Friday, December 19, 2014

December Madness

December craziness started early for me this year.  I was pulled into planning our ward Christmas party because it was a play, and since it was the first Friday of the month we started rehearsals and decorations in early November.  We did "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" and I became obsessed-- like always.
 
Finally the day of the party I was rewarded by seeing it all come together.   I had spent a month (and put my visiting teachers to work when they came) making decorations, and was blessed to have taller people than I come to put them on the walls for me.  We also had some talented artists that were able to create Mt. Crumpit and some Whoville houses.  I was very pleased with the final result.
 
 




 


 
We had a fabulous cast and the greatest Grinch I could have asked for.  He MADE the night.  He was over the top during the show and was fabulously rude during dinner.  He walked around taking food off people's plates, growling at the children that were following him around, and grumbling about everything.  The children were delighted although some of the littlest ones were afraid of him.  Ashton kept hiding under the table when he came by, but was loving it at the same time. 
 
The party was great and we had about 250 people in attendance.  I was afraid some people would be bummed that we didn't have a traditional party and Santa Claus, but all I heard for a week after was that everyone loved it.  YES!
 
The very next night was the Law Enforcement Ball.  I was still exhausted from the night before, but still strapped on uncomfortable shoes and went dancing.  What can I say, I hate to miss things.
 
The ball was at a hotel and when we arrived the parking lot was lit up with police cars flashing their lights.  The inside was GORGEOUS-- trees and lights and ice sculptures everywhere. 
 
 
It was really fun to have a fancy night out and get to know more of Jason's police buddies and co-workers.  
 
Hunter has had a busy month with his school Marimba Band.  They performed the day of the ball at the Richland Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, at a Tri-City Americans hockey game, and again at the school Christmas concert. 

 
He was also one of the kids chosen to play a prelude piano solo at the school concert.  He did great-- I just wish the dang school had a proper piano. 

 
When we're not dressing up and running around we hang out and decorate the house.  The boys had fun helping me decorate the trees (we have 3!).

Our elf has been hanging around and brought the boys these awesome jammies.

I also tried to get some good pictures of the boys in the Christmas ties Grandma sent, but it's so hard to hold still!


 
Oh well, 2 out of 3 isn't bad!
 



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving Time

For Thanksgiving our preschool has a "Stone Soup" luncheon, where the principal reads the story about sharing, the kids put vegetables we brought from home in the pot, and then we eat the soup, bread, and cookies for lunch.  Obviously the teachers have already made the soup we actually eat, and the pot and veggies from home are just for show. 
 
Ashton wanted to bring carrots, but I know from past experience that almost all the kids bring carrots, so I talked him into bringing a red potato instead.  When it was time for the potatoes he got to go up and put it in the pot.
 
 
While the soup was "cooking" the kids sang some Thanksgiving songs for us. 

 
And then we went into the next classroom to eat.  This is one of my favorite things the preschool does-- they always do such a good job and the soup is always delicious. 


 
On Thanksgiving we hosted the neighborhood football game this year.  I mean, Jason wanted a football field for a backyard, so I thought we might as well use it like one.  Hunter had a great time playing-- he's really gotten into flag football this year.

 
And I enjoyed some girlfriend time while we cheered everyone else on.  The weather got up to about 60 degrees that day, so it was absolutely perfect except for some wind. 

 
We had Jason's parents and his brother Alan's family come for dinner.  Hunter and Gabby enjoying their turkey dinner:

 
We also insisted our best friend Trevor eat with us since he had to work that night and his family went out of town without him. 


 
We appropriately stuffed ourselves, then watched the Seahawks destroy the 49ers.  Couldn't have asked for a better day!
 
I think I do a pretty good job of focusing on the good in life, but it's still so easy for me to think about all the things we still want and need instead of what we already have. So I love this holiday because it makes me think about how blessed we are instead.  After all, grateful people are the happiest people!
 
Things I am most grateful for this year:
 
Wonderful friends, supportive extended family, plenty of necessities and food, the greatest kids I could imagine having, hard working and handsome husband, and the fact that everyone is healthy. 
(I feel like I should knock on wood now.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Halloween

It's almost Thanksgiving and I never posted about Halloween!  Yikes, I've been busy.  I hosted a baby shower, a friend's birthday brunch, and have been planning our ward Christmas party/play, so the time has passed quickly.
 
Here's what I remember of Halloween this year.  It was an INSANELY busy day packed with fun.  The night before Jason carved pumpkins with the boys while I went with some girlfriends to the new Nicolas Sparks movie (Blah! Didn't care for it.)  So the kids showed me their finished pumpkins that morning before school.
 
 
Then Ash and I dressed up and headed to his pre-school Halloween party.  Here he is with his two best buddies, L and T.  (He's the ninja.)

 
I went as Batgirl, and snapped a pic with a few of my other superhero buddies. 

 
The whole class.  There were a lot of Frozen princesses.


 
I stayed to help out with stations-- we did crafts, games, and sugar cookie decorating. 


 
After preschool I raced home, grabbed my witch hat, and headed over to a witches luncheon my friend was hosting.  I didn't even have time to change out of my bat costume.  Oh well, it was crazy comfortable so I didn't care.

 
After the other boys got home from school we hurried through an early dinner of frito tacos-in-a-bag, then put on their costumes to do some trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. 

 
After hitting a few houses of non-members in our neighborhood, we headed over to the church to set up for the trunk-or-treat.  I grabbed my tote of Harry Potter d├ęcor, hoping I could do something with it.  I grabbed Jason's Professor Snape wig and cape and he threw them on.

 
We met up with my friend N-- who did her own makeup and it looked awesome-- and hilarious with her pregnant belly. 

 
She did her son E's makeup too, which totally freaked out Ashton at first. 

 
We ate donuts and hot chocolate, and once it got dark we hit all the trunks.  People out-did themselves this year, and it was the best trunk or treat we've ever been to.  Our Bishop and his wife always have the best costumes.  Last year they were a biker couple and brought their motorcycle.  This year they dressed up like characters from Duck Dynasty.  Awesome.
 
 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Ashton's preschool class took a field trip to the Country Mercantile's fall festival and pumpkin patch.  It was a gorgeous warm day, and we met up with Ash's best buddies T and L.
 
 
First we hopped on the wagon to head out to the pumpkin patch. 
" I'm ready to go!"
 

We were dropped off by a field of itty bittys-- perfect for the preschool kids to carry.

 
We found the perfect pumpkin.


 
T and L found great pumpkins too.  Then we headed back onto the wagon!


 
After putting the pumpkins in our cars, we got together for a class photo.

 
One of his teachers offered to take one of us together.

Then the kids got to climb a straw bale tower and go through the straw bale maze.

 
Ash got a little lost, but with me shouting directions at him he finally found his way out.

After cookies and juice we headed to the barn for some animal love.

 
We love the country mercantile!  After the field trip was over Ash and I stayed to shop and have lunch.  So yummy.
The preschool hosted a pumpkin carving night a few days later where the Dads were supposed to bring the kids and a pumpkin to carve.  Unfortunately, Ashton's Dad was far, far, away on a hunting trip.   After some deliberating and encouragement from the teachers, I decided to take him.  I was sure there would be some other moms there, but nope.  Just me.  And a bunch of Dads. 
Oh well.
 
Ashton didn't seem to notice.  He was just having a blast planning our pumpkin.

He insisted on drawing the face, so I tried to cut out what he drew.  I had to improvise a little.

 
 
After we carved the kids sang some Halloween songs.  It was adorable.  So glad I didn't miss it!