Thursday, November 13, 2014

Halloween 2014

 Halloween is one of my favorite holidays ever!  I don't care for the creepy, icky, scary stuff (or all the junky candy) but, I do love the dressing up, the way it smells outside when the leaves start turning colors (or in this year's case, the way my scentsy smells when I walk in the house -- it is still hot and sunny here), and how this holiday kicks off an entire season of great holidays.  At our house we start listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween... and I love it!

I was sad to hear this town doesn't dress up on Halloween at school.  After attending the annual school carnival the week before I decided things were going to be okay after all. :) -- The picture above was taken during the carnival.  The kids had a blast with all the different activities available.  Because this is a small town each school from elementary up to high school work together in creating a fabulous carnival for the town.  Zoey is on student council and was expected to show up early to help decorate.  I brought Kinley and Lexa along to help too.  The 3 girls had a great time wrapping crate paper around the trees and hanging spiders on the jail.   The carnival itself did not disappoint.  Everyone left happy!  

 Paisley had two Halloween shirts alternated continuously throughout the month.  She also enjoyed helping me put up decorations  in our house offering many ideas on how to make our house more "spooky".  Throughout the entire month she enjoyed the decorations feeling the festive spirit of our "spooky house".

 Lately she is very interested in showing off a wide array of facial expressions.  She often comes up to me (or people at church) and asks them to show her your (add expression here) face!  My favorite is "mean face".  After you make a mean face she screams and says "That is scary!".  Here are a few of her polished facial expressions.

Kinley and Paisley  could not get enough of this Halloween headband!  Between the two of them, it was worn for a good two weeks straight -- It finally snapped in half on the night of Halloween.  Thankfully both the girls were too busy getting their costumes on to feel too bad about the loss.

Paisley dressed up as a black kitty this year -- but not just any black kitty -- She dressed as a "mean black kitty".  She loved this costume and tried her best to stay in character throughout the night (scratching and hissing at random people).  She loved the tail and ears but, adored having her face painted!  The night of the carnival and church party was long.  She fell asleep on our way home from the last party.  When she woke up the next morning for church we started to wipe off her whiskers.  It broke her little heart!  I was two seconds away from just letting her show up to church with a kitty face.  Instead she decided she would be okay with us wiping off the paint with plans of putting it back on for Halloween night.  She asked for her whiskers everyday for the next week.  When Halloween night rolled around she was ecstatic.
Early into the trick or treating Paisley lost both her flip flops and instead was going house to house barefoot.  It was dark and I was concerned she was going to step on a scorpion... Thankfully she didn't and the night played out pretty smoothly.  The following week our neighbors found one of her flip flops in the middle of the road outside her house.  I found the other a couple days later about 4 or 5 blocks down from their house on our way home from school one day!

Kinley was a witch!  She had a good time this year trick or treating with the older kids.  She loved her costume, as purple is still her very most favorite color.  She was also wearing a purple spider ring and matching purple necklace.  This may have been her favorite part of the costume!  For the day at school I painted a pumpkin on her cheek with a splash of purple glitter across it.  She absolutely loved it and couldn't wait to tell me about what a hit it was with her friends.

The girls had fun using Paisley as their black cat accessory and Paisley adored all the attention she was given as this accessory!
Alexa as a witch!  Do you love the homemade decorations the girls made in the background.  I have such fun kids.  Alexa had a good time celebrating Halloween.  We started the night with a BBQ and a couple of friends over to eat dinner and go out collecting candy with us.  After a little bit of trick or treating we headed over to the high school football field to watch the homecoming game!  This was Alexa's favorite part of the night.  She immediately ditched us to go hang out with all the teenagers in our ward.  They were sweet to let her be a part of their group for the night and she was thrilled with the acceptance.  She caught a team t-shirt from the cheerleaders which was the highlight of the night for her.  It is huge on her but, she is happy to sleep in it often.

Zoey dressed up in her witch costume!  Like her sisters Zoey enjoyed the night.  Generally Halloween night consists of freezing rain, coats, and short trick or treating.  This year was so different!  Dave and the men hung out outside in lawn chairs (after having an outside BBQ with friends).  I loaded up Rex and Paisley in a stroller while the girls put on their flip flops and walked around the neighborhood.  The weather was perfect!  We could have stayed out all night.  It was fun to head over to the football game with everyone.  I enjoyed sitting by Zoey at the football game.  She is such a fun kid to hang out with.
Rex dressed up as a dinosaur (or dragon depending on who you talk to in the family).  In these pictures he is taking his very first steps ever!!!  After putting on his costume the night of the carnival, Dave backed up to snap a picture.  I guess those giant slippers helped Rex to feel a little more stable because the next thing we knew he was making his way towards Dave -- walking!  I love how happy he is in these pictures because of his accomplishment.  During trick or treating he was fast asleep in the stroller.  This worked out perfectly for the football game.  He was snugly and happy the whole way through!

