Friday, October 28, 2011

Time Out For Women (Cincinnati)

One of my all time favorite events is Time Out For Women.  It's not even that the event is so great, but my mom started the tradition of taking me and my sister and it's always such a great time spent together.  Casey has a short work day on Fridays so I got to leave early and Ender and I made the trip to Cincinnati and met Mom, Sarah, Joy, and Miranda at the Gap Outlet.  OH MY GOODNESS!  My new favorite place.  I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans so I've been living in yoga pants, but not any more.  The outlet had jeans for 9.99!  I was thrilled that not only were they cheep but I found three pairs I loved and since I got new jeans I also figured I needed new shirts, so I got two shirts also.  AND...I got a pair of tennis shoes for Porter for 9.99.  JACKPOT!!!   After the Gap Outlet we went to Ikea and spent the rest of the day browsing and buying all kinds of fun and exciting stuff.  Then we headed back to the hotel and as we were trying to find our room we passed a guy walking around with a beer bottle in his hand.  He took one look at me carrying my laundry basket full of clothing (I should have packed a suitcase but oh well), and said in a real loud voice "LAUNDRY, WHO COMES TO A HOTEL TO DO LAUNDRY?"  We all giggled about that until Miranda said "Who comes to a hotel to get drunk?"  Then a few minutes later we stepped off the elevator only to come face to face with the same guy who yelled "LAUNDRY!".  Funny stuff.  As if that wasn't funny enough when we got to our room my mom unlocked the door, walked in and came face to face with a large mirror.  She saw herself, and thinking it was someone else, started screaming.  We all about died laughing.  We spent the rest of the evening playing Skip-Bo, eating Danato's pizza, and chatting.  A wonderful evening!
The next morning we got up early and headed over to the conference center.  The speakers were awesome and we all left feeling like they were speaking about the individual challenges we were facing.  My mom always gets us a book as a little souvenir and this year I got
I've really enjoyed it so far.  Lots to think about.

Sadly all good things must come to an end.  I wish we could do it more often, but I guess that's what makes it so special.  We're already discussing plans for a Girls Craft weekend!  Isn't Ender hilarious in this picture (I had to take all my pictures from my mom and Sarah's blogs I left my camera in the van the whole weekend)?  Such a funny guy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Decorating

We got our inspiration for this years pumpkins from Pinterest.  Yes I actually created something I found on Pinterest!  I've got to give all the credit to Casey for these cute little buggers, I only did the small green pig with a bow and the green pig with a mustache. 

 The kids painted the pumpkins a solid color then that evening Casey and I stayed up till 1:30 (YIKES) painting the faces.  The red one is my favorite!  I asked the kids which one they liked best and they started telling me all the powers each bird has and basing their preference on which bird is most powerful.  Silly me judging on looks.
 I don't know what we thought that little piece of cardboard in the middle of the table was protecting, because it did not keep the table from getting painted on.  Also we have totally done enough painting projects to know painting with shirts on is NOT A GOOD IDEA, yet we always let them try.  Oh well...
Overall a fun project and we were all happy with the results!  I should add that the pumpkins do not look near this good now.  After Miles decided to play pumpkin bowling quite a bit of the paint chipped off, but they are still recognizeable so we'll consider that a victory!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lynd's Farm

I've had the itch to go apple picking and a few weeks ago we finally did it.  We decided to try a local orchard that was recommended to us by some of Casey's co-workers, so we loaded up the hooligans and headed to Lynd's Farms.  It was supposed to be about a 30 minute drive but we didn't realize the weekend we chose was PUMPKIN-PALOOZA!  The little country road was backed up and it took us quite a bit longer to get there, but once we got out of the van and started picking we were in heaven.  Although it was really crowded we didn't feel smothered as we did our apple picking.  The kids kept picking the hugest apples they could find even though we kept begging them to please find reasonable apples.  We picked a bushel of apples in no time flat (silly me, I was thinking this would be an all day activity), so we headed over to the pumpkin field where we found three lovely plumply pumpkins.  Then we paid.  I think it was around $36 for 1 bushel of apples (about 40 lbs) and 3 large pumpkins.  Not too bad.  Before heading home we stopped at the little market they have and bought a bunch of little pumpkins, gourds, apple cider, and a half bushel of apple 2nds for making apple sauce.

