her Dora hour. I'm sure when Cole gets home he'll laugh at me...

Other goings on...I went to a family wedding shower on Saturday, and got this great pic of me, my Mom, and my sister...we missed you Brenda!

From October 2009

Talia came down with a 24 hour vomiting bug on Sunday...she couldn't even keep water down on Sunday...and finally I didn't even want to try, but she was throwing tantrums because she wanted her cuppy and water.

From October 2009

Needless to say, neither Cole or I got any sleep Sunday night, and I was glad Cole had sick leave to take so he could stay home and we could take turns getting things done. Talia didn't throw up at all on Monday, but we still restricted her to water and things that are easier on her tummy...crackers, toast, etc.

Talia loves her new jammies..."Spin, Kyle, Spin!"

From October 2009

He's such a good big brother.

I also scored at all the sales going on this week...I got winter blankets for all the beds, and 2 more pairs of jeans each for the boys...all for less than $100.00. I picked myself up a new yoga DVD to spur me to get back into good exercise habits. Of course, now that will take a backseat to least for a couple of days ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What have I accomplished?

I was pretty surprised when I got looking to my blog this morning...It's been almost a whole week since I posted anything. I feel like it's been so busy and crazy, yet I have nothing specific to post. I have posted on the Craft Blog and Days of Our Thighs, but nothing specific about our family.

The kids are doing well in school. I'm starting to get a little irritated about some of Alec's homework...he brings home a spelling worksheet. It has a "tic tac toe" grid, with 9 activities on it. He has to do 3 activities, in a line (any way it would make a tic tac toe), but he has to do the middle square. At first, it was fine. However, the activities seem to be more and more busy work, and are not helping my child learn the actual spelling words or sentences that he's going to be TESTED on. I'm trying to figure out what to do about it...I really dislike questioning teachers and their curriculum (Thanks, alot, Mom ;)) because I know how frustrating that can be for a teacher...especially when you know they have your child's best education at heart. I'm hoping to hold on to until conferences...and then we'll see. The problem is, I don't believe homework "activities" should be busywork...they should help learn the concept. I don't see that happening with Alec. Plus, I'm starting to hate who's the reading queen!

Kyle is adjusting well to the increased demands of 5th grade. We did our first book report last month, and he did well. He's also in choir, and having a lot of fun already. He spent this morning (while he was getting ready for school) singing his choir was cute.

Talia is obsessed with things being "scary". Scaring us, us scaring her, scary things at the store (it is Halloween time)'s interesting. She also knows all her basic colors and can count to 13...she's a smart little cookie. She's also developing some rational thought, which makes it easier to explain to her why she can't do something she wants to. She understands some of it now.

I feel like I am working a lot (we're busy now, so no getting called off. I was enjoying getting called off a little too much ;)), but I'm also working on getting Talia's Halloween costume put together. Cole usually takes charge, but with her deciding she wanted to be a witch, I had a great idea for her costume...and I'm really excited to create it. Cole is putting together Alec's costume, as well as building a dragon in our garage, and getting everything else put together for his Halloween "experience".

I feel like my stress level is through the roof for no particular reason. I've had a lot more headaches again as well...hopefully as the stress subsides, so will the headaches.

Despite the stress, I'm enjoying October a lot more than normal...Cole is not as stressed as he usually is, which means I can enjoy the season more...I have my inside decorations up, I'm working on a couple of projects, and generally things are going well around here.

Now, if I can get caught up on the laundry...(5 loads down, 3 to go!)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Frightmares!

We headed back out to Frightmares tonight. We hoped because of the cold, it wouldn't be too busy despite it being UEA this weekend. We lucked out...we walked on EVERYTHING. We also took Talia in the "Hal O Ween High" "Home of the Embalmers" haunted house. It's basically a high school themed haunt. She did really well...and I have to give total credit to all the people working the haunt...they were absolutely spectacular. When they saw her age, they were great to give "high 5's", talk nicely, etc...they really worked it so that she wouldn't be traumatized. Major points with me, as she enjoyed being scared so much that right as we left the haunt, she said "Go Again!". It's a fine line that a lot of haunted houses cross...and being able to tailor your "scaring" to be age appropriate goes a long way with me. I cannot sing their praises enough.

Some pics I got tonight....

Talia and Cole coming off "Dracula's Castle"
From October 2009

Me and Talia on "Jumping Dragon"
From October 2009

The view from the top of "Spider"
From October 2009

Almost a full moon (Harvest Moon)
From October 2009

From October 2009

From October 2009

We were cold, but not freezing, but we had a great time. I love autumn.