Monday, November 18, 2013

Russell Turns Five

Russell has to wait through a lot of birthdays in the family before it is finally his!  He was so excited and felt he should have the birthday placemat everyday that week.  He is especially happy for this birthday because he knows he has to be five to go to kindergarten.  Sorry, Russell, you still have a long wait.

When Rob and I went shopping for the birthday boy we weren't sure what to get him.  After strolling through a few toy aisles we found some ideas: anything Ninja Turtle.  Ever since we gave Grant a $5 DVD of some Ninja Turtle episodes for his birthday our boys have been obsessed.  So Russell got a Ninja Turtle bandana and plastic sword, and a TMNT card game, and TMNT coloring pads... all wrapped in TMNT wrapping paper.

In fact, while at the store I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party invitations which prompted us to go ahead and have a TMNT themed birthday party.  So I got online to find ideas I could copy (what I do best!) and had a lot of fun planning it.


When the kids first arrived they got to decorate an oblong Chinet plate with elastic stapled onto it which served as their turtle shell.  Then we put masks on, drank some green mutagen (green punch) and they became Ninja Turtles.  They then went to Ninja Training where they learned to throw some punches in the air, and kick, and talk like a Ninja Turtle.  (making sure to remember that Ninja Turtles never hurt each other, of course).  Now, for you old school Ninja Turtle fans, take note that "Cowabunga Dude!" has been replaced with "Booyakasha!"

We had a guest Ninja Turtle visit for the party, also known as Grant.
I made a Turtle Cake (I gave up on a Ninja Turtle cake).  It is a fun cupcake cake. (I have always wanted to make one of those!)

We played other games like Turtle, Turtle Shredder (Duck, Duck Goose), and a version of musical chairs with empty pizza boxes (because TMN Turtles like pizza).  They also got to practice their Ninja moves with a pinata.  

It was a fun party and I wasn't even exhausted afterward!  Here is a picture of the decorations after the party (they have been a little trashed by this point).
 I think Russell felt special.

Living here for five years means we are starting to get quite a bit of leaves on the ground in the fall!  I love it.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fantastic Fall Part Two

Russell's preschool class took a field trip to the pumpkin patch. I realized a few days before that it was during our fall break so I would have a few extra kids tagging along. They were good sports and enjoyed it. Brenna took charge of taking pictures as I was busy with Elise. Here is Grant playing in the cornbox (think sandbox but full of corn kernels.)

Russell was very nervous on the hayride and clung fiercely to big brother Grant.

Brenna always loves the petting zoos.  We saw some adorable bunny rabbits and a cute runt pig in a sweater.


Sydney has no fear and enjoyed this large tube slide.  Russell wasn't sure he wanted to try it but eventually did.


One afternoon the kids caught this creature down in one of our window wells.  The neighbor kid informed me that it is a salamander.  What was it doing there?  I do not know.  They put him in a box but he left that night.  This was the same day our neighbors had a coyote in their backyard!
Little Sydney exhausted after an afternoon of church (no nap)

Grant has professed his desire to play baseball in the Spring.  Dad has begun teaching him to catch with a mitt.  Of course Russell wants to play, too.  Grant has caught on very quickly!


 The week of the BYU/BSU football game Rob decided to take the boys down to Provo to watch the game.  His dad and brothers and some cousins came along, too.  What a fun outing!

It was a great game (fortunately)

Seth was seated elsewhere with some cousins which is why he is not in any pictures.

The girls and I had a fun weekend at home (well, as fun as possible with a two year old and baby!)  Brenna spent some of her birthday money at the store.  Here is Sydney's crazy hair Saturday morning.


Saturday afternoon we went to the ward Halloween party.  Our ward usually just has a Trunk-or-Treat and it is just outside- no one goes inside the church so there is no cleanup.  This year they had lots of carnival type games.  It sounded like a lot of fun until it dawned on me that we have 200 primary kids in our ward and it might be total chaos!  We braved it anyhow and it was worth it.

 Brenna wore her aunt Melanie's clogging costume.
 Sydney was a vet (costume made by Grandma Weaver)


 And our cute little pumpkin.


 When the boys got home from their adventure they had BYU gear for all!


