Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day of the Dead, with Gingerbread 2016

Our family enjoyed talking about some of our ancestors on Day of the Dead last year, so I decided to celebrate it again this year, complete with gingerbread skeletons.

This year we talked about Margaret Amelia Pedersen, my dad's grandmother.  She was really a remarkable woman.  As a child, she lovingly helped her father (who had lost his hands in a farming accident) by combing his hair, putting on his shoes, and assisting him with the farm equipment.  Her husband died of a sudden illness when their youngest children (a pair of twins) were seven years old, and Margaret managed to run the farm and keep the family together even through the Great Depression.  She was practically blind for the last years of her life, but she was such a self-reliant and positive person that most people didn't know it.  They just knew her as a good friend who was a pleasure to be around.

Incidentally, when I look at the picture of Margaret and her handsome husband, I'm always struck by how much my dad looks like his grandpa.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkins, Treats, and a Cheesecloth Ghost

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to make our home look a little festive, so I hung plastic jack-o-lanterns in our tree with electric candles inside, and made a cheesecloth ghost that floated in the breeze (after I adjusted it half a dozen times to keep the cheesecloth from slipping off the wires).

After dinner we carved pumpkins.

Daddy carved a big, bright star on his pumpkin.  Daniel decided it would be extra creepy to carve a single eye in his.  Anna chose a spooky design for her ghostly white pumpkin.  Joy and I each went with our default pumpkin designs. Todd was a little young to be wielding blades (however small), so we left his pumpkin blank so it could grace our porch for a few more weeks.

At trick-or-treat time, Joy was a scientist, Daniel was a cat, Anna was a cat fairy, Todd was a math genius (they look like everyone else).  I wore the same Minnie Mouse ears I wore three years ago when I was waddling around the neighborhood with three trick-or-treaters, hoping the fourth wouldn't be born for at least a few more days.

We returned home an hour later with plenty of treats, and the kids went right to work trading for the ones they liked best.  I have fond memories of doing that with my sibs many moons ago.  I would trade just about anything for a fun-size Snickers bar.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Party Time

It's time for the ward Fall Festival!

My kids were really excited to be there.  No, seriously.

We slung marshmallows at Goliath . . .

. . . bowled over some ghosts . . .

. . . fished for treats . . .

. . . hung out in the black light room for a little while . . .

. . . and did lots of other cool stuff.  Thanks to everyone in our ward who planned fun activities for the kids!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Giving Drugs the Boot

This is Red Ribbon Week at the kids' school.  Each day has a different theme to encourage kids not to do drugs.

Tuesday was Crazy Outfit Day, because "You'd Be Crazy to Do Drugs."

Yesterday was Boot Day, as in "Give Drugs the Boot."  Joy decided to wear four boots for the occasion.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Corny Outing

After chores today . . .


. . . we decided a local corn maze would be a nice fall family outing (and yes, that is a cast on Joy's left arm--she tripped a few days ago and landed hard on it, causing a minor fracture).

There were structures here and there in the maze so you could climb up and get your bearings before heading back down into the corn.

We actually found our way out rather easily, then Daddy and Joy went back in to explore more of the maze . . .

. . . while the kids played on the playground . . .

. . . which included an enormous tub of dried corn.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Spencer's Baptism and Ghost Town Bowling

We headed on down to Texas this weekend . . .

. . . to attend a very special event:

Cousin Spencer's baptism.

Afterward we joined Spencer, Aunt Alissa, and Aunt Emily for lunch at In-N-Out . . .

. . . then checked out a ghost town (which is probably younger than I am, but hey, it was still fun to visit).  It had a fort and lots of old buildings to explore.  There weren't many other visitors at the time we went, so it really did feel like a deserted ghost town most of the time.

Joy ended up in the brig for a little while.  I'll leave her infraction to your imagination.

I think the kids' favorite part of the outing was playing with this little plastic bowling set.

We wore Todd and Anna out today, and they fell fast asleep on the drive back from the ghost town.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Green Smoothie and the Curative Properties of Watermelon

Todd and I headed out to the garden this morning . . .

. . . to harvest a little bouquet of kale . . .

. . . to put in a smoothie.

Mmm, yummy green goodness.

As I snapped a picture of Todd sipping our smoothie, I happened to notice in the background . . .

. . . a comic book Anna brought home from kindergarten this week.  It's about a girl named Clarissa who eats more than one cupcake at her birthday party and transforms into the nefarious villain Princess Cupcake, who pressures her guests to gorge on sweets.  Fortunately for all involved, Clarissa's friend turns her back into a human by convincing her to eat some healthy watermelon.  (Brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board).  I guess that's yet another good reason to indulge in green smoothies instead of sugary baked goods--the smoothies won't turn your head into a cupcake.