Monday, October 27, 2014

Neighborhood Halloween Party

It was the much anticipated neighborhood Halloween party tonight.  There was a lot of tension since Samantha was determined to carve a winning pumpkin again, and Amelia, after her tears last year, really wanted to win, too.
Let me just say that I was opposed to Samantha's plan from the start.  When she asked for kerosene, I said absolutely not.  I just had visions of the garage full of leaves going up in flames, and the fire taking out the whole neighborhood.  Ugh.
Of course, she knew to ask Shawn then.  (Seriously, where was the united front on this one?)  At least she had the foresight to ask for fire extinguishers. 

You'll be happy to know that the 6 foot flames coming from her pumpkins did not, in fact, start the neighborhood on fire.

And in fact, won her a top prize for the 3rd year in a row! (I was so relieved when it was over.)

The prize winners with their trophies.
Samantha was pretty darn excited about her 3peat.  But now she's already trying to figure out how to top herself yet again. (We may have to give up this party.  I don't know if I can handle the stress.)

Fortunately, there were other winners this year as well, so no huge crying fits.  Although Peter was a little sad.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

YSA Breakfast and Service Project

Things have been particularly busy around here this month with the YSA ward.  I spoke before conference, we've hosted a couple of Family Home Evenings, had the Haunted Gully and today had a breakfast here to feed everyone before they started on their service project.  (I had to do very little for the breakfast since Bishop Graham came, set up and cooked, so I can't really complain.)  Fortunately, the weather was very cooperative.

It takes a lot of food to feed these hungry YSA's.
This doesn't really show it, but this is a huge pile of hash browns.
The bishop was super excited to use his new pancake gun.
And this is the finished product on the service project.  I wish I had though to take a before picture since this is such a huge improvement.  They hauled in a ton of bark mulch and raked and smoothed and so on.  We love it since this is the path we take on our way to school every day.  It saves us some significant time.  We are excited to try it out on Monday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shawn in San Diego

Shortly after I got back from St. George, (where, mind you, I had to pack for 3 kids and clean up after them and feed them and entertain them and all that goes along with that while Shawn stayed home with the teenagers who require very little in the way of care), Shawn headed off all by himself (OK not all by himself, but with only a friend) to beautiful San Diego.  ( I have absolutely no bitter feelings about this at all by the way.)
Anyway, his friend Joel invited him to go along on this sort of business retreat thing where you hobnob with other business people and make connections in the business world all while enjoying all the amenities at the resort.  I may have been just slightly jealous.  Although i am really glad he got to go because I think he really needed the break.
He told me he didn't send me all of his pictures because he knew it would make me jealous.  I think he was right.  The ones he sent did the job.

More golfing.

Yum.  I wish he could have saved me just a little of the desserts.

Anyway, he had a great time and I think he really enjoyed the break.  I'm just sorry I couldn't be there too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

UEA Part 2

I don't think they missed us at all while we were gone.  After all, I had the harder kids with me, and they managed to stay plenty busy.  Samantha doing a little training to get ready for the Olympic Training Center. (More on that later.)
Shawn did some serious cleaning and organizing.

Sadly, they went to the Warren Miller movie without us.  (But it was 85 degrees where I was.)

And unbelievably, they went to Hires without us, too.  I'm sure a milk shake was one of the only things Jonas could sort of eat.
The littles and I made it a point to do all of the touristy things that we never do when we are in St. George. We went to the Brigham Young House and to the Jacob Hamblin house.  The girls were very interested in all of the pioneer stuff.
No trip to St. George is complete without a stop at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.
Seriously a favorite spot.
The kids insisted that I go with them on the golf cart to the Sun River Labyrinth.  I don't know how I've missed this in all the times I've been down there, but this was a first for me.  It was a nice meandering walk to get all the way through.  It was pretty cool.

My view from the back of the golf cart.

The littles said they wanted to go the the wildlife museum.  They promised that they wouldn't cry this time.  (Last time, Peter and Megan cried the entire time.)  Although, I'm sure Peter meant it, he just couldn't keep up his end of the bargain and he cried and cried.
I guess all those animals were just a little too creepy for him.
Listening to the tour information.
Really, there are some seriously cool animals there.
(And I have a very real fear of running into some of them at some point in the mountains. Especially this one.)

Peter did finally calm down when we got to the giraffe - at the very end of the tour.  Awesome.

OK, this guy scares me really a lot.  Pretty much every time I'm by myself up the canyon, I worry that one of these will show up.  Maybe I'll have to start taking the dog with me.

Megan was hopeful that we could take the giraffe home, but I of course, broke her heart and said no.
These things scare me.  They're just a little too close to home. Literally.
In keeping with our theme of things we don't always do, we went to the temple.
The three amigos.
The kids loved being up so close to the temple and walking on the grounds.  It was fun to see the same missionary from the Brigham Young House giving the tour at the visitor's center.

The girls loved the beehives and had to climb up to touch them.
And we wrap up the trip with more selfies.  One in St. George and one at home.
Goofy girl.
And as always, Samantha is in on the selfie thing as well.  Beautiful eyes and lashes.
It was so fun to get away for a few days and spend some time being the "yes" mom for my little kids.  We need to do that more often.