October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

After counting down the days all month, the big night finally arrived! Sophie understood Halloween well last year, but this was the first time she was truly excited about everything. This is probably her favorite holiday, even more than Christmas right now, because she just loves everything that comes with it - the candy, the costumes, witches, ghosts, spiders, skeletons, bats.... In fact there was a little haunted house in our neighborhood that Dave took to while they were out, and she told me that when the ghost popped out to scare her, she laughed because she loved it so much. 

We started off our night by accidentally locking ourselves out of the house - oops! We had everything we needed though, so Dave stayed behind to hop the fence and work out a way in, while I started taking the kids door to door. We live in a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating and there were kids everywhere! Davey and I only stayed out for about 30 minutes, but Dave took Sophie around (after retrieving a house key) for a full 2 hours. He estimated the houses on the main street probably saw close to 1,000 kids that night. We live at the end of the court on the edge of the neighborhood and probably only had 40-50 kids, but the quiet was just fine with me. 

Their Moana and Maui costumes are definitely not well suited for colder weather, but I wanted some photos before they got all bundled up, so we took these earlier and then brought them back in to add some layers underneath.

My attempt at an orange dinner: mac & cheese, baby oranges, carrots, and jello

While it wasn't FREEZING, Halloween did happen to fall on the worst weather night of the week. At least the rain/snow never showed up.

Little Moana ready to tackle the neighborhood - she was just barely tall enough to reach the doorbells!

Sorting the loot afterward. Some of this candy is Davey's, but most of it is hers. We counted 150 pieces, and that was after I took at all the nasty stuff to redistribute to the other trick-or-treaters.

Davey calls candy "yummies" and wanted to start sampling right away. We gave him a sucker which kept him happy for awhile, but he lost it (I later found it stuck to his bum when we got home) so he decided to just help himself to something else. We caught him eating a Rolo and a Tootsie Roll, with wrappers still on, during our walk. 

And just for fun, these are a few of the things we picked up at the after Halloween sale the next morning. Sophie couldn't wait to open it all, so I let her have some fun before putting it into storage til next year. 

October 30, 2017

Pumpkin Carving 2017

We had three pumpkins to carve this year, so we did one for Davey, one for Sophie, and one for the family. Normally I cover our table with newspaper to help with the mess, but in the week leading up to Halloween we didn't receive any grocery ads or junk mail. Weird. Where is all the junk when you need it?? I used garbage bags instead, which slid all around and didn't work as good. Oh well. I guess next time I'll start saving paper sooner in case there is a shortage. 

Sophie was excited to help again this year, but still didn't want to touch the guts so we had her use a spoon and tongs to help clean the pumpkins. She got bored and left after about 15 minutes when wouldn't let her use knives, but every year she gets a little more helpful, which is nice because cleaning and carving three pumpkins really wore me out this year!

Davey was curious about what we were doing so I let him see. He wasn't all that impressed and quickly gave the pumpkin back after looking inside.

Sophie had a fairy pumpkin and we chose Batman for Davey. At first Soph wanted me to carve a picture of her face, so I was glad when she changed her mind. I carved these freehand and they actually turned out pretty good! 

After the kids were in bed I tackled the family pumpkin. It was a beast and took forever to clean and was not very easy to carve. The walls were thick and fibrous, but also pretty crumbly, so I had to be really gentle. This year I stayed pretty simple with the design and just did our name in a spider web. 

Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2017

Pre-Halloween Fun

October is such a fun season because it's basically one big party up until Halloween night. We were never without something to do this month, and even passed on a few activities just because we really didn't need any more going on. Some of the fun included kid's workshops & activities at Home Depot, two trips to the pumpkin patch, a Halloween play group party, trick-or-treating and games at Sophie preschool party, Halloween stories and crafts at the library, and our ward party. We were really feeling the Halloween spirit this year!

Dave normally takes Sophie to the "Makers" workshop the first Saturday of the month at Home Depot. As a fun surprise they also had carnival games, face painting, fire trucks, and more in addition to the usual kid's craft this month. She went back again a few weeks later to make a spider cup craft. 

Davey found the princess and had fun playing "undress up" with them while Soph was at Home Depot

Grandmari sent Sophie a Halloween package with some crafts and glo critters. Sophie LOVED them and spent several hours tracing the different creatures and drawing habitats for each one on paper. 

