October 31, 2014

Howe Pumpkin 2014

I love carving pumpkins, but this year I was really struggling to come up with an idea. I couldn't think of anything creative or unique, so I just went with what Sophie loves - ghosts.

The best part about this year's pumpkin was that I finally learned from some of my mistakes in the past and  (1) drew out my picture beforehand so I wouldn't run out of room. (2) brought the pumpkin in the night before so the guts wouldn't freeze my hands off, and (3) carved all the little details first while the pumpkin face was still intact, and the big details at the end. So much easier this way and no toothpick supports were needed this time!

Our family as ghosts - can you recognize Dave by his distinguishing eyebrows?


Ward Halloween Party 2014

Our ward had a trunk-or-treat activity the night before Halloween. It was a beautiful night (no coats needed!) and so fun to see everyone all dressed up. Our costumes this year started with Sophie (as do most things in our lives) - she loves bees, so I ordered her a cute bee suit on eBay. To coordinate, I dressed as a flower and Dave was the worlds tallest garden gnome. I made both our costumes for less than $12!

Sophie has loved everything about Halloween  - the pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, spiders, witches, etc... It will be interesting to see if she is the same way next year, or if  she will be more wary of the "scary" things. We spent our night revisiting the car with the giant inflatables, the car with the motion activated tarantula, a person dressed up in a gorilla suit, and one truck with a giant rubber snake. Her best moment was when she walked right up to the snake, pulled it's head down and gave it a kiss. 

Our little bee gathered quite a bit of candy because everyone told her to take a second piece, and then she would keep grabbing handfuls until they took the bowl away

Happy Halloween!

October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014 - Petersen Family Farm

On Friday we drove to the pumpkin patch as soon as I got home from work. Sophie's not old enough to fully enjoy the patches that charge admission, so I found a smaller farm in Riverton where you only pay for the pumpkins you take home - all other activities were free! We were able to pet some animals, sit on some tractors, do a corn maze, play in the corn pit, and pick a pumpkin. There was a hay ride, but it wasn't running while we were visiting.

My cute pumpkin

The "corn maze" - I'm not sure I would advertise this attraction if I were them

She loved all the pumpkins and had a hard time choosing the "one" 

We both laughed pretty hard when she tried to push the wheelbarrow herself

Happy pumpkin season!

October 25, 2014

Dallas Zoo

We were able to visit the Dallas Zoo the day before we left Texas. We went with grandma, grandpa, Liz, Cindy and her boys. The crowds were very light, so we took our time and were often the only group at an exhibit. Sophie loves animals ("mammals") and talked about going to see them before we left, on the way there, and after we got home. It was such a fun day!

Waiting to Enter

Attempt at a group shot of the kids - not successful

Sophie and Liam at the penguins

Elephant Ride!

Checking out the real elephants with daddy

Cousins on a Safari

The elusive cheetah was right by the glass!

Against my better nature we paid $5 to feed the giraffes. I continue to be amazed at how brave she is. I have yet to see her show any fear of animals, no matter how close they get. 

Hello Mr. Crocodile

Turtles are one of her favorite animals right now

She thought this monkey might need a snack and tried to feed him some leaves

We got to the chimpanzees just in time to see them eat lunch. A zoo keeper was up on the roof tossing down apples, oranges and bananas. This one had a cute little baby on her chest. 

Sharing a drink with grandma

Feeding the goats at the petting zoo

Our last stop before going home was the birds. We paid $1 for a seed stick and Sophie was thrilled to have one sit on her arm. 

October 24, 2014

Quick Trip to Texas

We were hoping to go to Texas before Sophie's birthday while she was still free to fly, and October turned out to be the best time to make that trip.  It was a beautiful time of year to visit and it was hard to come back home. Sophie LOVED visiting her grandparents (mama & papa) and cousins.  Here are some things we did on our trip:

Waiting to get on the plane to go to Texas. Three hours in cramped quarters with an energetic baby was challenging, but overall it went well. She never cried and I don't think we bothered the person next to us too much. 

Our first few days were spent painting Zone 1 (the entry way, ceilings, stairs and trim) as a birthday present for Dave's mom. It looked great! Dave spent a few days up on a 20 ft ladder while Sophie and I kept ourselves busy outside or with friends. 

Sorry for picking the last flower on your plant Grandma

At a nearby church playground - she loves cars!

Sidewalk chalk (her new favorite) with Emma and Uncle Greg. 

At a Halloween party with some of our friends. Jake the Pirate was surrounded by a bunch of cute little princesses!

We also had a party at the Palmer's beautiful new house one night. The kids played together outside for awhile, and then we put them down for bed so the adults could chat and play games. It was so fun!

We went to the State Fair of Texas with grandma, grandpa, and Aunt Liz

And to the Dallas Zoo with grandparents, Liz, Cindy, Lincoln & Liam (post on that coming soon)

Sophie loved having a new set of toys to play with. On our last day there we put on some superhero capes and chased each other around the house. 

It was a great trip!

**Side story: Sophie is at an age right now where she likes to repeat the last word of whatever she hears. One day she started walking around saying, "ebola, ebola, ebola," which is obviously a hot topic in Dallas right now and I guess she picked up on it!

October 19, 2014

Texas State Fair

We are in Texas right now and found out that this was the last weekend for the State Fair. It wasn't on our list of things to do, but on Saturday we made a quick decision to go for it and drove down to the fair grounds with Dave's mom, dad, and sister. We weren't able to stay long, but I have never been to a fair, so this was still an exciting experience for me and I'm glad we went. If we ever find ourselves in Texas during October again, we'll have to make sure we set aside a day for the fair!

With Big Tex

Boris, the 1,300 pound pig

Sophie took one look at Boris, and said "cow"

Our one stop was the children's petting zoo. She was in heaven!

They had several types of cows from all over Texas

Sophie was so excited to see all the animals. She knows most of them by name now and had a huge smile on her face the whole time. 

She got even more excited when she realized she could touch them if they were close to the fence - this was a very tolerant goat. 

And then someone gave us their left over food cup and she got to feed the goats. After that she wanted to feed everything and would drop a handful of food into every pen we passed.

It was a quick, but fun day at the fair!