Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alison in Wonderland

Introducing Alison in Wonderland:

This year's cast of characters included:

Alison (that's me!)

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum:

(It doesn't get any better than those two, if you ask me!)

The (stunningly beautiful) Queen of Hearts:

The adorable Cheshire Cat! Oh, she melted my heart.

And last but not least, the sweetest White Rabbit...

When we are running late in the car, he will chant
"I'm late, I'm late... for a very important date!" as I buckle him in his car seat.

That naughty little rabbit had fun with a yellow highlighter one afternoon.

Don't worry. I forgave him pretty quickly.
How could I not?

The secret to a family themed costume, I have discovered,
is getting the oldest child on board. 
At least that's the trick at our house. 
I was totally lobbying for Winnie the Pooh characters...
but Eliza was less enthused. 

When she mentioned that she wanted to be the Queen of Hearts, 
I exploded, "YES!!! We can do that!"
And the rest is history.

It takes a lot of planning to outfit our family (and money)
but the good news is we had the opportunity to dress up more than once. 

First up we had Nanna Teresa's Halloween party. Our ward had a trunk or treat which we enjoy attending every year. Forrest had one at preschool too. The kids had their school parade and last but not least, 
Halloween night! Here are a "few" photos from those events. 
Nanna had several activities for the kids to enjoy. 
Cookie decorating was one of them!

Here spooky eats were a big hit with everyone!

Our cousins looked amazing in their costumes too.
Here's a look at the Jensen family as the characters from In and Out!

And here is Snow White (who happened to be the birthday girl that night!)
...and a few of her dwarfs!

Here's another one of our crew from that night.

And finally, the whole gang!

The school's Halloween parade and parties were a lot of fun.
Forrest is old enough that I felt like I could go and help without him being to much of a hindrance.
My biggest assignment was with Lottie's class, but we did manage to make an appearance
(and help out) with the older kids too!

Their school parade was outside this year...

Henry had his first violin recital. 
He played Polka Dot Waltz by Lyon.
My video camera didn't work that day... so so sad
but I do have a short clip of it on my instagram page.

It was a costume recital.
I loved it.

We ran out of time to carve pumpkins. Next year, I'll do better to make it a priority (I hope).
Painting seemed manageable so we squeezed that in.

Also, I am not the most festive/crafty mother on the planet...
So! When I make the effort to do something food related,
I document it. 
(Those milkshakes were supposed to look like candy corn.
They tasted good.)

And finally, a few Halloween related videos:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall break 2016

Yikes! Thanksgiving is in a few days. It would make me happy if I finish blogging about Halloween before then. Before that happens, here's a look back at this year's fall break.

A favorite tradition of ours is going to Black Island Farms. My brilliant friend arranged a "field trip" for a group of our friends. The timing was great because I was able to check Eliza and Henry out of school a half hour early so they could come. In a few {short} years, I don't think visiting Black Island Farms will matter as much to my oldest so I really cherish activities like this that all four of the kids can enjoy together. We also loved spending time with some of the most darling little people we know! My friends have darling babies.

It was a beautiful day. Because we had so many small children, we were taken to a section of smaller sized pumpkins to choose from. I don't think the children minded.
I really like this picture. 
That ray of light shinning down on my kids makes me especially happy.

After finding our pumpkins and delivering them to the car,
we explored the rest of the farm.
The kids enjoyed the train, slides, pig races and other activities. 

Here's a video of our day:

The next day, we met a three of my friends from high school at the Dinosaur Park.
We underestimated how cold it was going to be so we ended up inside for awhile.
When it warmed up, we headed outside to play at the park, eat lunch and walk around the park. 

Forrest and Ada really hit it off. 
Ada's Mom, Laura, became one of my best friends in the 7th grade.
She was a bridesmaid at my wedding.
Laura and I plan to outlive our husbands and retire to the same nursing home.
Together we will spend our days visiting in our rocking chairs while we harass her cousin, Taylor.
It's going to be swell. 

After the Dino Park, our friends came back to our house where we enjoyed doughnuts and more visiting.

Fall break likewise translates to, "The Hunt" for Dad and Henry. 
I wasn't as emotional sending off Henry as I was last year. 
But I still had a little lump in my throat when they drove away.
Henry was so excited.
To contrast that emotion, Forrest was DEVASTATED when he realized where they were going without him.
It broke my heart. He was so sad to be left behind. 
We admittedly had a low key weekend back home but it was what I needed. 
I like having adventures but I definitely benefit from having time at home to catch up on ordinary tasks 
and to decompress. 

Lucky for Lottie and Forrest,
they have an older sister who knows how to put the "extra" into the "ordinary."
They were delighted when she decided that she was going to treat them to a tea party. 
These gestures make me most happy. 

As for the boys, they had a wonderful weekend with our Bubba at the cabin. Andrew was successful in his pursuit of a deer. Henry had another up close and personal anatomy lesson as they gutted it. He had some lovely splatters of blood on his coat when he got home. Oh, I am sorry. Did I just trigger your gag reflex? I apologize. If it makes you feel better, I triggered mine too. I didn't grow up in a hunting family so you could say I am still adapting. Andrew gave away much of his meat to families who were thankful to have it. He dehydrated and smoked much of what he brought home to our family. So yes, hunting served a valuable purpose. Andrew isn't one to hunt for sport, meaning he won't shoot and kill animals just for pleasure. But he does find satisfaction in "providing" for his family. Also, I know he loves the bonding time with his Dad and now Henry. In case you were wondering...

The kids had "spirit" week recently. Things got "crazy" on crazy hair day...
Just kidding.
Their hair looked pretty normal to me.
But it was Lottie's first time going to school with straight hair;
which seemed crazy to her. 
Pajama day and read-a-thon day

Next up, Halloween!