We went to a play group Halloween party with some families from our stake. It was pretty casual, but the kids had a great time. Everyone brought a treat to share and Sophie helped me make these pumpkin cookies out of Nilla wafers, orange frosting and mini chocolate chips. She was so proud of them!

Eating way too much junk - a common theme for the month of October

We also had a ward trunk-or-treat party the Friday before Halloween. We took our new wagon and it was a great way to keep track of the kids in a dark, crowded parking lot. 

One car was passing out homemade root beer and popcorn instead of candy and Sophie though that was pretty neat

Helping daddy give out candy after we had finished our lap of the parking lot

October 28, 2017

Moana Inspired Halloween Costumes

Make way! Make Way! This year our family costumes were Moana inspired! 

Sophie received her Moana dress as a birthday present from her friend back in March, and then I created costumes for the rest of the family to match her. Davey was Maui (the demigod), I was Te Fiti (mother earth) and Dave was Te Ka (the lava demon). Dave and I were actually not planning to dress up, but a few days ago before our Halloween party I started having regrets, so I hit up Goodwill and got creative. I probably went a little overboard, but it was a fun project and Soph was thrilled when she saw us all dressed up

Moana & Maui: I ordered Sophie's necklace off eBay for a couple bucks and then stuck a flower in her hair to complete the look. It was nice to have one costume be super simple! 

Maui took a little more effort. I found a plain tan shirt at our local consignment store and then, using Sophie's toy Maui as a guide, drew tattoos with Sharpies all over the shirt. 

It took a lot longer than anticipated, but luckily I had Netflix to keep me entertained while I colored, and colored, and colored. I know have a new respect for tattoo artists. Luckily his skirt came together much quicker with just some leaves cut from felt that I tied around his waist. 

I don't even know why I try to take pictures of the two of them without Dave around to help entertain/distract. They pretty much never turn out. 

Te Fiti: I had no plan in mind for this costume and just used what happened to be available at Goodwill the day I went shopping - a giant green body pillow, a twin size sheet patterned with tree branches, and some random flowers. 

I used the pillow, with the stuffing removed, to create Te Fiti's long hair. Next I made the sheet into a robe using a free pattern I found online. I'm an amateur when it comes to sewing, but the pattern only involved five rectangles and straight lines so it wasn't too bad. Finally I made a crown with the flowers and scotch tape. 

Te Ka was the final costume, but I forgot to take pictures. The robe was a slimmed down graduation robe from Goodwill that I painted with flames. I would like to note that it took several coats of paint because the fabric of the robes was pretty thin and the paint would just soak right through. Our back patio now has some lovely red, orange, and yellow spots :) I made the crown with construction paper coated with modge podge to make it look glossy, and help hold things together, and then Dave completed the look with some face paint. 

October 23, 2017

Grandma, Grandpa and Liz Come to Visit

We invited Dave's family to come visit for the weekend and they said yes! Sophie was so thrilled to have them come and it was fun to show them our new house since Dave's dad had never seen it, and his mom and Liz and only been there before we had unpacked and settled in. It was a very short trip, but we managed to fit a lot in during just a day and half, hopefully making the drive worth it for them.

Here's what we did: The Howes arrived Friday night and were able to join us for dinner and then say goodnight to the kids. On Saturday we started with Sophie's soccer game, then had lunch at Blue Sky, a puzzle competition at the library in the afternoon, and we finished our day with dinner and fun at the pumpkin farm. On Sunday Dave was speaking in church, so they came to hear his talk before driving back. What a whirlwind of a weekend!

A welcome picture Sophie drew for them. This is grandma and Liz, and then she ran out of room so papa is on the back

Blue Sky was really yummy and priced lower than expected - always a nice surprise. Sophie and I shared a chocolate shake that was amazingly delicious. It's just a short 5 minute walk from our house so I might be tempted to pop back over for sweet treat every now and then. 

We bested the other three teams to win the puzzle competition! Our puzzle was actually pretty difficult and it was a close race to finish before the team next to us. Our prize was some candy, a puzzle, and a free bag of books at the library book sale. 

We were so glad they could join us at the pumpkin farm!

October 22, 2017

First Soccer Season - Go Tornadoes!

We had Sophie try soccer for the first time this fall. We moved in after the registration deadline, but I called and asked if there were any teams short a player we join, and so she became the newest member of the Tornadoes.