Dave and I dressed up this year too!  I was a witch (4 witches in the house this year.  Although the creativity lacked a bit this year everyone was happy with their costumes at the end of the day.).  Dave was superman!  He rocked the costume perfect and looked fabulous!  I sure love this guy!
At the end of the night the girls scarfed down all sorts of candy.  When their bellies started feeling sick and they were getting ready for bed a new tradition occurred.  A town "switch witch" secretly entered our home and replaced all the girl's candy with a gift they had really been wanting.  The girls were ecstatic about this new event and I absolutely loved the days following Halloween where our home was as candy free as it was before Halloween night took place.  It made me smile when one of the last things that happened was Zoey sneaking into Rex's room as I was rocking him.  She gave me a big hug.  She told me thank you for bringing the switch witch tradition into our home (another great find on pinterest :)).  My kids showing gratitude for the tiny things I do around here to make our family happy is one of the very best things about being a mother in my book!

This Halloween was a hit for sure!  Despite my uneasiness about the rules of no costumes at school and homecoming being scheduled on Halloween night, the holiday could not have been any more perfect (well, except for the miner detail of the lost shoe issue).  
We each picked out pumpkins a week or two before Halloween.  After only one day of having them outside two of them rotted.  I am still figuring out this whole desert living thing.  One thing I recently learned is why you will not find a single pumpkin on someone's front porch... It will rot instantly!  To save the other pumpkins I brought them in and have had them sitting along our wall of the front entrance.  Rex has loved playing with this little pumpkin (Kinley's pumpkin)  He has attempted to pick the others up but, with no luck.  This one is just his size.  He carries it all around the house.  I have found it in the kitchen, play room, laundry room, bedrooms, and bathrooms.  He loves, loves, loves to throw it.  My girls get such a kick out of the fact that he thinks this is his ball!  He will laugh and giggle each time he decides to throw it.  In the picture above he is getting ready to throw it across the living room.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rex's Birthday

 I can not believe my little guy is already a year old!  We started the day off with one of his very most favorite things, a stroller ride!  The 3 older girls went fishing with Dave bright and early.  So, when Paisley, Rex, and I woke up we decided to head outside for an early morning run (stroller ride).  My two babies played on the park across from our house while I stretched after the run.  After an afternoon of cheering for the winning football team, we came home and partied hard!
 It was cute to see Rex as the center of our attention.  He knew he was in the limelight and loved every minute of this special attention.

 A boy and his dad!
 He loved his presents, which mainly consisted of noise makers and ball toys.
 Instead of a traditional cake we all decided to let him eat some yummy banana cream pie for his birthday.
 The pie was a hit for his sisters, however he didn't really care for the taste.  After one of two tiny bites he decided he was done.
I sure love this little guy.  I can not believe it has already been a year since he was born.  When he was sick and in the hospital during his first week of life I had to leave him in the nursery each night, without me, in the care of the NICU nurses.  One of the nights I remember passing him over to one of the nurses trying my best to hold back my tears of the thought of leaving him without me, again.  To comfort me, the nurse said.  "Next year when you celebrate his first birthday, he will be healthy, and you will have completely forgotten about this whole experience." -- At the time, that comment brought me comfort.  I hoped she was right, as at that time I felt emotional exhaustion and  my heart was aching as I watched my tiny baby struggle during his first week here on earth.  Now, here we are celebrating my little one's first birthday!  Is his birth experience and week in the hospital a fading memory? -- Absolutely not!  I don't think a single week has gone by in the past year that I have not thanked my Heavenly Father for letting Rex live -- and for each day I have with this little boy, and my other 4 children!  They are a blessing in my life.  It would  have been a dark year, had my Heavenly Father not allowed for multiple miracles to occur which allowed my baby to be here with us!  I thank my Heavenly Father for placing both seen and unseen angels in that delivery room when timing was critical and my baby was struggling.  I know that everyday I have my little one here with me is a gift from my Heavenly Father.

Dave's Birthday in Utah

 Dave celebrated his birthday in Utah this year!  His birthday landed on the start of the girl's week long fall break. (I know!!!  How lucky am I!)  Each Fall the girls get a week long break off of school.  I hated starting the school year so early but, have absolutely loved the many days off here and there throughout the year so far.  The days off are something the girls and I really look forward to.  We work hard to make the most of these special breaks in the typical weekly routine.  For this particular week went went up to spend the week in Utah with Grandma and Grandpa.  Dave was kind enough to drive us all the way up to Utah Friday, spend Saturday watching General Conference and celebrating his birthday, and drive all the way home by himself on Sunday. :( -- but, don't feel too bad for him.  While we were gone he spent his time fishing, fishing, and then a little more fishing!  I think it's safe to say it was a win, win for everyone.