 You may be wondering what we did with all (60 lbs) of our apples...We invited 2 families over for caramel apple making (during which Maya got scalding hot caramel dripped on her fingers and is now sporting 3 blistered digits), we made 3 quarts of applesauce, at least one apple pie, and the kids have had apples every day in their lunches.  Porter told me that all the kids in his class said "Did you see how big his apple is?  AND HE ATE THE WHOLE THING!".  I guess 3rd graders get a kick out of freakishly big apples.  We still have quite a few apples left so I've got applesauce making on my list for this week (or maybe I'll just make more pies). 
 The pumpkin patch was also fun.  I should have asked someone to get a picture of us so Ender and I could have been in this picture.  I love pumpkin patch pictures. 

 Maya and Porter each picked out their own pumpkin.  It was fun to see what they picked.  Porters was big and round with deep grooves and had a long handle-like stem.  Maya's was smaller (although you'd never guess from her picture) and more rounded on one side than the other so it kind of looked like a hunched back pumpkin.  Casey picked the last one and it was an awesome tall thin fellow with deep grooves and tons of character (the only flaw was it's stem was too short for my liking). 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


To Maya,

You will probably never realize how special you really are, you may have some inkling that you are wonderful, but then again, when you are as sweet and tender as you are, often times you don't even realize how lovely you are. No one in our family loves the little ones quite like you do. No one in our family worries over our individual happiness quite like you do. No other sister has been a better example of the Savior's love and compassion quite like you have been. As a father I am truly blessed to learn so much from your countless lessons in love, patience, kindness and friendship, and I thank my Heavenly Father daily that he has sent you to our home and that no matter how much you grow up, you will always be my little girl.

Love, Dad

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Confrence Sunday

 We spent a portion of one session opening (and eating) caramels for our caramel apples.  The kids got a kick out of using the sticky caramel cubes as building blocks. 

We decided to try to prepare some activities in advance that would keep the kids hands busy so maybe they'd listen a little better.  It seemed to work pretty well.  We set a folding table up in our bedroom and we made perler bead dinosaurs, and put a puzzle together.  Probably the biggest contributor to the quiet was Casey giving Miles his iPod.  Miles loves it and there are a few games on there he plays really well. 

 Last week we were looking for the remote control we bought to replace the other remote we lost and Casey got really determined to find it so he started searching in all the couches.  We had looked under the couch cushions, but he decided to pull the bottom cover off the love seat and then he dug a whole bunch of stuff out of there (including 2 remotes, neither of which would work on the video player), then he moved over to the big couch which has a large section of the fabric under the cushions pulled back.  We lose stuff in there a lot, but it's pretty easy to see and you can fish it out without much effort.  Well we didn't see anything we wanted (lots of things we didn't want) but Casey decided to tip the couch so all the stuff on the other side would fall down to the open area and BINGO we found not only the replacement remote, but the original remote and our DS that has been missing since we lived in Philadelphia (I'll spare you the details of all the disgusting stuff we found).  We now refer to that couch as the "TREASURE TROVE".  Bennett had a little girl from church over to play last week and I heard him ask her "Do you want to see our treasure trove?"  I hope she doesn't tell her parents:)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bison Park

Before my parents and Hanny left we decided to try to squeeze in a quick outing.  We did a quick visit to a nearby Indian mound.  We all ran to the top, and when I got up there Maya walked up to me carrying Cincy and said "Look who made it to the top.  I had to carry her (pause then knowingly) Fraid of heights (pause) and too slow."  Casey decided to pull an Obama during the family picture, and my camera battery was running low so I only snapped one.  Sorry Hanny.
We also took them to visit a local park where they have Bison (we had tried to visit this park twice before and once we ran out of time and once we were rained out).  Pretty exciting huh?  (I won't embarrass the adults who whined about the "long" walk to the bison -Mom, Dad, Hanny)  It was pretty cool and while we were there Nana entertained us with a buffalo joke.  (Don't ask me where she got a buffalo joke) A man came upon a group of buffalo and looked at his friend and said "Those have to be the ugliest creatures God ever created.  They have mangy hair, there is a big hump on their backs, and their heads are too big for their bodies.  They are just down right ugly."  As the man walked away the buffalo looked over to another buffalo and said "Now that's a discouraging word."

 Guess who is crawling and has a tooth?  Yep little baby Ender.  He is getting all over the place and I just can't keep the floors clean enough.  He finds every little crumb, lint, paper scrap, whatever.  He's bound and determined to catch up to the big kids. 

Miles decided to nap through the entire outing but we made sure to master our bison imitations before leaving so we could show him EXACTLY how they looked when we got home. These bison crack me up...

 It's always so hard to say good bye.  We love having family visiting.  The only thing we'd change is we never want them to leave.