Seth, Brenna and Grant  performed in their teacher's piano recital.

Happy Halloween!  We carved pumpkins that afternoon...

then went Trick-or-Treating.  Our cut-off age for Trick-or-Treating is 12 so Seth stayed home and watched a movie with mom and the baby.  He is such a good sport, though, and had fun putting on a funny wig and handing out candy to the handful of kids who came to our door.


The next morning...


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fantastic Fall Part 1


In September we participated in the annual Harvest Classic Fun Run.  This is our fifth year running this one mile run as a family.  We always enjoy the family friendly environment of this even with vendors handing out free stuff, yummy food, bounce houses, face painting, etc.  We even won a prize in one of the drawings.  Seth was one of the first people to finish the race with a time of 6:30.  That boy is pretty fast!


Rob and Elise before one of the BYU games!

This was not Sydney's Halloween costume, but boy is she cute!

 The first two weeks of October our charter school kids had their Fall Break.  We headed to Idaho Falls to spend some time with Rob's parents.  I had expressed a desire to go hiking or camping, but with the weather a little chilly, we took a beautiful drive up to Mesa Falls instead.  The drive was so beautiful this time of year with all of the Aspen trees and evergreen trees.  I love being in the mountains and breathing that mountain air.  It was lovely.

Our little eskimo was a good little girl.  Don't worry- I made sure she could breathe.  Her coat kept riding up.

The falls consisted of an upper and lower waterfall.  This is the upper.  Rob took some fantastic panoramic pictures with his phone.



We were there during the government shutdown so the bathrooms were closed.  We took a picture of this sign on the bathroom door.

 I am not sure why taking the information plaques down was a necessary part of the shutdown, but maybe that is just me.

A tired girl on the way home.

 Rob noticed that Elise would always stare at this shirt whenever he wore it.  We think she liked the contrast between the light and dark colors.  One day while trying to calm her down for a nap he came up with this idea...

My mother-in-law heard of an apple orchard nearby where we could go pick apples.  We went and picked lots of apples for eating, applesauce, and caramel apples!




Rob and I put this puzzle together.  While only 550 pieces it was one of the hardest puzzles I have ever done.  Check out the shape of the pieces around the edge, on the handle and around the hidden shapes throughout.  Crazy!

A trip to Grandma's wouldn't be complete without her taking us to Leo's, a fun restaurant with an indoor playground and arcade.  

Seth and Rob have mastered how to get the jackpot on this particular game.  This time was no exception.


The spoils...

 Another new excursion we tried this time was Bear World.  It opened in the late 90's with the idea that people came to Yellowstone from all over the world to see bears, but bear sightings are not what they used to be in that area.  So if they want to see bears they can come to bear world where you drive around in your car (with the windows rolled up) and look at bears.  When we were there the bears were just about to hibernate, but Jeanette tells me when she was there a couple months ago the bears were very energetic and would come right up to your car.  



There is more to bear world than just staying in your car!  They have a petting zoo that includes deer, antelope, bunnies, a pig, chickens, and goats.  There is an area where you can watch baby bears frolicking about, and several fun rides for kids.  We also saw moose and buffalo while driving in our cars.

Sydney would sit on each ride only to cry and want off before it started.  She did enjoy the tame train ride, though.

 Our last full day at Grandma's we made applesauce with our apples.  The kids and I like to make applesauce each year but I wasn't sure I was up to it this year with the new baby and all.  It went so quickly with so many helpers!  We canned about 35 quarts and 14 pints if I remember correctly.  Because of the red skin on the apples (Cortland) the applesauce was a pretty pink color and very delicious!


Grandma Weaver really wanted to do a Halloween dinner for the kids.  She decorated the table and made orange Rice Krispie pumpkins, chocolate pudding in jack-o-lantern cups with a gummy worm hanging out the side, yummy slush to drink, etc.  The kids loved it.

That day we also made caramel apples!  Since we were full on sweets we chose to eat them the next day.  If anyone knows how to keep the caramel from sliding off the apple and pooling on the bottom, let me know.

Pretty Elise all ready for church!

We had a wonderful visit with my in-laws.  They are such great people and I feel blessed to have in my life.

 I plan to past again soon about pumpkin patch, BYU games, and Halloween!