I love the picture above.  Birthday candles at our house typically have to be lit a couple times.  For some reason my kids just can't accept the fact that only the one who is celebrating their birthday gets to blow out the candle! 
 General Conference was, as always, inspiring and uplifting.  I have enjoyed reviewing the talks this month and hearing things I missed the first time around.
 While visiting grandma and grandpa, we had three cats stop by the back door to say "hello" to my kitty loving kids.  Alexa loved the visits!  She adores animals and could have carried this particular little cat around all day.  The cat visited often but, didn't stick around long.  The short visit was a combination of disliking being carried around and REALLY  disliking the fact that each time he tried to make his escape Paisley would grab a hold of its tail and hold on tight in an attempt to make it stay and play a little longer.

 During the trip we also decorated a fairy craft, picked raspberries, played at the park, visited Grandma and Grandpa Z, played with cousins (Bailey and Ember), hung out with Michelle and Tyson, and spent a day at the zoo.  
 Kinley's favorite part of the trip was being able to wear a "crown braid" every single day of the trip.  She felt beautiful!  Kinley asks for this look often while getting ready for school.  Although I have attempted the look on her once, it just doesn't come out the same as when Grandma does it.  She asked me to take the picture of her below as a "model picture" for me to look at when we are at our own house. :)
This trip was a great break to our normally very busy routine.  The plane ride home was with just me and my five little ones.  Thankfully all went smooth!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Give Me A C-H-E-E-R! Cheer!

 Football season is finally coming to a close around here, which also means so is the cheer season!  Can I get a big Hurrah for that!  Zoey, Alexa, and Kinley were all on the same squad this year and really enjoyed it.  Are you wondering why I am in the team picture too? --  Through a series of unfortunate events I was asked to be the cheer coach for the season.  It was stressful, lots of work with little appreciation and has kept me very, very busy for the last few months.  It was fun to spend time with my girls and get to know some of the other kids in this town but, lesson learned, I won't be doing it again next year!  I had to keep reminding myself why I agreed to help in the first place, for my three sweet girls.  They enjoyed it and were grateful for my service, which in my book is considered a success!
 Zoey, Alexa, and Kinley ready to cheer for the panthers!
 Kinley -- She was by far the tiniest one on the team.  Everyone in the stands loved to watch the "small cheerleader" join in with the rest the bunch.  She kept up well with the older girls and looked adorable cheering with the group.
 Alexa -- She did a great job with the sideline cheers but, really seemed to excel at the stunts!  This girl is fearless (and has been since she was a tiny baby)!!!  She had no problem being lifted into the air and was totally trusting as she jumped back into the girl's arms, expecting that everything would be okay.  Tumbling classes is one of her talents for sure!
Zoey -- As usual Zoey learned the cheers quickly and hit each movement with precision and perfection.  She was able to mix her dance skills of grace and femininity to the sharp and solid movements of cheer in a beautiful way.  My favorite move of hers was her kicks!  After each cheer the girls would do a "signature move" -- Zoey's was a super high kick!

I am grateful we had the opportunity to try out a season of cheer.  The girls really enjoyed being cheerleaders and have all expressed multiple times of their desire to continue on this path of cheer.  We have been going to the high school football games throughout the season.  The girls really love spending Friday nights with us on the bleachers watching the high school team and cheerleaders down below.  For now, they are all wanting to be part of the high school squad when they are older .

Paisley has been fun to watch during the cheer season.  She loved going to the practices with us!  She would beg us to bring her with us.  As a result, she picked up a good handful of cheers herself!  She loves to shout them out "nice and loud" (which I remind the girls about 50 times during practice) throughout the day.  Cookies and Cream is her favorite cheer and the grocery store seems to be a favorite setting of hers to chant it out!  Such a cutie :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Boy's First Haircut!

Rex had his first haircut last months!  Here are the before pictures...

 Here he is in his signature stance. :)
 In the picture below he is doing one of his favorite things... pushing the stroller around the living room.  If the stroller has not been put away, there is a guarantee I will find it randomly pushed into the center of the room by this little one.  It is funny to see from the front, as you only see the stroller moving without a person in sight from behind.
For his haircut I took him to a barber shop.  I felt extremely out of place.  There were only men in the room waiting for their cut, only men cutting the hair, and the shop was decorated with mounted animals on the walls and various other fishing and hunting accessories.  The magazines available were sports and fishing ones -- Yes, I was very out of my element in there but, it all turned out okay and Rex left with a great new look!

 ... and here are the adorable after pictures!
 One handsome boy!

 Enjoying some applesauce while in his football stance. :)
Love this kid!!!