The first few practices were rough. She is the youngest player on the team and three of the girls have been playing together for a few seasons now and poor Sophie was just feeling inadequate in comparison. She kept trying though, and practices started to go better as she made friends with the other girls and got more confident in her skills. We are proud of how hard she tried and how much she learned this year. It was a great start!

The Tornadoes finished the year undefeated (those girls are really good) and probably outscored the other teams by over 100 goals. Sophie had a joint goal in her second game, and almost scored on her own in her last game (see video below). The biggest disappointment was the way the schedule turned out. Due to weather and other factors, we ended up with only 3 Saturday games, and 6 Sunday games, instead of an even split. We were planning on missing the Sunday games, but it was sad to end up missing over half the season. In the future we'll have to decide if soccer is something worth doing.

The Tornadoes: Claire, Isabella, Sophie, Jericka, and Emery

I was just expecting to get a t-shirt, but when uniforms came in they were actual jerseys, complete with shorts and matching socks!

Her favorite part was the special treat at the end of the came. When it was our turn to bring snack she picked out Hostess cupcakes and grape Koolaid. 

Sometimes even cupcakes can't make this boy happy

October 15, 2017

20 Weeks

I have reached the half way mark for this pregnancy! At this point baby weighs about 10 ounces and is just over 10 inches long. Since I've been through the "Fruit & Vegetables" comparisons a couple times now, I thought it would be nice to try something different. I found an app with a "Fun & Games" theme instead that has comparisons like paper airplane (20 weeks), action figure (16 weeks), matchbox car (13 weeks), and Lego man (10 weeks). Sophie's favorite was "troll doll" at 12 weeks.

This baby has been very active and I feel movement all day long. The kicks are big enough yet to see my stomach visibly move, though we probably aren't too far off from that stage. We have a guess at gender, but have to patiently wait until the first week of November because that's the soonest I could get a sonogram appointment. Sophie has picked out the names "Diamond" for a girl and "Peanut" for a boy. Davey still has absolutely no clue that he's going to be a big brother.

My appointments are a little crazy with these two in tow, but that's mom life I supposed. 

I went to a huge baby sale this month. You would think that by the third kid we would have everything already, but there was a lot I had always borrowed from my sister since we conveniently had kids on an every other year schedule. I also got a few toys to tuck away for Christmas, and some clothes to fill the gaps in the kid's winter wardrobes. 

October 14, 2017

Maxwell's Pumpkin Farm

October means a trip to the pumpkin patch!! Utah has perfected this experience, so I was a little worried about what Amarillo would have to offer, but Maxwell's did not disappoint! In addition to the pumpkin field, there were lots of activities including tractor pedal cars, a playground, a corn maze, giant slides, farm animals, inflatables, bouncers, a cow train, apple cannons, rubber duck races, a corn pit, and more!

We were originally planning to go while my parents were in town, but the farm was closed due to rain so it didn't work out. A few weeks later, however, we had a visit from Grandma & Grandpa Howe and Liz, and this time the weather didn't spoil our fun. Sophie was in heaven and did not want to leave, even though she could barely walk by the end of the night.

Riding the cow train

I wanted a cute pumpkin picture of the two of them, but this is the best I could get because Davey kept running away

Next year we'll be able to fill in that third marshmallow!

I thought Davey would love the corn pit, but he wanted out immediately. Sophie, on the other hand, could play in there for hours. 

We ate dinner at the farm, and it was well priced and pretty good (better than the fair in my opinion). Sophie had her typical peanut butter sandwich, while we enjoyed popcorn chicken, sausage on a stick, Frito pies, and funnel cake. 

Me and Sophie in the rat rollers - this was surprisingly good workout!

We let her cheat on the basketball game a little bit

Evolution of a family photo: 

Picking the perfect pumpkin

Beautiful sunset on the way home

A few weeks later, I went back to the farm a second time with a group of moms from the Stake. There were several kids there that Sophie knew from preschool so she had a blast! Something was off with Davey, though, and he was a grump almost the entire time. On the hay ride to and from the pumpkin patch he just sobbed on my shoulder - poor guy. 

Riding the cow train was one of Davey's few happy moments

Soph got to pick out a small pumpkin to take home. Davey just walked around blubbering. 

We took our new wagon  with us (a gift from grandma!) and it was a lifesaver. There was no way I would have made it through the farm with two kids, coats, a cooler, and a pumpkin without it!